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Now I Become Myself

We had a very good day. We are beginning to say good-bye. It has taken many years for me to reach this place. As May Sarton suggested, I ran madly many times seeming to think that busyness was the order of the day. Or I wore the faces of other people. I think these faces were often mine, but that they masked the real me. It was hard to let the guard down and be my self at times. It is easier and easier and I can stand still right here in this moment and now in this moment. Ah, what a feeling.

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!

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