Cool rainy day for August. I’m back to the typical routine with a delay time for the clouds to part. The city having spent almost a million of my dollars has finished the roadway and it is smooth as silk. The streets are being cleaned and I have to put on a sweatshirt because it is so cool. Old folks day at the grocery store so I’m weaving in and out and around people who only get out on Tuesday. Went a little wild at the frozen veggie section, but I’ve got to find something to fill up that cold black box.
So even with only a few hours of tossing and turning sleep and listening to Bob Dylan’s “Motorpsycho Nightmare” (thanks Jo-Jo) in my head, I think the sermon for today will be: Who do you think you are?
But the title of this is “Spoilers”? We will get to that, but first, when you look in the mirror in the morning with all that tussled hair and scruffy look and bad breath and red eyes and all those things that go with morning, who do you think you are?
This is probably the truest vision of yourself or even what you may picture yourself to be. You can’t lie about the morning face.
So “who are you?” you ask. Well, there is this name given to you by some old people who brought you home from the hospital. Yeah, that’s right you may all have the same name and have to live together, but is that who you are? We name everything. We name out pets. We name our plants. I even have names for my guitars, but there has to be a way to introduce ourselves, so names are who we are.
Then there are addresses to tell people where you live and phone numbers so they can hear your voice. There are descriptions you fill out on applications on what gender, height, weight, hair color, and eye color…. The list goes on and on. Then there are the numbers. Social security number, which is really your number to the government or bank number or even credit card number that must be remembered because these are all descriptions of “you”.
We can describe ourselves as what type of music we prefer or what books we like to read or where we have traveled or the people we’ve known or the children we’ve had or…. The list goes on and on. Yet all these are factors that make up “who we are”.
There is a magazine out from Time called “The 100 most influential people who never lived” and it made me think how much these people, or non people who influenced “who we are”.
Outside of family and church and school and friends, we watch and emulate the social media. Television, radio, movies, magazines…. They all influence us as we grow up. Each generation has their icons and idols. Some are real and some are not.
So when we think of how all those characters molded our persona like Don Quixote, Odysseus, Achilles, Falstaff, Hiawatha, King Midas, Aladdin, Cinderella, Rip van Winkle, Cassandra, Hamlet, Carmen, Pagliaccio, Oedipus, Icarus, and Madame Butterfly. We read their tales and adjusted our thoughts to their adventures.
How adventurous could we be than King Arthur, Scarlett O’Hara, James Bond, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Indiana Jones, or even Peter Pan? But none of them are real. And how exciting would it be to obtain superhero status like Superman or Batman or Dracula or Tarzan but I’m afraid (don’t tell Andy Panda because he is still living a 14 year old fantasy) that they are not real either.
Even our most romantic, Romeo and Juliet, Benedick and Beatrice, Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, Leopold and Molly Bloom, Captain Kirk and Spock or Humbert Humbert and Lolita were just figments of a writer’s imagination.
But they all influenced us. Supposed there was no Harry Potter? No Darth Vader? No Buffy the vampire slayer? No Frankenstein? Who would we be afraid of? Who would we look to for survival?
So we continue to grow and absorb what is around us that make us “who we are”. We compare our similarities and follow consistent patterns of interest to find new friends sharing “who we are”.
But now comes the spoilers. None of these folks are real. They are all imaginary characters. Does that make “who we are” an imaginary figure? Who knows? Perhaps we are.
Even if we can’t accept “who we are” now or then or forever the real spoiler is that no one gets out of here alive.