Thursday, 21 September 2017

And breathe. I did my final sit as a sculpture last friday. I totalled ten days in the end. Ten seems to be my accidental lucky number this year. 
Being a sculpture was truly eye-opening. I gather that I received some votes in public vote for their favourite piece in the exhibition which feels like acceptance and validation. That feels good. I had gone into the sculpture trail imagining I would be a vague presence, a solitary stitcher, an unseen being. But the situation became something else and it quickly became apparent that i needed to give the ride head, and that my task was to hold on to the reins and hope i didn't fall. 
I was one in over forty sculptures, or points of focus. There was a fantastic range of work, the trail was a treat, there was something for everyone. I guess in art terms what I was doing could be called a performance piece, a visitor and fellow artist described it as dialogical art, a term I'd not heard but which seemed to fit because from the first day it was clear to me that what was interesting about what I was doing was not me but who and how I was being seen, the conversations held and the passing of thoughts from one to another. 
Normally I will erect a piece of work and then leave it to be, to stand for itself, putting a piece of work up is a bit like sending a child to university, it's a survive or don't situation, and as an anxious parent I am with that child but not with them, attending, but not attending, because life goes on, the child will hopefully grow and succeed becoming independent as it does so, and the piece of work similarly must fend for itself, accept the onslaught of the elements, criticism and judgement of others.
What was amazing about putting myself into the position of person as sculpture, as object, was that I was privy to the audience response. It felt in many ways like being a mirror. In essence each person who saw me or spoke to me would have seen and spoken to the same person. But there were changing parts. My external presence was fairly constant but with each interchange I took on the gaze of the viewer whether we spoke or didn't. And their gaze interpreted what they saw and gave rise to their response.
Obviously the viewers who made the deepest impression on me were those who spoke to me directly; the ones who took the idea of what I was doing and ran with it, offered their view to me, gave their vision to me, of those who spoke only a very-very few were rude or unpleasant, rudeness is always shocking but it was well balanced with positive feedback and was interesting because as an object my worth as a person was detached from my worth as a sculpture. One woman repeatedly told me that what I was doing was a "cop-out" which felt odd and was hard feedback to receive. It was strange to be so surely dismissed but her viewpoint was viewpoint, and the situation gave license to her to voice her judgement. By contrast the man she was with spoke in softer tones and was one of two people who suggested that what I was doing was brave (not in the sense of climbing mountains brave but, as I understood, raising questions brave which was what I had hoped for).  
What I feel I learned through  the course of the ten days was that how people see may connect but belongs essentially to them, is their sight, their belonging, that we bear witness through our own eyes and bodies, are open or closed, accepting, acquiescent or rejecting, resistant according to our selves, that mostly we project onto any thing our sense of the world, I guess this is why babies and small children are such delightful company their sense of the world is generally clearer, more transparent, more honest, by the time we reach adulthood we are likely to have acquired a semi-fixed sentience born out of our childhoods and those and that which we came into contact with during that time.
I was very lucky to have been supported in this experience by the curator of the trail and the trail was a sheltered space for me to lay myself bare, to offer myself as an object in the hope that in that offering I would give something to those who chose to look. 
There were times, over the course of the ten days, when I experienced serious doubt, and continuing forced me to draw will from my reserves to keep going tho'. I was aware that what I was doing might draw scorn, that my medium being thought might be too ethereal to be called sculpture. I was aware of needing to hold quite a solid entity for the duration in order to ground the experience. I was fearful of being seen as vain or pompous or self-absorbed or full of bullshit. I hope I didn't. In the end I could only be me and I hope that I am not those things. 
It might seem like a very little thing, more natural performers would perhaps make less of it than me, but this month of "being" felt extraordinary, a gift, but also a monstrous challenge. I went in blind, thinking about prayer, and presence and intention. I have come out with my eyes and heart  more open, with new understanding, and a jungle of ideas to explore. 
Would I do this again ? It was amazing but it was also peculiar and exhausting. Would I do this again ?  I learned so much and I know that I am prone to follow my learning. Would I do this again ? I  would. 

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

And then a little light relief. A Little Bo Peep made out of recycled packaging, made to amuse my daughter and grandchildren who were coming to play later in the day. 



