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Tracking Wonder

Jeffrey Davis’s account of the six facets of wonder (Tracking Wonder: Reclaiming a Life of Meaning and Possibility in a World Obsessed with Productivity, 2021) started me thinking about WONDER in a new and exciting way! We have read his book and yes we both delight in marginalia, annotating in the margins and adding sticky notes everywhere! (Some day we should post a same-page!)  It is a really fun read because he breaks all the rules for “normal book” typography. There are pages with large graphics that are sideways that awaken wonder, along with lots of ways to bring WONDER back into our everyday lives.   

In chapter 3, Jeffrey differentiates the various experiences of Wonder shedding light on the 6 perceptible facets of Wonder (see graphic below). He asserts that, “Wonder is a heightened state of consciousness and emotion brought about by something unexpected. While it is a perceptual experience that happens in the mind, it can radiate through your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response, helping you to relax and open to insight and possibility” (p.43).

Wonder is not a single phenomena and we are grateful for Mr. Davis’ expansion of wonder experiences and highlighting how it can be tinged with questioning or sadness. Hope you enjoy reflecting on how Wonder helps us see the world through a new lens. We’ll ask Jennifer Nolan in her interview!


*graphic adapted for AMS presentation (2023) by Jennifer Nolan

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