Friday, December 15, 2006

Pictures -- Your a Child So Long...

When I was a child one of my pastimes was to draw pictures.

Actually, there were just two pictures and I drew them again and again, how many times I don't recall, but I must have drawn them often.

I recall that I was already drawing them when we still lived in Hobart. That was before we finally moved to Poosah City, so I must have been eight, max ten years old.

I suppose they were odd pictures for a child to draw, they were pictures of senseless mayhem and world wide destruction.

The one picture was of airplanes racing in a tunnel filled with terrible obstacles. The planes were of all sizes and shapes and most of them were either crashing into the spikes hanging from the ceiling, rising from the floor or crashing into each other in order to avoid impalement.

I think the picture was a symbol of what I already then saw as the inanity if not outright insanity of the adult world as I already perceived it, that is, as a terrible rat race after nothing of true value.

The other picture was the map of a strange world with continents and nations. Each nation had terrible war machines installed. These machines could cast searing rays which burned all in their path, scorching the earth down to the bedrock turning it into bubbling slag.

When the war started, as it always did, over nothing at all, I drew the lines of searing destruction emanating from the death beacons. They crisscrossed their world in an attempt to destroy the installations of their Enemies before they were themselves destroyed. The aim of these infernal devices was exceedingly poor, so the world was always destroyed. There were no winners and no survivors.

Whenever I recall this pastime, I wonder, "What was I doing -- and why?" Were they the first inklings of the tales I would later receive from the Third Galaxy or were they a child's understanding of the beginnings of the Cold War and meaninglessness of the building up to mass destruction -- or neither? or both?

This was meant as an introduction to the opening lines of my wife's rather long autobiographical poem, "Your a Child So Long..." in my translation from the Danish. The picture at the beginning of the post is one she took in Liberia around 1966. She used it on the cover when she published it in 1970.

I want so much
to make you understand
the cold and the fear
as the child
knows it,
knowing that it was born

A chill floats over the open fields,
along with the fear of the gaunt, dark trees.

Have you never looked into
the eyes of the lonely child and
seen the great sadness there?

What have people done to the child?

How can it be that a child
can know there is no god?

The sad and lonely child knows it...


Anonymous said...

To truly know the sad, lonely child is to be that child. A child knows there is no god like the god that is pressured on the sheep attending the house of worship. No such god at all.

Chuck Cliff said...

I think that, perhaps, we are all that child. Yet, I suspect that, at a certain level, the child has an understanding of what we, as adults, misunderstand when we babble on about "God".

Hmmn, a bit inchoherent, but that's all I can manage now -- the darn tv is on...