On the train, I sit opposite a woman entertaining herself with Puzzler magazine, and beside a man passing the time with The Economist, this week on Catalonian independence inter alia. He and his sister are better at conversation than I, talking with the woman about The X factor on the telly, which I never watch, and then with me on whether there really is a St Pancras. Yes, there is a St Pancras’ church near the station, a Roman martyr. St Pancreas, says his sister. What does the pancreas do? We don’t know, and neither does the Puzzler woman, who is silent.
Cuddling with a friend, I find myself thinking of when I am breathing, and holding my breath at the time I decide consciously. Just a cuddle, between friends, and I am completely Controlled, so I stop.
I asked facebook what they think of doing makeup on the tube. J gets funny looks when she does hers on the bus, but what with getting to work, getting the children out to school, she has no other time to do it. M thinks it shows a lack of self-respect: it is like getting dressed, you do not get dressed in public. I got my mascara out, and felt a wave of pleasure and relaxation. I am claiming my space in this carriage, as mine. I like making up. It is pleasurable. If others look, to feel self-conscious is a prey response. What should they mean to me? I do as I wish!
We are getting somewhere with all this, it is not just clearing up odd wee points.
At the 5Rhythms, I do not understand when S says she never really understood Chaos, did not really do it properly, wants to get really into it, and when dancing with someone I am wondering what they think, I should follow a bit, or lead- oh, I am following, is this creative enough, what does she think of me? What do others think of me? Well, what do I think of others? Some of the time I am just moving with the music, and some of it I am thinking and planning. Or comparing. This person is more flexible, this more beautiful, this more creative. And- one must learn before doing, that is a mental activity.
Playing B’s piano. Something about the vibrations in the air- though how could they be different?- makes a piano with strings so much Better than a digital one. I fiddle about with Chopin waltzes, which I have never looked at before. I might be able to make music with these. Oh, that phrase is so subtle and beautiful.
The dancing may indeed be a Spiritual Experience, spontaneously moving, getting out of the mind and into the body, and I think of what impression I make. Doing the makeup was the spontaneous act, doing what I wanted when I wanted to, purely for myself. Do I do something for my own pleasure or just to make a Good Impression? Dancing, ideally, should be both, music should be both, just seeking to make an impression without getting joy myself seems cowardly or treasonable to myself somehow. Or, it is having the experience, seeing how I am, seeing how I am with others, how important the impression is. And there are moments of spontaneity, even enjoyment, in Enjoyable Things.