How can an adult ever prove he once possessed innocence? By memory? By experience? But memory, as a resource for proof, has never been a verity. And experience has never allowed itself to be duplicated. Innocence is not merely the purity of mind. Innocence is freedom, a liberty lost to time, a truth grown men and women of this world will never fully realize again once age has set in, and doubts have clung to their hearts. The most cynical of men are bound to lose it forever. Their hands will reach out to thin air but will never grasp the scale of a forgotten freedom.
That to me is the curse of growing up. Once we set foot in the world of the adult, we can only be child-like, or childish, but never innocent. What are we guilty of? – the messiness of our interior lives is the sole, inevitable crime. Our existence is so daunting even to ourselves, and its unique mortality is a pain to confront. Our interior lives seem so rattled by time. Our internal devices, so faint in the massive space we move across, are plagued by mechanical faults. We look back, we look forward, we look out, we look in – but we never see. None of the emptiness which cripples us is ever explained. We wade through the flood waters in a blackout: only feeling our way across the murky depths, relying on our gods, our beliefs for safety – that the world outside will be kind enough to share its sympathies, that the world beyond will exist on our word.
Seven billion blind mice.
We are born innocent rodents until we discover the grit of the sewers, the stench of the canals, the poverty of our underground enclaves. We are born free but we unwittingly imprison ourselves.
Is there any escape?
Nothing in this world can ever guarantee relief from such sorrow – not writing, not music, not art, not love, not medicine. Only death can.