What’s so wonderful about wonder?

#reverb 10 prompt: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

Oh, did I have a problem with this one. I’m troubled by this whole idea that we should be so bloody amazed all the time. For some reason I associate the pursuit of a sense of wonder, ever popular in self-help talk, with an oppressive Pollyanna mob of over-positive thinkers determined to make me revert into a child-like state regardless of the inconvenience, impracticality and sheer inconsideration involved.

I may be overreacting and jumping to conclusions here. Angry because I’m hungry? Not really. I just ate this, and then some. Good it was, too.

Rice etc.

Brown rice cooked w/ red lentils; peas, parsley, peanut butter; salt & pepper. Very simple. Surprisingly good.

At my best behaviour, then: how have I cultivated a sense of wonder this year?

  • I quit the day job. That certainly made some people wonder.
  • I run with my eyes open, in all seasons. There’s nature out there and it’s, you know, quite wonderful. (I never listen to music when I run – it’s just me and whatever is going on in the woods & parks around here.)
  • I make & bake stuff and wonder at the transformations of raw materials into edible/wearable/decorative objects. For example:
Felted tablecloth

A small felted tablecloth. Shh, I think someone's getting it for Christmas.

I still don’t know what the question actually means, though, so here’s an other take on wonders. For the philosophically minded among my readers (oh yes, I cater to everyone – foodies, crafters, philosophers :), here’s some Hume. I read On Miracles as a teenager and somehow it stuck. The wonders never cease – or do they…

92. Reasons why there never has been a miraculous event established on the evidence of testimony:


Second, we readily reject any incredible fact which is contrary to our past experience and observations and we ought to reject the authority of those who have the desire to believe in miracles which reward their passion for wonder and offer them delight in exciting the admiration of others. By joining himself to the love of wonder, a religionist rejects common sense and its human testimony for the sake of a holy cause. Their eloquence captivates the willing hearers, minimising their reason and subduing their understanding. Such enthusiasm touches not the best passions but the most vulgar ones. The extraordinary and the marvellous ought to give birth to suspicion, but they do not always do so. Two young people do not need to see each other twice but the whole neighbourhood has them joined together. With great vehemence are religious miracles reported. (David Hume, On Miracles)


Howl at the moon

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