Story Time, Thoughts of the Day

Love in the Time of Hannibal

*** when in doubt, aka writer’s block, write what you know. And what I know is Hannibal***

Of all the television that I’ve watched in my day, not a single show has stuck with me the way NBC’s Hannibal (2013) has. For those unfamiliar, Hannibal, based on the characters by Thomas Harris, tells the story of Hannibal Lecter, the renowned psychiatrist and his patient Will Graham, an FBI criminal profiler, who struggles with his ability to empathize with serial killers. However, this isn’t your typical “Hannibal the Cannibal” tale about a men who kills and eats people. In creator Bryan Fuller’s (American Gods, Pushing Daisies) world of Hannibal, it is so much more than that. For you may find, as time goes on, that it’s nearly impossible not to develop an ounce of affection for the one person who truly understand you, regardless of those sticky predilections.

This, instead, is a story of two men trying to make sense of a world in which they cannot redraw their hand. While one lives his life through the lens of pure ego and narcissism, the other lives his life, and is haunted by, the simple fact that his empathy overpowers him. Hannibal Lecter, the sociopath who has no empathy at all and Will Graham, the young profiler who has too much.

In the early episodes of Hannibal, the task is an uncomplicated one: to catch a killer. But in order to do so, we must bring in elements of the complicated. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), on a good day, is anything but uncomplicated. As a young man who empathizes with serial killers, his job becomes a dangerous one. For fear of getting too close to the cases he’s been brought in to solve, Jack Crawford (Lawrence Fishburne), head of the FBI Behavioral Science Unit, sends Will to see Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelson) with the hope that the good doctor can help ease Will’s stress and therefore help Jack get the job done.

And it works. For a time.

Will and Hannibal’s relationship is one that supersedes the most common notions of what it means to care for another person. Usually, when we have feelings for someone, platonic or otherwise, we find that their best interest also becomes our best interest. We want for them what they want. Happiness, success, joy, comfort, and above all, love. But what happens to a relationship when your deepest desires overpower theirs? And when you can’t help but feel as though they would be much better off doing as you do.

That’s when it happens. That’s when murder happens.

Dr. Hannibal Lecter is anything but ordinary. He’s suave. He’s charismatic. He’s charming. And he’s an exceptionally good cook. But underneath the expensive suits and grandiose language is an overwrought imagination. An imagination that extends far beyond the realm of decency and hope. To Hannibal Lecter, death, is the only significant thing, life has to offer.

Hannibal is a man who feels very alone in his extracurricular activities. Yes, there are those our there who do as he does, but there is no one quite like him. And it’s in this isolated state that Hannibal finds himself a tether in one Will Graham. Will’s overwhelming empathy and Hannibal’s lack thereof, makes Will the perfect candidate for sculpting. And sculpt Will Graham, he does. Into the very man Will has always been so terrified of becoming.

If we are to think about love in the time of Hannibal, one thing comes to mind: tolerance.

As the series goes on, the eventual discovery of Hannibal’s true nature comes to light. And it is a bloody discovery. However, the empathetic man that is Will Graham comes to terms with this truth in the only way he knows how.

He tolerates it. He doesn’t sympathize with it. He doesn’t feel compassion towards it. He tolerates it because he understands it. The urges, the impulses, the desires. He sees these inclinations as what truly makes Hannibal, Hannibal. And it’s through this understanding that Hannibal, for all his faults and misdeeds, finds himself enamored. Regardless of whether or not you agree that a sociopath, devoid of all conscience, even has a capacity for love, the show Hannibal reaches out through the dark and pulls you in, making you question everything you ever thought you knew on the subject.

And then twists it into something unrecognizable. And although most relationships are built on trust, in this case, simple truth will do. When you find you can be honest with someone, you find that you can show them your true self. And Hannibal finds that in Will Graham. And by the end of the series, Will Graham, not only sees Hannibal, he finally sees himself. His true nature and what Hannibal has always believed Will has been capable of. And it’s in this discovery of their true selves that they find comfort and solace in each other.

