Saturday, 20 June 2015

Our Perfect Reflection...



Weds 17th June


As a means of "getting over", though, most likely, "coming to terms" with the end of such an intense, condensed "relationship", a great deal of reflection is required. An attempt to arrive at an understanding, to accept rather than struggle, with that which is largely beyond my control. (You who must leave everything that you cannot control, it begins with your family but soon it comes round to your soul...)

The day before you left, Sunday 14th of June, after we had eaten a lovely meal I'd cooked, before we went on a rather pleasant twilight stroll, we were lying in my bed, as far as I knew then, content as cats, contorted, comfortably, in a languid embrace. Opposite my bed there is a mirror, large and rectangular. We were lying to the side, such that I could see both of us, but you, only me. You offered words to the effect that you were almost relieved you couldn't see your own reflection because there was something sinister, you felt, about looking at yourself in the mirror. 

A surreal and not altogether pleasant exercise in narcissism.
I said there was indeed something eerie about looking into your own eyes, but, that I took a pleasure in it, perhaps it is a similar mechanism that leads me to enjoy that shiver and tingle that ripples through my body when I feel breath on my neck, the vibration of a low voice on my forehead or when my ankles, calves, thighs or back are touched in surprising little spaces, ordinarily rejected or overlooked, that shock that wakes the womb. 




I know as fact that many people find such shivers unpleasant.
I know too that I've felt disappointed in my body/mind for taking pleasure thus, when, in perhaps more expected areas it is mystifyingly unresponsive... Though, not mystifying maybe, perhaps it is a case of my expecting to feel something, say, when someone kisses my nipple, and, when I don't, when the sensation compares feebly with the jolt brought forth from a finger tracing my scapulae, I am disappointed. Mystery solved...

Pleasure in the unfamiliar, surprise at being face to face (literally in this case) with that which should be familiar, expected (how your own body responds to touch or how your own face appears), and actually being presented with how little you know, the thrill of the uncanny.  

We spoke about people living for millennia, without glass or shining metal, not really sure how exactly they appeared, save for the occasional glancing upon polished obsidian or wavering water. What effect did that have on their characters, their individuality? 
You said maybe they were more mentally rather than physically individualistic perhaps, but we didn't really commit to anything, concretely. 
Now we pass cars, windows, see our faces reflected on the screens of our electronic devices and kitchen fixtures...





I have this feeling that your discomfort when faced with facets of your character (or when aspects of you are represented, to you), is part of what caused you to arrive at your decision to say farewell to "us".
I have this feeling because we are alike in meaningful ways, and, what might frustrate or frighten you about your inner self, might be exactly what scared you about me.
Not just mentally, both sensitive and curious, but, physically, too. Ethnically ambiguous, big-eyed, cinnamon-olive-skinned idiots.

It's a leap, for sure, but, forgive me that, my monstrous qualities...

I've been looking at our faces and it strikes me as vaguely preternatural, our similarities, like we could be related in some other-wordly place, through the looking glass perhaps.

It was in one of my earliest blog "posts" that I alluded to a fascination with the uncanny, shadier side of the mirror, briefly. It is probably not surprising, for, is not this entire blog a sort of reflection, a skewed representation, true enough but definitely warped... I have a difficult relationship with mirrors, but, as with my family, I love them.

When you sent me a link to your blog, the blurb you'd written, publicly, for me, caused me to remark to you that I felt like the internet could see me, you apologised for potential creepiness but I assured you that it was a thrill. The name even, Little Room, and here, am I, dwelling with my Lit Windows. Endearing weirdos.




I put this to you, relatively early on; "Given that you admit transcripts of your thoughts aren't as freely generated as those of my own seem to be (does that dilute the significance or validity of mine do you think?), the fact that you're willing to respond is even more appreciated."

 You offered in return; "The fact that you have the intelligence to compose your thoughts with fluidity and eloquence does not make them less valid. Not at all. Absolutely not. If anything their spontaneity makes them more valid, more real."





