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The Persephone Complex


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But I’ve got so much wickedness and sin: part 2
men are coming to take me away
Artists: Jenna Opsahl
they say the French are glad to die for love
You spoke like broken thunder deep into the centre...
you do everything that they ask you to...cause you...
we’re up all night ‘til the sun
immersed in water, immersed in dirt
lie for a while with your ear against the earth
brainy, brainy, brainy


TABOO Magazine
Style Vulture
Hello Margaret!

Layout by Swoon for the Moon. Copyright of Holly Cassell and The Persephone Complex 2015.

it’s been cold for years, won’t you let it lie?

We all have overriding themes in our lives; concepts that seem to define us; feelings and situations that keep coming back, recurring in our lives, no matter how many times we say goodbye to someone, or change our circumstances, or work on our positivity. For me it is troubled love; self-sabotage; masochism; fear of intimacy; yearning for complete surrender; a see-saw of emotions that takes me to strange, painful places, where agony is always woven through my joy. Nabokov called it ‘a tangle of thorns’. If life were one giant novel, this would be totally natural. A novel is a self-contained world that makes a kind of sense onto itself, and so to explore the themes that pervade it is extremely worthwhile, because by doing so you can deduce the author’s intention. But in real life, there is no order. No one ever gets to read a synopsis of their life, and understand the intentions, thoughts, feelings, and fates of other people (characters?) in their life. All we have is our own myopic, biased, handicapped view of our own world, set to a soundtrack of our own twisted thoughts and assumptions. Or in my case, Bastille. And so in life, attempting analysis can often prove futile. We simply do not have enough information. There are things we see and things we miss. Days when we hear the truth being said to us and others when we reject it. Nights where we see who our lovers truly are, but are unconvinced; others where we are given a mirage, and yet accept it without question.

It has always pained me that we can never know what happens when someone leaves our presence. I wish it was like it is in a book, where you follow the most important strain of the story, so that you can see the most complete version of the truth. It would allow us to make informed decisions, to decide for ourselves what character we want to play.

As of right now, I have no idea what character I am playing in my life, or anyone else’s. The only way I can make sense of it is to define the aspects by many titles; to segment myself. I am a daughter, sister, girlfriend. A Mistress and a slave. A child and a grown woman. A blogger and an artist. A writer and a photographer. I am a friend to many, but in such varying capacities that I feel my friends would not recognise all the different versions of me. Parts of my personality are invisible to them, as parts of theirs are to me. I have rows of black stilettos on my bedroom floor - right beside the Converse that take me to warehouse raves in the dead of night, among strangers in a black taxi. I am struggling to find a balance between all these roles that will allow me to live a happy and healthy life, with enough money to survive and enough love to keep me sane. I yearn to give myself to something completely, and no longer be segmented. I cannot find the time to do everything well, and sometimes it makes me feel as if I am failing. Or even worse, that I am lying. In one sense I cannot quite believe my luck; how busy I have become, and what beautiful things my days are filled with now. If I stopped to think about it too much, I would begin to question whether I (?) deserve it. And so I won’t; because that is a question I would never be able to answer. I simply do not have enough information.

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At 2 November 2013 at 15:35 , Blogger Signe said...

Thank you for sharing, this post is quite profound. It is ok if you don't know what character you are, as long as you remember people in our life have two possible purposes- either to change us or to be changed by us.

At 2 November 2013 at 15:57 , Blogger Irene ~Melodies In The Sand~ said...

I think this is a phase that some of us must go through to get to know ourselves better. Perhaps we really need to know those segments so that we can put all the pieces together. May you find clarity soon. ♡

At 2 November 2013 at 23:00 , Blogger Katie said...

It's such a treat to read your beautiful writing. It's almost like reading a Bronte, in a way... I can definitely empathise with how you're feeling. These kind of weird existential 'what the fuck am I doing? Who the fuck am I' moments are a frequent occurrence in my life as well.
On another note, I love that song.

At 3 November 2013 at 02:05 , Blogger Emma Jane said...

"I am a friend to many, but in such varying capacities that I feel my friends would not recognise all the different versions of me."

Wow this is a flawless post. I feel very similar to you. I have so many different parts to me and I crave to share myself fully with someone. As of yet, I still feel very segmented, even to those I am closest to. My close friends know all the parts of me but there are some parts where they are still just skimming the surface. I want to see them dive right in. I love this. And Bastille has been the background music of my life for months. God they are superb.

Tightrope to the Sun

At 3 November 2013 at 14:00 , Blogger snow said...

