Wednesday, June 22, 2011

me and my shadow

moritz von schwind a player with a hermit


while listening
to the songs of life

cleverness throws down shadows
and protects me
from the possibility
that i might tell you
stories
that are very true
and so very real

stories about the dark gems
that make their home
in those shadows

dark gems
that are as much who i am
as the star-crossed jewels that i share so freely

my fear is that
they might
reveal that i
am made of things
you could not bear
to see inside yourself
or someone that you loved

that my flaws would become your only sight of me
and you might let me go

this is a learned process

learned
in order to be
gradually unlearned

i am the product
of my self

sullied in part and places
by the life i've led

i am the dream of all that
i could have been
and done
and said
and left behind
and all that i am

i am a box containing moments
you could hold
before your eyes

and you could
(as i sometimes do)
admire
each and every one
as if it were
a jewel
bending
in its crystalline perfection
the colours of life

but in my cleverness
i hide

unsure
of my intentions

the key to the corridor of shadows
well-hidden

the map
to its hiding place
left out in the rain
has mouldered soft
and gone to earth

17 comments:

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

A rich and revelatory reflection, showing just enough to pique our interest for all that is left unsaid and is perhaps unsayable. I tend to think that people (readers) who love us will do so us for our so-called imperfections as much as for our supposed virtues; indeed, perhaps 'true' love is not knowing how or caring to make a distinction between the two. As Leonard Cohen said/sang: everything has a crack in it; that's how the light gets in.

Ruth said...

I can't help read this through the lens of emerging grandmotherhood. (Sorry, this is going to be common in the days ahead, I'm afraid.) I am contemplating how much we will shape this child, we can't help it. Some will be intentional, some will not. What 'mistakes' and disappointments will be part of her/his shape? If there are 'flaws' in us, in you, do we not see ourselves in them, and take heart?

Lilith said...

"my fear is that
they might
reveal that i
am made of things
you could not bear
to see inside yourself
or someone that you loved"

That's it, isn't it? What we can't even stand to look at in ourselves and then see inside another.

Reya Mellicker said...

OK. I'm sure you can guess that I LOVE this one, Steven. I am quite fond of the dark gems that are a part of being human. I love our fallibilities, delusions, mistakes, I really do. They are the stepping stones to character. No one is free of them, no one.

We are taught to be ashamed of these quintescential human qualities - never have understood why.

Depth of character, insight into ethical behavior, artfulness, gracefulness, all depend on a deep cache of dark gems.

I, too, am quite careful about what I reveal over the internet, though because once it's out here, there's no taking it back. I'm protective of dark and bright gems in my own life story, very protective.

I love you, Steven, all the facets of you, even the ones I can't see.

Reya Mellicker said...

Apologies for typos and misspellings. I was so excited to read today's poem!

aguja said...

Reya's comments about the person we are are beautifully put across. All of our facets are important. i love the idea carrying through of the jewels and treasure. It is so important to accept that we are all of these things, both outside and in, and that they make up the treasure of our very being; not all jewels are perfect, but are precious just the same.

SG said...

Very beautifully put. That is my fear too, I guess has been my fear all through; it is only now that I've realized the extent of it. I'm trying to overcome it now, but it is just baby steps.

Jj Rodriguez said...

i understand the fear as i do have them... but love is love it's unconditional, it will understand...

a lot of reader would surely relate to this...

nice post!

JJRod'z

steven said...

lorenzo - one of the features of this blog for me has been my gradually moving closer to the centre of what i envision its possibilities to be. it's moved from being purely represented information, to photography of my world, to words and photography, to images and interpretive text. to images and poetry. my sense of the next phase or step is that i will likely welcome the shaowd, the dark gems, into the whole. i can feel them but i'm not quite sure how to present them. i am all too keenly aware of some of the eyes and hearts watching. steven

steven said...

ruth i hope you feel no sorrow in seeing your self and your thoughts through the lens of your grandmotherhood. there are few clearer and more precise lenses. sharing flaws - which are entirely present even in our most polished jewels - runs counter to what i think of as "right". but apparently not because here they are knocking at the door. steven

steven said...

lilith it is - and i have much greater comfort with other's obviation of their flaws than my own. but they are here. time to change. steven

steven said...

reya thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. you open out what crept out of my mind and through my fingers and it begins here. an expansion of the presentation of what i am ... not a dark focus, but an expression of the acceptance of those parts of my self that watch from behind almost closed doors, peer from behind heavy pulled curtains, or sleep in the shadows . . . the dark gems. steven

steven said...

aguja thankyou for sharing your kind and insightful understanding of the human condition. steven

steven said...

sg - bringing the idea of "baby steps" into the comments is interesting because of course, that's where everything begins for better or for worse, the layering of our selves and our sense of our selves. i wish you well - the same well as i wish myself - in your quest to unpack the facets of yourself and re-present them in the public domain (if you wish). steven

steven said...

jj - "love will understand" . . . oh my, my friend . . . beautiful! steven

Ruth said...

No Steven, I feel no sorrow. In fact I feel so much bliss, I will be perhaps unable to filter it. I have heard it said that first time grandmothers can be real loonies. I just don't want to make anyone roll their eyes too bad.

But I can take it if they do.

:-)

Valerianna said...

After reading your reply to Lorenzo, and remembering that you said you paint, I'm wondering if you might imagine the "dark gems" in visually in paint before trying to "present' them in words? For me, pulling things up from the deep inner cauldron is easiest in color, form and emotion, not until I explore an inkling with those can I then really name something. But maybe I've missed your point and gone off on my own little tangent. If so, then thanks for the diving board!