21 October 2008

My kind of journalism

One of my favorite parts of the local newspaper is the kids' page. I know I try to make out like I hate kids. So sue me. They aren't so bad in print. If I could have had book-children instead of physical children, I might have done it.

Some of their little stories and letter are so wise.

One little girl wrote a short story - I mean a kid short story, not like some Updike thing - about 5 lines. It was about a good little girl and I will never forget the last two lines.

"She was a good little girl.
She kept everything in order."

Wow. What a wise kid. Even at her young age, she knew one of the deepest human desires - to keep everything in order. Or to at least look like we are.

That's it, isn't it? We walk around in this world, hoping, praying, that somehow on this day, at this time, we will manage to keep everything in order for ourselves and for our loved ones.

So much of what we do is to keep the disorder at bay, to stop the scary thing from happening.

And our levels of order are different. Some people feel the world is all wrong if they don't have a 5,000 square foot house on the golf course and a thousand employees, while others settle for much, much less.

Today I was walking in the park and there was a guy kind of camped out there. He had his bike and a bunch of stuff, a sleeping bag, and he was just sitting at a picnic table with his back against it, his head on his chest, his arms crossed in front of him, dozing.

I wondered about him, how he had ended up there. Some people are so hurt and broken that a small bit of order is all they can put together at one time - to hang onto the bike and sleeping bag, but not a home or job or family.

Or maybe that's all the order he wanted. Maybe he felt free there, snoozing in the breeze while I had to rush back to work.

7 comments:

super des said...

You paint a pretty picture :)

grace said...

What a great post. I've been thinking (and attempting, mostly badly to write) a lot lately about keeping things in order, and how I need a different kind of order than I have in my own life. You really hit the nail on the head for me with this. Thank you.

Sister Wolf said...

I'm so screwed up that the kid's last two lines strike me as tragic. Someone has already instilled in her the idea that to be 'good' one must be orderly, ie conformist and tidy.

So it makes me sad. I might need more effexor.

Day Dreamer said...

I agree with Sister Wolf up there. The two lines made me 'wow' and hope that's it's not just all order for that little girl.

Course, I always tend to read too much into stuff. Think I'm going to have to drag out the finger paints & play dough tonignt...just to be sure.

I'm just going to think that man choses to live that way and that he's happier than all of us.

SUEB0B said...

Yeah, I thought the little girl's quote was kind of sad, too, but very perceptive.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Hard to say...my mom was so anal and compulsive, she had to have order. HAD TO. Couldn't let her food touch on her plate when she was young, and when her grandpa told her it all touched in her stomach, she threw up. So for her, order was the proper nature of things. Not put on her by society, as my grandparents were certainly not in the least that way. So I'm holding out hope that there's nothing sad about that little girl, just a future organizer. ;)

Book children, huh? There are days that I think that might have been the better way to go...thankfully, they're not often.

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

Order is irresistible, even though it is not my forte. I get a wonderful of accomplishment when I take something not orderly and give it order.

I still have plenty of household clutter though...or is it just order waiting to happen?

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