Please hear what I'm not saying


Gone fishing
Please hear what I'm not saying
Charles C. Finn

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear.
For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I am afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that is second nature to me.
But don't be fooled,
I give you the impression that I am secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me,
within as well as without.,
that confidence is my name,
coolness is my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one.

But don't believe me.
My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask,
ever varying and ever concealing.

Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion and fear and aloneness.
But I hide this, I don't want any one to know it.

I panic at the thought of my weakness
and fear of being exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant and sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation.
My only hope and I know it.
That is, if it is followed by acceptance,
if it is followed by love.

It is the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It is the only thing that assures me of what I can't assure myself
that I am really worth something.

But I don't tell you this, I don't dare, I'm too afraid.
I'm afraid your glance won't be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me, that you'll laugh,
and your laugh would kill me.

I'm afraid that deep down I'm nothing,
that I'm just no good,
that you'll see this, that you'll reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a facade of assurance without
and the trembling of a child within.

So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that's nothing,
and nothing of what's really everything,
of what's crying within me.

So when I'm going through my routine,
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,
what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can't say.

I'd like to hide.
I don't like to play superficial phony games.
I'd like to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me,
but you've got to help me.

You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.

Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind and gentle and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings,
very small wings, very feeble wings, but wings.

With your power to touch me into feeling,
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.

I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator an honest-to God creator
of the person that is me. if you choose to,
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can release me from my shadowed-world of uncertainty,
from my lonely prison if you choose to.

Please choose to. Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.

A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me,
the blinder I may strike back..

It's irrational but despite what books say about man,
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls,
in this lies my hope.

Please don't try to beat down those walls with firm hands,
but with tender hands,
For the child inside is sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder.
I am every man you meet and
I am every woman you meet.
Yeh.....still all I can say is wow.....!
Where did you find that...?

An old friend sent it to me this evening. Yesterday I made a joke about something that had happened and she said "I'm not fooled....I'll send you something you need to read;)"

Ummm. Have to try another joke next time....she obviously didn't get that one:D
Gosh, that's powerful, thanks for posting it KD

Though it's making me think and I'm in two minds about whether I agree with a couple of crucial points.

I think it's just as much people's individual responsibility to try break down their own walls, rather than just pick another person and say "You alone" can do it. That's alot of pressure for one person to bear!

Also, I don't think every person hides behind those walls. Maybe we all can at certain points, but the extent to which the person in that piece experiences it isn't a norm of human existence I don't think. Sounds very like a state of depression. I've met lots of people who hide behind masks- and lots of people who are actively getting rid of them.

However, maybe that piece is so close to home that it's moved me to disagree with some of it-that's powerful writing!
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snagging this thread.
I've just read it again, and have to be honest, it scares me now. I can't help but wonder if I'm going backwards instead of forwards :(
It's irrational but despite what books say about man,
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.

Please don't try to beat down those walls with firm hands,
but with tender hands,
For the child inside is sensitive.

thats amazing, is someone following me and writing about me!?!