Can we truly know another person? Can we truly know ourselves? Should we even try?
This was my primary question as I read poet Saeed Jones’ memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives. Jones explains how anticlimactic was the experience of coming out to his mother. He writes, I came out to my mother as gay, but I didn’t come out to her as myself.
And my reaction to this statement was, what does it mean to come out as oneself? And, should we feel compelled to come out as our full selves to everyone?
I think I agree with Iris Murdoch who wrote, We are such inward secret creatures…most of what we think we know about our minds is pseudo-knowledge. We are all such shocking poseurs, so good at inflating the importance of what we think we value.
If we are an enigma to ourselves, it would follow that we are to others. Which is why we can perceive ourselves one way and others can perceive and experience us differently. Maybe the best we can do is let go of the need to grasp one truth about ourselves. And others. And accept that multiple truths can exist.
And in this space of multiple truths I can be curious. I can question. I can ride the waves and enjoy the adventure.