I want to be seen

File:0 La Paix embrassant l'Abondance - P.P Rubens - Yale center for British Art.JPGI want to be seen. Luke 7:31-35:

 Jesus went on to say, ‘To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the market-place and calling out to each other:

‘“We played the pipe for you,
    and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
    and you did not cry.”

33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, “He has a demon.” 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” 35 But wisdom is proved right by all her children.

Despite the “for”, here are two different sayings, with two different meanings. The second is about the critic’s negative way of seeing the worst in a person or situation. The first pictures a human being wanting contact and attention and engagement and to be seen, and not understanding when another does not give it- or, perhaps being insatiable: it is never enough.

I want to be seen, and I hide away in my living room. Or I play about on this blog and facebook, seeking out comments and likes. I have tried stand-up, to mixed success.  In the 90s, a friend played gigs in pubs, and was paid in tickets- if he could sell the tickets he got paid. I hear that on prog rock gigs, they cover their costs. File:Dancer in her Dressing Room (danseuse Dans Sa Loge) pastel and peinture à l'essence on canvas by Edgar Degas, c. 1879.jpg

It is worthwhile being positive, valuing all the contact and affirmation one does get. My hunger is not assuaged, and this may go back to childhood, never having enough attention from parents.

I clutch and cling. Judy has been talking of burning journals: I am not quite there yet, though I did empty two files of hoarded emails. Not personal ones, just the wordpress notifications of new follows, and Wisdom Commons, which I can access elsewhere. My diaries record my journey of self-acceptance, world-acceptance, which I imagine might free me to seek what is possible, now. I think Miyamoto Musashi said something about the pupil memorising his writings not being enough, we must take them into our heart. I keep my diaries because I need to keep telling myself I have made that journey, I have realised my feelings have value, I have reconciled with my mother etc.

The criticisms come back. Not enough, not right, not “taken into the heart”, though not “not real”, now, that hurt so much before, even the inner critic has learned not to say that.

A folder of emails which I never look at- why keep that at all? I hoard such symbols for reassurance. I want to be able to reassure myself- and the symbol cannot reassure, if I cannot reassure myself. Act as if, perhaps: act as if I can tell myself

 Everything is alright

and believe it. Menis Yousry’s image is of the Nile, taking in water and giving it out, prodigally, and being full of life and constant change, and the Dead Sea, never giving out, and being filled with salt, and lifeless.

Added: going back to that one, the homophobic preacher sings a dirge, and the gay people do not cry: we ignore their “moral” views. That makes it one saying. Why should I think and feel exactly what they think and feel?

2 thoughts on “I want to be seen

  1. You’ve tried stand-up? Good for you. That’s something I would never attempt. You continue both to surprise and impress me. I guessed your former career, but I wouldn’t have guessed stand-up. A YouTube would be nice, Clare. I can’t be the only one who’s curious. My impression: You’re polite, quick-witted, have impeccable diction, upbeat, solicitous, good eye contact, warm smile, but not afraid to disagree tactfully. English or Scottish accent? Hmm … Scottish, lassie!


    • My accent is English, apart from when I go home.

      A microphone and an audience and I am in Heaven. However, writing comedy I find difficult, and memorising- I would memorise a routine, I would not want the right word to elude at the killer moment- takes time. And when I went to tell “The Story of my Breast”, I froze, and felt embarrassed.

      Sometimes I go where I can have a friendly audience, a private group.


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