the impossibility of self

by Steven J. Kolbe

To say what is my self to myself? How does one even begin?

Then to think that one could take those disparate elements, experiences, beliefs, and aspirations and convey them to another succinctly: it is like my students writing their 5-paragraph essays on the history of racism or the evils of keeping animals in captivity--so much detail, so little direction.

Therefore I shouldn't be surprised to see people go. The self, when kept so long in tow, can be a ruddy thing.

Yet I am. Or sad. A coworker turns away from my office, an old friend loses my number, a family member shuts down like an old pinball machine.

To pay the price of authenticity? Who cares to wager?