In more ways than one Abe was right. He assessed an entire generation in this way: that unlike the hippies of the 60’s this generation, my generation, his generation, had a steady and consistent disdain for the country we were born into. Never before had there been a generation born into this young empires existence quite like us. We saw the corruption of what money could do, we saw families crumble like pieces of stale bread beneath the pressures of a capitalistic system; our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters striving for an illusionary goal that only a select few had somehow attained.

Information inundated us on all sides, a 24-hour barrage of news, entertainment and noise to override any semblance of sanity that may have lingered in the wake of our disembodied and decimated lives. We blamed the media, the government, our parents and the corporations for the emptiness we felt. Most of all we blamed ourselves.

The Shins, Don Chaffer, and countless other musicians, writers, poets and futurists not only understood but put into song and dance, word and rhyme what an entire generation of young Americans was feeling. In a word, insecure. Out of balance, used, exploited, embittered, lied to. And when the truth was finally told it was so appalling, so heart wrenchingly overwhelming that we wished we had never heard it. “Give us back the lies!” the tenderest parts of us cried, “or at least give us back the parts of our lives we had before we heard the lies”. Could we go back to the innocence we once believed existed?

I stood and watched, listened to the cries as they rose up like the midnight prayers of mothers who’s sons were far away from home at a war they did not understand. My heart sank then crystallized, froze over then broke into a billion fragments, minuscule shards of what was once a passionate pumping life force that sent hope to the rest of this bone-dry body.

With the heart gone what was left?

I couldn’t tell just yet as it was too soon to diagnose. I sent away for the lab results and waited patiently for a reply. I’m still waiting.


Blogger Carlene said...

This reminds me of an interesting anomaly you find in victims of trauma. You would think that it would be those who have had a difficult life and are therefore more fragile, who would be more traumatized by disaster. But it is often those who have never been touched by tragedy, those who have existed in a sheltered world, who find their worldview crumbling about them This in itself is not a bad thing, because most of us grow up with an understanding of the world about us that doesn't quite fit into reality. When we encounter factors that don't fit, we need to adjust the way we see things, to better make sense of what we see.
Sometimes we will need to do that as a community, as a generation, and as a Nation. Otherwise we will become stuck in our confusion and pain. And history has shown that can be a very dangerous thing for a generation.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Corey said...

In some ways you are describing the process of socialization. The environment in which we grow up in, the stories we are told become the lens through which we see the world.

And you are right, it is uber important to reassess our world view as we grow older, venture out and begin to see things in life we were not exposed to when we where younger. I'm definitely there, at that place where I am reassessing what I’ve seen and heard. I’m taking the values I grew up with and looking at them from different angles.

I'm not necessarily trying to figure “it” out, whatever “it” is. What I am trying to do is find a way to live at peace with others and myself. I am trying to learn what love and heartache is all about, from the ground up.

5:44 PM  

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