Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Haunting Passage

          The teacher came by and stood behind me for a while, watching me work. I'm looking at this memory through the gauze of a lot of years, so I don't remember the real details of my painting, but I guess there was something in it that impressed her.
"You have so much talent," she said. "It wouldn't surprise me if you become an artist when you grow up."
"I love art class," I told her.
"What are these?" she asked, pointing to little globs of yellow paint that were clustered around the tree.
"Faeries," I said. "But they're so small I can only show them like dots."
She ruffled my hair. "Don't ever lose your sense of wonder," she said as she went over to look at another kid's work...
"This what they're teachin' you in that school?" she (mother) demanded. "Paintin' pitchers instead a somethin' useful like keepin' your head outta the damn clouds?"
Then she tore it up. Tore it up, threw the pieces on the floor, and slapped me for crying.
"Now, little missy," she said, "You all just put that in the garbage where it belongs and don't you never be bringin' crap like this home again." 
        -Charles de Lint, The Onion Girl

Yes, the world really needs more accountants, lawyers, and bankers, and less poets, painters, and musicians. Nobody cares about dreams. Life isn’t about happiness, it's about achieving financial success, about money. Only foolish weak people care about a sense of wonder.

<blinks back tears>

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