This guilt

I have almost become someone
I don't recognise at all
do you know this feeling?
a kind of internal dis-location
incongruence, or so I'm told
everything, however complicated
seems to have this
a long word to describe it

But I describe it as this
I look the same, or near-abouts
grey and wrinkles notwithstanding
the person I see in the mirror
is at least somewhat familiar
I sound pretty similar to always
but something inside is not the same
a disintegration is continuing

Not solely physical, that is just aging
a process that I have long since
quite happily reconciled myself to
there is beauty in my mothers face
the future is written clearly there
would that I might one day
show such elegance and grace
seeing her in me, repeating our history

No this disintegration is self induced
looking back I can pinpoint it's start
that day when I decided on a fiction
and to tell that fiction to another
and then to tell yet another after that
until the teetering pile was so vast
I very nearly lost sight of the facts
having given myself over to the unreality

Here I am once again brought up short
oh my word, what to do ... and can I undo?
and how much of this can I undo
without undoing you too, or indeed us
this is not the first time I've been here
trying to untangle this mess I’ve made
saying without actually having to say
or ever even admiting to anything at all.


  1. i don't know the facts, jos, but i'm inclined to say 'come clean'. when the truth hits the light of day, weights melt. that's been my experience every time.

    you know the wisdom about deciding and then accepting. i think it's the other way around. accept first. i remember this from a meditation course i took:
    'given what is, what am i to do?'

    i am so glad to know you, jos.


  2. Everybody lies or has lied.
    (Anyone who says different is a LIAR!)

    But some lies, especially habitual ones, tend to snowball into each other.

    As Sir Walter Scott wrote:

    "Oh what a tangled web we weave,
    When first we practice to deceive!"

  3. Oh Jos... I felt a roller coaster on this one... I too feel good about growing old and see such beauty in the faces of older, wiser, more beautiful by the minute women (my greatest fantasy is to be old enough to join the red hat society, although i never would). I too have lived in fiction and found myself unable to shovel out from underneath. If only I had some words of wisdom, but all I have is listening ears, and love. xo

  4. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see a face within a face. My younger self looking back perhaps? a healthier, more vibrant me looking back in disdain at my current neglectful self?
    Or someone who is accepting what is and trying to grow into the changes gracefully?

    Yes to all of it. And no to most of it.

    I love your writing Jos.♥

  5. Self flagellation has little value past the first course. What's done is done. It is how we move forward that rebinds the loose fibers. It is what we take from and rebuild with that will mark progress. I understand my Citrus...hell yes...and wonder if I can do as I say...not as I do.

    Hugs to you my dear friend.

  6. Oh my, Jos. This is hard hard. But there is always room to move forward, isn't there? I'm not sure about the undoing though. I've been thinking hard on this lately; I see my hands on my steering wheel even now as I drove to work yesterday, the day before...How do I now, right now, become what I want to become, and am I allowed to let go of my closeness to my past? Of course, with children, there are so many things I can not let go of, and don't want to, I suppose, in many ways, but it is more difficult to recreate self, when my children know me so very definitively one way, and I feel as though I am another. And so it is that I realize, how others know us nails us down to a definition of self, and we struggle against this in a way, don't we?

    Sometimes I get very confused about how to live this life effectively.

    I'd love to hear a response from you on this. Perhaps you can help me live better?


    (Ha! Word verification is dizater which makes me think, disaster.)

  7. I've written and linked to you, Jos. Is that alright?


  8. I came here from the tiny leaf. I love this poem. It's how I fell, what I'm doing, this unraveling.

  9. uh-oh...

    hope you are ok. come and see us soon, mrs jos

  10. I don't know what's worse, or if it's different.
    Guilt or not feeling good enough.
    My mom always wanted me to lie, "don't tell your father" This heartbreaker of mine, did the same thing, "don't tell anyone". I don't feel guilt, but when i can't speak the truth, i feel, I'm not good enough.

  11. Accept first, wise words KJ, and so true. Working on it!

    Yes indeed Eric, practise to deceive makes it sound like a game, maybe it is. But it's not one I want to play.

    Dana, I know you get this. You help more than you think you do! That is wisdom enough.

    Yes Stodio disdain, that is it exactly! This accepting bizzo is harder than it seems!

    Oh Annie, if I can you can too! We'll figure out how. We will.

    Erin I could write an essay in response to your post. We are multi-faceted and complex beings. So we if/when we choose to re-create ourselves we sometimes fail to take into account that there are these reflective surfaces that bounce the same old images outwards. Thus people seeing the familiar think all is unchanged. We choose to let them believe this I think. Perhaps because it gives us space to "try out" our re-creation ... see if it's complete enough to become our new reality.

    As for helping well, I think we help each other. Certainly I feel I learn more from you than the other way around!

    Lilith it can feel like unravelling and yes it is scary. But some undoing is necessary in order to re-do. We can't "do over", however much we might wish to, but we can do better. I hope so for both of us.

    Joker, ah my lovely friend. I will be, and yes please I will come and see you if I may. Fabulous.

    Joz, I don't know either, both seem equally undermining of our sense of self. Both seem very destructive and ultimately very unhelpful all round. I think we have to believe we are good enough no matter what ... no matter how we might feel we have let ourselves down. There is no way forward into acceptance otherwise.

    So, with that I am taking a break for a while. I will be back in a while.

    Warmest hugs to you all xx Jos