While the eclipse was spectacular, I’m baffled by the hoopla.
People stood in line for hours to get special glasses, took off work, traveled, camped. T-shirts were made and purchased and even alternate driving routes were publicized to mitigate traffic. What is this about?
It is about our need for wonder.
You see this in the way we fetishize weather-glued to hourly forecasts as though we spend any real time out of doors. We need connection with phenomena in a meaningful way. Craving communion that will expand us beyond our mundane lives, we long to be plunged us into something greater than ourselves. But because we are accustomed to instant and insistent gratification, we gobble up the spectacular without proper, contemplative digestion. The deeper connection, the thing we’re really after, is lost on us.
As Paul Simon sings, ‘these are the days of miracle and wonder.’ And yet we do not know how to revere the miraculous and wonderous so we turn them into a commodity to consume with a side of selfies.
This leaves us even hungrier.
Maybe ‘the days of miracle and wonder’ has less to do with extraordinary events and more to do with cultivating Einstein’s perspective, “there are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Maybe we have forgotten that already, each seemingly ordinary day, we are literally given once in a lifetime opportunities to tap into wonder, to pay homage to intricate detail and wise calibration, the graceful harmony of form and function that is this planet, this galaxy. This. Now.
The universe trafficks in sacrament on the daily. You don’t need glasses from Amazon to bear witness.
That's why a picture of a heart shaped beet. A humble veggie pulsing love in dark soil. A marvel in its own right.
Take off your special glasses
the ones that eclipse the world into the ordinary and extraordinary,
the ones that say this but not that,
it is the same binary that poisons the world into us and them.
Take off your lenses
~all around you: wonder.