Who Am I?
Written by
Akosua Biraa
December 2014
Written by
Akosua Biraa
December 2014

It has been a long time since I have mulled over the question “Who am I?” This I used to do in my twenties-to-thirties, over and over again. Yet as a child, there was a clarity of my selfless self, especially in those moments when I flew, late at night, in my sleep; exploring the reality that I knew to Be -- one in which my form bore no burden on an ephemeral (I). But this freedom did not last long, as I soon began the awkward wearing of applicable identities characterized by birth names, genetic attachments, blood lines, national affiliations, learnt imaginings and a whole heap of other personal acquisitions.


Nonetheless always, deep inside, has been this feeling of alienation; this wondering of how (I) came to be trapped into this particular body within a rather curious world that bore no resemblance to what I knew as my truth. I found this confusion compelling and had even come to an early-in-age conclusion that the only way out of it, towards peace, was in dying; however, I could not bring myself to such finality. Instead, my truth struggled not to be denied and found itself often standing apart, distant and uninterested in the clumsy, noisy life surrounding my body with its tenuous links through relationships. And whenever this happened, I would say to myself “What strange thoughts are these?” “Where do they come from?” “Is this not the endless road to madness!?” Of the latter, I was certain since not many else pondered in this way or claimed an alienation from the ritualistic existence we call life. Too many times, such thinking lead me to despair and a sense of being trapped in a vessel not of my choosing. I had been brought into a world not of my wanting and battled, daily, in my expected negotiation of it -- with so much alienation and disinterest.


You see, I had no mentors of equal understanding and found the bare bones of secularity and the pontificating nature of religiosity to be empty of something as simple as answering, “Why am I here: in this incredibly imperfect place with these rather bizarre creatures enacting rituals without consciousness?” This here was my truth. But it, over time, learnt to be silent and instead went round masquerading itself in chameleon shapes that are known to the visible eye; that is, a young girl taking on dreams of this world, desiring to be creativity and divine grace, but most of all needing to be liberated. Then, it was a young woman knowing that her facade of normal was not strong enough to contain her lamenting spirit, but still insisting on the age old story – telling the tale of our lying existence, Griot style. In this time, I very much fell into the edges of insanity, unable to resolve my truth with the morbid reality and so it came that I had to use ways of this world to shield my perfection from imploding; helping it to reconcile with this world, telling it to accept its long time on this earth with grace and magnitude, but still not knowing how to show its veritable visage at the same time.


Now, that I am still trying to determine. My understanding is that it must be a path of enlightened consciousness beginning to pave the way for (I) actuality to reconcile with this limited existence. It is the only way to start to see without existing. It is now a condition that needs to be unconditioned; my veracity hidden so deep under so many facades and ways of being me but not (I). Yes, so many high on existence myths taken upon this self without revealing the true depth of (I), and so many roles and responsibilities reluctantly agreed to in this lot casting that is as random as chaos. Yet none of them bear a likeness to my fact. All false facets selected to give my form meaning in a meaningless wonder that is now becoming more apparent to me, not so much in its articulation because how does one voice the indescribable?


My verisimilitude simply is no longer resigned to be a burden; a secret kept hidden in the face of so much rationalistic mediocrity. It burns of late, refusing to be dimmed and demanding that (I) be much more than this healthy questioning receptacle. It reminds me to look beneath the steady illusion of surface into the teeming mass of subatomic energy that Becomes purely as a consequence of consciousness; that begets intelligence in order to exist in this making of life as we know it. But too much of this intelligence subsumes the faithful unfolding of things, since it is beset with concepts, paradigms, limits and assumptions, none of which can be in accordance with (no)body, (no)thing and (no)where. This is not who I was, am and will become, yet at the same time it is me: unraveling eternity as I simultaneously envelope myself in these time-bound apparitions of self. Always, I am a conundrum; being a living enigma that continues to keep madness at bay, whilst also beckoning its verity from within my core. This is making no sense whatsoever in a world full of nonsense, none-sensing and being less than our indefinite possibility.


I am a vast ocean of not me just as much as I am now what I express as, even when it is indeed me. And all of this lives in a transitory time gone past and also yet to come like the flitting of my pen before thoughts unformed and those sealed by the scripting of their utterance; none of which are actually the (I) moving on beyond and far, far, far above them all – even though that infinity is less tangible than the crystallizing of these singular ideas about a rather unitary aspect of me in this very particular moment. As it is not, I am of course much more than the limited limits of the immeasurable potential of all that was, is and will be (I).


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