“What’s wrong with me? I lose my footing, in here.” He touched his head. “When a neuro-typical looses their footing, they yell or escape to the TV, or maybe the doctor throws them on depression meds. But when I slip, I fall all the way through. I feel the ground give way and I’m gone. It’s a crack — a crack in what’s real, and beneath there I’m stuck. Then, I guess I become someone else. Mom says I still know my name, but I walk a different world. The shrink calls it DID — Dissociative Identity Disorder — with a little added autism to spice up my other personality. I suppose he’s right, but only I know how it feels to slip through the cracks. Then the monster shows up.”
The mental reactions of the inmates of a concentration camp must seem more to us than the mere expression of certain physical and sociological conditions. Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, insufficient food and various mental stresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways, in the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him-mentally and spiritually. He may retain his human dignity even in a concentration camp.
― Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Liberation of Mauthausen, Public Domain Image via US Army
Everyone carries an atmosphere about him. It may be healthful and invigorating, or it may be unwholesome and depressing. It may make a little spot of the world a sweeter, better, safer place to live in; or it may make it harder for those to live worthily and beautifully who dwell within its circle.
To the Greeks, the word “character” first referred to the stamp upon a coin. By extension, man was the coin, and the character trait was the stamp imprinted upon him. To them, that trait, for example bravery, was a share of something all mankind had, rather than means of distinguishing one from the whole.
―Edith Hamilton, The Greek Way
I hear the Wind Woman running with soft, soft footsteps over the hill. I shall always think of the wind as a personality. She is a shrew when she blows from the north — a lonely seeker when she blows from the east — a laughing girl when she comes from the west — and tonight from the south a little grey fairy.
…And the barrens were such a splendid place in which to play hide and seek with the Wind Woman. She was so very real there; if you could just spring quickly enough around a little cluster of spruces — only you never could — you would see her as well as feel her and hear her. There she was — that was the sweep of her grey cloak — no, she was laughing up in the very top of the taller trees — and the chase was on again — till, all at once, it seemed as if the Wind Woman were gone…
Nature is a great source of inspiration for creatives of all types. Lina Cofán takes a whimsical look at cacti.
Lina Cofán was working as a performance and theater based artist in Berlin when she decided to move back to Spain and pursue an interest in ceramic sculpture. The majority of her pieces are plants, specifically cacti. Cacti come in a wealth of textures and shades of green to which Cofán adds her imagination and skill. The result is simply enchanting.
Cofán’s creations are life size, rendered with playful ridges in glowing greens that delight the eye. From barrel shaped to tall saguaro, from prickly pear to pincushion, these quirky cacti have an astonishing amount of personality.
Please check out Lina Cofán’s website. I hope to see and learn more about this talented artist in the future.
“Marjan. I have told him tales of good women and bad women, strong women and weak women, shy women and bold women, clever women and stupid women, honest women and women who betray. I’m hoping that, by living inside their skins while he hears their stories, he’ll understand over time that women are not all this way or that way. I’m hoping he’ll look at women as he does at men–that you must judge each of us on her own merits, and not condemn us or exalt us only because we belong to a particular sex.”
―Shahrazad in Shadow Spinner, by Susan Fletcher
We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.
―Mark Lawrence, King of Thorns