To be “nobody but yourself” — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e.e. cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962)
After my father’s sperm fertilized my mother’s egg, long before my heart echoed its first trio of beats and before my brain transmitted its first electrical signal it was already foretold in my soul’s creation who I would become.
My friend Elaine was excited to meet with me after her return from China some thirty years ago. We sat down at the table to share a meal when she presented me with a small box. Inside was a hand carved chop. I was taking lessons in Chinese calligraphy at the time and the chop had my Chinese astrology symbol, a rat, on the top and my Chinese name carved in the bottom.
“Do you know what your name means in Chinese?” She asked.
“I have no idea.”
“It means ‘gentle man’.” She said.
“O’ that would make my mother proud. She raised me to be a gentleman first and foremost.” I answered.
“No silly. Not a gentleman. You are that, but a gentle man, two words, who you are.”
It has taken a long time, almost a lifetime, to become the gentle old man I was envisioned to become before my birth. I am at ease with myself and confortable in my skin. I am becoming me. Although my days are less active physically, they are just as active mentally as they have always been. I can use words like “always” now because I am able to look back over the times of my life and know for sure what has always been. I still avoid the word “never” because I still have some life to live and who knows until the moment before death what one has never done or will never do?
The best part of becoming me is that I no longer have anything to prove to anyone nor to myself. My life can still take off in any direction but for the moment at least there is no place I want to be other than where I am. I am no longer searching for anything except perhaps truth which is very illusive in today’s world.
My life has certain routines like going out onto my patio first thing each morning and viewing the mountain of my inspiration just as I walked along the Rio Tomebamba each day I lived in Cuenca but nothing about my life seems routine.
I still do not sleep through the night but I have incorporated that awake time into my creative time to read, write, think or to work on my websites.
The state of the world still frustrates me somewhat so I remove myself from the constant barrage of information and mistruths as much as possible. My world is more localized with the everyday life here in Loja, Ecuador.
I am happy with life and the paper work for my death is complete. Except for love and “mi familiar”, what more is there? I can only become what I already am. I cannot become what I am not.