Archive for the ‘Identity’ Tag

The Dominant Themes of Life   Leave a comment

Mt. Lemmon Western Sneezeweed — Image by kenne

The Dominant Themes of Life

Time present
Time past
Time Future

— kenne

The Existential Man — Kenne L. Turner   Leave a comment

guitar_2xNot Looking for Something Other Than Who He Is

With sister Jean coming into my life, we are writing and talking much, eager to learn about the other. A common theme throughout our sharing of things past is establishing, or reestablishing a relationship with our dad – to bring meaning to who he was, for there is no sense of his having been real when there is no meaning.

Determining one’s own identity can, and often is a lifelong process, since the world is always changing and needs, satisfactions, values and expectations continue to evolve. Assuming this, to seek the true identity of a parent can be a daunting task.  Therefore, I remind myself daily that meaning, individual and universal, is about gathering information in a manner not to repress or overlook a single phenomenon. To do so, we set up preferences creating false expectations, therefore doom ourselves to ignorance, or at least to a prison of doubt. Walt Whitman wrote of such an existence in his poem: “Of The Terrible Doubt of Appearances.”

Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
Of the uncertainty after all–that we may be deluded,
That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only,
May-be the things I perceive–the animals, plants, men, hills,
shining and flowing waters,
The skies of day and night–colors, densities, forms–May-be these
are, (as doubtless they are,) only apparitions, and the real
something has yet to be known;
(How often they dart out of themselves, as if to confound me and mock
How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows, aught of them;)
May-be seeming to me what they are, (as doubtless they indeed but
seem,) as from my present point of view–And might prove, (as
of course they would,) naught of what they appear, or naught
any how, from entirely changed points of view;
–To me, these, and the like of these, are curiously answer’d by my
lovers, my dear friends; 10
When he whom I love travels with me, or sits a long while holding me
by the hand,
When the subtle air, the impalpable, the sense that words and reason
hold not, surround us and pervade us,
Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom–I am silent–I
require nothing further,
I cannot answer the question of appearances, or that of identity
beyond the grave;
But I walk or sit indifferent–I am satisfied,
He a hold of my hand has completely satisfied me.

We may arrive with an answer that his identity is forever in process, and that at this moment he is more in the future than anything he was in the past.  Therefore, our best answer as to his identity is no particular answer, but stands open to reality. This is the true void to which we must ultimately come.


Posted February 4, 2009 by kenneturner in Commentary, Family, Life, Poetry

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