Thursday, August 13, 2009

What if we were no longer what we define ourselves by?

dear b2d readers - forgive this jag.
was just meta reflecting on this blog a bit and the work i do, and what this blog is largely about, and how i tend to see myself when i think about myself,
and i had one of those Dark Tea Time Moments of the Soul.

What if what we think of as us was no longer ours?

What if we define ourselves as strong, and we can no longer lift?
What if we define ourselves as clever, and we lose our minds?
What if we define ourselves as musicians, and go deaf?
What if we define ourselves as lean, and we get fat?

What if we define ourselves as loving, and we raise a hand, turn away, ignore?
What if we define ourselves as brave, and we take the easy path?
What if we define ourselves as decent and good, but no longer listen?

Is there some part of ourselves that is beyond or other than what we do or present? That others would know us by if the things by which we think we are ourselves were no longer there?

my hands are quiet
i don't know.

But i hope no matter how you define yourself that it feels a good place to be and you have a lot of love coming back at you for the You beyond or other than the Do of You. if that doesn't sound (too) flakey.

likely a piece on chocolate milk and recovery, next,


Mark Reifkind said...

this is not only a reality for many but most. I defined myself as a competitive athlete for most of my life until I could not compete anymore. Truly a dark night of the soul.we all get older and cannot do( or anywhere near as well) what we used to.
not easy on any level.
then, we must find what that special this was, at it's core, and find another way to express it, and us.
or go mad.
that too is always an option.
great post.

mc said...

thanks for the empathy and thoughts, Rif.
Really appreciate that. Thanks for sharing about your experience.

I gotta ask you though about your transition being attributed to aging rather than an accumulation of injuries from your practice, past which recovery was a challenge.

Did you put it down to aging at this transition point?

i'm totally one with the going mad side - especially if it comes on of a sudden.

i think about beethoven going deaf and i wonder if that was any less horrible for him than a less formally trained music lover because he had the tones in his head and could still write it?

Again, thanks for coming by. In Feb, i'm buying both of us a big green tea and we can sit and shudder together for a moment :)

His Sinfulness said...

Mark hit the nail on the head with "...we must find what that special this was, at it's core, and find another way to express it..."

Athlets become coaches, students become teachers, and the cycle continues.

Well said, both of you.

Mark Reifkind said...



if one pushes the limits hard enough, or long enough, or both eventually it catches up with you. Most of us have a very limited window for "greatness", whatever that might mean to us realtive to our genetic capacity.
I know of no top level athletes that have not had serious injuries and that makes a huge difference. and the ones that survive the injuries,competitively, still have to deal with the dimunition of their abilities( speed, strength, recovery) as one one continues to get better ad infinitum. at some point we all have to deal with it.
and although coaching is cool it is NOT the same as competing.
I feel I always have one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake as I train and that might be the most frustrating part of it all.I spend almost all my life training to remove the breaks, both mentally and physically and now I have to focus on that more than anything. completely frustrating but hey, what is the alternative?
hope the tea was good.


Rannoch Donald said...

Time and again I have been defined by what I do, who I know, what little talents I have, the books I read, the places I go, the music I listen to, the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the words I use. ANd I am all of these things and none of them.

We get to choose. We get to re-invent, we get to inhabit. And most of all we contantly have the opportunity to create anew.'re not how much money you've got in the bank. You're not your job. You're not your family, and you're not who you tell yourself.... You're not your name.... You're not your problems.... You're not your age.... You are not your hopes. ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, Chapter 18


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