Your 7 Wonders

This week during one of my commutes I was listening to NPR’s “Talk of the Nation”, hosted by Neal Conan. The topic was a study just released that indicated what we “the people” of the globe now believe to be the “7 Wonders of the World”.


Upon hearing the results, I was puzzeled to discover that the survey only included man made entities. I was releved to find out, they have launched a new survey titled “7 Wonders of Nature”.

As Neal and the guest host Don George discussed the process for which this information was tabulated, and their own perspectives, I couldn’t help but think about what my favorite 7 are. Not only of the world, but my state, my city, my home. After having just returned from Glacier Park, the topic of this radio show seemed uncannily timely with the introspective work I was doing anyway.

I am forever curious about what it is in people, places and things that fuel interest within us, but not with any consistency. I suspect that is one of the main reasons that result in my being a designer.

Most people enjoy hot pizza as a dinner item, but some like it cold the next day. Some people like the spirit of Robert Stern’s structures, some prefer the work of Frank Gehry… some like both.

It seems there are attributes found in things we deem as special, that strike a solidifying chord. Like a stone used in the foundation of who we are, that was calved from memories, values or dreams we cherish.

What are those things you deem as special and create such a gravitational pull within you? Does a better understanding of what they are enable them to be replicated in your day-to-day immediate spaces? Would doing so dilute the impact they have? Should we keep our lives segmented in order to keep it fresh?

One day several years ago I was cooking some time at a marina, looking at massive sail boats. As I stood there mesmerized by the form of the hull found on a wide beam full keel 36′ boat perched vicariously in it’s cradle just above my shoulders, when a salesman approached. One thing led to another and we got to talking about dreams and passions. At the end of the conversation, he said shaking his head, “If you truly love sailboats, don’t be a sailboat salesman”. Something about that stuck.

If you love biking into the village for morning coffee when you are up north for that week in August, would having to do it everyday convert it from a cherished ritual to a dreaded task?

Contemplating my favorite 7 in the end left me with 7 questions… and then some, but I found the exercise fruitful and rewarding anyway. If nothing else it fostered vivid memories from details of home and times I felt at home, elsewhere.


One thought on “Your 7 Wonders

  1. Your thoughts her evoke the macro and micro again – a place under a pine tree half way up Bear Mountain, sheltered yet allowing an expansive view of the Hudson River Valley – a vase with personal associations that are refreshed when I place a single long-stemmed flower in it.

    Photos, art and objects become invisible in the home because they are so familiar. When I direct attention to them, they regain in my eyes some quality that I chose.

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