Sunday, July 6, 2008

Note from Bill


I recall telling Emily that I see myself more able to relate to children a little later in life. I just needed to be properly introduced to the magical world of children - and Sally has given me a fine introduction. For me, Sally is the little child whose hands are raised overhead in excitement at the delight of new adventures depicted in the painting The Voyage of Life: Childhood by Thomas Cole. I agree with Cole that life is a prospect to be understood in distinct stages. Mistakes are made otherwise. For instance, some of the attitudes made popular in Victorian England are in error - that children are to be seen and not heard. Children were dressed up like little adults and were expected to act adult-like as soon as possible - were seen as stunted adults. Artists like William Blake reacted against these unnatural demands on childhood and felt the need to champion the cause of children against oppressive attitudes. Take for instance Blake's Songs of Innocence.

Emily has very naturally sidestepped the Victorian errors. For myself, I was prepared to be sympathetic and understanding. But childhood cannot be properly enjoyed from that sanitary, distant attitude. I've since been found reveling in childhood and have found it a tonic composed of marvelous qualities and capable of wondrous effects.

Charles Baudelaire defines genius as "nothing more nor less than childhood recovered at will - a childhood now equipped for self-expression with manhood's capacities and a power of analysis which enables it to order the mass of raw materials which it has involuntarily accumulated." I agree with this formula. The gifts of childhood take up at least a half-portion of the gifts of artistic genius. Baudelaire also notes: "The child sees everything in a state of newness; he is always drunk. Nothing more resembles what we call inspiration than the delight with which a child absorbs form and color." Sally has verified these comments for me.

Several times Emily and I have been driving along focused on some mundane goal oblivious to our surroundings when we hear a declaration from the back seat made in a sweet little voice that a "star" shape can be seen along the road over there. A little someone is back there paying attention.

I like to sing the following ditties to Sally:

Good Morning:
Good morning, good morning, good morning to you!
Good morning, good morning, good morning to you!
Good morning, good morning, good morning to you!

Treat:
Oh it is nice to have a treat.
It's nice to have something to eat.
Oh it is nice to have a tasty treat.
Yes it is nice to have some thing to eat.
Yay!

Family Song:
Dadda loves mama. Bum-ba bum-ba bum-ba bum.
Mamma loves dadda. Bum-ba bum-ba bum-ba bum.
Dadda loves Sally. Bum-ba bum-ba bum-ba bum.
Sally loves dadda. Bum-ba bum-ba bum-ba bum.
Mamma loves Sally. Bum-ba bum-ba bum-ba bum.
Sally loves mamma. Bum-ba bum-ba bum-ba bum.
Yay!

Yay for babies!

Yours,

Bill

3 comments:

becca said...

That was really sweet! I liked hearing from you Bill.

brendleca said...

Bill, whoda ever thunk you'd be such the doting daddy? It suits you well.

Tony, Natalie, Madison & Steven said...

Hey Bill,
This is Natalie. Bet you never thought you would hear from me. I saw your blog on Chad's list of "peeps" and checked it out. Sally is so cute! It's nice to know what you're up to these days. Here is my blog in case you are interested. Take care. http://munguiafamily.blogspot.com/