I asserted that I am creative, courageous and loving. Can I assert that I am truthful, truth-seeking, and have integrity? Is that my characteristic, or is it a tattered dirty rag I seek in vain to cover my nakedness with, the idea of myself as truthful?
A year ago, S told me he crossdressed: it felt like his unburdening. Last month, he upset me, and I would like to get back at him, leaking out his secret. That would affect my seeing myself as a person of integrity. But what do I owe him? Is it my appearance to myself that matters more than reality? All this questioning in the watches of the night. It really matters to me, and so I can assert,
I am truthful.
I stood about a yard from U in her kitchen, in that beautiful flat I have now visited five times, which she is leaving to live with D. We held eye contact, then I looked her over, appreciating her. Then those ridiculous tears well up in me. I want to hear and honour the feeling, and I want to Not Cry- no adult cries as much as I do, hardly any toddler. I close my eyes and with an effort over some seconds, regain my equanimity. “You broke rapport,” she says, and I explain. We hug. After scrambled egg, smoked salmon and coffee, the last of us leave. I have another top, again more eye-catching than my wont.
The sun is shining. I cast a shadow. Proof that I exist!
I made this crack to H, and she said, “even someone as fragile as you.” On the tube, the song Will sang last night runs in my mind:
How could I dance with another
When I saw her standing there?
I was repeatedly near to tears. It is one thing crying writing this, alone in my room, but alone in public? Consciously I centre myself, refresh my Qi, imagine that emotional being crying inside me without my external physical response, and manage not to cry. And I Decide- this highly strung, so responsive, Emotional Being that I have, that I am, is not a curse, a problem, a cause of weeping making me look ridiculous but my Blessing, my Gift, a beautiful thing.
U was with R for sixteen years. Last night at U’s party R came for the first time back to the flat they had shared, into the kitchen, and kissed U. “I chose this chair, I chose that table”- she is taking them away when U moves in with D. And no-one can understand how she feels about U moving in with a man. So I told her how I feel, and cried, and though it seemed ridiculous to me that she, the ex-partner, should be consoling me, she did.
U and others asked me about my expressed intention to move to London. Right now, this intense work of self-acceptance is all I can manage, the most important thing I have to do before anything else. I need to stay in my beautiful flat, here in the countryside, for a while yet.
On the train home, there is a woman with half a Union Flag on her jacket- so I interrupt her texting on her smart-phone to ask her about it. She is Andrea Green of the British Sitting Volleyball team (above, seventh from the right). I had not heard of sitting volleyball before- the net is one metre high, players manoevre around the court supporting themselves on their hands. She is classified as “minimally disabled”- she has a dropped left foot. A disc pressed on the nerve, preventing her contracting her ankle joint. By the time the nerve recovers, the muscle has atrophied. She signed her first autograph today- not sure why the girl wanted it but happy to oblige. She used to wear trousers to cover up the splint, but now does not mind. What will it be like to hear the cheers of the home crowd? she wonders: a Judo practitioner told her it was Wonderful. We discuss self-acceptance, diversity, “disability” and how everyone is making compromises and adjustments to live in the world, why make a special case of people who have to adjust to some, but not all, physical states of their bodies?