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Just when I think I know everything I need to know, when the encyclopedia in my head is more or less as complete as it's ever going to be, from A to Z, something new comes along to stir up my world view and reframe my notion of completeness. It's not as if I ever, for one minute, thought I knew everything. I just sometimes, naively I suppose, believe that what I know is everything there is. Not everything there is to know, but everything I'm ever going to know.

All the Big Ideas have taken deep root, so there probably isn't going to be a revelation that will suddenly make me believe in blind faith over science, or the trickle-down economic theory or any such nonsense. I'm never going to start voting Republican, at least not as long as the current right wing "thinkers" are in charge. That's about as likely as suddenly deciding I can fly. (I do have the power to become invisible, though, just so you know.)

Anyway, today late in the afternoon I was reading, and as I often do I put on a jazz CD in the background. It was one I've had forever but rarely played. I play Miles Davis fairly often, but this one, called "Panthalassa," is one I hadn't listened to in a long time. And this time I really listened, to the extent that I had to put down my book and tune into the music.

And then I started writing this, which actually has no point and is going nowhere because I don't have any idea what I'm listening to, other than some really interesting music which is not only unlike what I usually listen to, but which has an amazing earthy yet ethereal quality that separates it from anything I've heard (really heard) in a long time.

Now, it's not as if I'm immediately going to give up listening to indie singer-songwriters like Amos Lee, or classic country like Merle Haggard, or the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (yes, both!). I even wonder how long I could listen to this CD on continuous loop without going a little bonkers.

But hearing it this afternoon (quite by accident because it was a random pull from my CD rack) has expanded my world view in an unexpected way. And when something like this happens, I have to stop and look around and ask myself what else might be out there that might enrich my life. What else, I wonder, don't I know about, just because I haven't been exposed to it? How many more volumes might there be in my inner encyclopedia?

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