If this process has taught me anything, it’s that there are no bad questions, just bad answers. And, to be fair, bad timing. Occasionally a question comes at exactly the point I am unprepared for it, that generally leads to the worst answers, but I won’t point them out, regular readers will probably have spotted plenty already.
The thing is, we’ve built up quite a healthy archive of questions. Looking back through them, I can find so many things I have no memory of writing. Yet I must have written them. It’s kind of scary. But I think it totally proves the no stupid questions thing. All of these questions have had enough room to be approached and beaten down with 500 word rambles. The questions are adequate. The only weakness is in the answers.
I mean, technically, the whole ‘answers’ thing is a bit of a dodge. I reckon at least fifty percent of the questions don’t even get answered with a full hearted opinion, let alone cold hard facts. I’m a typical Gemini, always seeing both (or more) sides of the story. Questions are starting points for investigations, that hopefully the reader carries on throughout their day, anchored with the imagery of the illustrator to meditate on.
There aren’t just only stupid answers, there are actually no answers.
That sentence looks hideous.
Anyway, let’s fall back on some statistics for a moment. Out of 366 posts (367 including this one) the most read three posts are as follows.
Third favourite post: How many roads must a man etc etc? which is probably just annoying a lot of people looking for song lyrics.
Second favourite post: If we fall in love with our brains, why does it ache in our chest when we’re heartbroken? which is actually one of my favourite posts ever. Though not quite my actual favourite.
Most favoured post of all time: Why are snow flakes white? because science always wins. Am particularly glad I did put the science bit first, and not just rambling about eating snow. Lucky visitors.
Anyway. Those are apparently the best questions.
Really. I find it hard to pick a hierarchy of questions. I have my issues with ‘why’ questions, because they normally don’t work properly. But that’s a semantic issue (there are no reasons in the universe, just things that happen certain ways, and human motivation is utterly inscrutable, so any human why is always a lie). Normally, as long as the why is attached to something, it’s fine.
But questions are all starting points. They are diving boards into reality. They are the beginning of an excursion into your own mind and the world outside it. They can wake you up and show you things you’d never imagined you thought. It doesn’t matter what the question is, it just depends on how open you are to it; how willing you are to fully engage and run with it.
The are no best questions. Just people.
Looking for answers.
Illustration by Helen