The wonder that follows grief has a wider lens. The wonder that comes in the midst of grief is microscopic. The wonder that comes after a long winter invites it all. The wonder at the cusp of spring celebrates a single blade of newly bare grass as much as the eternal blue sky.
Some days wonder is hard to unhinge. It clasps itself shut, a 3-year old with arms clutched tight around her knees and her head nodding “No!” But stay with her long enough, ease yourself into her space and stay quiet and you’ll be able to see her body loosen and her whole self return to the practice for which she was created — curiously sponging up the world.
My wonder comes and goes, hides and seeks. There have been days in the last weeks when I thought it was gone entirely, when I had spiraled back to a dark place that I was sure I’d moved beyond. And then I’m pounced upon by a sky so mercurial in light and color that I gasp: surely, I want more of this! I have a full-body sense that I’ll work with a certain person and am already in pleasure at the thought of creating something. I am resting with the cranes as they move north and hearing their conversation, its vibratory, ancient patois.
I sat in a dark hospital room with a friend the other night and watched the tubes that moved fluid in and out of her body, their choreographed dance either a menace or a miracle, depending on one’s mindset. I hate that hospital sometimes; it is the place where my father died and I feel that too-soon passing with a gashing pang. But I’m also often in marvel by the colony of people all focused on helping people to feel better, to collaboratively do their best to right the body’s injustices. In the dark, laughing with my friend, whose eyes sparkled despite having been given a particularly cruel series of injustices, I chose wonder. “It’s so gross,” she said, nodding to one of the outgoing tubes. Which I understood — none of us relishes our inner workings exposed to public view — and yet how amazing all that happens beyond our daily sight, all that comprises our “self.”
Some days, wonder is not in grasp. Some days it is balled up, rocking in a corner, afraid at what is next — what dire circumstance, what new pain. But often, it’s right there in front of us — a thing so small, so narrow, so magnificently plain that we refuse to see it. Recalibrate until you see it. It’s really the only worthwhile thing to do.