When You Grow Up

We change our minds, don’t we? Those of us who dreamed one day of being a teacher, or a firetruck or whatever. This counselor who wanted to be a tug boat captain, he majored in forestry. Those moon dreams and how I myself wanted so much a pilot’s license but then I grew up and that seemed like, well, just one more loud machine to insure and maintain. Because the truth is (hey, maybe in some ways our imaginations also grow if we let them as we get older) because the truth is: I want wings. I want wings on my very own body. I really do not want a pilot’s license. I want to step right off cliffs and follow rushing rivers up up up. I want to feel the wind (and speaking of when I get wings I want to be impervious to cold and the wet of clouds. I guess that’s why they have feathers, yeah?) And I want to be (I have to add this clause, because we have to be honest about how this world is), I want to be invisible when I fly and undetectable by radar (however that would work—some arrangement of porousness or jamming the signal, I don’t know) because I wouldn’t want to be shot down or captured and put to work for the military or anything. Anyway. We dream as kids, don’t we? Then the shift and shimmer of what we want. Of what we get. The surprises. I might grow up and discover an unexpected talent for lacrosse or spreadsheets. Some of us are good at things that didn’t exist in 1972, things our parents never heard of. We just don’t get to plan everything. We get to turn the pages and find out. You might find yourself writing an award-winning Brussels Sprouts cookbook, and who would have guessed? You might wake up in Indonesia, or queer. So keep on. Keep on. That loose bean rattling in your big life might be the very thing.

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2 Responses to When You Grow Up

  1. J says:

    turns out I’m good at writing bibliographies. I still want wings. Real feathers, used ones, feathers with a geschichte. So then I can fly on lives already lived, or the scraps of birds (however you look at it).

  2. Marina de McVittie says:

    “¿A quién le puedo preguntar

    qué vine a hacer en este mundo?

    ¿Por qué me muevo sin querer,

    por qué no puedo estar inmóvil?

    ¿Por qué voy rodando sin ruedas,

    volando sin alas ni plumas,

    y qué me dio por transmigrar

    si viven en Chile mis huesos?”

    de: El libro de las preguntas de Pablo Neruda.


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