Who Am I?

Theme for February: Resilience

Monday, February 15, 2021

            I’ve been reading aloud Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to my grandsonand we have just gotten into the chapters where Alice seems confused about who she is. I’m very much enjoying this section of the story, because it’s reminding me that, at the age of 79, I am more convinced than ever that I have absolutely no clue about who – or what – I am.  For most of my life, I have pretended that I know who I am. “Oh, of course, I’m Hamilton Salsich, son of Ann and Peter Salsich, husband of Delycia, father of …”. and on and on – but that’s about as silly as saying you know what the Grand Canyon is if you know its name, or that you understand the wind because you can say the word ‘wind’. I realize now, finally, in my very senior years, that what is called ‘Hamilton Salsich’ is a vast and incomprehensible mystery, and always will be. What is called ‘I’ and ‘me’ is as infinite as the sky, as endless as the present moment, as unfathomable as a measureless sea. While I was reading to my grandson this morning about Alice and her confusion as to who she is, I reminded myself, with a kind of peaceful contentment, that I no more know who I am than I know what life itself is. I guess I could say that ‘mystery’ and ‘bewilderment’ are my middle names, and I am actually grateful for that. I don’t understand who I am, but I’m thankful that I do understand – and accept -my ignorance.

(Matthew 16:13)
(Jimmy Lee H., 38, Blessings, CT)
Jimmy asks, 
“Whom do you say that I am?
Maybe a wind that’s been wandering through
since November of 1980?
Or perhaps a prayer
that’s been silently speaking
for 38 years?  
Maybe I’m a single mighty thought
remade every moment,
or could I be a bright star
as big as hundreds of suns?
There’s shining inside me, 
and is it the same shining
as endless summer days?
Am I a deep sea
among thousands of deep seas 
in the center 
of beautiful Blessings?” 

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