It's awful, like there's a plug somewhere in my pysche keeping the sanity in and then something yanks it out and I swirl down the drain (chucking the baby out with the bathwater, as usual). And, as the text books call it, suicidal ideation is for me what happens when I'm on the platform and the train roars out of the tunnel, making that sound like hot wings angel flapping, and I think 'I could just slip myself between that train and the platform, like a vapour and that would be that'. I would transmuted into that message that says- to everyone's annoyance- 'due to a person under the train incident at Such-A-Place, there are delays currently operating on this line', 'due to a fatality at Such-A-Place, travellers are advised to continue their journey via alternative routes'.
But I don't, do I?
Today- the water gushed out all of a sudden- and every stranger's face was just murder to me. I left the museum and was going to go home, but instead I slipped into the church to pray at the chapel of the Sacred Heart. Which kneeling in the gloom I was filled up with cool soft light and watched the candles in my periphal vision. God isn't necessary for prayers to be answered. Not all prayers look for answers anyway; words have instrinsic power (sometimes).
I left and I knew I wouldn't kill myself really. 'You don't have it in you' said that lacerating voice. And it was right, because I don't.
(which is of course good). I don't. (thank god) I don't.
My father believes in a prime mover. Like the sound before the word is uttered; just that intention, the small putting of the air.
None of my family believe in a personal God. I don't either.
When I was in my late childhood/ early teens I developed this strange little personal religion, which basically resembled some kind of OCD after a few years. But I trained myself out of it. I had never known this was fairly common until Germaine Greer mentions it in the 'Female Eunuch'.
But I have a tendacy toward theology I think. Who knows where I got this strange athiestic religiousity from. It's really odd.
I went to the Quilts exhibtion at the VandA today, which was amazing. I mean just amazing. Needlework is just such an intimate artform. The skill and the wonderful craftsmanship made these quilt wonderful objects. But also the fact that they were made by people for personal use means they're like wonderful quirky maps of the inner lives of ordinary people- so many funny little touches and beautiful incongruities. And the fact that they're domestic items means that they carry intimate stories.
There was one quilt that pretty much made me cry. Made in the 1943 in the Changi prison camp during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, where a group of girl prisoners (8-16 years olds) had held girl guide meetings in secret in the exercise yard once a week. And they had made this quilt as a birthday present for their leader, sewn out of patches cut from their dresses and each embroidered on their name.
But there were also quilts made by soldiers in India in the 1860s, because the men were encouraged to take up needlework to keep them out of trouble. And a beautiful quilt made by women prisoners during transportation to Tazmania on the prison ship HMS Rajah in 1841. And one quilt by Joanna Southcott the mystic and prophet who had claimed to be pregnant with the new messiah in the early 19th century, with the inscription sewn in her own hair.
It was such a good exhibition. I'm so glad I bought membership (the student rate was actually really cheap if you pay by direct debit) because I can't wait to go again.