Wonder and Wild
By Asher Jay
Wonder: the moment where your senses perceive something that overwhelms your entire being. It’s what you feel the instant you are in the presence of something bigger than the self, something magical, something that has come into your reality without your creation. Wonder surrounds us; we are born of wonder, because all life is an expression of this inspiring sensation. The wild fascinates us all, the hunter and housekeeper, photographer and plumber, for when we witness a pride of lions on a hunt or the first bud of spring, a primal and instinctual sense of wonder is awakened in us all.
I was as a toddler when I first remember experiencing wonder. I crawled my diapered butt onto a large coffee table book about the oceans. There was a photograph of an octopus against the black backdrop of a sunless ocean, and it captured my soul immediately. I was hooked. What was this alien creature?! What must its world be like? How does it see? What does it feel? What thoughts does it have…? Each question led to another.
As children we are brimming with questions, because everything is an unknown, everything is an opportunity that sparks exploration. But as we grow we lose this curiosity, we stop asking the why, what and how of it all. We think we know everything. It is only the sheer force of nature that can stop us in our tracks, undo our learned layers of ignorance and bring us back to the coffee table, to that first moment of naked wonder. We know without feeling, and that alienates us from that which we know things about. So until we go hiking in the woods and see two roadside hawks mating or get bitten by chiggers in a Central American rainforest, or sleep in a tent in Barafu listening to a lioness taking in your scent through the fabric shell of your portable abode, we don’t feel what it means to connect beyond knowing. That is when you feel wonder in the wild. When we lose sight of wild, of nature, we lose sight of wonder, because we feel apart from life on earth not a part of life on earth.
Wonder breaks down barriers, it makes you experience a state of oneness with what is unfolding. As an observer you are completely enraptured by the drama and dynamism happening during the moment at hand. That is a rare space to be in, we usually have to force it by listening to our breath at a yoga studio that charges us more than our monthly ‘utilities’ to endure unity and wonder. Unity and wonder are available in the wild in abundance. How can you not be spellbound when you see a flawless shiver of Silky sharks cruise around you? When I am with a shark, the shark within me comes alive, when I am with a rhino; the rhino within me comes alive. So when wild disappears it’s really parts of me, a part of us, that ends up disappearing, and such a loss is palpable.
I am in love with wild.
Isn’t it extraordinary that we get to share time, space and a common lineage with beings that look so very different from us? We are all different, yet we are irreplaceable articulations of the same source — life.
Naturally, when I awaken each day, I feel compelled by the beauty and wonder of nature to create compositions, coin campaigns and draft impact assessments or script stand up comedy routines to reconnect people to this raw understanding of life and to humanity’s true biological history. My creative purpose is to evoke the wonder I experience in others, so they too might elect to embrace interdependence over independence, nature over nurture and wonder over worrying.
Wild is where we come from, wild is who we are, and wild is what need to rediscover during the Anthropocene, the Age of Man. Wild is the wonderstruck child within us that we stand to lose forever, if we don’t each do everything in our power to protect it. We must wonder at the wild, preserve the wild beyond and within ourselves.
Thrive Global collaborated with Adrian Grenier and the Lonely Whale Foundation to spread awareness of their new #StrawlessOcean initiative through this series on wonder and our environment.
Support our ocean, donate to Lonely Whale Foundation.