Monday, May 11, 2009

is childhood what it used to be?

i'm convinced many of the wonderful, surprising, and sometimes tragic things we do are attempts to regain childhood. the time we were protected and felt safe (mostly), where emotions pierced us like arrows and we had no defenses.

alas, the defenses came and we no longer felt we could feel! responsibilities, children of our own, making a living, these took a terrible toll on the freshness of our vision. experience became refried. once we'd done something, we could never do it again. truly, you can't go home again.

unless, there might be ways. now, the aforementioned parenting concievably (pun recognized) might be the true path. you get down on your knees, both to play and to pay for your children's education. and hopefully, you can brag about their progress - why else have children - and they become your delight. ah, grandchildren, unless you have to raise them, what a reward!

unless, of course, those little angels of yours become criminals, drop-outs, and drug-addicts. in other words, they can't bear to grow up (or old, the same thing?). the way of the outlaw keeps their sensations fresh as they renew them with adventure and alcohol, heroin and absinthe.

yes, these remain other approaches to recovering childhood. and many of us can't resist temptation. recently i met a nurse without a job and doing bouts of rehab. obviously, the available medicine cabinets drove her down the primrose path. very sweet, she didn't seem to have much will-power and the woman with her had a very hard face.

what am i talking about? who am i to throw stones? here i sit drinking a red, italian wine, pretending i'm hemingway in the first world war. those books i read at twenty make me want to be twenty again, when my parents were still paying the bills and i played at a thousand literary identities. remember, i ended up living in a berlin basement, the winter of 1966, due to my desire to be a roaming, international poet! writing a play about nietzsche. good gravy.

and it hasn't stopped. i keep watching the old, the young, and everyone inbetween. this week i took pictures in the park, on the river, at the thursday farmer's market, the camera a way to pursue the childlike. as my bones go their own way, bending and bending. if you wake up after sixty and you don't ache somewhere, you're dead.

here are the pictures from the past few days. i hope they help you remember what it was like, once.

some of these i've mentioned before, however many new ones added. enjoy.