Define Human

October 21, 2010
At first I was going to write a poem. I say poem because that’s what I always do. Stringing words together is usually easy for me. I read a lot. I write a lot. So naturally, I think, I’ll write a piece of incredibly moving poetry. But when I sit down with a pen in hand and write the title, I can go no further, because I realize that I am not well versed on the topic : You don’t know me, ‘til you know me. I think to myself, “What the heck does that mean?”

In the beginning, the obvious things came up. Well, what makes a person who they are? The things that they do or say, right? But then my thoughts got a little deeper. Don’t people, nowadays, define themselves by things like their jobs and sexual orientations? But aren’t these just labels? A writer is not really just a writer, surely? An actor not simply an actor? Who is the person?

And why do we define ourselves by outward things?

My thoughts are a part of me,
My voice a part of me.
My pain and secrets are all a part of me.
My joy and songs are all a part of me.

I think of things that have happened,
And wonder, if I take some back,
Would I still be me?
I’d still be human.
But would I still be Ariana?

At the core, we’re all the same.
When we stem from that
Initial place of birth,
We begin to grow and change.
We are influenced by everything
So that we are sure never to be
Completely individual.

There will always be something
We share with another.
I think of every thought that
Has passed through my mind.
I think of those ideas of mine,
That someone else materialized.
I think of the actions I’ve taken
And know that I could never be mistaken
For another likeness of the Man in the sky.

Because my box
Just isn’t the same.
As yours. Or hers. Or his.

I’m not afraid to find
Another woman beautiful.
I am not intimidated
By the face of a handsome man.

I’ve been wrought of any happiness
Until I’ve burned like a pendulum of iron.
I’ve been shaken into fear so horrific
I’ve been paralyzed, agonized
That I could not help.

I’ve felt such extreme joy
That my breath has left me.
I’ve felt such deep confusion
That I’ve considered death.

I’ve been told, again and again,
Don’t be who you think you are.
You are not that.
But how do my parents know
What I am or am not?
Why does

Having an unorthodox preference
Make me less
Than a worthy human being?
Why does being confused
Deem me immature, and
Ill prepared to live my own life?

Why does society
Get to choose the values
We abide by?
Why do institutions,
The Church
The Economy
Get to rule like gods,
Until our own definitions
Of who we are
Are irrelevant?
Or worse,

Who I am
Cannot be defined
By all that clutter,
All that noise.
Lost in a sea of judges,
We can only hope.

I cannot even adequately know
Who it is
I truly am,
Until I can travel sans the vehicle
The universe has put my soul in.

Then maybe without distractions,
We could understand.

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