'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

21 September 2010

Toe to Top

I ask myself the question - Why am I putting this old piece here? It was written many years ago, but it is a strong memory. Think what you may.

A persons physical appearance is not the mark of their character, however it does have an effect on the development of that character and some effect on how people see that person, and put them in perspective. We often begin to know a person because of something we see, a first impression. To help set the scene and create an image to play with and not allow any distracting misinterpretation I would like to begin by describing his physical appearance. It is also the easiest way to start, and will bring back many memories from which I will find inspiration.

If we begin on the ground I can see his feet. They are small and well shaped. Perhaps I say this because they are, as he often says, not unlike mine, only mine are larger. He likes to look after them. A very precise person, contrary to appearances at first glance, to some. He likes to be barefoot, but if shoes are necessary he is very particular as to the image he creates, as he is with all of his appearance. What appears to be haphazard is in fact well thought out, and works to perfection. The elegant and small foot is usually deceptively hidden inside large heavy and strong looking boots, almost safety boots, but safety against what? I have a photograph on the wall which I can interpret in many ways. It was not created intentionally but the image begs attention. There is a ghostly image of him caused by movement at the moment of preservation of this image. The body is dispersed, transparent and in motion but the feet are clear and placed firmly on the floor. I am not sure he realises it but his feet are firmly planted on the ground, even though the rest of him may not yet be totally drawn together. The image and evidence is there of something wonderful and interesting. It needs only some clarification, some definition. I have often photographed him from such an angle that makes his feet seem larger than they are. Is this his intention or mine. When he stands however there is a tendency to turn the feet in. This has a remarkable affect on his posture, producing a stance that is vulnerable and a flow of the body that is sensuous beyond belief. It has the affect of consequently reducing the appearance of the size of the foot. Take a small foot , enlarge it with a boot and shrink it back again with the way he places it and already you can see the interest he can create. This is the enigma. What is it about this person that raises him above the ordinary.

His legs are slender. There is light black hair from around the knee down, and absolutely no hair from there up. When I first met him his legs were much slimmer and sinewy. The muscles are taught and strong, the skin is like silk not only to the eye but to the touch, and now that he has put on some extra weight his legs are smooth, perfectly proportioned, unblemished and a joy to behold. I think he likes to show them off in shorts and this should be encouraged. I know he thinks they are skinny, or at least were, and I know he displays no ego about his appearance, but there is a healthy self awareness that suits him, and allows him to give of himself. He rides a bike and dances energetically. His legs bend, contort, jump and are a feature of the way he expresses a joy in being alive. Activity of the body is one of the most obvious releases of his thirst for reality and enthusiasm for being a part of this here and now.

He is embarrassed about the size or shape of his bottom. This I cannot understand. It is strong, beautiful, firm and like glass to the touch. His penis is uncircumcised smooth and creamy to look at, and is surrounded by long black pubic hair. I will not go too far here because there is a privacy that as yet I am not sure I should invade. He has a tendency to be coy and private sometimes and take a joy in nakedness at others. I on the other hand see great beauty in free nakedness in anyone, although in him there is a particular perfection and aesthetic pleasure that he should be always proud of. Here I think we disagree at the moment. I hope he will feel free to be appreciated. I would like to write in great detail, and yet might, but for now I will pass on.

Continuing from his knees to his shoulders is a smooth and beautiful line and proportion. The abdomen, chest and back are so well defined it is almost beyond description. He is not overdeveloped but strong looking. There is a particular tilt in his hips and slight pouting of the abdomen when he stands with his feet turned in, that brings to mind the stance of a Renaissance statue. This is part of the otherworldliness that he possesses. There are images of such classic beauty that appear to almost come from the soul. Without an inner gentleness and beauty of mind it would be impossible for the body to express such images. There is an innocence and naturalness that emanates through every pore of his body. Mostly I would say he is unaware of this. If he was, it would be impossible to manufacture such an image. It is a true image of what I have said is an exceptional person. He is completely unaware of how giving of himself this is. Sometimes he thinks he is cut off from humanity but I have seen someone more capable of being part of all that is best in humanity and possessing more respect and love for it, than he realises. Over this torso he likes to wear tight fitting, collarless shirts that emphasise the contours of his waist and chest, and create an image of delicacy that once again confuses the image of his actual strength and proportions. Always a contradiction to confound and inspire.

