A young man that works for the foundation I volunteer for, read some of my blog posts, and said it reminded him of a poem, written by a Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was in a Nazi concentration camp, and would soon be hanged.
|Green but Buggy! Run! LOL|
It speaks to the doubt I often have about a public face and private face, about not knowing who I really am. The confusion of wondering what is my purpose, of being both happy and depressed, of being outwardly smiling and inwardly confused.
I know I am not alone in this suffering.
Now, I have had wonderful things happen in my life, and I am not comparing what this man went through to my problems.
But the poem speaks to the bigger issue of being human, and the feelings and struggles we all have.
Today, I am not suffering.
I am happy in my volunteer place, packing kits with the life-saving drug, Naloxone.
I am happy kissing Mr. UT.
I am happy writing this post.
I am happy giving support to other people.
I am happy at my coffee shop where I love to read and write.
I am happy at my AA meetings,
|These stairs are good for my legs!|
I am happy at yoga.
Being sober has made life so much easier, calmer, and I have gained peace.
Peace to know nothing is forever, feelings come and go, helping other people feeds my soul, and I am okay.
It's a beautiful poem.
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 through it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
equably, smilingly, proudly,
like one accustomed to win.
Am I then really 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 the 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 to-day and to-morrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me like a beaten army
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely question of mine,
Whoever I am, Thou Knows, O God, I am thine."
Below are two sites that give more information about his life and the meaning of the poem.
On Day 1,030,