Chapter 15 | “I am what I am”

I am what I am.  You can’t tell though.  You see what you see, and there’s nothing I can do about it. If I am open, you believe you know everything there is to know about me.  But you don’t.

If I am closed, you fill in the blanks yourself.

He sees apathy, she see meanness, they see strange.

But those others see still other things.  Everybody sees different things, and none of them are right because none of them see inside.

What is it that is not seen?  That is for someone else to know. Not you.  Even if I tell you, even if I show you, you can’t see.

Oh the places I have been. You wouldn’t believe it.

And you, you have your own ideas and opinions about those ideas.  It doesn’t matter that you are dead wrong, because you believe yourself, and nothing anyone else could say would sway you.

So be that!

I am what I am. I have lived and loved and given and received, I have danced, and laughed and mourned and sang, and grieved.

I have seen 20,008 sunrises, and 20,007 sunsets. I have heard babies cry and watched them grow.

I have been full of life, and full of days, and I have been emptied out and filled up, and scraped raw.

I am no one special, except to my Creator, and a few humans.

I gave what I had, and not always wisely.

When it comes time to break camp, I won’t miss this.

I have, quite literally, my whole life ahead of me. This, this was a mist I passed through. One that obscured my view of the destination on numerous occasions, but when I couldn’t see it, I still knew it was there, and that was what counted on.  No matter how thick the darkness gets, it is still what I count on.

A time comes when you are on the last lap. It is not a race of speed, nor a pageant, nor even a competition. A lot of times you don’t know it is the last lap, even.  The only prize is in finishing. Yes, they say “finish strong”.  Well, when your strength is small to begin with, finishing strong doesn’t mean the same for you than it might mean to others. Something to consider!  God uses the simple to confound “the wise”.

It can mean crawling across the finish line, and still count.

It’s like the widow’s mite, in that respect. No crowds may be there still watching and cheering, when you arrive, but someone will.  At least one.  That same one that always was there. In the end, that is where I place my hope.

Is it wrong to want to make a mark, something that proclaims “I was here”?  Nah, I don’t think so. But not everyone has that calling or desire. No matter what impact you make, time will eventually erode it away. In fact, most of us are the bit-players, the stand-ins, the seat-fillers in life. All this about “you can be anything you want to be” is a bunch of hooey. Can a bloodworm be a butterfly? No, but a caterpillar can.  Should the bloodworm try to be a butterfly?  If I be you, then who will be me?

I am what I am. I am what I am, in any given moment. I can change my hair, and I can change my body to some degree, but I am still me.  Everywhere I go, there I am. I can’t escape that.  I can’t escape me. But that’s what most people are trying to do, all the while ignoring and rejecting the One Thing that can actually change a person.

I have no issue with “being all you can be” and “bettering yourself” in principle.  But a lot of times, what folks are trying to become, is not, in fact any better than what we already are.  Just different. Just a different facade, for the outside.  For show.  For other people to see. Maybe we enjoy it too, looking at our outside when we “renovate”, but then it happens all over again. We age, we morph, our own familiarity breeds contempt, or somebody else does something that changes us in ways we can’t fix, but it’s all cosmetic, either way.  Why would a being that came into “being” when nothing, exploded, who used to be a fish and then a monkey, why would that being expect to arrive at some state that will never change again? For.EV.ER. Where do temporal beings even beget such notions?

Everyone is talking about their spirit these days.  It’s the new fad.  It is considered virtuous, to turn from externals and “stuff” of the material sort, but then there is the problem of discovering our spirit is not all shiny and good either. That in fact, there can be as much clutter and ambiguity and confusion there as the other.

Of course, some of us are very, very good at not noticing that sort of thing, pretending otherwise. Nice gig if you can get it. Ignorance, as they say after all, is bliss. We do manage to pull the wool over our own eyes.

In the end though, and I do mean the end, because even if scientists discover the secret to immortality, they will never overcome the consequences of sin, we will all find out what we are, if we haven’t done so sooner.

I know what I am.  And I thank God that He does too.