|The Quiet Days|
Being alcoholic is not a thing you can easily quantify and compartmentalize and put over there so you can get on with your life. Being alcoholic colours every waking moment of your life – you have a demonstrated history, you have a clear Achilles heel and you have to manage some sort of life going forward knowing this.
For me, this image speaks immeasurably about being alcoholic. The dry, clean skull with the imposing tusks propped delicately on a display stand in the unvisited bowels of the museum. The stark honesty of pencil lines and simple architectural composition betrays no emotion, no feeling - just dusty silence. The awesome presence of the dead mammoth is still, unobserved and for all the museum visitors know, doesn’t even exist.
The power and might of the mammoth lies dormant, like so much furniture or something merely to be handled and packed. And once you see the skull you gasp at the sheer size and wonder how fear-inspiring it would have been alive, thundering towards you. But right here, right now, it is a relic amongst the shadows, a symbol of history and not so much something to be feared and flee from, but to quietly observe and reflect that it’s time has passed.
Being a sober alcoholic, you have that enormous skull sitting silently, away from the noise and bustle of the crowds, but ever present and just below the surface. It is impressive and steeped in history, but today, and tomorrow and a day at a time, it is not for display.