How strange we human beings, how odd we people wandering through a life. What a strange blend of traits, we bipedal hairless apes. I think of this often, how many versions of ourselves can coexist inside the same skin, how many different people scream out for our attention from deep in the recesses of these shells we call home. I am one thing, I know this, one thing you all call Tyler Knott Gregson, but I am a thousand variations of that worn out soul. I am a man of opposites, I am a man of similarities, I am a man of joy, of sorrow, of ambitious, of dreadfully tired. I think what makes us unique as a species, is our ability to house all these versions, and what’s more, for them to all live happily beside the others.
And those are the version of you that you know from the inside! Something I read once that was almost terrible to me is the idea that every single person who "knows" you holds a partial version of you in their mind that is informed by the limited experiences they have with you and is molded through THEIR view and perception...but in that sort of way, we're almost skewed holographic versions to everyone else....they see what they're willing or able to perceive....but the accuracy of their perception is dubious at best and very much...scarily.... completely out of our control.
So in a way, we have these dynamic facets of our inner self that you speak of, yes.....but there are also hundreds and hundreds of largely inaccurate versions held in the eyes of others. Is it any wonder then that we love that moment when another person can accurately mirror back to us some small truth of how WE perceive ourselves to be and we have a profound moment of feeling SEEN? That means the other reached beyond their own limited perception and looked DEEPER. This takes intention, effort, interest, and openness to what's real. That attention to detail is a gift very few bestow on each other...and that's why there's "knowing someone" and there's really "KNOWING someone". And it may be limited to understanding a few deep truths about an ocean of a person, but it's more than the rest of the world sees...and to feel seen is all most of us ever want.
One of the things I love about poetry is that it's often a beautiful invitation to the real....like the writer is saying, "Here is my real....please see me if you will." And it's a litmus test of sorts....only real with oneself can recognize real in another. Poetry is a beautiful invitation.
Dear Tyler, I understand you and emphasize with you. I have for many decades tried to cobble the patchwork that is me and to deal with inconsistencies. For me it is not a pain but a wonderful challenge. It certainly remains a work in progress, but it’s becoming less of a labyrinth. Working hard with ourselves to become what we sincerely want to become is, I think, what makes us human and our lives worthwhile. It’s why I can honestly say that I’m content and happy. These Tanka verses try to explain who I am:
my many faces
are like family to me
all work together
I spend private time with each
know how they work together
I think we mingle
mostly in harmonious ways
and frequent meditation
these faces have become me
As an afterthought: An analogy — constructing the composite of my face is like conducting an orchestra or choir. All participants have different voices, but the conductor shapes them to a dominant melody. Yes, it’s very hard work but worth it.
So true! Love this one!