Last night I was re-reading a passage I copied into one of my sketchbooks from an autobiographical essay published in an Australian literary journal, four years ago. I quoted a couple of the lines in one of the watercolours exhibited in Venus In Hell. I also quoted a little of it in one of this blog's earliest entries. It conveys concisely the tumultuous, real world disorder orchestrated by an unbalanced mind. And yet I find it comforting – oddly – because as I read it, I realise I'm nowhere near as mad as I sometimes think I am."I read somewhere that the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick once argued that if two people dream the same dream, it isn’t a dream anymore – it signifies the existence of an alternative reality ... "The insane always occupy multiple realities: their internal narratives are always different to their actual or external experiences. For me, that was complicated by the fact that, when I was unmedicated, the character I adopted for one experience was very different to another that I adopted for a different experience somewhere else. The process was so compelling that I would, for extended periods, devise a complex network of different characters and different lives in different parts of the world, with different relationships, then live intermittently in – and between – them, while blending them all into a fluid mutability that had the parallel narratives and multi-tiered options of a computer game. Except the game engine was an invisible me – solitary, sentient, egomaniacal and more than a little crazy.
"These days, medication gives me the possibility of sustained reason, of a reliable perception of the present. But the same cannot be said of what I remember so I am disenfranchised from my past, condemned to roam in search of a future."