A Psalm of Life

(14-19 September 1993) after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

You’d think, as a child, as you’d be supposed to think, that being an adult would be different, but the adult’s feelings and mindfulness are just as likely to be wrong. We replace our myths with sophistication. Life is not empty precisely because things are not what they seem. I’d choose a plastic tree in a restaurant and I’d ask our ten-year-old, “Is that tree real?” She’d say, “It’s not real.” So I’d ask, "You mean we’re imagining it?" She would try to act like an adult; I would try to act different. As any kid with a pogo stick would know, you can’t move without beginning to fall. Only when our failures are more interesting than the last do we gain in the game.