And then, you again:

"A good friend of mine described my character recently - I forget the context but he said, "unsure of many things". I didn't take this as an insult, it's quite accurate"...

Unsure of many things... Aren't we just.

(Or are we not? I truly don't know Ib, as you said later on concerning my over-sharing, (reading this humorous parody of a needy over-thinking sharer made me smile; "Listen, I want you to truly appreciate my sustained effort to pretend to be a reasonable human being. I’ve gone days without texting you, multiple days without texting you, three whole days without texting you. The cumulative willpower illustrated by this should leave your mind utterly boggled, exceedingly boggled.") some things which seem pressing at the time, pass, not everything need be communicated because sentiments may well depart swiftly... Ondule, it is a shame, I never feel the same)

In that first post that I sent you, just over a month ago, among the little book that I'd made (with a small square mirror glued on to the central spread!) were some gelatin silverprints and some handwritten words on the symbolism of silver, linked with photographic theory, taken from a book I had been reading, about the Periodic table and the elements nestled therein. Now that I think on it there was even a drawing, a little self-portrait that I'd made by looking into a small square compact one morning before work started (as a painter and decorator, drawn in the sun of a July day, 2011, that stuck down mirror was probably taken from that very same old broken compact!)...




"Silver has a deep cultural link with the feminine and with the moon. This belief may not be quite universal but it is shared widely by ancient cultures from Greece to the pre-Columbian Americas. The white lustre of the metal that explains these associations also carries with it more precise meanings to do with purity and virginity, and by extension with virtue, innocence, hope, patience and the passage of time." (p224, Periodic Tales, a highly recommended read)










I'm no alchemist.
I use Nivea men's Silver Protect deodorant. It smells of us, this time in my life.
Protect. Me. From. What. I. Want.

We are no photograph.
If you are Silver, at all, though, I am Mercury. Quicksilver. 
More Toxic, less precious. Maddening.


We are so very similar, and, part of me wants to re-visit "us" in the future, after "the passage of time", with some of that silvery hope and patience, but, then again, that tarnished mind of mine always did have a vain preoccupation with itself and a morbid fascination with death and the macabre...


Perhaps it's a little like that sensation, "Mise en abime", when you stand between two reflections and seem to be trapped in an infinite tunnel of sameness. Maybe you didn't want to be trapped in that abyss.

We had our thrills though.










"Gold does not tarnish, which is why it is associated with immortality. The alchemical symbol for gold is the neverending line that is a circle, which represents not only the sun but perfection. Silver's is a half circle - an icon of the moon, but a symbol too of incompleteness or imperfection." 
(p227 -228)

You asked me once, to make a choice, for conversation's sake, would I prefer to live without the sun or the moon. Being both indecisive and a mischievous smart arse, I responded that I'd take the view of the moon, because, I'd get the sun, too, can't see the moon without it now, can you. I'd always answer thus. The light is more pronounced amidst the dark than the dark seems among the light.
Like when you're looking at a bright screen then try to focus on someone beyond it in the darkness and it seems to take forever to adjust. But a dark room with a little light in it, when you're not focused on the light, offers more information... Then, is that really dark? 




If white light is everything, all colours, does than mean darkness has to be nothing? There's a whole load of energetic darkness out there they say...

[So with us, was it incompleteness or complete darkness? I think, just, as most things, a dualism, a(n) (im)balance of dark and light, overwhelming tarnish and brilliant lustre, all at once, bewildering. Confusion not yet ripe for comprehension. Lights brightening and dimming, disorientating and occasionally amusing. We could have had fun working it out, we would have had a lot of pain probably, too...]

"More than any other metal, silver signifies purity and especially virginity not simply because of its white lustre, but because of that lustre's almost human propensity to lapse into tarnished blackness." 



I never was pure, not ever, but, like it or not, I. AM. FREE...