Monday, December 12, 2005

What's a year?

I started writing this blog exactly one year ago. One year ago my daughter was just about two months old and spent most of her time staring at the ceiling. I still remember her eyes when I first saw her – expressionless and sucking the whole world into their dark orbs – a little alien that had landed among us and was gathering information about her new surroundings. Today she is running around, understands most of what we say to her and likes to run up and wrap her arms around my legs as I prepare dinner. Her favourite things in the world are books and her recent favourite activity is climbing up on things and standing on top of them so as to be taller - just today she was tickled pink to touch the ceiling when I let her stand on my shoulders.

At the same time I have grown more and more terrified of the world she will be growing up in. With the whole world stuck between two camps of religious fanatics things are rapidly going downhill as we focus upon inconsequentialities and fail to deal with the effects of our own greed and wilful ignorance. All this reminds me of a poem by Constantine Cavafy:

Engulfed by fear and suspicion,
mind agitated, eyes alarmed,
we try desperately to invent ways out,
plan how to avoid
the obvious danger that threatens us so terribly.
Yet we’re mistaken, that’s not the danger ahead:
the news was wrong
(or we didn’t hear it, or didn’t get it right).
Another disaster, one we never imagined,
suddenly, violently, descends upon us,
and finding us unprepared – there’s no time now –
sweeps us away.

I hope to teach my daughter many things. To show her how poetry can provide us with that place around which the whole world might be turning. To give her reasons and the strength to live well in this frightening world of ours. To make sure she knows that she has the right to try to become whatever she wants to be.

I’ve loved her since the moment I heard her first cry – a mass of endorphins washing over me as I listened in to her cry over the phone. However, I find that as she gets older and becomes a human being I no longer just love her: I am also coming to like her – a feeling that is somehow less raw and therefore more individual, more personal than the love I feel for her.


Post a Comment

<< Home