Wonder Lasting

March 15, 2016

Wanderlust. In recent years, we've heard this word being used, thrown about even, to describe what seems to be a commonly-experienced, inexplicable desire to be somewhere other than where we actually are at that moment.

 

To the unsuspecting, this is but an expression of an ordinary pain - what's wrong with wanting to explore and take in the sights and sounds of a beautiful city or the creation that lies beyond our immediate geographical boundaries? Wanderlusting thus seems like the cure to that itch, that discomfort in us which we simply cannot shake, unless we go.

 

But might this 'itch' be reflective of a deeper desire inside us to find meaning, purpose - life - in the places that we find ourselves day-to-day, in our homes and workplaces? Its always easier to find perspective and make sense of who we are on the mountain top than through the mud and gravel of the valley.

 

What first begins as an earnest desire to seek a fresh perspective of our lives by going to a different environment or place; to recalibrate ourselves through the act of sojourning, slowly creeps up on us and grows into a yearning and thirst for the act of wandering itself.

 

Increasingly, our minds are taken captive by where we want to be and where we want to go next, even before we begin to revel in the wonder of the places that we are at or have been. Our desire for wonder becomes a yearning to wander. We travel in order to make sense of where we return home to, but we are never really home enough for those sensibilities to take their effect.

 

Perhaps, what we really want is an escape;  a delay to the very thing which we know we must do - learn to find meaning in the mundaneness of where we may be then. As it is said, "not all who wander are lost". That may be true indeed, but perhaps, those who wander do not want to be found either.

 

My friends, it's time for us to look beyond the symptoms

 

for the disease; to look for the root cause and not just to 'scratch the itch'. 

 

May we cease our lust to wander, to be taken by the momentary thrill and satisfaction of running off to somewhere new, but may our wonder grow to last instead, that it might sustain our daily endeavours and grow our appreciation for the places, things and people that are daily before us.

 

================================

 

O my Wonder, may you last. 

But chain me not to the things that are past.

 

As my eyes behold greater things unknown,

I find myself wanting to make these things my own. 

Yet it seems so futile to continually chase,

new sights and new sounds with such irrepressible haste.

 

My heart, it is so prone to wander,

to explore, to devour, and slowly, to plunder; to capture and to make this World my possession - 

unwittingly fueling an unconscious obsession. 

For indeed it is true (or at least, I’m convinced), 

that we are always discontent with our present province.

 

Yet the problem is not one of too strong a desire, 

or too deep a longing for what we admire. No, in fact, our desires are far too weak; 

we are satisfied not to know what we truly seek. 

 

For ‘beauty’ is just a quick and easy word,

To put paid to all that we have incurred – 

the feeling of loss, of pain and of grief, 

when from ‘beauty’ we are forced to take our leave.

 

It requires a deeper inspection before we find 

that the Beauty we long for is of a different kind. 

It is not where we go, no, it is Who we are with,

my friend, to wanderlust is but just a myth. 

 

 

Jon Cho

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