Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Soft Toy Serial Killers

Everyone has an unpretty side. A part they don’t like to admit.  A dark side of the moon.  I can be a crappy person, I really can. I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t like what I see. I’m a crappy mother; I’m a crappy wife. I’m a lousy daughter-in-law; a rubbish aunt; a shitty godmother (whatever possessed them to choose godless me?) and I’m not always the best of friends, no matter how hard I try.  I was a damn good daughter though, and I sometimes think that sucked the goodness and prettiness out of me – it was so damn greedy it left me parched. 

I try, I really try but sometimes I just feel like I’m stretched too thin – pull me a little further and I’ll snap into two and the parts will float away, straggles of skin reaching helplessly towards one another as they vanish into the ether.
But then I suspect other people feel that way too.  And this isn’t a ‘me, me, me’ post – it’s not remotely asking for validation; for comfort.  It’s just an observation. 

And, anyhow, what does it mean, this crappiness?  That we’re not perfect?  Well, what human is?  We’re so quick to judge, so quick to condemn, aren’t we?  Some of us judge ourselves; we all judge others.  And what is it we judge?  Why, surely just our own shadow sides, displayed in other people?  A conversation at Zumba last night showed the point.  Someone I know gets a lot of grief in town – she’s the ‘bad girl’, the ‘transgressor’, the ‘scarlet woman’.  Tongues wag; people turn away, they give her filthy looks. And they are so perfect, right? They are so righteous?  I’m not one for biblical references but, by heck, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”   

I suspect she constellates their shadow – their dirty laundry, their fear.  Jung said that the shadow is the part of us that contains our secrets, all the forbidden feelings and ways of behaviour that lie hidden from our consciousness.  The shadow comes to us most strongly in dreams, as the frightening “other” – the harlot, the murderer, the thief, the zealot, the overbearing teacher, the pathetic wimp, the whining child, the down-and-out.  The shadow carries everything we push aside in waking conscious life, all those qualities that don’t fit with our ideal image of ourselves.


You wanna find your own shadow?  Think about who winds you up.  Who really really annoys you?  What is it about them that is so so so….fecking annoying, irritating, plain wrong?  Ten to one it’s your own shadow being reflected right back at you.

Anyhow… 

We’re all a bit crappy, okay?  Yeah, even the Soul Puppy.  Most of the time he is soft and biscuity and winsome.  But, every so often, he breaks into serial killer mode and chews the faces off soft toys.  He gouges out eyes; he bites off noses; he chews on cheeks.  Always faces.  Honestly, I have a pile of eyes sitting on my desk.  Can’t help but be reminded of my demon, Samael.  He’s a face biter too.  Tellingly this was an aspect of the book that editors couldn’t handle (along with the hacking off of zombie heads with spades L).  The face biting had to go.  But – see – he chewed off faces to reveal people; to show their true selves; to splice aside the façade and show the shadow…  
And, hmm, maybe people just aren’t ready to do that…


Lest We Forget: Those Who Have Fallen....


Badger: full facial removal

Panter: eye, nose excision

Snowy: eye removed; ear lost

Just a few who have fallen to the dark side of the SP....and no, we don't go for very imaginative names in this house... :)

8 comments:

DD's Diary said...

Loving those grisly crime photos ... it's just like Silent Witness. Silent Dogness? I do agree with you about our dual natures. Saw a T shirt recently saying, 'come to the dark side, we have cookies.' Now you're talking x

Milla said...

Agree with you about being crap - d'oh, not you, silly, me AND am sure that it was because I think I was a fab daughter, too. Dare not ask my parents lest they disagree :(
I hate this evil old bitch in the village who gossips about everything. Maybe it's guilt because of the times I've succumbed to a bit of the old goss but I like to think it's a nobler pure hate for her having gossipped (one p? 2? both look wrong) and lied about ME and, more imp, about my boy. Vile bitch face.
As for dreams, mine are all pointles, stressy, not quite getting things, the passport not arriving in time, the dropped plate; fragmented and exhausting.
SP is clearly the jealous type, biting the beauty from loved objects. Needs a session with a nasty badger in a dark hole.

Solange Noir said...

The shadow ALWAYS knows...
Why the hell did those bits have to go? That's just what would appeal to teens (and those older). The face biting... stripping the 'masks' to show the real person beneath... that is brilliant! Editors schmeditors :P

Tracy Tidswell said...

None of that makes you crap, if you were really crap you wouldn't give a crap about being crap, you'd just be crap and get on with it. We all have a dark side, the problems begin when we don't admit to it.
I'm halfway through 'Women who run with the wolves' and it's fascinating.
Also, is it wrong that I find Snowy much cuter like that? More endearing? Wonder what Jung would make of that.
I also love that your soft toys have nonsense names, my girls have often been asked (in a very patronising voice reserved for talking to children) what their dolls/teddies are called. They look at the person as if they're stupid and say either 'Dolly' or 'Teddy' in a way that suggests they are adding 'durr brain' in their heads. We did have a cat called Matthew once though.

Tracy Tidswell said...

No nonsense names, not nonsense. Oh you know what I mean. It's been a long day :)

Isobel said...

You sound as I sometimes feel - but then I've got reason to know, as a silver surfer, that getting it down in a blog does one a helluva lot of good. Hope you feel less self-critical, and that maybe we can cheer each other up sometime. Cheers. Isobel

martine said...

Hi, been following you for ages and only just gotten around to going and reading Samael, it is just excellent, what about the rest, not fair to suck people in and then leave them hanging, are you just publishing online or do you have a 'real' publisher?
thanks for sharing
martine

English Mum said...

I like this. You are a wise one, Jane. I think we often judge too quickly (and you're right about these things reflecting back upon us too - uncomfortable but true!)