A professor once told me "You think differently than other people." This, in the audacity of calling me into his office for giving him a scathing review on a feedback survey that was supposed to be anonymous.
Brillance, or madness? Definition relies so much on what can be observed. But is the supposition of what is not observed any less valid?
I treasure time to experience some stillness—to simply listen to…nothing. Even if there is something I hear, I find value in closing out most of the noise of the everyday to listen to the “smaller” sounds in life.
"Actuality is when the lighthouse is dark between flashes: it is the instant between the ticks of the watch: it is a void interval slipping forever through time: the rupture between past and future: the gap at the poles of the revolving magnetic field, infinitesimally small but ultimately real. It is the interchronic pause when nothing is happening. It is the void between events. Yet the instant of actuality is all we ever can know directly."
–George Kubler, The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things
Is a stutter step a "false step", or strategic planning? From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
: a momentary hesitation or false step by a runner (as in football) done to fake a defender out of position
Wikipedia entry for stutter step: Although the term is mainly used in tennis, it has also become a modern term that is used commonly meaning to "unsurely make a decision or perform a job or activity". For example, you could 'stutter step" in a decision, or take slow, unsure steps and be cautious towards it instead of to just make up your mind and go for it. However, in basketball, the stutter step is a common warm-up drill where you shuffle and scuff your feet in a quick moving motion across a length of flooring. This warm-up is supposed to keep the players alert and help them prepare to defend players in a real game, since the stutter step is a littler version of shuffling.
(So I would conjecture that a stutter step need not mean an hesitant action, but might be used as a strategic move.)
Is mental illness a dangerous brokeness that must be repaired, or is it a matrix for creativity, insight into the unknown? Does it promote "thinking outside the box"?
From Wikipedia: Thinking outside the box is to think differently, unconventionally, from a new perspective. This phrase often refers to novel, creative and smart thinking.
From Phrase.org.uk: Think creatively, unimpeded by orthodox or conventional constraints.
The Icarus Project envisions a new culture and language that resonates with our actual experiences of 'mental illness' rather than trying to fit our lives into a conventional framework. We are a network of people living with experiences that are commonly labeled as bipolar or related madness. We believe we have a dangerous gift to be cultivated and taken care of, rather than a disease or disorder to be suppressed or eliminated. By joining together as individuals and as a community, the intertwined threads of madness and creativity can inspire hope and transformation in a repressed and damaged world. Our participation in The Icarus Project helps us overcome alienation and tap into the true potential that lies between brilliance and madness.
(c.f. mission statement of The Icarus Project)
See also The Icarus Project