That Childlike Wonder

18 Mar 2012

David Eric Tomlinson for the Morning News.

In the ring the rules are clear. Outside of it we must make them up as we go along. We sit on our barstools because it’s easier than standing up for what we believe in. We learn to fight because it’s easier than learning to love. Everything is connected. Power comes from the place you’d least expect. Move, and get hurt.

But don’t hold onto the pain.

Perhaps we get older and our bodies give out because we lose the childish ability to let go, to experience a series of incidents as merely that which happens to us instead of that which defines us. Perhaps, in filling our bodies with wisdom and knowledge and truth, we become heavy; we make ourselves unable to move, get hurt, and move again.

It is children that know how to love without regret, throwing themselves wholly into their lovers. They do so with ease and intensity. Even the way in which they hug, arms stretched out as if it were possible for them to completely envelope the object of their affection, is evidence of their powerful affinities. As we age and satisfy ourselves in wisdom we attach ourselves to fates and soul mates, proudly declare ourselves to be seeking out they whom we are meant to be with. We ignore the now in favor of some future now where we imagine ourselves to be happy instead of finding the pleasures of the moment.

Instead of learning how to let go of pain, we believe the key to satisfied life is that we should wait and experience only that which comes without scars. We make up rules for ourselves that we think will keep us from getting wounded, never realizing that these rules keep us aimed towards some impossible utopia.

This may be a way to keep living, but it is not a life.