I sometimes wonder about how I personally define real.
Skimble and I went to watch bunraku today which is traditional Japanese puppetry. The sets are elaborate and the puppets are about a third the size of real life. In fact all the puppets are are maskand wig with clothing and hands. There was an explanation/demonstration bit that Skimble and I tried not to doze through (not because it was boring or anything but because we’d been out at karaoke all last night) and it explained all about the puppets, the voiceover and the shamisen.
Whilst the puppets are manoevred on stage two or three men sit on a dais in front stage left. One is the voiceover guy who tells the story in a sort of singing way and gives voice/song to the puppets. The other man is a shamisen player. A shamisen is a traditional instrument, it looks a bit like a banjo but sounds much better! It has three strings and produces those deffinately oriental exotic string sounds that get used on soundtracks or CDs of `exotic sounds for stage`. He plays pretty much throughout the whole play (except at particularly dramatic moments).
In anycase Skimble and I watched the two little playlets and the explanatory demonstrations (of the group forcing embarrassed Japanese children to perform for their own amusement) and it was really interesting, and also brilliantly done. To give an example the second playlet finished in an energetic dance by the two puppets. The female puppets puppeteers had her making panting movements at the end! And it looked real! It totally did, throughout the whole play; even though it’s an imobile mask and wooden blocks for hands. And even though you can see the puppet-master and his two puppeteers moving the puppets. You still see this wooden and cloth construction moving (the female puppets don’t even get feet but can be manipulated to look like they have legs and walk believably) and you can see a miniturised human being moving and the man, he is made to fade out in your mind. You can see him but he is…not really there.
Except that he is the one that is really there and the puppet is a thing of wood and cloth. My mind convinces itself of what it wants to believe; my mind does that too easily I feel. I concentrate on seeing the life in the wood and cloth and ignore the man manipulating them. Reality seems so hard to focus on sometimes and it’s as though I retreat behind mists to some other place where the wooden blocks move and look human, I can kind of make out the real but the mists make it too hard to see the subtleties and I get caught up in what the puppets are doing.
My effort today to drag myself into the real is probably not going to be understood by anyone outside of my head, I’m not sure if that makes the attempt in itself unreal and I wonder if it`s actually unreal, more a part of the mists that surround me than any real effort to escape them. I have always been a wuss when it comes to piercings; some people may not believe me at this point however I will explain (if you don’t want to know about my clit then skip the next paragraph):
I had the hood of my clit pierced. A 50 percent chance of loosing all sensation decided me against an actual clitoral piercing. If I had been outside of my mists that feel me with fear of pain and make me worry about percentages then I would have laid down and demanded the real thing. But instead I have my halfway house.
I can tell some people aren’t convinced by that. I shall try to explain another way. My friend Briony when we were at school pierced her own bellybutton (it got infected and was really gross) but in any case I really wished that I could do it. Always I would get caught up in the ideas of the unreal, ‘what if’ situations. I think she pierced her own nipple too. The only way I could do piercings and still retreat into my cloud was to lay down/sit down in the piercers couch say ‘please do this’ and retreat into my cloud away from the needle. (And only once actually scream ‘fuck’.)
So today, to banish the mists I bought piercers (they’re really easy to get hold of in Japan and relatively cheap) and I now have seven piercings.
Yes, I pierced my ears again. I have five earrings now. I like it, they seems to balance my tattoos somehow and I feel as though I exist beyond the mist now.
It is deffinately real.
I can’t work out whether the desire to pierce my labia and nipples is one of the mist or a real one. I think its probably a bad idea. Probably.