Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Myths of Childhood : Tales from the Backyard

Childhood is a collection of minor heroes and villains that live in the oral histories of neighborhood kids. As with all forms of oral history, there is no absolute truth, and facts change depending on the person telling the story. Filtered through innocence and awe and insecurity, these stories acquire a life force that strengthens with age.

The news of a kid jumping a garbage can on his bike a few streets over would make its way through the neighborhood grapevine and come out on the other side as an epic tale of deadly jump over a moving cop car in the rain. Younger kids keep the myths of older kids alive in much the same way that indigenous people look to the myths of their forefathers for guidance thorough life’s struggles.

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