Now I'm watching the 1960s Star Trek episode "Obsession," which I've been wanting to catch for years: 40 years since the show premiered and I've never caught this episode. Geeky fun for me! This nicely dovetails with our watching the 1966 Best Picture A Man For All Seasons for Mom's first time since its release, doesn't it?
It's been a slow and easy break so far. Diane Duane's Star Trek novel (it somehow seems diminishing to call it that: she writes a deeply cultural future-history that so transcends most sci-fi published in this area) The Empty Chair (mentioned in the previous entry) was all I had hoped it would be: a wonderful yarn, fulfilling all the potential of the previous novels she had written with these characters. It tied together my reading of her all the way back to late grade school or the beginning of high school. That done, I have moved on to Kristin Lavransdatter, which I wrote about in my entry from the Ethics and Culture conference at Notre Dame. amea and I have found ourselves starting the novel at the same time, and with some discussion and debate about the new translation and the original 1920's one, we have begun reading together, although she's got a bit of a start on me. (Yes, yes, you're very fast: I'm only on chapter 5.)
canonjohn left a thought-provoking post earlier, mostly on the topic of people often feeling a loss of innocence as they go on in years, which provoked the following idea in me, which I thought I would add here for my own sake:
Perhaps it is not so much a matter of "innocence" that is lost as it is "surprise" or newness. With life and experience, there is so often so much less that we experience that is truly new experience, and brings that freshness we associate with our youths. Thus, your description of times that you do experience that freshness -- as in the writing of poetry, which is what suggested this other reading to me -- have less to do with a lost (and unrecoverable?) innocence than with simply a lessened potential to be surprised.This piece of silly randomness came from nextdrinksonme -- I can neither confirm nor deny its accuracy, but I think I will avoid Random Brutal Sex Masters:
Now, I'm obviously using "innocence" in some kind of more moral sense, or as a term of purity or somesuch. There is a way you can use the word that would mean exactly what I wrote above, and maybe that was your intent the whole time and I just wasn't seeing it so clearly. But I guess I make my point to show that we haven't lost anything in ourselves: the loss, taken in my sense, is only statistical. We simply have the experience of surprise less often, because we have seen and learned a thing or two. But when we do experience it: in a new insight, a flash leading to poetry, a delving into a new friend, we feel that same feeling as robustly as ever. And that, I think -- the fact that our capacity for depth of feeling is undiminished -- is the important thing, and that if that is there, then perhaps things are well, after all.