Saturday, 2 September 2017

It seems like the right moment to blog what I am up to at the moment. It fits with the previous posts about clothes, identity and performance, and stories, and being. Being. What is being ? I am at present "being a sculpture" "being a living installation" as my friend David described what I am as number 41 on the Waveney Sculpture Trail map this year. 
Having spent the first part of the summer protesting that I am not performer how do I square that with what I have chosen, what I chose to do way back in Spring when I committed to being a living body at work on site. I had not at that point done anything remotely like what I am doing now but the call to do it was strong and when I mooted the idea with Sarah Cannell, the curator of this years trail, and she came back with a yes it felt like a chance that could not be missed. 
And it is proving to be an extraordinary experience, a fascinating and challenging journey. A weird and wonderful, disturbing but beautiful trip. A peculiar kind of learning that I had not even half guessed at. 
To say I am a sculpture perhaps conjures up an image, suggests that I am holding a pose, painted to look like bronze or stone. I do not think I would be strong enough to do that. What I am is "a being" and in that being I am whatever the viewer sees in me. And as a being I offer myself up as an object. 
But the situation creates uncertainty. Is a person, a living thing, a sculpture ? What nonsense is this ? On the first day I had nothing to mark me as an exhibit tho' the invigilators gave me a sign on the entrance desk saying "Rebecca Clifford is working on site today". Now I have a post with my name and number which lessens the ambiguity and makes things easier in some ways and harder in others. Being defined changes the situation for both myself and the visitor but that in turn creates new quandaries. 
What am I working at ? It is a work day. But it looks like play. It begins when I turn the key in the lock of my front door and set out to get to Raveningham. My journey to site takes the best part of 2 hours and includes about an hours walk to and from my bus stops. And I am never quite sure how I am going to get home tho' through that I have met with unexpected kindness. The walking is important because it allows me to feel the area, I will surely be returning to explore the thereabouts after the trail is done when my feet are free to wander where they will. But at this moment I am coming to know the paths I must take - my commute - what grows where, the  buildings, the animals, the trees, the sounds, the light. This knowledge chimes with the work I made for this exhibition when it was on the old site at Earsham, formerly The Waveney Study Centre, and  before that The Otter Trust, and now Earsham Wetlands Centre. Walking allows me to connect with place, with time, with wonder. The information I gather informs the work I make about a site if I am making something site specific or else the walking helps me to transform my thoughts into something different, by preference lighter and clearer tho' this not always the case.
But as a sculpture I am just me. I am dressed "just so" in a hat, sitting on a white and blue blanket, sewing. I would say that as a sculptural form I only have a small niche market, but as an idea, an odd thought, my being, my posing as a sculpture has sparked some really interesting conversations. Well interesting to me, and hopefully interesting to the visitors with whom I have spoken.
One of the fantastic surprises I have had is that what I am doing seems to create space for people to tell me their stories, not deep confidences but things about themselves that have come up from the situation they find themselves in as we talk, about how we see art, what we see in art, about spirituality, and sewing, and families, and threads, and prayer, and god or no-god, and narrative, and looking, and art again and what is art, and being, and presence, and absence, and more and more and more. 
Over my mother's old kitchen table tablecloth, which I am mending and prettifying after it has sat two generations of children down to tea and has got stained and worn, conversation seems to flow as it would over a meal table. Talk is sparked by my children's and grandchildren's handprints and the fact that the tablecloth has already been witness to my family story. But what is so perfect, so gorgeous, is that each person brings their  own perspective, their being, to the situation. The situation, of a sculpture not being a sculpture, not fitting the accepted terms of reference, sculpture is a fixed entity, sculpture may or may not look like a thing, but sculpture is definitely not living, it may move but it cannot be a human, not a human nobody, allows extraordinary things to be said because the situation is not normal.
