Saturday, August 17, 2013

One picture, one story

I wrote my first own story when I was 15. It was three pages (small letter), and I was quite excited about it. Even more: I felt proud, for I was 200% sure that I was a complete disaster in any aspect of life, so those three pages in my hands could mean something. I hesitated, but I finally gave that story to my father for him to read it. He came back five minutes after. In a stern look, he just said "stop wasting time and our effort in this nonsense" and gave me the story back.

His answer didn't stop me from writing stories. It only taught me to hide from him and my mother when I felt like writing, for any other activity than studying in my room was forbidden since then. I didn't produce much anyway: the stress of their often irruptions (it was also forbidden for me to close the door), almost literally breathing behind my neck to make sure I wasn't doing any other than commanded, wasn't too inspiring.

A few years later, I trusted someone as to show this first story. His reply caught me by surprise, for I never thought I could be writing more than just a story. He realized, and he was right, that the dark creatures from the story were indeed representing my parents. He knew about my situation at my parents' (a place I never called "home") but still, or perhaps because of that, encouraged me to continue writing. Maybe he knew more than I could see at that moment, that letting my mind fly free could help me relieving from the stress that was living with my parents.

Years go by, life has many twists, and I don't get any real chances of trying again to write. The "need to" is there, but the situations to face don't leave much space to it. I land into SL, and slowly, I begin doing it again: writing. Now I'm adult enough as to know that I have to please no one with my writings. It's something between my mind and me. As I've mentioned other times, I'm well aware I'm not too prolific. I wish I could. I try.

Although I'm a bookworm and a fan of text, I'm enjoying the possibilities in SL to create images that tell a whole story, then think a brief caption summarizing every detail, and leave the rest to the imagination of everybody else reading it. I'm sure that everybody else's interpretation would differ of my true intention behind the caption, and that makes it even more interesting.

This week it seems I'm on a roll (for my usual production time), and I've made this twice.

For (Topless) Tuesday, I played a bit with some poses in a prop-room, and when I saw myself lying on the floor, I couldn't avoid thinking of a junkie needing the next dose and despising herself as to give her body to the first stranger that came in just to have it. My mind jumped immediately from "physical drugs" to "psychological drugs," as the need of company and attention when this need is sick, the denial to oneself of the real solitude once in that self destructive spiral, and the caption basically wrote itself.

"I could blame it to loneliness. But it's me. I chose the wrong path of opening my doors to strangers. Now I want it to stop, but I'm already tied to my delusion of company. I need more."

(In Flickr: Attention Whore)

I like exploring those feelings, in an attempt to better understand the motivations behind what we could consider "not too sane behaviours". At times I find people wanting to escape from the problem they created themselves and not knowing how to do it, at times I find true monsters that use pity and social conventions to manipulate others. Independently of my opinion about the motivations, I like the journey of trying to understand how the mind works, specially how a sick mind works, how a deluded person lies to themselves to avoid facing the monster that is looking back straight in the eye when they find a mirror.

Then yesterday, I was arranging a small, romantic area for couples, next to the store (open to everybody). A small open "summer house", then outside a table for having dinner, and while sitting on one of the couches, I was trying out night windlight settings that would look good with the table. When one made everything to go dark with the exception of the light coming from outside ("Phototools- Lo Light 01"), I saw the projector light standing out, and again the caption popped in my mind.

"There are moments when my mind shuts the lights off and plays its own movie. That's my clue for break time."

(In Flickr: Hallucination)

I know that I meant at least two things with this caption. One meaning talks about your mind flying, imagining, creating new stories. Take a break and let all that creativity flow. The second meaning, though, is quite darker.

Obsession, depression, paranoia, psychosis... I wonder if people suffering them do realize that their minds turn each time darker in their descent to insanity. As far as I know, in all those cases, people see things that don't exist. These things they see might be feelings ("I hate her, she's horrible", "nobody loves me", "she doesn't deserve that position", "I do everything wrong"...) It might be fabrications about situations that never happened ("you never came to visit me" -when the visit actually happened-, "this is a confabulation against me", "I never attempted to poison my sister", "I fired her because she was stealing" -she caught you stealing and reported it- ...)

At times, the mind snaps and tops the fabricated feelings with the projection into reality of images and sounds that physically aren't there, but they are real, scary real, for you: you hallucinate. Reality and fantasy are now completely mixed up in your perception. It's time to take a break.

Insanity is one big taboo, and perhaps because of that, people are reluctant to be treated when their mind needs a break, and a cure. "If people know this, they'll outcast me, they'll label me forever". And so many run and quickly scream out "I am not crazy!"

Aren't you?

Anyway, I digress. My own clue, to take a break here. Have a great day :-)


  1. I think you and Whiskey Monday would get on well.

    Pep (The ability to express yourself in BOTH words and images is a gift and a powerful tool.)

    1. Whiskey is a person I wish I'll meet someday. Normally I would feel intimidated, but she seems to be quite close to the ground.

      It has been fortunate that, as a result of my resignation a year ago, among others, now I have more time I can devote to the feeds. It was because of a mention of yours that I found her and her work.