I was talking with my nephew. He is a fountain of humor, light, and love. He asked for an ice cream and I asked him why he deserved one. He said, “For being an unspecified person, known or unknown”. I raised an eyebrow and got him and ice cream. From time to time that line comes to mind. Later on I asked him what he meant. He said that in the universe the are specified people we know. There are unspecified people we know. I think at nine he is a little young for a universally based existential crisis. But hey, what do I know?
From time to time, I get wrapped up in what does it all mean!? (It’d be nice to have an interobang charecter.) I think of a quote from Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. “I move therefore I am.” Is it all that simple? It can’t be can it? I move everyday, even if not physically, I move mentally. Whether I have control or it is just a biological response, I move. “I am”, two simple words that start the definition of who and what we are.
Who am I? I know what I am. I am human. I am a woman. I am a citizen of the United States. I am a citizen of the world. I am a writer. I am an artist.
Who am I? I know the whats of my existence. The whos of my existence get harder and harder to define.
To you I am Ophelia and to others I am someone else. That is the outside of who I am. Some will use adjectives to describe me others may turn nouns into verbs to describe what I am doing. With those adjectives, they are still only describing what I am.
Who is this? and what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they cross’d themselves for fear,
All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, ‘She has a lovely face;
God in His mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott.’