Wow, this is beautiful and very true. It is hard to know who you are in the scheme of things when new situations bring out things about yourself that even you had no clue were part of you. it's true that you could write many novels about our very segmented lives.

At 3 November 2013 at 18:26 , Blogger Elif Onay said...

This is the greatest thing I have ever read in a while and I am always amazed by your writing and I think I will always be amazed until the day I die. I have so many favorite sentences from this post that you have written but I really don't know where to start. I might as well just shut up and sink it all in. Can't wait to read more from you and in the future if you ever do become a well know author (not that you ever said you intended to become one but it could happen lol), invite me to your book signing. Thanks :>

At 3 November 2013 at 19:09 , Blogger Laura said...

loved reading this, i feel like i can relate to the text and you so much at the moment. i think i don't have a person in my life to whom i could or wanted to show all the sides of my personality, but also that maybe you aren't really meant to? it's strange how well agony and joy go together. and also, bastille<3 xx

At 3 November 2013 at 19:44 , Blogger Jenna Opsahl said...

You are incredible.

At 3 November 2013 at 23:37 , Blogger petal and plume said...

what incredibly moving words -- powerful stuff!

At 4 November 2013 at 16:28 , Blogger Gail J said...

I think life is like a roller coaster. today you happy and sad in the next day. but u gotta do is never let your guard down right :) Stay true to urself xx

At 5 November 2013 at 11:04 , Blogger rae said...

extremely well written post and i felt myself relating to much of it - especially much of what you wrote in the last paragraph.

At 5 November 2013 at 23:32 , Blogger London Loafers said...

Absolutely flawless. I think this is my favourite post of yours :)


At 6 November 2013 at 09:23 , Blogger Melissa Sydie said...

The sense of fragmentation you capture in this post is so accurate and, I think, applicable to life as a general, if slightly vague and undefinable concept. Certainly, I can relate to the segmentation you refer to. More and more frequently I wonder if we can ever truly be one 'character'. Perhaps we are destined to fulfill these different roles, never truly grasping a tangible essence that we can call our own.

Beautifully articulated, as always.

M xx ♡

At 6 November 2013 at 13:58 , Blogger Michelle said...

great post and good song!

At 6 November 2013 at 18:19 , OpenID said...

I identify with this completely, it is so hard to find balance and I often feel segmented. I really love this post, it honest and beautifully written. And great song to go with it :)


At 6 November 2013 at 18:30 , Blogger Rachel Kromdijk said...

I love the music Bastille !
you have a lovely blog girl!

lots of love

At 6 November 2013 at 20:23 , Blogger AVY said...

There are many versions of me too, and no one knows the real one.


At 7 November 2013 at 07:32 , Blogger Irfan said...

interested in following each other via GFC?
I will follow you back.

At 7 November 2013 at 11:47 , Blogger Анна Епринцева said...

Hey :)
Your blog is really great-i love it so much. Maybe you're interested in following each other ? I would love it ❤ Pls let me know in a comment on my blog
kisses, Anna ♥

At 7 November 2013 at 13:21 , Blogger Lucie GLAM said...

Hello dear,
nice blog and great post! If you want, we can follow each other. Let me know, follow me and I will follow you back! :)

My blog is here

At 7 November 2013 at 17:13 , Blogger Zara said...

this post was insane, but in the positive way!

At 7 November 2013 at 22:55 , Blogger Maija said...

"I am a friend to many, but in such varying capacities that I feel my friends would not recognise all the different versions of me." I love that line, as much as I love the whole post. I hope you'll forgive my sporadic commenting. As lovely as usual Hollie! x

At 8 November 2013 at 09:21 , Blogger Jemimah A said...

loved it

At 8 November 2013 at 16:49 , Blogger Zebra ❤ said...

♥Super here with you!
Would you like to observe? ♥ ☑
♥Follow me - let me know - and I'll let you observe! :) ♥

At 9 November 2013 at 12:08 , Blogger Belle Armed said...

I really really like your writing. you've got talent

At 9 November 2013 at 17:45 , Blogger Corinne said...

Troubled love. Self sabotage. Hell yes. I could have written this myself.

Corinne x
(I thought I'd leave the link of my deviant art, rather than my blog as you will probably appreciate it more.)

At 10 November 2013 at 20:59 , Blogger Alice S. said...

This post is so beautiful and well written and true and sincere. It would be amazing to be able to talk to you because I feel that we have lot in common. I tried to talk to someone about the same things you wrote, but most of them just told me to "stop over-thinking."

ps. in less that two weeks I'll be at the Bastille concert in Milan.

