Tuesday, November 27, 2007

“I really hate flowers,” she said as they walked down a tree-lined deserted road.

He was slightly confused as he watched her pick a few yellow flowers he didn’t know the name of. “What makes you say that?”

“I can’t appreciate them pre-planted in phony little gardens, lined up in a row. Outdoor flowerbeds make me sick and just ruin it for me.”

“Okay.” he said. “Then why are you picking those from the side of the road? For starters, it totally contradicts your original statement. Why would you pick flowers if you hated them? Besides, you know they’re all going to die anyway.”

“These are unscripted, randomly-growing flowers, freely occurring of their own accord from no set design except by nature itself. Free for everyone and anyone to enjoy. But you see, I’m selfish and I want to take a sample of them home to keep all to myself so I can appreciate their beauty in a different way.” She lightly holds one of the flowers in the air in front of her, examining how the frail stem and petals bend in the wind like women in an exercise class. “I pick them, take them home, and then watch them die.” On saying her last word she lets go of the flower, allowing the wind to pick it up and carry it past both of them, out of their line of sight.

He thought about this for a few minutes as they continued to walk, suppressing the urge to cut and run since he barely knew this person. He decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. “You could always take pictures,” he offered.

“It’s not the same,” she said in a dry, slightly irritated voice.

Again he thought for a second and took a deep breath. “What about like, visiting botanical gardens or going on nature hikes, stuff like that. I mean, you’ve got to be able to think of other things you can do.”

She stopped dead in her tracks, spun around to face him. “You just don’t get it do you?”

He stared at her blankly, shocked. Apparently he didn’t. As he watched her storm away he started following behind, keeping a nice distance between them. About three car lengths should be good, he figured. Her black hair swished back and forth across her shoulders like a ball gown from the force of her walking. Her arms were folded tightly across her chest since it was getting late and a cool breeze had begun to sift through the trees and rustle the leaves.

Finally he could see where she’d been leading him this whole time which he was thankful wasn’t some secluded back alley or remote area in the forest. Instead, he found her waiting at the bottom of a fairly large hill, probably used by children in the winter for tobogganing. To the left was a concrete staircase divided down the middle by a rusted old metal handrail, no doubt used by skater punks in the summer.
“Follow me,” she said as she ascended the long stairway, careful not to touch the handrail.

So he followed her to the top of the hill and was amazed at the view and everything he could see. He was also relieved that he could see his red Celica parked on the opposite side of the hill, a few hundred metres down the road.

She took his hand and led him to a clearing on the hill. “Here, I want to show you something, lay down.”

Not quite sure what to expect, he laid himself back on the grass and looked up at the sky. It was a beautifully clear night out and the sky was the deepest, darkest midnight blue he’d ever seen, only lit up by an uncountable number of stars. She laid down beside him, put her arm and head on his chest, facing sideways.

An unknown amount of time to him passed; he seemed to be hypnotised by the night sky, almost in a trance allowing him to forget where he was. Suddenly he noticed a bright flash and then a trail of pink out of the corner of his eye. “Oh my God, did you see that!? I think I just saw a shooting star! I’ve never seen one before. Tell me you just saw that.”

He was too stunned to notice the smile slowly creeping across the corner of her lips, the cream-colour of her skin luminous in the moon light. “No, I must have missed it.”

“What? Ok, you have to watch with me this time so we can see one together.” He said to her while gently nudging her. “Come on. Lie on your back. Trust me, it was beautiful and you’ll love it.”

She didn’t move. “I’ve seen one before.”

Not surprisingly, he couldn’t understand her thought process. “Okay, well, don’t you want to see another one? These don’t happen every day you know.”

“I like remembering the moment of when I saw a shooting star better than seeing one. A lot of times your memory of what really happened will be more spectacular than what actually happened. Memories are precious, and can be forever.”

Like a flash of light inside his head it all finally fell into place and he wasn’t so confused about anything anymore.

“I get it,” he whispered to her. “I think I understand what you’re trying to say.”
He leaned his head in towards hers so they could touch, then he as well closed his eyes. Much like his strong arms holding her in a close, warm embrace beside him, he allowed himself to fully enjoy and embrace the moment; the memory of seeing his first shooting star and the inspiring moments Violet introduced to him which, no doubt, where to be the first of many. Two memories he now knew he would never forget.

Saturday, November 24, 2007






distraction (don't click it)
You are the illusionist. By chance or by choice, true calling or pure coincidence you are the one I catch in the corner of my eye. Always just a vague, vestigial afterimage left in my memory as you disappear seconds before what is commonly referred to as 'the reveal'. Vanished, like that dark, cloaked magician in misty white smoke at the end of the act. I yell your name but my own ears do not hear. My mind registers a very loud sound being produced in the form of a name; the reverberation shakes around in my head echoing like a scream down a cobblestone and concrete underpass. The contents of the sound are empty, as though your name were never contained within it. I struggle to remember as if I had actually heard it. As if someone just told me their friend's name and they turn their back, I immediately forget what it was, leaving me with a familiar face and a maddening inability to conjure their name. Only this time I have neither your name nor your face, just strange, cryptic memories of unknown origin, as though they were passed to me in a dream...

The dream changes shape and form in every way possible and each time is different. At the dinner table. Driving. Having sex. Walking around some unknown city, thousands of years ago. At a bar with friends. A mild day in October. Watching tv on the couch. The one constant through all of the variables in each setting is that the person is somehow familiar to me. I can sense them as if you were walking with someone and just happened to not be looking in their direction but you knew they were still beside you on your arm. You could feel them there. Each time I turn to look I can only sense and get a feeling of a person, a rough outline that is nondescript, with no defining features and nothing distinctive at all. It’s almost as though I were walking with a half-embodied ghost.

