The substance of survival

Like Degas,
Ethereal white,
Amid darkness.

Her quivering limbs,
Stark and lined,
Strong and supple.

Elegant, graceful,
Even disembodied,
She is learning.

How to
Dance,
Dream,

Inspire,
Overcome,
Survive.

She is
Substance
Personified.

Sister piece to Substance (Series)#3

Currently unavailable for purchase


The substance of survival by 


Kallena Kucers (aka DragonFlyer) has received well-deserved acclaim for her series of artworks depicting The Sense of Self

From the series of works entitled SUBSTANCE I was inspired to write this poem for #3

Below is a description which was used to explain the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the series of works in her phenomenal exhibition

If a young child must grow in an environment in which he/she cannot be safely held, and escape in the mind is at times necessary and has been learnt, this skill has further implications for the developing young person as they sense themselves to ‘be’ in their growing and developing body.

All of us, as we grow in infancy, need to learn to sense where each of us ‘begins and ends’, where our boundaries are. This includes the ability to feel ones self as grounded in the body. An awareness that the body ‘fits’ us, an awareness where each of us ‘begins and ends’ and where the next person ‘begins and ends’ as someone other than ‘us’, together with the ability to feel and be aware of feeling any sensations impacting on the body at the time they are happening.

If the dissociative skill of ‘flight’ has needed to be learnt then, of course, the body is no longer felt to be as it really is, all the time. Physical feelings are also ‘dissociated and left behind in the room’ as the mind flies away.

If this skill of ‘physical dissociation’ needs to be used often, if can then become an unconscious means of coping in many situations – even some that may otherwise not seem so dangerous, distressing and painful. And, the sense of self a person has of really being IN their own body may never fully develop.

But then, for a child growing up in such circumstances, that child will not be aware of his/her loss. He/she has not ever known another, healthier and more complete way of being. Other skills will be learnt to compensate for the gaps in memory, the confusion that can arise from regularly finding themselves in situations others assume they know (as they HAVE been there before), but have no conscious memory of it.

Though emotional (feeling) development is shut down as feelings and emotions are dissociated, cognitive and intellectual development may even be enhanced, through the necessity to compensate for what has never been known to be.

But, though ‘flight in the mind’ from situations that are too overwhelming and painful to manage is possible, the body does, and must in reality, actually remain in that situation. Conscious awareness of being trapped may be lost, but something of the ‘self’, some part of the mind as well as the physical body will and must retain a memory of the events that happened, that needed to be flown away from.

In time, there may develop a sense that the body in a way ‘acts and feels’ on it’s own. Strange sensations and urges most probably will develop, that cannot be understood until the memory of what the body was forced to experience is made eventually conscious.

I’ll defer to Anna Quindlen, of The New York Times: “People who are knowledgeable about poetry sometimes discuss it in that knowing, rather hateful way in which oenophiles talk about wine: robust, delicate, muscular. This has nothing to do with how most of us experience it, the heart coming around the corner and unexpectedly running into the mind. Of all the words that have stuck to the ribs of my soul, poetry has been the most filling.”

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Comments

  • eoconnor
    eoconnorover 4 years ago

    w0ow well done amazing work !LIZ

  • Thanks so much Liz – I find Kallena’s artwork truly inspiring xoxo

    – msdebbie

  • DragonFlyer
    DragonFlyerover 4 years ago

    Wow – this is so beautiful Deb! Congratulations – and thank you so much :)))
    K xxx

  • Thank you inspirational one!

    – msdebbie

  • Nebsy
    Nebsyover 4 years ago

    Identifies the substance beneath the “ethereal white”.

  • Yep, you get it :D

    – msdebbie

  • JLSeagull
    JLSeagullover 4 years ago

    The art gives me goosebumps and your words are so inspiring.

  • Thank you JL – it is all testament to Kallena’s artistry :)

    – msdebbie

  • Kristin Reynolds
    Kristin Reynoldsover 4 years ago

    she is stunning.

  • Thank you lovely Kristin – it is all testament to Kallena’s artistry :)

    – msdebbie

  • helene ruiz
    helene ruizover 4 years ago

    perfect!

  • Thank you lovely Helene – it is all testament to Kallena’s artistry :)

    – msdebbie

  • raymondoantonio
    raymondoantonioover 4 years ago

    HOW DID I MISS THIS SUPERB COLLAB!! BELLISSIMO DEBBIE!!! XO

  • you. Lengthier than expected absence from the internet – not yet connected in the new Brunswick place. Trying to decide on something, so probably going to be mid-Nov I am back properly. You have no idea how I’m missing RB…but yeah, on the whole, very happy (((giggling))) See you at RR Nov 6!

    – msdebbie

  • sandra22
    sandra22over 4 years ago

    I missed this too Deb…lovely words and image sweet heart
    sandra x

  • you. Lengthier than expected absence from the internet – not yet connected in the new Brunswick place. Trying to decide on something, so probably going to be mid-Nov I am back properly. You have no idea how I’m missing RB…but yeah, on the whole, very happy (((giggling))) See you at RR Nov 6? Pretty please!

    – msdebbie

  • Arcadia Tempest
    Arcadia Tempestover 4 years ago

    Hello where ever you are….
    Gorgeous work here… keep happy xxx

  • Hey you. Lengthier than expected absence from the internet – not yet connected in the new Brunswick place. Trying to decide on something, so probably going to be mid-Nov I am back properly. You have no idea how I’m missing RB…but yeah, on the whole, very happy (((giggling)))

    – msdebbie

  • moyo
    moyoover 3 years ago

    apparently she was suspended by rb because she spoke up against the selling of unethical art at rb.

  • jeez, that is awful news. I will see if I can make contact with her outside RB, we live close by in melbourne

    – msdebbie

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