Meditation: Many lives, one man

Yes, I’m already a day behind, but it’s okay because I’ve cheated with the timestamp.

Part of my condescending irritation with the little book I’m using to generate topics for this series is its wide-eyed naivete about its essays. None of them are revelatory in the least. I mean, “many lives, one man”? Who hasn’t realized that he’s more than one person, at least anyone over the age of thirteen?

However, I’ll be bold and agree with the main point of the essay and say we’re not talking the external roles we play. Yes, I’m a husband, a father, a teacher, a friend, but that’s not what we’re confessing here. Within us we harbor more than one actual person.

To begin with, I am a sensualist, which should shock no one who knows me. (Well of course, some would say, you’re a Taurus.) I seek delight for all of my senses. Pretty things enchant me. Well-prepared food is a constant goal. Silk, cotton, skin, against my skin. The sight of a beautiful human body, male or female. Music of almost any kind. Well-designed type. Shakespeare’s language. Wooden boxes.

I am a creator. I seek to make the thing that is not, whether it’s music or a blog post or supper or a new lesson plan. I look at the chaos that the universe presents and I organize it into something new. With any luck, and years of experience, the new thing is something coherent.

I am a leader. It’s hard to write that. I don’t know why, other than I have taken hits in the past from those who resent my ability to lead. But even though modesty does not permit one to brag, I have to recognize that I have an almost magnetic leadership ability. As the years have progressed, my leadership has become more and more what I call “permission giving,” in that I simply make the decisions that allow others to come together to accomplish things. Yes, Coriolanus and the Lichtenbergians are good examples of that.

Now I am thinking very hard and trying to come up with other personae, but I’m drawing a blank. Warrior? Not so much. Fool? Not the same as a wit, I hope. Lover? See sensualist. Wanderer? I am not, as evidenced by my entire life. “Wounded man,” as Quiet strength concludes in its maudlin fashion? Pshaw. The hurts I have received in my life are as nothing and do not hamper my other selves. (‘Tis but a flesh wound.) I don’t think that’s braggadocio, truly, but then perhaps I am not an analyst, either.

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