Credentials. A sturdy tree in the thickly forested landscape of words, its roots tangled in the understory, with those of credence, credit, credible, credulous, and creed. Revealing inextricable relationships (as roots are wont to do.) In this case illustrating dependencies between our willingness to extend benefit– and what and how and whom we believe.

Credentials. Mine are not impressive, but that does not stop me from looking for them in others. Where did this habit come from I wonder? I am fairly certain I did not have it as an infant. Gazing at adoring faces above my cradle, I did not demand to see resumes or even IDs.  What happened along the way?

I do like the word. Credentials. It registers as hardwood dependable. A word that echoes with the weight of its syllables, the quality of trustworthiness it means to communicate. A solid word. A word one can lean on, like a marble pillar, or a brick wall. A bolstering force when one’s spirit or confidence is flagging. 

Do you aspire to enter the business of demanding to see credentials? Then it is highly recommended you begin developing an edge. Sans edge, demanding credentials is a risky proposition. This is why no one in their right minds demands credentials from customs officers, grizzly bears, or grandmothers. Once you have cultivated an edge and are invested with sufficient power, the need to produce credentials falls away. Like the need for modesty past a certain age. With sufficient power, your authority becomes self-evident. Like the sun. Then you can safely bestride the narrow world, like a Colossus. Or Julius Caesar. And if bestriding is not your thing, you can simply sit down quietly instead, and no one will disturb you with demands for productivity– or credentials.Β 

It must be noted that there are cases where an edge is not necessary. Sometimes it is possible to rewrite the equation and subvert the order of things. Sometimes it is sufficient to tap into your own heartwood, and discover there, unshakeable worth. Sometimes this discovery causes confidence to bloom overnight. Like wildflowers in the desert. A windblown confidence in yourself and the world that extends into a rapturous willingness. To give credit without reck, to all who demand it, and all who do not.

Credentials? You say then laughing– 

This breath. And inshallah, the next. 

4 responses to “Credentials

  • Sandra

    Delicious. Thank you, Pavi! When I read “Sometimes it is sufficient to tap into your own heartwood, and discover there, unshakeable worth” I felt the confidence your next sentence brought. It was a moment of magic. Gracias. Much love, S.

  • Suzette Sequeira

    Such a heartening post! It’s softened my gaze and made me so acutely aware that my only truly worthwhile credential is my present breath…I can’t even count on my next. This post was my necessity. Thank you very much Pavi for tbringing home to me the unvarnished truth about my being and especially for enabling your readers to view Life through your tender, unblurred vision. So happy and grateful for being one of the favored few who receive your posts. Love, wonder and gratitude aplenty, Suzette

  • Suzette Sequeira

    Dear Pavi,
    Would it be an obnoxious, unpardonable intrusion in your privacy if I were to ask you what books shaped your thinking, i.e. what, in your opinion, are the best books to read. I’m 68 years old, have woken up very late, am running out of time, and hence, value every minute of whatever time I have left and so, want to narrow down my reading list to only works by the greatest and purist minds in the world.
    In case this is a tall request to make, I absolutely, it most certainly is…in which case please bin this mail without a second thought.
    Looking forward to your next “poetry” in prose post.
    Warmest wishes,

  • Chitra

    Just came across your writing!
    Mesmerizing, heart warming , sitting on the edge awaiting to read your poems
    Wisdom, articulate and simply a pleasure
    Thank you! πŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ

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