Now I Become Myself

May Sarton

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Now I become myself. It's taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people's faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
"Hurry, you will be dead before—"
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)

Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!

The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.

All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.

As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.

Now there is time and Time is young.

O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!

Mary Sarton was a Belgian poet.

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion of becoming yourself? Can you share a personal story of a time you felt alive with your song 'made so and rooted by love'? What helps you remember that you have time to live and be still?

Add Your Reflection:

16 Previous Reflections:

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    On Oct 25, 2020 PURNIMA KARIA wrote:
    Beautiful poem reminding us to be SELF with not trying to mask of who we really are. Over the years of rushing and hurrying, lost the precious moments of being with own self and enjoying the inner voice/sound of self

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    On Oct 21, 2020 Shyam Gupta wrote:
    How Can I live in the present , in a way that I live my true authentic self, no pretenses or people pleasing efforts.. My work, My love, My Time , My face. Slowly and intensely growing like a plant and dying as graciously as a ripened fruit, fertile, detached and after having lived a life well spent.

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    On Oct 20, 2020 Shruti wrote:
    Such a beautiful poem! Sharing with friends. Sums up a lifetime with the profound insight that when we are "running", time feels old, but when we "stand still" time is young. Beautifully captured in words and the reading by Liz Helgesenis perfect.

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    On Oct 20, 2020 sharnita chilukuri wrote:
    "As thought shapes the shaper"....so well put. So in essence we go into this abyss with a cascade of thought after thought that probably originated from a wrong or incorrect thought in the first place, again based on our past beliefs. We need to understand from what beliefs these thoughts originated from and let them go. We have to eventually break this chain of becoming our thoughts and learn to know that we are not our thoughts!

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    On Oct 20, 2020 Barbara wrote:
    Beautiful poem......A reflection of how growth can happen. Wake up to this glorious earth 🌎

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    On Oct 20, 2020 Lakshmi wrote:
    I think and therefore I am! Our thinking have been molded by our parents, friends, teachers, colleagues and so on. I’ve never been given a chance to be myself. There is always a notch to be scaled over above us. When we grow old, we have the time to reflect on ourselves, Then we rewind our life and find out that we’ve never taken charge. Sad but true. Many talented people feel sorry for the lost opportunities.
    im old now and im glad that I’ve found myself And I can stand and stare at stars and watch youngsters madly rushing to achieve. Now I think and therefore I’m.

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    On Oct 20, 2020 George wrote:
    As a photographer, I am sometimes unable to see. My mentor #arniezann reminds me to slow down and wait for the scene to evolve. What have we lost in the new age?

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    On Oct 19, 2020 Leslie A Fraser wrote:
    The self expands, collapses like a circus tent that the time train and experience moves to the next town. The self, atoms never rest. There is an infinite ribbon equation to the self you cannot reach it's end; It filters through all the light and dark events that made up your life like a hard steady rain penetrating every layer of what is seen and unseen. My father left a hole in my heart when he walked away from me. This abandonment became a part of my filter that kaleidoscopedthrough my entire life. Scripts meant to be abandoned; terrible nightmares to be promptly awaken from. I somehow always found another expression of that story. There are many holes in my heartSo much of my life I wanted to die to be reborn into another story free from that suffering. My mother could not express her love for mewith passion...it was consumed by her hungry wolves of anxiety, grief, longing and fear. Sometimes I am bursting with white and yellow daisies from my soul to heal with compassion for o... [View Full Comment] The self expands, collapses like a circus tent that the time train and experience moves to the next town. The self, atoms never rest. There is an infinite ribbon equation to the self you cannot reach it's end; It filters through all the light and dark events that made up your life like a hard steady rain penetrating every layer of what is seen and unseen. My father left a hole in my heart when he walked away from me. This abandonment became a part of my filter that kaleidoscopedthrough my entire life. Scripts meant to be abandoned; terrible nightmares to be promptly awaken from. I somehow always found another expression of that story. There are many holes in my heartSo much of my life I wanted to die to be reborn into another story free from that suffering. My mother could not express her love for mewith passion...it was consumed by her hungry wolves of anxiety, grief, longing and fear. Sometimes I am bursting with white and yellow daisies from my soul to heal with compassion for others and other times the swamp pulls me into the dark. Eternal Exhaustion of the self as it works constantly to be free. Tonight I feel the drifting tide threatens once again. My song skips and replays an adagio of "never enough". Some wounds won't heal so we mask up, march on. Who is me? Sooften quaking and crumbling on the inside just skimming by painfully. Perhaps the guard rails, hand up, free pass tokens, soft mats to fall upon were never meant for me. Discovering a deeper purpose to overcome this pain may never be comfort,extreme joy or satisfaction. One self seeks acceptance and the other screams no into all the spaces of my being. I am still here. I am still here. I am still here. I am. I amStill. I am still here. So attached still to the dream of how my life was supposed to resolve and flutter and fly and be but it could not and this loop event is what came into being. This self is a family within itself. This self is fighting and fearful. This self gets flamed and frozen for years at a time. This self won't be forever. Taking a stand, with these words that not fall down but to prepare for the Phoenix of Self to Rise up like sweetness and warm to create again and again. To be here, to be still, to be self[Hide Full Comment]

