ESSE QUAM VIDERI
I don't even understand pig latin. But these three words appeared in a book I'm reading called 'Dark Fire' and stars a man with a disability in a time that didn't welcome any kind of difference. The book, set in England under the rule of Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell, presents Matthew Shardlake as the 'sharpest hunchback in court'. 'Dark Fire' is the second of the series (and should be read thusly after 'Dissolution') and in it Matthew runs into the motto 'esse quam videri' which means 'be it, don't seem it'.
I read those words and, like many times in reading Sansom's Shardlake series, I paused and thought for a long long time.
As I paused, I reflected.
As I reflected, I prayed.
This series is changing me.
I'm not sure if the words are advice.
For me, I think, they are challenge. To break down the artiface that builds around us in day to day interactions, to smash the barriers that are constructed by the social roles we take, to bridge the moats dug deep to protect us from those hurts borne early ever being borne again.
I put these words on the masthead of my blog as much for me, as writer as for you, as reader. I wanted to remind myself that my goal is to become more real as time passes. Simply put, I want to 'be it, not seem it.'
Yet acheiving this goal sometimes frightens me. A couple of times the last week consulting and training and facilitating - who I really was came out, all the passion, the fury, the intensity - and I startled myself as much as anyone else. It was like I was reminded by something deep that I really did, and really do and really always have deeply cared about what I do. About where we are going.
And again, just moments ago. Thinking about going back to work today at my home agency of Vita. Thinking about the process of change that we are going through - a process aimed at increasing the voice of those in care, at increasing the skills of those who serve and increasing the resistance of the system from becoming uncaring. I've seen so many changes this year. And suddenly, I really really believed that it was possible for the system to be human and humane, for agencies to be governed by realization and for gentleness to become practice.
We all present our work as good and our goals as pure.
esse quam videri