It might surprise some to learn that I really don’t have an identity yet. Rather, I am a patchwork of identity copied from my family, mostly my father. I am his guitar in my lap, I am his CD collection, his taste in music, his favorite books. I’m his stories told by firelight, his jokes repeated too many times.
Recently, I’ve begun searching for a ‘me’ separate from my family. I’m hardly a person without them, I can hardly converse without my sister, cannot tell my stories without my mother, nearly forget how to be without my father. People say ‘just be yourself’ but it’s not that easy when the self hardly exists.
I have to dig back, back to the days before I was so influenced, back to the days when I was a child with dragons on the ceiling and tarot cards spread on the floor, when the woods were full of spirits and I full of magic. A kid with an affection for black dogs and running wild. I sometimes see something in myself that I don’t see in the rest of my family, a spark burning up my mind. I am a songbird in the throat of a wolf, a black cat in the eye of a dragon.
My parents are rather elemental, my father with the sea in his eyes, my mother with the forest in hers. I have all this and something more, a spark of fire about me. There’s literal fire that I spin on chains about me, a figurative fire I write into every word. I am the improvisations I make on my father’s stories, the new songs I write upon his guitar, I am a flicker bursting slowly forth into a flame.