Wonder Woman

# Reverb10  Prompt 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? by Jeff Davis

In 1994, I took a course called Myth and Art lead by an amazing professor named Richard Ilgner who could make connections between things I had never thought to connect before.  He introduced me to Kerouac, whose work I loved (love) despite the fact that the fantastic freedom he and his characters enjoyed depended on women giving up their lives and dreams to support that freedon.

In one class, we were talking about how Kerouac was accused of false naivete because he found everything so damned amazing and got caught up in the wonder of the world around him.  I was totally intrigued, because while I was a fairly practical person, I did see cool things everywhere.  I watched for butterflies, I noticed rainbows in puddles (when I’m not jumping in them), and I thought these things are pretty neat. It hadn’t occurred to me that these were things that ‘grown-ups’ shouldn’t do.

Sixteen years later,  I’m not quite as good at doing these things naturally.  I feel like I have so many things to do, and so many responsibilities that I can’t tap into that wonder as easily.  And it’s true that ‘grown-ups’ can’t spend all their time floating about from one marvellous thing to another or their children won’t have all the skills they need to make their way in the world.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t do it though.  I have to flip the switch more consciously most of the time now, but I still try to smell the air, and see the rainbows and touch the tree bark.  I marvel at people and how their brains work.  How do I do that?  By letting myself be curious, by asking ‘why’ and by thinking of how my children are processing the things around them.

Especially that last one.  When I imagine how they are taking in the information the world is presenting, it seems natural to point out new information for them to absorb. I care about them finding their own way, so pointing out what the world has to offer has to help with that.

I want the structures I’ll develop in 2011 to give me much more time for wonder, much more time to let my kids wander in wonder and take me with them.