A meeting of minds

So, this evening I travelled up to Sussex Uni to see Tim Andrews, a 61 yr-old PWP, give a presentation on his ongoing project, Over the Hill. Now, I usually begin from a point of scepticism, and I’d read about this gentleman, in the Guardian I believe, and, to be frank, I had been deeply unimpressed. But, like Keynes, when presented with new facts (that is, Tim himself and the images), I changed my mind. Readers, I was wrong.
We sat and watched the unfolding of a man. Mostly naked (his ‘iconic structure’ in full view), as PD people tend to be. Not literally, just in terms of emotions. For some reason this disease makes evangelicals of us. We spray our words onto the page, expose our bodies to the raw air and the coruscating glare of the camera, spit our simile-less scribbling straight into our audience’s hearts. No mediation, and yet all mediation, bypassing the medium and seemingly crawling directly into the seat of the emotions. Walking contradictions, illness and person simultaneously, but always more one than the other, never quite achieving equilibrium. In fact, never getting close to not quite achieving equilibrium.
It was strange, sitting in the audience, knowing that no-one suspects, no-one knows … we watch the videos, listen to the narrative. The thing is, even though the disease presents differently in everyone, there’s a shared experience that’s undeniable, a sort of collective consciousness, the ties that bind. The talons that eat into the flesh, melting through the bone and stopping, the bone re-ossifying, solidifying, closing round the talons which onc had sought to grasp the bone. The grasper grasped, the biter bit …
This disease sucks. But in many ways it’s true to say it produces meaning where once there was none.

2 thoughts on “A meeting of minds

  1. Yes. l am awake at 6am and l am wondering what you are doing, Pete. l have just read some of your very interesting book and tthen re-read your blog entry about my talk. l’m glad you changed your mind about me. That’s all….for now!

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