Creepy dolls, interesting exhibition

Curiosity has been defined as ‘ a desire to know, to see or to experience, that motivates exploratory behaviour directed towards the acquisition of new information’. Curiosity is something that we all experience at a moment or another in our lives and we perceive it as something absolutely normal. Curiosity drives us to explore, to learn and ultimately to improve ourselves. However, when a curiosity for morbid, scary, obscure and creepy objects, events, places or experiences arises things start to become more interesting. I remember that, since childhood I was drawn to abandoned places that had an aura of mystery. I used to enjoy late nights in the countryside, in complete darkness, near hills and forests filled with the shrill sounds of wolves howling and intense stories of ghosts, werewolves, witches, mysterious happenings, devil possessions, the evil eye and so on. There was this dual feeling of fear and fascination that fed the desire to gather every night and continue our horror genre storytelling. The attraction for the obscure and gruesome spills into teenagehood and both novels and movies of the horror genre light our imagination .We tremble at the idea of seeing somehting so horrendous that we might freeze, we vibrate and the suspense almost silences us when the soundtrack of horror movies increases our inner tension. Due to my vivid imagination and my most creative nightmares I am not able to watch horror movies any longer. Yet, I am still drawn to dark places where murders or unspeakable acts of horror or strange events happened. Dark tourism with its allura of history and mystery fascinates me. Add to that all the coverage in the media about school shootings, serial killers, abductions, paranormal phenomena, unknown and too well-known acts of violence. I wonder what sparks our curiosity, our morbid curiosity? Is it an attraction or a fascination for the ghastly acts that we see, for the dark side that might be in lockdown inside all of us? Are we captivated by the idea of ‘the other’, the monster that can commit appaling acts? Or are we charmed by the idea that we all have our inner monsters deep down and that something could trigger a fundamental change in us? The unknown, the unexplored, the creepy,  the macabre lurking in the shadows of our souls. Maybe the darkness inside projects itself onto the world and seeks to connect to display its true nature.

Creepy dolls is a topic that provokes me and stimulates my morbid curiosity. The Gremlins, the famous murderous doll Chucky,  the eerie ventriloquist doll from Goosebumps and other maniacal puppets in movies and novels are absolutely delightful and my lure for them will be eternal. I wonder what is it about creepy dolls that makes them so beguiling? Maybe it is the duality between the humaneness of a doll, its kind and cute aesthetics, its playfulness on one side, and the evil look in its eyes, a misshaped smile, faded paint, broken or lost members, on the other side that makes a doll both creepy and alluring. I have had this intense desire to visit and explore ‘La Isla de las Munecas’ near Mexico City for a long time now. It is a sinister island where creepy dolls greet you at each step. Due to circumstances I haven’t made my way there yet, but I stumbled upon the next best thing, a fairly large exhibition of creepy dolls in Shanghai.  I was awestruck when walking through this land of creepiness and I wanted to share it with everyone! Stay curious! Delve deep into your morbid curiosity!

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Love Metamorphosis

 

Love,

Simple,

Peaceful and fulfilling

For some, for most.

Love,

Multiple personality disorder

Or possibly,

Borderline personality disorder

For me.

 

A voice that speaks sublime,

That chants his name to the sky

But suddenly, a makeover!

The lucky clover turns to ash

And belladonna comes to crush

Fragile, the soul exposed

You flush!

Fragile, naked to the eye,

Your essence unveiled

Free and available

To users and abusers.

The skin, so soft, translucent

Trembles under his fingertips

And then it cracks.

You blush!

Passion is a rush

Take the stash

Of distorted voices, of conflicting emotions

And make a run for it

Never to come back!

The panic wave

 

Hear, hear

The king of panic and fear!

it’s Monday

or Sunday

or maybe Friday

the days have departed

a mighty routine started

hours and hours,

and weeks,

a month of bacteria

no cafeteria

a deserted city

there isn’t even a kitty

a bleak soul,

Disinfect each and every bowl

breathe in, breathe out

the virus outside!

This auspicious year

has spread only fear!

Hear, hear

only time can heal.

The elusive Chronos…

he, alone, knows

how itchy is the nose.

The mask speaks

the skin’s so dry

bleach, wash, sanitize

don’t forget your eyes!

Did you order pies?

you better have some spies

if there is fever

you become a receiver.

The apocalypse, sci-fi

ghost towns, the future

Like in the movies

It’s almost quarantine

except it really is…

in Wuhan.

There’s no one around

no peace of mind to be found

Tell me, seer

all these folks

with all their jokes

were they to eat an iris

would it kill the coronavirus?

Stealing souls

 

Drink the darkness of your soul,

The oozing venom on patrol.

Feed yourself

With flesh and blood.

Crawl in the mud,

Hide in the shadows!

You, robber of souls!

On twisting and turning lanes

You feast on veins.

A mediocre performer

From dawn to dusk

With twilight

You change so brusque.

You guzzle on people’s vitality,

Thrive on carnality.

You, Dorian Gray of reality!

You, the Mr. Hyde of nightmares!

You,  a modern Dracula!

You, Azrael walking on Earth!

You, soul collector demon!

You move so swiftly,

Yet, your work is filthy!

Terror, terror and downfall!

Terror, terror by nightfall!

New Year’s resolutions or how I lost myself

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This is a story of regression and confusion. This is a story of lost paths, mistakes and blind choices. This is a story that does not have a happy end or an end at all.

