Nosce te ipsum


Nosce te ipsum: “Know Thyself”.

The family motto from the old country.
Emblazoned six or seven centuries past,
On a shield of green,
A plumed crest and sweeping boughs,
And three goats passant argent,,
Found in a dusty book.

It could just as easily mean:
Think for thyself.
Be true to thyself.
Know thy fears and subdue them.
Honor thyself, and others, too.
Do not be fooled by dishonest flattery.
Do not be fooled by criticisms
Or the judgement of others.
Know thyself, the delusions you nurture.
Think for thyself, mistrusting certainty.
Be a vessel for truth, however harsh,
For generations will remember.

This is the weight of the motto now.
Heavy enough, I should say.
It feels good to connect again,
To know my origins,
And what remains undone.
What remains undone…