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.
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.
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.