Now not everybody wants to look at a human being. I do not know how I would feel about a human exhibit if I went to a sculpture trail. Some keep their distance and look past, one or two have shown obvious contempt but that is the viewer's prerogative, if I was not alive I would not see their response I am challenging the order of things, albeit quietly, and so must accept that my challenge will not necessarily be met with approval. 
It is an odd position to have put myself in. makes me think about zoo animals, and how I see people who stand out in the street, often the people who stand out are society's misfits, the drunks, the addicts, the homeless, the beggars, and the weird, very occasionally the beautiful. It's a strange place to have put myself in, a situation that takes away any semblance of sensible, suburban, safe-thinking, no comfortably sane person would put themselves up as an exhibit, it's a fool's task. 
I will save thinking too much more about the fool for now but there is a part of me that wonders if perhaps that is the space from which I am coming from. The fool as the innocent, as the trusting child. Most of us outgrow this part of ourselves, we have to outgrow this part, or else we cannot thrive, we meet obstacles and as we overcome these obstacles our naivety is somewhat lost. But deep inside of us this elemental character still resides, the need to wonder, to feel delight, to be unwise, to trust is as key to life as more obviously adult facets of our being that help us to navigate our way in the world.
I am back to being. Being is in essence what I am calling visitors who are prepared to see me to consider, my being, their being, our being, the being of this, that and the other, living or unliving. When we talk, if we talk, after a while we seem to meet at a place where we are kind. One visitor said "if only we were all kind then the world would be a better place". 
So what does any of that have to do with identity and clothes, as I am sure I promised I would write about, well it doesn't really so I am sorry for that. The clothes are a thing, because clothes have come up in conversation with one of the other exhibiting artists who wears quite a wild outfit to make his performance art, and I have as result of doing this thought about costumes in film and theatre and so on. My dress for the trail is actually super ordinary in order to be visually unchallenging, I wear a battered hat (this is my concession to costume I think) and jeans and a top that makes no great statement, the picture I want to present is "woman sewing in pastoral setting" a scene that is common and as ageless as a vase of flowers or a child with a ball or a fruit tree or a herd of cows. 
Why have I chosen this as my skin for the exhibition duration ? It's because it's a very real part of who I am. I sew. And sewing is unthreatening. 
My original proposal was to stitch prayers, prayers being of no religious denomination, but more simply the place from which prayer emanates which seems to be common ground. Prayer in this sense is also a deep stream in me and combining stitch with prayer has been part of my creative and personal practice for the past four years and so drawing attention to these elements of my being by being a sculpture feels quite natural and honest and unperformance-y. Which I think is at the crux of finding one's true identity, the man/woman behind the mask, behind the layers that have accrued over years to protect or seduce (more of that at a later date as I feel I am drifting into the comedia dell'arte with all this talk of mask). Earlier I referred to a visitor wishing for kindness to be more prevalent, the word kind stems from old english gecynde meaning natural or native, at other times when prayer is spoken of we all refer to place inside of us which seems to be a manifestation of this natural or native aspect of our being, simple, generous, unblemished and peaceful and unifying. I will follow up on this blog as I hope at least five more days where I will be "working on site" and if the first six days are anything to go by I am in for a lot more thought provoking interaction before those days are up. And maybe that is just how life is, it keeps moving, we can't hold it still, even a seemingly still or fixed thing may find itself covered by that which moves faster and so it's stillness or fixedness cannot resist inevitable change. So Hum. And so hum. Maybe that is why the activities that draw us into our interior selves are so important. Therein we find our eternally newborn selves, our naked selves, free of judgement and censorship, in our vulnerability there we meet, maybe just for a moment, the spirit of prayer, the softness of trust, trust that all shall be well and all shall be well and all shall be well.  


