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Daryl Darko (Gaiman contest winner)

by Susan Henderson on March 28, 2007

A while back, I ran a contest, using one of Neil Gaiman’s baby photos, and said the first person to guess who it was would win an interview with me.

Honestly, I run these contests because I like any excuse to play. But something else happens and that is you can be surprised by the depth and grace of people you didn’t know were reading your blog. So today, I want to introduce you to Daryl Darko.

Daryl is a writer, photographer, and sometime anthropologist. I knew right away I’d find something interesting about him because his website featured Syd Barrett, who created one of my all-time favorite albums, The Madcap Laughs. But very quickly, as we were talking about his work (including an intriguing ghost story set in the town he knows best), what grabbed hold of me was Daryl’s struggle with bi-polar disorder.

He is brave and generous to share his experience with depression, so I hope you’ll let Daryl know you heard his story.

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These photographs all represent recent work done in the last 45 days. They are part of a 365 day long project I am doing in association with a group of people on Flickr where we all shoot and display (at least) one self portrait photograph a day.

Tell me about your name.

I’ve been a fan of horror films since I was a child. The scare I got when I was six years old from watching “The Haunting” stuck with me all my life as a source of entertainment and introspection that I’d never be able to shake. I never became fanatical about collecting horror-zines or anything like that, but rather I had a deep respect for the inner process I went through while watching film-stories that dealt with, what I considered to be inner matters of personal transformation. People that were monsters or had to deal with physical manifestations of monstrous spirits were champions of some sort. They had qualities worthy of study.

Daryl Darko is taken from the film title/character Donnie Darko – a schizophrenic teenager that has psychotic episodes that make him believe the world is going to end on a very specific date. Which it then does, on the day he dies.

This is a question about the bipolar disorder . . . Can you put me inside your shoes for a bit? I’d like to see how it feels to be in the world with this, and how it is to be a writer with it.

Being bipolar, to me, is like having a noose tied around my neck. I’m not quite as bad off as Eli Wallach’s character, Tuco, was in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly when he balanced precariously on the back of a rickety wooden cross (with his hands and feet tied) in a cemetery with a noose that his nemesis, Blondie (Clint Eastwood) had put around his neck. My hands are finally free in that I have found a proper balance of medications to use which essentially allows me to loosen the tightness of this diseases grip on me. I am not mincing my words, Susan. Being bipolar has brought me closer to not only giving up on my dreams (and life) but it has, at its worst made me incapable of even making the simplest of decisions.

The wonder of bipolar is being able to experience vibrant polar opposites of emotional states. I get to be really excited about things and I also get to experience powerful sadness, or in clinical terms, depression. I can’t really tell you in terms beyond what my own experience is what it is like for writers that are bipolar to experience this condition, except that there are periods when we feel like we can finish writing that book and that there are times when we could care less about it. Establishing a continual experience of middling moods is what we are made to believe is normal and what we must be to participate in the world. To do this, I have fought to become able to use the minimum amount of medications possible for me to stay in touch with my creative insights and energies and to avoid falling into decimating depressions. Only this past year (out of the eight since I was diagnosed and put on medications) have I become successful this way.

If you were to write about a character who was bipolar, what would that character want to express more than anything else? In what ways does s/he feel inhibited or caged? And if someone could cure the bipolar disorder in a day, what would the character miss?

Cured in a day? What would she lose? Have you seen the new t.v. show HEROES? There are characters that have their memories erased. I think being cured of this disease would be similar to that state; where there would be a huge part of the individual’s identity removed which made it possible for them to remember who they were and what they were about. I don’t want to be any better than I am now. In fact, there was a time about two years ago when I was dipping in and out of pretty intense depressions and I remember saying to a friend that I “didn’t want to be well”. That I “enjoyed the darkness” I was in because of how it fueled my creativity. During that phase I did a lot of the creative, imaginative structure building of the novel that I am writing. And I did it through actually being my character; existing in her depression.

I admire you so much for tackling these questions. Plenty of LitPark’s readers are struggling with depression, and I think it helps when people realize they’re not alone.

