The Writer
Bunny Byrne

It's all I can do to make it to the next party...

On Living with Wonder

Posted By on February 8, 2012 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I went to an event last nite and it was evocative, poingant, amusing and, most importantly, it produced feelings you had to think about – and thoughts you had to feel. Four people {five if you count the host} came to the microphone and told a story – a true story – about their life. One story was clever with subtle paralleling techniques and daring language and imagery. Another was downright tender and you could tell the Teller was feeling the story inside and out, really wearing it, shifting around inside of it and driving it forward. The last one was a journey into a secret mind, into dreams and into a relative’s house we’ll never know. I just kept thinking: This life is so magical.

And it is, if we let it be. If we pay attention to the magic that is all around us, if we truly wonder at the stars and the clouds and the simplest things. If we look into the eyes of a friend or the heart of a stranger – this life is so big and so small and so very, very dear. Let’s don’t rush right past it, breaking branches and marking out path only thinking of ahead, or behind if we’re feeling lost. Let’s don’t wonder how we got to this age, this place, this person we’ve become. But let’s know, each moment, who we are and that we’re really just fine and life is so very good.

Circumstance can be a crummy distraction whether it’s boring or awful. But you have to snap yourself awake and breathe deep to the bottom of your lungs where you feel, in some tiny part of you, that they go on forever, because really you’re the universe and you’re breathing every molecule. Stretch in the morning, all the way to the very end of your stretch where you feel like you could become a bird and fly across the ocean {because honey I’m going to Paris if I can fly!} but you curl your wings back at the last minute because your life might just surprise you today. One of my favorite move lines is from Cast Away: “Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?” See the tail end of the sunset and hold in your heart the thought that it lasts forever and never sets. Walk a road and know that they all go somewhere, and most of them are two-way… you can go back to places and feelings and fireflies and stories you knew before. Just in case you need them.

While I was sitting in that darkened room marveling over the breadth of lives lived on this little sky-skipping pebble, I felt convinced of a purpose in life – it’s not my only one and hopefully it’s not just mine. Go make someone’s life magical. This is easier with children, because they don’t know how to drive, things aren’t quite so logical. But just anyone will do, even yourself. Write a letter and hide it for someone you love. Sprinkle fairy dust on your child and tell them it was the tooth fairy {you know who you are}. Have a tea party. Grow things and eat them. Give chocolate to someone you almost never see. Write a silly poem and leave it for a stranger to find – bonus points if you stick around to watch someone find it. Invite someone over for a night of limericks. Sit in the spot of sunshine on the floor. Make a paper pennant banner or a paper flower out of a store receipt. Grow a potato vine because it’s easy and prolific and you’ll feel like you did something. Make tiny food because for whatever reason, small things taste better and are more readily savored. Write a word on a piece of paper, a word that reminds you of someone, and when you see them next you can tuck it in their hand as you leave.

Living with wonder is living aware: of others, ourselves, our surroundings. Why not marvel at all these collected bits of light and color and sound? I hate cigarette smoke, but now it reminds me of Paris. There’s a little silver in everything, even if you have to sit in the middle of the cloud and smith it yourself. Don’t let yourself be limited to what your eyes see or what you’re handed on a plate. Make macarons out of peanuts and a circus out of birds in a tree. Write your own story on your heart and soon you’ll find it taking on a life of its own, the life you love setting sail to new lands. The story you tell yourself is just as important at the factual report. Who says you have to live a certain life? Be a certain thing? Read and watch and wait and discover who you are and where you’d like to be going. I sometimes find that the strangest ideas present themselves to me as choices. They’re often the “opposite” choice, and sometimes they’re the right one. A light bulb goes on {or out!} and I stop bobbing my foot up and down and my mouth opens just a little and I realize: there’s another way. My favorite question and words I utterly live by are What if? Be practical when necessary {it often is} and be magical every chance you get. They aren’t mutually exclusive. The magic I’m referring to isn’t make believe, it’s the ultra realism of our awe-inspiring real lives.

Make someone’s life magical, even if it’s just your own. Treasure is there for the taking.

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