Catch up time. The Girl Scouts show brought up kid-ness.
So want to talk more about being kids. You said...
There was a lot of pain for me being a kid. I had trouble
learning to speak, trouble getting by in
a competitive school.)
I had a lot of trouble learning to speak. I still have
trouble with new words, or with a foreign language. As
well, I don't process information like "the normal bear."
I also had lots of allergies and was always plagued by
a runny nose. I was short, which was not good for athletics.
And then when I was 12 my foot was crushed by a horse.
But I discovered photography when I was 12 and from that
point thought of nothing else.)
Can you say more about
your pain of being a kid? I have
written previously about my difficulties being a teenager.
Interestingly, the Post-Dispatch has been doing an in-depth
series about teenagers
and how their brains undergo such differences when they enter
adolescence, that they have major mood swings. It will
be good to have some science by way of explanation for some
behaviors and feelings. Although some of the mood swings
are also environmental
in my opinion.
In some ways, most teenagers
are so ready for certain kinds of independence. But the dangerous
world we live in is not. And
their parents are usually terrified and sometimes
punishing of their burgeoning sexuality.
I remember being
frustrated at age 15 because I desperately
wanted to wear black--so much seems desperate when you
my mother categorically refused. I knew I was a young
knew I should be wearing black and drinking coffee. I
knew I should be studying African art and reading Lawrence Ferlingetti.
about it. So much of one's self expression is censored
as a young person. Sometimes, you cant even choose
your color palette.
I painted my room purple
at one point, which I guess was a fairly radical departure into
my mother said
it looked like a whore house.
I wish instead, she had
congratulated me on my style and boldness.
I also know she was
doing the best she could. She came from an extremely poor immigrant
family. The idea
of painting walls period
was fairly foreign to her.
Still, I wonder if most adults and parents understand
the impact of some of their casual comments.
I write, I have a very strong memory of sitting on the stoop
of our old apartment in Hyde Park
at 55th and
(Kim: I lived on Woodlawn,
between 55th and 56th streets.) Down the
block from where Saul Bellow used to live, by
the way. Hyde
Park was filled with writers and intellectuals,
as you know. Because
of the University of Chicago.
So I remember
sitting on the stoop, and watching the glow
of the sun setting, the sienna casting
buildings and feeling a kind of dread and melancholy
about life, about going in for dinner, about
the confinement of school and
the demands of family.
A kind if existential
dread, really. And I was all of
eight or nine years old.
Monday, Dec 12, 2005