I came across a sort of journal entry on my computer here just now, and I enjoyed reading it so much! I can’t believe I had upbraided (my new favorite word) myself so much at the end of the brief entry. I was writing at all, that day, to exercise (or perhaps, exorcise) my thoughts in order to help myself discover my career path. While musing on what might be fitting for myself to do – as in, how I might be of service in this world – I began to write about this memory I had: of a truly, uniquely lovely bunch of four brothers and sisters that came along one day as I played tennis, and amused themselves at the small playground alongside the tennis court – just on the other side of a chain-link fence. There was just something special about them! Even now, I am moved by the air of … beautiful sadness, perhaps, which enveloped them. They were afflicted with something, I believe. I may be affected by my reading of Ann Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho, in which Emily has been afflicted with the death of her mother early in the story, but I wouldn’t be surprised if their mother had just died, or was severely – perhaps deathly – ill. The father came along later, after the children had been hanging out, and playing, on their own for a good half an hour, and he too had a sort of heavy, struggling air about him. But he was still trying out a new toy with them – a small “drone.” I have titled this as painters title their art – simply; just stating the basics of the scene. The ages of the children, now, as far as well as I can guess them (which is fairly accurate, I believe): youngest girl (in the swing) – 4, almost 5; second youngest (boy) – 6, almost 7. Second oldest, girl – 10-11; oldest, boy – 12 1/2 or so.
I am remembering now that delightful family I saw at the Guernwood Park tennis court and playground. There was something special and precious about them. It seemed, based off the littlest girl sitting and softly sobbing in the swing when none of her brothers or sisters were around, that the family was going through a hardship. I think I heard her say “mommy!” while weeping. Perhaps their mother was sick, or worse, had died. The second youngest son was interesting, too. He was a bit different; I’m not quite sure how. But he suggested playing hide and seek, and the older sister just scoffed at this as being ridiculous, because it was a game that was typically played in a different setting. But her brother probably just remembered fondly playing the game, and loved it and wanted to experience that joy again, whether indoors or not. He had a certain innocence and defiance, perhaps you could say, of letting his spirits drop to the sort of jaded level that his older sister and brother seemed to have. I believe they were at that pre- or early-teen age in which the childlike wonder of their mind has been shed and carelessly allowed to drop off to the side and left behind, like a thin shell. That’s not to say that this is what childlike wonder is like – like an insect’s exoskeleton. Perhaps it is for some, but for others it remains deep inside, glowing and alive, even if just barely. … Ehh! I’m only skimming the surface of a powerful and meaningful beauty. I am not doing it any justice. Sigh. What happened to me? I’m not “free to let my mind romp, like the mind of God,” as Gatsby felt.