I asked, she answered. I paused, stiffened, closed my eyes. I felt intense sadness and frustration. Yes, she said, I felt that very strongly from you. She is a sensitive, empathetic person. I paused to analyse how we might have communicated that- through body language, facial expression and mirror neurons, or through a spiritual link.
I have this wonderfully precise and sensitive emotional instrument I am only just learning to use and value. I feel deeply, and that is beautiful.
At the discussion group on death, a man said how much he loved Gray’s Elegy in a Country Churchyard. I leaned over and quoted,
I THAT in heill was and gladnèss
Am trublit now with great sickness
And feblit with infirmitie:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.
Looking directly into his eyes, speaking strongly with controlled passion. After, he said he would love to hear me recite poetry.
I met Lucy Aphramor, a poet. She is at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, at the Quaker Meeting House with her show for two weeks. She quoted some of it, powerfully affirming, to me, and I wondered if it were Mary Oliver. Later in the bar she recited some of her lesbian erotica, and I felt her words and her voice caress my nerve endings, bringing them to life, tingling my spine. I loved our communication. I love her assonance rhyme and alliteration, binding the words together, making them rich. In verse, I might take more care of the sounds of words.
Wonderful woman- when she is in a group, I sometimes notice it is not a circle of people talking, but her, shining, and an audience. She has charisma, and I have charisma, I thought. Or, I like to show off. I can hold an audience too. Then I thought, not charisma, but ardour: I feel strongly, and can communicate that, because my strong feeling is beautiful. We are drawn together in depth of feeling. When I speak from the heart I speak directly to people’s hearts.
I have passion, charisma, ardour, and a great desire to express them and have them valued, and a lack of experience expressing them. I hide away to hide these characteristics. I have been hurt when I have been too passionate, when it has been “inappropriate” or against some rules I don’t understand so just suppress them all the time. It’s not English.
I have these qualities. They are gift, and not curse. Recognising that is a great step forward- I could not always see them as merely part of my wrongness and oddness, I naturally heal from such wounds. Now I need to practise their use. So my hiding away blesses me, reducing the amount of challenge I face.
Whoever you are
However much you wish your body different
I count you in
when I ask which of us has value
Through all the stages of the self you would create your worth holds fast
Your worth is