Proverbs and the Proverbial
The old saying goes, “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Okay, maybe it’s not that old, but I’m feeling old. And I think the same is true for being a parent. When you’re young your parents are everything.
They’re teachers, protectors, sentinels, guardians, providers, nuturers - they’re everything to you. But as you grow their flaws begin to show. And not because they’re not the heroes we think they are. But because they’re human.
Our parents have desires and needs that go beyond our own. And if they’re good enough they shackle them for the time being to see to us. They literally put someone else, us, before them in all things. Granted it’s not always and nor is it necessarily forever. That’s part of the teaching process.
But we persist in this idea of a shining protector, someone who remains unscathed by their experiences. As a parent, or really a grown up, I have to ask - what the fuck?
Can you actually imagine a hero who walks through everything unharmed, unchanged, or simply indifferent. Where’s the humanity in that? And maybe that’s the problem, or really that’s what growing up is - realizing that people are human.
So when I spend the night trying to comfort my child I don’t expect to be a shining, glossy example to others. I expect to be frayed, and wilted, and wrinkled. I’m distressed. I’m one of those pieces of furniture that’s seen a lot of wear and no matter how much you try to hide it behind layers of fresh paint it still shows through. I’ve accepted that.
But goddamn it, they never tell you you’re going to lose an eye for child, and that child will be the cause.
Today’s art is courtesy of Dirk Wachsmuth from Dresden, Germany.