March 8, 2008

HBO teen poets

An HBO special, Reading Your Heart Out, was just on (catch it if you can) on young teens (none over 14) reading poems they have written about their families to their families. The poems: raw, honest, painful, were intense and direct. What amazed me was that they read their poems to their families. I so admired their bravery and also the bravery of these parents to stand there and listen to words full of accusations and hurt. It seems the lot of parents and teenagers to have a chasm between them. I have seen the look of "you're not listening" frustration shadow my own children's faces even as I strain to make it clear I am listening. I think they say oranges and I hear apples. I say apples and they hear pears. Maybe it has to be that way so they can pull away and become their own people, separate. As parents, you just hope they know they are loved. As human beings in the world, you know that even their knowing that is still not enough to shield them from life's difficulties. But bravo for the courage on both sides to keep trying.

"We are all so afraid, we are all so alone, we all so need from the outside the assurance of our own worthiness. "
- Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier

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