About MC

“Visions from the other side of crazy.” Take that tagline however you will. Some days it feels like I’ve trekked through crazy and come out the other side. Other days it feels like I’ve taken up residence in Crazytown and I’m writing postcards out to the world.

One day I was sitting paralyzed at my desk, wondering how to cope with yet another day of complete inattention, when I realized: I have Complex PTSD. This diagnosis really, truly applies — this list of pathologies that’s yet to be precisely documented in the DSM. And I’d better start paying attention to what we already know about how PTSD transforms the body and brain, and to what I’m learning about it from personal experience.

Complex PTSD isn’t the totality of my being, but it’s certainly pervasive. It means, in part, that I’m precarious. A stressor that might send a neurotypical into a funk has the potential to send me into a dissociative state for days on end. My nervous system has been cranked up; my chemical balance has been reset in unhelpful ways.

But then, everyone has their quirks and bugaboos. And in this way, PTSD is of interest to all of us, because we all deal with stress and trauma. Learning about the ways that stress impacts us, and how we can learn to recognize and cope with its effects, is becoming a more urgent task as we barrel into the twenty-first century.

Why “Mudhead”?

Beth and John are, respectively, the oldest and youngest siblings in a family of five. As kids, they were strictly forbidden to use not only foul language, but any insults at all, including old standbys like “stupid idiot.” John, ever resourceful in his wrath, invented his own epithets so original and charming that he was permitted use of them. His most notable invention was “rabbit-faced mudhead,” which entered the family lexicon.

In older traditions, mudhead Koyemsi are a traditional Hopi beings that play the part of trickster and fool:

Mudheads are beings from the spiritual world who are represented in ceremonial dances and American Indian art. Curator, archaeologist and author Barton Wright notes in his book Clowns of the Hopi: Tradition Keepers and Delight Makers (Northland Publishing) that early traders in the region dubbed the figures “Mudheads” because of the appearance and color of their masks. He explains that many people incorrectly believe that Mudheads are clowns. “Rather, the Koyemsi serves a multiplicity of purposes. Even though he is amusing and can perform hilarious antics or play ingenious games—both with the audience and other Koyemsi—he is far more than a clown,” he writes. A few of the roles he mentions are warrior, magician, messenger and sage.

- Phoenix  Home & Garden

Beth liked this trickster image, grounded in ancient North American tradition. The fool who can see what normal, sane people are blind to.

Why “Collective”?

Mental illness carries a profound stigma. Transforming that stigma, and finding paths to health and true sanity, are community efforts. Our core team is supported by a larger community of artists, writers, and scientists who are dealing with various forms of mental dis-ease and searching for wholeness.

Core Mudhead Values

  • Authenticity – being present with whatever arises, internally and externally
  • Integration – finding connections between people, ideas, and methods
  • Respect – exploring differences with curiosity and honoring the essential goodness of all beings