Thursday, June 15, 2017

The speeding car of youth

Young Girl, Pablo Picasso

In youth, it was a way I had,
To do my best to please.
And change, with every passing lad
To suit his theories.

But now I know the things I know
And do the things I do,
And if you do not like me so,

To hell, my love, with you. 

When I was 28, the way I looked in the mirror got somehow imprinted on my mind as the "me" that would endure. I had this theory that the life of all living things were modeled on the life of a flowering plant. There is life before the flower, and life after the flower. But the flower is the apogee of the individual entity. I think I must have picked this up from Shakespeare, or John Donne. 

According to my erstwhile theory (which I no longer hold) we are all as beautiful as we will ever be at age 28. But when you were standing on that mountain, at it's lofty peak, how much "you" was really there under that skin? How much more would be accumulated in the coming years? 

There was a time not too long ago, when people would toss the word "self" around a lot. We were trying to find ourselves--the main task of being young. Writing is the best way to do that, of course. Much of the great literature of the world was written by writers under 40. And much of it by people as old as the Philosopher's Stone. For some of us, writing is not a pastime, but an essential expression of "being" itself.

may my mind stroll about hungry

and fearless and thirsty and supple

and even if it's sunday may i be wrong

for whenever men are right they are not young

ee cummings

No comments:

Post a Comment