Radial Amazement: A Collection of Quotes About Wonder
This is a collection of my favorite quotes about wonder, awe, and connection. There are few things I enjoy more than being stunned into the present moment by something wondrous and beautiful. I find these quotes, selections, and poems particularly moving and reliably take me to that experience. The collection is updated regularly.
As our situation grows more perilous, it becomes ever easier to just shut down. So to counteract that, we get in touch with our basic gladness to be alive. That basic gladness, or thankfulness, is actually the first move in all major religions and earth wisdom traditions. The primal sense of wonder and excitement that you are here at all strengthens the psyche and brings you into fuller presence, so that you’re grounded enough to also look at the pain you feel for our world. —Joanna Macy
Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement . . . get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible. Never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed. —Abraham Joshua Heschel
To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe—to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it—is a wonder beyond words. —Joanna Macy and Sam Mowe
Everything is Waiting for You
by David Whyte
Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the
conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.
The fact that we don’t know—that nothing is certain and we therefore can’t hold on to anything—can evoke fear and depression, but it can also evoke a sense of wonder, curiosity, and freedom. Some of our best moments come when we haven’t yet decided what will happen next. —Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel