Tuesday, October 13, 2009


When in doubt, opt for the astonishing?


  1. What if the astonishing isn't one of the options?

  2. Hi Mary - thanks for your question. It's a welcome one and invites discussion. (It also prompted me to add a question mark to my initial sentence!)

    I've been wrestling recently with a need to make some changes in the way I live my life. Something that's struck me is how dualistic we humans can be in our thinking, esp. when it comes to choices and decision-making. Certainly I've been noticing my own tendency to think in terms of 'either/or' and 'this, or that', not always staying open to the many other alternatives that wait beyond the obvious.

    I accede I might be being overly-idealistic or simplistic here, but the optimist in me would like to believe that astonishment - as in 'being prepared to be surprised' - is always (dangerous word!) an option that's available to us. I guess I'm talking here about light and brightness and staying open...

    Situations are relative, of course, and much depends on the context within which this comment is being applied? In terms of writing, for instance, opting for the astonishing can mean a way forward. And yes, there are bound to be other times and situations when such a choice might seem crazy or inappropriate.

    'Astonishing' feels more comforting and inclusive a word when it alludes to 'surprise' rather than to 'bewilderment' or 'impressiveness'?

    Hmm - you've got me thinking! Thanks for that. C

  3. Interesting, thank you - you've got me thinking now - 'astonishing' is certainly a word I like to use alot but without having really thought through what it means and why I like it...