    1 reply: Carlyn | Post Your Reply
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    On Oct 19, 2020 Catherine Davidson wrote:
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem. I was talking to my 91 year old mother this morning who has been self-isolating in LA since February and who has never felt more alive. This poem explains how that might be - the universe we have inside us can still blossom and maybe even more so in these circumstances. I remembered how much I loved May Sarton's book, The Bridge of Years, and how I can still imagine the mother in that novel, her garden, the sense of resilience built into family life. Wonderful way to start the morning!

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    On Oct 19, 2020 Elizabeth Holmes wrote:
    As I/we age, we become more and more who we are. The opinions of others, regarding my behavior/appearance/choices mean little to me at 64 years. At 16, 30, 50 I cared enough to consider changing. I'm content, not always comfortable with, who I am in my mid sixties. I can't change anything about my past. I can embrace who I see in my mirror, offer her forgiveness, acceptance, unconditional love for all that is, has been, will be.

    1 reply: Starr | Post Your Reply
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    On Oct 17, 2020 David Doane wrote:
    There is nothing more important than becoming yourself. If there is a purpose to be, it is to become yourself, become all you are. For me, the meaning of being alive with my song 'made so and rooted by love' isthat love is wholeness both as an individual and in being with an other. Love is union, oneness, wholeness, and getting myself together and whole as an individual and in relationship that is together and whole is to be alive with my song 'made so and rooted by love'. I have had such experiences, I always want more, and I have time to have more. I have time to be still and live alive rather than frenetically strive and at best only survive. I only need the present.

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    On Oct 16, 2020 Xiaoshan Pan wrote:
    Humans are easily susceptible to two evils.

    "Whenever a group of people start believing they are better than everyone else, the results are always the same." This is the first evil, which has many variations. One example is "I against my brother. I and my brother against my cousin. I, my brother, and my cousin against the world"; another example is any form of sectarianism such asa group'snationalisticor cultural ambitions.

    The second evil, is a mis-perception (often socially imposed)that we need to become somebody else (e.g., Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and my handsome neighbor) except to be ourselves. This perhaps is the greatest obstacle that consciousness evolution is facing on this planet.

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    On Oct 16, 2020 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    Becoming yourself is a challenge for all of us. Right from our childhood we are asked by others in our families, schools and societies who we should be. Our mind's are conditioned to think, feel and act according to the norms established by others. Reading this poem written by Mary Sarton reminds me of a poem written by John Milton. " The mind is its own place, and itself can make a Heaven of Hell, and a Hell of Heaven." It is up to me to make my own choice to become myself. In order to hear my own voice I need to quiet my own mind. In the quiet moments I know who I am. It's a journey of self-discovery. Once I hear my own voice, I sing my own song. OnceI know the rhythms of my life I dance my own dance. I feel the fullnessof life when I am my real self. Such realization grows in me like a plant rooted, watered and nurtured by love. Such inner growth takes place when I take time out and reflect deeply and feelmy "own weight and density". These are the times ... [View Full Comment] Becoming yourself is a challenge for all of us. Right from our childhood we are asked by others in our families, schools and societies who we should be. Our mind's are conditioned to think, feel and act according to the norms established by others. Reading this poem written by Mary Sarton reminds me of a poem written by John Milton. " The mind is its own place, and itself can make a Heaven of Hell, and a Hell of Heaven." It is up to me to make my own choice to become myself. In order to hear my own voice I need to quiet my own mind. In the quiet moments I know who I am. It's a journey of self-discovery. Once I hear my own voice, I sing my own song. OnceI know the rhythms of my life I
    dance my own dance.

    I feel the fullnessof life when I am my real self. Such realization grows in me like a plant rooted, watered and nurtured by love. Such inner growth takes place when I take time out and reflect deeply and feelmy "own weight and density". These are the times when the song of life is born and it comes out with sheer love and joy. The people in my life who love me as I amhear my song and sing along with me. It is a song of love, a song of togetherness and harmony.These are the gifts of becoming oneself.

    My self-awarenessis my guide, my companion, my guru. When am in an awakened state the light of self-awarenessshows me the wise path of my spiritual journey. When i deviate from my spiritual path I stop and ask questions to myself: Where was I when I was with myself? Was I with me fully present with the presence of awakened awareness? Right answers come for within when I take time out and be still. Regular practice of Mindfulness Meditation and practicing mindfulness in my everyday life have been very helpful to me in my search of who am I and how to live fully.
    Namste!
    Jagdish P Dave'






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    1 reply: Deirdre | Post Your Reply

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