wonder


It’s all very simple, really, in the same way that seeing beyond the edge of the galaxy and identifying every creature in the ocean and comprehending the existence of a human soul is simple, which is to say that it’s nearly impossible except in the ways that matter.

To begin, finish your snack, get up from the kitchen table, mutter to yourself, and decide to wholly embrace your quiet fascination with every ugly and twisted thing. Immediately become equally fascinated by your complete inability to embrace that, noticing with interest how you keep trying anyway, like a persistent toddler determined to win a one-sided battle that nobody ever told it to fight.

Take notes. On yourself, on the world—which, to you, are often the same thing. Scribble that down first, a reminder that you’re squinting through the hopelessly distorted lens of a self-centered existence.

Wonder, for a moment—where would you naturally see beauty if you’d never been told what was supposed to be beautiful? Realize that you’d probably see it in all the same places, but still, you wonder.

What would happen if your mind had been left as a blank slate for the past seventeen years? What kind of twisted image would you have painted, left completely to your own devices? Decide that it probably wouldn’t be much of a painting, because your perspective would be even narrower without the rest of humanity adding their necessary noise to the chaos.

Imagine yourself in some far-off place, watching the surface of the earth bubble and shift beneath you like a remarkably dangerous science experiment, an infinite collage of torn-up magazines and newspaper clippings, the most abstract and wildly disturbing art project to ever be created.

Feel how it exists just as much inside of you, twisting and breathing and pushing against your ribcage, reminding you that you are alive. Look at your own hands and be amazed, be terrified, be happy, be sad, but most of all be stunned, forever fascinated by it all.

Forget every deep thinker and curious mind that has ever poked their way into the farthest corners of the universe—embrace the insignificance of your own burning thirst for understanding. Everything that exists was born from a voice in the dark, and that knowledge alone should be enough to keep your mind terribly alive.

Fill every open space with your relentless questions, running before anyone has time to answer them, leaving a bright spark of curiosity behind. If you’re lucky, the next overactive mind that stumbles across your waiting question will like the way it feels against the coldness of the dark. They’ll carry it for a while, the weight of wondering making them that much lighter until they trip over something new to be discovered.

The whole mission, you realize, is simply to make people wonder. Look out the window, pace for a minute or so, watch a purple cloud fade to soft gray, and nod in agreement with yourself.

Wonder.

You’ve forgotten that you were supposed to be taking notes. There’s never anything organized about the words that tumble from your fingertips, and the insignificance of that is as freeing as anything. Even if no one ever sees them, you’ll let your words exist, spilling them everywhere and leaving a mess no matter where you go.

If nothing else, in the end, they will serve as proof of your endless curiosity about the world, and perhaps they’ll tell a story to the emptiness—once upon a time, if only for a moment, you were here.


7 thoughts on “wonder

  1. no
    it can’t be
    but yes
    you have done it again.
    last week in my favorite class, we learned that the root of all philosophy is wonder.
    when I saw your title, I almost burst

    wonder is what connects you
    and I to Plato and Thomas Aquinas and all those tremendous people and-
    how does this happen? I don’t know. but I understand, I really do
    power to the local dreamer ||-//

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  2. Every time I read one of your posts, I am reminded of why it’s so beautiful to just be alive in this world

    NEVER STOP WRITING THESE BECAUSE THEY MEAN SO MUCH TO ME YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW, CLARA

    Like

  3. That first paragraph…dang.
    I love the line “where would you naturally see beauty if you’d never been told what was supposed to be beautiful?” because it’s something I think about a lot. What things have we been taught to think of as beautiful/ugly and why? And I really love the point right after that: “What kind of twisted image would you have painted, left completely to your own devices? Decide that it probably wouldn’t be much of a painting, because your perspective would be even narrower without the rest of humanity adding their necessary noise to the chaos.” It’s easy to think that societal norms and the things we’re taught about beauty and how to see the world constrain us, but it’s a really excellent point that, left to ourselves, our view of the world would suffer from not having the input of other people’s perspectives.
    Beautiful, thought-provoking piece <3

    Like

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