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Carnival - House of Mirrors

Updated on August 11, 2013

Reflection and refraction

I am pieces of myself

I am stuck in the recesses of myself

An illusion on glass turning in on itself

Over and over the circle continues

The clarity I seek is not in these misfit elements of melted sand

The introspection inside the reflection is timed and torutured

It has a lack of nature and nurture

It is as is

An image in the image of an image

The authenticity of my tenacity is halved and halved again

I am but a mere copy of the authentic me

I cannot be what I think I might be

I am power and privilege

Wrapped in the disguise of a simple man

I am exclusionary and descriminating

Simply by being

I am an enigma wrapped in a metaphor

A concept imagined and deplored

I am white and I cannot see

The history before me has ripped me of my authenticity

Stole my identity, impacted my personality

And I possess things I cannot acknowledge within me

And I possess things I cannot acknowledge by being me

I begin to think in the abstract where I am taken back

By the complexity of trying to be

To see the result of my history, or my family tree

I can linger in the murkie waters for so long

before I am tortured by the things I see

I move towards accepting what others see and feel

I reverse my thinking about this world

For being me is a reality, it is as I see, it is my perspective

I can hear and listen to others depiction of me

But truly can I take on the weight of white man's history?

Divide and divide and divide again

I feel dissected, distracted, diluted and devoid

My feelings... can they be me? Can they show my authenticity?

Can I rise above the white man's family tree and erase the feeling of being empty?

Can I help others to be transformed to an equal in their reality?

The signs all show a different way, a confusing way

And really there's nothing more I can say....

Search and strive and fight..... try as I might.... I'll always be white.


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    • Enigmatic Me profile image

      5 years ago from East Coast Canada

      My line of thinking as well. ;)

    • Carin Genty profile image

      Carin Genty 5 years ago from Corona, CA

      I totally agree! To know where we're going, we need to know where we've been... good or bad. We make our own destiny, through self-discovery, acknowledging the many, varied pieces of our selves! :)

    • Enigmatic Me profile image

      5 years ago from East Coast Canada

      Carin, this has been something ever present for those in careers connected to acknowledging/embracing/identifying/cherishing/exploring/defining yourself. Diversity is a given nowadays, and we all chose to share the pieces of ourselves in a way that is non-descriminant, non-oppressive etc, but I fear many shield themselves from the elements simply by denying who they truly are for the benefit of others.

      I appreciate your comment and hope that your own self exploration is unencumbered by the wishes of others.

      And in my own self exploration (even on a heritage level) I've had family members say "Be careful of what you wish to know as your history may contain pieces that you won't like". I think to myself "I can't be accountable for the lives my ancestors lead, but I can use that information to fully understand where I came from, and see the evolution that occured and helped create the person I am today"....which I think is fascinating. But not everyone sees things that way.

    • Carin Genty profile image

      Carin Genty 5 years ago from Corona, CA

      I LOVE this!! So many times, I've felt exactly what you describe here. As a teacher, this was something that I always stuggled with. I had to celebrate the diversity of all the cultures and colors of the world; but I had to suppress any sense of pride I might have felt in the accomplishments of my own ancestral background. White man's cultural contributions are always shrouded in the evil deeds of their early conquests, making it difficult to look beyond the layers of transgretion to see the human soul at the center who had good intentions. Thank you for this piece!

    • Enigmatic Me profile image

      5 years ago from East Coast Canada

      Yeah.. I seem in and out of here for the last while... though now, more in than out. ;)

    • Enigmatic Me profile image

      5 years ago from East Coast Canada

      Thanks Carolinemd21.... sometimes I can get things out that make people think... that's my purpose... ;)

    • Enigmatic Me profile image

      5 years ago from East Coast Canada

      Its both. I guess I am not as much struggling on the race level. I struggle with what others assume or expect from me. When I don't feel privileged and would never intentionally push that as an agenda in any way, I guess its scary to think that I individually, could be seen as someone unable to learn, comprehend, feel compassion for , someone else.. it just ain't me.

      Spiritually I am likely more sound in who I am. I know I impact people, not necessarily on purpose, or with intention. I try to live intentionally, with purpose. I feel I do on a larger level, but... as this poem is about others expectations/limitations/determinations of what I represent, who I am as an individual, its overwhelming to think I can't be more than what someone sees. I'm not one to adhere to Eminem's philosophy "I am whatever you say I am".... that just does not work for me.

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 6 years ago

      Gorgeous poem. Your words blend. Very thought provoking.

    • Randy Behavior profile image

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Oh I see why you asked if I had read it now! "Even stale white bread only gets so hard." At least you and I think about it.

      "I am an enigma wrapped in a metaphor." me too.

      So very pleased you are back!

    • Enigmatic Me profile image

      6 years ago from East Coast Canada

      I live in a world (in my bubble of a world) where racial identity is not always visible. Like most live.

      I struggle with my lot in life on times as I am a seeker - one to find things that will make sense of me,my world,my place in it,and how I can help others.

      But by being me,and seeking,I find things that don't always resonate with me,or things I have learned about myself that don't fit the prescribed social definitions.

      Recently in the past 6-8 months I have taken in 3 trainings related to my job...mainly. In those trainings the comments of the presenters took me off guard. I've been scrambled since then, and after the day I took one of these trainings this (poem) is what was floating in my head.

      Based on 2 trainings the statement was put forth like this "You As a white, anglo saxon, straight, male dominate any room you are in simply by being. You have never struggled in anything as you are a privileged WHITE MALE.

      You will never know what struggle means,nor comprehend it if you did see it. You know nothing of other cultures nor races, and for that you will always be racist- ignorant of others histories. No matter the attempts you make in acquiring knowledge on differences your "whiteness" will blind you to the true meanings".

      I struggle. Differently.But I struggle. Like anyone. My beliefs of equality with acceptance of differences is as much as I can have as I will never (nor will anyone)be able to 'put my feet in other's shoes"and know what they have lived. But as ignorant as I may be,I am compassionate, able to empathize, caring, and always seek first to understand. I live a life as true as I can muster,and know not anything else one could aspire to.

      I appreciate your comments Astra and Blaise....pushing me to verbalize what I have inside helps it become real. Thanks. I donno if that makes anything clearer,but it helps me.

    • blaise25 profile image

      Fehl Dungo 7 years ago from close to you...

      Break the glass of mirrors..sometimes being shattered into pieces could make you whole and find yourself again.

      This is a great poetry. An enigma that's always interesting. :)

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 7 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      This is tough as I am not sure you are wrestling with your racial identity or spiritual identity, or both. But you are definitely looking for the person within. This is wonderful to read, but I need to read it a few times to get the full meaning. When the signs all show a different way, sometimes picking anything is better than stalling and getting nowhere. I mean that in a nice way, of course. You are a great writer. And writing is your forte. Take any road or sign that heads in that direction. It can't be bad, surely. Best wishes, and take care.

    • Enigmatic Me profile image

      7 years ago from East Coast Canada

      I know this is a tough one to comment on, and it was difficult for me to write, but I needed to.