Find Me On Facebook PLEEEEEAAAASE!
July 2, 2014, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Human Potential

I write mostly on Facebook now. When I try to write here I just feel like I am empty and numb and paralyzed. I have nothing to say. I don’t know why. Maybe because my mind works best with small ideas at a time expressed without always being connected to each other. Or maybe something I’m unconscious of within me chooses Facebook because it’s “inappropriate” or weird to write there the way I do: I write A LOT, like what feels like hundreds of statuses a day. Anyway, find me there: Marla Luster. You are welcome. I may insult you at times, but mostly I just reveal embarrassing or “inappropriate” stuff. Come on Down, Folks!

Okay, I’m bout to TRY to post something here on sex soon. Today or tomorrow. Lata and LOVE, folks!

It Don’t Matta (Repeat x 8): Turn Down For What
June 15, 2014, 1:36 pm
Filed under: Human Potential

Hmmm. Let’s see. I was planning what to write as I searched for this Panera Bread I’m sitting at now in Alyson Park, PA (never heard of it, someone just told me that’s where I am, not sure about the spelling.). Anyway, I wanted to explain that I’m taking a long break on a long drive. I’ve taken a couple/few breaks so far on a (what?) eight-hour-plus drive from Richmond, VA to Cleveland, OH. Uh. In other words, I going the way of the hare, not the turtle. Not “I’m going” but “I going”.

The hare is confident that he got this shit in the bag. He takes naps, he relaxes. He sleeps with the lights on in a crummy motel because the world hates him and wants to kill him. (Huh?) No, no he doesn’t. (Yes, yes he does.) He knows he will win no matter what (even though the world calls him a loser), so he can take a roundabout path if he wants, he doesn’t have to walk the straight-and-narrow.

Slow and steady wins the race in the devil’s upside down world, but not necessarily in life. (Oh no, I said “devil”. That is wrong. That is definitely crazy. Yes, yes. You know EVERYTHING the world has taught you. No need to think for yourself.) Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with the turtle, I guess. Except that this world hates its “successful people” as much as it pretends to love them. It murders them, who they really are, wants them to be perfect images. I saw a picture of a turtle recently bound by a plastic, canned-soda holder and I believe it was symbolic of what this country does to its winners: it restricts and constrains them with all the things it deems “trash” (like being “negative.” We don’t like “negative” people, like Kanye West. The (devil’s) world hates him.)

Anyway, I keep seeing rabbits, and you know what us crazy schizophrenic niggas do. We make crazy sense a shit. Well, I do, and other schizophrenic people I’ve met who don’t know to hide themselves and be ashamed when they talk to me do as well. In this world people making “crazy” sense a shit is wrong. It’s murda: “Murder was the case that they gave me,” said Snoop Dogg. (And people who do make crazy sense of shit get the book thrown at them AND get murdered by medicine to make them someone they are not, forced medicine in fucked up psychiatric hospitals, like Old Vineyard Behavioral Health in Winston-Salem, NC.)

The straight and narrow is right here: get married, have kids, make lots of money, marriage between a man and a woman, same-race preferably, be positive, don’t judge, smile, smile, smile says your employer (your God). The path of least resistance = the path of most social acceptance and success.

The straight and narrow says that if you make mistakes, you are a loser. The world says I’m a loser. I’ve walked outside naked a few times, gotten frost bite, dropped out of grad school (feeling like I couldn’t do nothin right and shit), drove all ova the place thinking I was saving the world and my unborn savior baby conceived through emaculate conception. And, guess what? This world wants to put me and shackles and kill me.

It wants to kill who I am and make me believe I’m a mistake. It wants to force me to take medicine and threaten to abandon me in some mental hospital (Old Vineyard Behavioral Health in Winston-Salem, NC from May 28 – June 13, 2014) until I bow down to the world and admit that I’m a mistake, an abomination, a “chemical imbalance” in the brain (said the “doctor at OVBH ova and ova and ova and… Good Lord!!!). It wants me to take medicine I don’t believe in by mouth in the hospital setting (refusing to do so and getting forced injections SEVEN TIMES is NOT enough. I wonder why?).

