Losing (and Regaining) the Wonder of the World

With Nine Worlds to choose from, we couldn’t do better than this

Ryan Frawley
8 min readJun 4, 2024


Photo by Emmanuel Phaeton on Unsplash

When Robert Burton

Said he was melancholy, he meant he was home.” — Robert Bly, Early Morning in Your Room

We don’t hug; we shake hands

Even when saying goodbye.

We both know it could be the last time we see each other. I’m forty, and he’s nearly twice that. We’re not children.

But age or not, that was always true. I could crash my car on the way to the airport. Or the plane could burst, scattering me over the north coast of France. We brachiate from breath to breath, trusting the next lungful to come the way sailors trust the water to hold them up, trust the tide to bring them home.

That’s not what I’m trying to say. That life is absurd and unfair and never promised to anyone, to octogenarians gathering dust in antiseptic care homes or to infants crying in abandoned cribs.

You know all that, whether you admit it or not. That the next breath isn’t promised, and in this infinite universe, everything is not only possible, but inevitable.

Maybe when you go to take the next breath, it’s not there, and you choke and wheeze as the vacuum turns…



Ryan Frawley

Novelist. Essayist. Former entomologist. Now a full-time writer exploring travel, art, philosophy, psychology, and science. www.ryanfrawley.com