If my age is equivalent to the number of times the earth has traveled around the sun since I was born, how old would I be if I lived on another planet, or in another galaxy, or in another universe altogether? And isn’t this what I already do?
The degree to which I resist things as they are — that might be a more accurate rendering of my age. The less the resistance, the younger the age. But even that isn’t a fixed point. It changes from day to day, or at least it seems to.
And yet, is there any way to know things as they really are? Isn’t it all a matter of interpretation? And isn’t the world we generally agree upon simply a composite image? Certainly there isn’t one of us who can, or should, have the final say. We can consult Nietzsche, or Lao Tzu, or Einstein; we can read the so-called holy books — but to live one’s life according to the interpretation or vision of another is like dying ahead of time.
Conversely, to seek followers, and to try to persuade others to adopt our own interpretation, is to commit a subtle kind of murder — which can and does lead to real murder — to inquisitions, borders, flags, and holy wars.
Whereas, as every child knows, all we need is love. But of course that is just my interpretation. I have no idea what every child knows, or what we really need. Or do I?
Scene from a Recurring Childhood
Stick-horses snorting impatiently
by the school room door; the high Sierra;
the valley floor; dirt on my clothes
and hands; my father smiling,
walking this way.
Poems, Slightly Used, November 17, 2009
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