“Kill yourself” says the voice of society in your head. It is the devil. Some people hear an audible voice. Some people feel the voice… and they listen. And they are considered “normal.”

I feel so out of it lately, so disoriented. And then once more afraid of everything. A voice keeps saying I have PTSD from my experience at OVBH where I was restrained and forced to endure sometimes painful (always disorienting, and unbearable) injections of the psychiatric drug Geodon. I feel I’m being negative here and I feel bad about it, but as I finish out, I’m satisfied with what I’v written. My fear at times: Is it me or is it the indoctrination I got in that hospital that wanted to remake me? Or is the world’s remaking of me, which I am still fighting. Perhaps this is the battle hinted at in that Snoop Dogg “Deep Cover” song I was hearing.

Over and out. Back on the road I go. I got kicked out of my sister’s house because I refused to take psychiatric meds, so that’s why I’m headed to Cleveland. Someone I know said I could stay with her. We’ve never been super close, but we just kind of appreciate each other. She definitely has said stuff to suggest she thinks I’m crazy. The difference is she says it, AND she sticks around to hear what I have to say in response. I don’t have that kind of interaction with anyone else in my life right now. Over and Out niggas!

My Time In The ‘Slammer’
June 14, 2014, 12:59 am
Filed under: Human Potential

I think I was labeled a “paranoid schizophrenic” in 2010. It was kind of a systematic thing. I think the psychiatrist I saw at Chesterfield County Mental Health had to make some “decision” on my case after having seen me a while. (C’mon: She probably just went through the motions of a whack job that she didn’t really care about, instead of really “deciding” anything.)

Anyway, I found out when I did my annual information update with my social worker. It was kind of a causal, passing-of-information thing. I’d been labeled maybe months before I actually found out. The first psychiatrist I saw, one of the only ones I’ve liked, in the hospital in New Jersey when I had my first “psychotic episode” in 2008 didn’t want to label me “schizophrenic” and diagnosed me with “psychosis, not otherwise specified,” which I guess was okay (?) until I had a second “psychotic episode.”

I’m not so sensitive about the labels anymore. The reason I’m mentioning it now is because I never felt I was really paranoid. But now I feel I am. I feel right now like I’m afraid of everything, my so-called family (who just seemed cold over the phone while I was in the hospital recently), even some police officers I saw at a gas station today on my way home from my two-week-plus involuntary stay at a mental facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A minute ago I felt afraid to take a shower, although I could really use one (I took just a couple in the hospital, which shouldn’t surprise you if you read the last post).

It’s hard to feel like you have no rights and people can do with you whatever they please. That’s how I felt at Old Vineyard Behavioral Health in Winston- Salem, NC.

One of the side effects of the medicine I was forced to take at OVBH is anxiety. To be honest, I have felt anxiety a lot of times during “psychotic episodes” when I first stop taking psychiatric medication, but I didn’t feel it when I came off before I went into the hospital recently. But the anxiety I feel when I’ve stopped meds is usually just fear in general, not so much fear of the devil (or an evil, do-anything-you-want-with-people world), which is what I feel now. The whole world kind of feels haunted and scary (and justifyingly so because of my recent experiences).

I just felt like everyone was against me when I was in the “hospital” setting (including my “family,” my mom said I wouldn’t have experienced what I did in the hospital if I hadn’t done something “stupid”). Staff members lied when they forced meds the first night I was there and said I was agitated when I was not. It freaked me out to hear someone lie about my behavior to the doctor while standing right in front of me. It’s enough to make someone go crazy to experience that a lot, all the lies, all the torture (physical restraint and forced “medicine” injections) labeled “treatment.” (Yes, torture labeled as treatment: That. is. insane.) I feel my experience at Old Vineyard hurt my mental health more than it helped anything. I feel I was stronger going in than coming out.

Anyway, the good news is I believe in myself more than I have during any of the previous four hospital stays. I don’t believe I’m mentally ill. I hear voices. And… I’m grateful for them. They are the most real communications I’ve ever had in my life. Most people are unavailable for genuine human interaction because so much about being human is deemed inappropriate, embarrassing, private, etc. in this world.

