I got the bus to the office, and went up front on the upper deck. It is lovely to watch the countryside unfolding, though I like that place in the bus in the city as well. A three year old rushed to the front of the upper deck, even more pleased than I was to be there, and prattling away all the time, playing the Pirate- “Yo ho ho” she kept repeating. Mummy never told her to be quiet, but modeled quietness, all her responses limiting the energy in this public place. A patient, useful lesson.
I was thinking how the voiced “th” as in the words “this” or “that” was so difficult to say, it was a sound I always made below the break. I want to come over as a woman, not as a transsexual, I want to blend in. Tears prick my eyes, and I feel irritation. Bloody hormones, all this self-pity. Then- no, it is pain, presenting male was painful, and transition has been painful too.
And the tears bring the sense of Presence. So easy to step into it, it seems: authenticity, in the moment, relaxation, whatever, so easy, like turning through five degrees- yet if it is so easy, why am I not there always? What is this state? What makes me step out of it? I notice it when it is there.
In the office itself, with those people, I pass into habitual ways of being with those people. There are things to do, and ways of doing them. But on a moment alone, in the kitchen, waiting for the kettle, I say it again, “this, that”- What is it like? Not at war with the world, that constant tense defensiveness against imaginary enemies, demons within me. It feels unsafe. I speak and my voice sounds softer. Surely this undefended state is vulnerable-
Later as I walk from the office to the supermarket, singing softly to myself “this, this, this, this that, this” I feel quiet joy. It is much easier. I am still singing the sound, my voice sounds sing-song- must get the voice recorder out again, check it-
I have been squished, squashed, flattened, so much, I have such fear of that, and I am growing out of it. I have a right to be here. The World- taken as a whole- is not hostile.
The moment of realisation in The War of the Worlds:
The torment was over. Even that day the healing would begin. The survivors of the people scattered over the country–leaderless, lawless, foodless, like sheep without a shepherd–the thousands who had fled by sea, would begin to return; the pulse of life, growing stronger and stronger, would beat again in the empty streets and pour across the vacant squares. Whatever destruction was done, the hand of the destroyer was stayed. All the gaunt wrecks, the blackened skeletons of houses that stared so dismally at the sunlit grass of the hill, would presently be echoing with the hammers of the restorers and ringing with the tapping of their trowels. At the thought I extended my hands towards the sky and began thanking God.