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February 11, 2013
3:59 pm
Sommersett
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We all know the story of the Ugly Duckling, right? The mother duck sat on the eggs and when they all hatched, one was a 'ugly duck' which actually ended up being a beautiful swan. I wonder how many have felt a kinship to this story? I'm sure we have all felt an exile of sorts, even if it is only in the way we think, but mostly the way we look.
And what do you think the effects have been for you? Something useful in all this torque and tension. Just as something in the 'ugly duck' was being tempered or made strong by the situation. Carbon under pressure produces diamonds…
I feel like the gifts of exile are many. It takes out the weakness, grants the power of keen observation, and has empowered me personally to love my own wild psyche.
Any other stories speak to you in a certain way?

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
February 11, 2013
5:03 pm
vampyremage
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This was my very favourite story as a child. Most of my life and certainly from a very young age I've felt like an outcast and, I suppose, this story spoke to me in that fashion. For me, it was never really about the experience of feeling ugly, per say, as I never had much of an issue with my physical body. If anything, I felt disconnected from my body; it was a shell inherited by chance and little more.

I don't have a specific story to point to that really resonated with me, but I do have certain themes and characters. The idea of the exile, the misunderstood and unexpected hero always fascinated me. More than the hero itself, however, it was those dark and mysterious supporting characters, usually the ones with moral ambiguity or very alternative morals. Raistlin and his fall from Dragonlance was and still is one of my all time favourite characters.

I think the idea of the freak is one of the things that drew me to professional wrestling at a young age. That was a grand play in which the larger than life characters were almost all, in their own ways, strange and bizarre. Usually it was the villains I preferred, especially those with internally consistent motivations for their villainy. The hero was for everyone else; there was no fun and no challenge in that. Often, the heels were the more nuanced characters and the characters I could better relate to.

February 16, 2013
9:01 am
Sommersett
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In a few versions of the 'Ugly Duckling' story there is a supporting cast of characters which are the dark and mysterious ones you speak of. In the version I know they are known as the uncombed cat and cross-eyed hen. The cat likes the water, which is unusual, and the hen doesn't want to be a mother. Everyone has a different version in their mind, although the root story is the same.

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
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