Thursday, March 19, 2015

Roses, lions and meaning.

     Asking one of those typical ESL questions designed to generate conversation, I was taken aback by the answers.  The question was- What do you think is the perfect age to be? Silly, I know.  As this was a group of 20 year olds, I expected the answers to be close to their own ages. After all, that's what the media bombards us with- the images of youth and beauty.
     One young woman said, 8.  Ok, I thought- that's the age of reason.  Another student said 12.  Before the heartaches of adolescence perhaps?  The most surprising answer was a young woman who said 3.
     Hadn't they heard of Alice Miller?  Were their childhoods so idyllic they clung to a world of little or no responsibility?  Or was it a fear of what the future will hold?  I suspect it's mostly the latter.  They are living in a world fraught with so many dilemmas that may or not be solvable.  We aim for an idealistic view of the future but what surrounds their tech saturated world is nihilism.  Meaning comes in small devices that are always at hand or in memories of a carefree time.

     My fight for meaning lies in poetry.  Here's a poem I'm working on.

                         The Rose Darkens

The rose darkens,
softened by time,
blood red petals
slide off,
lie on the white table.

The lines unfurl,
in snarled words,
an ancient breath
of sound
in my ears.

I long for the simple,
the tall grasses
where zebras melt
in motion,
A lion poised,
ready to leap.


  1. It's weird to hear that, when I was a little boy I wanted to be as old as possible to have freedom. A kind of freedom I was starting to smell of creativity, security in the self and maturity of knowledge. Apparently now things are different, virtual reality maybe?