It looks like I'm channelling the Old Bag in the painting behind me. Maybe I did have her in the back of my mind while I was posing, but I was really trying to look Coquettish.
The photo instantly took me back to the early eighties when I was heavily involved in what was then known as The Personal Growth or the Human Potential Movement. My mother preferred to call it A Cult.
I spent thousands of dollars attending weekly courses & weekend workshops with names like 'Becoming a Complete Person' & 'Own Your Own Life' & 'The Breakthrough Course'.
'The Breakthrough' was a completely scary eight day course held in a horrible run down country hotel where our watches & any other Personal Crutches were taken away from us by & they wouldn't let us go to the bathroom for hours & hours. I kid you not.
It didn't do a thing for me, except perhaps to make me More Scared. Just what I needed.
The Charismatic Course Leaders believed in the Importance of Releasing Anger . One of their favourite group activities was to get participants hitting rubber baseball bats on mattresses while encouraging them to yell & scream, which was called 'Catharting'. If you 'Cartharted' long enough, you'd inevitably fall into a 'Past Life Regression', where of course you'd be taken back to playing with crystals in Atlantis, or find yourself somewhere deep inside the Pyramids in Ancient Egypt. Atlantis & Ancient Egypt were Must-See Destinations in any Past Life Experience. Sadly, I never got to go there.
But the worst experience I had was when they made individual videos of each course participant. You had to walk up to a video camera, then talk for a few minutes about yourself & say what you hoped to get out of the course. Then you had to sit in a huge group & watch all the videos, including your own. While you watched, everyone had to write little notes about each person & then hand the notes to them With Love. Just about everyone wrote really nasty stuff like 'You're hiding behind your beard' or 'Stop Game Playing' or 'I feel Your Fear'.
Someone wrote about me, 'Love Me, I'm Helpless'. I remember being really devastated but of course pretending that it was the best, most honest feedback I'd ever had, & thank YOU so much for sharing.
Well, that's what today's expression reminds me of. But in an amusing way. And so what if it's true?
I'm also showing off my wonderful new gift. My colleague, Princess P brought me back the faux Chanel black beads from Hong Kong. I loved wearing them in just one long strand, but everyone else disagreed.
I'll think I'll stick with my own judgement.