Heartbeat II

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/Colorful_blur.JPGHalf of us are one end of the room, the other half at the other end. One comes forward to dance our anger, then her half come forward to do the same move, to back her up. I lead, once: in sumo stance, I am doing head-level punches, eight forward, four to each side. It is Wonderful, haka-ing at each other like this: there is no sense of threat for me, just the huge energy.

Later, we are in a circle. Again, one comes in to dance her anger or fear, and I do, twice. My fear is a relaxed move, quiet, lithe, eyes turned upwards, with some desperation, some resignation and expectation of nothing, some misery. -This flavour of fear: join in if you feel with it. Watch out for becoming disconnected from your feelings. Oh, Sue, you have understood so beautifully.

File:Zoom blur.jpgAt the start we are in a circle, and we show how we are in movement. My mind is-; my body is-; my heart is-. It can be difficult to differentiate promptings of the body from those of the heart, the physical response always seems to be an emotional response, to the intellect- and there are non-rational, simply physical responses.

You can plan, before, if you want to. You can even do as you plan, that is alright, it is not always perfect: or, you can move in the moment. I moved in the moment, spontaneously without thought or planning, and surprised myself. Others apologised for standing up rather than doing a motion kneeling or sitting, and I moved around the whole circle. Yes, there is a difference: my mind is inquisitive, eager to experience and to see, playful; my body is relaxed, stretches, loosens; my heart is open and responsive. The conscious I sees that, from my own spontaneous movements: and the memory of the movement is more precise than the words used to classify it.

https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Munich_-_Two_dancers_captured_in_blurred_movement_-_7800.jpgLater. In the circle. I go into the centre to dance my anger. Sumo stance again, karate moves are dance-like and can be brought into dancing. In sumo stance, I am tense. My fists are up, defensively, and I turn, to face each person. “Give her a moment to find the movement.” I feel more and more threatened, then I am on the floor, either Salaaming or banging my head on it, then curled up, then writhing. Rage and hurt become conscious, real, present for me in the moment, in the movement: I am they.

In the end, we move in a performance, which is quite unplanned. We may emerge from the audience to the four instruments at the end of the room, or two seats at the side where one may speak, or the floor space. Here I speak without thought, spontaneously: I evoke titters from the audience, always a pleasing response. I love to perform to an audience, I need to find spaces where I may develop and use such talents. I participate in all four spaces: chairs, audience, instruments and floor, and on the floor dance alone or with others, in harmony.

All this evokes the judgment of another: “Beautiful soul”. Mmm. I mentioned that before, didn’t I? I breathe it in.

Doing makeup on the Train!

On the train, I sit opposite a woman entertaining herself with Puzzler magazine, and beside a man passing the time with The Economist, this week on Catalonian independence inter alia. He and his sister are better at conversation than I, talking with the woman about The X factor on the telly, which I never watch, and then with me on whether there really is a St Pancras. Yes, there is a St Pancras’ church near the station, a Roman martyr. St Pancreas, says his sister. What does the pancreas do? We don’t know, and neither does the Puzzler woman, who is silent.

Cuddling with a friend, I find myself thinking of when I am breathing, and holding my breath at the time I decide consciously. Just a cuddle, between friends, and I am completely Controlled, so I stop.

I asked facebook what they think of doing makeup on the tube. J gets funny looks when she does hers on the bus, but what with getting to work, getting the children out to school, she has no other time to do it. M thinks it shows a lack of self-respect: it is like getting dressed, you do not get dressed in public. I got my mascara out, and felt a wave of pleasure and relaxation. I am claiming my space in this carriage, as mine. I like making up. It is pleasurable. If others look, to feel self-conscious is a prey response. What should they mean to me? I do as I wish!

We are getting somewhere with all this, it is not just clearing up odd wee points.

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/90/Georges_Seurat_013.jpgAt the 5Rhythms, I do not understand when S says she never really understood Chaos, did not really do it properly, wants to get really into it, and when dancing with someone I am wondering what they think, I should follow a bit, or lead- oh, I am following, is this creative enough, what does she think of me? What do others think of me? Well, what do I think of others? Some of the time I am just moving with the music, and some of it I am thinking and planning. Or comparing. This person is more flexible, this more beautiful, this more creative. And- one must learn before doing, that is a mental activity.

