One of my tasks for and upcoming training in August is compose a lecture on the topic of wonder. Today is an excellent day to write some thoughts on the subject to help my lecture gel.
Anyone know the name of the inventor of the electric guitar, distortion, echo, multi-tracking? I have a 9 year old son who would like to shake that man's hand.
Les Paul started early to tinker with sound. He said it all began when he was very young as he noticed he could change the pitch on his Victrola phonograph by slowing down or speeding up the record. Next, he opened up the piano in his living room and tried to manipulate the strings to change the pitch, but he noticed the pitch would remain the same just go shorter or longer. From this he asked the question "Why?" and began his quest, a passion which remained his entire life to work with sound. His natural curiosity made him the waymaker for musicians today to make and record their own sound. His gift was wonder.
What are your ideas on wonder? What questions do your heart dwell on?
I try to keep this gift in mind as I listen to my son turn on his amp and fiddle with the same chord over and over on his electric guitar. My son's wonder drives him to create his own sound, and I have the task as a mother to give him learning space. HOWEVER, what's a mom to do when she hears the same rift for hours at a less than peaceful noise level? "Turn it down please." "Could you play that somewhere else?" "We need to get to swim team. Turn it off." "Did you finish your chores before you started playing guitar?" "Just let me have a little quiet for a while." Sounds to me like I'm trampling wonder. I don't mean to, but I do.
When I look at the child's potential to wonder, I think of it as a means to help him or her find her passion and meaning in life. It's the last thing I want to squash. It's like squashing the person altogether. My challenge as a parent is to give my children the TIME to find and work in their passion, but in American culture, a kid is supposed to get sports, music, foreign language, algebra, history, decimals, AND dinner in the same day. Where is the TIME to be?
In a song I've been pondering lately a line goes like this. "What was said to the rose to make it unfold was said to me here in this place. So be quiet now and rest." I translate rest as time to be and wonder. Sofia Cavalletti calls wonder "an irresistable attraction to activity." She writes about acknowledging the reality of God as being unmeasurable, and unfathomable. We can make a habit of looking God's marvels in the everyday things like the rose or the child. I do.
If I attend wonder, I will see how God surpasses anything in me. Can I place the sun in the sky? Can I make my garden grow? Can I heal my children?
Wonder is the most important thing inside the child to keep intact, becauset it's the main tool to release our potential as humans.
Have you held on to your sense of wonder? Can you recover what may have been lost? I say "Yes!" The gift is always waiting.
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