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.

BELIEF (poem)

Because they despise
the material realm,
some adopt spirituality.

Because others despise
all forms of religion,
they proclaim themselves
to be atheists.

Better to genuflect
before peer reviewed data
than personified energy,
they would argue.

I had this dream once,
where I met a guy
who had been trained to fight
by the S.A.S.

I asked him to teach me how to fight.

He taught me that for a strike to be effective,
you have to channel the earth’s power,
and he went on to show me
how to have a low centre of gravity,
and to advance in the way of a fencer,
pretending my arm was a coiled cobra,
the two knuckles, fangs,
ready to deliver the lethal dose
between the eyes,
or to the throat,
or wherever.

He then told me to doubt this technique,
because he, and many others
knew how to counter it,
and also, that belief,
in, and of itself,
can be a dangerous thing,
because it makes you feel confident,
and that there’s a fine line
between confidence
and complacency,
and that,
at any given moment,

it’s a short space
from my head
to a hard place
and then dead.