December 31st, 2004

Grappling with the past.

I was wildly explorative as a kid; even though I lived in a trailer park until I was around 8, I always found these hidden little areas of the park that even the owners didn't know about, and now they make up the majority of my dreams involving searching and travel. But of all the places in the park, I remember a thick patch of kudzu vines running along the left edge of my yard: I spent nearly three days chopping through that mess with a hand-axe my mother gave me (with the explicit condition that I promised not to hurt myself). And when I got through them, I found the largest trees my young eyes knew--not to rival, of course, by my later years of rolling down hills or surmounting buildings. I could have mapped out the course of the highways from the top of that tree; the day-care center I'd stay at after school seemed like it was within hopping distance. It was like a permanent sense of sky-diving up there, with no fall; and for a 6 year old, there is no more inspiring view of the world than at 52 feet and 9 inches. Yes, I measured it.

It's been ten years now since I've climbed a tree more than a couple feet tall, and almost six years since I've rolled down a hill. Society can forgive a lot with the young; girl's are allowed to be tomboys, boys are allowed to have their foibles (and cry). And although all of these actions are sometimes excused in adults, no one can tolerate a 19 year old rolling around in the grass in the local park, or clambering up trees. I suppose with the proper climbing gear I could probably scale a building or something, which, in its questionable legality, has its draws of the taboo; but it will never have that supressed, innocent charm that it did when I was young.

(p.s. Let's get this community rolling!)