09 November 2008

The child in time*

Comments on Diana the huntress spotted at the NPG brought, amongst other things, my best laugh of the week and a link back to one of several missed responses

The laughter was provided by Ray Girvan:

I can never take that name quite seriously since encountering the name "Herne the Hunter", and cross-breeding from them "Hernia the Huntress"

...which has kept me chuckling since Friday evening.

Pauline Laybourn commented favourably on (I paraphrase) my ability to reach back forty five years and highlight a life changing event. While I am as happy as anyone to receive compliments, I find myself forced by honesty to wonder whether it is really my own ability on show here.

The truth is, I think, that when we are children every event, however minor, is life changing. We just sometimes forget that, as we grow up. Even as adults, it's probably true that every event shapes us in some way, even if we don't notice it ... but in childhood, when our accumulated experience is less, the amplitude of the effect is vastly greater.

This also brings me to the belated acknowledgement of an Unreal Nature post of five days ago – "Falling for the world". I associate myself unreservedly with the statement there:

"I am a long way from being a child, but most days, I still wake to a love affair with the world."

(I owe Unreal Nature another response, but that will have to wait a little longer.)

*Post title poached from:

  • Ian McEwan, The child in time. 1987, London: Cape. 022402499X

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