Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sense of Self (3)

How are the pieces put together—that's one way to look at the concept of "self."

Where do the pieces come from—that may be the more instructive question, especially from the point of view of an artist or poet.

Another challenge is to remember to ask about what isn't there, which means realizing there's a missing piece (or two or a thousand) before one is even close to completing the puzzle. And of course, a lost piece (a piece of loss) is still a piece of the puzzle of self.

I have recently read a couple biographies that struggle with this very thing, the pieces that go into the making of the person, the "life lessons" that shaped (or warped) the person's world view, the way loss factored in, the pieces that the person fought to keep despite all odds...It is overwhelming when one thinks of a biographer snooping around, picking out what seem to be the significant pieces.

And why always pieces? Is any part of us whole? Ever? No? Maybe in the way that a collage is whole, or a quilt?

Collage as autobiography...

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