Hi readers! Today I’m sharing a blog written by my friend, Ara Hamilton.
Wandering to Wonder
Do You Werifesteria?
Werifesteria – (v) to wander longingly through the forest in search of mystery
Finally, there’s a word that captures the spirit of mystics everywhere. Never mind that it isn’t in a dictionary (its origin is as mysterious as its essence). This recently trending verb tries to express something intangible, something poets have described with many words. In short, it validates a perspective of wonder.
Wonder, that feeling of unexpected admiration, drives our childhood. Do you remember? We filled our days observing our world and chasing it with questions until we quenched our awe. Perhaps you lost that thirst in adulthood, and you feel a tug of unexplained emptiness, or perhaps you embraced it in whatever field fascinated you most. Wonder is attractive. Emotionally, it makes us feel “more alive.”
I witnessed this one August night in my nine-year-old daughter. She was interested in watching shooting stars, so we conspired to sneak out of the house at 3:00 a.m. to watch the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower. The stars twinkled sharply with no moonlight to steal their glory. My favorite moment was when my daughter grasped the incredible vastness of outer space. I had not mentioned the topic, but all the lessons she had learned connected in secret within her maturing brain to spark an unexpected epiphany. “I can’t believe how big and amazing space is!” She exclaimed. “I’m just so . . . shocked! I-I can’t even . . .” She went speechless. So did I. We stayed for an hour.
Create to Wonder
In my experience, wonder glimpses mystery. It causes me to sense the nearness of something bigger or deeper than I expected—a deeper beauty, a deeper truth, a deeper power, a deeper magic. I am forever trying to grasp that Near Deep. I am a wonder addict. It’s why I write.
I regularly discover admiration for people, places, and things, but my favorite way to pursue wonder is through my own creativity. If you ever want to rekindle a spirit of wonder in yourself, let go of control and get creative. Surprise yourself. Pursue something greater. Creativity pushes you beyond the known. Successful creativity transcends. It allows you to connect to mystery without possessing it, see it without exposing it, acknowledge it without making it answerable. It is the medium for touching God.
When I encounter wonder through creativity, I can make inspired art. Art, you see, is the expression of wonder. That’s why it’s so closely related to creativity.
Wander Toward Meaning
What’s the point of creativity? Wonder. And wonder gives meaning to our lives. This idea eludes succinct explanation, so allow me to expound with one more story.
My daughter is made of music. It’s her strongest learning method and her heart’s language. Recently, when I caught her struggling to play a piano piece, I wanted to discipline her practice. I knew what to correct, but I decided to take a new direction in conversation, not knowing where it would lead. It shouldn’t have surprised me when heart matters quickly surfaced. She confessed she was hurting because her new friend at school was manipulating and mistreating her. At that moment, I discovered a deeper, more important issue than I had foreseen. Because I had let go of what I knew and tried a new approach, I had an opportunity to help her and strengthen our relationship. I wondered at this discovery. Then I taught her about bully behavior and how to resist it.
Afterwards, she reached for her music theory book. The lesson explained that melody is a story with a musical question and answer; her assignment was to write some short melodies. It was her turn to be creative, but how to lift a heavy heart? I needed another creative solution. I suggested that she channel her feelings into her music and write a melody about her friendship. This seemed to inspire her. She wrote a few measures and was smiling again. By transforming her pain into art, she felt empowered even though her problem remained unsolved. I marveled how collaborative creativity produced meaningful expression while connecting us in a moment of truth and fulfillment.
Can we get a word for that?
Ara Hamilton is an author of fictional worlds and an explorer of spiritual wonders. When not writing, she enjoys exploring the outdoors or portals in search of fantastical beasts. Her elixir is Dr. Pepper. Check out more of her writing and speculative fiction atwww.arahamilton.wordpress.com.
Thanks for stopping in! What words have you found that make you wonder?