Thursday, 27 September 2007


Although sometimes cynicism comes naturally to me, there is, in large amount, a naivete to my soul and my being that surprises even me. While adult in form and intent, much of me is still very childlike. It is eager, it is excited and it is learning and wondrous of the beauty of this world.

I am still, often, struck by the beauty in everyday things: that ethereal gleam of gold around clouds as the sun sinks low on the horizon; the utter perfection in the velvet of a new rose petal. There are days when I could drink in the world, and exhale balsam from the depths of my soul.

I believe in great things still. That existence is meaningful and important. I have yet that childlike unwaverign belief that I am special, that I will make some indelible mark on this well trod Earth.

I still believe in fairies and magic. Not intellectually, because my very academic brain refutes it, bt I still hear the fairy song in a forest, I still hear bells jingling on Christmas Eve and even now the wind is alive, rolling and purring beneath my feet like a kitten with a ball of yarn.

As a teenager reading LM Montgomery and revelling in the life of Emily and the further adventures of Anne, I was different from my friends, and certainly the majority of my class. While others pored over weighty tomes of historical significance, or books were forsaken altogether for boys, I preferred to live in fairy land. I read "adult" fiction and historical prose and biographies, and while I loved expanding my mind, I would still come home to my collection of children's literature and curl up like a cat in the sunshine and drink in the words and the beauty. Even now when sad or chilled from the world they are my hot chocolate with marshmallows.

There is so much pressure from the adult world to be adult. To be cynical and hard. To find indulgence shameful and ethic mandatory. The need to accumulate, the desire to exhibit a worldliness and stateliness to prove worthiness. To pity the innocent and the naive, with their peasant joy in the simplistic.

I find myself the happiest in times when I cage the cynical beast. When I reign the clawed, toothed, snarling behemoth and her singed breath. She is very clever, and sharp and witty, but the barbs are poison tipped and she does not a dulcet companion make.

As a young mother I have felt condescension often. Sometimes it is veiled, most time though I doubt the condescender is even aware that they're doing it. Some flail about when directly questioned and babble something about my being the exception to the rule, while others undoubtedly secretly (or not) believe that I have ruined my life, or at least some of its potential.

The unquestioned belief in society now that an older mother who has "experienced" life is better for it, lest she take on the rigid puritannical task of parenting sans adulescence. But parenting while I hold the vestiges of the ephemeral beauty of childhood, where I forsake Erikson's calculated pigeon-holing, has a magic hue to it. I wanted to be a mother of small children while I still have the key to fairyland. Where miracles can happen and joy is the natural order of the world. It is only when I am convinced that I need to be an adult that I flounder in life and become besieged with doubt, for knowledge as I have gained it has only enlightened me to how much more there is to learn.

As Christmas decorations invade further into the department stores, and hustling drones grumble about the musak I am more determined than ever to revel in the ephemerality (yes, for the purists, coined) of a life less ordinary. There will always be foolishness, and weakness, and shallowness. There will always be satire and cruel biting wit. But joy? She's a lot harder to find.

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