Weekly Derivative: Fenestration

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Hey there, John Locke

Dear Mr. Locke,

I read your Essay a few years ago and, if I’m being entirely honest, it didn’t do much for me. Let’s just say your prose is a tad heavy in the hands of an adolescent millennial.

To be clear, this letter isn’t to shame or criticize your work. Actually, since that point in my adolescence, a few key things passed into my life that augmented the relevance of your Essay in my mind.

The first was Latin.

Latin has shaped my view of life and has become a constant source of discovery. (Try writing an essay analyzing prose – first you have to quite literally analyze the prose. Case, number, gender, anyone?)

So the meaning of tabula rasa, which of course I learned when your Essay was deconstructed on the white board of my history classroom, wasn’t all that new to me. But, now that Latin has become a passion, just hearing a casual “et cetera” in someone’s dialogue, or finding a cf. in the footnote of a textbook, makes me that much more intrigued in the subject matter.

The second wasn’t something that passed into my life. “Through” would be a more appropriate choice of words.

I met my best friend in kindergarten. We’ve since bonded over Harry Potter, fatigue in the fourth mile of our run, and Daenerys’ epic woman power. I’ve known her about as long as I’ve known myself, which makes it hard to define myself and keep my identity secure now that she isn’t around.

(Forgive the rambling, Mr. Locke, I’ll get to the point!)

I wish I was back in elementary school when we had recess and stayed in the same classroom all day and there wasn’t homework and college was a figment of our imaginations and sex was nonexistent and there were playdates and we went sledding and didn’t wake up at 5:30 and we were friends.

The best part of being a child is, like you note, Mr. Locke, the blank slate state of being that comes with it. How irrational, that the slate you speak of can’t be erased? I can’t unsee, unexperience, undo, or unlearn.

Everyone’s lost their blissful ignorance, and the tabulae rasae aren’t just marked, they’re scarred.