WONDER

I invite you to wonder. Wonder about who the person over there is. Wonder about where they come from. Wonder about what their living room is like. Wonder about what they eat for dinner? Wonder about what sacrifices they have had to make. Wonder about their dreams. Wonder about what their favorite flower is and why. Wonder about the place they find the most beautiful, about the place they feel the most safe. Wonder who loves them, who they love. Wonder about when they feel joy. Wonder.

When we wonder about people, we are curious and open-minded. We have fresh eyes. To be able to wonder about others is is the most amazing thing. With wonder, we don’t have to judge. We don’t think that what they like to have for dinner sounds delicious or gross. We don’t have to think their dreams are silly, just interesting. We are getting to know them without judgement, in the most incredible human way.

Our world is so full of judgement, a lot of it based on values, capitalism, shallow beliefs, keeping ourselves safe, etc. So, where does authenticity have a place in the midst of all of this? Only you know that. We have to be authentic to ourselves and our needs, but we also can wonder about others- in order to get to know them, in order to befriend them, in order to have compassion.

Try to wonder about the world around you. Try to wonder about other people- whether you already think they are different from you or similar, just wonder. What do they like? Who are they? Where do they live now? Where do they come from?

As people, and especially as writers, we MUST wonder. In fact, wonder is key. It is connected to imagination, but it is a step further. We can imagine who a person is based on the stereotypes we have for that person. We can imagine what they say and what they like to eat, who their best friend is, what movies they like to watch, but if we wonder these things, we want to find them out, we are interested in knowing. We are curious. Maybe we even take a step to try to get to know that person a little, maybe a lot.

What will happen if we wonder? What can happen? What wonderful things could happen?

Write:

I invite you to write about someone you see out in the world who you wonder about. If you haven’t been wondering about anyone, I invite you to wonder about someone. Find someone out in the world to wonder about. You don’t have to approach them, especially since we are still in a pandemic, but you could if it feels safe. If you get to know them little bit, can you still wonder about them? If so, go for it. If not, maybe just stay in a wondering zone.

Wondering about someone might be dangerous. Maybe you wonder something about a person that isn’t right at all. Or you make up a whole person that doesn’t exist. Possible, but what if you just are able to wonder about them and hold that wondering steady-enjoying your own curiosity?

If you find that you are becoming judgmental about the person you choose, take a step back. Wonder about yourself. Are you putting something of yourself on them? If so, what is it? Can you allow them to exist separately from you and also be connected to them as a human? What of this person connects you to them? What of this person is similar to you? What of this person is different from you?

What can you wonder about them? Why did you pick them? It was random, you say. Was it? They were just there. Okay, but still, why did you pick them? Maybe they seem very different from you or very similar? Maybe they seem exciting or boring or dumb or smart or pretentious or ridiculous? What is it? What in you makes you think that way? What in you makes you think these things?

Try to hold wonder in your life.

If you are done writing about someone and want to wonder some more, please, keep wondering and now write, what do you wonder about.

Write a list of all the things you wonder about. Keep pen to paper, just write, go go go, what do you wonder about?

Wonder is joyful. Wondering can be fun. Enjoy being in a state of wonder. Enjoy the curious new-eyed you- wonder wonder wonder.

Thank you for writing with us. If you would like to write with us every week, please sign up for the blog.

In wonder,

Liza

Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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