Skip to main content

I AM ALL THAT I AM by Ruth Calder Murphy

“Cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am) ~ Descartes. This is, perhaps one of the single most famous philosophical statements of modern times. “I think, therefore, I am”...

It was certainly the first philosophical statement of which I was consciously aware, because when I was a very tiny child, my mother had an apron adorned with a comic strip, featuring a slightly daft-looking English sheepdog. The dog had thought-clouds above its head, and in the first picture, looking confident and happy, it was thinking, “I think, therefore I am”. In the next, the dog looked mildly confused: “But if I only think I think, how do I know I think?” Finally, looking dizzy and utterly perplexed, it went on, “I mean, I could just be thinking I think I think… I think…”

My mother, always one to seize an opportunity to expand our education, told us (my siblings and I) about Descartes and also that, perhaps, his statement is potentially dangerous. For example, what happens when I’m unconscious? What about people with severe brain damage?  Is thought really the highest measure of our worth or, in fact, of our existence? In that case, is our value measured by how well we think? Or how much we think? Or how brilliantly we grasp the implications of what we think? My mother, quite obviously, thought not… And I agree.

In the Western world, academic or intellectual thought has, to an extent, become the new religion. Materialism and the ability to measure and explain it - the science of matter - has become the primary way in which we filter the world around us. Valuable though that is, I would argue that it is not, by any means, the most valuable thing, nor the only valuable thing. Our “Being” - our existence - and our perceptions of it, go far beyond the material - and, I would suggest, far beyond our ability to comprehend it intellectually.

I am. I don’t have to understand, to be. Sometimes, in fact, it’s probably very healthy to pause in our tendency to over-think, and to simply acknowledge that “I am”. Life is. It’s complex, wonderful, breathtaking, miraculous. Thinking is a part of that - an inestimably valuable and precious part… But it’s only one sparkling facet in the jewel of our existence.

 I Am All I Am
by Ruth Calder Murphy

I am:
A complex, beautiful, creative depth
of caverns and caves and plunging pools
to scramble, explore and dive...

I am:
a crazy puzzle -
pieces flung far and wide;
from galaxies and memories
and traces of DNA that didn’t get away
in the history of making me Me.

I am:
a maze -
amazed and amazing,
caught in time and in this tiny body of mine -
that in spite of what I put it through,
still manages to smile and shine my spirit through the cracks:
to carry me on and get things done,
to move on at seemingly dead ends and not look back,
to seek out the fraying threads
and somehow,
make ends meet...

I am:
from my tousled crown to my hard-worked feet
I am - and continue to be:
wondrously, miraculously, inexplicably…

I see
reflections - in my own depths -
of my ever-changing skies -
and of my self in other people’s eyes -
and in memories that help to make me wise -
or wiser than I was before…

I am:
I am,
no less, no more,
no matter what the how or why…

I am:
I am,
and all I am
is I.

Ruth Calder Murphy is a writer, artist, music teacher, wife and mother living in London, UK. Her life is wonderfully full of creativity and low-level chaos. She is the author of two published novels, The Scream and The Everlasting Monday, several books of poetry and one or two as-yet unpublished novels. More of Ruth' Spiritual poetry can be found in her book, Spirit Song and the soon-to-be-released sequel, "River Song". She is passionate about celebrating the uniqueness of people, questioning the unquestionable and discovering new perspectives on old wonders. She is learning to ride the waves that come along—peaks and troughs—and is waking up to just how wonderful life really is. You can visit Ruth and view more of her art on her website, or on her writer's page on Facebook. All her books are available on Amazon, here.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


Popular posts from this blog

I AM STILL HERE by Janavi Held


This was composed by a very gifted and beautiful soul: a regular contributor to our poetry project, and dear friend of mine, Janavi Held, whose life is gradually being taken from us by an incurable illness. She has been suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Internal Adhesions for six painful years now, and neither her insurance nor the government healthcare will help her. She reaches out to us, her sisters, as a last plea. This is a poem she wrote yesterday on her birthday, in which she offers us the gift of her friendship. May it touch your generous hearts and inspire you to reach out to her in her plight.

Dear Friends,

The last time I was able to leave the house was by ambulance on my way to the hospital. After many long hours in the emergency room I was admitted and taken upstairs. After everyone left I sat on the hospital bed, knees to chest, bracing my body against the pain and trembling.

The light of this cold day was fading. I turned my eyes to the la…

IMAGINE A WOMAN by Patricia Lynn Reilly

This poem invites you to look upon yourself with loving kindness…
Gazing at your own true reflection, you will discover that everything you have longed for “out there” is already within you! I invite you to love your creativity fiercely. Faithfully plant seeds, allowing under-the-ground dormant seasons, nurturing your creative garden with love and gratitude. In the fullness of time, the green growing things thrust forth from the ground. It's a faithful, trustworthy process. AND it takes time and patience.  Blessed is the fruit of your creative womb! I invite you to trust your vision of the world and express it. With wonder and delight, paint a picture, create a dance, write a book, and make up a song. To give expression to your creative impulses is as natural as your breathing. Create in your own language, imagery, and movement. Follow no script. Do not be limited by the customary way things have been expressed. Your creative intuition is original. Gather all of life into your inner c…

DEPRESSION by Veronica Carpenter

Here goes my vulnerability A heart on a sleeve The typical person who looks at me May not see the same me that I live with daily The mind in the air, swirling with possibility When the darkness rallies/gathers/swirls When I am left to solitude This paper-thin garb unzips Here comes depression          
No I don’t want to advertise So flash a smile Those who are close get to see Through the veil, it’s really not that thick Circumstances in life like to stab at the rib Stumble, fall behind the door Shut out the world Feelings well and weigh down Strength hidden deep in the core So deep that sometimes it’s forgotten Here comes the darkness My old friend Sweeping through my every move  Doubts, fears, un-named masked men Oozing like honey, sticking to everything
Patience is required to get on this ride There is a cycle but its pattern is unknown Slowly my gift will unwrap itself Stay on the path Coming back to that which never truly left me Just laid sleeping out of exhaustion from the fight Dormant in winter…