wonder and amazement…

wonder and amazement
Tile Design – Theseus and the Minotaur in the Labyrinth (1861) drawing in high resolution by Sir Edward Burne–Jones. Original from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

“you hear all the people on the outside of the maze who made it through, and they are laughing and smiling…and you don’t resent them, but you do resent yourself for not having their ability to work it all out.”

Matt Haig, The Midnight Library

The word “maze” is defined as “a complex network of paths or passages”. It comes from the same origins as the word “amaze”, which means to be greatly filled with wonder, surprise, and astonishment. There is only one small difference between “a maze” and “amaze”; it is the span of a single space; the distance to wonder. To shift in towards wonder is to close the gap of puzzlement and consternation and to come closer in proximity to the paths and passageways of astonishment and surprise.

The maze is inescapable. To be alive is to live and move and breath amongst a complex network of paths and passages. There is no out. There is only in.

The shape of smiling people seen through the leaves, the laughing folks we catch glimpses of on the other side of the hedge; they haven’t worked it. They haven’t made it through. No one does. No one can. As James Victore says “The secret of the universe is that no one knows shit. No one has the right answer”. The mystery in the midst of ‘a maze’ is that we are meant to live in amaze-ment.

Abraham Joshua Heschel writes that “To be spiritual is to be amazed.” Saints, mystics, buddhas, and bodhisattvas move through the maze with laughter and calm because each step moves them further into the amazing mystery and wonder of grace. And if we are at all resentful or reluctant perhaps it is only because he have recoiled from wonder, and if we could just move a little closer we would be amazed at what we’d find.

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