Playing B’s piano. Something about the vibrations in the air- though how could they be different?- makes a piano with strings so much Better than a digital one. I fiddle about with Chopin waltzes, which I have never looked at before. I might be able to make music with these. Oh, that phrase is so subtle and beautiful.

The dancing may indeed be a Spiritual Experience, spontaneously moving, getting out of the mind and into the body, and I think of what impression I make. Doing the makeup was the spontaneous act, doing what I wanted when I wanted to, purely for myself. Do I do something for my own pleasure or just to make a Good Impression? Dancing, ideally, should be both, music should be both, just seeking to make an impression without getting joy myself seems cowardly or treasonable to myself somehow. Or, it is having the experience, seeing how I am, seeing how I am with others, how important the impression is. And there are moments of spontaneity, even enjoyment, in Enjoyable Things.

Pagan practices

I was not sure whether we should go up to the altar, but there was a woman underneath it waving her body in Orgasmic movements, said S excitedly. We do this pagan practice, what would the church think if they knew?

5Rhythms dancing does not seem particularly pagan in any of the condemnatory uses of the word- false religion, or anti-Christian religion. We were all reasonably well clothed, though some men took their tops off. Hardly the worship of Cybele. It is Spiritual, the direct expression of feelings without words: why should a Christian object?

As I read over a woman’s shoulder on the train, the battle is not between theists and atheists, but between those who would increase human freedom and those who would impose their belief system on others, and use it to restrict freedom. I am a Christian of the former kind. I think the latter kind, the “legalists” I have heard them called, misunderstand the Gospel, though here is Matt Slick’s definition of legalism in Christianity, and here is his condemnation of abortion even in the case of rape. The writer says that condemning fornication is not legalism, because it is always clearly wrong. And he denies being homophobic, while proving that he is: his sophistries are transparent (though not to him). He realises legalism is a bad thing, while practising it.

Perhaps judicious pruning is necessary, though that is not for me to decide. Matt Slick’s getout is “Christians do have a right to judge the spirituality of other Christians in these areas where the Bible clearly speaks”, and I am of course tempted to that- I might imagine I could clearly see what was “oppressive” or “destructive” and therefore Wrong.

So if I find value in a spiritual practice, even one created by someone who despises Christianity, I feel free to imbibe all the value I can from it. This goes further than “Whoever is not against us is for us“. I have no idea what Gabrielle Roth’s attitude to Christianity was, but if she only saw it as harmful that would be down to Matt Slick and his ilk.

And, I suppose that makes me a Legalist. All of us Christians have particular sins which we think clear and beyond toleration. It must have some value at least to notice my hypocrisies, often I am pretending only to myself.

Saturday

I attained my Orange Belt two weeks ago, and I am pleased with that, but more pleased with the “student of the month” in the Saturday class. Sensei Andy wanted our responses louder- “HAI”, meaning YES, we should shout after each instruction. So he had us jogging, knees lifted high, until we complied. With this and a complex pattern of step block punch kick block punch, my heart was pounding and I sought to relax in the short breaks for instruction. And to carry on. I am still thrusting my shoulder forward in a punch, twisting my torso, which is weaker than delivering it from the hips, and he had us punching left and right alternately, delivering each with the hips. Do as many as you can in a minute. He noticed and commented how I drive myself.

Then the train to London. I chatted to Gabi (Gabrielle) who is seeking a promoted post with Ariston as a merchandiser. Ariston has a number of brands for the older woman- Planet which I find stylish and might wear, Anne Harvey for the “fuller figure” which they are just closing down this weekend, and Jacques Vert, which she agrees is Mother of the Bride costumes, among others. A merchandiser analyses which lines are selling- colours, sleeve length, detail- to give information to the buyers. Buying is a great deal more fun, we just stare at our spreadsheets. What do I do? When I explain that I am seeking to find myself and love myself and hold myself together, she asks the dreaded “What was the last job you did?”. She is sceptical about the spiritual healing her friend does, and loves the thought of my photo project.

