17 February 2013

Is Sanity A Cozy Lie?

Yet again my thoughts return to a once frequently used quote of mine “Sanity is a Cozy Lie”. This time those words were shown in a picture taken six years ago by a friend at art school. They really seemed to ring true during my time at Chester College of New England. Not only was I finally taking the plunge into really making art and risking becoming like the one person I truly saw as an artist, my mother, but my close friend had recently disappeared due to a psych ward visit. She just decided to check herself in and take a break but nobody had any idea for over a week! I finally received a postcard decorated with the profile of her doctor and his exaggerated ear that listened intently to all she could divulge.

This quote had come into my mind earlier than this though. It emerged while living in the strangely contradictory town of Snohomish. Most who pass through remember the traditional quaint d├ęcor of First Street. They can explore numerous antique shops and local restaurants with no idea as to what else could exist near the riverbed. Many small towns exude this delicate first layer while masking whatever issues may be hiding amongst the community, but somehow I don’t think they are as strange as those in Snohomish. Maybe it is my own bias which does affect these stories, of course. I have told them many times to new friends and near strangers who are continually shocked. I am getting distracted though. The main question at hand is, why ‘sanity is a cozy lie’? Why?

Simply put we all mask our quirks. Some of us may collect something a bit obsessively, check the lock a few times before leaving, or avoid high places due to a fear. Yet we hardly share these facts if there might be a shred of abnormality involved. We wonder when it may cross over the boundary of just a quirk to an illness. When should we check ourselves in?

More importantly, why should we even think that? Why can’t we all have our own little quirks? What if we simply let go and don’t worry about the societal perspective on these personal oddities? Is it normal to be sane? Or are we all just pretending? Would we all enjoy prancing about free of all societal restrictions if possible?

Maybe our routines just loop us into neglecting our quirks and we get stuck. I will continue to contemplate this tonight and hope to post a more concrete response soon.