Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Looking at yourself

A time of innocence...

There is the Simon and Garfunkel song called Bookends. It’s a short song. There are only a few lines in it, but they speak volumes to me.

"Time it was, and what a time it was.
It was a time of innocence.
A time of confidences.

Long ago, it must be.
I have a photograph.
Preserve your memories,
they're all that's left you...

I hear this, and think back to being a little boy. I can see myself sitting on my stoop in my front yard. I am about 7 years old, yet I don't recognize myself.

How weird.

This is me. The same DNA make-up, and yet I cannot see myself in this kid. I mean, I know that he is me, and I am him, but I can't seem to look that little boy in the eyes and introduce myself.
Worse, I don't think that he will believe that I am him years later. That little firey boy would have so many more expectations of me that I just haven't lived up to, and I wouldn't want to disappoint him. He has the whole world in front of him, and he wants to be a young boy and conquer. That kid hasn't had his first real defeat yet that will take the life out of him little by little. He hasn’t had his first girlfriend, or his first heartbreak. He doesn’t know what death or loss is and how it pains. -Like the man he has become looking down has.

The thing is, would I be able to look that kid in the eye and tell him that I did everything to ensure his happiness, and that I worked hard in making sure that we have lived a worthy life? I don’t know. I’m not so sure I could tell him that. His expectations are so much higher than mine are now. In fact, I think I would try to convince him that life isn’t the way he thinks it is. He thinks it is idealistic and vibrant, but I would try to convince him about how jaded he will become so that I may curb his expectations later in life when he is disappointed with roadblocks along the way.

That’s certainly not the way my parents talked to me, or brought me up. So why would I try to do this?

Maybe self-preservation.

Well, that kid went through all the trials and time that every single kid in my community went through. I’m sure we all think that we had it worse than the average person so that we can make ourselves feel better about where we are in life right now.

Wait, do I sound bitter? I don’t mean to be jumping on the bitter bus, and I’m not that way. I’m quite sure if you are reading this, that you have many feelings about things that you’ve chased or done in your life that you shake your head at. If you haven’t, then you aren’t human and you certainly haven’t lived life. Everyone knows that if you wanna make an omelet, you need to crack some eggs. –Just don’t get that egg on your face.

So, the good news is that this story only happens in my head, and it’s not reality. I think it’s a good reminder though. I like looking at that kid on the stoop. He’s a really spunky kid. In fact, he reminds me a lot of a little guy I used to know once. That little Hellion that terrorized the neighbourhood and used to pull the pigtails on girls… (sorry girls)

So, do you have thoughts about this? What would you say if you had the same vision?

What would you say to yourself?

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