Can you tell me (if you want) what things were like before the medicine, and how others reacted to you?

Heheheh, *really big grin on my face now*, wow! What a memory!! Oh my goodness was that a great year. 1998. The year I was to complete my bachelor’s degree in anthropology at UC Santa Cruz. Part of the bipolar awakening in me was my becoming able to decide to go back to college in my mid-30’s.

My uncontrolled manic mind created some powerful delusions of grandeur; particularly that I believed that I was capable of going on in my studies to not only become an M.D. but to also earn a Ph.D. in medical anthropology. There was a problem, though, in that I couldn’t pass my first year college math or science classes. I imagined and talked up such a story amongst my peers that only I knew this truth; that I had zero mind for numbers and calculations. I was actually a visionary, not a scientist.

Luckily, during my second year at UCSC a class about James Joyce was being offered. My first knowledge of where my own natural abilities in crafting words laid came when I was fifteen years old in a creative writing class. How I had gotten away from the dream of becoming a writer to pursuing a path into professional medicine in what were now my late thirty’s I cannot fully tell you without writing a(nother) book. I had lived in Dublin, Ireland during the decade of the country’s worse depression (the 80’s) and could sympathize with being a down-and-outer on Dublin’s dusty streets. Being instructed to read ULYSSES from cover to cover for this class was a welcome wake up call.

Suddenly I started to change my curriculum at school. I stopped thumping my head against chemistry and pre-calculus books and started to take writing and literature classes. In fact, I got so off track with my study of anthropology that when I could have graduated with the rest of my class I was missing units to fulfill my diploma requirements. I had to stay for one more semester to finish my last anthropology course.

That became an impossible goal that I to this day have not fulfilled. That summer I took a playwriting course that broke my spirit. Now I can’t remember this in exact detail but there was some sort of spiritual process I went through where I measured all that I thought about against some hallmark of judgment that I considered to be ~god~. I did this with the pursuit of the medical career too. I would channel my thoughts into an epiphany experience where basically, I would say “God? Is this the right thing for me to do?” My method of how I measured these questions and answers, I can’t explain right now because I don’t remember how I did it. I don’t/can’t do it anymore. It was not giving me right or logical answers though because how on earth could I have become a doctor?!

So I was writing this very esoteric play during the summer session about these local Santa Cruz young people that would go out to this grove of trees where it was said that The Holy Virgin had appeared. And we would act this out in class. The writing of the play, the drama, the interaction with my classmates, my professor… it all was real to me. (Later, part of my diagnosis was that of being schizo-affective; that of having psychotic episodes mixed in with the bipolar.) I began to believe that I too was seeing The Holy Virgin in the woods near my home. And I wanted to lead the others to see her. But before that confusion fully manifested, I had an epiphany.

See, I somehow got this idea in my head earlier on that my doings would lead me to spiritual awareness. Higher awareness. Actual enlightenment. And this particular day, deep in thought/meditation/wonder about this play I was writing and the pursuit of enlightenment via the path of “writing”, I realized that I would never achieve the goal. It happened in a split second while I constructed a brilliant outcome for the plot of the play; I reached the pinnacle, stood up straight, looked around and saw that I was still in the very same small, dark room of my own self that I had started out in. And then I collapsed.

I fell into the most miserable depression I had ever experienced in my life. There were other factors involved too. I had been in an eight month long relationship with a professor from the anthropology department and her job had just ended, causing her to move away. This was tragedy enough on its own because I had never had such a complete relationship (mental and physical) with a woman ever before in my life. And so I went on to develop a pretty good drinking ability… I did start school again in the fall but I didn’t make it through more than five weeks before I had to completely drop out. Yeah, I really ruined it badly.

Anyway, what people thought of me? I don’t think I’ve ever known what people really think of me because I don’t get close enough to people to ever hear them express their opinion. I’m very independent and it is really hard to get close to me. I have had very few close friends in my life and spend a lot of time alone. I have made an effort since I was a teenager to subtly stand out differently from the crowd, not caring what others think of me. Yeah, that’s my answer.

