Like a street light in the dark – Twin Peaks saved my life

Dear reader. Allow me to get a little personal here for just a moment.

Twin Peaks is very special to me. It’s the type of fiction that has the ability to become more than just a TV series within my own mind. It creates so many thoughts, interest in new subjects and it truly works as a kind of “good-hearted tulpa” for my mind.

Self-portrait as Laura Palmer (2014) from my art project 365 Masquerades
Self-portrait as Laura Palmer (2014) from my art project 365 Masquerades

I wasn’t one of those who saw the original run. In 1990, I was 9 years old. I played the violin, went to art classes after school and acted in the first real stage drama of my life; A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. With 260 people on stage, it was a huge experience, and I continued to act (and paint) for many years. The violin was eventually traded for a guitar, but the interest in art, drama and narrative sticks to this day.

A few years later, Twin Peaks aired in Sweden again. I heard people talk about it, thinking it was ”just another TV series” like Dallas (or whatever else was in my frame of reference whenever I thought of a TV series). They’re all soap operas, right? But I couldn’t escape the passion that I saw and heard when my friends talked about this TV series in particular. There was something else there.

One night, I joined some of my friends for a movie evening. I don’t remember who’s place we were at. I don’t remember exactly when it was or who was there. But I do remember very well the VHS movie that was rented: Fire Walk With Me. I was mesmerized by what I saw and I wanted to see more. I wanted Twin Peaks in my life. Someone lent me a bag full of video cassettes with extremely bad copies of the Twin Peaks episodes, and I pressed play.

I watched and watched, and I watched. After school, on the weekends. I was absorbed by the series and its originality, I realized at the same time that I had already seen the movie that had spoiled for me the Big Mystery: Who killed Laura Palmer? It’s been around 20 years since this realization, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this is one of my greatest regrets. For 20 years I’ve wished I could have seen Twin Peaks with an unknowing, ignorant mind to experience the murder mystery unfold before my eyes, piece by piece.

I’ve been a Twin Peaks über-nerd since then. It’s been getting even worse with each year, especially after the internet made it possible to watch the series over and over and over easier. I tried to count how many times I’ve seen the whole thing and I think it is around 17. Some episodes I’ve probably seen more than 30 times or more.

I’ve got a Black Lodge wall at home. I’ve made Owl Cave rings and I wear my own almost every day. My skin has plenty of Twin Peaks tattoos. I made a Little Man From Another Place doll and dressed up as the Black Lodge with a Glastonbury Grove headpiece for a Twin Peaks party. I won the trivia contest that night. My friends know the one thing that I’m truly passionate about and what I have a ridiculous amount of knowledge about – Twin Peaks.

Gisela with her face painted like the black lodge
Image courtesy of Gisela

Self-portrait as The Black Lodge (2014). Another one from my art project 365 Masquerades

I’ve had a tough couple of last years, fighting both physical and mental unhealth, and mostly doing so by myself. Cursed with having walking around with a broken foot for 14 months, a cancer evaluation (I didn’t have it), getting diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and being evaluated and diagnosed with anxiety and ADHD as an adult (after having had the latter all my life without support). I’ve been fighting pretty hard to stay on my feet (or foot). My clinical depression has been with me for even longer than Twin Peaks has, and it’s always a rollercoaster. This year it’s been pretty severe, and the struggle to function and live while coping with it all – while working full time – has been… tough, frankly.

Everyone needs something to look forward to. And I’ve had Twin Peaks, The Return. Like a street light in the distance, it’s been there in the dark. And since May 22, it’s been shining constantly, no matter how thick the darkness has been around the two of us. I kept close to the source of light, and thanks to the beautiful online community that the street light has offered, I’ve found myself to be amongst others. Other people sharing the same passion and love for Twin Peaks as I do, to take along on the wild and wonderful ride that has been The Return.

And this time I got to follow along without already knowing some of the answers. That in itself is such an incredible thing for me. This time, I’ve had company, even if I’ve watched all but one part of The Return alone. Sharing my passions and thoughts for this series, I find myself at the near end of The Return being a Twin Peaks columnist for the site 25 Years Later. I’m exchanging thoughts with others, creating Twin Peaks things and art at home and I even make reaction videos on Youtube (where my latest video currently have an unbelievable 17 662 views). I’m not the least afraid to show my honest reactions, tears and laughter or whatever it might be online, because the feelings that Twin Peaks creates in me are mine. These feelings make me feel alive.

From the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you, Mark Frost and David Lynch. THANK YOU.

Dougie Cooper and Lady Jackpots with message from Gisela saying thanks to Lynch and Frost for Twin Peaks
Image courtesy of Gisela

From my soul I want to thank each one of you, online strangers out there, for participating in your own ways in this journey that has been such a light in my life, especially this summer. Thank you.

From my spirit and mind I want to say thank you to everyone who ever read my theories and thoughts or watched and commented on my videos. Thank you.

