By Any Other Name …

Red and thorny rose, Rugosa
memorized my heart
while cruising Acadia’s coastline trail
in younger times, longer times,
youth captured in floral scent,
theories one espouses
while waiting for life to begin
in earnest.

I regret nothing.

There is nothing to return to,
only a vapor trail of memories,
and rich or ripe or painful,
insults and passions and heartache
part and parcel of the new buds
bursting out of shellacked shells,
arching toward the sun;
they give it their all,
even if only for one season.

I did nothing less.

I do not know how to live subtly,
all those voices imploring,
Act like you want it less
and you’ll get it more,
Acting being the imperative,
and all I knew and know now
is how to Be, as fully myself
as I am able, and when I know more,
it will surely be revealed in my temperament.Schoodic June 2012 092




9 thoughts on “By Any Other Name …

  1. Hi Bela,

    I can inhale the fragrance of youth…the passion of love and aspirations…pains and pleasures… intermingled with the mellowness! So many emotions compressed into few lines! Superb Bela!

    What fills me with delight is that this poem also expresses the complacence of being what you are, of keeping regrets at bay and the satisfaction of doing your best carries a profound message. Loved it.
    Thanks for sharing inspiring thoughts. Stay blessed. 🙂

  2. I used to know quite a few professional actors, and the interesting thing was that most of them admitted they could not determine when they were acting and when they were not – I mean in everyday life, not when on stage or in front of a camera. Still, this fits with certain sociological theories, such as those of Erving Goffman, wherein all social interactions are a dramaturgical performance of sorts. I think that is a little arguable, yet think there nothing wrong in making certain accommodations in communicating, and which may not be totally true to our character – whatever our ‘character’ may be; it seems something of a movable feast to me. Apologies Bela, I am rambling a little here. H ❤

    1. Aloha, Hariod – I can gratefully count on you to provoke deeper thought on most any topic 🙂 Thank you, and I love the ‘moveable feast’ metaphor! Being as highly visual as I am, you gave me a wide grin on that one.

      Interesting offering, this. And yes, I agree that many times in life we make certain accommodations which perhaps are not entirely true to our nature. I can ‘do’ pleasantries with people I barely know, even if at first I discover we have little in common. But I find it much more difficult to play act with my familiars, especially those on which I am on more intimate terms. When I was younger, I was not as aware of these inner workings as I am today.

      This being said, I defer once again to the model of the Enneagram which points out so clearly the often vast differences in how humans relate, among other things. A One, for example, wants to get right to the heart of the matter without too much dithering about, whereas a Five, again a hypothetical example, feels so unsafe they are sure to avoid social situations altogether, especially those in which they are not able to exert some measure of control. Both enjoy probing certain topics in depth, but a One finds access to expressing those depths far easier than the Five, still scanning the horizon for signs of safety. There is no hierarchy here, only the invitation to stretch beyond one’s familiar patterns in order to relate, one to the other.

      I think the most we can ask of another human being is kindness, and the hope is that the older we get, the more we notice nuances in others that key us into better means of relating. For I, at least, surely want to find common ground on which to communicate something of value with another. And then I am happy to spend oceans of time alone in nature in between!

      Cheers to you, dear one, and blessings on this beautiful day! ❤

      1. Interesting, Bela, and I must say I am unfamiliar with the enneagram, save for having swiftly scooted over to Wikipedia to take a look. One interesting thing I have noted about myself, is that I become ‘who I was’ decades ago when encountering very old friends or contacts. I suddenly find myself inhabiting a persona I thought had long since deceased. What is my essence, my haecceity? Do I ever really know, and does such a thing exist? Does authenticity demand fixity?

  3. Aloha, Hariod – to respond to your last question, I would say my own opinion is No. Which isn’t to say I am Right 😉
    Yet as all things change, nothing remains the same in nature or in the universe to my knowledge, to embody who I was years ago would seem nearly impossible. Even with my birth family when I see them, which is rare (far away as we’ve lived for many years), I am present to my present-day self, though I may bite my tongue quite a bit. Yet I cannot go ‘back’ to anything, I can only inhabit my current understandings and enlarged view of the world. I was so very lost then, not at all aware of my own heartbeat, my own desires, anything uniquely Myself. I was, at least in my own mind, some kind of impostor weirdo trying to fit in, and perhaps that’s where we differ. Perhaps you were one of the lucky ones who didn’t feel the need. And blessed be for that grace, if so. Part of it, I think, was being a woman in the western world, growing up in the 50’s and 60’s and even 70’s. We were determined Not to be our mothers, locked inside duty and obligation and subservience to the dominant men in our lives. But who were we, then? What model of The New did we have to emulate? I would say I was a feminist, but I wasn’t radical, so Friedan and Steinem and even Angela Davis, bless them, frightened me a bit. (Now I deeply respect and understand why radical has to happen before sea change occurs.) Yet women of my mother’s generation frightened me even more. I really did feel lost for a very long time. So when I found my courage, my voice, when I honored my intellect, I grew into myself, bit by bit. Anyhow, I do ramble, but hope this clarifies things a bit. I deeply honor our connection such as it is, and thank you always for your thoughtful and kind responses. ❤

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