21

it came upon me gradually, slowly creeping in, as night does in the evening hours.

dense and dubious,

it didn’t look like black, but rather the confused effort to imagine black

by someone who had never seen black.

it reminds me of an odor.

it seemed to fill my lungs,

and at the same time,

leave me gasping with claustrophobia.

it knew that it existed

and it knew that i was there watching it.

still, it was unaffected by my presence and behaved with a sort of passionate indifference towards me.

i tried to approach it,

calmly like i would a doe in the forest,

but as soon as i got close enough to reach for it

it melted away,

back into oblivion.

it’s abundance was lost in translation

and finally was no more

because it was too much.

photo: @johandeckmann

Advertisements

20

{ bad faith }

she found herself alone,

in the midst of a bunch of happy, reasonable voices.

all of them realizing merrily that they agreed with each other.

she started to think that there was something wrong with her.

even the thought of being in disagreement made her feel ill and nauseous.

she decided that her condition was due to this absence of agreement.

if she wanted the nausea to go away

she needed to agree.

she concluded that the only way to avoid disagreement,

was to accept that there must be

only one right way of being.

she took great care in the dissembling of herself,

and over time, she managed to

forget whatever it was necessary to forget.

to consciously induce sleep when it was needed,

and then, to promptly forget the act of hypnosis she had just performed.

existing in this way was difficult to do everyday,

so she kept busy.

she never allowed her mind a moment of quiet.

she never read any books or wrote down any original thoughts.

until nothing was real anymore.

inside or out.

then, little by little,

she began to feel

a bit strange,

a little more put off than usual,

a little more unamused than was previously tolerable.

at first, she tried desperately to persuade herself that this unrest was just a passing phase,

and she tried to carry on as she always had.

but something within her just would not capitulate.

a burning question

kept popping up night after night in her dreams

and echoing in the back of her mind.

she tried, but she couldn’t silence it.

she couldn’t manage to come up with any kind of convincing argument

for continuing to exist in a world that wasn’t real

in a way that wasn’t real.

she wanted freedom.

there was simply no other alternative that left her alive.

she was ready to take responsibility for her own existence.

she was ready to disagree.

photo: Shary Boyle

19

{ the rebel }

i made my way along the stone path,

dragging my feet as i usually do whenever i’m reluctant to go.

once at the gate, i turned back.

the sun was peaking through the clouds as i surveyed all that was left behind me.

i laughed quietly

because i knew that i would never solve it.

then, the garden smiled at me.

she seemed to be amused,

and in silent agreement.

i leaned against the gate and watched for a long time.

every pebble, every blade of grass,

all of it was was no longer available to me in the same way that it was a moment ago.

it all seemed to be changing right before my eyes,

ever so slightly forcing me to shift my perspective.

there was no right way to see it.

again, i laughed quietly

because i realized that

i was witnessing a sort of

rebellion.

the attitude of the trees,

of the flowers,

was that of refusal.

they simply refused to remain the same or allow me to project any kind of expectation onto their existence.

i couldn’t help but envy this kind of audacity.

i gave a heavy sigh because i knew that i wanted to be one of them.

i too, wanted to rebel.

photo: @bess_hamiti

18


{ cognitive dissonance }

there once was a girl who got in the wrong world.

she existed in rhythm with other people.
in a world of public parks, cafes and metropolitan cities,
but none of it was was familiar.

she tried to convince herself that she was living somewhere else.
behind the canvas of paintings, between the pages of books, immersed in the long dry laments of jazz.

and then, after making a complete fool of herself,
she opened her eyes,
she realized that she had been mislead—

the way up and the way down were arbitrary distinctions.


she saw all around her a contradiction and within herself a breathing paradox.

her mind and this world,
straining against each other without being able to embrace each other.

she wrote a note:
my mind’s sentiment for unity,

this atomistic universe, and the contradiction

that binds them,

there is no secret behind this,

it’s absurd, and only that.