It was beautifully sunny this morning, but now great swathes of cloud rush across the sky, raining one minute, sunny the next. Is there anywhere we can do this? Helen suggested Hampstead Heath. Is it worth it? I would be irked just to not try, and there is enough sunshine that it might be possible. She finds herself craving countryside, and the Heath is so close on the Overground she must remember it more often. It is almost full moon, and there should be points high enough to see it over the horizon and photograph it as a halo. I have not known Hampstead Heath. As a hardy Northerner, I expect Heath to have heather and scrub. Actually Wikipedia defines it as with shrubs, which can be six metres tall, but these are trees. We can’t see the horizon, even if the clouds were not obscuring it. A passer-by suggests Kenwood House for more open grassland, but the meadow there is also surrounded by trees, and the cloud is thickening. When we turn round Helen points out this view of Shard and Gherkin which I rather like, as a consolation.

Dinner in the Spaniard pub, dating from the 1580s. The building on the other side of the road was a toll-booth for the Bishop of London. It is not quite that warren of snugs I have seen in a really old-fashioned country pub, but has retained some.

Then we go to the 5Rhythms dancing, in a church. The reredos, lit from behind, is Christ in Majesty, and is glorious. On the altar in front is the Cross, and I dance with it, I dance it. On the North wall there is a glazed opening in the shape of a cross, an empty space defined by the wall around it. I seek emptiness of my words and my learned ways of being, and I dance that cross, too.

Neither

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9d/Assortment_at_Mount_Misery_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1500914.jpgI am neither man nor woman, and it hurts. It hurts Now.

On Saturday, it was too hot to dance with my wig on. Even before we started dancing, the school was too warm- so I took my wig off, and tied a scarf round my head- and it was too hot for that. People I had never met before got to see the male pattern baldness. It is one thing to be read as trans, but that- is as if I am not really trying to appear female. Which I am. I do not want to look like a man half dressed up.

Lots of women want to “look their best” and the sense that they do not is cruel to them- and it is particularly cruel to me. I have seen the fear on the faces of women who have not got their foundation on.

And lots of people feel they “do not fit in”, and I really, really don’t. I wanted more to fit in with my mother’s expectations, her conservative ideas, than my peers at school. Usually a child picks up his accent from his classmates, but I got mine from my mother. (Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, raised in England, is another example.) My sister spoke a different accent at home from at school, and when I visited her in Edinburgh and she met me at the bus station a nursing student friend said, “S, you’ve got your English accent on,” the one she used to phone her parents.

So I created a Shell, a rationalist persona to fithttps://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/Thomas_Gainsborough_-_Mary%2C_Countess_of_Howe_-_WGA08407.jpg in, and held my rage and terror out of consciousness.

“Why is my life so hard?” sang Paul Simon. Yes, yes, I know. And- “Who will be my rôle model?” Always difficult, but the obvious ones for me were men, and they did not fit at all. I hated many people, for they were wrong too. It still feels a bit weird picking a female role model. I was aware of other transvestites in my twenties, and they were furtive and persecuted, and rightly so for they were disgusting. Chief Constable James Anderton had them arrested, when they went out in public. Watching telly together, in our teens, I said, “Oh look, a man in a dress. What do you think of that?” And my sister said, “I can’t imagine anything more disgusting. That turns me right off.”

I am neither.

I am terrified.

Lana Wachowski is that role-model, for younger lesbian! TSs, hat tip to Mindy.

There is a negotiated path, of transition. It takes determination and courage, and two years or so after taking the plunge one is awarded with a Gender Recognition Certificate, which says “The above named person is, from the date of issue, of the gender shown”. So if I “marry” it has to be a man, I could make a “civil partnership” with a woman, and those M-Fs old enough to have a different retirement age get the woman’s. And if people object to me in the women’s loos, the law is on my side. And- being a “woman” does not entirely fit me either, though it is a great deal more comfortable than being a “man”. I am neither.

Five rhythms

Flowing

Staccato

Chaos

Lyrical

Stillness

Jack explained them like this: Flowing is “feminine”, in the moment, following feelings, going with the flow- beautiful, but if I stay there I get nothing done. Staccato is masculine, taking action in the world, and Chaos is the union of the two. Perhaps I should read the book, deepen my understanding.

I reached, last night, a state of rage and hatred at myself. Stupid, useless, worthless, nursing unacted desires, without motivation, weeping constantly, incapable of self-care. Now (Wednesday) I feel the same, with added incomprehension and terror. What am I going to Do?

