I don’t know what I expected to happen after the events of Sunday. Perhaps nothing. A huge anti-climax – a sort of “so what?” The flatness of no real change.
But that was not to be. Various things happened. The first, and least important, was that my coffee machine short- circuited and is now useless. I was not, however, in any way upset – just calmly accepted its loss. That is new.
Then, later in the morning, I was surprised by a sudden upwelling of grief. It seemed to have no bottom and emerged from my throat as a sort of howl. I am tempted to continue using the word “seem” to describe what it felt like but will not. “Seemed” contains a sort of provisionality – a doubt as to the reality and validity of experience. Or a not taking responsibility for my own perception – for my own experience. So it did not seem – it was the mourning for a whole life – for all those whom I have loved and who have loved me. And there have been many of each. It was an acknowledgement and expression of the pain that is within me for my inability to love as fully and deeply as they deserved. For the insecurity and fear that always lurked – causing me to keep a part of me aloof and unaffected. Not to be fully myself – but to hide.
But it was not as negative as the previous few lines describe. For at the root of the pain that I felt was the knowledge that, despite these things, love lies in the centre of my being. Otherwise these failings would not hurt as much. Changing my name, even though the process is far from complete, has given me a new perspective. The old patterns and habits are all associated with the name Brian. None of them, as yet, apply to Idris. Brian was loved and Brian loved. Mingled with the grief was the fear that such love would not be something that I could now find within me. I do not now think that this is so. Love still remains and I can now begin to learn to express it better – give it more time in the open air. More freely give and more freely receive with fewer reservations and provisos.
This is what I felt at the end of the expression of grief. For it did end – for now at least- although I am sure there will be further visits. I felt calm and at peace with myself. I spent the afternoon talking with a former lover, whom I have not seen to really speak to for several months, and that was wonderful. The hurts that had been between us had gone and all that remained was a strong, undemanding and realistic affection and respect.
Then, I discovered that I had lost my glasses. Irreplaceable in the current state of my finances. I had got used to wearing them –they were varifocal for close and medium close work. They were very helpful. I was pissed off. But not overly so. The loss is, in a very real way, unimportant. For close work I still have reading glasses – cheaply obtained in any supermarket. For small print on the computer, I now have to lean forward. To compose this, I am using 200% zoom – so my back is spared. The loss is inconvenient – no more. And I do not berate myself – an old and persistent habit.
Small things, but new things. The decision to change my name was born out of the desire to realise facets of my being that were being hidden and obscured by the effects of decades of negative self-statements. I am not certain that it will work. But it is worth a try.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe: part four
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