Wondering About Wondering

Lewis Thomas:

Wonder is a word to wonder about. It contains a mixture of messages: something marvelous and miraculous, surprising, raising unanswerable questions about itself, making the observer wonder, even raising skeptical questions like “I wonder about that.” Miraculous and marvelous are clues: both words come from an ancient Indo-European root meaning simply to smile or to laugh. Anything wonderful is something to smile in the presence of, in admiration (which, by the way, comes from teh same root, along with, of all telling words, “mirror.”

Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, p. 55f.