January 26, 2009

Blissful ignorance begone

Do you feel it?

The burden of your self awareness, always weighing upon your heart and mind? I do.
"Children ten years old wake up and find themselves here, discover themselves to have been here all along; is this sad? They wake like sleepwalkers, in full stride; they wake like people brought back from cardiac arrest or from drowning; in medias res, surrounded by familiar people and objects, equipped with a hundred skills. ... I woke in bits, like all children, piecemeal over the years. I discovered myself and the world, and forgot them, and discovered them again. ... I noticed this process of waking, and predicted with terrifying logic that one of these years not far away I would be awake continuously and never slip back, and never be free of myself again."
--Annie Dillard, An American Childhood
Is this sad? Hmm, she's right to wonder. To be an adult is to remember over and over again that we must carve out some identity for ourselves in this world, and that we, like Dillard, "can never be free of [ourselves] again."