Heart as Arena

children spend their youth solving mysteries that adults take for granted. i don't know if everyone remembers that feeling but this american life did a fascinating broadcast, titled "kid logic," that might jog your memory.

my friend, debby, worked on a research project about childhood sexuality that touched on the same subject; the facts of life seem pretty crazy to a seven-year-old. her anecdotes reminded me of a time when i thought that babies came out of belly buttons. i spent innumerable nights with my elementary school buddies debating the whys and the wherefores and the mechanics of sex. there was even a month or so when i believed that girls could read boys' minds.

these riddles unfold as we get older but new ones take their place. i used to wonder about grown-ups and sex and how to talk to girls. now i puzzle over death and god and how to make a living. maybe that's why adults love babies. we used to find mystery in sunlight and sound and the taste of our own toes. it puts the big questions in perspective.

i drew this picture for a t-shirt but i liked it so much that i also used it for the cover of my annual music exchange.

© 2008 rama hughes