I went to the dancing in part because I wanted to go to Jack’s party. U would be there. When I entered the house, she was in the corridor. I stood a yard away, and she took me by the shoulders and pulled me in for a hug. Actually, as far as I am concerned, it is U&D, one item. We had another hug when she left, and barely talked. “We have hardly talked.” “If you came over [yeah, right]- Oh, come to our New Year’s party.” I may do, actually, though I loathe my obsession. That ridiculous command- in April!- “Go and play the piano”. Her Control. And my loathesome, vile, ridiculous, disgusting, false, self-destructive desire to be controlled. Why with all this can I not just “snap out of it”?

In À la recherche du temps perdu I have reached “The Captive”, and even the titles are a lie. “La Prisonnière”, La Fugitive“, when the narrator has no control at all. Albertine is living with the Narrator, who seeks to control her. He is an invalid, so he uses Andrée, who may be Albertine’s lover, as his proxy policeman. He asserts clearly that he and Albertine do not copulate, but they cuddle: they are terrified of the servant Françoise seeing her in his room at night, though she lives there, apparently without his parents. So young Marcel, or whatever his name is, does not understand, but possibly the older writer does not understand either. He understands more, but has not learned that he can only see part of the picture, even though he realises that he saw less of it before while thinking he had a complete understanding.

The anger is with myself, always with myself. I should be better than this. I have to be better than this.

Memory is a strange thing. I think of a student I knew at University, from Aberdeen, and when I remember him I remember him with a Newcastle accent. Geordie, not Doric, wrong north-east. I remember a satire I wrote for the student newspaper, which pleased a hundred Dip.LP students: our delicate young consciences had not had all the love sucked out, yet, and the lectures on legal ethics offended us. I still have a copy, I put a cutting in my diary, and I clearly remember that someone put it up in the Law corridor at Kings, and another congratulated me on it- can’t remember the accent, though.

I want to be rescued. No-one will rescue me. How fucking useless is that?

Or, I am an elf in the world of men. Like in the Silver Chair, the Queen has convinced me there is no fresh air, only the caves where the money is and the work is.

I have not gone into the CAB again today.
Angry and bewildered, I hear my

NO

but cannot hear any Yes.

I took some wonderful pictures at the party, though they were wiped from the chip when downloaded on Will’s computer. A bit like this one- in a portrait, the face is the interesting thing, why take extraneous matter? It is comparatively rare that the body-language of a single person is worth capturing. I am seeking to take pictures of the face without relating to the person, in order to capture a different aspect, perhaps relating to someone else.

Heartbeat

https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/Gauguin_-_R%C3%BCckenakt.jpgIn the changing room. S is a doctor. I feel hostility and defensiveness, marked by my wish to quote “Nurse Jackie”, the British woman doctor: “When you were young, you found a bird with a broken wing and nursed it back to health. When I was young, I found a frog, and cut it open to see how it worked.” We have desultory polite conversation, then I leave. Later, someone remarks how attractive he is. Mmm. Yes, I suppose so.

We were dancing in a beautiful location, The Bridge School, Islington. It is a state school for pupils with special needs, and we had use of a dance studio, lobby and a small room for changing. The building is imposing from outside, and we go in past the swimming pool. The dance studio has one part with a soft rubbery floor covering, and one part sprung wood- I thought it not sprung until I saw it vibrate. A mirror covers one wall, with a barre. Curtains cover it today- it would make us “self-conscious” in the usual sense, how we look, how (horrors) we might appear to others, and take us away from consciousness of self, and feelings. In front of the curtain, someone has made an altar.

I sense the feel of the room. That white shutter, opposite the barre, feels cold, and I do not want to approach it. Then I do, and find it is a serving hatch, though the shutter goes down to the floor. That is OK. Others are stretching, but there is too much of the numinous here for me, yet: I go into the lobby to decompress a bit. There is a huge papier mache skull and cactus. There are things to walk over or pass through or stand in, in the darkness, which make relaxing sounds.

Back inside, to stretch. Then I lie face down and have a wee cry: as often, it makes me more present. Sue invites me to stand, and we dance together for a bit, which she finds beautifully connected. After my intense cry that afternoon, she asks if I can participate in the next exercise. “When you are as spiritually advanced as I am, you will realise that I may only say that in the moment I come to participate”- and she giggles, and makes exaggerated obeisance movements. But, generally, we are wordless.

Sunday afternoon, we watched the film Sacred Monsters. Here is an excerpt. I thought it a bit of a swizz to have a spiritual weekend, and watch a video, but the dancing is beautiful. At her invitation, I shared S’s sheepskin and blanket, and when I lay down she took my head in her lap, which delighted and calmed me. I feel weak and fragile and foolish with these people, and it is good to be here.

