For those who don’t know, this is Mental Health Awareness Week, at least in the USA. I know many people who suffer from mental health issues, and my last post was on the topic as well. There should be an update post coming from me soon. I know most of you are here for anime and such, not this stuff, but well, this topic is why I hadn’t been watching or writing much about anime in the past couple of years, even though I wanted to. As always, if you find the need to talk to someone, I’m here to talk, on Twitter, via email, Discord, etc.
Hopefully this poem will be pleasing artistically, and will help people feel less alone, more understood, or will give those on the outside a glimpse in. The preamble to the poem is part of the poetic effort in this instance.
Some people like bringing up rules to be adhered to when discussing poetry. Rules such as, “no abstractions,” yet what do you think metaphors and similes are? What do you think are words?
What sort of poetry can you write, when you let the rules use you rather than using them, and knowing when to abandon them? And if you cannot do anything but parrot said rules, shouldn’t you just point at the rules, rather than call yourself a poetry critic?
Hark! For this poem that follows contains no abstractions. Nothing but concrete reality here.
Writing of Chronic Illness:
How and why do you write of something that’s as ever-present in your life as the eyes you look at the world with, the air that you breathe, or the internet in your net-addict life? Where do you start approaching it from, as it is impossible to untangle from every other facet of your life, due to its presence permeating anything and everything else?
Well, you just talk about it. You talk about your life, and you talk about the thing, and you don’t try to separate the two.
Ah, Orpheus. Making it to hell, and back again, and then dying.
As for why I am writing about this thing, even though reading others’ accounts of the same malaise actively makes things tougher for me? Because I know it helps others. Though helping others isn’t actually my goal here. I’m writing of this thing for the simple fact that I feel like it, and it’s a blog, a personal blog, at the end of the day. Besides. There are plenty of people I care about who read these things, and this is as much a part of me as my penchant for writing in poetic prose or being annoyed by spelling mistakes.
It is not my goal to tell an uplifting story, give you life lessons, or be a spokesperson for every chronically ill person, not even for everyone who shares my own sickness. It might happen, because, again, this is a story of handling things, and of my life, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to write for the sake of writing. To share for the sake of sharing. The goal is to be. But we’ll get to that.
Haibane Renmei is considered an anime classic. A series from 2002 that sometimes shows its age, and uses an almost rustic animation-style, focusing on dilapidated backdrops and humble characters. It’s a parable, focusing on death, birth and rebirth, on the nature of forgiveness, and our part in the tapestry which we call life, which we call society. And as with many parables, it also has morals it wishes to impart.
Considering the universal nature of the messages, or at least of the situations depicted, you’d think we could all relate to the story, and I think to a degree we all can. It’s a story of what it means to be human, or at least their take on what it involves. It’s a story on what it takes to keep living, and how society forms behind us. And yet, I think how much one appreciates this show would depend to a very significant degree on what they bring to it themselves. I feel one’s reactions to Haibane Renmei are going to be more personal than most shows. Even if to a degree it’s always true.
(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. There will be spoilers.)