Years ago, a magnet that was included in a box of tea, much like a Cracker Jack prize, has been living silently on my refrigerator, espousing me with wisdom each time I get water, milk or ice cream: “Wonder is the seed of knowledge. – Francis Bacon”
There is something subtle about wonder. It conjures visions of giddiness, a broad-minded naiveté, and a way of looking at the world that is passionate and exciting. It speaks of adventure: a simple breath on the edge of a mountain as a gust of wind rustles the hair of the good and faithful servants as they seek and learn, fully utilizing their imagination. Wonder also suggests danger and alienation from other individuals and structured societies that potentially tell them that they must do things a certain way and in a prescribed manner. However, the wayward explorers are not discouraged and they continually seek new horizons, wondrous sights and exotic sounds that they themselves have never experienced or heard before. And the world is better off for these adventurers going off the edge of the known maps to chart the unknown.
My musings of wonder were spurred by a documentary entitled, “Encounters at the End of the World,” where director Werner Herzog and his crew travel to Antarctica to document an eccentric group of scientists and adventurers studying and living at the edge of the world. He was inspired to pursue this film because of the wonder of imagery that a friend sent him of divers beneath the ice. What he would find would not only be scientific in nature, but would also be philosophical, adventurous, and beautiful. Not only in the alien landscape that resides beneath the ocean, but in the minds and spirit of the people that make up the population of Antarctica.
This got me thinking. What would happen if I ceased to wonder? If I no longer used my full imagination for fear of failure or success? What would happen if the rut I found myself in no longer allowed me the flexibility to live in a state of wonder and imagination? Perhaps the most important question I am faced with is, what happens if money is more important than wonder and imagination?
A lot of these questions need to be thrown in the crock-pot that is my brain so that I can slow-cook the answers to perfection. But until then, I will hold on to the thought and idea that if wonder and the pursuit of wondrous ideas increases, then the monotony that has crept into my soul and spirit will decrease.
It is in this spirit that I start my day as I seek the wondrous in each project that I work on, each client I interact with, and each idea that races through my over-active mind.