“There’s that feeling you get when you see something that you don’t understand…”

  • “There’s that feeling you get when you see something that you don’t understand the origin of … wonderment.”

    The Brooklyn artist Swoon was quoted as saying this in the New York Times and when I read it so many things came together for me.

    • Why adults and adolescents love small children.
    • Why it can be difficult for us as adults, to be curious in the face of the unknown.  The uncertain.
    • And why poetry so often appeals to us, especially at the most difficult times in our lives.

    I think most of us “smart and savvy” (and maybe a bit world weary) adults do just the opposite of wonderment in the face of what we don’t understand.  We don’t get curious, we don’t allow ourselves to be drawn toward the unknown, instead we just shut down and/or armor up.  We assume something negative and turn away.  What poetry does (think Robin Williams in the Apple commercial) is usher us into a larger world where wonderment is more easily accessible.  It helps us make or see things whole, including our own difficulties and our own lives.

    Of course, I realize there is real danger in the world.  My goodness look at the front page of any newspaper around the world.  Death and disease are everywhere.  On a large scale the world is beautiful and terrifying.  All the more reason for us to seize moments of wonderment.  But to grab hold of them we most notice them first. Let’s start by looking close to home, people we know or situations at work.  When a colleague or loved one says something that I don’t understand the origin of what do I do?  Too often I tell a story, make meaning based on my past experience and the culture I am part of … but what might happen if instead I go to “wonderment”.  To wonder and awe as in …”that makes no sense to me, I wonder what s/he is seeing or experiencing that I am not.”  Can you sense, that in that moment we are drawn in, we are drawn closer, just like a child to the first doodle bug they see? 

    We all have this capacity.  We were born with it.  But it gets covered over with our preference or our habits of predict and control.  For just today, instead of making meaning, good or bad, in the face of something or someone we don’t understand, why not try wonderment, real open hearted interest and curiosity about what we don’t know?  Let’s enter our beginner’s mind or “don’t know mind” and see what happens.  


    September 4th, 2014 | admin | Comments Off on “There’s that feeling you get when you see something that you don’t understand…” | Tags: , , , , , , ,

About Nancy


Nancy C. Wonders is an interior designer. The “interiors” she designs are psychological, not physical, space -- a client’s personal interior landscape, or the emotional barometer of a team, or an entire organization. Nancy’s office includes a “design bar” where clients have a chance to re-invent how they see themselves and/or their organizations. These re-structurings result in discovering what is fresh, new and alive. This discovery prompts profound, immediate change, on both the inside and in interactions with others. Read more»

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