Friday, December 08, 2017

I'm Your Ghost

Chiesa della Sanità o dei Cappuccini - Tropea, Italia ~ by Photo P.I.

At one time people conveniently "went mad" and were never heard from again. Like a character in a romantic novel. But now ... you are too hip to yourself on a psychological level. You all are too intimate with too many of the symptoms of insanity to be caught completely off your guard. ~ Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion

If I were to say that Pisces Iscariot is a voice inside the head of Garth Erickson some of you might surmise that I am describing a madman (or that I am a madman myself?).
But what is madness other than a spectrum of words that run from Normal, through Quirky and Eccentric to Nut-job.
The sad fact is that we start the descent into madness the moment we (consciously or unconsciously) do not or cannot conform.
(Unconsciously) “I cannot conform to your standards of beauty”
(Consciously) “I will not conform to your standards of beauty”
Yup, you’ve made the first step.
We can get away with these deviations from the norm in small measures but once we’ve accumulated a certain number we head into the realms perceived as quirky or eccentric.
Now we all know what quirky means; and eccentric is classified as mostly harmless; but we become full blown fruitcakes when people can no longer recognise themselves in us.
Neither Pisces Iscariot nor Garth Erickson are clinically insane (at least I don’t think they are; but then who am I to say?) but where Erickson is self-consciously aware of his place in the world, Pisces is the voice that has no need to censor his responses to that world.

Pisces Iscariot is not always comfortable with his own name by the way: it’s a perfect name, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a stolen name.
He sometimes wishes he’d been called Pisces Asparagus.

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