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This quintessence of dust (with apologies to William Shakespeare)
April 29th, 2008 posted by tikgirl under Random Thoughts

Journeying through memory lane, I remembered what question Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye) asked to the cab driver when he was about to go back to his New York home when he was (again) kicked-out of his school, “Where do the ducks move in the winter?”. He was referring to the ducks that he often looks at on the mini ponds at Central park. And they were debating and debating but they weren’t able to give the answer to each other. They still haven’t figured out if the ducks went into hibernation or have just moved south (or north). What greatly affected me during this time of reading and finishing J.D. Salinger’s novel, Catcher in the Rye, is that Holden and I shared something in common during that time in our lives; we were both at lost. We were both searching for that justification of where and what will happen to our lives. We were paddling our own boats into the world; we, sucking our baby teeth and whistling the lullabies that we had learned during the sleeping sessions both of us have had on the afternoons are being swamped into the realities of life. And regards to the street proverb “Being a teenager is hard”, which made me think to paddle hard. But I digress.

Then I just realized that I want to be a Catcher in the Rye, just like Holden Caulfield wanted himself to be, after several realizations, dates, and Tom Collinses. We will be two characters, one in the fiction, and one in reality, who will hang around the so-called edges of the cliffs of life where “children and teens” play around the rye fields. And then, if one of them tries and strays out to the edge, we will be the ones to catch them and lead them back to the harmonious life in the rye field, where they could scurry down and learn a thing or two about it. If this metaphor gets your neurons moving, yes my reader; I realized what my weltanschauung is. After closing down the book, along with its chapters of laughs and realizations, I realized that I am to fulfill Holden’s dream, in a way that it let me see and pursue my self-growth. Life for teenagers is like a rye field; it is full of golden sunlight if you would only look up and try not to hide under the shadows of the stalks. During my go as a teen, I was always on that rye field; freely moving, freely running and horsing around without a doubt that the world is hard, just like falling into the cliff (and into oblivion, if I may exaggerate). If not for that realization, that enlightening moment when I finished the book, I might be one of those who haven’t a single care in mind. The immature adults, as they say. The ones who have fallen into the cliff without [them] realizing it. My moment might be objective, because it happened only to me, but I would like to point out to you, my dear reader, that living in the most transient state of life (teenager life) without realizing what it is to be one, what we wanted to be, and without that eventful enlightenment will only make our maturing or fermenting to stop-short. Even a quintessence of what maturity is or even an idea will motivate us as to what it is to be human, to be living the life out of being that risky adolescent with a proboscis of a skunk.

I was lucky enough that Holden caught me; if not, I would be one of the fallen children in the cliff; forever swimming to the rocky shore, missing out the grandeur lessons of the rye field, missing out its shiny mornings and cool nights. Living a very unsatisfied adulthood, or if we go to the extremes, living like a zombie: without realizations, without an identity. In this path where we all search for ourselves, wouldn’t it be too good to just fly off somewhere where it would not be as stressful as being a teenager? I doubt it. Without passing the rye field of life, we will all go down to swim into the murky depths of the river where the cliff is silently sitting, bidding its time to lure us to jump down. I was lucky; Holden’s thoughts caught me when I was on the verge of falling and crashing down onto the rocky end of the cliff. Into the abyss of what we call “self-induced prophesies” of what we ought to be, dictated by others. I was lucky; Holden caught my arms when I was slithering away to the edge of the cliff.

Now, where do the ducks move in the winter again?

Last 20 posts by tikgirl

Tags: Cathcer, in, the, Rye

About the author: i am a wandering Jew

tikgirl has blogged 12 posts

Read the Comments

[ # 2214 ] Comment from erwinilao [April 30, 2008, 9:27 pm]

Teenage life is a significant stage in anyone’s life. Most teenagers waste it wandering aimlessly for nothing and quite ordinarily so. Enlightenment would not come, my dear. Not in another ten years, hopefuly. Put your questions on paper and refer to them ten years from now. You would realize how trivial they are and how silly you were for spending too much time thinking. If I could tell you want I would do if I get back to being your age…you would realize how being young is wasted on the youth.

[ # 2218 ] Comment from tikgirl [May 1, 2008, 8:00 am]

ahehehe, im already pass this stage erwin. thanks though, and yes, the questions are indeed trivial, but those helped me out in figuring what i wanted to do with life.

[ # 2229 ] Comment from whitegarapata [May 2, 2008, 7:26 am]

natatandaan mo yung sabi ni mitch, ‘”highschool angst” lang yan.’ hehe

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