In Tate Britain, my coat is over my arm, and my right hand is out scanning the Qi in the art works, especially the sculptures. I love that Paolozzi. On the Frank Auerbach, the paint is smeared on and piled up, crevices then piles an inch thick. I had not seen paint on canvas like it. Opposite is a Francis Bacon, study of a dog: I recognised it was his by the shape of the creature, and the peculiar shade of red round the bottom edge. Large parts of the canvas have no paint at all.
I was scanning at the 5Rhythms dancing last night. I scan with my right hand, give energy with my left, so if blessing I would raise my left hand. Both hand chakras do both, but the left is stronger at giving and the right is stronger at scanning. I had scanned before, but I got the idea here that one hand would be stronger at scanning.
I have a sceptic-rationalist explanation for this practice. I am applying my intuition to the art works, and I am using the sensation of heat or cold in my hand to make a non-verbal channel for my intuition to reach my consciousness. It is another way to respond to the art work.
Over coffee, Helen and I discussed whether intention is necessary to make something “art”. I do not think technical skill is necessary, that is craft, only, but “Fountain” was art because of Duchamp. I spotted two labels hanging from a tree, each with a word on, and wondered if that was accidental or whether it was “art”. Perhaps both: machine-made art has a human intention and human creator behind it, but if an object found by Duchamp is art, why not an object I notice myself? If it raises a response in me, similar to a response I might have to a found object in a gallery, does that make it art, or something else, just as valuable in that moment?
Back at Helen’s flat, after salmon and wine I gave my rationalist explanation of the scanning, and she asked why? I have noticed that I do not know what I like, only what I ought to like, or what it is permissible to like- permissible by me, of course, I have internalised my own bonds. Or, what I have learned that it is possible to like, I prefer to learn that from others, it is easier than noticing myself. So here am I noticing something which I love and value- scanning for Qi- and I need to create a rationalist explanation. Why? Why can I not just like it because I like it?
Because I am so terrified of insanity. I delayed transition for years because I imagined that it was not real, it was a fantasy, I was sliding down the slippery slope to a sexual fantasy. And- the female self is me in a way the male self never was. And- my intuitive self is me in a way the rationalist self is not, a deeper, realer me. I am still terrified, still craving the reassurance the rationalist explanation gives me, but trusting my instincts might fulfil me more.
Saying I am “scanning for Qi” is a verbal formulation applied to a spontaneous act, an act I find valuable. Perhaps I do not need that verbal formulation either. St Theophanes has his right hand up- what is he doing with it?
There was an Edwardian sculpture of children playing on a beach. The marble is beautiful, and the girl’s hand is so perfect. The artist has even caught a slight depression in the skin of the boy where the girl’s hand touches it, an effect which astounds and delights me. I can see why Pygmalion might fall in love with such a creation.