Today is my youngest son’s third birthday. I often wonder what crosses the minds of my children. Their access to knowledge is now so much greater than I had in my youth. Yet, I grew-up in a nation that lived without fear while my early evolution took place in a world where stockbrokers were the ultimate anti-heroes; profit always took precedence over environment and mass-murderers didn’t stalk schools. Where as my nine year old daughter still cries whenever she watches footage of the crumbling twin towers on television.
Although our life goals may change, I believe the underlying focus is often hammered within us at an early age. I wanted to be happy and I wanted to meet others that felt the same way, believe it or not… I don’t think such a wish is all that common. My peers were engrossed in pursing anything that would turn a buck, somehow happiness got pushed aside. I wanted to do something that would stimulate my mind, while living in a home where no one had to worry about getting knocked-down for publicly questioning authority. I lived with fundamentalists and there were two all important rules to surviving each day:
1. Don’t do anything that makes the church look bad.
2. Don’t correct your father (no matter what).
As a child, I would go to sleep at night just to try and manipulate my dreams – to some extent I guess I was searching for a method to control my “lucid dreaming”. When I left home, thirteen years ago, I never imagined I’d one day rush to awake each morning in order to live-out the dreams I once attempted to create. Maybe that is why I rarely, if ever, get “blocked” in the pursuit of subject matter for my painting or daily blogs.
Although they definitely have their rambunctious moments, I believe my children are mostly well-behaved for the simple fact that they want to learn. What was perceived in my childhood home as trouble; I recognize in my own children as exploration. Perhaps that was my own youthful dream that lay dormant for so many years. Each day I awake to the adventure I have yet to create, sometimes this much freedom gets tight financially; but other moments it is the source of my income and subsequent windfall. Life is good and if there is only one birthday wish I hope for my young Dylan Thomas – I yearn for a life full of surprising adventures. – DN