not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Monday, February 25, 2013

nosce te ipsum



what is it that makes something so simple so difficult?  (there is a key in the answer to this that i do not know the answer to.) at times i feel as though i am drowning in self, as though self is a bulk upon the eternal glimmer of me which is not me at all.  know yourself.  jesusgod, it is a life's work with no time for retrospect.

14 comments:

  1. Ah, we know ourselves best when we get lost. Give me a book, a garden, a few hours in the kitchen, dinner with good friends, a walk on the beach and both time and self disappear.

    Erin, I'm following what you say, but I'm not sure that I understand the need to give up the ego. We are both our bodies and our consciousness, and without one or the other, we are no longer who we are.

    I don't want to give up anything of me, including my selfishness. We can't be sane or saint without a good dose of self-interest. How else do we stand up to ignorance and brutality the world is bound to surround us with? As women, especially in a world that seems not to see us the way we see ourselves, we need to stand tall and resolute and yes, even demanding and strident.

    Giving up the ego may not accomplish such defiance.

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  2. rosaria, you ask precisely the right question (although i'm not sure there aren't many). there is an absolute contradiction that we must live inside. we only know the world through self and what a gift this is to be singular, separate and unique. and yet our singularity and separateness is our pain and in our pain and in our limited uniqueness we inflict pain and damage on the world.

    something i experienced this morning was curious. i awoke wanting to go to the world, to receive some truth from the world, and i knew that to do this i needed to exercise the contradiction. i needed to find myself, absolutely be myself in the world, and in this intense zone i also needed to relinquish myself. i can't say that i understand it exactly, rosaria, but i feel that it's a truth and in that it is a contradiction, perhaps it is closer to the truth than anything, for it seems that all existence, all polarities, all truth springs forth from the needle point of the same location.

    yes, i must must MUST be me in this world, but i must reach for that place in me beyond me and know true humility, know my true size, my true relation to the world. again, wendell berry from A Native Hill:

    "I saw my body and my daily motions as brief coherences and articulations of the energy of the place, which would fall back into it like leaves in the autumn."

    perhaps i begin to understand but i am plagued no less in my (vague) understanding.

    i am so glad you are conflicted. we should be conflicted. and this should drive us to dig further.

    xo
    erin

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  3. i come back to respond to your call for strength. i do believe this is necessary, but i do not believe we must stand tall because this world demands it of us. instead i think we need to change this world and how it calls us. it calls us to stand tall in defense or in aggression. i want us to stand tall and small at the same time. i want us to ignore the mechanisms of the hateful world and instead spend our energy trying to live in thoughtful manners.

    but of course i speak from a generation of luxury. i have not had to fight for my place, nor do i want to fight.

    but i laugh at myself, for the way i yearn for the world to be structured is to fight the constant modern current.

    and so we keep on trying, eh, rosaria, to figure it all out and to be as our authentic selves call us to be:))))))

    xo
    erin

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  4. i am drowning in self too lately, and the wrong kind - the one with the little s.

    a pesky little bugger if you ask me. doing my damndest to do an end run around it and one of these days maybe i will know my Self.

    xx

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    Replies
    1. amanda, little s or big s, i keep trying to keep my distance but i run straight through her time and time again like threading a needle.

      xo
      erin

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  5. perhaps rather than drowning in self, we should swim in self...

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    1. maybe you're right, aimee but i don't seem to have the technique down. there seems to be too much of me.

      (ah, but you're near the ocean right now. you've an unfair advantage:)

      xo
      erin

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  6. The second is really wonderful. It shows who you are...
    Hugs
    W.

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    Replies
    1. white, in a way this thrills me and causes me to feel...well, what on earth might this then reveal?

      xo
      erin

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  7. Drowning in self, ... This is the problem of almost every day, yes we are fighting every day

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    1. laura, sister-soul, how and why is this, but it is so))

      xo
      erin

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  8. Knowing yourself, there is so much there to observe, around the corner more of me, I watch , yes there he is, take a breathe, observe, feel the body, now here where everything is simple and easy,,,

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    Replies
    1. michael, how is it that the self keeps such secrets? i am mystified. what the heck is the self?

      xo
      erin

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  9. i come back to this again. always i come back to this again. while these are photographs of me, they are not photographs of me. while i write words and mumble on about me, this is not about me. damn, i would like to scrub these questions clean of me. what is the self? does it lie in one location? is it knowable? why is it elusive? is there something which the self adheres to? (if feels so.) what is that something?

    i am absolutely willing to concede that the self dissolves upon death. i do not need to hold fast to the notion that my self is so important that it must persevere through time. i do not even need to believe it prevails in my time. in scrubbing clean myself from myself i want to shout, who am i, and in this way, of course, i am shouting, who is any one of us?

    xo
    erin

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"Words at the limit of hearing, attributable to no one, received in the conch of the ear like dew by a leaf." (philippe jaccottet) or even a quiet presence is appreciated))