Innocence

I love a good epigraph, defined by the fine folks who assembled the American Heritage English Dictionary as “a motto or quotation, as at the beginning of a literary composition, setting forth a theme.”

Snobbish bastards look down on those of us who employ them, writing us off as lazy or unimaginative.

Obviously, I disagree, for there is nothing quite as handy as a weighty aphorism or poignant quote to get the creative juices flowing, and credit should be given where it is due.

The same can be said of pictures and songs. My life is surrounded by these artistic expressions, and interacting with them – dwelling on their deeper meaning – can be simultaneously cathartic and supplemental.

Images.

Words.

Melodies.

Sometimes, I just want to share them with you. To let you know what I’m thinking about as-of-late, without all the hassle of crafting an “official” post. So consider this my first calorie-free offering in a new, ongoing series. Take from these things what you will, and feel free to share your thoughts regarding the theme presented.

Courtesy of Tat, who planted the seed in my head earlier this week, today’s theme is . . .

INNOCENCE

Enjoy . . .

A man writes to throw off the poison which he has accumulated because of his false way of life. He is trying to recapture his innocence, yet all he succeeds in doing (by writing) is to inoculate the world with a virus of his disillusionment. No man would set a word down on paper if he had the courage to live out what he believed in.

~ Henry Miller

People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.

~ James Baldwin

Innocence is indeed a glorious thing; but, unfortunately, it does not keep very well and is easily led astray.

~ Immanuel Kant

Know you what it is to be a child? It is to be something very different from the man of to-day. It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in its own soul.

~ Francis Thompson

I believe we are still so innocent. The species are still so innocent that a person who is apt to be murdered believes that the murderer, just before he puts the final wrench on his throat, will have enough compassion to give him one sweet cup of water.

~ Maya Angelou

Innocence is not pure so much as pleased.

~ May Sarton

When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college – that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, “You mean they forget?

~ Howard Ikemoto

There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.

~ Erma Bombeck

Innocent” – Our Lady Peace

Johnny wishes he was famous
Spends his time alone in the basement
With Lennon and Cobain and
A guitar and a stereo

And while he wishes he could escape this
But it all seems so contagious
Not to be yourself and faceless
In a song that has no soul

I remember feeling low
And I remember losing hope
And I remember all the feelings and the day they stopped

We are, we are all innocent
We are all innocent
We are, we are…
We are, we are all innocent
We are all innocent
We are, we are…

Tina’s losing faith in what she knows
Hates her music
Hates all of her clothes
Thinks of surgery and a new nose
Every calorie is a war

And while she wishes she was a dancer
And that she’d never heard of cancer
She wishes God would give her some answers
And make her feel beautiful

I remember feeling low
And I remember losing hope
And I remember all the feelings and the day they stopped

One day, you’ll have to let it go
You’ll have to let it go
No…
One day, you’ll stand up on your own
You’ll stand up on your own

[photo credit]

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6 thoughts on “Innocence

  1. I always thought I was a snobbish bastard, but I love a good epigraph as well. My whole self-image is turned upside down. And, I really liked that Erma Bombeck quote, which again flies in the face of my self-perception as a snob.

  2. That last quote really got me because my husband and I were just talking about how Christmas will never again feel the way it did when we were little. And in some small way, I know we both hope that seeing our kids enjoy it will give us some semblance of that feeling, though we know it will never quite be right.

  3. I love epigraphs. Sometimes a good epigraph is what catches my attention. Snobs schnobs, who cares about them anyway? The Erma Bombeck quote–I’ve experienced it. Having kids helps in that area though.

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