But the voices relate to things that matter to me, they mirror me, encourage me and made me feel I was not alone in life when in reality I’ve been alone all my life and I still am–except for the voices. They say things like, “right as rain” when I think of how backwards the world is, they played me that “Beautiful” (Mariah Carey and Miguel) song during the stay in the hospital when I felt I’d lost all hope.

It was the darkest experience of my life because so many times I felt something would stop the staff from forcing me to stay there and take meds, and yet they were not stopped (from forcing meds) until I complied and took meds by mouth. I felt I had to lie to the doctor about everything to finally be able to leave. I didn’t even want to talk to those “doctors.”

I hate lying, but I felt it was the only way I’d go home. To be honest, I did not swallow the pills several times during the hospital stay, just pretended to (which was good to remember when staff talked about how much my behavior “improved” — they’re insane). That was one of many “lies” I told. I also lied and said I’d take meds when I left. I will not, of course.

Anyway, I suppose I’ll get around to telling what I did to get put in the “fake slammer,” i.e. mental institution (the anything-goes-place to put people when they are no criminal charges against them). Well, I ended up leaving “home” (where I am now typing this, at least for tonight) and going to North Carolina. Anyway, fast forward, I was going to find a place to stay (a homeless shelter, a voice suggested) and a voice mentioned leaving my car behind because it was a false attachment. This sounds crazy, but I don’t see it that way and I think that’s my right. Anyway, I was going to find a place to put the car, which I’ve never really liked anyway.

Here’s a good spot to mention that I feel this world is fake in pretty much every way: what is considered important is not (appearances), what is considered love is not (marriage, family), what is considered “good” is not (such as psychiatric “medicine”), fake conversations, fake news (like only Donald Sterling is racist when really everyone is racist. Everyone. And they should be in a world where racial stereotypes ARE reality, wtf? Why are all my psychiatrists middle eastern? I’m not sure the politically correct term. Time to roast me. Also, race certainly seems reflective of a person’s character in a reality where almost everyone marries, befriends and dates within his/her own race).

Anyway, when I did what I did I was in the mindset that I was going to end this world (and I still am, almost like civil rights activists wanted to end the false reality of racial segregation and broke laws to do so). I ended up parking my car in an apartment complex (to leave the “false attachment” as mentioned above). As soon as I parked the car a voice said something about me going to the door of a townhouse/apartment that was directly across from the car. The voice said the person there was expecting me, that was the right house to go to.

It said something like, “You’re the only person who can do this.” I think I was sold at that. (So? And?) Anyway, those words also meant to me somehow that I should knock on the door naked, since I do that now whenever I have an “episode.” I think of it as believing in myself. Anyway, with the voice’s encouragement, I ended up bashing in the door and found this really calm woman. She was so calm and unafraid I assumed she must’ve worked someplace with “mentally ill” people.

Anyway, end of story: I would do what I did again. I don’t believe in this world. I think it’s a load of shit in every way imaginable, except perhaps on a private, individual basis in one’s own mind. It seems once something is shared in this reality, it’s sugar-coated and fake (I do my best not to be fake, but I don’t always tell every single detail because it seems like too much work, like right now I feel kind of tired of writing.)

When people’s beliefs clash with the world (as they did with runaway slaves and civil rights activists) it might mean breaking the law. So imprison me. Don’t try to change who I am. That’s a violation of my rights. The woman didn’t press charges by the way. My mom did pay her $160 for the door. I already planned to pay for it had I been released from the “slammer” earlier, even before I knew she asked for payment.

[Last updated 3:40 p.m. 6/14/14]

Behind Appearances, Or Behind My Image
May 20, 2014, 11:21 pm
Filed under: Human Potential | Tags: , , ,

Warning: Potentially disturbing content.

I’ve wanted to do this a long time, but I was afraid. I’m sorry, but I’m not an image. I don’t want to participate in the world as an image anymore. If this is off my chest, maybe I can speak more freely, as if I am okay as I am, even in light of the things I’m most ashamed of.

