Blogging III

I don’t have to explain myself to you. You don’t have to read this. I started writing here because it felt I had made a huge leap in my spiritual growth, I wanted to share it, and I wanted to explore myself in writing, before witnesses. It pleases me that on Sunday 84 people from twenty countries read forty different posts on my blog, but I write for myself.

I heal. It’s what I do. I record it here: my realisations and my steps forward. It abashes me that I wrote some of what I intended to write today in a post three years ago, but I have moved on since then. “It is alright to be me,” I wrote. I knew that was where I needed to be, but did not see the distance I was from it. I am closer to it now, and still do not see the distance I am from it: if I did, there would not be that distance.

I love writing. I have a talent. I come here to wrestle with ideas and to play with expression, when I am ecstatic, hurting, angry, pleased. The challenge to write a good, politically focused article every 4 days touches me like that phone call from S yesterday- she had found all these brilliant jobs I could apply for! Oooh! Ta muchly for that, ducs. I have written about politics to work out what I think, to pursue ideas where they lead me, or in the case of equal marriage, to pursue self-acceptance against the homophobes. That’s done, now.

I had thought, How wonderful to be a columnist, to engage with news and write from the heart about it, and inspire people with something original! And how awful, to have to be thinking up angles all the time! What inspires me, what could motivate me? I wonder if that would always feel subconscious, something “popping” as if unbidden into my mind. If you have to work it out, you’ve got it wrong. There will be other political questions for me to write about, but I have no idea when or what.

Peter imagines himself to be a rational fellow. He asked, is “The Light” the same as the conscience? I am negative about conscience, seeing it as a conditioned tool of social control. The light is what makes you come alive. You were really motivated about that disciplinary hearing (he is a trustee of a charity). Yes, he said, but I analysed all the complaints and the evidence; and it was important. Yes. It is, objectively, important to get the right result for this good cause; but it was important to you. Everyone does rationality, a bit.

He is also on the committee of the story-telling group. Yes! Us arty-types need to do our thing, but are not usually good at organising, and it is really good to have someone to handle all that stuff.

You have heard the quote, “Do not ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, for what the world needs is people who have come alive.” It is cliché because everyone recognises it is profoundly true.

I had thought to leave Cranach for a bit, but here is Samson and Delilah. It is the same redhead!

Cranach, Samson and Delilah

What I want II

I may not have achieved enlightenment half an hour ago, but right now it feels like it.

What will I do today? There is the Experiment with Light workshop at the Quaker meeting. Do I really want to go? Should I cycle? Well, I may have damaged my tendon; and I have had a cold. I could get the bus. These are the options. What else would I do? I would do my washing and watch telly.

I wanted to watch Breaking Bad this morning, currently broadcast on Freeview 31, it was ep. 5/7. So I did, over breakfast, and watched Mike die with the most wonderful last words.

Do I want to go to Experiment with Light? A day with the Quakers. H might be there. Just possibly, it is unlikely. Do I really want to spend time with these people?

I want to cycle, and I have had pains in the back of my ankle. I put my seat up so that I would cycle on the ball of my foot rather than my instep, so that I would use my calves, which is far better technique, so that might strain my tendon just as it has been painful.

And that was it. I realised.

 I want to be someone else.

I want to be that person- who is always independent, who would cycle to Swanston without difficulty, who would then enjoy the Quaker day. I want to be the person I ought to be. I want to be cleverer. I want to enjoy the things I ought to want to do.

I don’t know where I got that person from.

I want to get the bus to the Quaker meeting. I really want to go now, I want to be in the place where I see reality more clearly. I shower, swearing fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck throughout-

that speech therapist, would not see me unless I asked my GP to see her again, ridiculed my appearance- shirt buttoned up to the neck??? Who dresses like that??? challenged me

WHAT DO YOU WANT????

and I didn’t know and I have not known since and I had Ideas- I want to hide, I want to be safe, I want to survive-

and now I have worked it out. I want to be someone else.

Okayyy- well, you can’t. You have tried that. It hasn’t worked.

Half an hour later I feel happy-

Actually there isn’t a 9.05 bus. Who knew? There is a bus at five past every other hour until it stops. I thought one of the buses wasn’t running. I checked the timetable (why check it, you know it already-

Oh!)

