When I am thirsty, I drink. Except I don’t.
I was unemployed and went back to my parents. I drank at the conventional times we all drank: tea with breakfast, morning coffee, tea after lunch, afternoon tea, a glass of water with dinner and hot chocolate with two ginger biscuits to dunk in it, before bed. I still do: a pint or more of tea with breakfast, same with lunch, and hot chocolate before bed- three ginger biscuits now, take three from the packet in the kitchen and take them to the sitting room rather than taking the biscuit tin. Tea when I meet him, coffee when I meet her. Rarely, I feel thirsty at other times and have something to drink. Or not: people take water when hill-walking, but some do not, perhaps from a self-image of ruggedness. None of this namby-pamby for them.
I have this mechanism to keep me hydrated, and I bypass it. Now, I need to pee, and resist: I want to develop capacity. It is useful pelvic floor exercise. And sometimes very drunk people fall over, and their over-full bladder bursts, a serious, life-changing injury.
Sweet dreams are made of this, sang Annie Lennox. So much is unconscious. So much of what I do is unconsciously to placate my parents, learned when small. I still want to please them, perhaps to feel safe.
I delight in feeling present in the moment, with beauty around me. One answer to what do you want? is, what pleases me. The experience of being present with beauty, in a gallery, with a book; or with a thing to see and appreciate, which can be concrete or an empty tin can as well as a flower.
Yesterday I went to see a friend. I used her as a counsellor- she does not seem to mind- and that starts with “How are you?” I could not answer. I was stuck in some conventional mode of interaction, where the answer is “Well, thank you,” because I wanted to move into that present awareness, but was aware that if I did my distress would overwhelm me. I said, “Let me get present”, and she gave me the time, and we talked of less affecting things. Actually it did not overwhelm me: I was conscious of it, and exhibited it, but could proceed while feeling that.
What I want to avoid is so important; yet it is OK. I need not avoid conscious feeling, or even expression of it.
I feel there is something I might want which I might have to work for, something more than the instant experience, something in the future- “Where do you want to be in five years’ time?”
Two days ago I wrote, We get told what we ought to want, what is good to want, and we get told it so hard that our other wants become unconscious and we think we want what we ought to want but there is no fire in that, no love, no delight or true desire. Find what you want- it is harder than you are told it is. Find what fires you and follow that. I will too when I work out how. But then “what fires you” is also a conventional understanding of vocation. Conventional understanding gets in the way of knowing. Krishnamurti: We eventually learn that spirituality is not about leaving life’s problems behind, but about continually confronting them with honesty and courage. It is about ending our feelings of separation from others by healing our relationships with our parents, co-workers, and friends. It is about bringing heightened awareness and compassion to our family life, careers, and community service.
Er, actually, that bladder thing? It’s the kind of thing you remember. Yet other googling shows it is rare.
On a rare cold day this warm not-winter, my fingertips were painfully cold cycling, so I went into the outdoor shop for warmer gloves. I don’t like the thick, black things- but the shop assistant brought these, with that embroidered detail. It is pretty. Those were the ones I wanted. I looked at unappealing thick socks for inside walking boots, and she brought the women’s ones: pink, baby-blue and grey. The first I choose to wear are the pink ones.
I might have found these appealing when I was presenting male, though I could never have worn them; and still I resent my strong preference, as without it, it would be so much easier to fit in; and this feminist attacks me: every step forward where you embrace your femininity and consider being a woman needs a certain image leaves me moving one step backwards. I really do see how the pink would be offensive to a woman who wants another image and feels constrained into feminine, or judged for being unfeminine, yet I want the pink ones even though I wish I did not.