Saturday, January 20, 2007

Please hear what I am not saying

Don't be fooled by me
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I'm afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.
Pretending is an art that's second nature to me
but don't be fooled.
For God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that confidence is my name and coolness is my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command,
and that I need no one.
But don't believe me.
My surface may seem smooth but my surface
is my mask, ever-varying and ever-concelaing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneeath lies confusion and fear and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.

I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation
My only hope , and I know it.
That is, if it's followed by acceptance,
if it's followed by love
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only that will assure me
of what I can't assure myself
that I' really worth something
I don't like to hide.
I dont't like to play superficial phony games.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me,
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last think I seem to want,
only you can wipe away from my eyes
the bland stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me in aliveness.

Each time you're kind and gentle and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings, very small winds,
very feeble wings,
but wings!
With your power to touch me into feeling you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.

Who am I , you may wonder.
I am someone you know very well,
for I am every man you meet,
and I am every man you meet!

--Charles Finn