I feel exalted. I am just off to that Quaker thing. So much about my life makes sense now. Who knows what I might do?

Cranach, Judith and Holofernes VI

Love suffused

At four this morning, I had a religious experience. I felt suffused with Love. All of me was love and beauty.

I have been at the Yearly Meeting of Quakers in London. I stayed in the house of a couple I had never met before, Quakers who had volunteered to put up someone attending. It is Georgian terraced, within walking distance of the National Theatre, and its walls have beautiful things on them. On Friday night they met me at Friends House, and he escorted me home on the bus, telling me where was the best art gallery in London- the Courtauld Institute- and of international travel pursuing his career. She cycled. We sat in their tasteful, well-appointed kitchen drinking tea, and my inner critic said,

other people can make something of their lives.

It’s a bitch that way, but you know that. I felt sharp hot shame, not just that none of my anecdotes match. I did not like him. I don’t think he thought much of me, though I could be mistaken.

Last night I got back first, after we finished early, and could not open the door. I had to phone for instructions- pull it towards you, the yale lock will turn then. Oh right. When they returned, we drank tea. I can’t remember what I said, but she said,

-You’re very kind. (These words can be a brush-off or a put-down, but were a simple observation.)
-It gives me pleasure.

Later, we watched a drama about cancer, and when the character complained about the horrid wigs available on the NHS, I showed off mine. She saw that the hairline on the lace-front looks natural. I took it off which elicited a gasp, as I like to shock, and she felt the hair. Possibly I might show more self-respect.

In the night I woke.

After 48 hours, I could answer the inner critic. I have had certain difficulties. I would not minimise others’ difficulties, but mine have been hard for me. The anger I have carried is justified. (Round and round the circle I go; this is new, and not new; I see more clearly-)

Then- this animal, this creature, this thing, process, object-

this-

is beautiful, and wonderful.

This is new. This is not my old arrogance, but softer and heart-felt. I have known “I am a human being”- wonderful, and one of seven billion- but that was intellectual acceptance, this is emotional acquiescence.

I am completely happy. I feel intense love, undirected, or for myself, or for the world, or God’s for me. This- this- this-

This-
creature

is utterly beautiful, perfect in itself. Not what a man might call perfect. Not needing to be other to be perfect. Perfect.

Our discernment was on “Living out our faith in the World. What can Quakers do? Be our beautiful, wonderful selves. One of us might visit the Grand Turk. One might return to the Massachusetts colony, and worship there, though she be hanged for it. One might found a chocolate factory, or a shoe factory, or a bank. We are not alone. There is that of God in every one.

Over breakfast, I thought of telling my hostess, but did not need to.

I-

Thursday. The counsellor and the client sit in silence. The counsellor pays attention to the client, wanting the client’s good. She can sit like this for days, if necessary. The client does not look at her, but is curled up in her large soft winged chair, looking at her hands folded in her lap, comfortable enough, silent.

I have no idea what the surroundings are like, the two are what matter.

I-

That again.

I-

I-

I-I-I-I-I-
eye, Aye
I-

I- want

I- want

I try to prompt, but can only think of prompts which are wrong. Fame? To hide? A job? Company?

I want-

I want Love-

I want to surrender

When my friend phones later, wondering why I have not gone to his house as arranged, I am dumbstruck. I can apologise but not explain. I have five, or seven, words, and nothing more. I have only just got up, at 2.15pm.

I should, I suppose, have gone into my ritual space, to meditate, to meet the silence where truth is, but- did not. Something in me stopped me. Yet I want to hear this deep unconscious. It might not be good for me: Licia’s was the most accomplished confidence trickster, wasting her life chasing illusion-

As I wanted, I am in that soft sweater and long soft skirt. I have Use of Weapons on my e-reader, something entertaining enough but unimportant. I have five words, and no plan of action, nothing further, only where I am now in the process, no light for the next step until I take it.

evelyn de Morgan, Earthbound

Affirmation IV

I am as I am because I am traumatised.

I could trot out my stories again, to try to persuade you- that is, persuade myself- that it really was that bad, that anyone in these circumstances would be this hurt. But that does not matter. If any person of more than minimal resilience could bear my burdens, hardly noticing them, they have still overwhelmed me. However strong I was, I have been overwhelmed.

