Self-Portrait in Tessellation
I never see myself but in the smallest part,
all others quite obscured by my beliefs,
incessant shadows of my little griefs
and the convictions of this moment’s heart–
in tiny pieces shaped by this day’s faith,
see this week’s angle; my fragmented soul
seen but in shards, not as a whole:
instead of spirit, as an empty wraith–
I hope that I will someday finally see
this whole chaotic multitude in view,
convened, a coalescent scene anew,
a fine mosaic, these mixed atoms that are me
Truthfully, I hope never to get the full view of myself–that seems to me something to be experienced only at the very end of life, and as the old story goes, I’m not eagerly “gettin’ up a busload to go today”. Let’s hope the afterlife can wait for me a goodish bit yet. But it’s sometimes edifying to view myself with a modicum of dispassion, a fair step back from the funhouse mirror where I tend to see myself with automatic criticism, for good or ill, and not with honest clarity and fairness.
Ms. CF, that sage lady over at cfbookchick, posted a marvelous piece that should encourage us all to look inward and see whether we’re not a little overzealous in measuring and judging self and others. As she says, “self doubt is a terrible monster,” and it’s frighteningly easy to be caught up in obsessive condemnation of our own failures or shortcomings as well as those we paint on others. Few truly sharp universal definitions of standards and requirements exist to tell us just who, how or what anyone ought to be, so we tend to invent our own more than we’ll readily admit, and so, being judge and jury by default in our own courts–well, it’s easy to take prisoners and not so easy to ever show quite as much mercy as we should. When is it time to let go of all the old baggage, or at least put it away in long-term storage, and forgive ourselves and others?
I May be Getting the Hang of It
Tumbling on fifty-one years
Of joy and quiet wonder, fears,
Of curiosity and laughs,
Of writing songs and epitaphs,
I think I’m finding here at last
Direction from each annum past
To lead me forward to explore
At least another fifty more
See, whatever the current state of the union-or-disunion in my being, I’m in a mighty happy spot in life these days. Getting my blogging groove on bit by bit and learning along the way. Surrounded by standouts who take me under their measureless wings and fly me around at irresistibly dizzying height just as though I actually belonged there, and are teaching me how to flap my own flimsy excuse for a set of wings. Clumsy I may be, but having a high old time and loving the exhilarating and weird sensation of the familiar earth being transmuted into something quite new, sometimes shocking, and decidedly intriguing. And people keep popping over to my aerie to drop prizes and presents into my humble and shaggy version of a nest. I’m running out of mantel space in the ol’ nest, and getting quite the kick out of the whole thing, thank you very much. Lately I’ve had another set of trophies and treasures conferred upon me by fellow sojourners in the Merry Old Land of Blog to the degree that instead of falling out of the nest in self-abnegation I’m more likely to be overinflated and drift off in my helium-fillled happiness, giving a queenly wave as I float over thanking the Little People who helped me feel like the grand success I am today.
My more honest self, however, weighs it all in the balance and says that I am simply most fortunate to have these new digs in bloggerville and thus be surrounded by such great neighbors–wiser, more experienced, and incredibly generous souls who raise me up to their natural locations in the heights. Today I am especially cognizant of the gifts shared with us all, and me in particular, with me by two fine exemplars of this communal outreach through art and kind critical support.
I am grateful to dear Geraldine, the Alternative Poet, for granting me the Versatile Blogger Award. Her passion for and championing of contemporary poetry that puts up no walls of opacity in front of readers but rather invites us in with magical and graceful turns of phrase able instead to allow us clearer views through an artful and inspired window is a great gift in itself. She shares not only her own lovely work with us but the safe haven in which the rest of us are encouraged to be our best selves in this vein. I am grateful, too, to dear ‘Nessa, who is inclined to open veins while writing from her Stronghold that sometimes seem to me to put her at fearful personal risk, but does so with such mature passion that it’s compelling even when frightening–all the while offering astonishingly tireless words of kindness and endorsement to the rest of us. None have better deserved the designation Liebster [Beloved] in blogging, and yet here she is handing it along to others, including me.
Yes indeedy, I can still see that oddly, eccentrically fragmented and distorted self-image of mine, but I really don’t dislike or fear it anymore. It’s just one part of who I am, more relevant in explaining my exceedingly long and poky version of Overnight Success than anything frightfully du jour, so I’ll just let it hang around there, cracked mirror that it is, incomplete and insignificant in the grand scheme of my present day. Which is where I prefer to live, relegating my past to the past, my grudges and demons and failures Most Embarrassing Moments and any other unresolved or unresolvable junk to less accessible and current places, and just plain get on with things. Take that, not-so-Fun-house mirror! I have better things to do with my days, and am already having too nice a life, whether it’s deserved or not, to be bothered hanging around in dusty corners staring at what I don’t much care to be anyhow. Toodle-oo! Find yourself somebody else to gnaw at, begone and good riddance! I’m headed back into the sunshine to play!