Character Sketch

The lines become blurred. Smears of color.
Flash of red temper, blue introspection.
Purple passion and yellow smiling face.
A life long follower of rules not his own.
Never did he suspect the more that lurked.
The invisible neighbor, the nice guy.
The worker who did his job and, well…
This is the guy who lived his life.
And never spent a day truly alive.
The instruction sheets for life stacked.
Each day, each role played scripted out.
Be this. Do that. Smile. Laugh. Be that.
Nothing more, and oh sadly so much less.
He never suspected the rebel beneath.
One breezy night blew the plans away.
Life went wildly awry and blew his mind.
Colors came to life, brightened by fear.
Never had he faced the pain of living.
No TV show prepared him for this life.
Character is what you are when no one sees.
Not a mask or facade. It is the man.
Character moves our lives only when pressed.
Like diamonds, shining after great pressure.
A ‘nobody’ becomes the most interesting man.
The “Special” becomes who he truly is.
When he discovers how un-special he was.
And in that he finds the value of being.
And the value of doing as who we are.
Rules and ‘off the reservation’ we fly!


The song becomes something more real then.
“Everything is awesome!” is more than…
And becomes the total of the unknown.
Ordinary awesome gets blown away then.
Life goes wild for the secret master builder.

Brian has us writing about Character and I can’t help but think of my son playing Lego, and all the depth of character he infuses in each little plastic minifigure. After watching The Lego Movie we are more convinced that even under the surface of the most rule abiding, ordinary soul there lies a master builder, master poet, master artist just waiting to emerge and show their true character! Join us over at dVerse.



  1. March 1, 2014 at 12:27 am

    The stanza starting with the verse “Character is what you are when no one sees.” says it all. It is powerful and true to life. I wish I wrote it. Thank you for writing it and sharing it with us…

  2. Brian Miller said,

    March 1, 2014 at 1:05 am

    ha. my sons do the same…so much back story developed for them….to sit and watch…and the funny part is when you try to play and they tellyou that you are doing it wrong because that is not the character they made or how they expect them to act….so true as well on character being what we have when no one is looking….

    • shanyns said,

      March 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      The movies in their minds would be so much easier to understand if we could see them! Love how Lego engages their imaginations so, though. Makes it fun for us watching.

  3. March 1, 2014 at 7:50 am

    So much of our characters is smeared like thick paint across our beings.. Really a lot to think about..

    • shanyns said,

      March 1, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it Bjorn, it’s about Lego but so NOT about Lego!

  4. claudia said,

    March 1, 2014 at 8:33 am

    character is what we do when no one sees.. i like…and so many people that live their life without being truly alive…it needs a bit of courage to step out of the frame… and lego is way cool..smiles

  5. MarinaSofia said,

    March 1, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    We loved the Lego movie too! What I took from it is that it’s all about learning the rules, but then breaking them…

    • shanyns said,

      March 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      Being able to break the rules to be creative, and then to follow them when needed is true talent! 🙂 Love that movie!

  6. lynndiane said,

    March 1, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Haven’t seen the movie but have lots of stories with our sons and LEGOS over the years…hearing voices and sound effects coming up from basement room…the real characters are the ones that create and move! Great poem 🙂

    • shanyns said,

      March 3, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      I love it when the imagination takes over and the minifigs become family! 🙂

  7. lucychili said,

    March 2, 2014 at 4:13 am

    sometimes it take character to step through normal days
    the beach is a place where i think we let the normal go and just be
    i can imagine the super real intensity of imagined people in lego too
    great poem

  8. Barry Dawson said,

    March 3, 2014 at 3:20 am

    This is an extremely vivid character sketch. I especially liked these lines:

    “Character is what you are when no one sees.
    Not a mask or facade. It is the man.”

    It’s amazing what we find when we sometimes break the mold, isn’t it?

    • shanyns said,

      March 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks! So good to see you here, and yes it is always amazing what we find when we break the mold!

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