I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
And I want my grasp of things
true before you. I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that took me safely
through the wildest storm of all.
– Rainer Maria Rilke
If I were to be described superficially in a novel, perhaps as a peripheral character at a random party, I may be described as “an emotionally erratic, worrisome, masochistic, perfectionist, driven crazy by Love and Beauty and Ideas.”
Of course, that would only be if the narrator had an omniscient perspective. If she did not, I would probably have a different image. I would come off instead as “a mildly reserved, relaxed gentle young lady who looks you deep in the eyes as she speaks, and smiles often — but her only genuine laughs (you can definitely tell) are at absurdity.”
But then, I have always felt that violence is done to characters by authors! This poor infinite character, summed up in a mere couplet. Can a few lines do any person justice?
What I create (or don’t create), I think, says the most about me. I’m sick of talking about myself. Until my next caffeine high!
I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel;
For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within.
But, for the unquiet heart and brain,
A use in measured language lies;
The sad mechanic exercise,
Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.
In words, like weeds, I’ll wrap me o’er,
Like coarsest clothes against the cold:
But that large grief which these enfold
Is given in outline and no more.
– From Tennyson, In Memoriam