Strong shoulders, slender wrists and delicate hands are a strange flow that are part of the balance of his well proportioned body. All part of the enigma. His nails are well groomed and white, except for the heavy nicotine stain on one hand. They are hands that constantly reach out to people to touch, to comfort, to express his love and feel for reassurance. He holds these hands with elegance. He is strong, however his hands are always delicate and gentle. There is no aggression in them. Through those hands he must not only communicate physically but must write, paint and express himself.

How now to describe his face. A pixie, a Pre-Raphaelite painting, a boy, a man? At times he looks so young and then on closer inspection he has a maturity of one who has seen much. Surrounded by hair that is dark and organised chaos, short, long, platted, knotted, always different, always interesting, always him. Skin that is smooth that belies the fact that he does shave, much to his annoyance. Dimpled chin, furrowed brow, pug nose, small mouth that is soft and sweet, round cheeks. His eyes are small and squinty sometimes if he is doing nothing. If he is happy or intense or confused or sad they open up to be so expressive. He uses his eyes to convey things just as he uses his hands, and his whole body at times. I have seen him laugh, cry, sleep, enjoy pleasure, suffer pain, experience wonderment. I have seen him puzzled, worried, scared, angry, interested, bored, pleased and even proud. He does it all, and his face and body language are open and honest and easy to read. I expect that he will remain youthful for some time and age will appear suddenly on his face, and with it an even more intense beauty of experience. He will look kindly on the world and it will look kindly on him. He will become serene. It will show.

I have photographed his face as much as his body and there is a soul in this person. He can create images of such beauty and intensity that I would like to capture these images as often as I can. These moments have an eternity about them. I feel I have never captured someone on film so well. I know he is only another person, but I am honoured to have met such a beautiful and real one. Perhaps this has been an inadequate description, but as I continue more may become apparent. I fully accept that much will become apparent to me also as I struggle to express what I see when I think of him. Contradictions may arise as I wander through the maze of my confused but ever active mind.

What I have described above is confirmation of what I saw the first time I met him. A quick sideways glance while waiting for a coffee to be served shot an image into my brain that I will never forget. This meeting was as if almost preordained. I saw him, he introduced himself, I photographed him and four days later we went to Noosa for a few days holiday. Those days were among the happiest, most free and significant days of my life. Here was someone with whom I had an instant rapport, someone who was intelligent, challenging, accepting and alive. We got on well. There was nothing I could do that he did not find interesting. There was nothing he did of which I was not proud. He wanted to learn, he knew quality, he discovered new interests and he really enjoyed what he chose to like. A short time later we went to the Opera, his first, and a short time after that, we went to Europe. He is someone who should see everything, deserves to see and do everything ,because he is capable of taking the best, the worst and the ordinary and making something out of it for himself and then turning it around and giving much more back to the world. Surely the world needs people like this. What greater joy can I have than sharing and helping, in some small way, someone take their place in the world. I hope that he is making use of it now. Delays and postponements can destroy the momentum and allow lethargy to take over even the best of us. I can make no predictions of what may eventuate but I can explain what I know now , and from this point evolution will take place.

Before I assume the right to discuss his relationship to anyone else, to himself or to the world in general, I should and must discuss his relationship with me. This is for the sake of honesty and fair play. I must have the guts to write me into this if I am to presume to comment on others. This gives them recourse to attack or defend without me having an advantage. I say this in the knowledge that they will never actually see any of this, unless by some accident I drop dead at the terminal and some unscrupulous publisher steals this and prints it. It is mainly an exercise for myself and possibly could be read by him, if he wishes to see what I have written.

Dare I say that I am more fond of and attached to him than any person I have known. I certainly believe that I love him and I suspect that it is the most important love I have ever felt. I do know that what he has done for me, whatever may happen in the future, will never be underestimated. The current affection, of necessity, is always the greatest. Time will tell how it stands up. I feel that I am doing it well. I am trying to ensure that it is good. I may not have another opportunity to reach out to a person like this again and I would like to make it as perfect as possible. I don't expect to pass on, but opportunities like this are rare and who knows if it will ever arise again. Spiritually, mentally and physically I am attached to him. He speaks of the sadness of love that is not returned. Firstly I do not think that love has to be returned for it to exist. The Saints can love the poor without the poor knowing that they even exist. Great love should be unselfish. Not that I have achieved such states of perfection, but at least it is a concept which can and does exist. Notwithstanding this I also believe that whatever the course of events, he does love me in a way, and very much. I will not presume to define it and I doubt that he would be able to either. To me, the actions and words over the last short months fit my definition of love. I would say that he has given me more love in his way than he possibly realises. Perhaps he does not feel comfortable with the love he has given of so freely, but to me it is real , genuine and appreciated. At least I do know that I am playing a significant part in his life.

