The Old Man
The old man looked out of his window
at the screeching gull as it wheeled away.
There is a value to ignorance, he thought.
If you lose it, it cannot be replaced.
And he looked again where the bird had been
and cursed his failing eyesight.
Was it still there or did he imagine it?
And he stood there alone.
Well, as alone as any of us ever are
or would wish to be.
6 April 1991
Ignorance is simply not knowing: I couldn’t list off more than maybe a dozen elements off the periodic table but that doesn’t make me a bad person. Innocence, on the other hand, is not understanding, which is why a concept such as the age of criminal responsibility exists. Thankfully there are still many things of which I remain blissfully ignorant. You don’t have to know everything. Far from being the first step to wisdom more often than not knowledge only leads to disappointment.