p i g e o n s, by sergey neamoscou
just now, i found myself thinking about languages. more specifically, i was thinking about how the way i express things, and, indirectly, my general mode of speaking, and even my “personality”, varies depending on which language i am speaking. four different languages, four different egos. and i asked myself, which one is the real me?
i guess you could make arguments for each language-me, and eventually come to the conclusion that they’re all me, but i have to say that the split first place would go to swedish-me and english-me. why? because i have mastered these languages well, and at pretty much an equal level. this might seem like the most obvious thing in the world, but think about it for a second. i feel most comfortable expressing myself in these language because i know them. i can fully* verbally exercise my acts toward self-actualization only through these two languages because they give me the biggest playground. as opposed to the spanish-me, for example, in whom i can’t even hear my own personality at times, due to my linguistic limitations. imagine if spanish-me was the only me i had. my view of myself would be so small, i’d be nearly no one.
now, you can expand this theory, look at other aspects in the world like, oh, say, everything ever. the more you know about something, the more you can move around in said something, and the more you can find yourself in said something. feel your way through the negative space. this applies to anything. to be able to find yourself truly being something, you have to understand and, to an extent, be everything that isn’t that something.
sometimes, experiencing the alternatives to that something you were set on going to at first leads you to not find your way back. sometimes, you learn that you weren’t that doctor, or buddhist, or heterosexual, or poet, or pessimist that you thought you were at the beginning. you’ll find out just how selfish you can be, how cold the world is sometimes, and how everything is really really hard. it’ll hurt. it’ll hurt a lot. but you’re closer to the truth.
the truth is what really matters. you have to try things, all the things, to know the whole you. paint the picture bigger and bigger and strive to get the whole thing, even though you’ll most certainly die before you get there**. the more you do it, the bigger your self will become. that’s why experienced people have that certain something. you can see the sureness glistening in their eyes, it’s solid. like a rock amidst a stormy ocean. they know themselves. a bit jaded, broken, but so beautifully real.
*well you know, relatively.
**who knows, the search might transcend mortality.
p é n é t r a t i o n, by sergey neamoscou
a friday night and a dingy bar. inside, middle-aged people attempt to salsa, awkwardly jutting their hips with eyes unfocused. music that isn’t salsa is playing and the floors are sticky with spilled inhibitions. outside, three people stand without jackets, two females and one male, cowering away from the rain; huddled together, hunched into themselves. cigarettes hang between their lips, two burning and one unlit. the lights drift through the window behind them, casting auras around contours. the man asks the bouncer for the lighter and holds out his hand; black polish shiny and chipped.
“oh, this is one of those fancy ones.”
“a zippo”, one of the women mutters, painted lips moving rapidly.
“yeah, you just have to flick it open and it’ll burn for you.”
the other woman looks up, stormy eyes piercing the others’. “it’s very convenient.”, she states.
“it was really expensive, so be careful.”
“yeah yeah, of course.”
the sound of metal hitting concrete is harsh, unforgiving.
the woman throws her head back and laughs, mouth framed by red. the sound bounces off the buildings, walls bricked and windows dark. the three finish their cigarettes, speak about thin air. the other woman has her eyes shut the entire time, tides low in a stilled sea. each drag is a prayer, puffs of absolution coming out a gauzy grey. when they’ve stubbed themselves out, they stand for a moment, linger in silence. then they say thanks again for the light, and head back inside. the air is damp and cold. the drops have stopped falling.
the air nibbles callously at my cheeks as i walk, coat flapping in the wind. my shadow spreads its wings, ready to fly as my feet stomp their way forward. shards of glass lie scattered on the ground, stars fallen from way up high, shattered by the impact. they shimmer in pieces, catching light artificial, releasing beauty more than natural. ready to cross the street, a car whizzes past. my eyes meet the drivers’, time slowing, stretching into the thickest of honeys. as it drips, the music echoes in my ears, words seeping into my mind. now she’s gone, love burns inside me. i enter the bus, scrambling to find my foundation. equilibrium is hard-earned here. people stumble in one by one, together we stagger towards our destination. no one presses the stop button. we may be shaken, but we’re sharp. my mind ambles, remembering when i dropped my keys down the elevator shaft. one slim slit, deep magnetic. they were swallowed, devoured in the blink of an eye. i peered down into the darkness, wondering what lay there. i imagined an abyss, a portal into a different dimension. i felt its stare, saw, in my mind’s eye, my keys being crushed, pressed together into a singularity. one phone call and an instant later, the keys were in my hand again. the bailiff got them for me, fished them out like it was nothing. the master of the abyss, i guess. can the abyss even be mastered, or can it only ever master?
yayoi kusama, kusama’s peep show or endless love show (1966)
by kyle wyss
by ward roberts
okay not really, but a little! so according to this article, astronomers have been sifting through signals from this huge dust cloud, at the heart of the milky way, called sagittarius b2. if i’ve perceived it correctly, the goal was to find some amino acids, because that would “raise the possibility of life emerging on other planets after being seeded with the molecules”. that didn’t happen, which is unfortunate, but they are pretty close. and some other cool stuff were detected, like ethyl formate. ethyl formate is the chemical substance that is responsible for the way raspberries taste, and happens to smell like rum. i think that’s kind of lovely. the scientists also found evidence for propyl cyanide – a lethal chemical. once again, i think that’s kind of lovely.
when i read the article, i thought that “wow this sounds kind of like science fiction” and then i realized how science is really close to fiction, which is funny since it’s trying to discover reality. below is a creative interpretation of the concept of the galaxy with raspberry and rum, because why not.
(links to the sources through the pics)
by mr. div
Usually the word ukiyo is literally translated as “floating world” in English, referring to a conception of an evanescent world, impermanent, fleeting beauty and a realm of entertainments (kabuki, courtesans, geisha) divorced from the responsibilities of the mundane, everyday world; “pictures of the floating world”, i.e. ukiyo-e, are considered a genre unto themselves.
The contemporary novelist Asai Ryōi, in his Ukiyo monogatari (浮世物語 “Tales of the Floating World”, c. 1661), provides some insight into the concept of the floating world:
… Living only for the moment, turning our full attention to the pleasures of the moon, the snow, the cherry blossoms and the maple leaves; singing songs, drinking wine, diverting ourselves in just floating, floating; … refusing to be disheartened, like a gourd floating along with the river current: this is what we call the floating world…
painting by katsushika hokusai
escapism is one of the most timeless and fundamentally human concepts in this world. when reality is too much to bear and we can’t physically shake the trouble off, we run to ourselves. we turn to the uncompromised, limitless space within us. our kingdoms. this is where art comes from. pulled from those depths. we let liquid gold pour out of our very souls, and project that intangible something onto something material. so when that escapism is channeled into art, we get even a concrete idea of what that inner paradise we go to when life gets too close to hell might look like. eden, arcadia, zion, utopia, wonderland and the shangri-la. the question of the physical existence is irrelevant, these are manifestations of the havens that live within us. and it’s an undeniable fact that by giving a part of ourselves to something, arbitrary or not, we make it more than it is. give it value and make it invaluable. we make magic.