Sunday, October 4, 2015
How time works
When did I learn to write? Could I have written all this when I was in the first inklings of adulthood at age 16?
No. I suppose not. I matured slowly. I grew up in my forties, and only just recently, now at age 50, have I been getting to work. I had to find the voice, the mad impenetrable hubris, the firm hostility, and the home. I needed the home. I had to learn warm sarcasm. I had to find enough words. I needed to collect the world in ten thousand bottles. I had to be able to look you in the eye. I needed to not just break rules, but acquire an internal library of all the rules that are mine to break. I was doomed until I knew what was a joke and what wasn't. I live on that thin line now, endlessly interested in what one can do with it; a few very particular things, all dangerous.
But sometimes I think: What if I had all that I know now, in the richness of my maturity, back then? What if I could take everything I've learned back in time to the eleventh grade? What would happen if I were a sparkling youth who could write like a genius? What if I had all the wild skills I have now but as a 16 year old kid?
I'd get thrown out of High School one more time. I know the limits of what I've learned.
But grieve not. We are given what we're given. With only a touch more calmness, I'd do it all over again.