Lost: Innocence


A word.

To express love and encouragement. To be pronounced with the imitation of a baby’s voice by an adult or elder. To be filled with pure happiness and fulfillment. Until the word is used to exclaim “No!”, and the child now knows that a word; being beautiful, happy, and encouraging, can also become something indicating trouble, naughtiness, and danger.

A sentence.

To tell a story. To rattle off a one-liner. To give directions for a game, and tell another where to hide as to not be found by the seeker. To point out the beautiful elements of the natural world. To indicate a loved one who is walking down the street amidst a crowd. To congratulate one. To say “I love you.” Until the sentence is used to say “I hate you.” The child’s innocent voice of anger comes out when the parent decides on something that the child does not agree with. And the child realizes that a sentence, that can be used to retell and create joyous memories, can also be one to pronounce terrible ideas and words that can hurt another, and leave a life-long impression on anybody.

A tone.

To add a positive and encouraging connotation to a motivational statement. To add humour to an anecdote. To express love and add genuineness to a compliment. Until it is used to add a bitter sense of sarcasm to inadvertently insult someone. And the child now knows that as much as tone can create love and laughter it can also create hatred and retaliation.

A smile.

To make someone’s day. To let someone know you care. To express the effort you are putting into spreading happiness in others’ lives. To show that there is more to you then what someone might initially assume. To show you admire someone’s words, actions, or life. To show your love. Until that smile is used to deceive someone, and is used as a false, forced attempt at showing someone you are fine. Used to cover up the pain felt on the inside. And the child now knows that something as simple and beautiful as a smile, can be turned into a complex and deceitful thing.

A colour.

To please the eye. To add interest to life. To beautify the world. To admire. To identify objects by. Until it is used to identify people by; discriminating, belittling, and degrading those whose skin pigment isn’t up to “standard”. What standard? And the child now knows that something as unique, artistic, and beauteous as a colour can be turned into a wicked label used to shame and mortify other human beings.

A wink.

To indicate an unspoken understanding between two people. To indicate someone to initiate the surprise. To inform someone who has mistakingly seen you do something, that it is to be kept a secret. To express the attraction felt between two people when they stand a distance apart. Until it is duplicated, and both eyes wink simultaneously to ward off tears, to hide pain, and shield themselves from their own vulnerability. And the child now knows that a humourous and playful action can be just as easily manipulated into a weapon that only harms those in possession of it.

A breath.

To give life to all things living. To be alive. To appreciate life. To fill your lungs and completely empty them continually without even thinking about it, and without even thinking about the miracle that is breathing. Until that breath contains dozens of toxins and chemicals; whether it be on purpose by intentionally using drugs to change your state of being, or by accident, by unknowingly breathing in the pollutants that our society has carelessly put into the air for us to breathe. And the child now knows that something as pure and natural as a breath of air can be contaminated by people, and turn into your eventual demise.

A friend.

To always be there for you. To listen to your stories. To laugh with you. To chill with you. To always have your back. To always be your shoulder to cry on and that somebody to lean on. Until that friend is discovered to have betrayed you, lied to you, gossiped about you. And the child now knows that someone who was thought to be kindhearted and loyal, can just as easily double-cross you and use your friendship against you, to stab you in the back.

A stranger.

To populate the world around you. To ensure that there are always more stories to tell. To make sure that there are always more people to meet. To see to it that when one is having a bad day, they can always count on an anonymous smile. Until that stranger has the potential to be a predator. A drug dealer, criminal, rapist, kidnapper, mass murderer, drunk, high, or just plain sketchy. And now the child knows that ‘the unknown’ is no longer a mysterious and sought after thing, waiting to be discovered, it is filled with danger and uncertainty that must be approached with caution.

A lover.

To be with you. To care for your wellbeing. To have your back no matter what. To be loyal. To be compassionate. Until that lover has certain societal standards to meet, and a certain mold to fit. Until all of the sudden love has limits; a man can not love a man, and a woman can not love a woman, and you are wrong, you are messed up, you are impure if you can’t agree with this. There is something wrong with you. That is what they tell you. And the child now knows that love, in all its beauty, all of its purity, and all of its life, when thought to have no possible corruption, that this magnificent miracle of love, can be turned into something demeaning and judgamental.

A handshake.

To say “It’s a pleasure to meet you”. To be a symbol of cooperation. To begin the bond of two aquaintances. To signify peace and mutual agreement. Until that handshake it used to take advantage of another, to break the peace, to betray the other, to start a fight. Until that fight turns into a war, and the once peaceful country is turned into one of turmoil, chaos, and destruction. And the child now knows that a formality that holds such symbolism can be betrayed and turned into something ugly; a wave of destruction, devastating all in its wake.

