When I ponder about wonder, I think of curiosity, delight, and awe. What I enjoy about the dictionary definition is that something can be a wonder or someone can feel wonder. The “hard to believe” association made me somehow think of the meme Nyan Cat, a Pop-Tart cat flying through space, leaving a rainbow trail behind. Of course, I didn’t want Nyan Cat to wander the galaxy alone so it’s traveling near a balloons-hitching Shiba Inu Doge pal, a companion meme and wonder companion. I debated making the balloons less round to match more of the sharp, but not pixellated, space animals. Unfortunately, I couldn’t spend too much time on this illustration now but I could always evolve it later.
Note: This project continues a special series. The letters T-Y have been adopted by newsletter readers (you can read more about the why and how here). Lee Kim, my co-founder of Identity Lab and friend, selected the word “wonder” as her project. I know you’ll find her take below on Alpha Projects as delightful as I do!
When I think of wonder, two things come to mind—curiosity and awe. For both, we need to pause to feel the wonder.
I remember the first time I truly asked the question, “I wonder…” It was the time that I almost lost my relationship with my parents. The first step in getting back with them was by asking myself a question, “I wonder…who my mother was before she was my mother…” and that curiosity led me to understand my mother in a very different way than before.
When I had my daughter, I thought I would be filled with wonder. That wonder moment didn’t come. However, as she grew, her view of the world made me to wonder at her capacity to go for “play” and “exploration. Wow! How did she come up with that story?
I tried to create a wonder game with my daughter. In the morning when I dropped her off at school, we played the game of “I wonder…” along the way. “I wonder why the leaves are all different shapes.” “I wonder if trees like what they eat.” “I wonder why we cannot see the air.” We didn’t answer any questions. We just wondered.
At night, we draw “wonder.” We first co-created “Wonder—all you can wonder buffet.”
This led us to think about “?” and ”!” moments of wonder. After a few iterations and with help of LaTeisha’s feedback, I created Wanda’s Wonder deck.
By playing this game, we can all be a child filled with wonder (curiosity and awe) and also create a ritual to feel a moment of wonder with intention.
It was really interesting how one “word” could push you to do so much. Often times we make our lives so complicated by creating and following complex processes.
What if we just start with a single word?
I am looking forward to testing out “Wanda’s Wonder” cards with my community members and my family!
Editor’s note: I wasn’t surprised Lee would choose “wonder” as her word. Lee taps into wonder daily by making and wearing pipe cleaner crowns.
The story about her inspiration around wonder is touching. The collaborations Lee has with her daughter are delightful. Wanda’s Wonder deck seems wonderful!
I wonder what wonder I would have whipped up for wonder…
Reminder: the project and write-up was submitted by a guest contributor, Lee Kim.
For curated links and other content I couldn't fit into this post, subscribe to the email newsletter.