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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

A Will to Wonder

A note from Carl:

This morning I am reflecting on a line that Mark Nepo quotes in his wonderful book, 7000 Ways To Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred.

The quote from Abraham Heschel:

“We will not perish for want of information:
but only for want of appreciation…what we lack is not a will to believe but a will to wonder…Reverence is one of our
answers to the presence of mystery.”

A Will to WonderThis line resonates with me as a main challenge for these times. How do we cultivate our will to wonder, our capacity for appreciation, our ability to live in reverence?

So much of our education has emphasized the accumulation of information. The internet and smart phones makes it possible for any information to become available to us at anytime (so long as we have a signal.)

It is clear that we will not perish for want of information.

And yet, often we are taking in our living like we take in information. Kind of skimming, taking in the highlights, knowing certain details, but not being deeply touched, not living in reverence of the mystery.

I am reminded of the story Philip Shepherd wrote about in his book, New Self New World about the botantist and inventor George Washington Carver, who was born into slavery in 1864. People were so amazed by his abilities to know how to heal sick plants, or how to heal sick people or animals with plants. Speaking of his capacities he said “All the flowers talk to me, and so do hundreds of living things in the woods. I learn what I know by watching and loving everything.”

I learn what I know by watching and loving everything….That is a kind of knowing that will not come from asking Siri.

Here is a poem from John Moffit that Erin shared with me the other night

To Look at Any Thing

To look at any thing,
If you would to know that thing,
You must look at it long:
To look at this green and say
“I have seen Spring in these woods”
Will not do–
you must be the thing you see:
You must be the dark snakes of
Stems and ferny plumes of leaves;
You must enter in
To the small silences between the leaves,
You must take your time,
And touch the very peace they issue from.
-John Moffit

A Will to Wonder

Mesa and a will to wonder…

Wishing you a will to wonder,
Carl

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