“Why is the sky blue?”

“Why are people starving in the world?”

“Why did they die?”

The child mind wants to know and understand the world.  Why, why, why?  Tell me more, let me absorb knowledge, let me understand.

And yet, when the adult mind hears the question Why, it seems as if it triggers an egoic reaction.  If we do not know Why, to whatever the Why is, we can feel ignorant, uninformed, or as if there was some sort of cheating that took place in the world.  “I don’t know why the sky is blue” the mind says, and wonders if they should know why the sky is blue, it’s a science thing, right?  It can feel as if the 3 year old is calling us stupid- when the 3 year old just likes the sky and wants to have a better understanding of this thing they think is pretty neat.

“I don’t know why people starve” the mind says, and it riles up feelings of social injustice.  People should not starve!  Does God hate us?  The emotional body reacts in pain, and the child who asked us the question can see the pain.  They see us suffer, and the suffering becomes a viral emotional experience.  After all, what is more contagious than an idea or feeling?

And when people die… that Why, well, the answers never seem like enough.  We can give the technical reasons- the drunk driver, the faulty heart valve, the disease that took them from our loving arms.  But even if that is what the child wanted to know, it evokes deeper questions that we see reflected within ourselves.  Why does the Goddess take good people from us?  Why did she have to go so soon?  Why did he leave me behind?

Why is a challenging word.

It is a word I cherish.

I and my child mind love the question Why.  I find it to be a nourishing word, one that demands I dig deeper.  Let me analyze, look in, deeper, deeper.  Why is the sky blue, the words refract out, and ask the scientific theory questions, but also the aesthetics of divinity.  Why did they choose blue instead of green, the old joke goes- so that we would know when to stop mowing.  It echoes in my bones with an awareness of our tamed life, where mowing is the norm and living in the wild is considered uncultured.  It whispers words beneath and within.

I adore analyzing.  No, that is not true.  I find analyzing to be a useful tool for staying sane in a mad world, and understanding how to traverse the universe with grace.  If I can understand, perhaps I can some day understand myself.  I dig into myself with a spade, and process, till, churn, through the shit until I find the soil beneath and within, until I can figure out a way to grow the garden of my own desires and manifest it here on this plane and beyond.

Analyzing can trigger others.  It can feel like an attack, or a questioning of capacity.  “Why did you leave the dog outside?” can feel like “Are you an idiot, the dog will freeze out there!”  But there are those of us who ask the first question because we just want to know.  Why is the dog outside?  Give me information, let me know what I missed, tell me more.  Share your world with me, help me understand.  And yet, we hit the language of our childhood, and the unspoken assumptions of our own mind.

“If it pleases you” becomes “I hate this, but I love you, so I guess if you have to I will tolerate your choice.”  We echo, transform, transmute the gold back into lead.  And the irritating fact- sometimes our translations were correct!  In a world where we pad out our feelings into words that will not hurt our loved ones, what do we do?  We hurt them in subtler ways.

“Why do you love me?”
So many translations…
I am broken, who could love THIS?
I am needy, tell me I am okay
I have a thousand reasons I love you, prove it is reflected back!
and then of course… the child curiosity.  Let me look through your eyes.  Let me see what you see, let me understand. Bless me with the truths you see there… because what I see there seems so rich.

Why can be a judgement, a curiosity, an accusation, a dream, a desire.

Why, oh why….



If so moved…




Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.

One Comment:

  1. For whatever reason, (why?) this may be my favorite thing you’ve ever written. It came in quite handy as my brain was wrapping around some things today.

    Thank you and love you. Until we cross paths again,

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