Wednesday, August 29, 2007
An Existential Interlude
The absence of posts for the last week was due to my being on holiday in Paris from Thursday until Sunday, and to my being back at school since Monday just gone. Posts from this on will occur regularly though not as frequently as I have preparation work to do for class, and also I am often too tired to write or even to think. So there will be a delay to my reflections on understanding what I mean or more correctly what I think is meant by personality. In the meantime I offer here another exercise in stream of consciousness, but one offered for all those lovely human beings in our world who may suffer like X from a mental illness. My own mental illness as I have pointed out in these pages is endogenous depression which thankfully has been successfully treated for the last 7 or 8 years. Hence, I subscribe to the wonderfully insightful phrase "wounded healer." Oftentimes these latter are the best healers of the "crooked timber of humanity" as Immanuel Kant so wonderfully described the human condition.
My wish for You (A Stream of Consciousness Exercise)
(For X, following a gap of four years. X, who shall remain anonymous, suffers from schizophrenia)
I wish I could write words that tapped into the roots of wisdom to give some hope to you in your lost-world your glasshouse-world your in-between-worlds-existence lost deep inside inside so deep that sometimes I find myself in my sleep dreaming of you there imprisoned in your own mind and I powerless to reach you so ill-defined so scattered so broken so disunited but I tried always to reach you yes I tried and that I suppose is all I could have done and the ways these words behave is all out of control like bold boys with a weak and foolish teacher who can give no direction at all at all because all is chaos in your world where things happen that we cannot see or even conceive but yes what’s real for you is real for you so real that I see the little frightened girl in you draw back in fright and freeze not knowing why you’re scared and petrified but that gnawing emptiness inside you is afraid to be filled to be smothered to be choked with anything other and even my love which once I thought so rich but now I know is only a projection of something within me that I counted too valuable for it is a cheap thing now in comparison is unable to reach you where you are on another bank beyond the rivers of reality flowing so fast between us and I’m left distraught that I’m powerless to help but that is what I have to accept and all those letters that I wrote thinking they might cheer were so in vain because I had not realised at all how sick you were how far removed you were how scattered all the little bits and pieces of the jigsaw of your very self without a pattern shapeless amorphous and without reaction like your smile-less face so serious so expressionless that once I sought to find what could make you smile oh how I longed to make you smile oh how I longed to win a smile a smile for me and especially even a small smile for you but that was hard for you to do and you so longed to be of help to others but you could not even be of help to yourself and at night you wept silent tears for all the things you couldn’t do or say for the person who you longed to be for even your tamest dreams you could not dare embrace and your bags were often packed and unpacked packed again unpacked again and again and on and on but sadly you could not go beyond that sorry symbol of stagnation how I once wished you could have been mine but now I know that such was never possible because you were never you or yours to give so sad the song of a lost soul lost lost lost forever in a cloudy nebulous in-between world I couldn’t reach, you were never you or yours to give so how could I receive and so I rest content that I tried once, twice, three times and so many others to go where you were but alas I could not reach such lostness I could not reach wherever you were and are and so I rest happy that at least I tried I wish you well so well my wish for you is to find your long lost self and embrace it as your best of friends your best of friends so gentle so you so found so possibly not lost some day some time found not lost found found found so singularly found found found found forever more found
In a way the above stream of consciousness exercise without the structure of punctuation reflects the disorder and disunity experienced by what Laing calls the ontologically insecure. From my own experience of depression, I could describe my disorientation as my brain being hijacked by thoughts which ran riot and so out of control that the thoughts were thinking me rather than my thinking the thoughts. Perhaps the experience of schizophrenia may be similar existentially for the sufferer.
Above I have placed a picture I took of the wood of a dead tree in Newbridge House summer 2006