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Retread| All That Fluffiness 16 December 2006

Posted by EDITOR in Misc, Psychology, VARANGALI.
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Retreads are quality posts from yesterweeks that are given a second run on Saturdays. This piece was originally posted by VARANGALI on 12 Sep 2006.

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air

– TS Eliot, “Ash Wednesday”

What I miss most about childhood is that recurring sense of wonder: wonder at every thing new—a crowd, a cartoon, a new kitchen utensil, you name it. Everything seemed oversized, larger than life, shiny and new.

I remember, in kindergarten, being told that airplanes often stop in clouds to let passengers out to sit and enjoy the fluffiness for a bit. I imagined the texture, the floating, the cold and how I would need a sweater. The cloud was neither cotton candy nor slushy – I needed no metaphor – it was just wondrous and I could not wait to fly.

I still feel that sense of wonder, now and then. I felt it this past spring, staring up at Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, or a few years ago, when I first walked through my undergraduate campus. But it isn’t constant and directed at even the ordinary, and that, in my mind, is the difference between childhood and growing up. It is a rapt acceptance of the extraordinary in the mundane, an innocence that I once had and no longer do.

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