     

Monday, 21 August 2017

Before I go any further with my meandering conversation with myself about identity I want to write up a little bit about the boots and also the Walk a Mile project. 
Quite a while back at the beginning of the summer my facebook-feed threw up a flyer for Zannie Fraser's intergenerational Walk a Mile project, a series of ten free workshops leading up to and culminating in a performance session. Now I don't really see myself as a performer (more about this later) but the project looked really exciting. Zannie is a professional puppeteer working all over Britain using shadow puppets and the project was based around the clothes we wear and the stories that are linked to them. I love clothes, stories, puppets and shadows. And I had crossed paths with Zannie a few years previously when she was researching a work based on Rumplestiltskin so I knew she would be interesting to work with. 
The brief for the first session was to bring an item of clothing with a story. I took my boots, boots that had seen me through the past ten years, four just about identical pairs. Why buy four pairs of the same boot, oh because they fitted like a dream and I don't love shopping but I do love walking. 
The story of these boots really goes back to before I had them. Way back when my children were small and I really was struggling to keep my head above water, I used to read books about the Holocaust. Grim reading you might think, a bit dramatic, maybe. But in bed hungry and cold and feeling wretched and alone they somehow gave me the strength to keep going. I used to think that if people could survive that then i could surely get through what I was going through which was nothing in comparison. 
As a result of reading around this period of history I came across Primo Levi and various books by him including 'If this is Man' and 'The Truce'. One of the things that hit home was how footwear made the difference between survival and demise in the lager at Auschwitz and later on the journey back to Germany. I think good boots may also have came up in 'All Quiet on the Western Front' by Erich Von Remarque which I also read at this time. Anyway the message hit home, especially as I had just spent a winter walking around in boots with holes in the soles because I couldn't afford new ones, that keeping my feet well shod would likely make a difference to my life and ever since then I have had at least one good pair of walking boots. 
The boots that relate to the workshop had only been around for ten years but all of them were/are reaching the end of their days. One pair is no longer useable even in the garden and only two pairs are good for walking, and even they couldn't do the long walks they did back in the day. 
Oh boots. They are only boots, but they are marvellous boots. Boots that hold the memories of that decade. 
One of the things that was very exciting about the workshops was that it was mixed age groups, this is uncommon. The mixing of teenagers with pensioners and myself and Zannie and a couple of assistants in between made for a challenging but very inspiring atmosphere. Sometimes it felt quite chaotic but somehow Zannie would pull us all together and I would always leave with my head full of thoughts brought on by the sessions. Now a month on there are still things that spring back to mind that I'd like to follow through.
But, there was a pitfall, I had seen that the workshops led up to a performance on the flyer, but for a good six or seven weeks I was in denial, I think I was hoping that everyone else would be desperate to be centre stage and that I could hang back in the wings pouring squash or sweeping up or something else kind of menial. However as the performance date drew closer it became clear this was not an option. And I felt unprepared which as someone nervy and unused to performance made the whole shenanigans a tad too much. I bottled it. Or really nearly bottled it.  
But Zannie and her partner Bob came to the rescue, gave up a couple of hours on a sunday mid morning to lunchtime, by the end of which there was something showable. And hats off and gratitude to them for doing that because, as they said at the time, if I'd bottled it I would have been disappointed. 
The night came and each participant and/or piece of clothing got given a moment in the spotlight. And Zannie and Bob showed us the multiple pieces they had been working on which was fascinating and worth the gulping down of stage fright just to see. How they pulled off the show they did in ten weeks is beyond me, I am always astounded at other people's capability and cleverness. Huge hand clap for all the work they put in. 
And oh boots, what a wonderful hero's send off. Those boots have been a part of me and my life. They have been to Cornwall, Devon, Scotland, Wales, Yorkshire, the Lake District, the Dordogne, Italy, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, and all over Norfolk and Suffolk and even a little bit of Kent and London. They have seen me through university, various jobs, rapturous love and desperate deadbeat love and heartbreak and coming back to myself after heartbreak, and illness, and from full-on mothering to my children leaving home and on to becoming granny. Those boots represent a seminal chapter in my life, a period in my history when the changes came so fast they were falling over each other, an exhilarating, exhausting and enormous period of time in my life. And so it seems a bit appropriate that I should have had to face up to one more fear to celebrate their being before they take their final bow. 
Thank you Zannie. 

Sunday, 20 August 2017

But actually, just because this is part of why I wanted to think about clothes I will post these pictures of the boots that have been my companions over the past ten years and took me walking and most recently were the subject of a short performance piece that Zannie Fraser managed to wring out of me over the course of her intergenerational  project - Walk a Mile - that she was working on this summer in which I was a participant. I will write more about this in another blog post because it was a deep learning experience and I want to make notes about it before it fades into yesterday. But for now ... the boots 