At 11 November 2013 at 09:28 , Blogger Mrs. D said...

Damn it woman. You just pressed all my buttons.

At 11 November 2013 at 17:24 , Blogger Gail J said...

Your very welcome dear, btw do you feel better? :) xx

At 12 November 2013 at 08:44 , Blogger Peet said...

Then I'll answer the question for you. Yes, you deserve it. Everyone deserves to taste some sugar in their life, especially when they're not some tyrannical dictator a.k.a./or Hitler. Which I don't think you are. Are you? No. See, then you're fine and enjoy your life to the fullest. As for your wish, I sometimes (all the times) wish I was the omnipresent narrator of my novel too. It sucks not knowing! But is that because we're paranoid or just curious?

P.S.: You juxtaposed a blogger and an artist as two opposites (like a child vs. a grown woman). Was that intentional? You don't think a blogger is or can be an artist? I'm just curious, not paranoid.:)

At 12 November 2013 at 11:05 , Blogger Tina Stefanovic said...

Such an inspirational post! I enjoyed reading it :) I love your blog, too!
Would you like to follow each other via GFC and Bloglovin? If you would, just follow me and leave a comment on my blog, so that I can follow you back :)

Tina from the Style Sinners

Twitter - @TinaStefanovic
Instagram - @tina_stefanovic

At 12 November 2013 at 12:13 , Blogger Holly said...

Thank you Peet :) I hope you're right and I do deserve it. It troubles me, thinking about it all sometimes.

To answer your question, that juxtaposition was actually unintentional, haha! But now you mention it, I suppose the reason I phrased it that way is because blogging to me, sometimes, can be an audience-driven art form. I find it hard balancing my tastes as an artist and my desire to please my readers. But that's just me. I certainly do believe that bloggers can be artists. You're a great example of someone blogging in a unique, artistic way :) xx

At 12 November 2013 at 12:36 , Blogger Tara A. said...

This post is beautiful and very well-written. I agree that in life, analysis can seem futile because we just don't have all the pieces of the puzzle. But I think we still try to analyse why things happen in the way they do, especially when we look back in hindsight.

At 12 November 2013 at 14:32 , Blogger sandy sandhu said...

You have a great blog. Will you like to follow each other on GFC and Twitter? xoxo
New Post Fashion Talks

At 12 November 2013 at 16:18 , Blogger Denise Sabs said...

Wow, amazing. You really write in an amazing way everything that I also feel. I think I told you some time ago. In fact, I hope that you find your balance and your way, but hey, is there just one role, one way? Isn't it great to have all these roles, to be a bit confused - and then inspired - while other people accept the roles that society "impose" to them? At any cost, I want you to keep this brilliant mind and curiosity about the world. Some people just go numb - like me. I gave in somehow. At least 80% of me. There is still a spark that keeps me going, but very few things motivate or shock or surprise me these days. Please, go on feeling alive - this is what I truly wish to you, cause all you are feeling shows us that yes, we are alive! denisesplanet com

At 12 November 2013 at 17:17 , Blogger Just said...

"I have no idea what character I am playing in my life, or anyone else’s."
Love that statement! Maybe because I can relate on some level.

I think I'm going to stick around for a while, you seem to write what I enjoy to read.


At 13 November 2013 at 15:55 , Blogger Lady Vintage said...

Adore to read u cause it's so deep, & it's like I'm not alone to think all the try to understand what's going on, & how life is a struggle. I think it's just a game of blind, we understand what we can & reality is often so different... very scaring indeed! Keep on your mighty brain awoken Holly! M-C

At 14 November 2013 at 03:23 , Blogger Gentri said...

This. Is. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this. Definitely something I needed to read. Keep on sharing your beautiful thoughts.

At 14 November 2013 at 17:48 , Blogger Belle Armed said...

tram is amazing, youre boyfriend is right.
(And then there's tram and sex.. wow)

At 15 November 2013 at 20:45 , Blogger Anha Senet said...

Nice post!

At 16 November 2013 at 14:45 , Blogger naomi said...

bastille <3

At 20 November 2013 at 21:55 , Blogger LOLA FINN said...

This is what I feel right now...
Thank you so much for visiting me :)

At 7 January 2014 at 07:28 , Blogger athewa | persiguiendo musas said...

I adored every single word you wrote. And it resonated so true!... I wish we could see life as a book as well and right now I would also love to see what these new things happening and the people coming and going mean.

I know that a few time ahead everything will be a bit more clear but dang it gets messy at times.

Hope everything gets clearer soon!


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