I leaned forward, conspiratorially. “You like that, don’t you?” His face changed, a fierce joy in admitting something one does not, normally.
-They’re not aggressive like we are.
-Like we’re supposed to be.
And then S came back, and we talked of other things. I wanted to get back to this subject, but could not get him to talk of it, though I alluded to it later when we were alone. It occurs to me that if we do not have an accepted cultural way of expressing this, and are forced to find our own ways- there is no “Community”- I might find other ways of expressing it painful and embarrassing. Androphile and gynephile trans women can bicker about which are the real, or primary, transsexuals, and oppression by kyriarchy could divide us, rather than bringing us together. I have fear to overcome before I can empathise.
I walked along the North Bridge, and took photos of Calton Hill, and it seemed to me that I was monitoring all my movements, all my responses, like a spy in a foreign country. I must not express myself in my body-language. It seems this is my normal way of being, inwardly focused all the time, and it seemed to me a small child’s way of being, and I could just stop. I reset myself, into Presence. I am here, now, and OK as I am. The poison becomes the medicine.
I took my father out. We used his walking frame, designed for indoors only, and we walked out of the ward to the lifts, down to the ground floor, out the main doors and to a bench about twenty yards away, to sit in the sun. I love my father. I hate to see how he is fading away, his judgment impaired, his walking unsteady, and now he has had his third minor stroke. He broods, unhappily, about the past and gets disoriented. And- he is still alive, and I get to hug him, once a year or so. His stroke is the excuse for my current visit.
Then I took the bus back to Princes St., and spent some time trying to photograph the gulls flocking by the shopping mall. One picture worked. To the Royal Scottish Academy summer exhibition (no photography, unfortunately). There is a video of a woman’s face- “Study of a face perceiving itself”. She looks down, then glances up at the monitor, slightly to the side of the camera. She could be nervous or irritated. She is not beautiful or stylish, but she draws me in, and I am high on art. It is speaking to me directly, and moving me. There are eight discs of polished stone- gneiss, basalt?- on the wall, which are beautiful, and a sculpture of a mud-monster walking with thick legs and arms. His expression could be threat or perplexity. I got chatting to an Irishman, who agreed some of it is beautiful and immediate, and some just dull. A “Stewart’s Cream of the Barley” whisky bottle, with words blacked out so it reads “wart Cream”; and a metal tripod supporting a rock over a round metal bowl filled with water and, surprisingly, weeds and rocks- I love the contrast. When it swings- the man’s wife pulls on it, to my consternation then delight- it does so majestically.