An insight into the hypocrisy of adulthood.
You tell me to share as you clutch your purse tighter when a dirty, homeless hand reaches out.
You tell me to get along with others as you build the fence with the neighbours higher.
You tell me to use my words as you throw the hammer when it hurts your hand.
You tell me never to lie as you tell Mom that the wind broke her favourite dog figurine.
You tell me to be polite and kind as you swear at other drivers on the motorway.
You tell me to respect my teachers and elders as you call your boss stupid and ignore Grandpa’s phone calls.
You tell me that violence is never the answer as you say how important the war on terror is.
You tell me a lot of things a child must do. How old do I need to be so I don’t need to do any of these things anymore?
How can we hope for better from those who come after us if we never show them?
A time when we shake of the decorum and expectations of adulthood and re-enact what was once a simple weekend activity. The blissful simplicity of youth is reborn and we renounce expectation. Some Gulal power paint, cheap water guns and the desire to create a rainbow of anarchic revelry is all one really needs for the Holi festival. Its origins and sentiment are perhaps as beautiful as the vibrant crowd it produces.
I started thinking yesterday after work about our relationship with our working lives. I personally really enjoy my work – I’m a teacher – and gain great satisfaction and pleasure from my job. It really got me thinking. As I speculated, I sought the assistance of a thesaurus for language manipulation. If we consider the synonyms of work we find the words toil, labour, grind and drudgery. All of which paint a Dickensian portrait in charcoal and darkness on the innocent canvas of youth. We are almost trained to believe that work – like school to many youths – is the necessary evil for enjoyment. I’ve never been (nor do I ever care to be) a member of this rather bleak club. For many though it is, sadly, the norm that they exist within.
The approaching summer always inspires in me the nostalgia of my spring. The days when me and my oldest friend would wander across the fields of his father’s farm. Meandering around cow dung, past brambles and frog spawn in search of nothing and yet with the unfaltering purpose which comes with youth. We were in one sense adventurers & explorers and in another lords or all that we surveyed. The countryside was ours for the taking. We cared little for the path that we undertook or for the world that lay before us. And if the world failed to satisfy that thirst for exploration then our ample imaginations would naturally fill the void.
I was at a family gathering last night back in Ireland. It happened at my late grandmother’s house; the place where I spent some of the best days of my childhood. The nostalgia crept up on me instantly as I walked up to the farm. It was the place where my cousins I and first allowed our imaginations to run wild. They were the days when I created my worlds physically to run amok within. In some ways I suppose it was where my love of the imagination grew from. I don’t think that I’d be a writer today if I hadn’t spent my childhood making stories among those fields. A broken down tractor that became a multi-functional vehicle. A collection of trees that became the set of a million different dramas. The bales of hay that became a wrestling ring. However, when I began to think about writing about what I saw; I couldn’t.