Tuesday, February 10, 2009
This page, from a ~ hm, what was it? - comic book I made when I was in my early teens, has lingered in my imagination. Maybe it's because capturing the look of a mad person sticks with you.
The book was called "Phage" ~ I'd just added the word to my vocabulary and I was fascinated by the sound and meaning of it. Before this booklet - an early convergence of poem and images - I kept a Dream Journal, two illustrated notebooks that I loaned, unfortunately, to a friend in high school. His parents, who fancied themselves psychologists, (his father turned out to be a chiropractor, if that tells you anything...) told him he'd better terminate his association with me because I was a schizophrenic.
(He! I was thrilled at the potential glamor of exploiting that rumor, and didn't like him that much anyway... besides, he never gave my journals back. I'd rather be schizo than a thief.)
The lark of it was that by that time I was studying, as it was called in those days, "the art of the mentally ill" - looking for clues as to how the imagination works in the examples of pathological deviance. I could have corrected his parent's diagnosis. I wasn't losing contact with my environment, or losing my identity, I was taking a hand in enhancing both.
The Dream Journals were working towards a practice of lucid dreaming, and that, I think, IS dangerous territory ~ but then, what isn't? The lucid dreaming wouldn't begin in earnest until my late teens. I promised an update on that to Mary Beth, and it's on the way, just as soon as I figure out how to digest it.