Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Invisible Man

"I am an invisible man...I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids-and I might even be said to possess a mind.  I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me
 - Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.
  It is a day for writing, though I do not know what words my mind can speak now, so I will let my fingers do the writing and perhaps my mind will tire of their incompetence and find some way to speak.  
  My mother in her blog some time ago wrote a line in reference to the picture shown above.  It is a line that still stays with me.  
"This is Cordell, standing at the shore, with his poets heart, soaking in the serenity that he finds in the myriad beauties of creation. He's not always content with his solitude, but he no longer seems afraid of it. "
  I am not always content with my solitude, but I no longer seem afraid of it.  Is it that my mother has such insight into me?  Mothers should know their children, and my mother more than most has an ability, an insight, a talent, and I know how she joys in my joy, and how my sorrows burden her perhaps more even than they do burden me.  Even now were I to write down some of myself, my secrets, my passions and longings, it would be harder for her to read than for me to write.  I make my mother cry.  I know I do, and I cry because of it.  No child wishes this, but I know she cries because she cares, she hopes, she pleads with God for me, and I know she will cry still, perhaps even at reading these words here.  I am sorry Mother.  Let us wipe our tears together, for I cry too.  I cry with you.
  It is true, I am not always content with my solitude.  People do not realize that my self-imposed sense of isolation is not always intentional.  I am a man of weakness, and this is my weakness.  Is it also true I no longer fear this solitude?  I once did, greatly so.  I beat at my chest to take it out of me, but the silence is deafening in what she says when we but listen, and I have learned to listen and find the calm in the noise of my solitude.  Yes, sometimes I love her.  She is my solace, and yet my torture.  I am glad I no longer seem afraid of her Mother.  I am glad, but do you know that yes, she scares me still?  Do you know I run from her and try and drown her out at times, but cannot?  Yes, I fear her.  Solitude is the heartbreak of those special women I have ever loved, those I tried to love, and lost, and more so, this silence, she is the pain and heartbreak for that one woman I have yet to love, yet to find.  Solitude is the joy of discovery.  While I am embattled with the confusion that I am, still I have a depth to me, an insight that perhaps no one but you, dear Mother, would ever see in me.  Solitude gives me this.  It is the joy of riding my motorcycle alone when I have nowhere to be but on the saddle of my bike, the time to think, to dream, to believe in the life I know I am meant for.  Solitude is the birth of knowledge, the hundreds of books and poems and words those far greater than I have left and written, and I understand them.  I know some author somewhere in time knew I would read his words, and wrote them for me, for my own joy in reading does not equal his joy in writing the words down knowing I would read them, and I would get it, and when I feel the breadth of poetry and passion, and it clicks in me and moves me to places beyond mere solitude, this author, he shouts out "Yes, that's it.  You got it, dear boy.  Thank you for understanding.  Thank you for this catharsis in me."  
  This solitude, she is pain of passed opportunities, of falling victim to the inability to meet my own mark of perfection.  Silence is the nagging reminder of unfinished goals, unrealistic expectations.  She is that moment in music, some song that each time you hear you must sing it, shout it, feel it.  I sing one thousand songs inside me each second that I breathe.  Silence is the hard reality that sometimes she is all you have, all who will listen, all who will ever understand.  Solitude is the terror in thinking no one will ever see past mere skin, and the glittering faith in hoping someday, someone will.  
  I will always take the bad with the good, for it is the sorrow which defines the joy.  I have much joy, and I would not chase out the solitude.  I enjoy my moments alone.  I have mentioned that in an earlier post.  I take myself out on dates, on motorcycle drives, walks on the beach, dinner and a movie, or simply set moments aside for good conversation.  I fight.  I apologize.  I struggle to get passed the barriers.  I try to let myself in.  I laugh.  I smile.  I cry.  I dream and make believe.  We are our own best friends, our own worst enemies, and solitude is the same, for silence is but the personification of those voices we do hide.  I cannot hate the silence, those solitary moments, for I would only be hating my own created self.  I am the master of my ship, the captain of my soul, and sometimes I do set the sails astray, and I fear the silence only because I fear those things that I might say.  Am I who I am meant to become?  Was today the day it was meant to be?  
  I am a private man.  It has been a frustration with some I have dated in the past.  One word often used to describe me is "mysterious."   I guard my solitude.  I guard my secrets, my mind, my heart, and the thousand truths in each of my eyes.  I am a private man.  Why then do I blog?  Why do I write in such a snitching tone, all my words a confessional narrative?  Why do I write?  Are not these posts journal entries of personal matters?  Things I never share, now parceled out to an unknown public?  Why do I do this?  I go against myself.  Is it catharsis only?  Or is it a buried need, a mousy hope and desire for someone to know me?  These words are safety, a voiceless telling of a secret self.  This is my anonymous message in a bottle, an expression without having to talk, to face, to answer questions.  If I never talk, then I do keep myself, my mystery intact, so I write the words, and place them in a kind of space where few will ever find them, but all are able to read.  I know few people read this.  We are a secret club.  Maybe I write for the sake of writing, to prove that I still can, to show myself though I may be unable to fashion poetry, still I can write some expression that means something, that I can show some sincere voice.  Perhaps I write only to read my own words and gain the satisfaction of knowing they are mine.  Perhaps I write to allow something in me to slip out, and prove to people I am discoverable; I am worth it.  Perhaps all of this.  Perhaps none of it.  Is it a game for me?  We all the mouse, and these words the cat.  I am a private man, a man of mystery.