“Kenosis,” by Richard Beck

Posted on 6.05.2015

I am tired of myself.
And not, let me say,
in any morbid, psychopathological sense.
(And why do we so quickly go there?
I’ve become impatient with the mental health frame and worry.
How everything is shadowed
by diagnoses and the fear
of being mentally ill.
Because really,
who among us is healthy?
Let me be sick for a moment.
If that is what this is.
Which it isn’t.)
As I said. I’m tired. Of myself.
Not sad. Not depressed. Not suicidal. Not dark.
Just tired.
Tired of being an ego. Having an ego.
I’m tired of filtering everything through myself.
What I like. What I agree with.
What I don’t like. What I don’t agree with.
Who put me in charge of sifting the world?
Which goes to my point.
Why is it my unthought assumption that everything is about me?
Like a reflex of mind,
a twitch of the soul.
And this isn’t the expression of a desire
to escape into some other person or life.
This isn’t envy.
The grass isn’t all that greener
on your side of the fence.
This is a weariness
of being at the center of my thoughts and concerns. Weary
that everything, good and bad,
is about this self at the center of it all.
I want to forget myself.
To not see myself reflected
in every thought or flicker of feeling.

I want to see clearly.
The sky,
a bird on the wing.
And you, standing there.
As it seems to me
that this would be freedom
and salvation
and rest.

–an unpublished poem

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