Saturday, October 08, 2005

Listening to Introspection

My fingers type as I lounge in a soft, worn, comfortable chair in the locally-owned coffee shop of Midwestern College Town. Around me are a plethora of young, fresh-faced college students, predominately of one race, drinking coffee, chatting with friends and listening to a young woman's poetry.

She recites her words from the heart, with earnestness and fervor. Clearly she connects often with her peers as I watch them lean into her words, breathing in her verbal exhallations of self, thought, and identity. Her words resound with courage - a courage which I did not posess at her young age.

Watching the social scene around me, my mind frequently returns to a book I am reading for tomorrow's book discussion - Eva Hoffman's Lost in Translation. Hoffman writes about the growth of her new sense of self in her new land - a snese while it blossoms of being an observer.

I relate to her "observer" feelings at the present moment. Sitting in this cafe surrounded by young people nearly 20 years younger than myself evokes notsalgia and distance. While I work with their age group on a nearly daily basis, I clearly feel our difference in age.

The young woman articulation of her inner thoughts bounces off my current state of mind - calm and serene yet reflective with the aura of these days of awe. Indeed it is a good time to be reflective, to consider my life and the lives of other. Not to comapre, not to make judgements, but to be.

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