Meeting My Selves

Meeting My Selves January 21, 2013

Read Mark’s weekly reflections on The Huffington Post.

We are all blessed to live more than one life within our one life. All of us challenged to grow out of one self and into another. I am not the same person I was ten years ago, nor was that self the same as the one I inhabited twenty years ago. We blossom and outgrow selves the way butterflies emerge from cocoons. Except that being human, we have the chance to emerge from many cocoons. This poem tries to look back at the many selves I’ve lived in.


I came upon a younger me. He was pressing

against everything. Seeing what would hold

and what would give way. What gave way he

thought weaker. What resisted he thought

oppressive. I was embarrassed at how little

I knew. Then I stumbled on an artist obsess-

sed with the fire of creation. He thought it a

sacred obligation. He threw everything into the

flames. Those close thought him an arsonist. I

felt guilty for those I burned against their will.

Midway I found a fish-like man whose chest was

pried open like a ragged shell. This was me tossed

ashore by cancer. I felt grateful for the cracking of

my stubbornness with time enough to be. Along

the way I dreamt of the old holy man. I can’t say

he was me but I have met him many times. He

stays in the world though he faces the interior.

Whatever the difficulty, he stops to bless what-

ever is near. When I was near death, he stopped

to bless me. I have searched for him ever since.

When I close my fear, I feel his hands entering

my hands. When I close my worry, I feel his

eyes parting the curtain of my eyes.

A Question to Walk With: Describe at least one former self and how you have grown from that into the self you are right now.

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