I realise that this black hole of grief reminds me of my experience of depression. When in a very depressed state I had such a strong visual image of being stuck a couple of 100 metres below ground in this deep well not being able to reach the pin prick of light above me.
The Black Well of Despair
Stuck up to my chin in black oozing mud
Just enough clearance to breathe
The rancid stench of decay fills my nostrils
The taste of death in my mouth.
Raising my eyes
I can just see the pin prick of light far above me
I am deep down, deep down
Stuck in this deep well of despair.
One day I know
I will have the strength to climb out
To make the tortuous journey back up
Back up towards the light and rejoin the living
But for now I am stuck
In this deep black well of despair
I was talking to a friend about this experience of feeling like I am in a deep well of despair and she commented that she immediately thought of the sacred well. As in Greek mythology wells contain sacred water and are the source of spiritual rejuvenation.
I took this image of my painted body soon after I had had my mastectomy This close up image of my chest wall painted black is a grim reminder of my missing breast. I have carried this image around with me for the last few years . It has been a strong symbol of my grief.
The black space
I peer into the white rimmed
Where my left breast used to be
now looks empty
My rounded breast
punctuated by a nipple
dripping in red paint
proudly adorns my right chest.
It has such beautiful symmetry
just the right size
to be gently cupped by a hand.
The concaved black emptiness
stares out at me
like an unblinking eye.
A large black pupil
holding hidden depths
of unknown meaning.
29th April 2010