For years following the death of my mother, I wanted to write about her. I started writing what I thought of as personal essays about growing up as her child, but I never could finish any of them. I think I was too close to that loss, and too eager to try and resolve things, to make her death make sense.
The most successful hyperpowers are the ones where there was actual intermixing. Tang dynasty China was China’s golden age, and contrary to what I was told when I was growing up, Tang China was founded by a man who by today’s standards was no more than half Chinese. It was a mixed-blood dynasty that pulled in ‘barbarians’ from the steppe.
Even though I am the daughter of a poet, and my stepmother is also a poet, growing up, I didn’t think I could understand poetry; I didn’t think that it had any relevance to my life, the feelings that I endured on a day-to-day basis, until I was introduced to the right poem.
When I was growing up there, North Gulfport was referred to as ‘Little Vietnam’ because of the perception of crime and depravity within its borders – as if its denizens were simply a congregation of the downtrodden.
Growing up, I decided, a long time ago, I wouldn’t accept any manmade differences between human beings, differences made at somebody else’s insistence or someone else’s whim or convenience.
Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying.
Growing up, I was taught that a woman should lower her gaze so that men could never know her thoughts. The so-called modesty of Arab women is, in fact, a war tactic.
Growing up in Britain as a rather loose Jew, the two things that didn’t belong together were freedom and religious intensity. In America, they do. The Founding Fathers made a bet that if you didn’t force everyone to profess religion in their own particular way, you could protect intellectual freedom, and religion would flourish.
Growing up, my grandmother did not want worldly music in the house. Then when I went out to California, I started listening to Spanish music, mostly Mexican music. But were I in Egypt, I would listen to the music of the people, or if I was in Italy, I’d listen to Italian music.
Irish poets, learn your trade, sing whatever is well made, scorn the sort now growing up all out of shape from toe to top.