“All your life you live so close to truth, it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye, and when something nudges it into outline it is like being ambushed by a grotesque.” -Guildenstern
I honestly have no idea why I’m struggling with this one so much. I know that there are things I don’t see (won’t see?) because I’ve told myself a story for so long that it has become a sort of truth I carry around. The ways that these narratives gain weight comes from a seemingly harmless omission of origin. I cannot tell you when I learned to doubt my self as knowing what is best for me. I cannot tell you when the lies began to chip away at the foundations and insert themselves as a reasonable base of personal expectations. And since there is no definitive place and time that these seeds of mistrust were planted, I cannot imagine them never not being there. And so I live with them.
They muddy my vision, the choices I make for my self clouded and hindered by an inability to see the whole picture. Even that might not be true, except I’ve told myself it is, and it has become so.
There is a character in a story I read once, a magician. He fucked up. He hurt people. It sucked because he really thought he was a super cool dude who could do no wrong. And so he asked for it all to be erased, to have the memory of the hurt he had caused, the mistakes he had made to be wiped away.
He was blessed/cursed to live without ever knowing himself, who he really was, what he was capable of. Which was magic, plain and simple.
Later in the story, all of those things he’d had purged from him (does anything ever really go?) found their way back to the surface. Every time something new showed up, it made him physically ill. Which makes facing truth something distinctly unpalatable.
He did face it, and it made him mad for a time, the result of conflicting narratives imposing themselves onto a mind that tries to see everything at once.
I think it important to risk the madness, to do the work, to untangle the lies.
And so I try to see myself clearly.
To look in the mirror and see past the self that is just a reflection of what I’ve allowed the world to impose upon me, to the part of me that is the whole of me. As though I’m just below the surface if I have the courage to dig deep enough. That I’ll unearth the true me I’ve buried under the stories and be able to start living as the person I am, rather than the person I believe I should be.
I think that might be my mistake.
It feels like another story I tell myself to keep my perspective murky. That I am calm below the chaos, static below the strife. To expect that I’ll be the same person every day suggests that every day will be the same. Life is not lived in a vacuum. And like the character in the story, I inhabit many different lives within the same time frame of existence. Who I will finish as is so very far removed from the place I started, even if there wasn’t a vast geographical, or even temporal shift.
And even then, I don’t really finish. I’ll just change into something else. Even if it’s just a redistribution of atoms recombining themselves to make a flower, or the laugh of a dolphin, or a yummy sandwich, it’s pretty goddamn magical.