Now I Become Myself
by Mary Sarton
Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
“Hurry, you will be dead before–”
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!
“Now I Become Myself” by May Sarton, from Collected Poems 1930-1993. © W.W. Norton, 1993. (buy now)
Excerpt from Let Your Life Speak
by Parker Palmer
“We arrive in this world with birthright gifts—then we spend the first half of our lives abandoning them or letting others disabuse us of them. As young people, we are surrounded by expectations that may have little to do with who we really are, expectations held by people who are not trying to discern our selfhood but fit us into slots. In families, in schools, workplaces, and religious communities, we are trained away from true self towards images of acceptability; under social pressures like racism or sexism our original shape is deformed beyond recognition; and we ourselves, driven by fear, too often betray true self in order to gain the approval of others. Only when I give something that does not grow within me do I deplete myself and harm the other as well, for only harm can come from a gift that is forced, inorganic, unreal.”
Palmer, Parker in Let Your Life Speak, © Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999.
Ask yourself today – Who has God created you to be? What good works has God planned for you to do? Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (New Living Translation).