I recall speaking to him of the music I wished played at my funeral.

I hope to cause no pain. I pray that he can find comfort in having known me. I have given to him all that I know and can, and in return he has done likewise.

When we met I thought he was beautiful and now more so. However it was his life, enthusiasm, gentleness and incredible intelligence that made him so special. The only thing he lacked was the opportunity to expand in the world and the knowledge of what was available to him. I could not understand the life he was leading and why he had resigned himself to limiting himself to the far from noble pursuits he was engaged in. I had very little knowledge of his life except for what he had told me, and I was far from impressed by his girlfriend and lifestyle. I still after this time together cannot believe that there is anything positive in much of what he has told me. Apart from what appears to be one genuine friend who needs some release himself I hope he moves on. I don't know if he is currently happy, confused or depressed, but I would like to think he is at least thinking of moving into a better world. What right do I have to think in such a way. All and none. All, because I can see nothing but destruction if he does not break away; and none, because I must allow him to run his own life for better or worse. However I do care.

I have often thought that his sexuality has barriers that required explanation. In tears one night in a bar in Rome he told me of some family sadness. I do not know exactly what effect this has had on him, but I suspect it is significant in some way, as it would be. I also think there are other things in his life that he has not told me about, which have also had this strange affect on his sexuality. I talk here of sexuality as a whole, not sexual preference. This should not have to be explained, but I suspect I should be clear, not that I believe it is relevant. His relationship with his parents is difficult to explain. There is a significance there that is greater than is required. He needs to come to terms with the fact that he is a person with control of his own destiny. The past is exactly that, and he must come to terms with the present and look to the future. Being human and strong means that you can overcome anything if you have faith in yourself, love yourself and respect others as individuals. Although self love is necessary and good, he often confuses it with self absorption. If only he did not put this pressure on himself. He thinks of himself, feels guilty of always thinking of himself, and therefore thinks of himself more often. Here lies the problem of selfishness. If he stopped at the first step and did not worry about natural self awareness he would not dwell on it and create such a problem that is only destructive. Be self aware but not aware of the act itself.

He is a gentle boy, with a kind heart. In his own time, he is considerate of others like no other. He cannot be rushed. He must take his own pace, while he considers his actions. In some ways this is good to be aware of one's actions but in another there is an unnecessary pause because he sometimes lacks confidence in his own judgment. This only needs practice to realise that he has already created himself and now he must live his own existence. He must no longer doubt that he knows how to behave. He already has perfect natural manners and an ability to spread warmth wherever he is. He needs no more. Let his natural instincts be his guide. He can always reserve the right to apologise or change his mind if, like all of us, he makes the occasional error of judgement. Try, and if it is not the best way of doing things, just try again.

While in Europe he was sometimes pushed to be self reliant and he managed. I was always around to keep an eye on him, but he survived both the demands and the supervision. He now should realise that he can do anything he chooses. He chose to go and he did it. Now for more choices and carry them through. I hope he writes, for he will eventually have much to say. He should sing also to express through music those deep feelings that he might not be able to put into words alone. Not to make up for a lack of literary ability but at least as an alternative way of expressing himself. I expect this boy to make a mark and achieve greatness in himself and possibly the world at large. No matter whether the world realises it or not, he will be important to those individuals who are lucky enough to know him. To date there is only one danger, and that is that he seems to lack the imagination to take a great leap into the future. When he talks of progress and change, the steps are timid and stray not to far from what he knows. One does not abandon and forget what one has done but if movement is not in large steps the journey will be long. We all find security in what we know, but do not let it be a ball and chain. Build on what we have, and use large, fabulous, exciting and new ideas to carry it through. If he wants to create he must have the confidence to free his mind. When he does this he must do it and to hell with those who can not keep up, myself included.

He recently had a performance piece that he wanted to do, but because of something said he lost the desire to show it. He must never do this. There is no point in being creative if we let others influence the outcome. Do it and then asses the impact it has. Do not withdraw before the audience has had a chance. Give them the opportunity to see, feel or learn, not prejudge. I am sad that I missed it and I am sad that he chose not to perform it for me.

