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  • Artist Info:
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    Please Hear What I'm Not Saying<br />
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    User Image<br />
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    Don't be fooled by me.<br />
    Don't be fooled by the face I wear<br />
    for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,<br />
    masks that I'm afraid to take off,<br />
    and none of them is me.<br />
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    Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,<br />
    but don't be fooled,<br />
    for God's sake don't be fooled.<br />
    I give you the impression that I'm secure,<br />
    that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well<br />
    as without,<br />
    that confidence is my name and coolness my game,<br />
    that the water's calm and I'm in command<br />
    and that I need no one,<br />
    but don't believe me.<br />
    My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,<br />
    ever-varying and ever-concealing.<br />
    Beneath lies no complacence.<br />
    Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.<br />
    But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.<br />
    I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.<br />
    That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,<br />
    a nonchalant sophisticated facade,<br />
    to help me pretend,<br />
    to shield me from the glance that knows.<br />
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    But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope,<br />
    and I know it.<br />
    That is, if it's followed by acceptance,<br />
    if it's followed by love.<br />
    It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself,<br />
    from my own self-built prison walls,<br />
    from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.<br />
    It's the only thing that will assure me<br />
    of what I can't assure myself,<br />
    that I'm really worth something.<br />
    But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to, I'm afraid to.<br />
    I'm afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,<br />
    will not be followed by love.<br />
    I'm afraid you'll think less of me,<br />
    that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.<br />
    I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing<br />
    and that you will see this and reject me.<br />
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    So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,<br />
    with a facade of assurance without<br />
    and a trembling child within.<br />
    So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,<br />
    and my life becomes a front.<br />
    I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.<br />
    I tell you everything that's really nothing,<br />
    and nothing of what's everything,<br />
    of what's crying within me.<br />
    So when I'm going through my routine<br />
    do not be fooled by what I'm saying.<br />
    Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,<br />
    what I'd like to be able to say,<br />
    what for survival I need to say,<br />
    but what I can't say.<br />
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    I don't like hiding.<br />
    I don't like playing superficial phony games.<br />
    I want to stop playing them.<br />
    I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me<br />
    but you've got to help me.<br />
    You've got to hold out your hand<br />
    even when that's the last thing I seem to want.<br />
    Only you can wipe away from my eyes<br />
    the blank stare of the breathing dead.<br />
    Only you can call me into aliveness.<br />
    Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging,<br />
    each time you try to understand because you really care,<br />
    my heart begins to grow wings--<br />
    very small wings,<br />
    very feeble wings,<br />
    but wings!<br />
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    With your power to touch me into feeling<br />
    you can breathe life into me.<br />
    I want you to know that.<br />
    I want you to know how important you are to me,<br />
    how you can be a creator--an honest-to-God creator--<br />
    of the person that is me<br />
    if you choose to.<br />
    You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,<br />
    you alone can remove my mask,<br />
    you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic,<br />
    from my lonely prison,<br />
    if you choose to.<br />
    Please choose to.<br />
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    Do not pass me by.<br />
    It will not be easy for you.<br />
    A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.<br />
    The nearer you approach to me<br />
    the blinder I may strike back.<br />
    It's irrational, but despite what the books say about man<br />
    often I am irrational.<br />
    I fight against the very thing I cry out for.<br />
    But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls<br />
    and in this lies my hope.<br />
    Please try to beat down those walls<br />
    with firm hands but with gentle hands<br />
    for a child is very sensitive.<br />
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    Who am I, you may wonder?<br />
    I am someone you know very well.<br />
    For I am every man you meet<br />
    and I am every woman you meet.<br />
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    Charles C. Finn<br />
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