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November 23, 2013

Who Am I? ~ Sharon Lee

Identifying Identity: Live The Process

This poem was written during my first year living abroad as I asked myself—for the first time—this horribly messy question: Who Am I?

I was prompted to delve into these murky waters when a co-worker made the bold assertion that I, in fact, had “identity issues.”

Sure, I’d chosen to dive into the deep end of the grown-up pool by moving to a foreign country for my first year of real-world adult living, but was I that lost and confused? Was there a red blinking sign on my back that read: Lost soul—has no clue who she is.

My blood boiled at my co-worker’s words. I felt that this person had sauntered onto my private property with a smug and arrogant grin. What right did this individual have to make such an assumption about my character? But after my indignant reaction simmered, I found myself questioning the elusive nature of Identity itself.

What does this massively loaded word even mean?

And so with much headache-inducing thought, my answer turned out to be this:

Identity

You are that lone wanderer

weaving through crowds and cobwebs,

seen and unseen,

day and night.

Remnants of your presence

lingers here and there,

felt in warm embraces of cosmic breath

too divine for words.

Solitude

has brought you knowing,

unless escape from expected paths

is marred by scars and sorrows

you long to forget.

You may know yourself best

unless trodden ground distracts you

from the ugliness of yourself.

Lone wanderer,

when you look into the world,

what do you see?

Do you see yourself and skies

in reflections of the lakes,

or

do dark black pools glare

of impenetrable unknowing?

May your white t-shirt be tainted,

torn and bloodied by self-assurance,

worn by waived expectations,

not cleansed or bleached

by outward approval.

Lone wanderer,

please be forever-true,

even when your dirt-stained clothes

blind others from who you know

yourself to be.

Keep drifting,

searching,

wandering,

committed to your own being,

though it be an uncertain chase,

being found in brief moments

of serenity:

In fresh dawns,

and sleeping puddles

and marbled skies.

Tire not.

Take deep breaths

and exhalations

of letting goooooooooo

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Assistant Editor: Edith Lazenby/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

{Photo: Sharon Lee}

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Sharon Lee