Monday Aphorism: Identity

I sometimes feel caught in the oddest wars.

My attempt to say who I am to others is confused with the same attempt to say who I am to myself.

Sometimes these are the same attempts: what arises in my life arises equally in my life with others: who I am and who they think I am.

But… take yesterday, for instance. Another person and I have to share a podium together in a few weeks. The subject of discussion is most interesting to me; and I have done a great deal of thinking about its problematic nature.

This subject is not so alive in my current being as it was once for an extended period. Yet the subject of discussion is mine in a certain sense, and it is me; from a time when I was somewhat more youthful; a time when I was both assaulted and assaulting, looking for truth or more complexity.

Now, bemused, I try to tell my companion who I am, and who I am not; or, who I was and was not.

The certainty: I am not anyone who he imagined I am.

Yesterday… trying to tell him what I thought and why: friendly, engaging, wondering, paranoid, hostile, amused, friendly – a progression I watched in him as I unfolded my tale.

And I? I remained a slightly anxious constant, retelling myself who I am, that I think… for the millionth time, to me. But this is the first time, that I am, to him.

I think I tell the story better now; so others might actually hear and understand it. But I am removed and distanced from earlier tellings and thinkings.

Here I am, still searching for new truths, telling an old story.