"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Grasping for Air
in-no-cence Function: noun
1 a : freedom from guilt or sin through being unacquainted with evil : BLAMELESSNESS b : CHASTITY c : freedom from legal guilt of a particular crime or offense d (1) : freedom from guile or cunning : SIMPLICITY (2) : lack of worldly experience or sophistication e : lack of knowledge : IGNORANCE [written in entire innocence of the Italian language -- E. R. Bentley]
2 : one that is innocent
3 : a quality that seens to be lacking in my life.
It was Winnie the Pooh that started it.
I was heading home today from a dual meeting with my therapist and my doctor. Amazing, that my life is now punctuated with psychiatrist and therapist appointments. I would never have expected myself to end up here, limping along with the help of chemistry and leased wisdom. But so it goes.
Yeah, I thought I was invincible. Guess what. I wasn't. Far from it.
I remember being young and looking at the future with nothing but promise and excitement. Now, I am older, and the years are wearing on me. I have seen all too many things, and swallowed all too many bitter draughts. I have learned that most of what I knew about the world was a lie from the beginning, because I could not tell the difference.
Life can be tough with a broken thinker, after all.
We each have our challenges. This is mine.
So, today I am driving home and I come to this redlight. While waiting for the light to change I glance over to the next lane, and there is a lady in a car over there looking down into her lap. I can't see her face because she is short; she must have been looking in her purse or something. Then I look into the back seat.
And there on the window is one of those sun blocker things, you know, the ones that pull down like a shade. And on it is an idyllic scene with Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Owl cavorting under a tree.
I am transfixed by the realization that in some lives, Winnie the Pooh and all that he represents is a part of day to day life. This epiphany catches me by surprise.
I remember how I felt about characters such as Winnie the Pooh when I was little. They made me feel very secure and very loved. I'll bet that when the mother in that car picked out that sunshade, she felt that too. I mentally put myself into her head, and I felt echoes of that secure feeling as well, memories of years long past.
Such things don't go away, do they?
We just walk off, a bit at a time, until we can't see it anymore.
Well, I want to see it. I want to feel that joy, that security. I want to leave the seriousness and grayness of my life, at least for a while.
I want to be innocent again.
I want to feel that life is good, that everything is "OK."
I want to see Winnie the Pooh, and smile because all is right with the world and always will be.
God, please help me to walk back into the light.
Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.
Thomas Szasz, The Second Sin (1973) "Emotions"