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Source: Google Images photo: Ruya Foundation

When children are trying to make sense of things that are beyond their understanding, they will usually try and work it out within the context that they do know and understand. … I watch as art is used as a reconnection point, the bridge, between the destruction of self, and the beginning of some sense of future, of hope. It seems that in this reclamation of the soul art is reborn”. – Justine Hardy, author and trauma psychologist, on art, conflict and healing.

Alice, Milton & Oscar: Making Sense of it All

Later much later, but before she had discovered that Oscar wasn’t really wild, and Milton’s paradise wasn’t lost, at least not lost the way she perceived it, rather that it wasn’t in the place that she had put it, and it was there after all, on the book shelf, partly covered by Alice’s adventures in wonderland, a place that she would not want to visit even if the mad hatter personally escorted her there. Besides, she hated tea parties!

Her own reality was such that it seemed more fitting to smile outwardly, while life as she knew it passed her by in a fog of pretence. Much of her childhood embraced activities which should have been enjoyable but were somehow grubbily tinged by the other stuff which did not make sense, at least to her, but she was in no position to prevent, avoid or escape from. So while brushing her teeth each morning, she would squirm as something else brushed up against her which on inspection did not foam and certainly did not leave her feeling clean and sparkling.

A sense of inadequacy pervaded the world in which she existed, and she questioned what was real and what was not. But childish views and thoughts are no match for the dark complexities which swirl in never-ending circles. There was not enough time to make sense of it all, and yet there was more than enough time, so she decided that instead of going around and around in circles, she would place it all in the attic that Oscar talked about. And if somehow, paradise lost, languishing on the book shelf could be found, then, perhaps the mad hatter would be just the person to help her find it.

~ Marie Williams – 2017