Continuing to think about identity. Here's the big question .. who are you ? as the caterpillar said to Alice. Who are you ? Who am I ? 
Stripped back, no family, no friends, no home, no job, who would you be then ? Are you comfortable with that person ? Most of us attach our identity to things outside of ourselves in order to establish our identity. Maybe that is what is so terrifying about Alzheimers and dementia. Perhaps, not just for the sufferer but also those who care. 
Oh woah, that is not where I had planned to go. I had figured to coast around talking about identity being how we dress, who we hang out, yes families but families as a good thing or at least families as a constant. 
But, here is the rub, families are not constant, they shift and change, in the natural order of things children grow up and make lives that do not depend on their parents, parents grow old and die (my parents are both still here, the way we relate may not be perfect but it is still ongoing), siblings part ways and so on. 
Families come in myriad shapes and forms, what suits one may not suit another, the manners of each family vary, some families yield to accommodate newcomers, others not so much. Some newcomers are unbearable, others a welcome addition. 
As a single parent I had to quickly get used to my older two children's father introducing new mothers into the space. Thankfully only two, and both women who my children have benefitted from knowing. I'll admit it hurt, and that there were times i was jealous, struggling on my own it was hard to see him happy. I know that's wrong. But while digging through my catalogue of ugly feelings I may as well get that one out. 
But lets pull back to a more general notion of family. Our first identity is very much visited upon us by the family we are born into, we are good, we are bad, grizzly, easy, pretty, ugly, large, small. It's a natural response to categorise but what if we tie down a person too tightly, squeeze them in to a box that is all wrong, force them to wear a skin that doesn't suit them. 
Adolescence is the first real opportunity children get to take off that skin and try out others. Their friends become their family as they out grow their family of origin. It figures that if your family of origin was a comfortable fit that later when you are gone away you will return but having left it is never quite the same for you cannot return to the innocence of before. 
Lets say that in our quest for identity, we have grown up and left home, and made a family of our own. A self picked family made up of people you really like. They say that we take on the characters of the five people we spend most time with. For many that will be their partner and a mix of workmates and friends. Five is a handful, talk to almost anyone and they will say that they have, at most, a handful of good friends, really good friends, who know them well. So it figures they'd be the ones you keep company with but it's not always the way. 
So looking at identity, we have blood family, the family behind us and sometimes a family in front of us and to the side, and friends and acquaintances who make up our new chosen family. And chances are we may be a slightly, or very, different person according to who we are with. 
I'm going to reference my friend Sally now, who in conversation some weeks back said it's not so much about the other person being right or wrong but do you like who you are when you are with them, are you who you want to be when you are with them. That feels like an interesting spin. 
Am I blithering on ? Yes. How does this connect to identity ? I guess, as I'm really just thinking on to the "page" I'm thinking that this notion of skin, the skin our companions give us when we are with them as part of a collective is all part of the "who am I" conundrum. Those who we find ourselves close to lend their being to our being and borrow, take or steal, a little of ours in exchange. So what you value becomes obvious through the company you keep.  
Where am I going with this ? I'm being long winded and not really getting anywhere maybe. this is not the blog I'd meant to write about how the clothes we wear represent a facet of our identity and so on, but they do. The clothes we wear, the places we go to, the people we hang out with, the things we do, the way we speak, the language we use, our voices. And, well now, maybe that is a path to follow. Who are you when you are stripped back to just a voice ? I'll leave that one hanging and come back to it tomorrow. 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

