Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with leading you on a meandering tour of the virtual garden of delights and curiosities and thoughts that make up my world – all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words.
B is for..
badaud: (noun) a person given to idle observation of everything, with wonder or astonishment.
The etymology of this word is French, and it can also be defined with a more pejorative slant meaning a credulous or gossipy idler. Let’s leave that out of the mix as I self-define as a badaud. Instead, I’m inclined to embrace the admonishment from theologian and civil rights activist Abraham Joshua Heschel:
“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. . .get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible. Never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.“
Pondering badaud, I can’t help but think of the archetype of the Tarot’s Fool. The Fool is certainly not something we joyfully embrace in our society. Rather it often carries such shaming judgment as part of its baggage. But the Fool has a bigger role to play.
Let’s consider the Fool’s qualities. There’s freshness, innocence, pure limitless possibility. Knowing everything and knowing absolutely nothing. Raw truth and the willingness to speak it. Ability to rise above restrictions because they’re simply not recognized. Fool transcends tradition, convention and social norms with exuberance – and in doing so is able to bend perspective. Fool offers the reminder that we’re free to choose. With every step, in every moment. Fool totally represents current moment awareness – not being pulled into restrictions and fear from the past, nor being pulled ahead into speculation of the future and what has not yet occurred. And Fool most definitely invites magical encounters with the unknown. There is always the invitation to remember life is an adventure to be enjoyed, and change is part of the part. Fool is at the beginning of the journey, an initiate ready to rush ahead in unconcerned delighted, seeing the path ahead as a playground opportunity. Each moment is original and is to be met open-heartedly and with sparkly-eyed mischievousness.
We often give short shrift to innocence – allowing that there is a wonderfulness about it when associated with children, but not necessarily embracing it as a gift in those no longer young. Then there is often a stigma attached, somehow implying that one is naïve or vulnerable, idiotic or ignorant. I have to smile at that because, in truth, it is innocence that keeps one available to learn; keeps one available to transformation. Innocence carries fresh eyes and an open heart and understands anything is possible. And I think that’s a pretty wonderful perspective.
Don’t you think that’s a delightful invitation to fan the flame of the Fool spark within?
Are you inclined to live life in radical amazement? Are you inviting Fool to be present? What have you observed with wonder lately? Do tell – I’d love to hear.