found things, august edition
There are constellations on the ceiling, and they start changing if you stare at them long enough—a stern-eyed rabbit in a bowtie, clouds shaped like crushed soda cans, a man with shiny black shoes who steps on every crack in the sidewalk. Some strange pacing creature regards you with an aimless expression, looking for a moment like it might be more than dusty stripes of white paint before the light changes and there’s nothing but empty space above your eyes.
Humoresque by Dvořák feels like breaking gravity and wandering a blue sheet of endless sky, your bare feet thumping gently against the curvature of a soft nothingness as the moon lights a shadowy path before you. Then the clouds wake up and you’re falling, grabbing helplessly at open space, your last seconds blurring into darkness before the world tilts back into color and an impossible breeze lowers you carefully to the ground. The air settles, cold and still, and you’re left to lay in the grass with wind-torn clothes and stare sleepily at the miraculous sky.
It’s fascinating that we’re all curious little collectors. Everywhere we go, we gather blurred sounds and images, certain ways of seeing things, the imagined moments between two silences—ripping flashes of perspective from any bright thing we pass like sticky tape from the corner of a photograph. The torn-away spots hold a certain dullness to them, the glossy top layer peeled from the image, the paper beneath dry and fragile to the touch.
We try to fit the whole universe into our minds and wonder why we can’t see everything the way we used to, like we weren’t the ones that gathered it all out of view behind our tired eyes. It’s horribly obvious that the world isn’t ours to hold, but we keep trying even as our fingers get mercilessly burned.
Neatly stacked letters tumble against each other like rows of vertical dominoes, forming strings of twisted words that grow until something massive is stretching and breathing and spilling beyond the lines of an open notebook. You stare down at what you’ve created with a distant recognition, ready to line up the dominoes and watch them fall until you’ve found something that sounds less like the voice of a stranger and more like your own small soul.