I Am Not I
Juan Ramon Jimenez
translated by Robert Bly
I am not I.
I am this one
Walking beside me whom I do not see
Whom at times I manage to visit,
And whom at other times I forget;
The one who remains silent when I talk,
The one who forgives, sweet, when I hate,
The one who takes a walk where I am not,
The one who will remain standing when I die.
I was sent this poem a week ago and have been thinking about it quite a bit.
Juan Ramon Jimenez, in just a few sentences, captures the idea of our deeper identity, the ‘I’ that is always present and in the shadow of the person we normally take ourselves to be.
We are not who we think we are, his poem tells us; we are in the silences between our words, and in a place far deeper than just the present moment.
The poem asks that we remember this our true identity, our true Self. It certainly isn’t the one we present to the world or to ourselves for that matter.
I wrote a post on my 3-year old Self a few days ago and this brings me to a question – if all our many Selves are co-existing simultaneously, then who or what, is the real Self?
Who am I?
Who are You?