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Karen (at Curate's egg)

I wholeheartedly agree with you here. Perhaps cynicism is more fashionable? I've nothing against the odd bit of deprecation - indeed it can be funny at times. On the whole though I'd rather live - and read - in anticipation of wonder.


I visited Iceland a few years ago, hoping to see the Aurora - and to my huge disappointment, it didn't happen. The people I was staying with told me that on the night I left, there was such an amazing display that even the locals were out in the street gazing in wonder. My own neighbours all go out to sit on the wall on summer evenings to admire our famous local sunsets.
I'd hate to get blasé about them. (Still kicking myself about missing the Northern Lights, though!)


Keep on being enthusiastic - it is one of the childlike qualities that we would all be the better for retaining!
I think, for what it's worth, that while there are things in modern life which deserve being viewed with cynicism (political promises of whatever hue, offers which seem to be too good to be true, mascara adverts!)the natural world is not one of them and nor are things that genuinely give us pleasure be they music, food and drink or books.
If you rave about a book, then I know that it is one that is worth looking out for because I haven't regretted choosing to read one yet!
Funnily enough I had a lovely phone call the other night from my elder daughter who lives in London who had just finished a book I bought her a year or so ago (Carolyn Wall's Sweeping Up Glass) and had loved it so much that she wanted to ring me and tell me. It made my day!

Dark Puss

Cynicism and reductionism are not the same thing (not that you were claiming they were). I'm not often as voluble as many people about the things that excite me and no doubt that's not only to my detriment but to others that I might enthuse but fail to. I will certainly admit to being enthusiastic about the fantastic aurora (including corona) that I saw close to the previous solar maximum about ten years ago. I've also been always enthusiastic about seeing the Milky way, comets (I've seen about twelve I think), the transit of Venus across the sun etc. Many of the things in the natural world excite my enthusiastic response, possibly I am more reserved about many human artefacts. With books I am very rarely as enthusiastic as you are, but then I find that many books I read do fail (for me) to live up to a magnificent aurora, or seeing Eleanora's falcons mobbing an Osprey, or finding the Ladies Slipper orchid in the wild to give three "wow" examples from my life experiences.

Dark Puss

I do hope you will see them and I think you will never grow tired of seeing auroral displays.


I would go to the end of the world for another chance to see the colours of an iceberg.

Ruth M.

Long may childlike enthusiasm reign. I feel sad for people who can't experience that bubbling-up-from-inside-feeling. Doesn't really matter if you let it out or keep it private, it changes your energy and everyone's around you. I'd rather the author had said she was cold and had to go in to warm up. I'd rather have seen the aurora myself, for that matter. And I couldn't agree more with Dark Puss, nature never fails to delight, in a way few (any?) man-made makings can. (Though I suppose chocolate-frosted brownies might have to be considered...)

Susan in TX

Here, here! I completely agree. And, Ruth, chocolate-frosted brownies are definitely up for consideration. :)

Dark Puss

Dark Puss can also get excited about quarks, bosons, quantum-dots and a wide variety of other things in the world of physics. A few people excite my passions too ;-)

Ruth M.

Maybe our upcoming workshop on Quantum Chromodynamics would be to your liking? Not that I understand any of it, but they do need my budgets. Also poems by Hopkins, Dickinson, Kenyon...


I like to give Rachel Carson's book 'The Sense of Wonder' to parents (and grandparents) of new babies. Carson says 'If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder...he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.' An inspiring read.

Dark Puss

Yes it would! Where is it? DP

Ruth M.

Jefferson Lab, in Virginia, home of the soon-to-be 12GeV continuous electron beam accelerator. Physicists are an odd bunch but I'm very fond of them.

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