What was the event that led to a change? How did you go from the most miserable depression in your life to feeling like you have the bipolar controlled as well as you do now? What helped and what didn’t help to turn things around?

It has been a very long process, Susan. Eight years. Most of which were lived in hopeless abandon. When I was first diagnosed with this disease my condition must have scared my doctor very badly. So much so that she overmedicated me to put out my flames. The first two years of being medicated were almost like being in a coma. The things I remember most were that my driver’s license was taken away and I had to be driven anywhere I had to go (which was basically doctor appointments). I developed a myriad of health issues during those years from the excess of 50 pounds that the Depakote added to my previously virile 190 pound frame (like high blood pressure and constant swelling of the ankles) and problems with my liver from the Lithium. Overall the worse problem was the agoraphobia that set in. I had never been so shut off from the outside world as I became during this time period. Afraid to actually leave my house for anything but doctor appointments.

Ok, but I don’t want this to sound like any old bipolar confession that you could read on any support site. There was some thing that saved me during those darkest years and please, at least don’t laugh out loud when I tell you this. It must have been one of the most base instincts of the human spirit that was sparked in me but I developed a craving to be told stories. Almost like a child. I crawled into a cocoon of an inner sanctum and fell under the spell of television serial dramas. In particular it was the series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” that won most of my attention. During the years when Buffy was first being aired, the F/X channel bought rights to the show and started to play reruns while the show was at the height of it’s popularity. Fans could watch four episodes of Buffy a day; two hours in the morning (7-9am) and two hours in the afternoon (4-6pm). I had nowhere to go, nor anything much better to do so I fell into a deep fascination with this, and other quality television shows.

There was an healing that I experienced during this time of obsessive devotion to these programs. A lot of emotions that I had kept buried seemed to become real to me in such ways that I was able to contemplate my life more deeply than I had been allowed to before. Having this time off and being spurred to look at the long process of my life, and imagining inwardly that I was feeling emotions that these stories imitated worked for me. A sort of self-therapeutic treatment via video literature.

And that is the key of what kept my own creative inspiration alive. I started to discover my own story that I needed to tell. To write.

If you knew there was someone out there suffering the way you did, what would you say to them?

Listen to your body. Especially if you are on meds. Don’t believe that you have to do everything that one single doctor tells you. If you don’t like the results of the care you are getting find another doctor. I know that can be hard. My insurance is state sponsored and I can’t go to just any ol’ doctor that I want. So I’ve literally battled with my doctor (for nearly three years now) to get him to really listen to me and consider my wishes when it comes to trying different medications and dosages.

(Okay, I jumped right into talking about doctors and meds as if any or all readers of this would already be under treatment. If you are depressed or suffering symptoms that make you think you may be bipolar, do not be afraid to seek professional assistance. Get help before things get as bad as they did for me.)

Also, educate yourself. Read as much as you can about these conditions to determine whether you are correct in assuming you are bipolar or not. Do not be shy about asserting your knowledge before the professionals. If you are really sick, get someone to advocate for you (i.e. go with you to your appointments and speak for you). I have never been able to do this. I tried and ended up destroying a very old friendship in the process, but that is another story.

Find something you love in life and hold on to it. I lost a lot of things when my crash came and that ensuing heartbreak is more of what crushed my spirit than anything. Having to leave Santa Cruz, not being able to live by the ocean or be in that youthful, artistic, healthy community anymore really was a loss. If you feel like you have lost everything? Find something new, no matter how small it is and become fascinated by it. The crawl back to life may seem eternal but it can be done.

Now, tell me about this mix of anthropology and photography and writing. Have you found a way to put these interests together? What’s your hope about what you might create in the next five years?

I want to create things that no one has thought of or seen in exactly the same way before. Studying anthropology gave me insight into storytelling in different ways than I had known before. Anthropology is pretty much a social science that tries to reflect truthful biases about those aspects of society studied. I learned research techniques of observation that enable me to view life and the world with less prejudice than I used to harbor. But I am not in love with academia, and truthfully, due to the continual grip this illness has on me, I cannot say that I would make a suitable or reliable field researcher.

