Friday, January 2, 2009

"Who am I" by Deitrich Bonhoeffer

Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell's confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly
like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly
As though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equably, smilingly, proudly
like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which all men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat
yearning for colors, for flowers, for voices of birds
thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness
tossing in expectation of great events
powerlessly trembling with friends at an infinite distance
weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making
faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?
am i one person to-day and to-morrow another?
am I both at once? A hypocrite before others
and before my self a contemptibly woebegone weakling?
or is something within me still like a beaten army
fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? they mock me, these lonely questions of mine,
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!

Taken from "Letters and Papers from Prison", a book that is a compilation of letters and other writings by Bonhoeffer while he was in prison. The struggle of living in reality tied down, bogged down, but yet still hoping still believing, still brooding with anticipation. Who will define me? Is it I or the other voices that provoke my listening? In the end after a Jacob style wrestle we settle with the mysterious trust of leaving definition to the one who shaped us.

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Hopeful Theo

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I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations