Saturday, January 4, 2020
As far as I can remember, the word ‘confusion’ has always carried a negative connotation, as though it is something adverse and undesirable. However, I’ve been feeling a new friendliness toward the word, partly because I recently found that it derives from the Latin word ‘confundere’, which means ‘mingle together’. The English verb ‘fuse’, meaning join or blend, comes from the same Latin root, and all of this helps me see that confusion can be thought of as simply the blending and mingling of things or situations or people – something that is not only not necessarily negative, but actually natural and nonstop in our universe. Literally everything is always mingling and blending, from electrons and atoms, to the cells in our bodies, to the air we all share and breathe, to winds and clouds across the skies. When lovers meet to make love, they blend in the most natural way, ‘fusing with’ each other – or ‘con-fusing’ – the way water molecules, we might say, ‘con-fuse’ with each other in the ocean. The mingling of two human bodies, the blending of sunshine and shadows, the intermixing of words among friends –these are just some of the ways our universe is constantly ‘con-fusing’ (blending) all of its parts, and always with a serene kind of naturalness.
So … from now on, I hope I can truly love the constant confusion in my life – the intermingling of feelings and thoughts, pleasures and sorrows, successes and failures, lives and deaths. It’s how the universe has been swirling along for billions of years – in serene confusion, and taking me, luckily, along for the ride.