Thursday, 13 June 2013

Scattered self

It's scary sometimes to think there are little parts of me scattered about the world. In people's memories, in filing cabinets in schools and workplaces, in a bank, in dustbins, in other people's houses and here on the Internet. I wonder sometimes if strangers see little bits of me and wonder about who I am, what I might look like, whether we'd get on.
It' scary because sometimes you want people to see you completely, to understand you in all your hidden complexity, to accept the parts you show of yourself as manifestations of the things you sometimes hide away. Other days you wish you could hide everything about you, portray this someone else, some outer persona, independent of all the things you know about yourself. Not because we are afraid of what other people think of us. But because we are afraid of what we will think of ourselves if we let the parts we don't like to look at out. It is like wanting to be gloriously naked some days, revel in your unique imperfections but have others marvel at the wonder of the human form. Yet other days we will want to cover our body in so many layers we no longer appear ourselves. To protect our soft parts, our scarred parts, the bits that don't quite match. Because we will have to look at them ourselves. And we are scared to expose these things to people who won't realise we can't change them, because we feel like our imperfections are our own cross to bear and that we can't impose that trust upon others whose minds we cannot influence to perceive them as we wish them to be perceived.
So too is the mind. It is scarred and freckled and stretched and damaged in places. Our consciousness is that bit more private because we have too much control of what is seen of it, yet other times no control over what we reveal. We can decide what to use to cover up or flaunt our physical form, but sometimes the mind leaves parts of itself in the world without us realising- while we are trying so hard to control it.
I wonder about the people attached to the little bits of world that cross my path. The owner of the lost glove hung over the railing, the person who feeds the cat that follows me home, the stranger that dropped an entire chicken fillet roll in the alley near the dart station or the face that smiled as I cycled past the bus. So many stories weave through our own and I wonder sometimes how many people might have read a page of mine. And I hope that the writing at least shows me in a good light.

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