Ponderings from the essential shadow

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I’ve been exploring through my thoughts on the experiences and pain that many of us share – yet seem to continue thinking are completely individual to each other.
I’ve been sifting through on my own ordeals of doing that exact same thing – my previous refusal to release the sovereignty of trauma. As if it was the only that actually made me special.
So if not the individual, where does it come from?

The disregard and nonchalance that our society bequeaths upon those openly experiencing loneliness, depression and acts of self-harm is abhorrent.
It’s so much more than a cry for help or attention – it’s a deep festering cultural wound that touches us all. Perhaps thats why we are so reluctant to talk about it without smothering it with medicinal bandaids and pillow talk of “Shhh it’ll all be okay”. It’s a shameful trigger that something has befallen upon us so vehemently that it has come to this level of extremity.

After copious years of it’s prominence this has become learned behaviour. Passed down through generations. It’s very much developed in to genetic and environmental trauma.
This is far too big to be swept under the rug of demanded and addictive positive thought.
It’s not a coincidence that in a world devoid of elders, initiation and community guidance 1 in 12 of youth teeter towards suicidal thoughts and acts of self harm…. of which generally starts around puberty.

Myself included. For over 10+ years, starting at age 12 – and still only the brave and some (not me) would call crass ask me where all my scars came from. And thats just the ones on the outside.
Yet when the people who suffer speak up they are instantly met with dehumanization, condescending coddling and made to feel like an infectious pariah. The majority at large do not want to be reminded of their shadow, their perceived failures and even more so want nothing to do with that which reminds them of their mortality; especially death.
I made it out of the deepest depths, mostly. Many others did not and will not. Something has to change – like now. You know it, I know it – and it’s doable; but not in conjunction with the continuous ignorant acts of peremptory blind-sightedness.

We are all here together floating in space, hurting, loving, feeling, longing and creating – If we want to heal ourselves individually it’s time we start to comprehend what it means to truly heal as a collective first. To support each other, regardless of the fearfulness that surrounds us, regardless of the mirrors that it provides. We need to heal this together.

(and as a life long advocate of extreme independence that’s a damn hard thing for me to say – IE “I was wrong, this can not be done alone”)

Ponderings from the essential shadows of Humanity

To be continued….

What is the Sacred function of the Artist?

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We as Human beings come in many shapes and forums, many talents, skill-sets, and a multifaceted mindset collectively filled with all the tools it takes to build a culture that sustains and celebrates all that is alive; or once was – and on another level still is. Some of us identify as Artists.

We cannot afford to waste these human gifts – some in the midst of fading in to “the nothing” through lack of use. We urgently need to learn how to nurture the creative nature; not be consumptive of it. This Balance of magic and science, of masculine and feminine, of Darkness and Light; this will save us from oblivion.

Creatives are at an all time high risk for mental illness; in particular Depression (I can vouch for that personally) and according to Psychologists it -at least partially- stems from “a problem with filtering or gating the many stimuli that flow into the brain.” For this reason some Writers, Artists, and Musicians craft their lives in order to be isolated from human contact for prolonged periods of time.
But what if there were people taught and put in to the esteemed position of nurturing those wandering in their art’s pilgrimage?
Not seeing them with pity as the “Mentally Ill” but with respect as the Mentally Courageous.
What if it didn’t have to be done alone? What if it was never supposed to be that way to begin with?

Depression is never an sudden onset – rather with a molasses approach so slow that it tends to sneak up on us; as it “it just suddenly happened”. Depression rather is a process that begins with a denying or refusing to acknowledge painful and difficult feelings; laced with the stigma of weakness we are taught to sink or swim. Depression is usually triggered by a significant trauma; whether self aware or not, or a reoccurring trauma. Of which often leaves us feeling “different”, “Lonely”, “weird” (lets face it If being creative means being “odd” to some extent) or as a whole “UNSEEN”.

