Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil focuses on wonder, and though she certainly didn’t ask me to sign off on that focus, I approve because I think wonder is a human creature’s most potent sense.
In an interview in the current “Poets & Writers” magazine, she says, “Wonder for me is where you get surprised by your own curiosity when confronted with something unfamiliar or unexpected and that sense of curiosity turns into a kind of joy and excitement.”
Wonder is the default natural state of children when their caretakers don’t intrude with brainwashing that suggests otherwise. When I was a child, I experienced wonder in every raindrop, every cloud, and every tree. My experiences of those things now are somewhat muted because the pragmatic slings and arrows of the world take their toll.
When I read and write, I recapture the wonder of childhood because I’m existing in another world unsullied by politicians, worker drones, advertising slogans, and bad parents. I once wrote a series of nature-related articles for a magazine series called “World of Wonder.” My goal was to show readers why I felt a powerful sense of wonder at the locations I chose.
And yet, once lost, it’s rather difficult to get our virginity back because, when it comes to wonder, most people have forgotten about it or don’t believe it ever existed. Yet, it’s possible–I believe–for readers to wake up to wonder when authors infuse it in their works–the wonder comes back as people read, a phantom or shadow of its former self, perhaps, but (let us say) it’s a positive covert influence.
I suspect wonder makes the world go around if we admit it.