All experience is an arch wherethrough gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades forever and forever when I move.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
I was attracted to this aphorism because of the word smithing that Tennyson used to craft it. His sentence construction and visual imagery is as succinct and precise as it is visual and accurate.
Each day our traveled boundary expands. Some days it is imperceptible, and other days, we have advanced far beyond the first down marker and we are far into uncharted territory.
When we have those experiences, we find ourselves inventing as we go. Reacting with measured responses, working diligently to interpret everything that comes our way and maintaining patience in the face of everything that opts to try it.
Our experience paves the road for us to travel headfirst into the unknown. It gives us solid ground upon which to stand. And (presumably) enough of a basis to assist us in navigating the path into the new territory.
To see the arch of which Tennyson so eloquently illuminates, think back upon where you were in high school as you contemplated what additional education you might wish to ingest in order that you might pursue a lifetime career of your choosing. As you contemplated your major, and focused from the broad to the narrow, that arch formulated and became evermore distinct in its shape and direction.
As you went through your additional education, you found more reasons and cause to narrow the arch in some ways, but to expand it in others. Perhaps there were a few hard turns in one direction or another that made you feel as if the first arch you had been traveling through had been abandoned.
Most important is the recognition that cumulatively, all of the life experiences that we and continue to amass are generating an ever deeper foundation of experience and knowledge from which we may draw power and through which we may discover how much further we are able to travel.