photo: Chris Labrooy @chrislabrooy

17

{ self-talk Tuesday }

you hear people talking about discipline.

telling a kid who she ought to be from the day she’s born.

it’s cruel.

but what’s a girl to do?

existence demands obedience in one way or another, and if you can’t obey yourself, someone else will command you.

comfortable and successful in their career,

they say they know all about what it takes to make it in this town,

they say you need discipline.

poor fools,

they don’t know the first thing about discipline or what it takes to actually live in this world.

they know how to lead venerable lives of avarice that’ll make the people proud, but that’s not living.

it’s true that, if you have no discipline, you’re a slave to your every mood and its subsequent caprice.

it’s true that, without discipline you’re helpless.

all that aside,

if you have no discipline,

you’re more than likely pretending to be someone else.

wanting more than anything to be accepted;

for someone to validate your existence.

sitting around at work,

sitting around in some apartment with white walls,

sitting around in bed wondering to yourself if you left this world tomorrow would you have any regrets?

no amount of lamentation will change the predicament you’re in.

and the worst part of it all,

is knowing that you put yourself here.

because you were too afraid to live a life true to yourself and not the life others expected of you.

but what’s a girl to do?

it’s impossible to serve both yourself and the crowd.

discipline promises no fame and no rewards.

only trials and tribulations that strengthen the spirit and its resolve.

being true to yourself in a world that wants you to be someone else.

that’s discipline.

[ photo: Elton John: Egg on His Face, 1999 – by David LaChapelle @david_lachapelle ]

16

{ nostalgia }

i knew you once and you loved me then.

the years went by and i changed,

but so did you.

we spoke on the phone

a few times later on,

but it was strange because

we were strangers.

some more years passed.

why do i still think about you?

not all the time, but sometimes.

it doesn’t hurt,

it’s there for a moment,

then it leaves again.

nothing,

literally nothing, about you is familiar.

you don’t even look the same.

i heard your voice again, today.

your voice gives you away.

it’s still the you i knew before,

all that time ago.

it’s the same voice you had

when i loved you and you loved me.

at least when i thought you loved me,

but maybe you never did.

or, maybe you thought you did,

but you couldn’t because

you were too fucked up.

maybe it was me that was too fucked up.

maybe you wanted to love me,

and so you sort of loved me.

you tried to love me.

and i tried to love you.

that’s something i’ll settle for.

photo: Eliza Cummings for Ponystep shot by Louie Banks @louiebanksshoots

15

{ yoga class gossip }

what does it mean to be present?

the hippies are saying it to each other all the time, but i don’t think it means what they think it means.

you have to understand,

you’re not being present when you’re meditating or consulting your chakras, or any of that.

you’re preparing to be present.

you’re dancing around potential,

you haven’t actually done anything with it.

most of the time, people wander around bumping into each other in a sort of halfway existence.

potential is that other half of existence they won’t accept.

the half that’s right here.

the present.

everything else that is not here, being encountered directly, is an abstraction.

the past does not exist here.

not even a little.

not in antiques, not in memories, not in scars.

the future doesn’t exist here and

expectation doesn’t exist here, either.

the only thing that exists in the present is potential.

recognizing this is just the first step.

to be present you have to use all of that potential.

being present requires action of some kind.

to use all of your potential, even for just a moment, is hard work.

and if you do it right,

it’ll hurt the whole time.

and you can’t expect a payoff or anything in return.

Existence just gave you the finger.

imagine doing something like that every moment for as long as you can.

that’s being present.

it’s not all fun and games and meditation circles.

it’s a lot of responsibility to exist all the way.

what’s that phenomenon called?

when you laugh at inappropriate moments?

i’m just saying.

somebody’s gotta’ tell these hippies they’ve got it all wrong, but it ain’t gonna’ be me.

….

photo: ‘Sales’ by Lumps @lumps_uk