today's prompt: Facing the Beast

Given that I am doing these self-portraits in solidarity with the project/assignment I've given my high school photography & design class, I feel this one warrants a wee bit of explanation... After all, people tend to get (justifiably) nervous these days when you start talking about teenagers and sharp objects.

Last week I read the Enneagram book, a personality-testy-thingy that convinced me that I have long been operating, for whatever reason, on the assumption that while there may be such a thing as unconditional love in this world, there is certainly not enough of it out there for me.  As I have examined my life in this light, I have realized that this belief has left me with a propensity to sabotage any deepening, intimate relationships - friendship, or otherwise - that I've encountered.

When I was trying to figure out how to visually explore the title "Facing the Beast," then, the only beast I ever really considered was myself... which is why I went with this whole "hammer-chisel-blood" thing.*

*Please know that I am not advocating violence against the self as a coping method - just using what I feel is the obvious futility of such action to express bafflement over my ongoing self-sabotage.


  1. I can't stand The Ennaegram Book. Like any psychological framework or system, it reduces people to types, little boxes. This friend of mine is totally enthralled with it, and every so often she would say, "that's because I'm a type four". Really? Sigh, I feel like saying, "do you really think you're not more than that?" Actually, maybe I will next time she mentions that.

  2. Yep. Totally see your point, Mark. I've never liked personality tests, either. I think it's an easy path to an excuse - a way of justifying your own personal path-of-least-resistance failures. Nonetheless, in this case it helped me as a tool to understand a bit of why I do what I do. Sometimes, knowing something's history helps you have a bit more empathy for it.


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