Skip to main content

The Sick Child



* Edmund Dulac, illustrations for The Wind's Tale by Hans Anderson(1911)

(There are times when a certain image begs you to lend an attentive ear to the fairy tales and stories you once heard as a child- I found such impression the most in Edmund Dulac’s illustrations for various children’s books. To be frank I never found much extreme jollity in the fairy tales I have read, but instead a menacing viciousness seems to loom over those which bear a disguise of a patronizingly happy ending. Fairy tales, to me, rarely appear thoroughly naïve, I can easily spot pain that encompass the stories until the very end. Fairy tales, however, I do love to revisit often, for their haziness of comprehension that excludes everything rational, practical. In a straitlaced and sequestered garden of mine those stories might be the only thing that remains footloose.)


When I was in the apotheosis of pain, I started to see visions. The world before me turned to liquid then materialized, all in a blink of an eye. Every image I had witnessed at day was put on veil deliberately, in which I could effortlessly divine an execution of black magic ready to unwind. I heard the magician announcing his next show to be a real stunner. People bustled to get into the tent, I saw throngs and throngs of them rushing in like a roaring river amid tempestuous weather. Then a series of screams and shrieks were heard.

The screams made every sound suddenly acute, although a rejoinder of them did escape me. I pricked my ear and listened, as if the walls were also covered by myriads and myriads of ears, they, however, listened to every throbbing of my pain. I stifled a scream as the pain surged and heaved; it penetrated not the thinnest thread of my tolerance but instead tested it, incessantly. The formation of music could go wild at any moment in my head, rarely did the notes waltz by but loped, frolicked, and deviated. I felt a voyeuristic urge through my ears.

The carnival persisted. The aforementioned tent blew itself up like an air balloon, a large capacity of joy is accumulated. Such was the same elation, the elation felt when the pain within me tumbled on. I divined a freak show ensuing behind the shadowy curtains: the performers were all maimed, mutilated and mortally wounded. What was really grotesque were the spectators who gathered, gobsmacked by the hijinks those weirdoes strained to do. People like me could hardly resist the warped magnetism that propelled us, like an interminable spell that echoed eternally in our heads and ears, into the carnival. The carousal might cease at any moment but our entities in this place and time felt ever excluded.

So we left, abruptly heading to the faint of light that we followed blindly, and trails of bodies scattered submissively along the path we walked. For pain could be translated to the ones that were the most impassive. With bitter pain inflated our hearts so much we became killers. The carnival was finally over, everything laid in extreme disarray, not an inkling of evidence could be found of how it first had taken place. When we conquered pain that was how the ecstacy came.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Honore Daumier

“If you shut up truth and bury it under ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.”- Émile Zola
Exited Honoré Victorin Daumier, 10 February 1879, in an impoverishment that many of his contemporaries, especially his foes, would have thought was his long overdue retribution- the painter was blind, heavily in debt, and later relegated to a pauper’s grave. His friends, upon visiting his resting place, would, I imagine, see it a chance to admonish their children: “Now that’s a lesson for you cheeky devils whose tongues rattle off things that should better stay unspoken.” But Daumier devoted his life in revealing those “unspoken things.” His lithography ink proved sharper than most writers’ pens. He vented his rage and stigmatised others’ infamy in his satirical and, oftentimes, side-splitting cartoons. The tone was relentlessly acerbic but only because Daumier was exposing truths that, in the time…

Review: Late Spring (1949)

As a storyteller, Yasujiro Ozu insists on an implausibly objective stance that refrains from direct commentary or criticism; his camera customarily assumes the role of a detached observer, to whom the characters in the film, staring or talking straight to the camera, occasionally address, with an intimacy akin to that between a host and his guest, a closeness that is underpinned by a mutual recognition of the psychological distance that separates the two. The audience, whose perspective, in this case, conflates the camera’s (the director’s), an invisible character’s in the film (to whom the other characters address) and their own, is thus situated amidst this spatial complexity which, as a rule, every work of art necessarily creates.
In Late Spring (1948), the camera serves in part as an underlying comment to the story, which is noted by its economy of details. A prolonged shot of a departing train, on which the father and daughter travel to the city for a one-day excursion, prefigures…

Review: Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)

Every adversity in life is a test of one's fortitude, the occasion of which, as proved invariably in the past, man is capable of defying destiny, of reversing the inexorable course to which life is doomed to tend. Too often we sympathise with the travails of the dogged, indefatigable fighter, whose hard-on victory we shed tears of relief and admiration, and whose stories and examples we evoke when in need of a boost of morale or motivation, that our notion of heroism has come to be hallowed with a glow of divinity peculiar to those who triumph in their fights. Those who fail – the martyrs who labour for nothing, who die without fulfilling what they die for – they are regarded with no less sympathy, but to recount their stories we averse, refusing to be reminded of what ultimately makes us humans – our inherent and infinite capacity to fail.
To face up to one’s failures, especially with the forlorn hope that such failures can ever be remedied, requires a special kind of courage. Wil…