On Sobriety and keeping an eye on your characters . . .
I take so much in stride anymore that I get amazed when I back up and actually reflect on what exactly is going on. I created this character (or maybe “discovered” is a better term) over 20 years ago when I was crafting comics in college. Someday I’ll have to expound more fully on the nature of all the characters I had created over that time. Seeing how they’re all little facets of my own subconscious displaying traits I was ignorant of at the time is just . . . weird.
So Deadpan Stan was an undertaker with a drinking problem that played a kind of Wile E. Coyote vs. Roadrunner game with another character — a mostly naked man with no head. His goal was to capture the obviously dead naked man and put him in the grave where he belonged. Deadpan was never successful. Even when he was able to get the corpse into the ground, the corpse had friends who would dig him out.
After many years marinating in the seasoned wine of time, the spiritual reality (or what others might describe as “unconscious”) of what these characters were communicating is becoming clear. “Deadpan” means to be unexpressive of emotion. Saving the rabbit trail of psychoanalysis for another time, I’ll say that’s me all the way. What emotion I hadn’t stamped down by the time I created the character was just about taken care of in the next couple decades. I found I would drink to be able to “feel”. I was perpetually trying to bury the indestructible, open, honest, ego-free Life that was within me. I had no connection whatsoever to this at the time I created this dude. I just thought "Deadpan Stan" would be funny name for an undertaker.
After being keenly aware of what had become stubborn habit, I participated in #soberoctober this month to get a chance to reflect. In my time engaging the Spirit in the dark on morning, this image came to me, and the doors were opened to a super wide area of my life that needs some healing which is awesome. The human spirit has an unlimited capacity for growth, and I’ve got some (more) weeds to get dug up here in the near future.