As a catharsis, I have created many colorful creatures who represent the darker parts of me. They are the “saboteurs”, who rob me of joy, and undermine my capacity for joy and competence. One of these saboteurs is my tendency to hide myself from any threat, in the daft logic that if I cannot see my problems, they cannot see me. I imagine this part of me, not as the hideous alien, the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, but as a much more terrestrial ostrich. Here is its story:
Ozzie the ostrich is beautiful, among the greatest of birds, with snow white tail feathers, fluffy and perfect, and powerful legs that can outrun most creatures. He is a truly magnificent beast. But the forces of evolution have also shown a touch of humor and given him a ridiculous appearance in comparison to other birds. Nevertheless his hubris shows in his stance, preening his neck and strutting like his more beautiful cousin, the peacock. Evolution has judiciously pruned him of his capacity to fly, and replaced it with the capacity to run like no other bird, but it did not ask permission of his ego.
Therefore Ozzie runs and hides and often; he is a fearful animal, conscious of the laughter of the creatures around him. He believes hiself to be worthy of the admiration, and even worship, of all. Even though some admiration is warranted, he deludes hiself, imagining himself seated on an high throne, surrounded by lesser beings. But the reality is that he either flees or “disappears”, the former on his speedy limbs, or the latter by lowering his head to the ground, thinking that doing so will turn off the universe.
Since Ozzie’s percieves his wish for worship will never be granted, he wishes not to exist at all, or for the universe not to exist, because it forces existence on him. Ozzie craves invisibility or perfection.
If I were to paint a portrait of Ozzie, he would be wearing a judge’s wig and possibly a crown, but also the fabled emperor’s underwear. I would paint him from below, seated on a throne of authority, surounded by feathers, clouds and glory, with an entire people giving him formal obeisance, but a small child pointing to his obvious lack of covering with gleeful malice shining in its eyes. Some of his limbs would also be as transparent as air.
I first embrace Ozzie, and console him for his tragedy but recognize he is my mortal enemy. Ozzie is beyond my help, and so, for both our sakes, I must sacrifice him. To do so, I will join in the mockery of him, to his horror, until he disappears in a cloud of self-imposed shame.