Tuesday, March 24, 2009


How odd and quirky is the human mind; how convoluted and confused the human heart!

I see a vista, a labyrinth of half-truths and unvoiced laments. I see the tattered remnants of trust, worn and flapping wearily in the aftermath of betrayal.

My old friend rage snuffles by my side in its accustomed spot, nipping angst into the cloak of despair which embraces me in clinging folds. Like some demented capering demon, I vacillate between anger and despair and sorrow and a deep, abiding loneliness, with an occasional helping of clarity, of pristine understanding and a swift, fleeting recollection of quiet joy.

One thing I have to remind myself – often – is that it is all in the perspective.

That voices remain unheard and thoughts expressed float into the ether of clouded perception and are lost in a fog of missed opportunities is simply serendipity. That we read into obliviousness, intent and motivation, purpose and plan is simply our perception… our perspective.

For we stand looking into the room from an angle that is uniquely ours, vouchsafed to none but our gaze. We take a concrete reality and with the deft, creative fingers of our humanness, weave a tapestry of possibilities and intentions and prick our egos on the sharp needles of mindless illusions created from the rich, verdant landscape of our imaginations… our perspective.

Even the most garrulous of us lives largely in our own minds, creating vast epics full of “sound and fury”1 and inventing entire conversations never uttered, scenarios never played out. We move people like chess pieces around the board of our private justifications and create knowledge when the paucity of insight is unmistakable.. our perspective only.

The reality is that communication is an inexact, inefficient science and while we obediently bleat, again and again, communicate, communicate, communicate, grasping and internalizing the entirety of the human condition continues to elude even the most perceptive student of human nature.

It is both our blessing and our curse to remain enigmas to even those whom we profess to love, to retain mystery to the one to whom we promise full disclosure.

And in the end, to survive, to learn hope, we learn to hold on to the trailing remnants of understanding and wrap the gossamer strands of expectation around the shivering reality of our lives and find in the trembling strands, a measure of contentment …. or not.

1. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
William Shakespeare's Macbeth, from Act 5, Scene 5:


Buffalo said...

To be able to see and vocalize the nature of reality is a gift. You have that gift.

Well done, Selkie.

Brambleberry Blush said...

I love your writing, pure poetry. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about human nature. They ring true.


Gillette said...

Oh my...some of the things I've been pondering and considering, too. Except you make it poetry. You truly are gifted, M'Lady.

Tapestry said...

"It is both our blessing and our curse to remain enigmas to even those whom we profess to love, to retain mystery to the one to whom we promise full disclosure."

People so often remain an enigma to themselves, their deepest feelings and beliefs and perceptions a mystery to even themselves. How hard the work of really learning to KNOW ourselves is. Yet only in that knowing able to share that self with another. For we cannot share that which we do not know.

Thank you for the beautifully written piece of yourself. You touch me with your heart and mind and soul.


selkie said...

it's true though, isn't it? the more life throws at me, the more thought goes into its complexity and with sorrow, with the battles all of us experience, with the gulleys and mountains that greet us, there is learning too .... one of the things I have internalized lately is EXACTLY what clever, insightful Tapestry said - KNOW ourselves.

and Gillette - it astonishes me how often your mind and mine wander the same byways and highways of thought... your thoughts often provoke a storm of thought in my own soul.

Buff, I don't know about a gift; a lot of times I look at what I have written and think I am far too unfocused, obscure or something.

Carly, how lovely to see you here! and thank you for your kind words! I visited your lovely blog and (grins) some very delicious writing there!

Loving Annie said...

You sound like you know me very very very well, Selkie... You have indeed crawled into my head/heart/soul with those words because you describe how I think/feel/what is...

Anonymous said...

To hell with your poetry, I love that picture. (You already know I love all of your writings.)