Tuesday, August 07, 2007

What Makes Me Me

There is a poem making the circuit of the "forwards" world. You know, that netherland where all you get from your e-mail buddies are forwards that you rarely read or pass on. At least I rarely do. They are often sent with the disclaimer that it's because they are "thinking" about you but haven't time to write, etc. etc. Right. Write.

This one, however, has caught my attention. Mostly because I equate it with my realization that my transformation into my Mother is nearly complete. Ah, yes, how we grew up in the "good old days". Mom said it often as she aged and I'd chuckle. Now I find myself thinking it more and more and yes, actually at times saying it!

The name of the poem is In the Land That Made Me Me. My friend the Wordtosser printed the poem in it's entirety not long ago. It speaks to the people, the music and the events with which we grew up; that which, in these days of chaos, is the comfort zone for my generation.

As I thought about my "woe is the world" mantra, it occurred to me that what seems so alien to my generation will be the norm for the person born today. Partisan politics, war, globalization, cultures unexplained, music without melody, virtual violence without pain or consequence. Freedoms we once took for granted, like flying without harassment and personal privacy will be unknown to them. They will know the climate police and the food police, they'll be taught fat friends will make them fat. They will not know what a phonograph is or a land line telephone; they will never have known a Benny Goodman or a Glenn Miller or ever danced the jitterbug. They will not understand record books without asterisks. Will they understand what "hero" meant to us? Or "role model"? I don't know, but whatever is today will be their "norm".

When the day winds down my husband and I like to relax with a cocktail or a glass of wine and tune in the news. As I listen and watch in disgust, disbelief or dismay, I do find some solace knowing my generation survived what our parents thought impossible. So too shall those who 's foundation will be what they're born to. And In their own good time they'll come to rue the state of their world, just as I do mine.

It seems to be a ritual as old as time. Maybe that's why we only go around once. I for one would not have the energy to do it again.

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