So what do you want to be when you grow up, sonny?

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Many friends have written on Facebook, in response to one of those unavoidable interrogatory games (“What career are you meant for?”), that they were meant to be writers.

One friend in particular put his finger on this desire or direction: “… perhaps we are all like-minded individuals, artistic and expressive as well as communicative with thought and feeling. We tend to gravitate toward others of the same ilk. Which accounts for why we are all friends. You ALL could be VPs at Walmart climbing over the backs of others! Scrambling and headbutting your way to promotion!”

But then, aren’t you glad we are not?

The salary could be comforting, yes. But the scrambling and headbutting, no thanks.

Reminds me of Wordsworth’s lines in his “Ode: Intimations of Immortality,” his neo-Platonic idea that we all start out in another, better place and that our childhood is our zenith:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

Shades of the prison house indeed! Wordworth must’ve been looking at the bills piled up on his desk, even in his Lake District cottage, surrounded by nature and attended by his sister Dorothy. Oh well, he didn’t have Walmart to contend with anyway.

Writers can indeed be “artistic and expressive as well as communicative with thought and feeling,” and where in the corporate world do you get that chance? Let’s be frank, fellow neo-Platonists, heaven is a long long way from the Walmart vice presidency. There’s the Muse, as one friend has put it, and the Meatball, and evidently we’re meant to choose between ’em.

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