Harsh Experience Has Taught
Moon and Its Misbegettings

Permanence in Change


"Permanence in Change" is the English translation of "Dauer im Wechsel," a poem by the German Romantic poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe -- and permanence in change is, I often think, the central issue that we, as Charlie's parents and sole caretakers, grapple with. How to provide Charlie with enough routine, order and regularity in his life, while still teaching him to function and be in a world of constant change?

A world in which we are all, Charlie included, getting older, with bodily and physical changes to match.

A world in which new and out-of-the-ordinary experiences and phenomena pop up frequently.

We have learned, through harsh experience, that letting things remain the same too much and too long for Charlie, and he seems to be knocking and banging himself about in a sort of OCD box -- that he does need change, though subjecting him to it can often seem far more painful than anything encountered before. Over the years (and especially in the past 2-3 years), we think (hope) we have gotten a better sense of knowing when it is time for a change-up.

For his part, Charlie seeks to manage his way through the changes, some of which may be so well-liked that they become the new routine.

But the initial encounter with change is always hard and often cause for fear: Because if things are different, who's to say that everything won't suddenly morph into something else?

Charlie was not entirely at ease on Monday, but managed as he might through a lot of unusualness: The full moon of the past few nights that seems to be affecting his sleep. The curiously warm temperatures on Saturday after the -3 Celsius days of a week ago. Another visit from reporters during which he attempted to wear a microphone -- what a sensory puzzle that must have been -- and became disconcerted as the evening drew on, as signaled by Charlie slamming the door of his bedroom loudly several times.

The reporters were accommodating and Charlie was all right and even smiling as, before going to bed, he watched a Barney show he has seen many times before while I took a little video, something I don't usually do and something I suddenly wanted to do, to catch a passing moment for a little longer.



Chelsea Cook

"Permanence in Change" is really excellent poem I ever read. I like this amazingly. Hope you published more interesting translation like it.

Kristina Chew

I love that poem -- I've actually never translated it, may try my hand at it. Thank you!

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