'Somewhere in the mind a lunatic shuffled a pack of snapshots and dealt them at random, shuffled once more and dealt them in a different order, again and again, indefinitely. There was no chronology. The idiot remembered no distinction between before and after.'
And perhaps whatever reality there is in the notion of coherent individual continuity is just a function of the physical existence. - Aldous Huxley, Eyeless in Gaza
The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopic book written by Margaret Atwood in 1985. It explores a new regime in America borne of an infertility crisis which levels the country’s population numbers. In it, the protagonist Offred takes her place as a Handmaid, one of a group of women who are still fertile, given the task of breeding for the sake of the country
All writing is an obituary. In writing, as with any confrontation with reality, the person writing begins to change. Once they write they admit the thoughts of the person now dead: a new self-emerges, with a more refined or more confused idea on the subject that they have discussed. However, unlike a rabbit trying to escape a fox, or a plant getting repotted, this is self-directed. This is an object of the universe allowing its own internal logic to alter itself, taking experience (known or projected) rather than living it. It's an alchemy of the self.
I am coming to understand today why taking time to think is important: thinking takes time. A whole month for one piece of work seems excessive but really it is a perfect amount of time. I’m learning to not rush things along, to give them the attention and care they are due.
The funny thing about being higher up is that you feel as though you're on the edge of the world. Here, you can never get that feeling. You might be at the highest point on this island, but the peaks which orbit you will always offer a better view, a crow’s nest for the sublime. And good luck climbing them. You’re barely geared up to walk this island, and it has clear paths set out to walk on. Those mountains are beyond human, whichever path taken is a newborn, with teething problems and thrashing feet, and an array of forking paths.
First off, the grass I mentioned yesterday has an uncanny resemblance to Donald Trump’s hair, something I hadn’t noticed yesterday because of the ice. It is wheaty, hardy, dry, and the wind has given it the same properties as a rug whose pile runs in one direction. There are tufts which create the crest of a wave, and surrounding them are the broken waves, forming hollows. Given enough force and time, the wind can make an ocean of anything. But this is a hardy, robust ocean. Like the rest of the island, it continues to exist due to a fierceness. Alongside the Trump grass, there is also tiny little ferns attempting to grow. One was stark white like a new shirt, and had the stumpy leaves that all enduring plants do. Grace isn’t compatible with survival. Grace is something which can only exist in a state of abundance.
The island is gorgeous. It is a teardrop shape—a shape of beauty and sadness, of joy and the carnivalesque. It's also silent—except for an odd birdcall from the south-east. It sounds like a wooden peg board, like the sort you get at school in music lessons. It also makes a whooping, taunting sound. It knows my situation.