I thought about adding my thoughts on this the first time I reblogged it, but then I got lazy and didn’t. So I will now.
(Well that was a portentous lead up. Now the rest of this post is going to be a disappointment.)
The first time I tried to kill myself wasn’t a “proper” suicide attempt, it that it wasn’t premeditated or planned and obviously wasn’t particularly effective either. I can’t remember precisely what happened, but I do remember that it was in a period of very regular self-harm for me, when I kept a pair of scissors next to my bed and cut myself most nights. I don’t remember if I’d been cutting that night or not, but I do remember looking at myself in the mirror, looking at my tear-stained face, and feeling how incredibly ugly and worthless and unlovable I was, how hopeless my life was, how pointless continuing to live was, how painful living through each day was, and how easy it would be to just keep cutting.
Of course that’s not the way it works, and attacking your wrist with a set of blunt nail scissors won’t kill you unless your pain tolerance is much higher than mine. Give me a break, I was fourteen, I didn’t know what I was doing.
The point is that this poem, lovely as it is, wouldn’t have made any difference to me then. I hesitate to make statements about other people’s illnesses, but I suspect it wouldn’t make a huge amount of difference to many other mentally ill people either.
For me, at 14, standing in the bathroom, looking at my face crumpled in misery and hating every feature of it, I impulsively decided I wanted to die not because each day was a living hell (although it was), but because I didn’t believe my life would ever get better because I didn’t believe that I had the ability to build a decent life for myself. I thought that I would inevitably fail at everything I tried to do - ruin friendships, screw up exams - because I viewed myself as intrinsically incompetent and worthless. Reading this at fourteen, I would have thought “yes, but none of that’s going to happen to me, because I’m not brave/strong/good/intelligent/talented/skilled enough”.
So, um, yes. I like this poem. But it wouldn’t have meant anything to suicidal-me.
Derrick C. Brown - “Instead of Killing Yourself” from his newest book “Strange Light”
Channeling Theda Bara
Beautiful Michele <3
Lo-res 120 film scan.
Mark Tribe visited my video class yesterday. His work is really interesting, especially Carpark: A site specific public art project, made in collaboration with Nina Katchadourian and Steven Matheson, in which a team of 50 volunteers sorted approximately 10,000 cars by color into the parking lots surrounding a community college in San Diego.
Among the millions of blogs on Tumblr, only a small number are contributors of original content: “the world’s creators”
And if you’ve ever looked at Tumblr’s Explore Page you might notice that Photography is oddly absent.
There’s #design, #art, #architecture and even #artists on tumblr — but no mention of anything related to the art of taking pictures with a camera. Even #film is a trap — it’s for movies, not analog photography!
We don’t think this situation is acceptable. So let’s Fight it.
We’d like to ask all original photographers on Tumblr to start putting the #photographers on tumblr tag on every single photo you post.
Photographers deserve more recognition among the Creators on Tumblr. Hopefully, by using this tag we’ll help the entire community of Tumblr photographers get noticed — and maybe one day we will see that tag on the Tumblr Explore page too.
Reblog this post and spread the word.
Photographers on Tumblr