October 13, 1982
We should vow never to discuss our emotions at the end or beginning of the day. Last night I lay wide awake wondering why I'm doing this. I wanted it so desperately...but now I'm not so sure. It's all too different, too foreign. And we're still only in London. Maybe if we had a place to call home we'd feel more relaxed than at this hostel where we can only park ourselves before and after certain hours of the day, and must high-tail out of here on time each morning.
Anyway, all during the day, my thoughts are fine, my emotions at rest. But when the lights go off each night and I'm lying in this bunk staring at the ceiling of a barren room, something goes off within my spirit as well. I'm still afraid of the monsters in the dark, I guess. The monsters that are maybe just my own thoughts.
Later--The British museum. Something of a disappointment, to tell the truth. I'm not much into Egyptian art--although the mummies sparked of something fascinating. To imagine the real people they were, the lives they lived with opulence surrounding them. And somehow the grotesque also strikes a chord, perhaps. A bit of left-over obsession with the emptiness of death (yikes, borrowed from SKC's words here!)?
Autographed copies of books, letters, rough drafts in K. G.'s library fascinated me. Somehow seeing their writing gives me a sense of them. I wanted to linger, to have the privilege of reading in the reading room. And the Augustus room, one of the many Caesars: "And it came to pass in the days of Caesar Augustus..." Statues in marble, all created to the image of the man who wanted to kill the baby Jesus. Celebrating, honoring the one who was first to try to kill the one who always intended to be killed.
Etchings. I've seen them now; no man need invite me up to his room. Once a person has seen Rembrandt's, all others pale. And cartoons by Michaelangelo (which are not what I think of; ie. silly little drawings, but oversized sketches).
And it rains. As it should in London somehow.
I got a haircut. Rather punk-ish, so I don't have to worry about curling this flat mess. Tomorrow we shall wear skirts and leg warmers and maybe look less American, though sort of Bobsey-twinish.
Maybe the trick is not to write about it, just to ignore that through the paper-thin walls a world is being lived in a language I don't understand. Or ignore that a woman painted up as if dressed for a masquerade (or an evening on the corner) spoke to me and I didn't understand a single word, though our language is supposedly the same. Or ignore that people with limps and canes are not only the products of one society but of every. Shall I ignore that the mentally retarded who stayed in the hostel made me miss my own? How do I get past what I see--the apparent costumes of a nation--to write of who I am as a process of change through observation? How do I authentically make this writing a representation of the swirling thoughts within?
Dickens' house, for example--his ability to write in such a small home surrounded by ten children. His diverse interests (he had been an actor), his infidelities. My heroes continue to disappoint with their clay feet.
TS Eliot's words: "...images of broken dreams."
SKC writes of poetry, mimicking James Joyce. She wants a red crayon to cross out--revision is her friend. I write letters, obsessed with the flow of words, intimidated by her talent!!! It's not that I've forgotten poetry. But that play was a sonnet, seeing Big Ben at dusk a canon back in time, and watching people wander "through half deserted streets..." a muse I cannot answer. How do I add to such brilliance? How do I do anything but stand in awe of the moments without diminishing just being here? Living out the intrinsic poetry of being. Perhaps living out my own sonnet, a love song sung for no one but Jesus. 1 John 3: 1 "The world does not love me..." 1 Corinthians 6: 12 "NO compromise..."