Through this we develop defence mechanisms and “walls” that keep us from fully expressing and processing our grief, and as such from fully stepping in to ourselves because we -and our gifts- are not outright held and honoured by a community. Sure there are often spikes of praise and admiration – but those don’t always lead to worthiness and social standing – beyond plastic transient celebrity status. We become terminally independent and gravely reluctant to trust anyone (even those we claim to and desire desperately to trust). As such this sense of worthiness ebbs and flows far too much to build credence or a solid foundation underneath it. So it shatters, again and again.

These consistencies in denying painful and difficult feelings lead to a significant struggle in being able to identify pleasant and positive feelings; or the deep sorrow that is needed to work through our shadows. And then a struggle to feel them at all.
So comes the “dead inside” feeling (if you can call it a feeling at all) – a neither here nor there; neither positive or negative state of being that harbours no space for inspiration; progression, and go ground to sow the seeds of love – externally or internally.

So we crave the small bits of validation and attention that feed us – then we will purge them at the first sign of dependance; we seek that of which we have no lived experience of. And we remember; only through pure ancestral reminiscence and perhaps blind faith that it must have existed once, that there must have been a time or place where everyone was honoured and seen in their individual way.
For clarities sake when I say seen, I mean not in a hierarchal fashion but as a small part of a larger story; as something of value outside of the instant soup, vending machine; jukebox broken culture that houses us now.

We as artists lament these feelings in our work, the only way we know how to and still be heard. Even if we don’t mean to; we subconsciously leave ourselves bread crumbs of recognition and recollection – not just for our own benefit but for those in our wake; as well as for those others around us that cannot step in to and digest the darkness that we do
– From behind the veil of what is corporeal and physically tangible we bring back for them (even if we don’t mean to) what they could not fathom gathering. We bring back philosophy, and stories, we bring back song and dance, we bring new vision – we bring it back from a place so obscure, wild and treacherous that we often get lost there to.
And for what?

Because of some level, we remember the sacred task of the artist. And on some level we long to be held within that task as perhaps we once were.

So until then we wait – we build foundations and journey on in the wild untamed imagination; half blind and half mad – we wait.

– AppleCat​

Art Credit: http://loulin.deviantart.com/art/The-storyteller-s-cave-183758287

Depression

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These battles we fight from within; demons called forth by a cracked culture and fed by -and from- the self; or malignant darkness created by the disillusioned self and fed by the ravenous unquenchable culture. The pendulum swings both ways; whilst we tread water from bellow, swimming in a tumultuous sea; swarming with hungry pharmaceuticals and commercialized dead end solutions.

A helping hand
ear
heart
thought;
a kind regard;purpose and faith in the form of progression and community; this is the prescription that may not cure; but subdue the so called mentally unstable; the bi polar; the differently wired folk….. who aren’t as different as it may seem given the populous.

Becoming is the most painful thing we will ever have to endure; aside from the consequence of the lack there of.

“You are a very real person in a very fake world; this is why you feel so much pain”
– Unknown

My time, my subjective wisdom, my inspiration, my empathy, my joy, my chaos, and most of all my heartbreak: they can be held back but never quelled. Rushing like a mad river of savage humanity once the faulty foundations of societal bullshit crumble
again
and again
and
again.

I do not wish to be alone; yet as we all tumble with, I do not wish to be burdensome.

These wars we fight as singularities; I fight too. Each day I stare in to the nothing place and it threatens to devour me whole. Each day I spit in the face of it’s appetence and whisper softly

“Not today my friend”

Oh Captain

Becoming is the most painful thing we will ever have to endure; aside from the consequence of the lack there of.

Robin Williams was a man I used to have deep elongated fantasies about as a child, I dreamed he was my Father; in nearly every character I saw him as I wished so hard that he (or the personification of him I had imagined) would look at me the way his characters looked at the children/family he loved.
The Birdcage, The Dead Poets society, Mrs Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, Hook, Patch Adams. In all these movies within my child self stirred the desire to be lead, guided, loved, held safely, defended, understood and taught.
His kind crow footed eyes, cheeky smile and knowing grin never seised to give me hope; not that I would ever have that; but that I had the capacity to be that to others.
He was my ideal of strength; and now he is gone.

It hurts so much to exist, truly exist not just be. Sometimes it seems just so easy to give up, or makes attempts to do as such.
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