Fanny Howe’s essay, “Bewilderment” is popular among writers. The word itself has a magical and mysterious charm.Visiting home after a long stay away, it has occurred to me that what I am seeing and experiencing is nothing short of bewilderment. It’s natural, I guess, to make comparisons, to remember how home, places and cities are or were the last time I was here, to see changes, transformations and constructions, good or bad, that have happened since then. The sum of it all creates a hallucinatory feeling, something real and surreal. To stand before my favorite coffee house and find a carpentry shop, to realize that my best salon doesn’t exist anymore and in its place stands a monstrous shopping mall… it’s confusing and awakening at the same time. Instead of the prayer: “Lord, increase my bewilderment” I find myself saying: Lord, you have increased my bewilderment, and that somehow, makes everything okay.
Here’s Fanny Howe’s essay for your enjoyment.