Monday, April 16, 2012

Self Talk

"Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, "Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody." My dark side says, I am no good. I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the Beloved. Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence." - Henri Nouwen

One of the great freedoms of wordcraft is the chance to slip across into other worlds found in inner space. This is not only fantasy, sometimes not fantasy at all. Neither is it lying. It is of course the heart of the story teller's art, to create a character and breathe life into it using one's own life to do so. Thus the truths that emerge are both one's own and not, sometimes quite remote. It could be possible for me to write as a lesbian woman cross dressing soldier living in a remote place in the world war zone...or how about a war zone out of this world, all that plus being a possessor of the skills of invisibility and faster than light travel. All that animated by my own breath, my own heart. I might even write in first person. Within that context, I tell the truth! Or not!! My character might dissemble as well...

I often write poems that tell small stories. These stories are not necessarily my own life any more than writing novels in the first person are autobiographical. In fact in these latter days they commonly are not drawn from my own life. The story has its own demand.

This time I wrote autobiography. This one for better or worse is actually a facet of my own distress, how I approached high school and beyond. I couldn't express my own life in the mainstream (which I finally joined at age twenty eight) except as a life under cover. I had to play the espionage game to do it at all. It took another ten years to even attempt life straight up let alone live it openly. I am still living out the after effects of all that. As I approach my end, I see that the manner of my passing is organic to my failures to thrive in my youth. We all pay the price of the way we choose or fail to choose.

Self Talk

I tied up my hands
my own self, sure if I let
me loose on the world
there would be Hell's Debt
to pay in my flailing thumbs
and bony fingers.
I have to ask me
what I was thinking, asshole,
to be so phony
as all that, acting
the cripple on this crippled
silly damn planet??

‎April ‎16, ‎2012 6:44 AM


  1. you were learning:) still are. thank god, eh, it's not over yet)))

    and why the hell is self love so damned difficult? it is as though we start out blindly loving ourselves, then rejecting ourselves and then trying to find our way back to acceptance. rejection of the self is so much easier but if i forgive everyone else's weaknesses and recognize that they are mid-way on their journey, then i must find my way to do this for myself (?)



  2. Erin, I can't say I actually hated myself or in your and Nouwen's word, rejected me. It was more complicated than that. I included that quote because it was there in the foreground as I wrote this piece, a find unplanned and so "the well placed word of God". I believe Nouwen points toward something significant.

    Where it gets more complicated, I did not really see me at fault but the world was, though the world would win any contest. I "tied my hands behind me" more as a way to keep me from standing out and so becoming a target. I needed a lower profile than I would offer untied.

    I have said before, it is neither rage nor fear at the core of me but bewilderment that I find there. I have never really figured out why I don't fit but I don't. I have accepted that long ago. In the days of my youth I had not yet accepted my fate.

  3. Erin, hugs and kisses to you. You are a great friend. I love you hugely.

  4. My great friend, I still must tell you that I cannot give you permission yet. Who else would I be real with, who then could I trust in such a fashion...As you well know it took me almost fifteen years of watching you to find within me the ability to trust you in that fundamental way. So again I say thank you, and no my permission has not yet been granted!


  5. Oh how I understand this. I am still opening this target bit by bit....choosing to do so. Choose or fail to choose. Do. There is no try. All these little quips I want to hang onto as directional arrows, when what it boils down to is some sort of authenticity that I can live with, and the world reaction be damned. Oh so much easier said than done. Welcome to the island of misfit toys.

  6. Chris, I just get up and keep up my breath. I am fine with whatever happens except the part where the world hands me insults and my body hurts overmuch. What makes you think your permission means anything in the mainstream of things? When did that ever apply?

    I found out a long time ago that things take center stage without my permission most of the time...Then a long time ago now, Casteneda demanded of my that I wear my own death on my shoulder. It's a shamanic practice.

    Later, I discovered that Hindu practice concurs in its way. Taoists choose to live forever, but what they mean by that is complex. Buddhists use the transform of death to return as Bodhisattva, much as Christians envision the transform of Jesus into Christ in His three day journey beyond the cross.

    I know you mean something less heavy than all indeed are a good and longtime friend just as your family is mine in deep ways. I keep watch on you and them just as you are keeping watch on me.

  7. Annie, I am fine with kinship heart to heart with you. Great huge hugs sent your way. We have been blogging friends for years now.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

Get Your Own Visitor Map!