I’m a deep thinker. Sometimes my mind trails off in wonder over something that many overlook or consider ordinary. Today I just wanted to share some of the things that I contemplated over the past week to see if anyone else ever thinks about these things too. I don’t think we take time to stop and be curious often enough. I’ve found that the more I travel and wander, the more I wonder. Being full of wonder is often seen as exclusively a childhood experience, but I think adults need it too–we all have an inherent need to be wonder-full. It’s that wonder that can and should project us towards compete wonder of God and His goodness, which results in praise. And praise is how we fight our battles.
- The Moon
So I watched First Man last Monday at the theater with my aunt, and by the time we walked out of the theater it was dark (because it’s a REALLY long movie 🙂 ), so we could see the moon. I’m a person who loves stargazing and admiring the night sky anyway, but coming fresh out of that movie, it really just amazed me all over again that we mere little humans could make technology that would fly us all the way there. I’ve been amazed over the past month at how big the world is. Driving up to Canada and Minnesota, which took 2-3 days each, one way, kinda blew my mind. It looks so small and easy on the map, but when you actually drive it you realize how far away it is. I would track my current location on the map and marvel that that was exactly where I was in the world, and that my family was at home and they were exactly there, and I was so far away. When the land would get really flat, sometimes you could see the skyline of a city off in the distance, and I would wonder how far away the city was in miles. I would compare how far I’d gone on the map and then be awed at how small that distance was in comparison to the rest of the world. I am still pretty mind blown that I traveled enough miles in the past month’s time to equal going all the way to England (but not back…just to England and then be stuck there). When I’m staring out across the flat land or looking out from on top of a mountain, I can only see so far. I couldn’t see my destination in Toronto from my house, which was about a 2.5 day drive, but I can see the moon from my house, which is like a 3 day flight or something. It amazes me that I can see something so far away and that humans have been there. After a quick Google search, I’m even more awed that I *think* I’ve seen Pluto in the night sky *which was a planet, back when I was a kid, just saying* and the New Horizons spacecraft that was sent there took 9.5 YEARS to get there, going about a million miles a day. I really cannot even wrap my mind around how I can see something from Earth and it is almost 10 years away. 10 years. A 10 hour drive feels like forever and Pluto is 10 years away, traveling 24/7. And man has been to the moon! The moon! It all just makes me feel very, very small.
I really think it is wild that someone, a long, long time ago, decided to make some squiggles to describe the sounds we make. And people remembered those squiggles and made patterns out of them to form written language. From there, they made paper and eventually the printing press and now we have books even electronically (although my awe for this the other day came from holding a paperback). One thing I’ve always heard is that if you read, you can travel just about anywhere, but it amazed me how true it was as I’ve been traveling recently. The Great Lakes are exactly as I imagined them through books I’ve read over the years. Virginia is exactly how I imagined it. Panama City, Charlestown, just about everywhere I’ve travelled in the past year or so has been exactly as I’d imagined it. (The only exceptions are upstate New York and the mountains of Pennsylvania because I hadn’t read anything set there before.) But everywhere else that I had read about was exactly as I’d imagined it. I was simultaneously delighted and disappointed–I got to see it with my own eyes but I’d also spoiled the surprise for myself! Yesterday, I began reading a novel set in Auschwitz, which is what made me stop and think about all of this, because it felt so real. I can’t really say that I felt as if I was there because I know everyone who was actually there went through such horrors, but boy oh boy did I feel like I was in the story. The same has happened recently with a couple of exceptionally good movies I’ve watched (I don’t usually get these feelings from movies, but I did from these two, which will be listed in my upcoming October Favorites post at the end of the month so keep an eye out for that). I just get so in awe that humans experience things so deeply and want others to experience it too. That our imaginations and creativity can be so vast that reading some squiggles on a page can make us weep. That stories of survival can be so penetrating that our bones are chilled and our hearts ache. What creatures we are! And translations–the book I’m currently reading wasn’t even originally written in English; it’s been translated, I believe from Spanish, and a favorite author of mine who is South African and I believe writes in Afrikaans read it also and praised it. The two of us don’t even speak the same language that the book was originally written in but we have read the same book. Even if you didn’t speak English and you watched the movies I’ll recommend later, you could know what was going on because of the facial expressions of the actors and actresses. Emotion goes beyond language when looking another human being in the face but it goes into language when reading words on the page. It blows my mind how moved I can be by both, and I know it’s not just me. As I sat there in my book pondering all of this yesterday, I really got sad for everyone that doesn’t like reading. It’s more than traveling to all these places you could never go on your own. It’s more than traveling back or forward in time to better understand the people there. It’s more than having an adventure. It’s about connection, relationship, and empathy, whether with fictional characters or real-life ones. They say that if you read, you’re likely to be a more empathic person, and I strongly believe that. Reading puts you in another person’s shoes and shows you their perspective. You get inside their head and see life through their eyes, and I just marvel over what a great gift that is.
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Andy Warhol
Okay I had another thing but this post is already really long and sparked some ideas that I’m going to go write in my book, so I’ll end this post here. Let me know if you ever think about these things or if you liked this post and want more like it!
Like the content you see and want to support me? The best ways to do so are to share my blog with your friends and to Buy me a coffee. Thanks for your support!