Twin Peaks is an amazing, beautiful, wonderful and strange piece of art. Twin Peaks has saved my life this year. It’s as simple as that.

Now let us all enjoy the last two hours of Twin Peaks, The Return.

/ Gisela (6:02 local time on September 3, 2017)

Written by Gisela Fleischer


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  1. . I love your blog entries.:) I also identify with Twin Peaks being a light. Thank you for writing about Twin Peaks and yourself- ?

  2. Same here. I watched the original TP when it first aired and I was 14 years old. I got so engulfed in that world. I wanted to live there and be an FBI agent like Cooper. (Which was not possible because of my age and the fact that I didn’t live in the States but a girl can dream). I watched Fire Walk with Me when I heard about it, rented it in the video store.

    Through the years it stayed with me, and when it aired in May I took a picture of the screen and texted it to people to share how excited I was. In real life no one was actually excited and in the Nineteens, no Internet so was super excited to find like minded people online this time.

    I can’t believe how fast time has gone by and we’re nearing the end. It makes me sad.

    I too, have been dealing with Anxiety, a diagnosis of an Autoimmune disease, burn out and my mom getting cancer and Twin Peaks has been my light too. As is your Youtube channel. I hope you will remain blogging and making Twin Peaks related videos. Maybe you can do a re-watch and make videos about that? I’m sure other people would love that too 🙂

    I’m just not ready to say goodbye to Twin Peaks and the people I met.

    Do you have a twitter or Instagram?

    I hope for a season 4…

    • Thank you dearly! <3 I do have Instagram, but I'm private. You may follow my 365 Masquerades art project though, (ar)365masquerades, or my cat's account (!) (at)XYZcats. Take good care and thanks again!

      • I’m thinking about you today. I saw your reaction videos and had the same response as you had. I cried my eyes out. This was so unexpected, I feel like I was run over by a truck.

        Will you post another video with your thoughts once they have settled a bit? I would love to know what your thoughts are now.


  3. Hi Gisela,

    Without exaggeration, I have enjoyed your Twin Peaks reaction videos nearly as much as the series itself. I cried more watching you watch part 16 than I did during my own viewing! Thank you for everything you’ve done to enhance the experience of myself and many other Twin Peaks fans. I very much hope to read and see more of you over the next 25 years!


  4. Gisela, I have enjoyed reading everyone’s contributions on this site, but your posts especially. The mystical insight you have offered into this series has been invaluable. I can very much relate to the adversity you have faced in your life – very much so, and I too as of late have been looking forward to Twin Peaks as a solace and time for meditation and reflection. The silver lining for me, in spite of the health issues and struggles with depression and overwhelming existential angst, is that the adversity has turned me inwards and allowed the ability to discern truth to unfold within, to be able to make connections more easily. I think this is the case with you.

    I was not someone who took to the original series run when it first came out – I was sort of dead asleep then and never got around to watching it. This new season barely pinged for me, it was something I knew I would get around to at some point and mainly because someone at an esoteric forum had expressed so much enthusiasm for it so the mental note was made.

    The only reason I didn’t binge watch Twin Peaks sometime over the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday was because of an odd set of coincidences that started in late April/early May. I watched The Neverending Story for the first time, which led me down a rabbit whole trying to figure out what Moonchild meant. Somehow that led me to Mark Frost’s The Secret History of Twin Peaks with his “The Coming of…What?” chapter which led me to Jack Parsons. It also, I think, led me to Eileen’s wonderful post on the subject at this site.

    Weirdly, Jack Parson’s doppelgänger showed up in my life around the second week of May in the form of someone visiting my employer to train staff on a new software system. Not only did he look like Jack Parsons, but he trained his classes under the name of Tony Stark. He totally embodied the Tony Stark persona. I soon learned that Tony Stark’s character was inspired by Jack Parsons.

    Many odd synchronicities were transpiring even about a week after the first episode of season 3 aired, and so I started cramming all things Twin Peaks so I could enjoy the show with everyone else. I’ve been visiting this site and Reddit ever since. Twin Peaks has been my biggest rabbit hole yet, and may indirectly tie it all together.

    Well, such is the life of a seeker and (maybe) mystic. Hauntingly lonely, broken down, and intermittently enlightening.

    I just wanted to share with you. Thank you.

  5. This morning I dreamt of Laura Palmer. I felt comfortable and joyful. She comes up to me and we’re dancing. I wake up. I realize that this Laura represents the joy in my life, which had been murdered – maybe by myself – many, many years ago. The joy is back, the dead is alive again. Then I thought of The Return, episode 18. Many people think the ending leaves you in the dark. I though so too, until now, where I remember Carrie sleep-speaking about how she was young and didn’t know better. That line feels so deeply satisfying, since it reaffirms my dream from this morning. In a way. I didn’t know any better too, but I survived various deeply disturbing events and situations, and finally, the darkness in my own mind begins to dissipate and give room to new life. Twin Peaks has helped me a lot.

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