Copyright 2014 by Paula S. Jordan
There’s a phrase we used to hear a lot in bookish genre circles. Stories were praised for it. Writers strove to create and maintain it. “A Sense of Wonder.” Remember? Whether born of otherworldly vistas or great discoveries or the quiet pleasure of a walk through autumn woods, that sense of something marvelous just beyond our reach, fed something vital in us.
Albert Einstein, who saw a few wonders in his time., described it this way:
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. His eyes are closed.
Though the critics, and sometimes we ourselves, may find such feelings irrelevant, even childish, in our darker, more complex world, the sources of wonder are there to feed us still. All the mysteries and marvels, large and small, frivolous and profound, distant and near at hand. All we have to do is notice.
There is wonder too in words. Put two of them together and magic happens, their meanings merge and blossom, they send out tendrils, take root in our hearts and minds. “Live free.” “Work smart.” “Make love.” And with three or four of them, history can be changed. “Don’t tread on me.” “Live free or die.”
Lets go for a walk, through the magical gardens of words.