the child and the conformist

There’s a perfect chocolate lying on the pavement.
For an instant I become a 3 year old.
The child is reaching out, but the body does not move.
Somewhere between the impulse and the reaching,
a mechanism of conformity is preventing the action.

Fifteen years ago I lived in this city.
I recognized the people and the people recognized me.
Fifteen years is a long time in busy city life.
It feels like I don’t belong here at all.
A stranger … almost …

A stranger can reach out for that chocolate
What does he have to lose?
Dignity in front of people he will not meet again?
Dignity for those long dead who instilled the conformity?

For a moment there is a movement to reach out …
… and then I notice two people watching me.
The stranger conforms
to what strangers are supposed to do.

There is a chocolate shop not far away.
I’ll get 375g for about 8 euro.
Real Belgian chocolate.
No need to bend [down].


Pictures by bvdb (whoisbert) january 2014 – @home – Canon Ixus HS230 – IMG_6172

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21 thoughts on “the child and the conformist

  1. no need to bend …..en nog wat jaren later, is dat ook geen probleem meer ……dat ze denken wat ze willen : mijn zorg niet !!

    • Belgium is almost like a province of France. πŸ™‚ We visit the CΓ΄te d’Opale at least once a year …
      In the end, being the stranger, prepares for being in the moment. The habits of the conformist, make him/her fade into a grey and awareless monotony … except when we come closer and behold the details — no life is ever gray.

  2. to forget for just one moment to be a grown-up
    had to smile …I’m eating chocolate right now LOLs
    I find it balances the sweetness of the child and the bittersweet of the adult
    (wish it were Belgian chocolate)
    Take Care…You Matter…

  3. I had to laugh because I missed the part…”lying on the pavement”, the first time I read it.

    All I saw was “There’s a perfect chocolate…For an instant I became a 3 year old”. And then, I scanned up to look at the picture and was mesmerized by the sugar crystals and thinking of a sugar crystal experiment my girls and I did a couple of years ago, then I went back to finish reading and wondered, “why is it not okay to eat a perfect chocolate? what’s the big deal?” and then i re-read and said, “Ohhhh, I get it…”

    I might have picked it up to throw it away, so no one would step on it and get chocolate on their shoes. But eat it from the ground…mmm, no. Too many stomach viruses in the past few years make me cautious about needlessly challenging my immune system.

    • grateful for your funny funny comment!
      There’s a perfect chocolate … on the pavement …
      Unfortunately, … but getting in touch with the inner child was certainly worth the experience πŸ™‚

      Perhaps I could try and live one day per year as a homeless person. But then you are right, not worth risking our good health for. I will play music in Central Station in stead! Perhaps I will earn a penny. πŸ™‚

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