Everyone knows, but I pretend.
I’m ashamed of being an impostor
So I pretend I’m not pretending.
I pretend so long that I “forget” that I’m pretending.
This “forgetting” doesn’t end the shame,
Denial doesn’t hold.
I admit to myself I might not know.
I find the courage to admit to another
that I don’t know.
I discover I’m not the only one who doesn’t know.
Voices say I should know – whose?
I dare to not know, anyway.
I discover that not knowing opens doors,
Doors I didn’t know were there.
I see now that knowing prevents experience.
I realize that knowing is not the answer.
I have a sinking feeling -
If I already know, real connection
With an other, or with my self,
But connection means change,
Change I can’t predict.
I may be changed in ways I can’t control.
Can I live naked and exposed?
I begin to see that knowing is armor.
I’ve been betrayed – but by whom?
The loss washes over me.
Knowing was an illusion,
A heavy, encumbering illusion.
I grieve how much of my Self I sacrificed for that illusion.
I’m a locust emerging from his armor after seventeen
dark years in the ground.
I’m soft and vulnerable in the blinding light.
But I feel alive in a way I can’t name.
Knowing feels safe but essentially dead.
I put the armor on so long ago I don’t remember doing it.
But now that I’ve taken it off, I can choose,
I can put the armor on or take it off.
Off, on, off, on, off.
I see that living without armor is
A possibility, an opportunity, not a burden.
A hundred times a day I get scared, hurt or angry
And I fall back into knowing.
I accept loss forever – and go on.