Friday, October 21, 2005

A cosmic tangent

Perhaps inspired by the Ipod playlist I was listening to on the train this morning (a smartlist consisting of songs that had in common a question mark in the title, from "Is that All There Is?" to "What'll I Do?" to "Ain't It a Pretty Night?"), my thoughts turned philosophical, and I started musing on my (almost) ten years here at the Horn Book. It doesn't feel like a long time at all, but then I started comparing it to the same span in a child's life, where it seems--is--enormous. That would be first grade to tenth grade. I think time seems to go faster for adults because each year we add becomes an increasingly smaller part of our lifespan as we age (I am really proud to have figured out that math all by myself ;-). I wonder how writers for children rethink themselves into such a profoundly different apprehension of time--it's more than the excruciating waits we can all remember for Christmas or summer or a birthday, it's an entirely different scale, but one whose balance is constantly gaining in one direction. It was Richard Peck who put me on to the idea that kids can be as nostalgic as adults, but in their case it can be just last summer that brings forth the bittersweet!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

It is true.
Every moment matters to a child and so little of it is taken up by the nonsense that crowds into adult life. I think this notion of time is what is so beautiful about reading and writing children's fiction.