July 25, 2005

So How Are You Really?

An old friend, whom I haven’t talked to in months, sends me a one–line email:

“So how are you really?”

I reply: “As opposed to…?”

And add a summary about as long as a blog post.

I wonder, has my friend been reading this blog? And glimpsed, or thought to have glimpsed, something unstated behind it?

This blog is as honest as I can make it. But I’m as complicated as anyone. It can't be a complete narrative of my life or a complete confession of my soul. I have many personalities, some of which I myself am more familiar with than others.

Then who is the “I” in the previous sentence? Who is this “I” who possesses, encompasses, those many personalities, and may even misunderstand some of them? Is that “I” the most real of them, or the least real, a mere narrative persona?

“I” don’t know.

My friend’s message could as easily have been, “So who are you really?”

Over the years I’ve tried to become aware of, recognize, become friends with, as many of those sub–personalities as I can, while making the overall “I” simpler and more straightforward. To acknowledge and unify them. To turn the negative ones positive by giving them their due.

Rereading my friend’s message, it occurred to me: what if it wasn’t a private message? What if he sent blind copies to everyone he knew, and gathered the replies? What an anthology that would make!