OBSERVING MY ILLUSION OF SHAME

OBSERVING MY ILLUSION OF SHAME

Why, I just observed

a stark feeling of shame

sneaking in through my front door,

snaking down the hallway,

slithering momentarily

before disappearing

in the blink of an eye.

Today I know

I am not that shame;

nowadays I observe

those deceptive gaps

when I feel smothered

by this familiar illusion—

an illusion I once thought

to be reality.

How deep are the

origins of my old dictums.

Their reverberations revisited

take me back into my

innocent and naïve years

of childhood.

Always trying harder

to be whatever

I should be, or ought

to be

(god knows

whatever that meant),

I did my best

to look good

and

do “the right thing,”

lest I loose my

ego-constructed

image (mirage?) of success

and well-being.

Sometimes I forget

that I am an Octogenarian.

And I place unnecessary

expectations on myself.

My physical energy

no longer parallels

those foregone younger years;

there is a definite sense

of loss and grief,

(or false guilt?)

which, misunderstood

and unattended consciously,

feigns to become shame.

Embracing my natural

and quite magnanimous

passage into impermanence,

I again embrace

my metamorphosis,

my transformation,

my passage

from youth to old age.

Turning the illusion of shame

into the reality of gratitude

is the meaning of this moment

and the heart of

this little exercise.

It’s a good thing

to wake up

again.

-Hal Edwards

Wauconda

September 24, 2015

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