Tuesday, September 26, 2017


I was sitting on the porch with a writer friend who was describing her recent trip and sharing her interesting insights and observations.

At one point, she started a sentence with, "I wonder…" paused, and then added, "perhaps I wonder a little too much."

I am a wonderer. I expect I wonder a little too much.

Some people are not wonderers, but most of us usually have elements in our lives that we wonder about.

When you find someone that wonders about the same kinds of things you wonder about, you can talk for hours! Speculating, parsing information, hypothesizing about alternative outcomes, tossing in a monkey wrench that causes your collective speculative house of cards to completely collapse and need to be rebuilt.

You can be friends with someone with a personality that isn't very compatible with yours, but if you have this in common, you can enjoy their company & treasure your conversations.

Wondering is not an exercise enjoyed only by ivory tower academic intellectuals, nor is it a female trait. For example everyone enthusiastic about a sport spends a lot of time wondering. The now popular fantasy teams are built around the delight people feel about playing with a complex mathematical set of probabilities, demonstrating a deep knowledge of all the moving parts and wondering and hypothesizing about outcomes.

Conversely if somebody wonders about something you don't wonder about, you find them a crashing bore. Or even if you're slightly interested in the subject and they go in for a deeper dive, you lose traction and start rolling your eyes.

One of the gifts creative peoplewhether they be dancers, writers, performers, artists, storytellers in any mediumgive us, is to share their sense of wonder about something with us. And illustrate that wonder and delight through their work.

We often choose to experience things we are already interested in, but one of the gifts of diversity (spouses, friends, etc.) is seeing things you aren't particularly interested in or don't wonder about and discovering a new perspective, an unexpected insight and sense of wonder. A new world may open, like suddenly having a flower open and display its beauty when you didn't even notice the bud.

Wondering is slow.

It is squatting by tide pool and spending time looking at what initially looks like a bunch of rocks and water and discovering the teeming life within. Of looking at a pile of garbage and realizing every element was grown, manufactured, packaged, marketed, purchased, enjoyed before ultimately being discarded. Every element in that pile had a life from birth to its present state of awaiting burial.

Everything, everybody has a story.

We choose which stories interest us, are valuable to usor are thrust upon us.

And our priorities can be different.

One viewer can be totally focused on the nuance of a story, the process, the character's motivations. Another on outcome, product, whodunnit, impatiently waiting for the answer while their colleague is delighting in exploring the question.

What do you wonder about?