Doco Recommendo: This Dust of Words

This is one of my all-time favourite documentaries. It’s about Elizabeth (Liz) Wiltsee, a brilliant young woman who excels in every school subject, has a 200 IQ and a special love for literature/writing. It’s the story of a bright light’s slide into paranoid schizophrenia, and a possible mystical experience when homeless towards the tragic end of her life.

THE CLOAK OF ART (poem)

Sure, there’s worry,
there’s the inevitable fate
of pain, disfigurement
and withdrawal.

Then there’s
the weight of numbers
and of future shame to bear.

However, when I wear
this cloak of art,
to my mind’s eye
it’s all so beautifully
transformed.

Poverty becomes
a constrained palette.

Hunger becomes
sustenance.

Cold and discomfort
become chisel and hammer
with which to sculpt character.

Idleness becomes a delicacy
best consumed slowly
to inform the taste.

This cloak of art
is what Otis was wearing
on the dock of the bay.

You see,
it offers a different
kind of warmth,
not by keeping
the weather out,
but by inviting it
to focus one’s intent
on rubbing together
the sticks
of complex longing
and simple play
over the paltry kindling
of an audience
which is yet
to catch on.

~