In the absence of words…

I’ve wondered how best to begin writing my blog once again.  Indeed, perhaps I have been suffering a harsh bout of writer’s block and apathy.  Okay, I concede that writer’s block is not a fairly accurate description of what has (or has not) been happening as I have actually written a fair amount since my last posting… just not here. 😉 

The apathy, however…

It remains unknown to me:  the first moment that my eyes closed to the world, my ears failed to hear spoken words, my body refused to sense external and internal emotionality…  My memory brings me back only to the moment of darkness, a darkness that surrounded my entire being, shutting down access to everything and everyone. 

This was not despair.  This was not anhedonia.  This was (and still is) apathy.   Perhaps a better word to choose would be stoicism in its most holistic meaning.

I imagine reading such words might prove shocking for some who know me.  Truly, my realization of what has been happening was comparative to being doused by a bucket of ice water.

To see not in the extremes of good or bad, to be not in the extremes of glad or sad, to wake each day without hope or despair, to greet each person as neither friend nor foe… this is the result of my process for the last two months or so.  A prevailing sense of calm has descended upon me.  It reminds me of the still moments in heat of summer when we become too tired to think or to move, or even before and after the fall of heavy snow or rain when the world is overcome by the awe of nature.  For a brief moment, we recognize that we must hide or perhaps we have been hiding in order to protect.

It is fair to say that I have been weathering a storm of loss, betrayal, grief, anxiety, and anger for over a year now.  It is equally fair to say that I have been showered with love, friendship, family-connection, opportunities, and creativity.  Still, what is to come now?  What can I make of this moment in my life now that the pendulum of life has stopped swinging, now that it seems to be decidedly in the middle?

I have decided to be content with my apathy.  After all, I have made it through…

Now, it is time to begin a new story (literally and figuratively).

Until next time,

D.

P. S.  I promise to be less disjointed in my next posting. 🙂  Thanks also to everyone who stopped by! Truly, it means a lot to me.

An art to nothingness…

Angel at Protestant Cemetery, photography by Diedré M. Blake (2011).

Haunting the grounds of the non-Catholic Cemetery in Testaccio is one of my favourite pastimes.  No, it isn’t a morbid preoccupation with death.  Rather the grounds remind me more of a garden filled with statues than a place within which the dead find their rest.

There is a strange comfort there, a silence amidst the chaos and cacophony created by the permanent flow of traffic on Via Marmorata.  Amongst the blooming flowers and ripened fruit, the lush grass and aged stones, the stalking black cats and the cawing of countless birds; one can find peace. One can find joy in being and not being.

A home to artists of all modalities and various nationalities, the Cemetery captures in death the beauty of what a life can be, or rather how in death a life can be celebrated and remembered.

You may wonder why I have chosen to write about this today.  Perhaps it is because I hold this place dear and find it offers me solace during this winter that, in many ways, has been so very isolating. Perhaps it is because I wish that more people knew about the Cemetery and would visit it in order to experience its beauty.  Truly, I have no definitive reason.

"True Mirror Image," photography by Dolores Juhas (2010). Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

Today a conversation with a young friend on the subject of needing and seeking attention gave me pause for thought.  It made me wonder why we sometimes desire so strongly to be acknowledged as separate from, unique, and at the same time yearn for admiration from others… so much so that we sometimes end up creating walls between ourselves and others in an effort to validate and justify our existence.  At the end of it all, is it really so meaningful to perceive of differences between ourselves and others?  To perceive of ourselves as better or worse than?  To harbour desires  for continuous acknowledgement?…

There is an art to nothingness, to letting go of self-definition, to letting go of existential crises, to opening oneself up to a connection with others that may mean a perceived loss of self, even if temporarily.  It is the moment when our combined silence is more profound than the air that usually escapes our lips in order to give shape to words that ought to give meaning but rarely do.  It is the moment when we find ourselves without need for labelling others, including ourselves, and see that the barriers we thought stood between us only existed within our minds.

The struggle to defend the “I” of who we are as individuals ends as we come to realize that we are all equally “You.”  We are created alone and uncreated alone.  What lies in the midst of this process need not be solitude bred from defense of self against others, bred from  the desire to achieve somethingness.  For what are we all to become in the end?

Until next time…

Best,

D.

self-portrait, photography by Dolores Juhas

Photographs are by Croatian photographer, Dolores Juhas, whose work has been featured in such magazines as Italian Vogue.  You can visit her website at http://www.dolores-juhas.tk or email her: d_juhas@yahoo.co.uk.  She has her own blog at http://themax.bloger.hr