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Opening Words from Sun. November 10 by Andie Jackson

Good morning. When I started thinking about this month’s theme, Experimentation, I realized that there’s a difference between Experimentation and Experience. I think most of us tend to interpret our Experiences in ways that reinforce our preconceptions about ourselves and about the world. But when we’re experimenting, our minds are more open to the possibility that we’ll learn something new that might change us.

To experiment is to take a risk, to do something when we don’t know how it will turn out. We might think of our whole life as a series of opportunities to experiment. We don’t usually have to take those risks, but every time we don’t, we do miss a chance to learn and grow.

I’d like to read a poem I wrote last year about an imaginary person who lacks the courage to experiment.

He speaks in a slow drawl

The words take their time easing from his soul into the outer world.

They wait, the words,
in the anteroom of the soul,
stroll about and compare notes,
form alliances.

You see them, sometimes,
struggle to get out,
to pass the lips and be heard

but there’s the irrevocability to consider.

All in all, it’s safer to keep them there
in the anteroom, jostling one another
as the place fills up over the years
with so much left unsaid.

Andie Jackson
NOTE: The ideas and opinions in this post do not necessarily express the thoughts or opinions of the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.