01.01.2019: I woke up startled that morning and I knew that 2019 is just an illusion. Measuring time was invented by human beings and thus, 8 changed to 9. Because I was conditioned to live by the rules of society my brain acknowledged the coming of the new year. However, I wasn’t about to start making an interminable list of crap with what I want to achieve in the new year or add new fantasies to the all too popular bucket list. It is absolutely unrealistic because you just don’t know what life throws at you everyday. I used to believe that the unpredictability of life is awesome because it does not allow you to settle into routine. I was ,thus, convinced that all you have to do in life is adapt, be flexible and go with the flow. Just see what happens, and go with it, a bit like in Daoism, or a lesson we might have learned from Don Quixote. Do not fight the windmills, do not go against dao, against the path! Just flow with the river ,and nature in the direction they dictate. That sounds about right, nope?

Well, not really. Not for me, at least. I was startled on the first morning of January 2019 because I was lost, and I started to analyze myself and view my entire life under a microscope. I had a great life so far, full of exceptional, happy moments, intense emotions and various experiences that included both gratifying, but also extremely hard and challenging occasions. So far, so good! I lived my 27 years of life by, somehow, following this principle of ‘the path’, following a kind of invisible line that life opened up for me. But all of a sudden, it just didn’t work anymore. It took me places that I didn’t want to be at, it made me travel dark routes outside and inside of myself. After graduating from my master in Belgium, my journey as a responsible adult was supposed to start. Taking into consideration that my family invested financially and emotionally in transforming my being into a succesful and happy adult, I believed I was somehow guaranteed to get there. I mean, I did very well in school, university, master, I managed to be by myself and organize everything in various foreign countries, I had amazing, smart friends, I was creative, clever enough ,and I got involved in the occasional volunteering or other artsy projects. I considered myself motivated enough to achieve what I wanted, I believed I deserved it because I was a good, kind and empathic person that somehow decided that she wants to contribute to other people’s wellbeing. But who was about to contribute to my own wellbeing? Well, everything started to spiral downwards. I just couldn’t find my way, I was struggling in the dark, I was lost at sea. Choices to make, career goals, what job to pursue, where to live, who do I wanna be, what are my desires and most of all, how do I balance what makes me smile and feel good inside with this new-found responsibility to sustain myself financially, and be responsible for myself and my adopted dog? I just couldn’t find any answers at all, and life was crushing me.

funny-hand-life-cartoon

I wish I could say I found what I was looking for. But I didn’t. I can just say that I struggled with being an English teacher in Shanghai, a tourism lecturer in a university in a 3rd tier city in China and a tour guide in Turkey. Now I am back in Shanghai, doing a second master because I still haven’t found my path or I don’t have the courage to wander in the dark aimlessly. I don’t have resolutions for 2019 because I need to learn how to function again as a human being in society. I need to start again, by being a baby, a child, a teenager ,and finally an adult.

I lost my motivation ,and determination to fight and achieve what I want in life.

I am lost at sea, I am just floating endlessly, I am reading too much, watching too many movies, reflecting too much and feeling like a wreck, a failure. I keep wondering where did I go wrong? I mean, where did I lose my real self?

The self that desired to travel the world for a year or two and discover, discover, discover ….without plans or too much money? Well, I am afraid to let go and just travel. I am afraid that I will lose out on precious work experience to add on my CV when I am away on my year travel. I am afraid that I won’t have enough money and I will get stuck in the middle of nowhere, broke and vulnerable. I am afraid that I will spend money that otherwise I could have used to do something else with, like saving to be more financially secure.

I want to become a writer and publish my poetry ,and maybe in the future, short stories or a novel. Am I doing anything to achieve that? No. I am afraid to send any of my work to any publication or contest. I am not confident enough that I have what it takes ,and I am so scared to get rejected.
Where do I want to be? In a middle-sized European picturesque city where I could draw inspiration for my life, and poems just by walking on the streets and breathing in the spirit of history. I want to be able to admire the exquisite, old buildings touched by lives lost and lives yet to come. Where am I? In Shanghai, a giant glass-like city, full of impersonal skyscrapers, commercial shopping malls and ugliness.
I want to be economically independent, and have a job that fulfills me. What am I doing? Well, after a year of looking for jobs in various places and not finding anything suitable, getting rejected too many times and not even discovering what exactly I should be doing, I am now doing a second master in political theory. Gosh, I don’t even wanna do that, but I am too scared of not having anything to do at all. And I am so disillusioned with politics and leaders. I have always been. It is a pain for me to analyze and learn about political systems because I can only see failures in them, just like I see myself now.

I lack self-discipline and motivation, I eat too much and I even put on 10 kilograms since I have come back to Shanghai. I am highly disappointed with myself and it is hard to admit that ,by my own standards, I have become a failure. How can I say that? It is painful and I don’t know where it all went wrong. The hardest thing right now is to start addressing all these issues. And sadder than everything else is that I am clueless.

doors

There are too many doors, and choices in front of me or maybe not enough. I remain numb, and unable to open any of them. I have this recurring dream where I have to run away from this terrible, bulky man, who wants to hurt me and touch me. I am in a fancy mansion that has never-ending rooms and doors. I always open too many doors and I see theatre-like scenes full of everything that one can imagine. The horrible man can never catch me because we always choose different doors. What to choose now? In my dream, I never stop opening doors and exploring rooms until it’s time to wake up. I would appreciate any comments with advice or suggestions!