ā€Ž ‘In their secret being, dignity and hopelessness clasp, to emerge vacantly, as inscrutable amnesia, or, sometimes, as an unknown actor or actress, a weeping or a laughing clown. Tears and laughter in such conditions are true, yet unrelated often to the experienced primeval instincts. There is an obvious emotional numbness, but it is often a mask or disguise, assumed, that precludes questioning. One becomes aware of all the defence mechanisms, the pathetic remains, of human dignity. To the stranger they appear odd, aloof, unfriendly and unapproachable. To the initiated, their eccentric behaviour merely demonstrates, in many guises, their own pent-up emotions and disappointments.’ (Hanna Greally, Birds’ Nest Soup)