Knee Jerk Wow

Second Hand Costume at Shopsley Thrift Store

Let me start by saying I would never wear nor advocate for this costume. But I WAS delighted by seeing it at the thrift shop! I couldn’t really SAY anything to anyone there, most especially as it was populated by senior women exclaiming how must further their pensions went before the shop had opened in their neighbourhood. So I grinned and took a photo as one does. I am constantly entertained by such things. Just about everything is either humorous or beautiful or awe-inspiring or at least interesting.

The weekend before leaving Canada, I was speaking with my friend Liz about my concern that I wouldn’t be able to handle Europe. That the wonder and awe would do me in. I’m already captivated by anything novel or beautiful in the realm of the mundane. Surviving even the mundane on another continent seemed improbable.

Liz agreed that each day was essentially filled with wonder and new intrigue and commented that some people view the mountains or sunsets as mundane – in fact, they hardly view them at all – whereas she is struck each time she encounters them. It’s just a different world, she says, for those with a knee-jerk wow.

I love that. Knee-jerk wow. Constantly engaged, endlessly astonished, halfway wincing from the beauty and always reaching out for more. It feels at time like a kind of madness – as if one shock of awe or terror will push our wits beyond reckoning. I wouldn’t want to be any other way. I need only my curiosity and some idle time to be happily entertained.

That’s really why there is a picture of a second-hand costume here and not a proper tourist picture. I won’t be showing many shots of castles or tea shops here although my *Instagram might have dungeons and street signs (I seem to have a thing for signs).

If I do visit a castle and mention it here, it will read something like this – “Visited a fabulous castle today with massive iron gates and a terrifying dungeon. Afterwards, I went to the pub next door and was amazed to see seventeen different types of cheese on the menu!” and the picture I would give you would not be of the castle gates or dungeon, nor of the front of the pub, nor even of a variety of cheeses but rather it would be a picture of a menu, perhaps with a pint of cider just in the foreground – and knowing that this is how it would go I surmise that really to get any pleasure at all from reading this blog you need to have the following two things: a love of very long sentences, and a strong imagination.


*   for dog cemeteries and sign posts

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