Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Reflections of a Gran’popala

Originally posted on March 31, 2011

Dear “Junior Kiddos”  (I am blessed with four darling grandchildren, ages six through eleven, and what with my beginning to post on this blog and their getting old enough to read, I have hopes they will read this. But of course it’s also addressed to kids everywhere and perhaps also will speak for and to their parents and grandparents. ):

In the last several years you’ve just been coming through the phase of life where you’re learning the words, categories, what’s what, and how stuff works. About the last—you’ve begun to realize that the more you study how stuff works the more there is yet to learn. You may have just begun to learn that all “right” answers you prepare to give on tests are just the right answers for very superficial questions. Sure, two and two are four, but then there are the problems of realizing that when you have two apples and two rocks, you don’t have four helpings of food. It’s not clear what you have. Four “things,” I guess, and maybe you could use them to mark out the boundaries of a small imagined box for some game. What can you do with two apples and two rocks?

Right, you need to ask more questions! How big, how ripe are the apples? What is a rock composed of? Does it contain wonderful crystals, a hidden gemstone that could be polished? Is it beautiful or just a broken off hunk of concrete? What is concrete, anyway? The questions go on and on. Welcome to the teen years—and those are just the tips of the iceberg of the many kinds of questions you are getting ready to ask the world.

So this is maturation. My wish for you is that you may learn to enjoy the ongoing process of discovery. There are so many things to explore. What they may not tell you in school is that you’ll be discovering— among other things—that you’re clearly more interested in some kinds of questions than others. You already have begun to differentiate—a big word that means that you find that you’re not like the other kids insofar as you have your own preferences in books you like to read, clothes you enjoy wearing, where you’d like to visit, games and activities that you enjoy. Everyone begins to differentiate more consciously and in greater particulars as they grow older—and this never stops.

Well, for some people, when they get older, they get set in their ways, they stop exploring. And though I talk in other emails about simplifying and settling down and avoiding overload, I still explore quietly in my mind. I think about what life’s about in greater depth—so it’s not so obvious on the surface, but the spark is still there, the vitality. Some old folks may seem more quiet but it’s just that they aren’t so obviously “on the go.” They’re going in other ways.

That’s all for now. More at another time. You can respond to blogs, make comments, answer me, point out something I’ve overlooked or maybe even be mistaken about. Blogs allow for dialog this way.

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