But no longer is it fair to call this human a child. It has been a long time since they have had the pleasure of seeing life through the glasses of youth, seeing it throught the lens of innocence. As life went on, the child developed into a young adult; seeing the world in ways which they had never wanted to. Innocence was the quality that they had clinged to, in hopes of it making through adolescence alive; but it has long since faded. All of the turmoil, all of the suffering, all of the pain, all of the terror, all of humanity’s sickening ways have all corrupted this innocence. As life greets us as we begin to grow older, we realize that all of the beautiful things, all of the pure, moral, righteous, beautiful things in our world, have just as much a side of evil and immorality.

With the absence of an abundance of innocence in our lives as we grow up, we are continuously exposed, on a daily basis, to the truly horrific place this world has become. Contaminating all things pure and disrupting the harmonious balance that was once established and maintained. This being said, it can do many things to a person.

When one loses their innocence, they panic, and frantically attempt to replace it with ignorance. People attempt to become immune to the negatives of the world by building a wall of ignorance up around them.

Even though it might seem as though our innocence is long gone, a small part of it still lingers in our being.

It is the part that tells ourselves that humanity can not be purely or solely evil. With all of these bad decisions resulting in bad consequences, there must be a reason for them. And in order to find this reason, we must reject the offers that ignorance offers us in order to keep an open mind.

It is that lingering bit of innocence mixed with the wisdom we receive as we grow older, that allows us to realize that life is a balance.

For every bad, there must be a good. A lesson, an epiphany, a moral development, something that comes out of the bad, to make us realize that it happened for a reason.

For every good, there must be a bad. A possible consequence, a sacrifice, an exception, something that comes out of the good, to make us realize that it happened for a reason.

Though everyone comes from a different place, develops different morals and values, and has a unique perspective, but in my eyes, I think that everyone has the same beautifully equal opportunity to realize that life is a balance. And although the majority of innocence has disappeared, it was lost at the cost of something beautiful beyond words; life.

And though our loss of innocence allows us to see the hardships, downfalls, and horrific aspects of life, that is what allows us to grow. That is what allows us to further appreciate all that is beautiful and all that we love. That is what allows us to see the balance.

That is life.


Photo credit: http://simplyorthodox.tumblr.com/post/26146479163

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10 thoughts on “Lost: Innocence

  1. Dear Taylor,

    I always read your blog posts. You have such a fantastic gift of being able to capture the fine details of life and expanding them in a way we all would wish to think. You also have the fantastic gift of turning your thoughts into words in such an inexplicable way that it blows me away every time.
    Through your pieces, you tell the truth. Truths that seem obvious once I read your posts, and I thank you for that. You allow your reader to really be moved by what you say; you force your reader to really think about their actions and words that may seem frivolous to them but in reality are just the opposite.
    I adore how you had a methodical approach in your piece that enticed me to keep on reading. As well, your transition while you showed differing sides to each small step in life truly encompassed your yin-yang attitude towards loss of innocence.

    Keep writing please,

    1. Dear Ayisha,

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. It really meant a lot to me, and it means so much to me that you always read my blog posts, especially considering what an amazing writer you are and how much I love your writing pieces and blog posts as well.
      In means so much to me to get comments saying how truthful my work is, because that is how I intended it to come across, truthful and genuine.
      Your kind words mean so much to me and it really validated why I wrote this, so thank you. I don’t know how I can express my gratitude.
      Thank you so much man!


  2. Dear Taylor,

    Let me begin by saying your opening took my breath away. That was absolutely flooring and that’s not a phrase I use lightly. In particular, the second ‘section’ I’ll call it, when you talk about sentences and you use the phrase ‘to rattle off a one-liner’ is so deliciously judicious that I am sorely tempted to steal it. But I won’t. I respect you too much to take your poetry from you. Because what you’ve written, with your opening in particular, is poetry. In particular the part before the line break is just stunningly beautiful. You have a voice that rolls off the tongue and is pleasing to the ears. Your voice is one of romance; you seduce your reader with short, potent puffs that just suck your audience in. It is going to be especially important for you to keep this tool in mind when you write critically. In that case you unfortunately can’t use fragments (which you used beautifully here by the way), but you can use that seductive sort of voice. And you most definitely should. I believe it would serve you well.

