Alice Time – Part I
“I am an “Alice-o-phile”. I adore Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass and have since the first time I read Lewis Carroll’s masterpieces. My basement stairwell is painted as a Rabbit Hole and I have a collection of Alice art and multiple copies of Alice in Wonderland because early on, I was enchanted by his brilliant writing, especially the eccentric dialogue between the wondrous characters – a Mad Hatter, a Cheshire Cat. I just loved wondering how Carroll even thought of those characters … a Red and White Queen, the White Rabbit and the tea party (the real one). I loved every single page of those two books and I can’t even recall how many times I’ve read them – and still do.
The concept of “falling down the Rabbit Hole” eventually became associated with slipping into an altered state of consciousness brought about through drugs (as in Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit). I doubt a drugged state of mind was what Carroll had in mind when he targeted the British aristocracy, but let’s say that the generations after the Victorian age continued to raise the bar on social madness. Our time has, of course, outrun them all.
Alice is our escort into the many absurd notions, ideas, politics and policies, beliefs and attitudes that underlie society and the way we see “reality”. And this list of absurd beliefs we cling to personally and as a society is very, very long indeed. I selected a simple example from an archive of so many possibilities. The other day, I overheard a woman at the gym say to her friend, “I’ve got to hurry. If I don’t get this report in to my colleagues, the business deal we’ve been working on will be toast.”
“That’s absurd,” I thought. “If that report were so important – if you were so important to the business deal – what on earth are you doing at the gym? You could come to the gym after your business deal.” Silly, silly girl– and then I thought, she is going to rush away from the gym in a state of “It’s all about ME-ness”. An “Alice moment” if ever there was one – and then I realized that ME-ness is the defining feature of the contemporary Alice mind. In some ways, we all think that WE are THE most important person EVER. Could there be a more absurd thought?”
Interested in diving deeper? Find the full article here: https://www.myss.com/imagining-the-impossible/