The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


January 25, 2008

disABILITY: Find child-like magic lost as adults


I just get the sense that the rigidity we live in, alongside some of the fear and paranoia that is so abundant in our culture, is exactly what drains the magic of childhood away as we grow up. Basically, we get told to assimilate, and masquerade around in the sickness called normalcy.

Normal means fitting expectations. Expectations are defined through structure and responsibility. Structure and responsibility are necessary to function in the typical world. And functioning in the typical world is good and it's "normal." And the cycle goes around and around.

So, fulfilling expectations and fitting the mold, in a sense, are essential and yet they are not meant to be our core definition. Most of us take it so seriously and to the extreme, though, and we allow ourselves to become defined by what we do rather than who we are.

The sense of clarity that any average adult has about life is pursued through academics and considered only from an intellectual standpoint. No wonder children seem so magical to us. They are capable of a far deeper clarity, something that is far above and beyond simple neuronal activity. That's the part we've lost.

I'll admit, it still does take a lot of focus for me to move back to a place where I can touch that kind of child-like, rich clarity, but it seems to be calling to me in so many ways as of late, so I've been letting myself shift around enough within myself to experience that child within.

And, every time I experience it, the more creativity, adventurousness and joy I nudge loose from where it's been lodged and caught up for such a long time now.

Kate Pavlacka, a graduate of the State University College at Oneonta, has been totally blind for 11 years.

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