Who is there who never says to themselves, 'who amI'? Who is there who hasn't, at some stage in their lives, looked into a mirror and, only recognising themselves partially, behind the tiredness, behind the age beginning to creep into their features, asked, 'who are you?'
And what answers come back? Glib ones, bland ones, tired ones, lies, obfuscations, attempts to dodge some kind of truth, if truth it is, attempts to convince ourselves that we are this type of person and not the other. How often can we absolutely, honestly, say 'I am this and nothing else'?
The problem is, of course, that we are in reality many things, not only to many people, but to ourselves, and often when we don't like what we see in the mirror, we comfort ourselves with fibs about our personalities and physical selves. Advertising is based upon this premise of the self-told lie: 'Because You're Worth It', for example. Not only do we invent a legend, or legends, of the self, our own epic narratives in which we are the scions of ancient, noble clans, or lost princes/princesses or whatever, but we have labels attached to us that in general remain firmly stuck throughout life, once we reach a certain point in that particular journey. So, for example, I am, in various people's minds, and in rough chronological order, a Son, a Brother, the Brainy Relative, the Quiet One In The Corner, The Shy One, The Gambler, The Lover, The Mad Drunk One Who Gets Into All Gigs Free, The Bad-Tempered One, The Teacher, the Husband, the Father, and probably far more, including earthier descriptions, I'm sure.
But is any of this really me? The only time I really, really feel that I am myself is in the midst of quiet, reflective moments, quite like this one now, when all the world is dozing and I try to do what I do best - play with ideas. I don't like labels, I don't like pigeonholes, yet no-one can go through life without having metaphorical post-it notes slapped on them or being bunged into a little slot of some kind.