Saturday, August 30, 2008

DIARY 73 - Feeling averse to the swing of things

Though Buddhism teaches the contrary, my current state of mind and body has all the outward appearance of permanence. Persistent and intransigent emotions are it's identifiable qualities. The outward conditioning on my temporal, corporal and spiritual self remains pretty much the same as of last week. I'm mentally in denial about something or other. I await the arrival of some blinding insight with an increasing lack of confidence. Resigned to patience, but not bearing with things out of a faith in things turning out nice in the end, but more from a lack of vision for anything better turning up. The purpose behind this forbearance has a very threadbare vision. Why I am putting myself through this mind warped hell, is now completely lost on me. Perhaps there is a misguided vague sense that 'something good spiritually will come of it', without quite knowing what. Or perhaps a weary despondency that borders on fatalism, that this is the best I can hope for in the years before retirement. Neither is a very inspiring vision for my future. When I examine my internal emotional state, it reveals itself as being riddled through and through with aversion. Each weekend I restore some semblance of balance and harmony, only for it to be slowly and unremittingly worn away by each successive disatisfying day. By Friday, I'm once more edging onto the thin territory of despair. On many many levels, this just will not do!

As Sangharakshita put it 'if all else fails distract yourself' but I doubt he meant all the time. I don't feel very happy about how I'm using my spare time. Too much watching of i-player, not much energy or interest in sustaining anything else. As the missing part of my Cutty Sark model has still failed to appear a month later, my enthusiasm for that specific project has rapidly dwindled. In fact the whole 'nautical' archetype has started to appear insubstantial, a little worn out and past its sell buy date. Ihave loads of study prep to do, but I had to recognise this week that I've not much actual time to do it in, let alone the unpredictable muse of inclination. I can see it all being crammed in at the last minute if I'm not careful, and this just will not do!

This weekend saw the return of The Pink Festival at Cherry Hinton Hall . Loads of stuff happening all over the site, stalls, info and performance stages of all varieties - bands, dance, cabaret and all things in between. It was good to have it back after 2007's 'gap' year. Though it has now strangely morphed into an 'all inclusive event,' where ordinary folk can come hang out with the LesbiGays, and experience its frothy pink,extravagant fun. Now, I'm all for inclusiveness, and a wider appreciation of diversity in our society, but it did blur the boundaries a little about what or who this event was actually for. There was a higher number of couples, kids,prams with infant paraphernalia in tow present. Sometimes, David and I both thought, they were in places where it was definitely not suitable or appropriate for kids. We were watching an entertaining' disco burlesque' troop called Adora, who do song and dance routines frequently involving sexually provocative poses using chairs, fans, feather boas, top hats and basques. Two songs in, the lead singer rips off her corset, releasing her two bare boobies to flap around like escaped ballons topped with silver nipple caps. The latter looked for all the world like a pair of Mr Kipling's small apple tarts had been placed there by aliens, as a joke!. Felicity Flapp followed, never one to mind his P's & Q's at the best of times, though luckily most of the references would probably be over the poor dears heads, but really -watching all of this were kids 3 or 4 years old!!! Call me old an fashioned queen, but gay smut is surely designed for the pleasure of gay ears only, not the pre - pubescent. But thankfully it did get beyond their bedtime. We didn't stay much above a few hours ourselves, just long enough to catch the exuberant drag/dance routines of The Fleurettes, who stole the show simply by virtue of their energy, verve and professionalism.

The whole point of 'Pink' is as a place where all forms of 'queerdom' can be together, to express themselves uninhibitedly and openly, in ways difficult to do in 'ordinary 'life because of fear of an adverse reaction. Being 'inclusive' doesn't mean the homophobe will just wander into the festival out of idle curiosity, to find out if they could have their prejudices transformed. Some folk, in spite of such well meaning public events, will continue to see gays as some sort of threat, or something to be mocked. Recently, I've heard quite a few derogatory comments passed behind our backs, whilst David and I have just been out shopping in Cambridge.

Inclusive is the type of language you use when you're filling in forms applying for funding from political bodies. As we entered, a questionnaire and a pen were thrust in our direction to fill in. This was printed double sided on pink paper, and though willing, we gave up on it four pages in, as we were hardly half way through it. It was full of the usual sort of questions which surveys ask when they're addressing 'an oppressed minority' - what they're really saying is - 'tell us what more can we do for you poor dears.' The increased level of well meaning enquiry that ticks all the right boxes, and more importantly ensures social and political accountability, probably explains why 'Pink' has changed its styling a bit this year, but at least it is back. For I am, my carping aside, grateful that such a thing as a 'Pink Festival' exists at all.

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