But if love is wont to destroy Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal will not go down without taking Will Graham with him. After all, the deeming of the term “Murder Husbands” does not go without merit.

But whether or not they survive this free fall is a story for another season.

Thoughts of the Day

The Mind is a Terrible Thing…

I have this thing with writing. It’s a love/hate thing. It’s a good/bad thing. It’s that thing where you sometimes would rather stick the pen in your eye then stick it to paper. It’s also that thing that puts the blood back in your body after you’ve already lost so much. It flows through the tubes and through your veins. It’s the restarting of your heart.

I have this thing with writing. It’s those dreams that come to you in the dead of night, jerking you awake, only to slip silently away. It’s the moment in the early morning where the words are all there is. Where they’re all you want them to be.

In my mind, every small popcorn kernel is deafening. Popping up when I want them and popping up when I don’t. Exploding when the lights are off and when the shower is running.

When I’m not writing I’m reminded of the things I want to forget and the things I don’t want to hear. And when I am writing, I’m reminded that the mind is a terrible thing…to waste.

 

Daily Post Challenges, Poetic Bends, Thoughts of the Day

11 Blocks…

We’re all on our own journeys. But sometimes when your mind won’t stop, you just need to take a minute and listen to someone else’s story…

11 blocks from my door to your doorstep

Three years later and it feels too close

Thoughts of the Day

An Ode to My Mad Fat Diary

In homage to season 3 of My Mad Fat Diary premiering Monday June 22nd, I thought I would write down everything I’ve learned from the past 2 seasons.MMFD2

This is one of the few shows that I’ve watched that has gotten through to the very core of my emotional soul. I have never laughed more, cried more, felt more or connected more with a show and its characters. It’s a show that gets me through the dark days and helps me to understand myself and to accept the full capacity I have to live the life I want to live.

For that, I have nothing but gratitude.

So here we go:

  1. Some people are holding on to life by their fingertips. If you’re given the chance to start over, take it. Grab it and don’t let go. It might just be the best thing  you ever do. It might just help you learn to breathe again.
  2. Don’t sit on the sidelines and let life pass you by. Happiness starts with you. If you want to have friends, get out there and make friends. If you want to enjoy yourself, go and enjoy yourself. Don’t let your own fears keep you from doing and having what you want.
  3. Don’t be afraid of your own reflection. Don’t fear what you see in the mirror. It’s okay to look at yourself and say: “Damn, it’s scary how good I look some days.”. It might take a while to believe what you’re saying but keep saying it. Confidence and self-love starts at home.
  4. Stop wishing that there was a Finn Nelson out there. The Finn Nelson that will accept you for you and like you just the way you are. The Finn Nelson that doesn’t care what other people think and wants what he wants simply because he wants it. Be that Finn Nelson instead. Once you learn to accept and love yourself just the way you are, the world will be overflowing with rays of Finn Nelson sunshine. And we’ll all be better for it.
  5. Winston Churchill said: “If you’re going through Hell, keep going”. We all struggle. Some struggle more than others. Some go through their entire lives with a pain in their hearts that even they might never fully understand. But no matter your level of pain, it is justified. Whether it’s your self-esteem or body image, or fear of rejection, your pain is your own. The key is to find a way to own it, learn from it and then move on from it.
  6. The past is your past. But it might not stay in the past. It might try and keep up with you every step of the way and follow you into the future. Don’t dismiss what happened in the past or try to forget about it. What’s been done to you and what you’ve done to yourself shapes who you are. But it doesn’t have to define you. You can still create the person you want to be.
  7. Don’t be afraid that you won’t find true happiness or beauty or love. You can find all of those things in the people you surround yourself with. Find your gang of people that make you laugh, hold you when you cry, listen to what you have to say, keep your secrets, love you for everything that you are and all you are not. These are the people that will help you find everything that you are looking for.
  8. Don’t worry. You will one day find your Finn. And your Chloe. And your Archie. And your Izzy and your Chop. And you will ultimately find your Rae.

