Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Lost Wonder...Regained

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"People who had extremely difficult childhoods, or had their adolescence cut short in some way, find that they can recapture their lost years. There are many ways one can 'lose' one's childhood or adolescence. An abused child is never a child; a child or teenager who has to care for an ill or alcoholic parent never experiences childhood; a teenager who becomes a mother or responsible father loses her or his adolescence. There are many examples of people who need to recapture a period in their life which was truncated or never lived at all."

~ Saturn in Transit by Erin Sullivan

The above quote is taken from a section in Erin Sullivan's book that describes something not uncommon among those who reach the age range of 45 to 52. You may have guessed that the book I reference explores the topic of astrology. It indeed does. Some people are skeptical of the validity of astrology. That is all fine and good. I was skeptical myself. But being truly open-minded (and maybe also open-hearted?) means being willing to entertain ideas you might initially be resistant to. In the fourteen years since I first studied astrology as a hobby of "serious" inquiry I have come to believe there is something very real to this particular field of inquiry.

I shared this particular quote from Sullivan's book because it comes into my own thoughts so often. Throughout the last twenty-seven months of my life I have made a journey of psychic exploration. My exploration has been defined by my resolute determination to explore the core of who I am. I have enjoyed the assistance of many helpers throughout my journey. My therapist has proven to be an especially helpful guide. Trauma invaded the fertile ground of my psyche at a very young age. It was only in the last two years, as I have unfurled the coil of its imprint inside me, that I came to a much fuller appreciation of how deeply I was indeed impacted by what I experienced. EMDR therapy proved to be the primary therapeutic tool whose use allowed me to traverse the contours of my own inner life...and eventually lead me to a profound realization: I perceived the world around me in a distorted way from a very young age.

There is nothing about my daily experience of utilizing my eyesight that feels identical to how I perceived the world with my eyes prior to June, 2013. The change I underwent was that profound. I experienced the equivalent of walking through a doorway I could and would never be able to walk back through in the opposite direction. I experienced a permanent change. I walked through a door of irreversibility.

I recently began driving again for the first time in over four years. My lack of recent driving history is not due to a lack of being willing to drive. Though I don't exactly fit into the typical American culture that places immense emphasis on the personal freedom and glory of owning a car I nonetheless do appreciate the way car ownership opens up a much larger world. I have noticed that my experience of driving is also now very different. I see the world with what seems to be a new pair of eyes from behind the windshield of my car.

I am experiencing an atypical phenomenon. It is lost wonder...regained. I am a man well into my adulthood who is now experiencing wonder on a daily basis. Such wonder, made possible by my new relationship with my eyesight, feels more typical of a six year old boy. I am experiencing the wonder a boy is expected to display in response to the world around him but I am experiencing it a few decades "late".

As I drove home from dinner at the home of a friend my whole experience of driving felt both familiar and alien. I can remember when I drove as a younger man. The night has a different quality now. I perceive the night (and the day) differently now. I see the lights of cars passing me traveling in the opposite direction in a way I can never recall experiencing before. In the first hours of darkness after dusk has passed away I witness the interplay of streetlights and shadow on the still foliated trees in such a manner that I often feel amazed by. I cannot recall experiencing such awe earlier in my life!

I seem to be a man dislocated in both space and time. The trajectory of my development is something atypical. I am not your "average" (what does that even mean?) man. I have become someone else.

When wonder casts its power into our lives in such an unexpected time and place we may very well become permanently changed people.


I saw the moon rising as I drove home tonight. It was full very recently and still appears virtually full early this evening. When I first noticed the moon I felt the air catch in my throat. I felt the moon issuing me an invitation: 'Through my light take a moment to appreciate the contrast of the darkness that surrounds me.'

The world is incredibly filled with light. Did you notice it today?

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