*Personal Post – Writer getting real – Longreads*
© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.
The soldiers are unseen
Camouflaged in skin
Their weapons are lethal
They are elements of torture
They have captured me
Stretched out on a rack
Every muscle screams in protest
Every muscle held in a vice-like grip of agony
My jaw is locked shut
My eyes are blinded as the blades enter
My mouth is slack with pain
My fists tied down, tightly clenched
The torture has only just begun
My body fights to find an inner strength
The needles pierce the back of my neck
I am held in place, too weak to struggle
I try to call out for mercy
I am ready to confess anything
The needles enter my skull
There are hundreds of them
The prison is too bright for me to see
Shadowy figures surround my body
Slowly I feel the needles draining my veins
I try to release the bindings on my limbs
They use my body as a pincushion
I have no more strength to fight
I can feel the weakness take over
My mind tries to fight, to shout
I open my eyes
I stare into blinding white light
The needles in my skull blind me
Bile rises up from my empty insides
I search for the unseen enemy
These faceless soldiers dealing in torment
I open my eyes and see a figure before me
It looks familiar, a faint echo of disbelief
The reflection is myself
My very flesh the rack of agony
I lose hope, I lose the battle against my skin and bone
My body is my battleground, my flesh the enemy torturing me
This is my invisible reality. This is the Bell Jar that hangs suspended over my life. My Bell Jar is: Chronic Migraine. A genetic neurological disorder.
This is not something I speak about often. Partially because it is a fairly invisible illness. Partially because so many people don’t understand what the difference is between headache, migraine and then chronic migraine is. Partially because I do not like admitting vulnerability. Partially because of the inherent shame and guilt I have in having an invisible illness.
But no more shame and no more guilt. No more “invisible” illness. Living life is about embracing all of life, the good and the bad, the strengths and the vulnerabilities. This monster that turns my body into a torture chamber has been my constant companion for the last 18 years and counting. For the last 6 years this companion has become a jealous and possessive monster determined to isolate me from those who truly love me. This monster does not live under my bed or in the cupboard like the Bogey Man. This monster has taken permanent and unwelcome residence in my exploding head.
Migraine is so much more than a bad headache.
Continue reading “The Naked Writer…Exposing My Bell Jar #iiwk14 #invisibleillness”
Well this week, I have been inspired by Salvador Dali and his paintings. He declared himself a genius and I would have to agree. The man had a gift for tapping into the sub-conscious and dreaming states.
a 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind, for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images.Launched in 1924 by a manifesto of André Breton and having a strong political content, the movement grew out of symbolism and Dada and was strongly influenced by Sigmund Freud. In the visual arts its most notable exponents were André Masson, Jean Arp, Joan Miró, René Magritte, Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Man Ray
Salvador Dali is perhaps the most recognised and famous of the surrealist artists of the early 20th century. He produced over 1500 paintings in his lifetime. The most famous of these paintings was titled: The Persistance of Memory. In it the most recognisable feature is melting clocks. There have been many interpretations of the inspiration behind this painting. The most accepted inspiration was Einstein’s theory that time is relative and not fixed. This theory fits in perfectly with the surrealistic movement. Legend goes that he was inspired by watching melting camembert cheese.
If you have not seen the painting, The Persistance of Memory, google it or better yet go the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and view it. It is truly a fascinating painting. This painting is one of my favourite paintings. Whenever I look at it I find something new in it to inspire me.
So for this week’s Monday Mental Muscles I am going to get you to exercise the muscle of memory. Memory is something that forms who you are. You learn from past mistakes. You remember circumstances that make you happy. You remember the sound of a voice of someone you love. Memory has the rare ability to allow us to travel through time and space for a moment. Memory and Dreams are connected. Our dreams are rooted in our memories of the day’s happenings or memories that haunt us. In the same way story telling uses our power of memory recall to flesh out our characters and to make a story livable and believable. Memory is intangible. Memory is fluid. Memory is changeable. Memory is subjective to the emotions we have at the root of a specific memory. So using the inspiration of The Persistance of Memory where time is relative and unfixed along with the fluidity and unpredictability of human memory I have come up with some writing exercises for you this week.
Of course the rules again: are that you do at least one of these writing exercises this week; that if you blog about them, link back to this blog; and lastly but not leastly that you feel free to pay it forward by passing on these exercises to other people.
- Write an essay of a childhood memory but focus on the emotions that you felt as a child at that time.
- Write down a memory of your main character and how that memory has affected their personality.
- Write down the first memory you can ever remember and then close your eyes and imagine yourself back in that moment.
Happy trails down memory lane…
© All rights reserved Kim Koning.