Saturday, October 09, 2004

Getting It

One of the pleasures of getting older is the fact that I "get it" more and more. There just isn't enough life experience in youth to be able to understand art, poetry, or even history very well unless someone spells it out for them, or they are the ones creating the art or poetry.

My kids can listen to a particular piece of music or hear a poem read and have no clue as to what is being said. However, when I listen to or read it I am able to fill in the necessary information needed to make sense of it. Poetry is a rich mine of meaning, compacting and distilling life's experiences into few words, artfully arranged.

Likewise, I find that I am better able to understand why things happened the way they did in history once I know something of the personalities involved. A better acquaintance with human nature and its vagaries helps one to understand the vacillating nature of Queen Elizabeth I's foreign policy and her dealings with Mary, Queen of Scots. I also have a better understanding of Henry VIII's attitudes and methods and how they changed the face of England.

Getting older is better than I imagined it would be.

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