jane's blog

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Spore is a Survival Tactic

When a child finds no one listening, he becomes a kind of a spore.
Spores are the result of tough times in the plant kingdom, where, as a means of survival, plants dampen down their life force in order to survive. In an environment hostile to a child's uniqueness, where he is judged, criticized, and reshaped into what is desired rather than supported and allowed to bloom, naturally, into what he uniquely is, a child walls off the unloved parts of himself. Some people become spores early and never regain their individuality, but a spore is a survival tactic, not a way of life. Reclaiming ourselves usually means coming to realize and recognize that we have both sides of everything. We are capable of fear and courage, generosity and selfishness, vulnerability and strength. These do not cancel each other out, but offer a full range of power tools as response to life. Sometimes our vulnerability is our strength, out of timidity develops a courage, and our woundedness is a road to our individual integrity.
In my recently published anthology, by Oxford University Press, in a Mussorgsky song, with text by the brilliant Russian poet Lermontov and translation by me, the text describes the yearning for a warm worldly environment for nurtured development of children-both composer and poet, which was the reason surely for collaboration, having suffered under unconventional personal and social pressures. This song is a haunting "Prayer" and so aptly and beautifully exemplifies my point.

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