what use is wonder

It’s the end of the year, and even more than planning what I would like to do next year I really enjoy taking stock of what my last year has held.

Can I be honest? There are a few landmark moments in my life when I think I took a hard angle out from what was expected. Since COVID it almost feels like my life jumped the tracks and I landed in an alternate universe. Am I supposed to be looking for the onramp back to what should be happening?

It seems like this is the alternate universe me and everyone I know has landed in, so maybe it’s for real after all.

Each year I take a look at the books I’ve read. This year I read significantly less than usual, only 95 when the last year was 140 and the year before 160. I think I read so much because of the lockdown and my vague impression that the world was not real. Books seems more trustworthy.

I slowed down a bit last year because I wanted to take the time to savor the books. I’ve meant to read the hard ones.

There are people who love to watch movies. A lot of people. They watch the movies again and again. They will say favorite lines along with the actors.

I feel that way about the books that have left the imprint on my life. And most of them have left an imprint on my life. It’s not so easy to find someone who will read these glorious books with me. I’m so grateful for those who will.

And

I cannot deprive myself of these books because I have to read them alone. The thing is, I want to slow down so I can savor them.

The first book I finished in 2022 was one of the hardest books I have ever read: Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. I’m not gonna tell anybody they should read that book. It’s a harrowing book that blew open my mind, but I know only a few people can deal with it.

What I am going to say is, I took the time to do a book review on YouTube of this grotesquely magnificent novel. I read the book, which almost killed me. Then I had a discussion with my friend and we discussed all the aspects of the book. The next day I took the time to make this review.  It took almost the whole day to take the time to prepare and record the book review for YouTube.

Taking the time to really present a good review made the book more meaningful to ME. I did it for myself. And then it turned out that it’s my most popular video, more than a thousand people have watched it. Quite a few have taken the to comment and talk to me about it.  

Taking the time to savor and enjoy this thing that I thought no one else was interested in turned out to bring a lot of people into my life.

That’s what I hope to do more of this year. Not to leapfrog so fast over the things that delight me. That’s a very bad habit of mine. This WonderBlog is about wonder, and I want to make room in my life for it. The space, the time, I am wretchedly poor at providing myself with those for wonder. I will work towards it.

Maybe it’s a way of creating new tracks for where my life can travel in. Not an alternative universe but a new one that I create out of the things I like best.

As I say that I feel a shudder of possibility as well as a serious thud of responsibility on my shoulders.

If I’m the one that loves it, I’m the one that has to make it. I’m the only one that knows how.

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