I remember a long time ago, my friend Renee mentioned that a mutual friend was enrolled in a college class called, “Crazy Women Writers”. My interest was immediately piqued, because one of my very favorite, possibly my very favorite, kinds of writers and kinds of literature were the works-of-crazy-women type.
In recent years, I was unable to read books by crazy writers — male or female. I was unable to watch disturbing movies, especially if the type of disturbance was psychological. Also, I had a lot of trouble listening to or reading the news, I avoided it and if I was exposed to a story that demonstrated man’s tendencies to be less-than-humane or worse, I quaked in fear and horror.
But as of late and to my great great joy, I am once again enjoying and savoring the works of some of my old favorite crazy women writers, as well as some new, young ones. I found myself ordering all of Lauren Slater’s books at the library… Lauren Slater’s writing is notable I think first for it’s creative language-play (and here I’m deeply jealous) and second for not letting any repression or fear of public opinion stand in the way of self-expression–and I admire that! But more than those things, I like Lauren Slater’s writing because her personal experience and her mind have wandered to places far, far beyond– places that seem magical, mysterious, frightening, interesting and unconquered — uncharted territories.
The fact that once again, I can fully enjoy reading the books of crazy women writers, indicates to me, like nothing else that my own state-of-mind is more-or-less stable.
Yes, for a while there I was, well…at least kind of crazy! And that wasn’t my first go-around, but my second! It was during the crazy time, that my mind was too intensely and precariously fragile–like the finest crystal or a gaping wound– to even consider, much less indulge myself in and enjoy, any of the craziness outside myself–it was just too overwhelming, too perilous, too much!!
From the vantage-point today of ground that I can stand on, that has some solidity, a mind that can take things somewhat for granted and not see absolutely everything in its mysterious existential strangeness, I can assure you that there is a quality to craziness that is finer in experience than any known by the sane and normal world, more precisely-tuned, exquisite. As lost and as dark, as lonely and terrifying as the crazy place is, it has it’s brilliant, hyper-spiritual, dazzlingly beautiful and deeply unknown side too.
No regrets here, no wishing anything had been different. Sometimes I really wonder how people who have been normal their entire lives can take so much limitation. For it does seem to me that the borders and boundaries of what is considered sane and normal by our society are frighteningly and blindly confining!!! It’s like living inside a fishbowl which is located in a room, in a house, in a town, in a country, in a world, in a universe… and only recognizing, believing in, knowing and being aware of the fishbowl!!