Vignettes of Ruin and...

Dormis, Somnia & Obscura

In The Nightmare on October 4, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Dormis, Somnia & Obscura (The Sisters of Sleep)

Original Artwork by Linda McKernan

I am honoured to present this painting in oils, inspired by Dormis, Somnia & Obscura here on the Gods of Vice. Although technically, from left to right, it’s really Obscura, Dormis & Somnia. There are little clues that identify each one.

Linda is extremely gifted, you can see more of her work here. The painting above now belongs to her series of works called “Cailín Beag.” (Gaelic for “little girl”).

I am amazed that something so pretty could come out the darkness I’ve felt writing the entries in this place. Looking at Dormis in repose, I feel the compulsion to close my own eyes, to try and follow her to wherever she has gone. I ascertained once that Dormis only grants a restful sleep devoid of dream, but I cannot help but think that here, she herself is dreaming, and it is good.

Deluda (the God of Pretending This Isn’t Happening)

In The Nightmare on May 1, 2013 at 9:08 pm

The doctor is kind, but he still asks why- why’d you leave it so long?

The Gods of Vice, I think, it’s their fault. But the thought is hollow. It echoes without resonance. A tin can of self fed lies. Empty glass bottles of inhibition and low esteem. A crunched up paper ball of pathetic existence. It’s not anyone’s fault.

There is only me… and maybe Deluda. The God of Everything Is Okay Even When It’s Not. The God Compartmentalise Your Bullshit. The God of- you get the idea!

Lying back, I say, there is something inside of me. And it’s not a child, no- nothing quite so usual as that!

He says, but how do you know it isn’t a child? You say you are in a relationship. You say it is growing, it has a pulse…?

I tell him how we barely talk, we barely touch. There’s too much drinking so there is no time for that.

There is no child. There is something else.

He feels sorry for me, I can tell. He pushes down on my abdomen and I close my eyes. I feel relieved. Finally, I am facing this, whatever it is. When I open my eyes, tears leak down the sides of my face, down my temples, into my hair.

The doctor says quietly, I agree with you. He seems surprised that this is the case.

The relief dissolves and the fear returns.

My tumor has a heartbeat.

Tropic of Cancer

In The Nightmare on July 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I am fragile.

And I am no longer sure if I mean it in an abstract kind of way. I am thinking about my body and how I haven’t been looking after her. For years I thought she was fat when she wasn’t. I refused to allow my picture to be taken. I dared not step outside without make up on, so disastrously ugly I was. Untrue, perhaps. But it was how I felt. I think of how I have stuffed it with instantaneous gratification, and starved it of sustenance. I have clawed at it’s skin until I scarred it. I have condemned it to a relationship that does not love it. Each day I feel that bit closer to the realisation that forces of nature will never cause life to take root and grow from within these bones.

But something else has seeded there, where life should be.

I don’t know what it is, but I feel a paralysing terror every time I am reminded of it’s existence. At first I dismissed it. Nerves perhaps, but nothing serious. Should be gone tomorrow.

But the next day, it was still there. Give it a chance, I thought.

Weeks later, still there, but looming larger. Impossible to ignore.


So this is fear, in all it’s stark white purity. This is what it’s like to lie awake at night and try and reconcile oneself with their vulnerability, their fragility, their mortality.

In the dark, Vincent is oblivious to my pounding heart as I cautiously spread my fingers over my abdomen, tentatively pressing down. Yes it’s there, oh God it’s still there, how did I let it come to this.

I tell myself that panic is futile, that I must be logical. I need to see a doctor. Undoubtedly, I will be sent to hospital. And I will do this after the holidays, after I have finally paid my bills and when I have some money, that is the only time I can do it.

The funny thing is, it doesn’t really physically hurt. This monstrosity, growing where my womb should be idle, it is hurting me only in unexpected ways.

I must ask your forgiveness, dear aching body!

I am sorry for what I have done to you. I am sorry I did not love you enough to protect you. I am sorry I did not cherish your miraculous existence. You gave me a voice when I had none. You made it possible for me to walk upon the sand, to see the sun and catch the scent of the sea, you made it so that I could hear bittersweet music and run my hands through my dog’s fur and feel warmth, you made it so I could do anything I wanted.

And this… this is what I have done. This is what I have done to you.

I am sorry.