13 June 2008


Anglo-Irish and Nobel Prize-winning poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) philosophized that "all happiness depends on the energy to assume the mask of some other life, or a re-birth as something not one's self."

I agree that periodic or even continual rebirth is called for, but I'd say the rebirthing must be about becoming more of one's self, not a rebirth "as something not one's self." The renewal must emerge out of the essence of who one is, what one's historical narrative has led one to. Then, it is not a new mask one puts on but another layer one takes off to reveal the new face of current existence.

Today, I become more of who I have always been "striving" to become for this very moment, whether or not I knew teleologically there was a certain time-space toward which I was moving. The process is inexorable. I never presciently knew--still don't--where I was going. But, I shall continue to become I.

The famous epitaph on Yeats' mausoleum reads bleakly, "Cast a cold eye/On life, on death./Horseman, pass by!"

Mine might read, "Cast a warm, assenting eye/ On life, even death./ Horseman, pass by with resolve/ With recognition of who you are!"

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