I hope our new mythology will include this basic truth of the individual:
“You just never know what’s inside a human being.”
A quiet, restrained doctoral student might indeed be a killer.
Many mild-mannered Bruce Waynes might indeed be Batman.
Maybe the slight farm girl has Joan of Arc inside herself. Can you say for sure?
Even if the farm girl becomes a farm woman, there’s more within her than you or I will ever know.
To act as if we know is an attempt to diminish that individual. Maybe the farm woman uses her inner Joan of Arc to wrangle cattle…
To think we know is to play god. To think we know is arrogant.
When we presume, we blind ourselves. In our presumption, we may chain the innocent man and ignore the killer.
If it sounds as if I take this whole issue personally, you’re right.
Throughout my life, others have tried to tell me who I am and what I’ll do…
…or what I should do.
They may have just met me, and yet, they think they know me better than I know myself.
Well, perhaps they can see something in my demeanor that I’ve missed in myself…
Nonetheless, I still have better access than they do. So, as long as I try for honesty, the most accurate x-ray will be the one I do myself.
Also: the most accurate x-ray will be the next one I take…
…because in each x-ray, I discover something new.
These x-rays—this awareness—can come in many ways…
…can be deliberate, or unexpected.
Maybe I’ll suddenly find myself saying or doing something that seems to be the act of another person.
Maybe a stranger will be revealed in my own written words.
However, the greatest revelations regarding who I am, or who I could be, arrive in the form of dreams.
I go with the idea that every character in a dream represents some aspect of myself. Some part of my shadow. Either some energy unexpressed, or expressed without my full awareness.
With that in mind, I can see I’m quite a menagerie. And from what I hear of others’ dreams, so are they. So are we all.
I like ideas that expand who we are, that expand the possibilities…
…that bring us to marvel at this business called human consciousness…
…that bring us to consider what a mystery this life is, and in that way, give us a sense of the spiritual.
And so, I hope we will include some version of these words in our new mythology:
“I deceive myself if I believe I know exactly who you are…
“…and deceive myself again if I believe I know exactly who I am.”
© 2012, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry