Bring on the Wonder

Since it’s relatively shiny and new, here are a few words of explanation about the title of the blog.

I’ve been ruminating about the concept of Wonder lately. Not Wonder as in “hmm…” More like Wonder, synonymous with Awe or even Beauty. It seems to me that a certain kind of Wonder, that of the memorable, knock-you-on-your-kiester variety, is in short supply the older I get. It’s like as a kid, every day was full of these kinds of moments, but somehow, as I creep past 30 (maybe creep’s not the best choice of words here), the days slip by without a trace of Wonder. And as a writer, this is cancer. For as long as I can remember, these are the stories that crawled inside my heart and dug down deep to become entrenched in my soul, the kinds that were drenched in Wonder. I remember the feeling of raw Wonder at Aslan’s explanation that there is a “magic deeper still” upon rising from the dead in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was as if I had just realized that the rules had suddenly changed. Something in my guts started pulsing faster and  harder with excitement at this realization.

I think Wonder rises unbidden inside us as children, but there are too many other hands inside us shoving it down as we grow older. The strongest of these, I think, might be Maturity, the act-your-age prompting we have drilled into us.But Wonder and Maturity are not mutually incompatible. In fact, Wonder might be the only thing which remains to save us from Maturity driving us to Cynicism and a stagnation of the soul. It’s why I’m a storyteller. Maybe I have more in common with the wide-eyed kid than the narrow-minded adult.

I see the image of young Carl Fredrickson in the opening frames of Pixar’s Wonderful film Up, as he stares wide-eyed at the movie screen, dreaming of the adventures he will take around the world, and it causes something inside me to vibrate. In a sense we’ve all been there. The only thing that separates us adults is whether or not a part of us stayed behind in the theater, or whether, like Carl and Ellie, we moved on and let life get in the way of Wonder. We all carry childhood with us. But I have to be be ready to listen to its voices at all times.

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