The “innocence” of childhood. “Songs of Innocence,” by William Blake. What is innocence and why would I want it? Compare these quotes:
“No man knows the value of innocence and integrity but he who has lost them.” William Godwin
“All things truly wicked start from innocence.” Ernest Hemingway
Not the same perspective, which leads me to think that innocence in itself may not be good or bad, but dependent on when I invoke it and what I do with it. As is the case with many qualities.
And I’m not sure that I have ever been innocent. I don’t remember my babyhood, but I’m sure I cried of hunger sometimes or discomfort in teething. I’m sure I felt fear if I was “in trouble” or bullied in school. i”m not sure that the “remembrance” of innocence is all that accurate. Not for me, at any rate.
At my time of life, I’d like to skip a few aches and pains and I don’t look forward to the day when I end up in the clutches of the medical community or have to incarcerate in “old people prisons” (alias assisted living) or, worse still skilled nursing where they don’t even let you out of bed, as I’ve discovered in my recent visits to people I know.
It would be lovely to forget about all that, but it’s not innocence. It’s denial and pretend and not worthy of a person of my age. I need to face the future straight on and prepare for it as best as I can. That means a trust document, details about what I want at the end of life (I pray euthanasia is available to me), how I want my remains handled, and what I want to leave as my legacy.
Innocence won’t serve me well and I don’t want it, if I ever had it, which I doubt.