And I think this is where fiction has slipped into my mixture of how I want to relate (or report) my view of the world to the world. I don’t want to lie or create lies. I want to tell the truth but I want to share it in ways that are born of my spirit. I think memoir has become tired and less vital, even in just this last decade. Although, my stories will be and are of my life.

So, I am on a path of continual self-discovery and my methods of expression are still in development. Even now, while I am enrolled in college courses learning how to do digital art, photography, and web design I am envisioning new ways to get out what I want to say. It’s a personal evolution. I am not simply a writer of short stories/poetry/fiction/novels.

Ok, here is what is on the board right now. I have this wonderful novel of a story in my heart/mind and I’ve got a notebook full of ideas and research written out. Just a few months ago I discovered the personal voice of the narrator that I want to tell the story through. So now, in this one very creative photography class that I am taking we are planning on creating zines. And the brainstorm I am having is to use this project as a building block in the process/development of my novel. Did I tell you that I’ve already titled my novel? “Burnt Bone, Stone, and Manzanita. A Young Woman’s Descent into Madness”

I want to make my zines be chapters, graphical novel-like scenarios of what the book will actually be. And see? I’m learning how to design web sites now too using Dreamweaver. (Such an apropos title for software, isn’t it?) I can make both hard copies to mail out and electronic copies to link to my blog and leave floating mysteriously on the web for people to discover.

Whether this could turn into an ongoing serial or not, who knows? By five years from now it would be wonderful if I could have the full text of my novel written and ready to send to a publisher.


With Deirdre Evans-Pritchard, who was a guest professor in the anthropology dept. at UCSC.

What would you consider the most awesome stroke of luck if it came your way?

The most awesome stroke of luck would be becoming able to afford to live in Santa Cruz again. It is a magical place to me. I would be in a community of artistic-minded people like myself, I would be near the sea – that gives me so much rejuvenation, and who knows, maybe I’d find love again.

Why do I have this feeling good things are about to come your way? Thanks so much for being here, Daryl!

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellen Meister March 28, 2007 at 5:03 am

Thanks for this insightful interview, Sue. And thank you, Daryl, for being so open. I’m in the middle of reading An Unquiet Mind right now because someone close to me was diagnosed as bipolar and I’m trying to understand the illness. This interview offered me so much. Best wishes to you!
Ellen

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Robin Slick March 28, 2007 at 7:53 am

Ellen, I read this before you commented and got the chills in light of our recent conversation.

Anyway, what an incredibly interesting interview and D, those are awesome photos. You really are incredibly talented, you know?

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Robin Slick March 28, 2007 at 7:55 am

Okay, I just used the word “incredibly” twice. Just so you know I’m aware of that!

But I’ve changed my mind – LitPark is far too entertaining without the edit button. If Sue were to install one, I’d lose my favorite place to go for a daily chuckle.

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billie March 28, 2007 at 9:08 am

A wonderful interview – best of luck Daryl, with your novel and all the projects. I love the self-portraits!

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LaurenBaratz-Logsted March 28, 2007 at 9:34 am

Great interview, Sue and Daryl.

Daryl, I hope you’ll be spending more time with us here.

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Jordan E. Rosenfeld March 28, 2007 at 10:21 am

Daryl, a fascinating, honest conversation. Thank you so much! I live very near Santa Cruz (in a not so beautiful town), so I understand your longing to be in this beautiful area. Born and raised in CA…

I look forward to reading that novel one day soon.

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daryl March 28, 2007 at 10:47 am

Hi Ellen, Interestingly, my own pdoc (psychiatrist) has been urging me to read “An Unquiet Mind” for the longest time and I find it to be one of the most difficult and painful self-reflective reads out there. I’ve never finished reading it yet! It is probably one of the best written testimonials of the life bipolar, but I think it can also put a lot of scare into people too as not all that suffer from this disease get it as badly as she did.

