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Sunday, November 15, 2009

who am I?


























Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell's confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equally, smilingly, proudly,
Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were
Compressing my throat,
Yearning for colors, for flowers, for voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
Tossing in expectation of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine!

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

3 Comments:

At 11/17/2009, Blogger jollybeggar said...

the first question of perspective- the one which both informs the answers to all of the others, and is informed by them- is 'WHO AM I?'

we spend our entire life researching the answer, only to find in dying that the things we were most sure of may have been the most superficial.

 
At 11/17/2009, Anonymous Cinder said...

"we spend our entire life researching the answer, only to find in dying that the things we were most sure of may have been the most superficial."
(jollybeggar)

so true!

i read this poem a couple of weeks ago in preparation for a study i'm partaking in. and the question we were to ponder was what stands out to you in this poem? and for me, the fact was that no matter what we think we are, or other people around us think we are, only God truly knows who we are...truly accepts us where we are. He doesn't want us to be so focused on answering that question and box ourselves into specific situations. He just wants us to simply be...conflicted (which most of us are at many times if we're truly honest), searching, questioning, evolving and so much more.

'WHO AM I?' might seem like an easy question with a definite answer. but for me, i don't believe it's one that will ever be answered here on this earth in the duration of this lifetime, and that's a really awesome thing...

 
At 11/17/2009, Blogger jollybeggar said...

for another fun one, go to jb ep

 

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