Thursday, March 04, 2010

Childhood is Past

I am lying in my bed five flights up, and my day, which nothing interrupts, is like a clock-face without hands. As something that has been lost for a long time reappears one morning in its old place, safe and sound, almost newer than when it vanished, just as if someone had been taking care of it–: so, here and there on my blanket, lost feelings out of my childhood lie and are like new. All the lost fears are there again.
I prayed to rediscover my childhood, and it has come back, and I feel that it is just as difficult as it used to be, and that growing older has served no purpose at all.
And if I insisted on believing that my childhood was past, then at that same moment the whole future had vanished too,
– Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (tr. S. Mitchell)

Childhood is past
And with it the dreams
Of the dream seekers-

Memories that last
Are all that can lift
Us toward the future.

Childhood is past
And with it the fears
Of hidden dread-

The life that we made
Contains all our dreams
And fears we have conquered.

Dreamers and seekers
We live to pursue a fading
Image of all that was there-

We listen to the stars
Within us, and their light
Will guide us forever.

Dreamers and seekers,
These are the children within –
The knowers and seers.

Childhood is past
But look, deep within-
And see what is real.

- James Henderson, from Music Lessons (August, 1992)

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