what there is to love about a man: presence & wonder

This post was inspired by a conversation over here at Malcolm’s blog. These two excerpts are from my out-of-print book, What There Is To Love About A Man (Sourcebooks, 1999). Remainder(perfectly imperfect) and used copies can be had for cheap around the Internet, in places like this website and this website.

Presence

How we feel gifted when a man is truly present. Eye to eye, heart to heart, tete-a-tete. Right now. Right here. Fully engaged in the moment and distracted by nothing. When he possesses presence of mind, we are comforted. When he expresses presence of spirit, our spirits are exalted, too. Away from the clatter of beeps, bells, and rings, we are rapt and wrapped up in his presence. A man with presence can captivate an entire room, no matter how short he is or how plain he appears, or how unimportant he’s presumed to be. All that matters is that he be present. Remarkably, incredibly present. His gaze is steady, his voice is sure, he hangs on every word and attends to every gesture. This very instant. This very day. Ask what we want most of all from a man. We love it when he gives us presence.

Wonder

It’s wonderful when a man is filled with wonder! He’ll sit on the grass for hours and watch chipmunks in a meadow and peer into the heart of a wildflower, and simply marvel at the wonder of it all. It’s wonderful to see wonder in a man’s eyes. To see him mesmerized by the sweep of a hundred-year-old suspension bridge, or captivated by the symmetry of a spider’s web. To wait and watch while he counts fifty-seven rings in the trunk of a fallen tree. To see him cross-legged on the floor, with the pieces of the ancient engine spread out around him, and he’s shaking his head in wonder. He wonders about nature, about God, about man. It boggles his mind and sets his senses reeling, and he can do nothing but wonder. He raises the question Did you ever wonder? — content in not knowing the answer. He dives into the future and digs through the past, and he never ceases to wonder. Watch him and see the most wonderful thing: He’s wading through a wonderland, awash in the wonder.

6 comments

  1. Rachel, you’re an incredible writer, and I can only wonder, here and now, when your book will return to print.

    Would there ever be a reason not to write the same words about a woman, then? I feel such things and here and now, I wonder if men and women need to be viewed as different in such matters as these.

    Malcolm

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  2. Thanks, Malcolm, for the kind appreciation – and also the late-night inspiration.

    Since I am all about integration (i.e., be whole now), I agree with you. My original books (for women, for men, for mothers) may have been appropriate for their times (women and men gone to their separate corners to lick wounds, self-empower, etc., etc.), but there is a greater understanding now around the divine marriage of the archetypal masculine and feminine in each of us. And, being older and fiercer than ever about my creativity, I am far less inclined (to put it mildly!!) to write for the marketplace.

    As for any out-of-print books being resurrected, that’s one of many topics to be discussed with my as-yet-unidentified new literary agent. (No news is good news!?)

    I have so much to say! Whatever happened to the grand art and tradition of patronage??? Hmmm, think I’ll post a piece on that very topic – soon!

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  3. Ha Rachel, My wonder has been about the inner workings of my laptop. I have it completely disassembled on the pool table. It has consumed me to resurrect it from the comatose state it is in and in that I have had tunnel vision to its cause, Forsaking everything (practically) else. My presence? I look beyond still with drivers, graphics cards, CMOS and BIOS on the brain.

    When I either, repair or realize it’s demise. I will return to reality.

    Again Thanks for your enrichment.

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  4. Outdoors2,

    If I was going to give you an Ordinary Oracles reading on your Comment, it would probably say something like:

    You go, boy! Inner workings, disassembling, consuming, resurrection, and forsaking practically everything! And BIOS (as in, your personal biography, the story that perhaps no longer fits) on the brain. Repair, Realize, Return, Reality: you said it! Maybe you can leave the laptop on the pool table, and take a break in the nearest pond…

    couldn’t help myself…

    …so how’s your vehicle doing????? (-;

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  5. I think it has finally met the end of its diodes..)-: Time to part it out and seek a replacement. I’ll miss the mobility of the wireless though…(temporarily) Off to the pond….
    Your metaphoric response? Ha… I’m a little too big to be a laptop, I think…? Smiles, Rachel.

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  6. Outdoors2,

    thanks for the reminder that I need to blog about allegedly inanimate objects who are also seeking to rise to their highest expressions…

    in other existential questions: how many laptops actually sit upon laps?????

    enjoy your swim…

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