She wasn't looking
when they took this picture:
sitting on the grass
in her bare feet
wearing a cotton dress,
she stares off to the side
watching something on the lawn
the camera didn't catch.
What was it?
A ladybug? A flower?
Judging from her expression,
possibly nothing at all,
the lawn was like a mirror,
and she sat watching herself,
wondering who she was
and how she came to be there
sitting in this backyard,
wearing a cheap, white dress,
imagining that tomorrow
would be like all her yesterdays,
while her parents chatted
and watched, as I do
too distantly to interfere.
Dana Gioia, "Photograph of My Mother as a Young Girl"
Recently my mother emailed me noting that now, at age 83, she had been wondering, “Who am I?”
Was she the person people took her to be?
Was she the person she imagined in her mind?
While she didn’t say it in so many words, in the silence I could tell she didn’t think so.
I made no explanation when I replied to Mom.
Her comment rests in memory, along with this poem Garrison Keillor read a few days ago which brought to mind this picture from my family’s past.
These disparate elements came together once again, this morning as I listened to a YouTube video of Mooji and did my daily asanas.
He was addressing what he called an important question – this question of “Who am I?”
And he briefly mentioned fear.
My last post about Mooji also brought a comment about fear and so the bow is tied – something I felt like sharing.
What is watching all, experiences all, goes by the title “I”.
And then now even the sense “I” - even in its subtlest expression is also perceived.
And your answer, I don’t want.
I am looking for something else…
You are moving into the absence of you.
About now fear will come. Is it enough to stop your looking?
Fear also is some construct.
What watches that?
How much further to go?
What distance to cover?
Who are you?
I would take the answer from wherever it comes.
There is no last step to take.
There is no leap to happen, no explosion to occur.
Mooji, The Question is Important