Songs of Innocence and Experience

Dearest Millicent,

I hope you are not eating a Cadbury Egg at the moment.  It seems my faith in food (it was announced today that Cadbury eggs have been found to be full of melamine, the great sickener of babies, kittens, puppies, and all things adorable), is plummeting as fast as our stock markets.  If Cadbury is not sacred, what great fulcrum keeps our world atilt!

Onto other slight terrors.  So, you know I have been happily diving into Lessing’s The Golden Notebook.  All was well, and still is, but this damn paragraph gave me the shivers:

Paul gave birth to Ella, the naive Ella.  He destroyed in her the knowing, doubting, sophisticated Ella and again and again he put her intelligence to sleep, and with her willing connivance, so that she floated darkly on her love for him, on her naivety, which is another word for a spontaneous creative faith.  And when his own distrust of himself destroyed this woman-in-love, so that she began thinking, she would fight to return to naivety.

Now, when I am drawn to a man, I can assess the depth of a possible relationship with him by the degree to which the naive Anna [the narrator] is created in me….[there is more about all involved, and then it ends with this hit]

What Ella lost during those five years was the power to create through naivety.

I read this, and even though it is not in complete synchronicity with my experience, it nails something important and terrifying.  My creative powers as an  inexperienced youth were alchemical.  Now, they are closer to the workings of a drip coffee maker.  You and I have talked about this whammy before, and it was invigorating to see it exist in another woman’s work.  The fright, or the alarm, rather, that I felt when finding this line in the middle of my afternoon reading was that the condition was confirmed, and possibly permanent.

Another Cadbury egg: I was teaching Rear Window today and realized there was a good chance that my beloved and I are the most like the couple sleeping out on their balcony and cooing over their dog (in our case, cat).  I wouldn’t mind this fate that much at all, if only I could have Grace Kelly’s wardrobe (even just the green suit with the halter blouse would be enough).  I have always wanted to sleep on a balcony.

Are you well rested? Well spoken?  You must watch, to recuperate,  eight hours of Arrested Development and then Peep Show.  Doctor’s orders.




One Response to Songs of Innocence and Experience

  1. Millicent says:

    “If Cadbury is not sacred, what great fulcrum keeps our world atilt!”

    This made my evening. Tomorrow I buy Cadbury eggs, melamine be damned.

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