I can’t articulate anything.

A lot of the time, I feel this immense wonder. It’s like I’ve finally grasped the miracle of the human nervous system. You take in information through your senses and it does stuff to the insides of you and it’s totally a miracle. The thing is that this sense of wonder isn’t necessarily a nice thing to feel. It hurts.

It hurts that I am 40 years behind the curve. I am pretty sure this is what small kids feel. That’s why every leaf is so interesting to them. The real marvel is what is happening inside them. And I couldn’t really do that. Wonder was just not a relevant stimulus. I was busy trying to stay alive and in one piece. The little feelings got filtered out like white noise.

But that’s part of it. I am unique. My life history is unique. My future is unique. My personality and experience is unique. I am doing this at 42. Other people do it at 2. We’re all different. The same and yet different. That’s just part of life.

It hurts more that this feeling of wonder is tied up with death. Every time someone died in front of me, I was struck by it. How did they live and how did they die? Life is such a miracle and every time we are faced with its beginning or with its end, we will feel that. But the awareness of life as something full of wonder is not always so loaded with loss or with horror. It’s less complicated to grasp if your first experience of death is your hamster and not someone you love sliced to ribbons by your own dad.

That breaks your head open.