vendredi, mai 25, 2007

I had dinner with a friend last night by the lake. Over chicken wings (his) and a vegetable whole wheat wrap (mine) we talked idly about our careers, love lives, and families. After a brief walk in the woods, we came back into town and joined the throngs waiting for sundaes and softserve and floats. Our talk drifted back to relationships between men and women, as it usually does.

The challenge, I said to him, is to learn from mistakes you made in prior relationships. A number of guys (and women) still seem to be reliving their old ones, and have not been able to move on to new ones. That's why you see all kinds of dos and don'ts and "noli me tangere" in the online portraits, we agreed-because lots of people haven't been able to see what was good about their prior relationships-and even learning through suffering. My friend quoted Captain Kirk on the subject-something to the effect of claiming one's pain.

What struck me afterwards was how much our generation refers, not to books, but to movies. When I was younger, I had a multitude of quotations from famous and notorious poets and writers, in an untidy, often misfiled pile in the back of my mind somewhere. (Perhaps I should take one of those "organize your memories" classes). Now we are as likely to refer to movies as to books for our wisdom. Once, I suspect, it was the Bible. Now it is Kirk, or Yoda.

I wonder what our children's standard resource will be. Gwen Stefani's newest song? Maroon Five's latest opus? Ah, don't I sound cynical, and old. They will find their wisdom and it will be as useful as is ours.

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