Saturday, October 5, 2013

"One sees clearly, only with the heart."

 

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn’t much improved my opinion of them.

Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essentail matters. They never say to you, “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?” Instead, they demand: “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.

If you were to say to the grown-ups: “I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,” they would not be able to get an idea of that house at all. You have have to say to them: “I saw a house that cost $20,000.” Then they would exclaim: “Oh, what a pretty house that is!”

To forget a friend is sad. Not every one has had a friend. And if I forget him, I may become like the grown-ups who are no longer interested in anything but figures…”

In one instance, the fox tells the little prince, “Language is the source of misunderstandings.”  He goes on to explain, “One sees clearly only with the heart.  Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” 

I love language.  It stirs my embers in the dark.  But, what I know is this, the heart glows so bright in some that even when our words do not say it, our hearts are on fire. 

The book, The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is such a sweet, clear, dip into a perspective that gives so much love.  How would you draw love? How do you draw love out from the world?  How do you give it back?

I had this book on my dresser with the light on.  It made this heart and made me feel so much.  As you know, I find hearts everywhere.  This, though, in getting to enjoy the lovely young 8th grade students in my world, in having my little Nate cash in his Monopoly coupon (I call it Momopoly, because he gets me all to himself when we play this game.  It is a priceless time) and in knowing how Saint-Exupery describes grown-ups makes me very clear on how to see and love so many around me.  With the heart.  I look at this book I love so dear and I re-read the dedication like I am drinking a fresh, cold, glass of water.  I give that to you, here, for it describes how all grown-ups were children, once, and it reminds me of a friend that I wish I had known as a little boy for he is good at recommending books about children in the darkness who try to keep their hearts aglow and even aflame…
 

TO LEON WERTH

I ask children to forgive me for dedicating this book to a grown-up.  I have a serious excuse: this grown-up is the best friend I have in the world.  I have another excuse: this grown-up can understand everything, even books for children.  I have a third excuse: he lives in France where he is hungry and cold.  He needs to be comforted.  If all these excuses are not enough, then I want to dedicate this book to the child whom this grown-up once was.  All grown-ups were children first. (But few of them remember it.) So I correct my dedication:

TO LEON WERTH

WHEN HE WAS A LITTLE BOY.

I dedicate this post to the little boys in my life who tend their planets well and don't worry so much about "figures" or grown-up Monopoly, but, nurture the embers in the darknesses.

2 comments:

Palomasea said...

Dear, beautiful Amy...I thank you for this...you have elevated the day for me....
One of my favorite books of all time.
Here's to the "heart seers"... many, many blessings to you... :)
Love and hugs,
- Irina

Chrisy said...

I'm sad to say I've never read this book...I will...this weekend...thank you for the lovely read.