I have many names by which I am known. I am ‘Christy’ to most people, ‘Chris’ to my family, and ‘Christyb’ to screens on which I post comments online. Give or take one or two posts of ’Christybelle’ to mix up the fruit bowl of names. Yet whatever name I choose, my tastes and preferences remain the same. Coated in cement. Think of caramel coating to a candy apple. It ain’t going nowhere.
Now, with better grammatical form than my last sentence, I introduce A.R. Ammon’s poem:
I’ve pressed so
far away from
my desire that
if you asked
me what I
want I would,
accepting the harmonious
completion of the
drift, say annihilation,
© 1996 A.R. Ammons
The voice of the poem is relatable. “I” no longer do what “I” want to do. Picture getting caught up in hustle of the day, days turning to weeks, to months. caught up in efforts to make others happy without consideration of one’s own interests and desires.
One likely becomes uncertain in his or her decisions as the sense of self diminishes to the point of “annihilation.” Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines annihilation as ’to cause to cease to exist.’
Imagine the “drift” Ammons describes from being authentic, expressing one’s true self, to becoming a cardboard image searching for acceptance.
Can you picture the cardboard image? Have you ever lost your own sense of self?