Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Relative Thinking


Last week I met Nathan and Laurie's new baby Charlotte. A beautiful little newborn girl.  I have been friends with Laurie since high school and Nathan since middle school.  Long term friendships.  And now they have a child together.  Those kids we were have turned in to us adults.  A slow form of magic.

Holding Charlotte, only a couple of days old, I was instantly reminded how delicate a new baby is.  How small and delicate.  And I realised how gradually though steadily my assessment of Enzo's smallness and delicateness has changed.  I never stopped thinking of him as a little baby or as requiring me to treat him delicately as compared to adults.  But I don't think of him as I did Charlotte that day, as I did think of him when he was newly born.

What I'm trying to say is, there was no banner over an arch that I walked through where I discarded an old concept of my son and dawned a new one.  My perception changed quietly but my vocabulary did not.  Rights of passage, life ordeals; they are important to mark and prepare us but reality moves on whether or not we have such events to mark our days and time.  And so my adorable son is no longer that little beautiful baby that he was.  He is a bigger descendant, a here and now little boy with strong links to that perfect little baby that he was.  Now, the perfect 15 month old Enzo.

How much of who I am in my own perceptions is outdated, old vocabulary, remnants of a different me, factors left unmarked by rights of passage or ordeals?
I'm still in my 20's, my body is in it's 30's.  That's how it feels.  Like the me that is me is younger than these years my body has been around.  Maybe not.  Maybe this is just what it is to be in my 30's and my concept of 20's and 30's has just been wrong.  After all, I was just a little kid looking at my family through a little kid's mind when I formed these perceptions of adult 30's, 40's and 50's.

So then........ I am really 30 something and also in my 30's, body and person.  Huh, so this is what it feels like. It's not what I thought it would be.  It's a little funnier, with more music, and lighter hearted than I expected.  Nice!  I thought it would be much more serious.  Maybe it was more serious for my family back when I was forming these perceptions.  Maybe there are others out there with the reverse realizations to make with their harder life circumstances right now at odds with a happy-go-lucky assessment from their youth.

A one could get lost in this relativity.  With no base point to consider unmoving and solid from which to compare all other points or to which one can return when needed, it seems wisest to take in as much as possible, like an insect landing on the river's water, 'fingers' and 'toes' spread wide to find its stability on a moving and undulating body of never-stand-still.

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