Awe, Like a Cave

The word itself is a vocal exercise.  I remember my choir teachers demanding that we open our mouths like a cave.  Round and tall.  Awe. Awwwwwwwwgh.  Other than that, “awe”  has limited usage in my vocabulary.  Instead, I tend to say the following when met with something interesting, pretty, or impactful.

When I’m riding my bike around sunset,”Dude, look at that sunset! Whoa!” I might say this regardless of the fact that I am biking alone.

When someone tells me something very surreal, “Oh man…thats intense…” It slips easily from my lips.  I wouldn’t want to just stand there staring at the person, mouth agape.  That might get a little awkward.

In the event that I am surprised beyond reason I will explode with, “OH Sugar Honey Ice Tea!” or other fun words.

The truth is, I haven’t been in awe in a very long time.

The last time I probably was in awe was when I was a little girl, and I don’t remember the time or place…  I think I was with my aunt, uncle, and grandparents, and I saw this huge fountain. Like a tall building, except it was composed of fast moving water. Granted it was huge to me because I was pretty miniature at the time, but I felt like a particle.  It was terrifying, but I wanted to get closer. Soon, my eyes turned into fountains of their own, and I would inch forward and then turn away—retreating into the refuge of my family.  After I while, I just stared at it, timidly reaching my little paw out to catch drops of water that separated from the downpour.

I hesitate to use the phrase, “I felt awe” because I think the thing that differentiates awe is that the feelings you do feel are so contradictory and perplexing that it becomes a state of being.   It could be a few minutes or an hour-long session.  But for those moments when you are in are in awe, you have no words. In that moment, you are coming to terms with something that outsizes you.  I think thats part of the reason that awe is such a human reaction, because I live in a world where humanity is the pinnacle.  Humanity is biggest, the best, and the brightest, and if I do encounter something that makes me feel vulnerable—whether that be a shooting star, a red moon, or crack in the earth’s crust—I can always figure it out…collect my factoids.

Awe is like a cave.  You enter the cave, and it is a cave because it can engulf you.  Its dark and intimidating, but its awesome.  So you continue to go deeper. I look forward to experiencing awe again one day.


4 thoughts on “Awe, Like a Cave”

  1. Reblogged this on Wyrdwend and commented:
    Well observed. And I very much appreciated her honesty, because I too feel that modern men (and women) only very rarely feel true awe anymore. Well, modern men and women of the West anyway.

    Perhaps this is a fault of the world but I am far more likely inclined to believe this is a fault within us.


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