He has read some of this and I am beginning to wonder if it is influencing how I write. He made no comment that I noticed, but that was OK. He does not have to, and I suspect it would be difficult. I also had to share it with an old Jewish friend in a maudlin moment of drunkenness. He cried, thought it was beautiful and said no one in his life has ever made him want to or be capable of putting these things into words. He agrees with me that he is a very special person. I am at least reassured that someone now understands how I feel. I need to be understood by someone. I had to have someone to share my joy, and agree that I am correct in my observations and what I would like to offer. It is not necessary, I guess, but it does not hurt to occasionally receive approval for ones actions and thoughts. Forget the bad grammar and clumsy misuse of the English language. As long as I get my feelings across, and most importantly paint a true picture of one of the greatest gifts ever given to me, in the person and presence of this person. He may never really understand. Perhaps I underestimate him. He is my love, my child, my teacher, my peer, my inspiration, my joy, and my God he is beautiful.

There is a slight possibility that so many compliments etc. could lead to arrogance. That is the chance I must take. It is up to him to put things in perspective. I will look after my motives and behaviour and he must look after his. No doubt he will make mistakes, and probably big ones, but so what. He will survive. If we make no blunders it means we have taken no chances and have not begun to live.

Why am I writing this? Perhaps because no one, including the, believes me. I need to see it in black and white to reassure myself that it is real, that it did happen and that may still happen. I may not gain any respect for this but, life is short and I want to live mine the way I choose, I want to think the way I do and I will not, and have no desire to change. I like what I am. The world at large may disagree, so what. They can all be wrong. I do not believe in force of numbers.

Why are we on this earth? This is the big one. The meaning of life. I do not think I am about to answer it here, but it is a good question to ask. I am not sure why we are here but we definitely have a desire to know. We are individuals and when it is reduced down we are alone. The only life we lead is our own. We strive to know others to get to know ourselves or to reassure ourselves that we are here and that we matter. The way we get to know others is to get close to them. To get close to them we love. Love is a quest, concern, an attempt to understand, and a desire to be a part of a life other than our own. I try to understand him, to be part of his life. I am not losing anything but adding to my existence. He should realise that I also do not want to take from his life but to add to it. There is room. There is a difference between trying to change someone's life and trying to add to it. Adding and expanding do not remove anything, it just puts more in. We never lose what we know and what we have done. It is all still there.

I feel that I am lecturing at times. I am however aware that even though I am putting all this on paper, he is still the most perfect person I know. It is as if I am preaching to the converted. If anyone else I knew was as real as he, life would be so much simpler. The things I say are already part of his life, and I would say that he is more aware of them than I am. Do I presume too much. However since this is my story and not a conversation, I am limited to my thoughts and not able to take advantage of his wisdom. He has so much to teach me. I never want to stop learning. I will be dead a long time. This appears very complex and heavy when written but it is not . Everything I have said is really the simplest way to live ones life. It is a very convoluted way of trying to clear away the bullshit and get down to simple reality. Maybe this is more bullshit.
No! No! No!
I refuse to accept that.

While I write I feel that I am in a very special and extraordinary world. The Ivory Tower is standing firm. Is it the words, or is it that while I write, it is as if I am with him. When he is around I suffer no pains and my mind awakens. When I think of him it is the same. Some might call it madness. The world in general leaves much to be desired, so who can blame me for wanting to create a new special world of my own. It is real if I wish it to be. A world full of beauty. Physical, moral, intellectual, and spiritual perfection . I can survive in here. I will survive in here. This is happiness as I know it best. If I could cry on paper I would have tears of joy. Life is good to me. But by God I work at it. Look around. Does everyone have their eyes closed. Have they shut down their brains. Sometimes it is an embarrassing ego trip when people say "Why didn't I listen to you". I guess I can not go around giving advice if I I do not accept that people will sometimes hear me and remember what I said. This is a touch of self awareness. Thoughts that we do have privately in our brain seem less than perfect when brought out into the open. Perhaps this is a good way of keeping an eye on yourself. Keep it under control. I want to leave a mark. When it is time, I want to leave the world with something that it did not have before. I do not mean on the grand scale. Something small, something personal, something that only a few will be aware of, but something good. If I can have just one good thought, it will then exist, and cannot be unthought. It will exist. There are two pictures of him on my desk as I write and when you look into his eyes it is like looking into the meaning of existence. There is no misunderstanding. When he lifts the veil I believe he will astound us. He already astounds me. You look into his face and you can see that he knows it all. This is not extraordinary that someone can, but that here is someone who is truly human and will realise the potential that all humanity should be capable of. The wealth of human history is within us all if we dare to see it. He looks like he belongs here. He fits in. He has taken his place. He smiles. He is living."

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