Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Our Characters


Fernando Pessoa is an accomplished author. It is thought that 25,426 documents constitute his archives. The interesting thing about him is that he created multiple characters- at least 72 of who are known. Fascinatingly, these characters are not in his books, they are writing his books. They each have their distinct personalities and biographies, some of which are close to Pessoa’s and some differ greatly. He wrote poetry and nonfiction from the voices of these various “authors,” including the wonderfully written collection of prose manuscripts, The Book of Disquietude by Bernardo Soares.

The idea of Pessoa’s characters is enthralling. I would venture to say that most of us have not consciously created characters outside of ourselves, yet our three-dimensional personalities are intricately complex. It is not possible to express all of our layers and facets all the time, nor would we want to. Therefore, we inevitably have many character traits hiding within us at any given time. What aspects are sitting below your surface?

Sometimes it’s hard for me to know that there are parts inside of me that others cannot see. At the same time, I know that there is purpose in the way we work. It allows us to function and enter various situations without pressure and vulnerability. There is comfort in staying a mystery and being the only one to fully understand who I am. There is choice and selectivity within my world and it is a special privilege for someone to be allowed to witness the parts that only come out in intimate moments. I thank the people that allow me this privilege in their worlds. I cherish these people who share their depths and make up the richness of my life.

2 comments:

Shira said...

This is a phenomenally interesting idea that belies great talent and skill. Fun to think about. Today on NPR they were debating whether it was kermit or Ernie who sang a song they clipped on a show & it made me think of this post.

Emily said...

So interesting...sometimes I forget everyone doesn't see the world through my eyes. Great post!