Revealing things on Facebook lately has already helped me to talk to others more openly. I felt so… legitimate, for example, when I saw a gynecologist Monday for some irregular bleeding, cramps and discomfort I was experiencing last week.

I think I have a common condition called endometriosis, which is when some blood or other things are not released with a woman’s period. To me, it’s symbolic of how things I want to say are being held back because I think I’m flawed or inappropriate or unacceptable, which is inevitable if you hide things about yourself.

I’ve walked outside naked twice in “psychotic episodes,” so maybe it’s time I really went “naked.” And freed myself. Here I go.

Behind my image… I have herpes: oral and genital, a bump is down there right now. I’m ashamed to tell that, but oh well. I think I gave genital herpes to someone once when I had sex during an outbreak (I called him one day and he didn’t say anything for a while and then he hung up).

I think I gave oral herpes to a “boyfriend” (I didn’t really like him and I don’t believe in romantic love now). I kissed him when I had a bump on my lip. I got oral herpes because one day I was looking at the bumps around my vagina in a vanity mirror and I (not thinking) touched my lip to bite the skin off my lip with the same hand I had touched my vagina with.

I have an itchy spot on my butt in the crack (that used to scab over). The doctor said it’s nothing, but I think it’s sex-related, even though I’ve never had anal sex.

I have a hair that sticks out under my chin, discovered when I was 18 by the first boyfriend I had.

I have stretch marks on my boobs and my butt.

I don’t shower often (maybe once or twice a week), just because I don’t want to.

I peed my pants during a job interview at The Richmond Free Press in Fall 2006.

I had an abortion when I was 21. I’m not  as ashamed of that as much as some other things here.

I have corns on my toes (as my Facebook cover photos show).

I hid dirty maxi pads under my bed for a while as a kid because I didn’t want my dad to know I started my period.

I haven’t had sex in 10 years, and it’s not because of the herpes.

I don’t like sex, never have, I just thought I should do it to be “normal” and because everyone else said it was so great.

Sometimes I have random thoughts, like I’m alone with that child, so I could hurt that child like a bad person would. Or I’m alone with that man, we could have sex. But I don’t want really want to do those things. It’s just like I see that I could do them and be “bad,” free.

I’m uncomfortable saying that, but maybe it needs to be said. I believe we create the “monsters” we fear by calling people “bad” and outcasting them. Sometimes that line in the sand looks like the line into another world, one with another kind of love: unconditional love.

Sometimes I feel like I hate everyone.

I feel like people are not honest about their real reality behind “appearances.” But I haven’t been honest, either. I’m not sure it would matter if they were because I think we are in a false reality based on “parts” of God denying they are God. We deny the truth, so nothing here can be true no matter what we do when we believe we are meaningless, bad, etc. I feel I am starting to see how I am a part of God, as the book A Course in Miracles says, but I still don’t completely understand.

Today I am wondering, as I often do, whether I’m the only one here and everyone else is God pretending to be average (asleep) people to teach me a lesson: To believe in myself.

I have a theory that the only reason this world continues is because everyone hides the truth. Because everyone hides, no one can see that the “successes” people celebrate don’t bring happiness as appearances (people, television commercials, etc.) suggest.

Married people are unhappy because their worth is defined by them being married in this culture; rich people are unhappy because their worth is defined by their money; good-looking people are unhappy because their worth is defined by their looks; a lot of men are unhappy because their worth is defined by having a good-looking wife here.

No one can be happy being an image who: 1) can’t say what he wants, 2) can’t do what he wants, 3) disregards who he is to survive and make money, like I’ve done (all three things) all my life. By writing this, I’m stepping out on faith for something more than I see all around me.

I keep hearing songs in my head (I am diagnosed with schizophrenia) that I think are trying to tell me reveal this stuff, (in one song Snoop Dogg mentions women with sexually transmitted diseases and another song by Busta Rhymes says “put all your hands where my eyes can see… In God we trust.”

And I hear the song, “He’s got the whole world in His hands…” Earlier I was worrying about losing my social security disability benefits because of things I’m saying here and on Facebook that may make people mad and I heard a line from the song “I Find It Hard to Say (Rebel).” The line was: “Fret not thyself I say against these laws of man.”