I do know who this person is, I remember. Yet, I don't.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

the sun shines on the snow-covered lawn steady and bright
millions of multi-faceted mirrors reflect its magnificent light
while indoors, the glare still causes you to shield your eyes
yet something about the snow still summons you outside
so you put on your boots, your gloves, and your coat
and head into the cold with a small lump in your throat
once outside, the fresh crisp winter air fills deep in your chest
you stand for a minute, take a really deep breath, and think to yourself, this season's the BEST!

then out of nowhere a flying projectile hits you in the head
leaving your face wet and cold and incredibly red
'YOU BASTARD" you shout at the hooligans in the street
and as you're shaking your fist and yelling, you slip on something with your feet
it's a patch of ice, BLACK ice, the worst KIND of ice, and you fall right on your ass
you start sliding down your sloped driveway incredibly fast
of course on the fall you smack your head and now you're just few bricks short of a full load
it's only after a few minutes you realise you've slid right into the road
no one can blame you for not hearing the snowplow coming, really it's not your fault
seconds later you're covered in a blast of dirty sand snow and salt
after you dig yourself out of a new snowbank... you know, the one now in front of your driveway
not quite in a state of hypothermia but very well on your way
you get up and stumble all sandy and salty to the front of your door
then an epiphany hits you harder than anything else has before:

no, I don't like winter, it's cold and snowy, full of all kinds of suck
yeah i dont care how pretty all the snow is i surely dont give a fuck
the snow's beautiful falling from the sky, yeah when you're by a fireplace nice and warm inside
but outside it frostbites off your fingers then hypothermia's the shit outta you -- that is it's ice-ninja disguise!
and shovelling snow makes me surly, yeah this season's totally balls
i could sure go without winter, no winters at all

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Suspension of disbelief is somewhat of a "device" used in arts and entertainment, such as literature, film and even the physical medium of art itself; drawing, painting, sculpting and so forth. It is both the goal of the one using the device and the one exposed to the art in which the device is being used to have a suspension of disbelief, which is exactly what it sounds -- stopping your disbelief and accepting what you see as the plausible truth.

To simplify, we can use literature as an example. The author will create a story believable enough in the hopes that the reader will suspend all disbelief, i.e. they will be able to cast aside their doubts and criticisms even if the work may contain highly fantastical or quite improbable ideas. The gain of doing this is for the reader; they are able to enjoy the story more, engross themselves in the plot and characters and 'escape' the real world to enjoy the story on a more fulfilling level. Possibly some part of them believes or wishes what they're reading could be true, somewhere somehow.

Recently I've been studying and watching a lot of magic on tv and the internet, seeing how some magic tricks are done, the 'secrets revealed!', things like that. A lot of magic is based on this idea of suspended disbelief. The magician may even study hypnotism, if he's really good, because what he does actually puts you in a very mild hypnotic state and almost regresses you (anyone, of any age) back a little bit towards childhood and innocence. The whole allure of everything, the guise of magic and magicians and all the theatrics, the way they talks and use their voice, everything is designed to make you feel a certain way. This time, instead of allowing you to say, read a book and fall into a state of suspended disbelief in order to become entertained, the magician will directly force this state upon you. Of course, you're more than happy and willing to accept it because "yay magic is fun!" What happens is that your mind starts to loosen up a little bit and becomes more open to ideas and wonderment, even if you are the biggest skeptic looking for the loopholes or "catch" in the trick, you're still lulled into the whole world of magic and sort of at least half-expect to see something amazing or unbelievable. Even if you are looking for the secret, chances are you will be too focused looking for the 'trick' that you'll totally miss what it was anyway and then be amazed at how the magic was done.

Many of the key elements are based on the fact that the magician has forced this state upon you. They talk a lot and move their arms and hands around a lot to "show you nothing's up their sleeve" but all the while distracting your eyes and attention from what's really happening say with their leg or foot or other hand. Once you're at this point the magician will fool almost anyone because he has got you to a state where your mind will see what it wants to see. Some very good magicians can also 'force' certain numbers or images into your mind using hypnosis as well. They can make you see what you want to see, or expect to see.

That's key. Regardless of the truth, people will see what they want to see or see what they expect to see.

It doesn't apply only to arts & entertainment either, just a very good example of where it's effectively used. Ever been dating someone and everyone around you is telling you one thing (usually negative) and you see an entirely different thing? It's hard to see the forest for the trees when you're deep on the inside of the current situation, isn't it? I know, I've been there and I've told people that they just don't know what it's like on the inside: "You don't even KNOW!", gotten all angry and stuff. Then a short while after I broke up with her I would say "Why the hell didn't you guys SAY SOMETHING, you're such jerks!". It's tough. But it's the same thing happening there; you suspend your disbelief, reject the actual reality and substitute your own (Thanks Adam from MythBusters for that gem of a quote, slightly modified). Nothing that anyone says can really make you see the truth and how bad the situation is until you're able to realise it for yourself, and that can take ages. A painfully long time.

Through the good and bad, suspension of disbelief is one of my favourite ideas/techniques in media-type things because I have an easy time losing touch with reality and getting into a good movie or book.

Wow, I can't believe I wrote all of that on pretty much nothing special....unless you could make me believe otherwise.

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