Α. Two overflowing rivers of artistic creation
Continuing from the previous post I’m posting one more song from The Ballad of Mauthausen:
When the war is over (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwSUymJA_qM, 1966, Singer: Μαρία Φαραντούρη, Lyrics: Ιάκωβος Καμπανέλλης & Composer: Μίκης Θεοδωράκης)
“Girl with the fearful eyes / Girl with the icy hands /
When the war is over / do not forget me …… Let’s fall in love in the quarry /
in the gas chambers / on the ladder of the machine guns”
Two ink/pen drawings that came about as I engaged with Mikis Theodorakis and Maria Farantouris’ music. The portraits have been inspired by a photo of Farantouri in her youth.
Β. Becoming an echo
“Our silence has become a trauma now. Day and night on the same course …… Both mind and body in repression…..” (Babel, Lyrics: Gerasimos Evangelatos)
I’m also providing a link, Γίνε αντίλαλος, χαρά μου (Become an echo, my joy) at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMfnO3EOTQs of a TEDx University of Crete video, where a Greek singer, Μαρία Παπαγεωργίου, talks about her ten year struggle with severe panic attacks and her decision to break the silence in order to create an echo. She quotes: “The echo of our choices often goes unnoticed, but it is the one that makes the most noise…” I’ve previously referred to her book in 11-2-2021 post. Anxiety and panic attacks are multifaceted issues and there are many ways to approach them in terms of understanding the multiple causes, less optimal coping behaviours, and the ways to manage symptoms and heal. Also, although anxiety attacks include shortness of breath, racing heart, tightness in the throat, chest pain, muscle contraction or numbness, and a sense of impending doom, they may feel different for different people. As the speaker clarifies this talk is a very personal narrative. And I think it reflects the courage of one person to talk about something she has struggled and dealt with, in order to normalize and de-stigmatize, and also, connect with people who have experienced debilitating anxiety to one degree or another, and ultimately, with everyone, because anxiety is part of the human condition. In any case, the more we talk about our experiences, our emotions and our vulnerabilities, the fewer aspects of our humanity will be shamed, pathologized or ostracized, and the easier it will be for people to acquire information, get support in the process of healing, growing, changing, and being more of their authentic selves.
As I wrote in a recent post “In our contemporary societies we have been socialized to suppress the so called “negative emotions”, which results in our banishing and stigmatizing a huge part of our human experience with negative effects both for our health and wellbeing, but also, for our decision making. For instance, sadness can bring insight of what we don’t like or miss and help us let go of things; grief helps us mourn and release what we have lost; situational depression alerts us to something being wrong or off in our lives, apathy and boredom might hide depression or allow us some detachment in situations, where we need to just carry on, guilt alerts us to our being out of line with our values, and exploring our anger can bring about change or motivate us to act. Actually, not exploring it can lead to aggression, suppression of other emotions like fear or shame, and more suffering. Problem solving requires awareness of all our emotions. This hyper focus in contemporary societies on positivity and the dysfunctional idea of “negative emotions”, which McLaren refers to as toxic positivity bias does not serve us, but is an effective way to maintain social control and to prevent people from shaking up the status quo by not complaining or demanding social change.
C. Insiders and outsiders
Finally, a few ideas from a useful book, especially, for new parents, that I am currently reading: Baby Bomb by Kara Hoppe, MFT and Stan Tatkin, PhyD.
One key point that the authors explore is parental decision-making from the perspective of insiders and outsiders. They support that the parents need to be the insiders in all their glory as co-captains of their family ship and that everyone else is an outsider. And that putting the couple first is like creating an invisible force field around the two, which gives security and strength and an ever-present sense of loving protection. Then from this safe and secure place, the couple can reach out and incorporate others (the outsiders) in whatever ways they choose. They emphasize the importance of insiders making sure that outsiders don’t hijack the decision-making process, not to say that outsiders don’t have important roles to play, but the key is for the couple / parents to maintain status as insiders while allowing support from outsiders. They believe that it is important to discuss concerns about outsiders who could make it harder for the couple as insiders. They write: “Consider how easily you can be influenced by experts or your own parents when it comes to certain parenting decisions. The more insider info you can gather about how you and your partner will navigate your outsiders’ influence, the better…..Especially, new parents need an entire support staff of experts, doctors, other parents, friends, family, blog posts, and so on for necessary information. You’ve never been parents before, and your child is always changing and growing, keeping the learning curve steep. It’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel, but it is necessary to decide together which wheel you’re rolling with…… As secure-functioning co-captains, you can alert each other to each decision as it arises and stay with one another until you make your team decision. Use the concept of insiders and outsiders to strengthen your team and to clarify the role of your extended team.”
More ideas in the next post