Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Who is pulling the strings?

Yesterday I started working on an abstract for a talk I have been asked to give at the upcoming event: 
 The Broken Puppet:  A Symposium on Puppetry, Disability, and Health.

While writing about puppetry in my life I remembered my first ever puppet, made at the age of 15. And how, while working as a Doll Artist during the 90's, animator Jimmy Murikami approached me to create a series of puppets for an animation film called Ballycardool. Unfortunately this project did not receive the necessary funding and around that time I became seriously ill with M.E.

I remembered making a drawing of a puppet early on in the illness (3 years in) and wondered: Who is the hand that keeps me upright, or leaves my arms hang like useless objects…

drawing of a puppet by Corina Duyn, with text: Who is pulling the strings of M.E.

Who its pulling the strings? (Corina Duyn 2001)
text in drawing :
A puppet, not a great drawing, but...
the puppets is me with M.E., I have little or no
control over my body. WHO is the hand who
keeps me upright, make me walk, make me
move gracefully, or let me stumble at times,
makes me stand my full length or let me buggle at the
knees, makes the arms move or leave them hang like
useless objects. Who is the hand that has control.
What is the hand that holds the cross and moves 

'my' strings at its will. Can I become the hand
over M.E., have control over me?
Hand, whatever you do, don't drop me
altogether, hold on, but stop
playing tricks...

This drawing- not the greatest ever made, but I can still feel the emotion surrounding it. I felt NOT in control of my body any more. I could stand up one minute, the next I'd be like a dropped bag of potatoes. slumped on the floor or couch and not able to move my limbs. As if the strings were cut. Or the hand that holds the cross of the puppet just let go. 

The hand is the hand of M.E.

Maybe in light of the brilliant movement of the Millions Missing campaign, maybe this hand who holds the cross of those with M.E. is that of the HSE and our Government. They can either hold us up, or leave us slumped on the floor...

Further reading and links


Holy Way said...

Excellent article. Extremely moving. Bless you. X

Corina Duyn said...

Thanks Greg.
Interesting how stories are resurrected years later and create a new, and yet still familiar, meaning.

Wishing you well.