I have struggled with this topic for many days. So now, I have finally decided to just let my thoughts organize themselves and maybe I’ll come to realize the center of my discomfort.
Whenever I think of this topic, a strong sense of guilt immediately follows. And the more I think about it, the more I start to realize how heavily influenced my feelings are by events that have occurred in my life. When I look at events like the Holocaust, I feel such an overwhelming sense of shame. What right do I have…no sorry. I just…I just can’t write about this.
Innocence is like the blooming tip of something beautiful but it is also the beginning of-
But what sort of justice can I give to those who have lost their lives? I don’t how to react when I hear or read about these times in history. And so I detach myself. I panic. But what else can I do? Am I supposed to stay in a permanent state of mourning? How do I convey the depth of my guilt for all of those lost lives? All of those forgotten smiles or the fading memories of laughter? The touch of a loved one? The cries and the tears? How do I convey that? How do I force myself to become entangled in that sorrow when my mind is constantly circling with desperate unridden thoughts?
It is also the beginning of reminding humanity that innocence can be found in the midst of hatred. But the world in full of thieves behind pretty masks, and if they can’t have this beautiful feeling then no one should be able to have it. And so we fear the time where those thieves will reveal themselves. Where they will throw heartache onto the young ones path and slip sorrow and despair underneath their door.
And then I think, how can I possibly analyze texts and memoirs about this cruelty and hatred? How can I take a person’s survival story and highlight it until the fierce rain of heartache and truth are driven away by the glinted light of colors that portrays distance so effectively? Yellow for parallelism. Blue for metaphors. Red for instances where the narrator seems “happy.” Green for rhetorical devices. Anaphora, sarcasm, flashbacks, foreshadowing-done, done, done. Underline in black to showcase that prospective something. Highlight until all the truth has been swept away by the brush of analytical thinking.
But why can we not realize that there is a beautiful fragility to innocence? That the fairy tales are only there so imagination can soar. Why are we so eager to dismiss the knights and princesses and instead bring in the harsh reality and use sorrow and horror as a new bedtime story? Why can’t we just let innocence thrive?
Oh you see that character? Why yes, he’s real but you see he said that line for a reason. Because of course, he must have known the author was going to put him in a novel and use it as a sign of foreshadowing. Oh that tragic event? Totally serves as the perfect climax. Perfect timing-you really must applaud the author. And how could we forget about the narrator’s thought process? How could we possibly analyze without that? Silly us.
Because secretly we rely on innocence more than we know. We dream of castles that only exist on soft white clouds. We imagine that the blades of grass have at one point been trodden upon by all of our favorite heroes. We open closets to look for imaginary worlds, open the mailbox secretly hoping for that letter, and even though we won’t tell anyone, we occasionally check for monsters underneath our bed.
Are we scared to stop and think because we’re afraid of what might become of us? Are we scared that if we don’t hurry up and break it down we might lose ourselves to mourning indefinitely? Or do we just not realize what we’re doing?
Innocence is so precious. So…beautiful. It exists in our minds even when we think it’s no longer there. It thrives even when we think it has been completely driven away. We love innocence. And we when see it in a child we think it has to be saved. So we try our hardest to save it because we’re dreading the day that reality will knock on that child’s door.
If we act without thinking, if we look without seeing, if we hear without listening, we will never learn to give the respect where it’s needed. To give honour where it deserves to be given. To have a moment of silence for those who died so that we could say…
Life is beautiful. The joyful laugh of a child will hold our hearts captive because suddenly, fiercely, we wish to protect them. And when they see monsters in dark corners, we will convince them that it’s just a game-and that they are just players who are trying to make us lose. When they no longer see the shapes in the sky, we will show them the beautiful sunrise and tell them that every new hero is found in those rays of light. And when they grow older, and we can’t shield them anymore we will say…
Give respect where it needs to be given. Feel sorrow where it needs to be felt. Give honour to those who fought for you. And never forget. It’s scary, it’s frightening, but we only grow by learning. So for all of those whose stories are written down on these pages, before we dig in deep we must take a step back and acknowledge what they went through. And so I feel guilty,
Because we live in a society where we can’t protect innocence. And sometimes we’re quick to just hurry up and share the heartache. We will write sweeping poetry about mourning the loss of innocence-instead of convincing the wide-eyed child that every dream has the possibility of becoming reality. So this is my tribute
To those who lost their lives so many years before. This is my way of trying to convey my sadness and guilt. This is my tribute
To the ever-lasting flame of innocence. To show those who think innocence only lasts as long as the bedtime story stays open. This is me saying
I’m sorry. And thank you.
For teaching me the wonders of the universe. Thank you
For allowing me to take a step back and realize your courage. Your strength. Your honour. Your
Childlike gaze reflected in the well that you always believed to be magical. You always believed
And that made me have humility. So