Showing Our Aspects

May 26th, 2022 by Kelly Kienzle

With the massacre in Uvalde, Texas this week, I am feeling a tangle of emotions: anger, repeated disbelief, hollowed-out sadness, and despondency.  These are all emotions that I hold, yet I do not show them when I am at work, talking with neighbors or sending email.

I wonder what would happen if I did show these aspects of my mood and character? What would happen if you did?  Would we be more of our true selves?  Or would we confuse people by appearing differently than how we usually look?

A River

David Whyte, a poet and writer, clarifies this confusion in this line:

“We are each a river with a particular abiding character, but we show radically different aspects of our self according to the territory through which we travel.”

What I appreciate about this perspective is that it gives me space and permission to be different from day to day, depending on what territory I am passing through.  However, I still retain the same overall character that is uniquely me.

Expressing Ourselves

The parents and loved ones of these children are passing through one of the darkest of territories.  Let us accept and embrace however they may choose to mourn.  Let us show them and others how we are changed by this territory as well.

Notice whenever you are feeling “not yourself” or that you are in foreign territory.  Slow down and accept that this state is simply another aspect of who you are – – an aspect shaped by the territory through which you are traveling.

And share those thoughts and feelings with others so that they can know you more deeply.  And you can know yourself more deeply.

I will do this for the sake of those 19 children and 2 adults who will never be able to express themselves again.


If you have the means to support the families of the victims, here is a list of ways you can do so.

Leave a Reply