Monday, December 29, 2008

In Two Minds, Or More

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."

5 comments:

Kate said...

"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."

You are amazing Hazel - so eloquent!

You don't think you are already into your future maybe?

Janet D. said...

umm, re-read what hazel wrote about these words. SHE didn't write them. they're actually from a well-known Australian writer.

Kate said...

LOL - apologies Hazel...

I thought that last paragraph was yours.

artcanyell said...

Does anyone here read Dorothy Porter and her poetry novels? She sadly passed away very recently only reaching her early 50s. Life is so short and talent so rare. I just discovered her writing earlier this year and loved it.

fish said...

The mind is both fascinating and unbelievable frightening. That excerpt makes me think of all the degrees of reality people experience. Like awareness bubbles popping.