I just got back from Bath. I went there alone today. Excluding the 3-hour delay back because of a fatal accident, the day was quite perfect.
Slowly through the course of the day, i started caring again. Bath had a lot to do with it. The train ride there itself was discomforting--discomforting in that it first brought me out of my habituated nonchalance, the indifference, the carelessness that have come to be by de facto personality these days. The English countryside is beautiful. perhaps it is because it sees so little sun that the English countryside is shielded when the sun finally does come out--afraid that the harshness of brilliant sunshine might prove too overwhelming, the sun shines tentatively--so that the scene is tender, precarious, precious. Bath itself is very pretty too, more european in some parts than english.
i walked into the Victoria Museum of Art, where they were having an exhibition of the Society of Bath Artists, and the familiar but long-missed tingles up the spine, hair standing on ends, heart in throat sensations returned. returned with a jolt. how art can pique such raw and subtle sensibilities i do not know. for the first time in a long while, i was feeling. i was fully engaging this material world. tears threatened to fall. all these colours, all these strokes, all this texture. i wanted to weep there and there in the middle of the art gallery. how i've forgotten how art touches me so. i love art. and i missed it so much. if i can afford to one day, i want to a little art gallery of my own, or at least a little room, where i can keep and display the art my heart desires, or lend them to a museum. one of my biggest regrets to this day is passing up the Dali lithograph in vienna those years ago. in retrospect 900 euros is a bargain for pricelessness. if i can afford to one day, i want to paint. i want to sit at my easel and paint. I'm not sure watercolours will suit me. maybe. but most probably oils. thick, layered oils.
It wasn't just Bath per se however. I realised that i liked being by myself. I thinks i;m crazy, thinks I'm deviant, thinks I'm weird to go to london on my own to watch 2 musicals, to go to bath on my own, to go to africa on my own. i don't care what I thinks. I hate using these terms--deviant, abnormal, normal--thanks to foucault, but i think it's perfectly sane to want to be alone. london was a bit lonely at first, just because i haven't been left by myself in a while, but i need to get away from everything and from people. and then after London's initiation yesterday, Bath was the start of my enjoying adventuring alone. and i love it. I'm not the kind who needs someone there with me all the time. how claustrophobic. By myself, i am myself. my thoughts are clarified, i am thinking, i am connecting with and communicating with this earth. i can hear myself speak, i can hear myself think. i am away from having to justify myself, or my actions to anyone.
and what about loneliness?As Celine from Before Sunset says, "i'd rather be alone than feel lonely next to my lover." i don't feel lonely. i think. and even if i do, i think i relish it. i think i actually enjoy the solitude, i actually love the solitary life.
maybe it's because i've started to read again. i've read a book a day for the past three days. marvelous. i've forgotten as well how i enjoyed reading.
As i rode back on the train at sunset ( at about 9.30!), the English pastoral landscape was swathed in the softest of pinks and purples and blues, colours that served as foils to the reflection of the bright orange setting sun on the window through which i stared out. i turn my head across the isle and see the deep, bright orange orb of the setting sun itself and am so startled by the beauty of everything i am taking in. The countryside really resembles the watercolours i have seen in museums, or even the strokes and dots and dabs of the impressionists and post-impressionists. monet? matisse? manet? strange how surprised i am at how intimately life imitates the art that imitates in the first place.
this world is so beautiful it hurts. i love it. i love it. i love it.
but that doesn't make me like people any better.