"Once we clearly acknowledge the soul, we can learn to hear it's cries. - Dallas Willard, Renovation Of The Heart."

It takes courage to pursue our dreams. It takes time and patience to unearth buried treasure. But I believe with all my heart that we must do both.

10.30.2009

Poem

I was looking through my first visual journal and came across a poem I had included that really spoke to me. I searched to find out the author and found it was only a portion of it. Here it is in full.


Please Hear What I'm Not Saying

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I'm afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well
as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.
My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope,
and I know it.
That is, if it's followed by acceptance,
if it's followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me
of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.
But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to, I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me,
that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a facade of assurance without
and a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,
what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can't say.

I don't like hiding.
I don't like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings--
very small wings,
very feeble wings,
but wings!

With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator--an honest-to-God creator--
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.

Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me
the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.

Charles C. Finn
September 1966

8 comments:

laurel said...

Awesome poem with so much depth. Something everyone feels at least to some degree I think. Thanks for sharing it.

Martha Lever said...

Hi Mar! If we lived in the same town we would be best friends, I'm sure of it...

Erin Butson said...

Hi Sweet Mary,
I love this poem. Thank you for sharing it.
For cards & prints I went to the local art guild and they directed me to a local printer who is really reasonable and great at matching color.
I would start by asking local artists or call
some print shops in the area. It has been really fun seeing them in print, and it's a great way to share your art work.
Take care!

Martha Lever said...

Hi Mar!
I haven't forgotten that I am gong to send you the Italic Calligraphy videos. It starts Monday. I will send you the link and the passwords and see how you do. Do you have any left handed nibs? I think that is what you will need and just some Higgins Eternal Ink so you can dip. I will help you along.

Deborah@ The Painted Nest said...

Mary, I love this poem, do you mind if I post it on my Blog and I'll link back to your blog.~~Thanks for sharing so much of yourself. ~~Hugs, Deb.~~~~Also thank-you for joining my followers list.

Anita said...

So true...

Teri Leigh said...

This is such a powerful poem. I can see why you were touched by it. We really are like little children inside wanting to be noticed by others and yet scared at the same time. Thanks for sharing this.

Bevie said...

Yes it's our great Abba alone who can take away the masks that have kept us from being who God wants us to be...I too can see why you chose this poem for it speaks volumns...love you sis..