Sue suggested we take the silence outside. So, Monday morning I was silent with J, who had put me up. Before we were silent together, I started to say “I think we should not touch, because that will make it a different experience”- but only managed the first two words. Let us not make rules for it. So we were silent together, and did not touch, which would just have become cuddling. We went for a walk, and played together on the roundabout in the swing park. It had a beautiful, smooth action.

In or Out

https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/Toulouse_Lautrec_-_Loie_Fuller_01.jpgI am In myself.

I have read, and accept, that spirituality is not “states”, “practices” or “techniques”, but at the moment I am learning states, practices and techniques to expand my choices. At the Teaching, I was told not to think about this, but to do it- but thinking and the use of words are among my great gifts, and my words are not a cage for my experience, but a staging post and launch pad.

I have been 5Rhythms dancing at the weekend, and we were exploring dancing in pairs, as people do a lot of things in pairs. We explore through the dance, and without words, how it is to be with another human being. We were not gender-balanced, with five or six men and twenty women, as we were exploring more relationships beside sexuality.

We had very little in the way of circle time. Unlike HAI where we do an exercise and then speak about it, and how it felt, we dance the feeling, experiencing it immediately rather than through the filter of words- we go back to an earlier, Primate way of being. This relates to that line, “it is impossible to experience, and think one experiences”. One problem with that is that words so influence my experience. A baby has to learn the difference between a human being and a tree, how they look from different angles, how parts of them look. If I have words for anxiety, angst, fear and terror, I am enabled to differentiate between them.

I am in. I am in my own heart and aware of my emotions. I am present with myself, and aware of what is around me, including you. I do as I wish, and permit you to do as you wish. However, much of the time I am out of myself. My attention is completely with another person, and what I want of her, or how I may bargain, cajole or manipulate her into giving what I want. The trick, technique or spiritual practice is being in, and noticing when one is not. It increases choices.

In a normal 5rhythms class, we dance alone or with others, and sometimes one wants more to be in the interaction than the other. In life, we act alone or with others, and sometimes one wants more to be in the interaction than the other. At the Heartbeat weekend, we danced this. We danced that one wants to make a pair, and the other does not. We gathered at one end of the room, and danced to the other end; then we danced back, and up again. Each time, one pair danced at a time, altering whether one was seeking the interaction or avoiding it. The music is heavy strings, like a continuo for a baroque piece without the melodies.

The third time, I got really into it. I was dancing my seeking connection from my historic disbelief that anyone could want it with me. I put in pleading motions, then my old way of not making eye contact, but furtive, fraction of a second glances up at the face. “Dance it, dance it” said Sue, but I was in it. At the end, I wept, and wept, and a woman held and consoled me.

I was in the misery of my life, the impossibility of making connection- and I was held and supported and cared for; and I was in a group of people, unashamed and unafraid.

Assistant clerk

Anthonis van Dyck: Die Ausgiessung des Heiligen Geistes7 Sept: Part of the task of the assistant clerk is to take over in the clerk’s absence. Richard was called away in an emergency, suddenly on Tuesday, and he thought he might not be back. Because I have not worked with him on the agenda, I had no idea what would come up, and spent some time this morning imagining what I would say, apologising for being unable to do what I had agreed to do. Before coming out, I found that Richard will be there on Sunday, no apology necessary- and still the fact remains, that I sit at the table not doing the job as I see it, having the appearance without the substance. I have a decision to make.

Writing 16 Sept, going back to this post: On the evening of 7 Sept, I went to the 5Rhythms dancing, and thought of whether I would go to AM. I could just give up the role. Thinking does not make the decision for me. Find the motivation. I hate giving things up, or perhaps I hate appearing to myself as one who gives things up. The first is a real motivation which will make me happy. The second is from Hell, clutching the dirty rags of an appearance of goodness around myself, and will make me miserable. Words like honour, duty, respect do not help. So, dancing, I make a line on the floor. This side I am in my words and rationalisations, and when I am so fed up with them that I really want to access my spontaneity and being without words, and dance. So I immerse myself in the useless words, then cross the line.

I want to appear to myself to be a good person, and that gets in the way of actually being one.

