Thursday, May 5, 2016

revealing more than feels comfortable

from out of the exuberance of my love?

why not retire?
why not quit making the effort?
why not go gently into denouement?
why not use time and energy still left to me
for callings that do not demand so much of my self?

I remember my mother describing my father
as readily persevering when he was exhausted,
her judgment readily visited upon another
who would quit the effort when he got too tired,

I know I have a mighty super-ego in me,
a driving conscience that brooks no slackness, no lesser, 
that is, to the child in me, a father harsh in expectation,
harsh in demand, harsh like a slap to the slack,

my tentative self needs reassurance,
so I crave acknowledgement, unqualified approval and support,
and I fear to be found lacking, lesser, late,
diminished from what I could and should be,

before I got fully into teaching, 
I wrote of the importance of making teacher self dispensable to the learner,
of not inculcating dependence upon teacher as guide,
now I feel I need to not just be dispensable
but also to be as invisible as I can be,
like an enzyme that allows change, while standing aside,
so that the learner rightly takes credit
and fully owns the emergence into power,

much of me is an introvert, one daunted by the social,
exhausted by the dance
where my moves must find and follow 
the moves of the others,
I am good at the extrovert,
for I care and know well who the others are, and can be,

yet I need to be there for others
from out of the exuberance of my love,
not from a checking-off of duties imposed upon me
by a desperate need for overt approval,

I am who I am,
and I need to work more to get right
with whom I feel God to be
than to get right with the super-ego within me
who feels itself to be the voice of a judging God,
and drives me to clutch at affirmations
to balance how diminished I can feel myself to be.

by Henry H. Walker
May 1, ’16

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