Robin, if it hadn’t been for you finding those awful phonecam pics I took of Adrian and your wee ones on my blog that November morning and the friendship we developed as a result of your comments, none of this new art would have found it’s way out of me. In a huge, majestic way I should dedicate these works to you. And who knows what else will find it’s way out of my heart and mind, hands and soul as a result of meeting Susan and others here. Serendipity rules, ya know?

Thank you Billie and Lauren! There are more of the self portraits (and other photography) available to see at my Flickr account. You can find a link there via my blog.

And thank you too Jordan. I guess there are many cities near to Santa Cruz geographically (I’m just 75 miles away) that are equally far away aesthetically. In the grand measure of time my novel is still a ways off, but I’m gaining on its completion! And yes, I’m a California native too.

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Richard Cooper March 28, 2007 at 11:05 am

Daryl,
Great pics! It’s great to meet you in LitPark and hear about your personal development of artistry and self-awareness. You’ve got a lot of helpful successes in your life that you can build on to reach your next level of success on your journey. Thanks for sharing your story with Susan and with us all!
Best,
Richard

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Tish Cohen March 28, 2007 at 11:08 am

This was fascinating, Daryl. And I love your self portraits – they are as insightful as your words. Thank you for your honesty.

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billie March 28, 2007 at 11:45 am

Daryl, I’ll definitely check out your other photos!

Meant to say in my earlier comment that Kay Jamison’s Touched With Fire is also a wonderful read to do with bipolar/cyclothymic issues and the artistic temperament. If you haven’t yet read it, I think you’d find it fascinating and perhaps useful.

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Carolyn Burns Bass March 28, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Daryl, I checked out your MySpace yesterday during the great LitPark LoveFest of March 2007. I had started a comment to you yesterday, but was distracted by hungry people wanting my cooking.

There is so much to digest in your interview today. I recognized parts of people I know and love–my dearest, bestest, longest friend is bipolar. We are so blessed there are meds today that offer hope for many manifestations of mental illness.

In my perfect world there are imperfect people. I am one of them. I strove for years to be perfect, but only after I realized that it was my flaws that gave me distinction was I able to release my creativity.

For a person who doesn’t let many people close to you, you’ve done an amazing job of lowering the veil in this transformational interview. May blessings follow.

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Aurelio March 28, 2007 at 1:04 pm

I appreciate your sharing such personal experiences on LitPak today, Daryl. It’s very enlightening and generous of you. Although I am not clinically bipolar, I had one very deep bout of depression in my life. Since that truly horrible experience, I have greater sympathy with those like you who deal with the full-blown stuff. It takes a kind of enduring bravery. I sought professional help and fully agree with your recommendation to do so.

I grew up near Santa Cruz and spent many summers working at a camp near Felton, as crafts counselor and assistant program director. That whole area is magical: redwood forests and a magnificent coastline and a very distinct laid back mood. Glad you were able to return.

Thanks for another good one, Susan!

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Daryl March 28, 2007 at 1:08 pm

Thank you Richard and Tish for the compliments. It is great to meet you too and to feel more a part of this wonderful community. There is so much more to my story though I guess that one day I should really sit down and pound out a memoir. The photography is really like dream work for me, telling stories without words. But the writing that I do is where I really explain the mysteries of who I am and what I know from what I’ve seen and felt. To me, honesty is always the key to reaching to the deepest depths of the soul.

Thanks for the recommendation about Kaye’s other book Billie. My library also has one by her called “Exuberance; The Passion for Life” that sounds very interesting.

Wow Carolyn, you describe so well what I guess really has become my greatest blessing; to realize that amidst my relative imperfections I am actually awake enough to corral disabilities to work to my advantage. I am so blessed already just being in your company. ~ I don’t spend as much time at the MySpace page as I do at the Blogger page though. I know it is tedious to page through archives, but if anyone is so inclined there are gems of insight, confession and transformation buried there.

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Susan Henderson March 28, 2007 at 2:46 pm

Daryl is awesome.

