A Glimpse Of Me
I’ll admit, there were times last year when I didn’t recognise myself. My character seemed to have morphed into that of another, a real Jekyll and Hyde moment when I wasn’t sure when or even if I would ever be the same again.
Our temperament could be said to be part of us when we were born, written into our genetic code and pre-set. Our personality moulds itself around our temperament and we build a recognisable character, recognisable to both ourselves and others. My character as a child was cheerful and bright, very smiley and wanting to make others laugh. Lockdown locked me out of my self and took me to a place of utter despair, and for a time I was ashamed to admit that, but why? All challenges, whether physical or mental, must be experienced. Our mind, whilst located within the brain, has no boundaries like our body does. So, when our body breaks, we know that can re-set its shape and let it do most of the repairing itself. The mind, however, needs its own discipline and regularity of behaviour, which we get from our routine of work and seeing friends. So much of my personality and character is tied up in what I do so not being able to do that and in addition being literally isolated from close friends meant that I was in solitary confinement with a mind that was falling into disrepair.
Happily, as we come out of lockdown and start to move forwards with bigger strides my mental state has returned to its equilibrium. But it’s important to know that we can all lose our way and get lost within the labyrinthine world of our mind. Here is a very personal poem called A Glimpse Of Me.
A GLIMPSE OF ME
Trapped in lockdown I am lost
Socially distant at a cost.
My personality has bled
I’m feeling bruised inside my head
But now and again, in the shadows I see
An unexpected glimpse of me
She went and hid herself away
Until it’s safe to come out and play.
But there is no fun to be had
alone in lockdown, feeling sad
and isolated from the world.
My hopes and dreams in stranglehold.
A vice-like grip is squeezing tight
Provoking me to fight or flight
So, I have fled, and in my place
a feisty one, with familiar face.
She’s angry and resentful too.
Riddled with angst: well wouldn’t you?
But who was she when she was young?
At 5 or 6 she had begun…
To understand just who she was:
she’d smile at people just because.
Oh how she loved to make them laugh
and tickle her own feet in the bath!
What can I say? It feels so good.
Why not try it? You really should!
A girl so cheerful and friendly too,
energetic through and through.
And if her enthusiasm became
too much for some. She felt quite lame.
For never meaning to offend
She’d sit in silence and pretend.
Imagining gave her a thrill
making believe that all things will
manifest themselves in time
to punctuate the storyline. But then she grew up and life just seemed
different to how she had dreamed.
And all those cuts and chips and bruises
fill a narrative with excuses.
And carve into her character
releasing a competitor.
One who is spoiling for a fight,
and frankly she gives me a fright!
I wish the other would return
things aren’t the same now she has gone.
Occasionally I catch a glimpse:
She pokes her head up, nods and winks,
just to let me know she’s there,
that she’s not going anywhere.
And if I were a child again,
I wonder would I be the same?
So staring at this photograph,
I ask her: Could she make me laugh?