rain sweeps over the shorelines of gulf of f-land. the month of november is nearly over, yet there has not been a sight of snow in helsinki. the moisture in the air brings with it a variety of thoughts to the many minds trapped inside rooms with high ceilings and windows overlooking the sunless sea. “I stare into the abyss and I like what I see,” many of them think.
sound of the rain falling onto the sheet metal covering the outer windowsill is the first sensation to penetrate into my awaking mind. slowly the sounds bounce off the walls to provide me with a sense of the space around me. the room is only damply lit, yet I can see the alarm clock on the floor. two thirty. my body feels as if still paralyzed over the sublimity of the dreams just seen. slightly trembling, I turn to look at her reading under the floor lamp.
“what are you doing awake?”
“I revel in this state of single-mindedness with you and everyone else, embracing the old hag trapped in my young, feline body. I am reading the words of my fellow men from the nineteenth century.”
“oh yeah. I turned one hundred and forty-one a week ago. congratulate me.”
I stare at her and see the well-concealed signs of laughter surrounding her starry eyes, exhibiting the mysterious smile that has driven men crazy over the efforts to immortalize it on canvass. I'm not falling for this. I pick up a handful of pistachios from a bowl, place them over her open book, and move myself to sit on the windowsill behind heavy curtains.
slowly, the curtains begin to divide the space into two spheres inhabited by two distinct conscious beings. trapped in a chain of ever-altering states of mind, their thoughts cross like the air that begins to circulate in a cold flow through the room after the window is opened. on the secluded space of the windowsill, pipe smoke spreads around potted plants dying for coldness and lack of light. slowly the borders of the space fall, and even I wake up to feel the shared mind.
her mind, so overwhelmingly consumed by the dead poets, makes me gasp for the cold, moist air. enhancing the experience, I kneel down and stick my head out into the rain. “we enjoy simple things such as shared decay,” I think, and turn to face the falling rain as I blow out smoke. I feel my body relaxing, and smile at our lunacy. living in a dungeon, in pure single-mindedness. living off of the traces left behind by fellow conscious beings into writing. non-verbal communication stands out in its silence. I catch a thought of hers,
“photographs are selective recreation of reality in its toughest from. the challenge is to recreate while capturing a view from reality itself, in respect to the demands of novelty, insight and control. now and forever in a single frame.”
peeking from behind the curtains, I see her pale shoulders glow in the darkness, next to her mind spread all over the pages of the book in her hands. yet, simultaneously, she is somehow thinking about the things I should be thinking.
I recognized her immediately when I saw her, when I saw her for the first time. I recognized her from a distance, and had all the time in the world to stare at her approaching smile in a state of amazement that felt forever. that smile was mine, the reflection of my true nature. “this makes no sense,” I thought, until the touch of her made me laugh at myself for ever trusting my senses in the first place. all those thoughts that had circled in my head, trying to define the undefinable crumbled and became forgotten forever through laughter. reality is stranger than fiction, and we do love the strange.
after closing the window, I pick up my notebook and lay down on the windowsill. slowly, the sounds of the rain soothe the voices of my mind. holding a pen in my hand, I begin to write down her thoughts.
“my skin is dry. it cannot be for the winter, for this winter is still but a fall. it must be dry for creative distress. I am using a state of inspiration for purely selfish goals, writing notes for a personally gratifying artistic product instead of credit points awarding essay. heehaw, says the cowboy and runs to the sunset, leaving his horse behind. “fuck you horse! I can do this on my own!”
the beauty of post-modernism is that you can pretend to be writing up to the point of making art out of that pretension. demands very little effort, very little focus. focus is the magic ingredient of the universe. the more focused a thing is, the more amazing its effect upon whatever is. I know nothing about physics, but I've heard of intense tight spots squeezed between time and space made of amazing amounts of concentrated energy. focus. if only the definition of an artist would hold a demand for exercised focus.
the human mind is the master of distractions. it never trusts the conscious part of itself enough to let it see all the processes it is involved in. the more minimal one manages to keep the processes not aligned with whatever it is that the conscious mind wishes to focus on, the more content one is. peace of mind is met. “a state of flow,” I have heard consultants trained as philosophers say.”
suddenly she breaths out all her thoughts and ascends to focus on reading the words of some dead poet, exhibiting the very focus she thought about. I begin to hear the rain again.
the reason why I am documenting her thoughts is the effort to reveal our shared nature in words. it will be a long process, but I am quite determined to succeed. I know reality exists somewhere in between the lines, mirroring the mind which made them possible. literary works do not appear from a void. the time and energy used to cultivate thoughts of a conscious mind define the birth of words.
when I first saw her the thing I recognized was our shared nature - we are both conscious beings, like we all are. how conscious, that is the subject of a million stories. everyone seems to have a special way of being conscious, always similar to others, yet still distinct. individual. if I fall to assume things of strangers, I might miss the most important distinctive qualities of them. even rare and precious ones.
I peek to see her shoulders again, but instead meet the stare and the smile. in unison we think of a paradox,
“nobody knows me.”