In Praise of the Younger Generation

I was recently with a group of Baby Boomers who were intent on bad mouthing the current young–sometimes known as Millennials. There were the usual complaints against texting, tats, and unprofessionally dressed slackers. And this from those who hardly spent their twenties in business suits.
I find this both sad and surprising. I love this generation, which includes my only child, my seven nieces and nephews, the children of my friends, and the majority of my students. I find them cooperative, honest, funny, and caring. And considering the problems of the world they inherit, this is saying a lot.
Mostly, I’m amazed they like me. They hold the door for me, comment on my cute socks, suggest movies and books, and wonder if I need more magnesium in my diet. Would Baby Boomers rather be scorned than loved? That is, do we prefer generational warfare just because it is familiar?
However, we Boomers are becoming increasingly dependent on the young as we age. So why not see their virtues–including the virtue of youth itself?

To be continued.

Two Poems by Terry Mulert

 
The original
 
I walk on legs
of parasites
feet of rotten pears
with the tongue
of a perfect hibiscus
 
my fingers have come unglued
my hands are stitched together
bags of horse hair
 
my eyes
are rose colored
perfume vials
 
my dreams have begun
to win arguments
 
sometimes at night I climb onto rooftops
and watch myself sleep
between the rows of corn
that have taken my name
and not apologized.
 
 
If we knew
 
We have grown
deaf to colors
and the names
of unknown things
 
the tangled beauty
of our darkest pain
is the unseen purple
root parting with the sky
 
we have bargained
light for a deeper place
where wings turn
into the good taste of earth.

At The Age of 59 1/2 I Climb Through a Window in Iceland

At The Age of 59 1/2 I Climb Through a Window in Iceland

because the key sticks in the lock
and we can’t figure it out

my 24 year old daughter
who spent her childhood
squeezing through a cat door
and ruining a window screen
letting boys in and out
immediately climbs to the sill
unlocks the pane, and departs.

I, on the other hand, larger, more frightened
sit, one leg in the house, one in the yard
squeeze my hiking boot
through gingerly
land on a cellar door.

the administrator of the guest house
is displeased with us
gives us a strict Icelandic lesson
in locking and unlocking
blames the weather–of course–
for the swollen jamb
and us for our incompetence
but with grudging admiration
for our initiative.

as for me, I’ve been re-born
onto a windy street by a windy bay
where everything seems content
to knock me over
and the sun
sits on the horizon
patient and intent
as a midwife.

Library of Water

Roni Horn created an amazing installation in Iceland. Wikipedia says “In 2007 she undertook Artangel’s first international commission, creating Vatnasafn / Library of Water, a long-term installation in the town of Stykkisholmur, Iceland. The installation is made up of water collected from Icelandic glaciers.[11] “Weather,” observes Roni Horn, “is the key paradox of our time. Weather that is nice is often weather that is wrong. The nice is occurring in the immediate and individual, and the wrong is occurring systemwide.”[12] The “Library of Water” is housed in a former library building in the little town of Stykkisholmur on the west coast of Iceland. Roni Horn noticed the building during a trip through Iceland in the 1990s. It is located at the high point of the town, overlooking the harbour and the sea. The architecture is influenced by that of lighthouses. It was conceived by Horn in 2004 as a sculpture installation and a community center, offering both a space for quiet reflection and a room for meetings and gatherings.”

library-of-water-stykisholmur

I haven’t seen it live, but would love to.