These relevant songs are one reason I start to think I must be the only one here, that this is my dream. Plus, it’s how I make sense of the fact that no one else says anything about how fake everything is here: celebrating things that people feel societal pressure to do, like get married as if it’s really in their hearts.

That’s one reason I feel I have to do what I’m doing. If reincarnation is real, I’m trying to make sure I don’t return here. I don’t want to come back and figure out that everything is fake again ALL BY MYSELF, except for help from books like A Course in Miracles (and Lauryn Hill).

I feel like I’m by myself here. I think that’s why I keep hearing this Paramore song, “Don’t go cryin’ to your mama cuz you’re on your own in the real world…”

“Many men, many, many, many, many men wish death upon me. I don’t cry no more. I don’t look to the sky no more”: I hear this 50 Cent song in my head, which I think refers to the death of my ego. This is another thing that makes me think I’m the only one here, and others (other parts of God) are waiting for me to kill my ego, so we can go home, to heaven.

“Your brothers were not happy because you were not here,” a voice told me the night I walked on Chippenham Highway naked and barefoot and got frostbite. I thought it meant I was supposed to get hit by a car and go to heaven with my brothers there. But now I think it meant I withhold so much of myself, like what I want to say. It’s like I’m not here. Lackluster: A world without me (Marla Luster).

Another thing that makes me think this is my dream: That night I went out naked this man stopped to help me and he ended up touching my vagina. He tried to force me into the car. I was yelling for help and trying to get away from him, but I couldn’t. I told him, “You’re my brother, I love you,” and he stopped, stared at me, and called 911. A voice told me before I left out naked, “rape.”

I was thinking of it before the voice said it because after the last time I walked outside naked people told me I could’ve been raped. I didn’t believe them because I thought God was asking me to let go of this world in every psychotic episode I had. That included letting go of hiding things (like a naked body) from people out of fear.

[I revised this a lot from the original. Last updated 1:22 a.m. 5/21/14.]

A Storyless Place
May 6, 2014, 3:58 am
Filed under: Human Potential | Tags: , , ,

Another blogger I like questioned something I said in the post The Real Wizard of Oz:

“I think everyone gets everything he needs to be who he is meant to be, whether it’s a musical or being expelled from school.”

What about serial killers and others despised in our culture, like child molesters–are they who they’re meant to be? What place do they have?

Writer of the blog MindfuLust asked me this  in the comments of that post. I asked myself almost the exact question as I thought about what I wrote, but more so in terms of, why doesn’t a higher power help them? Maybe a higher power is helping from within all of us, but it is misunderstood because we interpret what we feel with conditioned minds.

Everything has a place in a broader story. And everything (and everyone) also has it’s own story. Everyone’s story, like fictional stories, have the goal of changing the mind of the main character. The main character is you. Society tends to make us feel like only a precious few are main characters. People who mess up are “bad” and that’s the end of their role in someone else’s story. But that’s not how real stories work.

Wicked, the musical I wrote about in the questioned post, does what society never does. It tells the whole story of a “bad” guy. The story reveals that the “wicked” witch is not “bad.” Society can’t endure such stories. When only appearances matter, not whole stories, opposites are needed to define each other, and are only meaning we have. The only sense we make of things is whether they are “good” or “bad.” We do not look deeper.

People who break the law probably have some desire to be “above the law,” or exist beyond the boundaries set by society. If you see a movie, you’ll probably see this desire to be “above the law” only in the “bad” guy. I believe you will find similar desires in the average person because it relates to our purpose here: to transcend the world we’ve made to control us, to make us “civilized.”

I imagine this misinterpreted longing for freedom drives someone to kill, someone to rape, someone to turn to a child to be seen as acceptable in his/her sexual desires. Killing, raping etc. are all means of escaping society’s limits. Killing someone is gaining an experience normally withheld from the average citizen. To rape is to gain something that is flaunted and yet is just beyond one’s grasp (at least with sought-after women, who are like trophies for “successful” men).

