“The Son of Man” by René Magritte (1964)

You see, back in the 1920’s-1940’s, Surrealists became interested in exploring the unconscious human mind (after the Industrial Revolution, they saw the mind as the only world that remained undiscovered). They were particularly interested in psychology, dreams, and the writings of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung (the pre-eminent thinkers of psychology at the time).

Freud theorized that the human mind was composed of various parts — some we are aware of (i.e. the conscious mind), but also other parts that we can’t directly access (i.e. the preconscious and unconscious/subconscious mind).

Poseidon, Greek God of the Sea (Image by intographics from Pixabay)

For some reason, we find those crazy stories about ridiculously muscular gods and snake-headed women from Greek mythology to be a lot of fun. Just look at the entertainment industry: Disney’s Hercules, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, even J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is permeated with references and allusions to the beliefs and stories of the ancient Greeks (i.e. Fawkes the Phoenix, Fluffy the three-headed dog who guards the world under the school, etc.).

Image by minka2507 from Pixabay

The only cat my family ever had was a gorgeous Persian named Sebastian — I don’t remember much, if anything, of said cat, as I was very young at the time, and we only had him for a week before my sister ended up in the emergency room due to her severe cat allergies. As a young animal lover, I could not quite reconcile this fact, and instead subconsciously taught myself to hate cats and love dogs instead. It didn’t help much when a few years later my sweet cocker spaniel was sniffing in the bushes alongside our house, only…

“№6 (Violet, Green, and Red)” by Mark Rothko (1951)

When you see a painting by Mark Rothko, I’m sure you fall to your knees in admiration, thinking, “Wow, what a masterpiece — I’d easily drop a million dollars to bring that home with me.” Right?

Or perhaps, like many of us less “sophisticated” beings, you may instead wonder, “Dang, that sold for more than a million dollars? I’m definitely in the wrong profession.”

I mean, what is this thing? What was he trying to paint? It just seems like blocks of color — and muddy blocks of color at that.

(*By the way, in case you are wondering, yes…

“Convergence” by Jackson Pollock, 1952

Let’s face it, when most of us look at modern art, we think, “Seriously? That’s art? I could have made that. That’s worth how much now??” For years art history teachers have been trying to prove that NO, you most certainly could not have made that, it’s much harder than it looks. And to some degree, they’re correct; however, in many cases, the truth is that you probably could make that — but here’s the kicker: you didn’t.

Serre Road Cemetery №2

For me, the moment of spring’s rebirth comes about with the explosive blossoms of poppy flowers. Tulips and daffodils may bloom first, but there is often still snow on the ground, making the world outside feel cold and dead. It is not until after these bulb flowers have come and gone that I finally feel spring’s rejuvenating presence as my family home is ablaze with fiery red and orange poppies. Our yard is filled with these charming wildflowers; when they finally arrive in full bloom, they sprinkle my life with color and energy — passionate, unruly, and beautiful. In my…

“Fountain” by Marcel Duchamp, 1917

Marcel Duchamp may possibly be one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, and some have gone as far as to compare his work to the likes of Leonardo da Vinci. Yet… really? The Mona Lisa vs. well — let’s be honest here — a toilet? How is this even possible?

Just imagine walking into the Louvre Museum in Paris, admiring The Great Sphinx of Tanis from Ancient Egypt, The Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Venus de Milo from Ancient Greece, Michelangelo’s Dying Slave and Rebellious Slave. At last you see one of the most famous pieces…

Photo by Marc-Antoine from Pexels

Carolyn was the older sister, which in title means of course that she was the tallest, the smartest — often the bossiest — the responsible leader, the overachiever, the first to do anything and everything, the “mature one,” the bravest of all — or at least, the most impulsive. Yes, Carolyn was a typical “oldest child.” In most cases Carolyn was the top of the food chain: she was the mob-boss of the family, and all owed their respect to her. She was the one to look up to — she was the example to follow.

I, on the other…

Image by Slava Rus from Pixabay

Layers of rich red fabric enveloped her weathered face,

An ironic icon of the title history chose to bestow upon her.

A name filled with death, burnings, persecution, and intolerance.

A symbol of a country torn apart — obliterated if not for the cunning of her bastard sister.

A label reflecting poor decisions and emotional outbursts.

A trope of an unfeeling old maid with a barren womb.

Yes, what an image history chose to remember —

Instead of the delicate princess — the one with the soft blonde curls and steadfast heart —

Her father’s “pearl of the World”


Kellianne Matthews

writer. historian. artist. wildlife warrior.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store