Growing Pains

Reading: The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
Listening: Playlist–

Growing Pains
1.  When I Grow Up, Fever Ray
2.  Changes, David Bowie
3.  1979, The Smashing Pumpkins
4.  But I Might Die Tonight, Cat Stevens
5.  Sugar Mountain, Neil Young
6.  The Circle Game, Joni Mitchell
7.  At Seventeen, Janis Ian
8.  Winter, Tori Amos
9.  Sycamore, Bill Callahan
10.  Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan
11. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana

A friend of mine is reading The Catcher in the Rye for the first time, and I’m remembering my eighteen-year-old self, opening up to that first page, for the first time.  I’m thinking about what it’s like to be there, in between kid things and grown-up things.  Everything moves: too fast, or not fast enough.  Transition, fear, change–and everything is possible.
It’s a time for asking questions, and letting go, and holding on, and diving in.  Growing time.

“I don’t even know what I was running for – I guess I just felt like it.”

 “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.  Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me.  And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.  What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff  –I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.  That’s all I do all day.  I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.  I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”   

Most of the time I think I wouldn’t slip back into my teenaged-self for anything.  But I still am that person, with all the mountains, valleys, and deep ravines of learning to show for it.

“And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.”
(David Bowie)
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