A List of Paradoxical Ponderings

By Raelyn Kaplan, TIWP Women’s Writing Program

I backpacked alone. solo into the santa cruz redwoods for a single night of solitude. stopping here and there to admire the world through the lens of the forest. pondering as I powered through the towering trees and dark muddy earth beneath my feet. stopping here and there to scribble in my journal. nearly filled to the brim with notes and endless questions of curiosity. alone in the redwoods I suddenly saw paradoxes in every crack and creature.

a list of paradoxical ponderings:

  1. maybe asking is the answer and listening is the question.
  2. stillness is where the most movement transpires.
  3. the further we travel to find answers, the further from finding answers we travel.
  4. we who are the most dedicated perfectionists are invisible behind a mask of effortlessness.
  5. we who rock our flaws know our whole mess is our wholeness.
  6. reaching oneness requires a countdown from fragmentedness to fourness to threeness to twoness to oneness.
  7. the wisest elders embody youth and the wisest youth embody elders.
  8. the more we fear death, the more we fear birth.
  9. the more truth we seek, the more lies we unearth.
  10. i feel people who can acknowledge they have blind spots are more trustworthy than people who can’t spot their own blindness.
  11. i trust people who dare to ask questions more than people who speak only answers.
  12. if we are always changing, does that make us always the same?
  13. does everything make sense or does sense not make anything?


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