This is a topic I’ll likely revisit, since I have kids and as you’ve probably noticed they make appearances in my current life outlook. Kids today are way smarter than I even when I was a kid. They are way more polished and professional. Their resumes are terrifying and I’m just thrilled that I don’t have to compete against them. Their activities are intense and geared toward success. Child rearing is a full contact sports that they and their parents take seriously. But Harvard and others of the same pedigree are waiting in the wings (encouraging and facilitating all of this) so you’ll understand the cutthroat-ness of it all. It’s no hard feelings.
There’s plenty of negative to this and like I said I’ll probably revisit this topic more than once. But I tend to be a grumpy optimist. Things are shitty enough as it is. So when I see a child like Greta Thunberg, whether I agree with her politics or not, I’m impressed. She is speaking her mind intelligently, articulately and with passion. I mean I hope my kids are as on pointe with their aspirations.
Speaking with truth and passion and integrity is the cornerstone of great writing. When I read some of the great writers, often they are lyrical but more often they are simply truthful, speaking the human realities of whatever story they are telling. Because of this they are easy targets. One of my favorite sports is listening to others rail against the classics – Hemmingway was an overrated drunk, Steinbeck was a leftwing ideologue, Mitchell was a racist. But they were all truthful to themselves.
It’s not an easy thing to do in this day and age, be truthful that is, especially if bucks up against the voices that are leading the conversation these days. And it seems the only ones comfortable with truth are the far extremes of the angry and overwrought.
Still if I’m writing I might as well write something that is true to me and the footprint I want to leave behind. If Greta can, this fading flower can as well.