Thank you My Mad Fat Diary for giving me everything I didn’t know I needed. Thank you for always being there.

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Moved to Tears.”

Daily Post Challenges, Story Time

Reminisce With Me

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Weaving the Threads.”

Shay wasn’t the sentimental type. Wasn’t one for keeping things for years in shoe boxes collecting dust in the closet. Wasn’t keen on writing things down to remember for years to come. As someone who was very familiar with disappointment, there was never quite a good enough reason to want to keep the outside world fresh in mind. But when coming across an abandoned bookmark outside of a beloved bookshop, things changed. Covered in tiny uni-bomber hand writing, quotes spilled over the edges of the bookmark. Quotes from pages taken from well-known artist and authors, this bookmark gave Shay a new lease on life. Setting a reminder for the reasons why this bookshop was constantly visited. Why there was never enough space on the shelves in the bedroom or living room. Why a backpack or bag was never complete without pages full of laughter, tears, long sought dreams and unbearable heartache. It represented the moment when Shay not only wanted to remember the place inside a book, to remember the world recently jumped out of, but instead to remember every single thing, inside and out.

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We shared a lot of things, you and I. We shared clothes and boyfriends and grudges. We shared heartache and happiness and complete utter breakdowns. We shared tissues stained with tears and boxes bought from Girl Scouts. We shared a hard day’s night and sleeping like logs. We were each other’s shrink and each other’s crying shoulder. We were each other’s best friend and each other’s worst enemy. We trusted each other’s flakiness and begrudged each other’s punctuality. This world through your eyes, was the world through mine. Your feeling of the earth, the sky, the grandeur, were also my feelings. We shared the light bright corners and the deep dark crevices. We shared a childhood, you and I. We shared pigtails and food experiments. Scrapped knees and chalk stained clothes. We shared a world on the horizon and infinite possibilities. But there’s one thing that we can no longer share.

The shadowed memory of your heart beating in unison with mine.

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You came to me in a dream. A dream of madness and magic and sinful bliss. The light emanating from your body eclipsing all around you and casting it in darkness. I wondered what your presence meant, following me, leading me through this dream space. The spectacle of you was almost too much to bare. I imagined what you would be like in the real world. If you could even exist outside of this wandering plane. If space and time could have only conjured you up. You spoke to me with a roaring voice. One of peace, brightness and understanding. My mind wandered far away. Not wanting to have to truly accept your greatness. Coming towards you, I found that I could only reach so far. You hovered above me, glowing in the light of the skies shooting upward. The ground beneath my feet falling out from under me. You lifted me up and I stood beside you. I feared the falling and ending of this dream. You spoke to me not of endings but beginnings. And when I opened my eyes and the real world once again revealed itself, I realized that you would soon become nothing but a distant memory.

Daily Post Challenges

New York, I Love You

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “We Built This City.”

I’d been enchanted by the idea of New York long before I moved here. In fact, I never thought I would actually live here. On my own. In any city other than Madison, WI. I never thought I would be this far away from my family and friends. I never thought I would have a “back home” because I never thought I would leave home.

But I’ve found that after moving here, I’m in love with having two homes. With building new families and friends alike. This city is one for the ages. One that I plan on spending my life with. And although I had never had this idea in my head when I was younger, I’m happy to be on the path that I am.

New York has given me things I never thought would be possible. I have much more access then I ever did back home. I can go to the theater, movie premieres, raved about restaurants and spot celebrities alike. I can find my way around without having to rely on others. I can do what I want, when I want.

This city has given me an independence and a confidence that I didn’t have before. I know that I belong here. Walking past beautiful parks and sky scrnew-york-cityaping buildings. Past cute little coffee shops and to die for bakeries.

And although there is plenty that I’m not fond of about this city, I find it easy to let those things fall to the way side. I find it’s much easier to just enjoy the beautiful day when it comes around.