http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/Found_rossetti.jpgTo the volunteer centre in Zhuzhkov, which opens today. What do I want from volunteering? I want to be affirmed. I want to be patted on the head. I want a nice, quiet place where people are pleasant and I can do something not too demanding, which makes me feel I have done something useful, and I want that to be recognised and valued.

There is a new volunteer at the volunteer centre, and she sits in. Am I working now? What is my work history? What hobbies? Do I drive? That is the killer, really. I can use buses. What would I like to do? I tick a lot of boxes on that list, and she suggests reading with children. I would spend two hours a week with a child, listening to them read, and helping them read. I would have two mornings in Nupton learning the technique. I am pleased to see that it is important to involve the child in decision making. They want a commitment of a year. Well, had I volunteered a year ago I could have committed that, though I did not know it at the time.

Headway is near. I have seen it by the library, and did not know what it did. It works with people with acquired brain injuries, giving support and rehabilitation. That could be interesting. “Like Oliver Sacks?” She does not understand the reference. I am more cultured than she is, obviously. That does not entitle me to anything, but is pleasant.

She gives me the Diversity form, telling me that she is http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti_The_Tune_of_Seven_Towers.jpgrequired to ask these personal questions, and she has decided always to give the form rather than to ask the questions, and I may tick “do not want to say” for all of them if I wish. Actually I like the diversity form, it acknowledges and takes an interest in diversity, and that is a good thing. The use of it will improve. I particularly like this one. It does not ask my sex, but my gender identity, M or F. Then it asks whether or not my gender identity is the same as that assigned at birth. I noticed my arcane weirdness was being asked about, stared hard at the question and when I realised quite how respectfully it was phrased felt delight.

Do they keep records of potential volunteers? No. They did at one point when the Children’s Centres said they would be seeking volunteers for play supervision, but do not now. So she will not keep my details on file beyond the fact that I came, and she suggested something. And she does not know my skills or abilities, or much about me at all, anyway. Apart from my gender identity.

To the supermarket, where I meet Terry. I have at last started the book he leant me months ago about attaining Cosmic Consciousness and Spiritual Enlightenment through hypnosis. It gives scripts for a reader to guide another into a trance state and an Encounter with God experience. Ronald Havens says that these Peak experiences are valuable, and quickly attainable without any long religious practice, though he does not believe in God. Would he read the scripts to me? He will think about it. Havens suggests the reader records them herself. So I have dug out my voice recorder. Terry has not actually tried this. Mmm. I notice my resistance: it helps you accept the World as it is, apparently. Fuck. Do I have to?

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