Thinking Back

For years I taught facts
And brought bright light of knowledge
To many students

The mistake we made
I made
Through most of those years
Was simply this:
I assumed knowledge was a collection of facts
And truth was a sufficiently large collection of knowledge

I completely forgot Santayana’s insight:
“Knowledge is a torch of smokey pine
That lights the path but one dim step ahead
It is by faith alone that we are led
Unto the thinking of the thought divine”

(I should look that up because I am certain to have made mistakes in the exact wording but instead I shall carry on, beyond facts to insight.)

I did shine a bright light
A surgical light
On needed knowledge
Valued knowledge

(And I am comforted now to remember that some of my students will have used that knowledge in their oeuvre saving others.)

But oh how I wish 
I had remembered
To also teach them to squint
Beyond the bright light
Into the whole dark delightful universe
Of unknowing.

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