Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W: Wanton and Wild

In a book I read once upon a time on Medieval history (Growing Up in Medieval London)the author stressed the concept of Medieval children beginning as 'wanton and wild' and becoming 'sad and wise'. The idea is not quite as dismal as it appears as the Medieval concept of 'sad' was more serious than forlorn and yet . . . who would choose to be serious when they could be wanton and why oh why must 'wild' be the obvious counterpart to 'wise'?

I am contesting long forgotten conventions, of course, which means that there will be no one (or few) to dispute my theories but I feel that some of the attitude from that concept may have leaked through the centuries of our culture. It is understandable that in an age of such violence and political instability predictability would be valued in a person's behavior. It is also understandable that those even of today who have lived longer might look at the antics of those who haven't with a slight shake of the head and think "They have no idea". Still, there is an undertone of lifelessness in giving up everything associated with youth once one enters the throws of wisdom. From my side of enlightenment --wanton and wild though it may be --it looks an awful lot like defeat. Wouldn't it be great if there was a way of reaching wisdom without allowing the world to beat the wildness out of us?

And so I read. And so I write. And so I live.


  1. Actually, I think it sounds pretty good. The problem with today's society is that no one actually grows up. We all continue acting like children until we die. The medieval way sounds much better to me.

  2. I think the problem comes from when we seperate the two ideas and give everybody an either or option. People don't want to grow up anymore becuase they accociate it with being grave instead of the excitement that wisdom could be. If the ideas are not seperated however they never have to war against each other. Why not wild wisdom?

  3. I wanted to let you know that I read "Hellebore" in NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND and really enjoyed it. It seemed to me that it takes place in medieval times. It certainly held my attention better than some! "Climbing a mountain with no peak." I loved that.

  4. Thank you Yvonne! It's good to know someone enjoyed "Hellebore". It was a very personal piece for me.