Here’s a first draft of what I wrote to The Listserve on September 30, 2012:
Alright, here’s what we’re going to do: I want all of you to tell me about the things that make you feel awe. By awe, I mean a sense of wonder at the mystery of existence or the size of the universe—a sort of overpowering ecstasy mingled with just a little bit of melancholy or existential dread. So for example, maybe awe is what you feel when you look up at the stars, or into your child’s eyes. If you’re religious, maybe you experience awe when you feel the presence of God. Whatever awe means to you, and whatever shape it takes, I want to hear about it.
Your answer can take the form of a straightforward explanation, a story, a poem, a drawing, a video, a photograph, a song, or whatever else you want. It doesn’t even have to be your creation; if a Beatles song makes you feel awe, then send me a YouTube link to that Beatles song. If someone said or wrote something which inspires awe, then quote them. Your answer can be anonymous or not, but I do at least want to know where you’re from.
I’ll take the best answers—which is to say, the answers that make me feel at least an echo of your awe—and post them at wonderserv.tumblr.com. Can’t wait to hear your responses.
Even if you never got the original email, you can still submit. I encourage you to.