Garden of torture

    Garden of torture
    Author: Ivan Latti
    Photographer: Thabo Maphisa

    What if the bee stings you? What if you have developed an allergy?

    Every human mind has a hidden garden overgrown with potential or discarded obsessions and compulsions. If it is collective as Jung would have said, it also plagues your safe haven people, so no place to hide. If it is subconscious, it still beckons occasionally face to face in sudden, untimely, broad daylight encounters.

    Mind content becomes shared, therefore collective in the population as it accumulates from transmitting in communication, observing other people’s behaviour and remembering their stories. The memes in the wind, the market place, tête-à-tête encounters and parties attended, affect people like the surges of viruses in our time. And then every mind has a little generator of its own choice morsels, some digestible, others toxic.

    The experiences we share make us like our parents, our friends, life partners and enemies. The stony decorative objects in the garden of bad thoughts are the hard bits, the settled thoughts that define us and will not budge, sometimes not even in psychotherapy.

    Poison herbs of hate, rage and self-destruction are nurtured from habit. They bloom from time to time in momentary beauty that shocks, unnerves and fruit in a weird sense, shaping lives for the worse. They may, of course, wither during attacks of improvement, or we might uproot them before they ruin us.

    When the gate of the dark garden, invisible but never far, swings open unexpectedly on a bad day or by the obsession that can’t be broken, evil herb flowers disturb the inner eye with nightmare colour corollas. Wet and skinless, dripping gunk, they wave disconcertingly in ones face, inviting to be touched and acting out other reactions that will inevitably be wrong.

    Here awaits the waking dream that highlights the smallness of all comfort zones, the weakness of their boundaries and how quickly the good times pass.

    And then sanity may prevail, the morbid is left behind with a shudder in the sunshine. But some thought gremlins recurrently lurk to change destinations on the tickets of mind travels.

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