    Just to offer you a little feedback, I would offer while your voice is very potent, length is going to be your enemy in creative writing. You, like me, have a tendency to dance around your point without getting much closer to it. And while your dancing can be stunningly beautiful, if it goes on for too long it will bore your audience. Now you have a beautiful voice which means that you can get away with rambling a lot more than the average writer. But it is something to be cautious of; even though I adore your opening I would offer it could be cut down a bit. The length causes the fragmentation to loose some of its potency. This also impacts your style in that the mass amount of fragments limit your ability to shock your audience. You shouldn’t worry too much about this though. Discrepancy of length is a very difficult beast to master and takes time. As you mature as a writer this will become second nature. But for now, its simply something to keep in mind. I have complete confidence in your ability. In fact, I look forward too your growth and to read more of your poetry.


    1. Dear Megan,

      Your comment literally made me smile! Hearing these kind words from such an experienced and incredible writer, such as yourself, really made me feel more confident in feeling okay about sharing my work with others, especially publicly (such as on this blog). I am beyond grateful for your words, they are honestly a gift to me. Thank you.
      I really appreciate your feedback, I shall try my best to reign in my words, as I take your feedback seriously because I know you are an experienced and wise Grade 12, and I respect you very much as a person as well.
      Thank you so much again man, I really do appreciate you reading my blog post, and on top of that taking the time to write a comment.
      Thank you adoptive mother!


  3. Dear Tay,
    I shall confess, like Ayisha, I always read your work. Even though you are amongst the youngest in our class, I must commend you for the maturity and poise in your work- two aspects that often take time, but come to you naturally.

    Your tone throughout was soft yet informed, the perfect balance to a piece such as this. The structure and repetition only added to this, for the flow in each paragraph illustrated the coming of age theme within. Like Megan said above, your voice adds a sweet-natured romance, making the reality of the peace all that more beautiful.

    The only tip I would offer would be to over-organize. Plan your piece out so that the romantic language does not take you too far off track. Otherwise, examiners will love you darling, reading your piece was one of the highlights of my day.

    -Love Em

    1. Dear Em,

      Oh my goodness, your words really touched me. It means so much to me, again, that someone always reads my blog posts. I don’t know how to express my gratitude, I am again lost for words. Your kind words mean so much to me, especially because I can honestly say that I think you are an incredibly amazing writer yourself.
      I honestly can’t thank you enough for not only reading my blog, but also for taking the time to comment; it really does mean a lot to me and your words went straight to my heart.
      Thank you so much man!


  4. Dear Taylor:

    I need to point out that I never read your post before I published mine, we have such similar ideas that I’m actually quite scared.

    This piece is beautiful. It takes the greatest and worst of what humanity can do to each other, and turns it into a very powerful piece. This line hit me the hardest:
    “Until that lover has certain societal standards to meet, and a certain mold to fit. Until all of the sudden love has limits; a man can not love a man, and a woman can not love a woman, and you are wrong, you are messed up, you are impure if you can’t agree with this.”

    It brought back so many memories. The first time I saw two men kissing downtown, only to be peppered with water bottles and plastic cutlery. When I first talked to a gay man. When I read Malika’s “Dear Homophobe”.

    I don’t know you that well. We were in class together in grade seven, and had no other connections until this year. Back then, I saw you as a worthy competitor for the title of ‘Smart kid”. Now, I realize how completely useless that title is. This piece made me realize how closely I can connect to you, simply by reading your writing.

    My only point that I would offer for improvement is length. As Megan has already said, no matter the beauty of your words, long pieces begin to feel more detached than personal. And achieving that personal connection is the greatest way to prove a point. It certainly worked out on me!

    Thank you so much to writing this!


    1. Dear Areeb,

      Thank you so much for all of your kind words, and for taking the time to both read and write a comment on my blog post, it means a lot.

      I really appreciate your comment, it truly means a lot to me. Your kind words really touched me. I also look forward to getting to know you better this year, as I don’t know you all to well either. In addition to this, I also look forward to continue reading your writing over the course of the semester!

      I really appreciate your feedback, I will definitely do my best to work on this and I’ll definitely take it seriously because I respect you as a person.
      Thank you so much again man!


  5. Taylor,
    I’ll admit that I’ve never read your work before but I found your piece to be absolutely incredible. Your use of repetition in your piece gave it an almost flowing feel, with each thought trailing seamlessly into the next. You took simple, everyday events and showed how they connected to larger and more important things in people’s lives.
    Although the use of romantic language in this particular piece was rather appropriate, it may not be as useful in a critical essay, and as it was mentioned earlier, the length of your writing may hinder you during an exam.

    1. Dear Genevieve,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I feel like a broken record in saying this to people, but I truly and genuinely mean it every time. Also, I feel like I have to express how thankful I am to you for both taking the time to read and comment on my blog post. Your words mean so much.
      Also, thank you for the feedback! I totally agree with you, thank you for pointing this out.
      Thank you so much again man!


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