Jake Gyllenhaal is, in fact, humanSo many times, you have said
You don't yet know who you are
And those who know you speak of a sadness unexplained

Perhaps to hear too many kind words
Can be as destructive as hearing none
Do you search your mirror for this perfect creation,
A god among men,
Fantasy of thousands and inspiration of many?
What do you see?

How could anyone live up to all that has been,
And will be,
Ascribed to you?
You are but a man, in flesh and blood;
The beauty of that flesh is incidental

While you are still quite young
With long years ahead in which you may learn by your successes
And failures
I hope that you can hear the words of your father
And realize that your value lies not
In the mirror's reflection
But in the man that stands before it

You are as unique as the rest of us
As deserving of joy
And as entitled to pain
In whatever shapes they may come
And whether handled with grace
Or fumbled
The photographs will be examined, collected, and dissected
And the end result will be the same, no matter
Because only you know your heart
And only you are fit to judge your actions

Jake, blurry but beautiful in blueMy wish for you is that you might see
All these things, ideas of you, even those you find impossible
Not as some script that you must follow
But as the reflection of all that you are,
Viewed through the eyes of so many individuals,
Each with our own dreams and needs
For it is not necessary that you struggle to embody all that others
Project upon you
When finally you understand that you are simply our mirror

If you have done what in your heart you know to be right,
Then you have done all you need do
And if you have pleased yourself,
Then you have satisfied the only one you must satisfy

There will always be millions of strangers
Who know your name
And none of them will ever know
What it is to walk around in your skin

Wonder no more who you are
--you are not one thing,
One definition to the exclusion of all others
But know that you are, whatever else,
Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal,
Human being

(previously posted to the JW forums, 3/26/07)

I've been thinking a lot about this piece again lately, thanks to all the garbage that I have to slog through each time I look for valid news of Jake. Don't ask me why those things bother me; I don't believe Jake is exposed to any of it, and even if he were, I doubt he's insecure enough that it would make a difference. Maybe it's a form of guilt for being part of the problem.

As a poem, it is seriously flawed, but the feeling is right. Consider it the literary version of wrapping Jake in my arms, holding him, and telling him he's loved. He doesn't need me to do that, but if he ever did, I'd be available at a moment's notice.

Photos: IHJ.


Xenia said...

Oh I thought about that a lot, Cherita...
I think that in admiration towards an actor or a musician or whatever, there's always a certain amount of delusion and a bit of aggressiveness. It's like we're saying to our Idol : 'I consider you perfect but you have to be up to what I think about you' because a 'good fan' is a strict one and a little bit obsessive (or obsessed)too...otherwise there'd be no logical reasons to be a fan whatsoever...

And fans of an intelligent kind, like you Cherita for example (I can call you 'fan', right?), and many others of us, can't help but anknowledge the ambiguous nature of their admiration.
It's some sort of 'Jake,trust me because I love you but beware of me as well because I can call you mine but you owe me nothing'

And I think that Jake is aware and that is the reason of his lack of commitment with his internet fandom because, seriously, how could he relate with the things 'I' for instance write about him all over the net?

ncwoman said...

Beautiful, my friend. Achingly beautiful. I remember when you first posted this piece over at the JW forum.

As much as we love him, we must all remember that Jake chose the path he is on, the good with the bad. We all believe he's a level-headed, grounded individual, and I'm sure he is resigned to the fact that there's going to be garbage, gossip and speculation written about him - it's the nature of the beast of celebrity. So no, you shouldn't feel guilty as being part of the problem. Let's remember that if Jake didn't have fans, he would not be successful in his chosen field.

Cherita said...

I can call you 'fan', right?

ROFL! Um, yes, I'd say that's an appropriate word. Obsessed, passionate, and insane would also be accurate, I think.

Xenia, I agree with you, I think he made a very smart move in getting away from the online madhouse before it became the circus that it is today, and probably is aware that there's quite a brew of blather about him out here. To avoid it entirely is the best thing he can do to preserve his sanity.

Hey there, Charlene! Thanks for the compliment. I do think the gossip goes with the job, to a degree, but that doesn't make it any more pleasant. And yes, his fans are a part of being successful, but the degree of interest in aspects of his personal life seems excessive, and uncontributory to that success. It's symptomatic of modern society's intellectual and moral decline; I'm not buying the tabloids or watching reality tv, but someone is. As long as people consume the trash that the media produce, it will keep on coming, and judging by the comments I see--related just to one celebrity, mind you--there is no end in sight. I wouldn't be too surprised if Ow, My Balls! debuted on tv next fall.