It’s Sunday morning and the weather is pleasant with a bit of sunshine, a breeze of 14km/h, and a temperature of -9. For the first time in a month, I felt like going outside for another photo which I bring to you here. Obviously, I could have taken a few extra moments to have my hair tidy, but it just didn’t seem all that important. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if one lets one’s hair down and allows for a less-than-perfect presentation. After all, who really cares? It’s not like I need to make a good impression as far as my appearance is concerned. I am not looking to capture someone’s attention in order to perhaps have a relationship. I mean, who would ever be interested in a 71 year old man living in a northern climate, especially one who is introverted and not the most attentive to social conventions?
My photos are a record, a personal record that portrays my presence on the planet without camouflage. Through the process of taking these photos on a regular basis, I am confronted with the reality of my body. Over time, that reality becomes accepted. There is no way for me to be taller, younger, dark-haired, or more attractive – whatever that might mean. This is who I am and I better get used to it. There are things that I have learned in the process. Eating properly and getting some exercise are first on the list. This is the only body I have, so I may as well take care of it so that I can enjoy to best degree possible, the years that remain to me.
There is one benefit that comes with living during a pandemic for either an extrovert or an introvert – time alone. Continuing on with my look at Who Am I, Really? which I began in the last post, I found: “… being alone. Interesting things happen to me when I’m by myself. Or rather they happen in me; I just listen. Things also happen in me when I’m with other people, only I don’t hear them as well because of the noise.” [Daryl Sharp, Who Am I Really, p. 16]
So, what happens within oneself when one just listens? The first thought that comes to mind, born out of years of experience with meditation is monkey mind. The chatter is enough to drive one crazy until one learns to stop listening to the chatter of one’s mind that is trying to distract the ego from hearing from one’s depths. Whoever one is, it is there in the depths, buried under every conceivable mask, mirror, and distraction.
Beneath all the noise, I catch glimpses of a Robert that isn’t a retired educator or a quasi-shaman elder. That Robert is more of a presence than a being … ageless. Okay, so how does this help me or you know who we really are? Honestly? Perhaps it can only tell us what we aren’t. I was a teacher in a public school system. I am not that person anymore – or I should say that I am no longer defined and hidden behind that persona, that role. The same goes for you. Each of the roles, each of the persona that we discover, experience and let go teach us something about our nature, positive or negative.
Source: Exposed and Vulnerable
Original publication 21 February, 2021
Posted on NatCorn 5th March 2021
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