Now, having self-respect for the first time, I no longer deny my trauma. “Get up, get up, Get On With It!” cried the inner critic, and I reply that I would if I could. I had a lovely time this morning: I cycled in the sunshine to Swanston for tea with Richard, who complained that the OED has accepted the “wrong” use of the word “refute” to mean “deny”. I can cope with complex human interaction.

These stories: serious threat of loss of funding and job; bullying and failure; failure; failure and loss of funding and job; failure. Ah, that’s interesting. Thinking of this post, I was planning to talk about various unpleasantnesses, but I am quite happy in certain social situations and even with Quakers. However I am quite literally work-shy, though that term is a pejorative, rarely or never thought to be a mental condition. The thought of going into an office, paid or voluntary, or starting the kind of project I used to undertake puts me into avoidance behaviour. I called this post “Affirmation” and thought of writing about how I was going to self-care by seeking out social situations. This realisation changes things.

I am Abigail.
I have been badly hurt.
I will care for,
nurture
and value myself
as best I see how.
 ♥♥♥

And then, something wonderful, and passing strange.

I am- upset. Sad, and likely to weep, without knowing why. And-

part of me-

asks, What is it? Something existential about my whole life, or some small matter just today?

That- part- is not unsympathetic, but still misses the mark. It is like a man seeing his wife crying, and asking “What’s wrong?” However kindly meant, his intention to find the cause of the problem and fix it is not right, in the moment.

I think of Robert Holden’s mirror exercise. “I am willing to make today the best/happiest day of my life.” Perhaps “let be” might be better than “make”. I want to let go of judgment as to what “best” might look like. What

part of me-

is doing the making?
In the shower, again. I permit the feeling of upsetness. Then,

Another part of me!
A wonderful part of me!
Beauty and Delight

in the upsetness
starts saying

I

I

I- I- I- I- I- 

I- AM! I- AM!

feeling the upsetness
permitting the upsetness

I am!

I- beauty and delight- repeat

I am

feeling the upsetness, then joy, and finally singing it, to a simple I , , , V , , , IV , , , V , , , … chord progression, bass line and descant, dancing to it….

I Am
is the only affirmation I need

Boldini, profile of a young woman

Process

I clean my teeth in the shower. I announce this here because I saw written of another that She cleans her teeth in the shower as if that were shocking or weird- anti-environmental, wasteful or something.

Thinking of one of those problems. But what will he think of me? How can I say that? What will [individual/group/everyone] think of me? is one of my chief obstacles to action, and it would behove me to care less. I never know, anyway. Thinking of one of those problems and I am weeping in the shower, can’t see to rinse my toothbrush properly.

The inner critic says sardonically, cruelly, As if weeping ever did any fucking good.

Weeping- soap and rinse as best I can-

The inner rationalist starts to argue this. It is better than denial. It is further on.

And I– I don’t know, at any rate my throat, my vocal cords, goes No it is Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na NOT it is NOT it is NOT further on it is NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT

Can’t see to use my deodorant. It is important to use my deodorant. Weeping and screaming and ROARING-

trust the process.

It is a process. Weeping is Not “further on” or “better” than denial and avoidance activity. Analysis may not do any good. Weeping may not do any good. There is a process, there is a thing, possibly even an “I” called Abigail which might- I don’t want to say “cope” “deal” “muddle through” because I don’t want to second-guess ME ALL OF ME with a bit of me

words, analysis, get in the way?

Why am I writing and publishing this? Fuck I don’t know. I want to.

I can’t tell you what the problems are, now, because you would think I am pathetic

Should I tell her I feel insulted and badly treated? When has that ever done any good? Well, it might strike home. She is supposedly a mature adult, regularly irritating me with all the wisdom-bollocks memes she shares on facebook- that wasn’t the thing I started crying about, actually- feeling better now, it is time to wash my bedding, don’t try to second-guess what next, stay in the moment-

not knowing is difficult

“Have mercy on yourself” said Menis

Actually I am proud of it. This experience comes to others. I communicate it well. Some who do not consciously resonate with my words will understand later.