We all have them
No one can escape to sometimes have a monster as companion. We use all kinds of other words for them as well. Often a bit metaphorical, hinting at their evil and their sometimes destructive and long lasting effect on our life. Devils, beasts, demons and monsters are not here for our pleasure. In general they can be missed dearly. Nevertheless they can challenge us into acts we later could call something good, because it shaped us and made us evolve into a person with more strength. Even so, most people prefer to evolve in a less dramatic way and monsters have to be seen as unwanted guests.
Well yes, to make clear they are not meant to be permanent residents of some kind. They are not only unwanted, they also never were invited. Maybe guest is too much status? Intruders . . . that’s more accurate probably. They ‘just’ showed up and decided to not leave anymore in many cases. The problem with monsters is you cannot ask them to leave really. They never listen and always refuse. A monster inside your mind is like being possessed. It controls you and takes care of you in a dangerous way. It makes you believe this is going to be your world. It tells you no one will be able to help you and you also will not be able to help yourself. The only way to live with a monster is to try to not irritate it. One little trigger can be enough to activate its hunger for fears. A monster actually never sleeps. Which means you have to stay alert all the time as well to not go wrong . . .
Sometimes it can feel like a comfort zone, no matter how gruesome it is in there . . .
But a monster makes very clear what NOT to do and where NOT to go. It helps you become an expert at hiding and navigating around all risks. To others you will say to be not social, to be not in the mood, to not have time, to have different priorities, to like to spend time alone, to have a great job that takes all your mind, to be ill, to have to help someone else, to have forgotten you had an appointment or when you are a really good apprentice of your monster you will do all to avoid to give any reply to every possible invite, question or inquiries on your personal life and wellbeing. No promises means no responsibilities and a less guilty mind. That’s only partly true by the way. The ones avoiding all guilt still can feel very guilty. They feel bad on using the act of avoiding on everything and everyone and still experience it as letting someone down. Monsters do that to you. They convince you it is better to stay into the ‘safe’ zone. But that safe zone is not safe at all. How can it be when your most intimate companion is a monster . . . .
Stop believing that . . . .
Please . . .
Because your life is bigger than a monster. A monster only looks gigantic because it is so close to you. You forgot to look behind it, past it or through it. Your mind has been conditioned to believe all it says. You even see proof of it. Because the rare time you DO try to escape and be brave, it comes for you sooner or later and wow that’s super scary . . .
A monster however dies when you start denying it food. And YOU are the food. No need to go cold turkey at once, but every day a little bit less. Take back your mind . . . . push out what does not belong there. Every day a little more . . .
That’s not for me to say. No monster is the same. Some will leave by your own interventions once you realise you kept it alive and know how to get rid of it again. Others won’t leave so easily or always will stay present as a little monster who likes to pop up now and then. Many monsters will need a professional hand to find the way out. That can be done gently, but still asks a lot of you. No one can give a guarantee but it is inevitable you need to WANT it to leave yourself in the first place. It sounds odd maybe, but a monster can be addictive. Your whole life has been arranged around it. It all is very structured, despite also chaotic, desperate and harmful. But then again, every addiction gone out of control can be like that. Whatever it is you choose to do when wanting to free yourself from a monster, don’t ever think it will grow old and stop bothering you. Monsters have no age. They don’t do birthdays, only funerals of their victims. Their own funeral is the one they will protect most however. There is only one who can kill them and they know it. That’s you . . . .. , also when getting help, it is you who will have to be the killer.
What if I cannot kill?
Killing is hard yes, and maybe no one really ever will be able to do that their monster. But we can kill in other ways, make the impact go away that kills us. Tolerate the presence of the monster but not allowing it anymore to really take over. It is not you who will be put in a cage, but you will put the monster back there when it becomes greedy again. You kill its power. And with that you kill the monster element of your monster. You know it will listen to you when it tries to steal you back. You know you will see it come as well, aware of the signs and how to anticipate on them. In such a situation your monster almost has the size of a puppy. A nasty one sometimes, but still a puppy. You even are allowed to feel sorry for it . . . to have to miss you as its victim, knowing that it only came to you because something happened you once could not control. It helped you to survive or to see how your life needed a change. Not in the best possible way no, true, but every monster has its own agenda and some only help to help themselves. When you have a monster coming at you for no good reason at all you really have bad luck. Those are the ones with only one goal. Destruct and destroy all they meet. Not because you needed ‘help’, but because you were available at the right moment.
The Cherry Manga installation
Cherry Manga is a very sensitive, intuitive and creative artist. She was one the first I actually saw work of when I entered Second Life in 2011. I remember very well how impressed I was back then and I still am whenever she creates something new. Her work often is connected with elements of society with a raw edge. Humans being the imperfect creatures who always mess up somehow. But Cherry also often adds some fun into her work, to keep it hopeful and light. Like the tiny monster companion I used in the machinima I will show below. It is a cute thing and shows we have to keep looking at things in perspective. I myself like that view. I always prefer to stay positive above all. It makes life more rewarding. There are many things to be grateful for, even when I also have this little monster puppy always somewhere around me, trying to get attention. Sometimes it wins . . . for a very short while. It is something between allowing it and losing it, because I also know it will release me from a tension inside that had to go out. Like when there is too much pressure inside making it either implode or explode when not given some space. To prevent that, it can be ok to allow the little monster to take the stage. But I am the one also directing it to backstage again . . .
The installation Cherry made requires you to take a Teleporter at the starting point. I missed it the first time and landed right into the hand of the wrong monsters . . . oh oh. But Cherry was watching me, grinding her teeth I missed the teleporter ^^ , so after some trial and error I got through all spaces. It does matter as well you accept the ‘Experience’ invitation at the start, which will animate your avatar and such on several places inside the installation. For the rest all you have to do is click, walk, read local chat and listen to the (quite dark) sounds. In every space there is a way out . . . to escape from the monsters inside. You just have to look well. A few big monsters you will meet are: domestic violence, social pressure and the monster of death trying to draw you inside. The end of the installation shows you a big and small monster. Maybe because it is up to you how big you want to allow your personal monsters to be, as a little hands up for RL. I recommend puppy size ; )
I decided immediately to do a machinima when I had visited the installation. Probably because the subject speaks to me, and because it inspired me to remind myself I need to take good care of monsters in myself and in others. Good care means to recognise them and help when I can. And because I liked to show it matters to ‘kill’ monsters who think they can just take over your life. But the moment you decide it has been enough, you have signed for freedom, or at least more freedom. Hence the end part of the machinima on that. Enjoy ; )
In case you do not understand my heavily accented English, yup, not native English speaker clearly, here is the text of the spoken word:
Are you ready?
To come and meet the monsters?
The ones we often know so well.
Domestic Violence is a monster.
Walk away, it is a trap!
Don’t allow this monster in your life
Find your way to freedom
Social pressure is a monster
Hammering your mind with guilt
Ruled by stress and expectations
Let it be, move away
From all they shout and try to say
Is your monster way too strong?
Calling you to the infinite depth of silence?
Diving into the deep?
To never have to feel again?
But maybe try another day . .
Listen to your stronger self
Don’t let the monster win
Monsters never take a nap
They torture you to not believe
There ever will be peace
Yes it hurts and kills and screams
Banging at your head
It tries to grind you into pieces
Attacks and tramples all of you
But it’s enough! This has to stop!
Kill your monster, do it now
Don’t be afraid …
Just do it …
It is unclear how long the installation will be there, but for now you still can visit.
Here is the TP and some instructions:
- – Advanced lightning model activated
- – Be curious, touch things, move around
- – Sounds on/audio stream off
- – Accept Void experience pop-up