Symbols

Symbols matter a great deal in my decisions, which is why so much of what I do is pointless. There was joking yesterday about having bought a book but not read it. I do that. I am the cultured/politically engaged/intelligent/sophisticated person who would like such a thing, so I buy it as a symbol, except I am not so I don’t read it. I buy food for particular meals, but some people buy food the same way. “I have bought a lettuce- should I throw it out now, or leave it in my fridge for two weeks before throwing it out, as usual?”

I didn’t pay for the book. Neither of us had change, so my friend said, “Oh, you can owe me £10”. I won’t see them for a month, perhaps two months, and wonder whether to cycle over with it, or alternatively to assume (90% certain) that this was a verbal phrase to prevent formal expostulation at the time. Oh, they have lots of money. They won’t miss it. They don’t really want it. That doubt could lessen a friendship if I need to know. How would not at least offering £10 appear? How can I honour her? What would she want?

We had lots of food after the shared lunch, so I kept up my usual practice of not bringing food to share, but taking it away. This is a useful service as people do not like throwing it out. I was even offered cucumber- lovely, except it had been sliced and was already half way dry. I ate it then and there: always showing willing.

I loved the Bhupen Khakhar exhibition. I sat in ecstasy before “He took enema Five times a day” and “At the end of the day iron ingots came out” feeling pity, pain, empathy and fellow-feeling, and delight in his courage and delicacy of expression, revealing the pain of his cancer so viscerally. I sat in the drama of my feelings, yet in part I am there because of the symbol of my sophistication- though such strong feeling comes from this art because it is not serious, high art.

I thought about this post initially as an anguished rant. I regret/don’t regret my op. I would like a working penis. And yet having one would not necessarily transform sex from something in my imagination which isolates me into something in reality uniting me to (an)other(s). A year ago Jim gave me a wonderful gift, taking me to bed, paying me attention, as I just lay there expressing my own feeling yet not active at all. This is just not how I am supposed to be- my understanding increases my confusion and distress. Is that what you like? Really? You might find someone complementary-

and the thought crossed my mind of reverting being Honesty, or the full circle of the Spiritual Journey- total illusion, totally ridiculous, craving a symbol rather than reality. And I would rant about the worthlessness of symbols and my continued attraction to them which I cannot shake. But I know this stuff, and the temptation has far less force than it did.

4 thoughts on “Symbols

  1. Well, we have bad days, don’t we? And it’s no use trying to work out what to do on bad days. Better to relax and do something soothing, like go pick brambles or saunter….have a bath.

    Lately, and most unusually, I hear a hostile voice in my head, harsh and berating, telling me stuff, being unkind to others, demanding attention. I recognise it as the voice of desperation, or fear, and feel inclined to dismiss it, and then do something kind for myself. Not as easy to locate, understand or act on, but the only way to keep going, in the right way.

    It is not silly or pointless to buy a book we will never read. I do it all the time, and occasionally, I will browse. 🙂 ((xxxx))

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