I've been thinking about identity and how it is defined by others as well as ourselves. I wonder about how much of our identity we shave off of ourselves to fit in to the circumstances we find ourselves in. I play with the words circumstance, circumscribed, circumspect, scripted, conscripted, compromised, compressed . . . . .
If you shave off too much of yourself, that's when you start to become numb, if you weren't numb to begin with. If you leave too many pieces of yourself out in the open simultaneously, you won't be able to function socially.
Americans always seem to want surfaces to match interiors. It is disconcerting when they don't, but we've also limited the types of surfaces we can see. Then we stay in the same places, dong the same things, only interacting with people like ourselves. We don't realize that we've isolated ourselves because we seem to be moving but we're not experiencing truly new things. We don't disconcert ourselves. I'm not sure we remember how to journey. I know we don't want to believe in risk. We've limited our children's range so much that we aren't OK unless we know where they are 24/7. It's not healthy for us, or them. The only chance they have is that their parents are less tech savvy and they can at least roam virtually. But I fear for them, because they have voluntarily frozen their adolescence in amber. Memory sheds a softer light than computer screens.
I've been trapped in my own definitions for some time. . . . voluntarily of course . . . . necessarily of course. But it can only be for so long and those definitions are other-centric. For safety's sake I tried to keep the inside and the outside similar. Before the electrons took over there were dreams to escape suffocating definitions. What happens when you don't really lose dreams but you shelve them? What happens if you dust them off and take them out for a spin?
They're good questions, and I watch other people struggle with them. They are the wrong questions for me though and it makes looking for help difficult. Most people shelve their dreams for other defined reasons. How many people on their journey told them to face reality? How many times did they listen? I think it's brave to keep the dream on the shelf instead of just tossing it away. I think there's a kind of power there. I think there's a reality to the occasional dream spinning side trip too.
What happens if you fulfill the definitions by being in the dream, and the thing you pull down from the shelf is you being Awake?
What does that make you? What kind of journey is that?
Maybe the real path forces you to walk both ways at once. I used to do that.
I can't walk this way anymore. I may have to walk the old way again. I remember that way, but I'm older now, I'll bet there's a lot more underbrush. I probably put a bunch of it there myself by not tending the path. I wonder if you can be Awake and still hide your tracks. I wasn't so good at that before, mostly because I didn't care. I would prefer to be quieter this time. Quieter but whole.
I wonder if this is that Wisdom thing you're supposed to acquire when you move from one part of the journey to the other? I think perhaps I need to go back and collect some pieces I shaved off so I could fit on the last series of roads.