Morgan Meis on the core dilemmas explored in folklore:
The feeling we get from hearing or telling the story of Poor Heinrich is that there is something tremendously important and tremendously difficult at stake in surrendering ourselves to another human being. This surrender has the capacity both to destroy us and to redeem us. We hate to be compelled to surrender any aspect of ourselves to other people.
And yet, we suffer terribly when we refuse to open up the boundaries of our selves to the impact of other selves. In acts of surrender we often are brought to the realization that we neither control nor fully understand the boundaries of the self anyway. This realization is both terrifying and liberating. It cannot be faced. It must be faced.
“ When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable.
By turn hilarious and haunting, poet Shane Koyczan puts his finger on the pulse of what it’s like to be young and …different.
The colours stay within the mind, the light
Will not so easily permit itself
To be put out. In thoughts once more at home
A foreign fire will gleam, tints taken from
A sail, a wake of water widening out
Or subtle colours that make crumbling buildings
Renew themselves. These we have with us still.
And home again we learn how much we build
Abroad, put roots down in impermanence
Yet waver not from what time drags away
But are drawn too—like colours fading fast,
Like slow canals escaping to the sea.
Rest in this power to adapt, remember
The mind still turns like the huge globe and shows
Now Italy, now England and we are
The axis on which all our journeys move.
—Elizabeth Jennings, “XI. Journey from a Landscape,” from Sequence in Venice
Photography Credit Viktor Gårdsäter, from “Balloon Man’s Last Walk,” via Booooooom
“ I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.
“ Perhaps that is the real challenge of psychiatric care: to hold up a picture of what language actually is. Where communication is broken, dysfunctional, turned back on itself, persons are trapped; care for persons is care for their language, listening to the worlds they inhabit (to their souls) so as to engage them with other worlds — neither reductively or collusively.
“ Were we incapable of empathy – of putting ourselves in the position of others and seeing that their suffering is like our own – then ethical reasoning would lead nowhere. If emotion without reason is blind, then reason without emotion is impotent.
“ Change is not a bolt of lightning that arrives with a zap. It is a bridge built brick by brick, every day, with sweat and humility and slips. It is hard work, and slow work, but it can be thrilling to watch it take shape.
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