Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Innocence is Bliss

“For I had expected always
Some brightness to hold in trust,
Some final innocence
To save me from dust.”

Remember that time something got your eye? When you really felt something? When you truly loved something in all its purity? Was it the colourful kite you saw at the fair as a child? Or were they the stories you father would tell you at bedtime? Was it that song you heard on the radio that makes you smile a wry smile every time you hear it? Was it that time you were out playing with your friends in the first monsoon of the year? If you have experienced something like this you probably know what innocence means.
I don’t think I am capable enough to describe that wondrous state. After all it is a feeling, not an equation or a medical condition to be defined and then laid to rest in the yellow forlorn pages of a dictionary in a quiet library. It is a living, breathing state of mind, or rather a state of heart. It is that time you let go of all judgements of all preconceived notions and you think from that softened part of your mind and heart untouched by the crafty and hard world. When you see beauty in anything without any filters or distortions or suspicions, exactly like a child would.
But as I said the world is by and large judgemental, exacting, cunning and many more of the adjectives that your favourite poets and artists love using. And this is the world we have to live in. So we adapt, we change, we stop being children and grow up to being men and women of the world. And in this metamorphosis innocence becomes the discarded cocoon.
People lose their innocence trying to deal with the world. Some end their innocence themselves thinking it is too childish, thinking they need to grow up, to prove a point. From personal experience I can say that not a day passes that this category does not wish to go back to that place of childish purity.
You see, sensitivity is very much associated with innocence. And sensitive people find it very hard to survive in this insensitive world. And so we learn to hide our sensitivity as we grow up , lest we get hurt. We are too afraid of being hurt. So we view the world through the filters of our defence mechanisms. It may be vices for some, art for some, some in their charm. It is exactly as Edith Wharton says in the age of innocence ‘He simply felt that if he could carry away the vision of the spot of earth he walked on , and the sky that enclosed it, the rest of the world might seem less empty.’ So we hurt beings walk on to safer places , when we cannot find a safe place for our innocence , we choose to shroud it.

There is a very sensitive version of ourselves that we conceal within ourselves because we think that the whole world is insensitive. But what we do not realize is that everyone who has grown up also has some concealed sensitivity within themselves. You see innocence requires a place of safety, a safe home if you will. Somewhere free from judgement free from malice, free from greed and manipulation. This is where I think art is just the most wonderful safe home. Why can we still relate to poems and songs and paintings and novels so very well? Be it Mansfield or Mozart or Munch or Metallica<insert the unforgiven trilogy here > it is because these artists let their sensitive side onto the strings or canvas or paper and it resonated with that sensitivity that you have. That is why teenagers literally worship their rock gods( I know I did and do) why artists defend their masters so much
It’s actually comedic. We hide our innocent and sensitive side in fear of being judged and secretly wish other people would show us that side to themselves. A lot of the times, it comes down to who opens up first. You always (and surprisingly may I add) find people who you can show this side too. That’s when the other person finds out that he or she isn’t the only one with that shrouded innocence. To understand someone means to be able to understand their sensitivities and not judge i.e to look at it with innocence. Now I’ve not been on the side that speaks first a lot , but I know how good it feels when you connect at the level of shrouded innocence. It may be taking a huge risk. You may be putting yourself at great risk. And that is why you have to be sure on whether or not you have found a safe home. Otherwise, the world can always use more artists. And yes it does hurt when someone hits you where your sensitivities lie. It hurts incredibly badly.
I guess you have to lose innocence to know its value. Every kid wants to grow up too fast and every grown up wants to be a child again. Maybe that is the best test to know who is a child and who is an adult. All I can say is let that innocence remain somewhere in your heart. Not so deep that it suffocates and can’t ever come out and not so much on the surface for every passerby to twist at their whim and fancy..There is a difference between innocence and naivete . You might be loved for your innocence and you will be punished for your naivete. Knowing to differentiate between the two is what growing up is all about and not hiding away your sensitivities.Ultimately all I can say is never put the keys to your innocence in someone else's pocket. It’s the key to that special place where you let yourself in and where you let your guitars and pianos in, where you let your notebook and diary in and where you let your palate and paintbrush in. 

And most importantly it is where you have to learn to let people in. 

After all innocence is bliss .And happiness and bliss love company. 




1 comment:

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