What is a blog for ? It's hard to judge how much personal life it is appropriate to show in a space where anyone, should they so wish, can see it. And very, very few people are so socially isolated that their lives do not affect others. 
Fore-warned this may be a long ramble, I am thinking about identity. Show me the artist that doesn't come to this at some point in their career. So I'm thinking about how we are perceived and how we perceive ourselves. And the space, if there is one, between those two points of perception. And how difficult it is to control the way we are perceived by others. And how we are shaped as children, and from there through out life by our experiences.
A lot of my work stems from feeling. I think it was Maya Angelou who said something along the lines of you never forget how somebody made you feel, you might forget the words and deeds, but not the feeling. I'm inclined to agree. And here-in maybe lies the essence of a being. 
I'm going to skip about here because that's the way my mind works. Those who are not in touch with their feelings or who would rather be unfeeling in order to block out unpleasant feelings are given to suppressing feeling in others. They are quite often people who will talk in a derogatory way about those they deem over-sensitive. But then those who are very sensitive can be so sensitive that their call for sensitivity also suppresses feeling in others. 
It's a fine line and there is a balance that needs to be struck, but that balance is not a command and control balance, that kind of stability is about domination rather than dialogue, the balance is when both parties are able to meet as equals, when no one voice, no one's needs over-rides another's. But how do we measure, how do we gauge, equity.
One of the ways that we find a small space balance in our everyday lives is to mix with people who are of similar mind, body, being, to us. They mirror, and present no deep challenge. It's about finding birds whose feathers and calls are like enough to your own that they feel like kin. 
Ideally you'll grow up in a family that feels like kin. Ideally that family will develop your sense of self worth so that you have no need to belittle either yourself or others. I don't know how common that is. I grew up in a family where I felt like a misfit, it was hard to get things right and is likely the root cause of my self-doubt and misfit complex. I'll get back to that as doubt and that feeling of not fitting is one facet of my identity.  In times gone by it was very uncomfortable, now it is less so, in some ways mis-fitting now is a license not to conform. I am more likely to say "f*** it, they hate me anyway, what does it matter" whereas previously I might have been cowed or my fights would flare, but then die back, weakened by a desperation to be liked and anxiety and fear of abandonment.
But to get back to feelings. I'm currently working on a body of pieces that is drawn from the sludge. The piece titled "Shirley Boyle" in a previous blog was the first to be born from this mire. It's not pretty feelings I'm dealing with. It's, as I say, the sludge, the dark matter; envy, vengeance, jealousy, social isolation, grudge, shame, cowardice, pride the list goes on and probably the prettiest emotions in there are sadness and anger so it's not comfortable space to be occupying. 
But these horrible feelings are shadows that lurk in all of us to a greater or lesser extent, in different measures. There are some sunny personalities who may be less subject to nastiness but those sunshine souls are not common. Oddly when  that which is nasty is  not acknowledged it gains more hold, more leverage, becomes more obvious and requires more effort to cover. And in covering we reduce our ability to experience the counter side, that which is light and free, and also our ability to break away from our demons. It may be possible to maintain superficial appearances but the need to stay superficial becomes a demon itself for it binds us to shallow gratification and a rotten-ness of soul becomes normal, an acceptance of imbalance that is selfishly shifted towards ourselves.
And I think it's easy to find oneself either in a soup of complacent self satisfaction (see David Cameron) or trapped in loveless relationships that only function on a superficial level.
Actually those shallow relationships have a place in all our lives, the capacity to get on relies on us accepting each other on a superficial level, being genuinely decent and polite. But it doesn't seem like quite enough to sustain a marriage for instance, the need to maintain an appearance of shine at the expense of the inner light drives me crazy, makes me feel like a caged thing. That's another part of my identity perhaps, a need not to be confined. 
So I don't fit and I hate cages. And yet, on lots of levels, I do play the game. Because there are people I deeply care for, and for whom I will subjugate my needs because their needs over-ride my needs. Now the trick with this is to make sure that fair play is being done. It cannot be right for only one party to be doing the giving. And whilst this can be seen close to in relationships, it is also the case that some nations, or groups within nations are taking, or giving, too much 
This giving and taking balance and the need for honesty and integrity beg us to ask am I really getting this right ? Am I really getting this right ? I ask that twice because it's easy to say yes when asked only once, easy to push away doubt, or easy-ish to push away doubt Am I really getting this right ?
This is, in a way, where that which challenges us is often a great opportunity. That which, and those who. Those who challenge us, who are not our flock, whatever our comfort zone is, offer us opportunity to witness another way of life. You can travel a long way to do this, I haven't, but maybe I'd like to some time. Or you can do it with those close by. It could be in-laws, ex's, ex's ex's, workmates, bosses, neighbours, someone who rubs you up a little wrong, or someone who rubs you up a lot wrong. 
Generally the challenge stems from a mis-meeting of manners, mannerisms, and communication style, the superficialities, the delicate structures we have built around ourselves that help us to feel strong and stable. It is politics whether it's negotiating between children, adults, communities or nations, and the ability to recognise another's right to be, to exist, is the starting point. Weirdly that right is often overlooked and so the seed of goodwill is disregarded before negotiations begin.  
I think I may have slipped into brain waffle now, and that which challenges us and how we meet those challenges is a story with a different set of keys to identity so I'll save that for another day. Also this blog has stretched out much longer than I anticipated so I'll close for now and continue further down the line when my thoughts are more clear.

Mmm, post script - as regards how much feeling I put into my blog, how much of my personal life I expose, I think I came to the conclusion a few years ago that as much of my work stems from feeling, or feelings, if I am explaining the thought behind what I am doing I am pretty much bound to lay bare those feelings. Those for whom it is too much I assume will look away.