Wonder and other Survival Skills

A Selection of Essays from Orion Magazine

Edited by H. Emerson Blake

Out of print

Quick Look

  • A series of essays debating the nature of wonder in our lives
  • Explores how cultivating a sense of wonder connects us to the things that really matter

Argues that cultivating a sense of wonder is an essential part of our lives if we're to be connected to the things that really matter.

214 x 138 mm
Philosophy of Human Life;
108 pages
Publication date:
19 Jan 2017


Is wonder really a survival skill?

Between the urgency of the problems facing our planet and the chaos of our own busy lives, it might seem naïve to place 'cultivate wonder' at the top of a list of priorities. Yet that is exactly what the authors in this collection suggest: that wonder is necessary -- and in fact, it might just be what saves us.

This insightful collection of essays remind us of the things that really matter, building inner reserves and rekindling a sense of intimacy with the earth. The essays are testaments to the power of beauty and the importance of humility -- and a deep belief, even amid darkness and uncertainty, in wonder's essential role in our lives.

Table of Contents

Foreword: H. Emerson Blake
Telling the Holy: Scott Russell Sanders
Lost Dog Creek: Brian Doyle
World at Dawn: Diane Ackerman
Ladder to the Pleiades: Michael P. Branch
The Art of Wandering: Ann Zwinger
Gathering Indigo: Aleria Jensen
The Return: Rick Bass
When You See a Skimmer: David Gessner
Gods at Play: Susanne Antonetta
Pea Madness: Amy Leach
Kana: Chris Dombrowski
The Kingdom of God: Teddy Macker
Breathing the Ancestors: Georgiana Valoyce-Sanchez
Sailing Through the Night: John Calderazzo
Window of Possibility: Antonhy Doerr


H. Emerson ('Chip') Blake is an ecologist who has been editor-in-chief of Orion Magazine since 2005. Previously editor of Milkweed Editions, his work has been recognised by many awards, including the PEN Literary Award and the New York Times Notable Books of the Year. In 2016 he received an honorary doctorate in Environmental Sciences from the State University of New York. Originally from Philadelphia, he lives in Housatonic, Massachusetts, US.

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