Sacred Disorder | Cliff Bostock's blog – 'Finally, I came to regard as sacred the disorder of my mind' (Rimbaud)

Belated Xmas wishes

Diane Arbus, 1963

I came across this lovely image by Diane Arbus a few days ago. I was obsessed with her work back in the ’80s. I discovered her while working on a chapter about sideshow freaks for my ill-fated book, “Good Country People.” She had photographed some of the freaks associated with the same crew I visited in Gibsonton, Fla.

Why is everything in this room shoved against the wall? The Christmas tree reminds me of the expression “backed into a corner with no escape.” Even the gifts seem to be exerting pressure on the tree — not that gift-giving exerts any pressure on us, right? And what’s that behind the top of the tree? A shadow? A burned spot? Does Christmas have a dark side? Surely not!

Overall, the picture feels suffocating to me. But what’s with the large empty space? Maybe an elephant — the Christmas weightiness that we’re not supposed to talk about — just exited the living room. (That would be an elephant dressed as the Grinch.)

Yes, like most of my clients and many friends,  I’ve often found Christmas suffocating.   I’m glad it’s behind us again.





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