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Nathalie March 28, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Thank you to you both for this interview and more so to Daryl: it can’t be easy to expose all this.
I see a lot of force in this apparent frailty and it is very good that you are able to use your bipolar nature and channel some of it into arts, in things that make you happy (and therefore stronger).
I found your mirror photos quite interesting.

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Sarah Roundell March 28, 2007 at 4:11 pm

Daryl – Thank you so much for being so open with all of us in your interview. Your words in some ways felt like my own as I spent nearly 10 years struggling with bipolar disorder and have now found that perfect combination of meds, therapy, and joy in my life that keep me balanced. I love this idea you have to create things that have never been seen before or to find a new way to present the familiar. Your photos are very good(esp the mirror one) and I look forward to the day I can pick your novel up off of a shelf in a bookstore. Thanks again for sharing such a personal battle with us and I know there are people out there who will take something away from this interview to help themselves. Congratulations on being the contest winner and see you around the park!

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Juliet deWal March 28, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Lance?

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Daryl March 28, 2007 at 7:16 pm

Susan: ditto!

Nathalie: Well, actually it is easier to “expose” these things than one may think after keeping them secret for so long. Certainly they are no longer an embarrassment for me, not now that I am back out in the world and progressing with my own personal work now. Even when I was suffering more (4 years ago for instance) when I first started blogging I made an effort to reveal the truths of what I was experiencing through my writing just to feel heard and to seek out community.

Sarah: Thanks for sharing that you too have suffered from these troubles and have found your way to a healthy and balanced experience. I’m glad you enjoyed the mirror photos. If you look around on my Flickr account you’ll see that something fateful happened to that project! The immediate project I am working on is a micro-zine, probably just one edition because I don’t have the patience to sit and make dozens of these by hand by myself – but it is an introduction to my novel’s protagonist and the general idea of the story’s issues. I’m doing it as a developmental tool to help me visualize this person’s life a little more clearly.

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Daryl March 29, 2007 at 2:52 am

Aurelio: I’m sorry, your comment slipped by me. Well I’m glad for you that your one event of depression did not manifest into something ongoing. And wow, to have grown up in/around Santa Cruz/Felton – that must have been a wonderful time for you. I got to spend a lot of time in the Santa Cruz mountains as a youth, particularly at Mt. Hermon as a teen, so know first hand what you saw, breathed, and walked amongst in those redwood groves. As for the mood of Santa Cruzian’s being laid back? Laid back yet with a great dose of professionalism mixed in with the university students and IT people from the Bay Area being a predominant portion of the population.

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Susan Henderson March 29, 2007 at 8:55 am

Ellen, Robin, Billie, Lauren, Jordan, Richard, Tish, Carolyn, Aurelio, Nathalie, Sarah, and Juliet – Thanks so much for your comments on Daryl’s interview. What a fascinating conversation it’s sparked, and thanks to everyone who checked out his site and listened to the cool Johnny Cash/Fiona Apple song.

I sure do love having this gorgeous photography at LitPark! I’m in awe of those of you with multiple talents.

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Betsy March 29, 2007 at 9:44 am

I agree with everyone – this was so personal and illuminating.

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Kimberly March 29, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Where can I find that mirror??? It looks very similar to the one I had over my dresser as a child (one of those wonderful/horrible 1960’s “faux-french/american-colonial” pieces that folks these days all scramble to coin ‘shabby chic’ and I just call ‘shabby’) but removed from the dresser and placed in a field – it’s truly STUNNING!!!

I so enjoyed your contribution this week, Daryl! Thank you for sharing it with us!

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Julie Ann Shapiro March 29, 2007 at 6:15 pm

Daryl,
Your pictures are extraordinary. The past couple of days I’ve been thinking about them and in some ways haunted by them – but in a good way. I was trying to put a finger on the energy I felt from them. It’s the mirrors of sadness, time, souls lost and here and also of dimensions. I see them as most definitely three dimensional. There’s the real world outside, the world of our story characters and then this other place that’s kind a merging of both worlds, which I think is often experienced in sleep and in meditative states.

