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By Sharon Courmousis
August 14, 2012 (Boulevard)--Yep! Curious is my middle name. Some are curious about how to make things themselves, like woodworking, gardening, or handcrafts. Some are curious about how made stuff works, like mechanical, electrical, or electronics. Some are curious about bodies, like health practioners, or minds, like psychologists and psychiatrists. My own curiosity seems to be about seemingly random concepts and actions.

Often, a simple cue of a word or idea sets me to investigating. As I research and evaluate, I begin to weave this new knowledge into useful and doable systems. Then I invite my family, friends and clients to play. You might notice introductions to new ideas in my writings. Of all the qualities a person can develop, I think the quality of curiosity is one of the very best. Why? 
  • Curious people enjoy life because they see life as a feast for their senses [we run on all eight cylinders]
  • Curious people live better and longer because they keep their mind and body involved in a variety of activities
  • Curious people do not have problems; they have challenges, they have lessons, and they have opportunities. They don’t have problems. 
Connections happen for people with inquiring minds. When a person listens more than they talk, they are much more interesting to be around. I listened to someone I know, the person was describing his life as pretty empty. Family was far-flung and infrequently kept in touch. Searching for purpose seemed futile. Relationship had tanked. Finances were not at his accustomed level.  The connection to a past investigation jumped into my mind and I shared it: my friend needed a tribe. In coaching terms, a tribe is a collection of people that resonate together, may share some fun activities, call or get together often, participate in each other’s lives, and fill the need for family. Tribes can have a collective purpose or common goals. The most wonderful thing about creating a Tribe is that YOU choose who to invite. Because of this prior learning, I am able to help my friend.
Some other examples of my curiosity leading to connections have happened like this:
a.     Many years ago, soon after Sacred Rocks Reserve was built, my curiosity drove me into the junkyard. Oops, I mean the Motor Transport Museum. I thought it was a junkyard, but you should see the treasures there. After the docent showed me through the inside of this huge, old mill, and I explored the rusting heaps that surround it, it dawned on me that I was absolutely fascinated.
b.    When my son was young we used to read books aloud and one set, which we totally enjoyed, was the Lemony Snickett Series of Unfortunate Events. There were brave children, a tragedy of loss, an evil uncle who tried to kill them for their money, strange words to learn [for the reader] and the good were fighting the evil in every book. The drawings were engaging, style was compelling, in all a wonderful experience for both mother and son. 
c.     The movie Sherlock Holmes which starred Robert Downey, Jr. taught us about the 1800’s costuming, strange machines, and mysteries
d.    And now, Steampunk. I heard the word pertaining to music.  One day I ‘accidently’ saw a book at an Independent Bookstore that I had never entered before, called The Steampunk Bible written by Jeff Vandermeer. It traces the history of Steampunk to HG Wells and Jules Verne [The Time Machine and Mysterious Island] to name a couple of their many works.  Steampunk is loosely defined as Mad Scientist Inventor X Victorian setting +progressive politics X adventure plot.
I am caught up, enthralled with the emergence of this movement that connects music with fun dressing and creating of interesting machines and compelling artworks. It is FUN!
Do I know where this newfound interest will lead? No. I just have to explore. Will I get involved in any way? I don’t know. I do like the costumes and the art. I grew up reading Edgar Allen Poe, Ambrose Bierce, as well as Jules Verne and HG Wells. Something wonderful is going to happen here in the confluence of themes. I can’t even imagine what yet, but my curiosity will keep me going until it becomes clear.
When people ask me if I saw the TV episode of XXX. I am perplexed. Who has time to watch TV? I am busy researching goji berries!
The Purple Mountain Sage welcomes questions from readers!  Write to us at: askthepurplemountainsage@gmail.com.  The Purple Mountain Sage is Sharon Courmousis, owner of Sacred Rocks Reserve and RV Park, a 163-acre wilderness preserve and campground in Boulevard, CA, which is also home to the Sacred Rocks Learning Center. Sharon can be reached by calling: 619-818-8575.  Visit the Sacred Rocks Reserve website at:  www.sacredrocksreserve.com. Advice From the Purple Mountain Sage is an opinion column written for The East County Magazine. Opinions stated within are those of the writer.

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