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I am what I am, partly as a result of my

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I am what I am, partly as a result of my
                         OUR INNER WORLD: SELF



Is she a gift and therefore a sign of a giver? Could it be that the Lord is here, masquerading behind this simple silly holy face? Am I crazy to want both, her and Him? No, not want, must have. And will have -Walker Percy, The Second Coming, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1980, NY, p.360.



The central task of our days

is to make our inner world

mirror the great and simple truths

of this new Revelation. This is

the becoming of some self, continuously,

through some despair, angst,

some moving of the infinite

through one’s being in the form

of a dread so great it becomes

the measure of the man,

the castaway, the stranger,

fallen on the ground,

remaining homeless,

a mystery to himself and to God

which can not be resolved

by endless journeyings,

by some quick identity,

preformed image, expert picture,

false contentment, poetic existence,

simple elegance in the finer things of life,

seen on some anaesthetising table,

to heal the aching wound of self

in its vast complexity.



And so we make choices, being open

in utter darkness and light

to the deeper meaning of reality;

the inmost and holiest thing in us

is this unifying power of choice,

the centre of our selfhood,

where the infinite and finite join,

like some creation, some child,

an energy, an earnestness, a pathos,

a treasure deposited in our inner life:

this is the self, being oneself,

the battle must be fought here,

with the despair, the hollowness,

the emptiness, the realisation that

I must accept what I am

as a result of my choices, my sins,

my losses, my bowed back,

heedlessness and deeds of purity,

kindness and radiance I cannot measure.



I know I can not make it on my own

and You help me transcend

this dreamlike world, this vapour

in all its beautiousness

by my naming and symbolising it

all in this poetry, by my accepting crisis

and ordeal and the other in a giving of myself

and willing myself to be different,

for this is what gives me life, this striving to live

what my deepest inner being tells me:

this is truth—inwardness as truth.



In the process I go bankrupt, despair intensifies

and I leap closer to my God,

to the Thou to Whom eternity speaks.

I live for an idea and this is truth; this is the key;

this is the heart of infinite resignation,

of some radiant acquiescence hardly yet found,

but where joy finds new wings and I know

I am always in danger, always.

There is here some new inner relationship

and I find I can live in this ordinary and lovely world,

this great sucking void of potentiality

and move bit-by-bit to selfhood.



Ron Price

10 July 1996