These acts are aimed at gaining something society both celebrates and makes exclusive to “winners”, such as a woman’s body, or a person’s life (which can be restricted with imprisonment or execution), or sexual enjoyment/freedom.

I know about the freedom felt by those who step outside the lines. In my first psychotic episode I felt alive following a higher law than the everyday laws and rules that restricted me. I drove from Richmond, VA to New Jersey to escape someone who was chasing me (really no one was chasing me). I drove over the speed limit, I passed cars driving on the wrong side of the road, I peed my pants while pumping gas at a gas station.

I felt so relieved, so liberated when I remembered that the world was ending (I thought) and that I had to rely on my gut, not the law, to save my baby. (Really I wasn’t pregnant with God’s baby, the second coming of Christ, as I thought.) No one else knew what was happening, so I only had myself. I was so clear on what to do at times because I was unrestricted by worldly concerns. I brushed aside shame, fear, and my seeming societal insignificance.

In my episodes, I was not one of many sheep to keep in line. I was “Chosen,” a voice said. “The One,” the voice said. Finally, I was the main character. Later I felt ashamed of what the voices said, as I continued hearing them. But during my episode, my moment of liberation, the voices meant it was up to me to save the world.

For once, I didn’t have to disregard myself, as I did everyday working a job unrelated to do with my strongest function: making sense of things. It’s like my strong function became perverted in psychotic episodes. Maybe that’s what happens to serial killers, rapists and child molesters. They’re main characters fighting for the starring role society says is not theirs.

Here’s what we hear of mental illness, the “crazy” part only: the voices and behaviors with no exploration of the “bad” guy, the alien. “Pregnant,” I heard a voice say again and again, years after my first episode. “You’ve been robbed.” I heard a voice say. “Bamboozled.” it said.

I yelled back, “Leave me alone!” I mimicked them in a dumbo voice sometimes. I felt they were saying I was doing something wrong. I was doing what was taught.

I was rejecting my natural self. I was pregnant. With my unconditioned self. I’m still pregnant. I see with society’s eyes. I see someone as better if she is prettier. But I ask for help. I ask for this thing I’ve looked up in the dictionary repeatedly. I ask for integrity. And I keep getting help. I see a white person driving an expensive car and I no longer see him as more successful, happier, more knowledgeable about how to live.

I know now that the most elusive thing–people’s full stories behind appearances–would reveal that the happy endings society sells, such as being rich, only look good from the outside. Living as an image isn’t success. Awakening to your true self is. I was so angry seeing everyone smiling while following the expectation that they hide”shameful” things. I thought I was crazy long before I heard a voice because I felt I couldn’t do it. “Bamboozled.”

The next time you consider asking, “What about the serial killers (as I also asked myself)?” look again at your view. Is it your own? Or is it conditioned by a storyless place? “You’ve been robbed.”

Last revised 11:06 a.m. 5/7/2014

Another Reality
May 3, 2014, 6:25 pm
Filed under: Human Potential, Mental Illness | Tags:

I liked this story because I thought it related to the agreed-upon outer reality versus the reality that can be discovered within. Once I asked God for another reality, thinking it was impossible. The agreed-upon reality all around me felt very restricting for me, like lots of agreed-upon realities must have felt in the past. I couldn’t see that it was made up and not real and that all I had to do was see with untrained eyes. I am writing and rewriting something about it.

For now, here is the story I liked that I read in “The Journey in Consciousness” posted on the blog o-meditation.com:

There is an ancient story in Buddhist scriptures…

A very rich man accumulated much wealth – accumulated so much gold that there was no place to hoard it any more. But suddenly something happened. One morning he woke up and saw that all his gold had turned into dust. You can think he must have gone mad.

Somebody helped him towards Buddha – Buddha was staying in the town – and the man went there. And Buddha said ‘You do one thing. Take all your gold into the market-place, and if somebody recognises it as gold, bring that man to me.’

But he said ‘How is it going to help me?’

Buddha said ‘It is going to help you. Go.’

So he took all his gold – thousands of bullock-carts of dust, because now it was all dust. The whole market was full of his bullock-carts. And people were coming and asking ‘What nonsense is this? Why are you carrying so much dust to the market-place? For what?’

