"And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh."

- Nietzsche


Notes from the Madhouse, in which one of the central characters will be Nietzsche, has been in the darkness and fertility of my creativity for some time. But can you count time in the art of making, creating, shaping and inventing?

All my writing is about 'those who do not know where they belong' - the poets, the wild birds and the sirens of our world who struggle and resist the resignation of the human imagination, of the human spirit and the deep benevolence of humanity. So my writing would not appeal to those who are comfortable and resigned to the world of the safe, the taught, the domestic and the planned.

Nietzsche was correct to describe life as 'a Dancer'. 'I dance after you. I follow you even when only the slightest traces of you linger. Where are you? Give me your hand!. Or just your little finger' ........ from 'Thus Spake Zarathustra' (the second dance song).

In Notes from the Madhouse Nietzsche is the teacher and mentor to a student he has not met, and yet his defiance, rebellion and the yellow pollen of his imagination has overlapped into the world of another time, another place - another world.

It is true what he wrote - 'some are born 'posthumously'.

I discovered Nietzsche when I was twenty-four and he has not left my writing space. He guided me to the pre-socratic philosophers and so many other thinkers. He was more alive in his thinking than the actual university lecturer who tried to understand what he had not lived or experienced with his blood.

Nietzsche taught me to remain true to my blood and to follow my nature and destiny.  Even though he has been dead for over a hundred years, his thoughts and journey are alive to me, or as T.S. Eliot wrote, “The dead make more sense than the living.”

I am so glad I went into that second-hand book shop and I was drawn to his book.  These are the bread crumbs that others leave for us to find.

We have not met them, and yet they are and become kindred and family to us. Nietzsche also believed that his family were the thinkers he had studied and written about.

Therefore, without knowing of my existence, he offered freely to me, knowledge and the seeds from another generation, another time, another world – the seeds of this world as it makes itself over and over again.

I thank you, Nietzsche, for waiting for me.

I thank him for teaching me.

(from Zenovia, Penelope and Ulysses, 2012)

Ideas and people take root in your being like seeds that you have breathed in at the spring in your life. It is not until many years later - or ‘something about Autumn’ (Nietzsche) - that you realise that you are fertile and heavy with this person or idea, and desire to give birth to what you have been weaving and evolving from the seed of the invisible and the unknown.

There is ‘something about Spring’ (Nietzsche) and its bright colours of yellow. I came into the Dionysian dance, legally, by watching the dance of Nietzsche in print. By this I mean that teachers and mentors are not meant to change your life - that would mean that you were not alive and did not have substance of your own. Rather, they encourage you to ‘continue in your incorrect ways’ as you read the defeats and inspirations of their journey.

In the spring of my life, by accident, I came across the agon of Nietzsche. Reading his first  book, ‘The Birth of Tragedy’, I knew he would be seduced by the nymphs of Dionysus and would not return to us.

I do not desire to be intellectually factualised. I have studied Nietzsche’s work at university level and beyond. I seek to go deeper into the fire of his creation and make his presence real and vibrant.

It is important for me to state that I am neither a follower nor a leader in any ideology, system of thought, or of any group or individual. I am a seeker of truth and beauty.

Plato wrote that ‘the good is of truth and it is beautiful and dangerous.’

Background Papers to Notes from the Madhouse

  Nietzsche's Yellow Dancer
Nietzsche's Yellow Dancer