I’ve been mulling over the differences between awe and wonder lately, in part thanks to this recent terrific conversation between Krista Tippett and Dacher Keltner. Their discussion stayed with me because Keltner’s work highlights that the most common form of awe is not the Grand Canyon or the Redwoods, but humans awed by one another. Durkheim’s concept of “collective effervescence” is an extension of this, the amplified energy and meaning when awe is experienced together. These are vital and alluring topics, and I took extra delight in hearing Durkheim’s name for the first time since Divinity School.
Friends, there is the essential joy of the brain, and there is the elemental joy of the heart. Both precious, both needed.
Tonight I witnessed a genius musician perform in the most beautiful home imaginable, surrounded by people who were all just as delighted and focused and appreciative as I was. By the end we were almost dizzy, buzzing and speechless before this amazing gift. This was Awe with a capital A. Collective effervescence.
Dear ones, I wish you joy.
I wish you wonder.
I wish you awe.
By popular demand, I am including photos of the potato cake and the pretzel cake mentioned last week. They may not garner Awe, but they were indeed awesome.