Deterioration and/or… “the negotiations we are all involved in, unconsciously or otherwise, around who we feel we are and how we are seen”.*
Up until recently I have lived with reasonable confidence that my personality was singular, but as I grow older I am finding this idea becoming more and more threadbare. Parts of me might seem to remain singular, my body for instance. However, the curious quality of its changing surfaces, its new furrows and trenches, and its spread in unexpected directions are bringing new peculiarities as I age. Similar peculiarities arrive on the inside, and I am finding negotiations with my physical self are now required on a daily basis.
This is especially true of my face, as each morning when I look into the mirror the head of a different character topped with white hair is waiting there to meet me in the looking glass. So we begin to talk, and introduce ourselves to each other. Although my English fear of embarrassment frequently limits these daily conversations, I see that I am becoming a two-some with my face.
The idea of my fixed identity has become worn and see through in other ways inside as well. I used to trust in the singularity and purity of my awareness, the presence of a singular watcher of these processes in flux, with an accompanying idea of original purity of awareness in an abstract sense. But my ageing has broken this trust. However, unlike the two-some conversation with my physical face, there appear now to be a host of characters co-creating my inner life and co-existing in awareness. TRIXY, of whom I spoke last week, is one among many, and all are seeking to be met and engaged with in multiple conversations.
Sometimes I leave TRIXY and the rest of them to get on without me, and I retreat to the shadows. At these times I am become the mere transcriber of their stories, and the complexity and demands of this task would be overwhelming if they did not continually introduce and re-introduce themselves . I do not invent them or give them names myself. No, they tell me who they are, helping me to create their peculiar community.
Perhaps all this is intoxication, but I’d like this story to be received and held, despite the fear of embarrassment covering my heart. Of course chatting about TRIXY and the others in my community of awareness in the wrong setting could get me into trouble, and some people could take what I am saying the wrong way. This is what I would like to say to them:
‘Piatti di merda in faccia
E martellate sui coglione.’
* The quotation comes from the text of the introduction to Who Are You?