Who am I?
Genetics, environment, experience. They have all helped to shape who I am.
A touch of auburn in my hair from Dad; long piano playing fingers from Mom.
But father, why did you not give me the brilliant flaming locks that run in your Scottish family? Why just a whisper of red for me? I have a fire inside that rages, and a need to blaze a path in this world. My Maori friend calls me “Fire”. Perhaps it is so my flame is evident only to those with eyes that see deeper?
And mother, why was I born with your hands, yet bereft of musical talent? It felt cruel. It was a source of frustration to me that I failed at piano lessons. But wait, … I was good at so many other things. Perhaps it was so I could learn to see in myself what is, rather than what is not?
One summer afternoon, the girl I was lay on her bed daydreaming. And I left my body. Up, up, up I rose, until I was floating among the stars, tethered to Earth by a slender silver thread. And I felt infinity for the first time. I realized that I was so much more than they were telling me.
I am the artist in France, learning to express my soul on canvas. Painting is like breathing to me in this life. That other me walks in Monet’s garden, and I yearn to again. A photo of the Seine in the fog makes my heart ache with longing. It is a happy life.
I am the Japanese geisha, in love with a powerful man. He loves me, but we cannot be together. And even now, pink cherry blossoms in spring make my heart both sing and weep, all at the same time. The lesson? I love and I am loved. And in the end, the love is all that is important.
And sometimes when I walk along the sidewalk, I recognize a piece of myself in a stranger’s eyes. How can I say what it is exactly? It is fleeting, but I see it. And I feel it.
When I pass a beggar on the street, I attach a blessing to the coin I give. In my mind I say to him, “I know you, and I feel your pain. I have been where you are. It is an important lesson you are learning, and it will all be okay.”
There is so much of me flooding in from the world, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it. So I wash the dishes or sweep the floor, ordinary tasks that ground me in the here and now.
But I can never deny to myself, or to the world, that which I know to be true.
I am star dust. I am infinite. And I am part of it All.