Friday, 19 June 2009

Hula Hoops and Pavement Tiles

I remember hula hoops.

I remember how adamant I was as a child to master the art of hula hoops. And I did.
I used to run out at recess, hurry to the back playground where all the toys were, and grab the lime green one. Nearly always the lime green one.
With a shove of the plastic circle in one direction, and my hips in the other, I could go on for hours if I was allowed it.

I remember hopscotch too. And that game that resembled cats cradle but instead of on our hands, elastic was stretched between the legs of two persons, and we would jump over and on the elastic, and do all sorts of crazy moves till we tripped up or ruined the pattern.

I remember all these things. All those days before I knew any better.
I say "better" but I don't know how much I believe that. Why is it "better"?

Those were days before I knew anything of sorrow, or death, or wars. Before I could understand what depression was, what loneliness was, what agonies failures and disappointments brought. Before honesty was scarce and caused complications instead of simply being the truth. Before I felt the weight of a broken heart, or the cold shiver a betrayal can give. Before I knew anything of life and all its onerous baggage.

Maybe back then was better after all.

So I suppose it should make sense to you when I do "childish" things. When I run through sprinklers, jump in puddles when it rains, pretend that the existence of humanity depends on my not stepping on the lines in the pavement tiling. When I feel like flying a kite, or hiding behind trees, or making shadow animals in the middle of a projected class presentation.
I love doing all those things. It makes me feel happy, free. For a tiny bit I'm granted the peace I once had, cradled in the arms of naivety. I feel invulnerable, and untouchable. I feel, if only for moments at a time, that I didn't grow up too fast. And why not?

I'm with Tom on this one. "I don't wanna grow up".
Shame I didn't realise it before I did; before I forgot how to spin a lime green hula hoop on my hips.


cardejah said...

ah, what a thing to read for me at a time like this in my life.
i too wish i'd never known the pains of heartaches and loneliness.
it never used to hurt so much.
as children, we made friends by playing first before asking each other's names and getting to know each other later.
if only things could be as simple as they were back then.
if only minds could stay untarnished from the harshness of reality.
nice one, Karma.

Will Donovan said...

what do you think? most recent post - thought of you a lot as i was writing it

Eight months in Beirut