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After writing the last entry, I began wondering exactly what I meant by ‘innocence’. Although it feels like the right word, I’m not sure that it is. The obvious definition would be ‘lack of worldly experience’, or ‘freedom from sin’. I don’t believe either of those things applied to me at that time. Nor can you come back once those lines have been crossed. So what do I mean by having felt ‘innocent’?

I think what I meant is innocence not as the things you have or haven’t done, places not seen or sins not committed; but the things that have happened to you and around you and how those things affect you. The more difficult things are, for you or those around you, the more you become sensitive to this and this becomes your perspective. The struggle permeates you, any vestige of the childhood feeling of blissful ignorance worn away and you are left with a weariness.

But if circumstances change and positivity abounds in your surroundings, those feelings can be washed away, perspective swung back around and something of that childish innocence given back to you. Time as healer. It’s like being in a submarine, looking through the periscope, and although it can turn 360° you can only take in a snapshot of that at any one time. Swivel your chair around and the picture might change completely.

Innocence is probably the right word after all.

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For reasons unknown, Rosario is in my head today.

I spent a week or so in the Argentine city just before I went to Buenos Aires, at the end of September 2008.  Unsure at first, it grew on me after a couple of days, and I spent hours wondering its avenues of early 20th century Parisian facades, falling in with the relaxed spirit of its roots-n-reggae youth.

I stayed in a backpacker hostel where a cute, muscular, intense blue-eyed boy manned the desk and courted me, bringing me black coffee and flowers in the mornings and beckoning me to smoke with him in the evenings.

I was at his apartment one afternoon when it started raining. It seemed as though I hadn’t seen the rain in weeks; the fields around the city were brown and dry. I lay on my front on the mattress on the floor with my chin on the backs of my hands, and stared out his window at the rain falling on the leaves of the trees in the street. They looked so happy. I was so happy.

Something about the innocence of that time struck me today. I was youthful and innocent. Now, something intangible has been lost. Or acquired… I miss my innocence but I like to think it is not lost. Before I left the first time, I felt broken and tainted by life. And yet here I was but a few months later, feeling youthful and innocent in Rosario. Renewed by change, renewed by time.

Time: it giveth and it taketh away.

It’s a total mind-fuck. It won’t let you go back. Every day just now I look in the mirror and see the skin under my eyes filling with lines. But time fixes. Or heals, at any rate (they are not quite the same), and sometimes it brings worse things but sometimes it brings better things, and sometimes it just lets you let go.

We are not unfixable.