on not scaring people

I’m trying to decide at what point in living with a new stranger it becomes okay to start trotting out your more alienating quirks. Today, I really wanted to start reassembling my Wall of Inspiration across from my bed, or rather, where my bed will be when I actually get one, but I recognize that a lot of the pictures I find beautiful and inspiring are actually pretty freaky to most everyone else in the world — like my photograph of confederate soldiers, or my picture of Joseph Merrick, Elephant Man, or the four long Henry Darger illustrations, or my pictures from the Cabinet of Art and Medicine, which comprise a series of palsied hands in contorted positions, a photograph of a girl I call Elsie, and a little boy with leprosy who I think of as Simon (no intentional relation to the child I know of the same name — this one simply wouldn’t allow me to call him anything else). There are more: a black and white photo of hungry-eyed street children, a few Diane Arbus pictures, illustrations from old anatomy books, some Egon Schiele postcards, a picture of bombed-out Berlin at the end of WW2 — all people and pictures that make me think, that are connected to stories I’ve chased in my head. But all, well, weird.

I just moved in. I don’t want my roommate to see them and decide that I am actually an insane and dangerous psychopath who might start collecting dismembered body parts in the downstairs freezer chest. But is there ever a good way to quietly let slip to a relatively wholesome and happy roommate that you are terminally morbid?

All so complicated!

In the meantime, to ease the preponderance of self-obsessed drivel that’s overwhelming the blog these days, have some links.
Here’s a cool snippet about a language comprised of whistling from the always-fascinating Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society.
Madeleine L’Engel just died. I propose an internet-wide reread of A Wrinkle in Time. Because what better way to commemorate an author’s passing than by reading her work?
–The Black Heart Gang presents “The Tale of How,” a totally beautiful, whimsical little animation project about an island of strange birds being terrorized by a sea beast.
Children Books of the Early Soviet Era, featuring categories like “Women as Partners” and “The Revolution and Industry.” I really, really like the art style of some of these. Even though the whole site reminds me how covetously I crave an edition of The Great Soviet Encyclopedia.

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~ by Not Alice on September 9, 2007.

2 Responses to “on not scaring people”

  1. Reality is pretty scarry to the sheltered people. I’m sure Merrick would love to have been one of them and I’m sure he would appreciate not being forgotten as his life is a testiment to that kind of prejudice and hatred. Carry on!

  2. I love your blog. We have too much in common.

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