But the man kept quiet.

Then a woman came. Her name was Kisagautami. And she said to this man ‘So much gold?

From where could you get so much gold?’

He asked the woman ‘Can you see the gold here?’

She said ‘Oh yes. These thousand bullock-carts are full of gold.’

He took hold of the woman and asked her what secret she had. ‘How can she see? Because nobody… not even I can see that there is any gold; it is all dust.’

He took the woman to Buddha, and Buddha said ‘You have found the right woman – she will teach you the art. It is only a question of seeing. The world is as you see it. It can be hell, it can be heaven. Gold can be dust, and dust can be gold. It is a question of how you look at it. This is the right woman. You become a disciple of Kisagautami. She will teach you. And the day you know how to see rightly, the whole world turns into gold. That is the secret of alchemy.’

That Kisagautami was a rare woman of those days. And the man learnt through her the art of turning the whole world into gold.


The Real Wizard of Oz
April 25, 2014, 6:21 pm
Filed under: Human Potential | Tags: ,

“They were friends until they called one good and one wicked.” — The commercial for the hit musical, “Wicked”

I went to see “Wicked” yesterday, the story of the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz. The story was powerful. It fits wonderfully with the theme of The Wizard of Oz, which is personally meaningful to me. It sheds light on the challenge faced by someone who feels stigmatized (like people with mental illness, for example) and the challenge probably faced by visionaries and revolutionaries, like maybe Martin Luther King Jr. (that’s who I thought of during the play, but my historical knowledge is limited).

I emphasize “story line” because I did not appreciate the musical as a whole. I did not like the loud music and felt it was hard to understand what the characters said when they sang their words. In a way I was glad to see that money did not buy me something really valuable that some people (on the surface) cannot afford, or that I can only afford very rarely (I’m on disability, but I’ve never made a lot of money). I say, “on the surface” because I don’t think money can keep someone from experiences that will really benefit him. I think everyone gets everything he needs to be who he is meant to be, whether it’s a musical or being expelled from school.

Anyway, the story line definitely delivers based on the tagline of the television commercial that made me feel I HAD to see it the last time it was in Richmond. I didn’t give in and buy a ticket until this time. “They were friends until they called one good and one wicked,” the commercial says. That line stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it. That was when “Wicked” came to Richmond two years ago. I heard a voice say, “wicked” maybe a month ago. A couple days later I saw the television commercial saying “Wicked” was back.

I feel the message of the musical is important to me and humanity. The story deals with separation not unlike the racial separations in American or world history. Separation is apparently an issue for mankind. I guess the issue gets buried somehow.

I feel like all the pomp and circumstance of going to the musical–people getting dressed up, the expensive tickets, people taking their kids to help them progress along the lines that society dictates–can mask the underdog’s tale underneath it all that seems to clash with the pomp. Why else would the musical be so popular, but the message seem so unpopular in everyday life? I assumed yesterday that the musical must be popular for the pomp–the big deal made over a musical–because people in general seem so unaffected by the revolutionary tone of it and other art, including children’s stories. As I write this I see another reason the message seems missed by the average person: The message speaks to something deep within, a thing that gets overlooked when people get wrapped up in  the ways of the world, such as being as rich or good looking or successful as the next person.

It’s hard for me to consistently see that society (or “the crowd”) IS “The Wizard of Oz” and has no power, no brain, heart or courage to offer because those things can only be discovered within. Despite children’s stories like “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Little Engine That Could” and The Neverending Story, I always thought of myself as the ugly duckling with no happy ending compared to other kids. Still today I think of myself as a mentally ill person, or a weird person, or a friendless person and on and on. If I feel defined by those labels society offers, how can I believe in myself enough to not get wrapped up in the societal comparisons and expectations? I hope to realize one day, as Tin Man, Scarecrow, etc. did, that I already have everything I need. Society and popular opinion are only as reliable as I think they are.

“Wicked” is based on the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of The Wicked Witch of The West by Gregory Macguire. I plan to read it one day. (Other books by Macguire may also contribute to the musical, I’m not sure.)


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