Naïvety: I remember it well – those childhood days of innocence, which seemed to last forever and knew nothing of crime, or violence, or death, or war, or hatred. If I may mix my cultural myths, the succulent temptation of the fruit of the tree of knowledge or of the contents of the jar which was Pandora’s ‘box’ were there, but parental guidance and control outweighed any desire to eat of the fruit or to open the box. Vague parental warnings about threats to personal safety had all the potency of magic charms and miraculous powers of protection.
Then (to add more metaphor to the mix!) gradually, drip by drip, the small bright pool of understanding which had reflected a cloudless blue sky and sparkling sunshine grew deeper and wider and darker; it should have been frightening, but, ironically, the desire to know what lay beneath and beyond it was too great.
Eve, Pandora and I, together with the rest of the world, discovered evil; with what result? Our own sorrow and suffering? Certainly not! With the loss of naivety came, for me, the excitement of discovery of things forbidden (such as the reading of books and the watching of films that would have had my very religious grandmother revolving in her grave) and, as well, the knowledge and increase of understanding to deal with the evil of life and to challenge it.
Asked by a friend why I wanted to write, of all things, about life’s horrors, I found it easy to reply: facing demons is better than pretending they don’t exist; there is more value in the goodness of life when it has evil as a foil. Our best literature reflects this again and again. And, once all the nasties had poured out, there was one thing left at the bottom of Pandora’s box: hope.
By the by, I was naïve when I first went Twittering; now I’m on my guard against spurious ‘followers’ and the hidden viral traps that pop miraculously into ‘interactions’; knowledge is power… and my self-defence is the stronger for it!