I went to AM. The problem is that there are two models of Quaker decision making. One is like the Club committee, which never has much important to decide, and decides by consensus, by leaders saying what they find sensible, and even by backbiting and politics, though it is important not to appear to be in conflict, and generally Quakers are nice people. The other is making decisions in meeting for Worship, seeking God’s will. This is not “consensus”- we leave our egos outside, says the theory, one will be Moved to speak by the Holy Spirit/ Collective Unconscious/ Whatever, and the whole meeting will unite behind the Way which has been opened to us. I have experienced that, though it is not my usual experience of business meeting; one Friend who for years always attended business meeting told me she had never experienced it, just undirected blethering then quibbling about the wording of the minute.

As a romantic Quaker I have an attachment to the idea of guidance of Spirit producing decisions, but this month our decision on how to find people for Nominations committee actually worked well, and we made it by club committee rules. Richard came up with a reasonable suggestion, and pushed it through. I do not think he was Inspired by the Spirit. I am not certain that matters.

Actually, we have the Role of assistant clerk, and we are too conservative just to drop it; I do what Richard seems to want, which is sit there and read out any reports or whatever which need reading out; having lunch before is always pleasant; we are doing all right. And- I am dissatisfied, I want to do better.

A dance

File:2009 07 07 arne mueseler 0037.jpgFrom the deck on the altar, I draw the card The Miser, and feel a moment’s distress. That is horrible. Is that me? Then I decide to go with it. Yes, the miser, hoarding, clutching, clinging, is part of me. I kiss the card, and put it down face up. This evening, I will claim it. I will celebrate it.

There is no 5Rhythms dancing in Swanston, but B invited me down. It is good to spend time with her, and she proposed meeting here. I have not seen Tim and Jane since their Field of Love camp last year, and am pleased to see others here I know only from that. C is having a walk along the River on Sunday, followed by lunch, celebrating her birthday. I had thought I would go to the Quaker Area Meeting, having agreed to be assistant clerk I should fulfil my obligation which I took on voluntarily, and I am so angry about the clerking that I could just throw it up, and spend a sunlit Sunday with lovely people, making new acquaintances. Is it possible? I ask B, who would be happy to put me up another night.

It is very hot, upstairs in this former church. The windows open such a little way, there is no breeze, and I cannot bear to keep my wig on. This skirt is very full, but has a less full lining, so I roll the lining up and pull it through the waist band, so I can move my legs. I cannot bear to keep my wig on, and at one point put my head under the cold tap, trying to cool down.

In the station, I popped into Monsoon, whose stock is all dresses, beautiful feminine things in silk and rich Autumnal colours. The child, who had been slouched against the doorway, attended by parents, is now running among the dancers- exposure to this now, in childhood, is such a blessing! The video B shared- gorgeous, watch https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Bellydancer_in_Sugar_Factory_02.jpgit- runs through my mind. So there are light, sweet thoughts in the mix, but I am here to celebrate my shadow.

In the opening share, Tim talks of the value of dancing in heat, and of getting away from words. I stand behind the line of a shadow on the floor, and it becomes symbolic to me. I have a decision to make, and this side of the line words come to me: duty, honour, right, relationship- I will cross that line, and escape the words. I can label almost anything with any of them, and they do not help.

It is a beautiful sprung wooden floor, and it is all church. Out of the window, on the second floor, I look out to that high, sharp point on the gable end. The windows up here are Gothic apart from the circular West window. It has the look of 19th century pastiche to me, I could be wrong, and the Roses carved where the roof beams meet are just copies. It reeks of Church of England, Organised Religion, even though deconsecrated into a community centre, and I hate it. My hands grow hot with the feel of healing, and I remember how the priest blessing the Eucharist holds her hands in a similar gesture. I dance with the shape of the windows, and the Roses. I kneel to the East, and put my forehead on the floor.

In Staccato and Chaos I dance to celebrate my No, my Resistance, the strength and power of it: in all my fear and desperation I have chosen it to keep me safe. I have sought safety through not being obtrusive, not shocking, holding in my fire. What might that power do, turned outwards? I dance with beautiful sweaty Duncan, moving around each other keeping body contact just as in that video, though I would need to verbalise my request for consent to be comfortable lifting off the floor. I am the Miser. Duncan, you are in me, I eat you, I suck you in, you are mine. I incorporate karate moves into my movement, Heuch, gabble gibberish to get away from the Words.