Saturday, 18 October 2014

Who in the world am I?

Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.
Lewis Carroll - Alice in Wonderland

Only the other day I noticed how rarely I describe my own character. Took a while to pick up on that one didn’t it? Over sixty years.

Very occasionally I might think of myself as a bit of a bookworm, but not often and I make sure I moderate the description with words such as a bit of a. Perhaps I don’t want to create too strong an impression on myself. So on the whole I don’t explore the possibilities of defining my own character. Are others equally reticent?

I suppose a verbal description of oneself is bound to solidify something - irrespective of whether it ought to be solidified. It is bound to create verbal channels, habits of thought which are seen as consistent with one’s previously defined character.

It’s not that we don’t do this kind of thing at all, this personal introspection. It must go on in a diffuse, partly non-verbal and somewhat unstructured way. But do we firm it up with unambiguous descriptive sentences? Do we define ourselves, clarify what we are and what we are not?

In my case the answer seems to be mostly no. I prefer observation and the fluidity of possibilities... Oops – is that a verbal description of myself?

Well maybe it is, but does it help to formulate a definitive verbal view of one’s character? I don’t really know because I’ve never done it in a structured way and I’m sure it is too late now.


Sam Vega said...

I don't do it, because if I'm certain of one thing, it's that I haven't really been paying attention.

Sackerson said...

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?

T.S. Eliot - The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

James Higham said...

In fact, way too late now. :)

Demetrius said...

There are times when I am a shape shifting blob in a boiling sea on a fiery planet. But these are the good days.

A K Haart said...

Sam - me too. Not paying attention is one of life's basic skills.

Sackers - I wonder if he saw himself as a rare butterfly?

James - particularly as I might have acquired the experience to make a go of it. Can't risk that (:

Demetrius - isn't that a global warming scenario?