Julie

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Anneliese March 30, 2007 at 4:49 am

Earlier I’d opened this interview to read, but felt that the crazy work environment I sat within wouldn’t be the best setting, I put off reading and came back now. I’m very glad I found a quiet time to read this interview.

In one way I can relate to the delusions of grandeur. It’s been a rough road to realize I’m just humble little me. 🙂

Another way I can relate is that I have struggled with depression, and just like you, found my way to the surface of the water by finding words, knowing that I loved words a long time ago, and wondered how I drifted so far away over the years, to return in my mid-thirties.

So thank you for speaking towards that effort; the mid-life return to school and the need to hang onto whatever it is that sparks life into one’s soul. I found that to be true too. Whatever it is, that little flame, walk towards it.

I’m linking my name to my flickr site, since you mentioned flickr and your love of photography. I lose track of time when photo-ing. I carry a little CoolPix in my bag everyday and have a D50 for the bigger photo days.

Thank you D and S for the interview. 🙂

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Daryl April 1, 2007 at 3:51 am

Kimberly: Ha! I got that mirror for free through our local Yahoo Group “Freecycle”. Once I had it loaded into my car I got thinking, “Hmmmm – I bet I could take some interesting photos with this and went straight to my local cemetery. This is actually the very first photo I shot with it.

But the previous owner told me that she bought the mirror at a museum sale in Cleveland.

Julie Ann: Thank you for that wonderful insight about the “inner vision”. A classmate of mine has been urging me to find a deeper meaning not only in the mirror photos, but in my “clone” photos. These words of yours seem to be pointing me to a clearer understanding. I used to have tremendous spiritual focus in my life but (perhaps sadly) it’s disintegrated as a result of this illness. Maybe I’m on a path to rediscovery of a more pertinent understanding through this work.

Anneliese: Good closing summary; reminding me of what I actually said. Wow – Susan, I’m so thankful that you found a way to bring these statements of awareness out of me to share here and that they’ve rung out some truths for others. Anneliese, did you mean you are linking “me” to “your” Flickr? And good for you for carrying your lil’camera! That is the way to develop your visual awareness in being prepared to shoot when moments present themselves. There is valid resonance in all of our stories for even though we walk our paths alone, our experiences bring us together. I thank you all again, with all of my heart for the warm welcome you’ve given me.

~daryl

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Daryl April 1, 2007 at 3:52 am

Well, the photo didn’t display so here is the link:
http://static.flickr.com/182/372611252_3c687c4b57.jpg

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Anneliese April 1, 2007 at 11:35 am

Hi Daryl: I meant that I linked my name here to my Flickr – but yes, I’ll go add you on Flickr so we’ll be buds there. 🙂

Don’t know if you’ll see this question here, but, have you ever noticed that sometimes a photo can’t express what you can better put into words, in terms of setting/scene/place/elements? And that that awareness that a photo can’t capture what you see, makes you grateful for the chance to express what you see with words?

And then on the other hand, sometimes, photos do all the work, when words fail. 🙂

See you over on Flickr.

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Susan Henderson April 1, 2007 at 8:10 pm

Betsy, Kimberly, Julie, Anneliese, and Daryl – Enjoyed all the conversation. Thanks for your thoughts and your stories.

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Daryl April 2, 2007 at 5:02 am

Yes Anneliese I am finding that to be more and more true. From the time in my teens when I first began to write and create images I felt strongly that the two mediums should be melded together. And now in my process of creating a zine I am seeing how I can make the two work together for benefit of the reader/viewer.

I wonder though how far to take this idea because there are times when I’ll see a photo in Flickr that will have poetry, or lines from a song the photographer hopes will unveil deeper meaning for their image, when many times the photograph speaks well enough for itself and then the “writing” actually detracts from it. This is not always the case though as sometimes lyrics will fit perfectly with an image and empower it. I’ve actually seen one person put an mp3 link next to a photo so that you could hear the song that had a connection to the memory of her dead father. That was powerful.

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