26 September 2011

from uncle shelby.

i have a midterm tomorrow i need to study for...
...and a story imitation+synopsis i need to creatively write for tomorrow...

...so naturally, right now is an excellent time to write a blog post.

i wanna talk about banned books week!  it's goin' on right now, and i'm wanting to read a lot of old favorites right now.  but there's one book in particular i want to talk about.

does this style of drawing look familiar to you?  do you know who drew this picture??

shel silverstein!

did you know that many of his books have been banned?

parents have argued that a number of his poems suggest things like suicide, death, violent-type things, and dishonoring authority.

heaven forbid children learn that things like this exist in the world.  honestly, how long are you going to attempt to shelter your children?  shel silverstein was my one of my favorites when i was a kid, and i turned out okay, yeah?

a light in the attic will have been out for twenty years this october (i'm older than a book i read as a kid, whaaaaat????), and i want to share two of my favorite poems from the collection:

Adventures of a Frisbee:

The Frisbee, he got tired of sailing
To and from and to;
And thought about the other things
That he might like to do.
So the next time that they threw him,
He turned there in the sky
And sailed away to try and find
Some new things he could try.
He tried to be an eyeglass,
But no one could see through him.
He tried to be a UFO,
But everyone knew him.
He tried to be a dinner plate,
But he got cracked and quit.
He tried to be a pizza,
But got tossed and baked and bit.
He tried to be a hubcap,
But the cars all moved to quick.
He tried to be a record,
But the spinnin' made him sick.
He tried to be a quarter,
But he was too big to spend.
So he rolled home, quite glad to be
A Frisbee once again.



Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won't bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!
maybe it's just because i'm an adult (am i?) and i'm a little wiser...

...or maybe it's because i'm an english major and i read literature a little differently than i used to...

...but there's some great wisdom in these!

i mean, we can speak on a really basic level here and say:

1. we can't try to be something that we just aren't.
2. bedtime is for sleeping, not fretting!

or we go a little deeper here and say:

1. sometimes we need that experience of going out and finding who we are.  maybe we need to try different things and see what we're capable of, what we love to do, who we can help.  that frisbee needed to sail away, otherwise he would have lived his whole life wondering if he was supposed to do something else.  so what if he found out that he was already exactly what he needed to be?  so what if he ended back at square one?  the point is he tried and found out for himself that he was where he needed to be.  his time was not wasted.
2. dang it, we cannot sweat the little things.  or the big things.  all of that self-doubt, negative energies and ideas, worries about things that aren't in your control?  they cannot consume your life.  things happen because they are supposed to!  do you honestly think if something bad happened to you tomorrow, it was meant to ruin the rest of your life?  if they close the swimming pool, or if your pants rip, or if you grow green hair on your chest, it's okay!  now, if your parents divorce, if you get beat up, if they start a war, that's something a lot harder.  people have their agency, and you cannot control what they do to themselves or to you.  but you know what?  you have your agency too, and i promise you that if you remember your life can still be happy in spite of those things that other people do, it will be!  everything will be okay; so go to sleep for goodness' sake, and have good dreams.  every little thing gonna be alright.
kind of makes me want to write poetry?!?

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