Make-Believe

Lucid Dreaming

Fragmentary. I exist in bits and pieces stitched together–that stitched together. In glimpses here and flashes there, your peripheral is my home. I’m more comfortable when you can’t see me. When I am a phantom, shadow-person you convince yourself insomnia summoned.

A nightmare. I’d rather be an apparition, figment of your frontal lobe. (Figment of my own.) Make-believe people don’t need to be. Flesh. Bone. Whole. They can be porcelain and plastic wrap. Fragile. Easily torn. Tossed. Replaced.

Made-up people can be dusk, not night but not light either. They can be almost but not quite. They can be reflections.

Can live inside mirrors.

Inside you.

Inside

me.

shadow-girl-2

This is me. How I sound to myself. How I sound when I tell stories. Weave word into vision. This is my preferred voice (and the one I think I will use from now on for as many future exercises as I can ^.^). This exercise inspired me to use it.

Images–bits, pieces, glimpses, flashes–can evoke profound responses. Can trigger memories. Summon the muses. Inspire. They can tell stories with or without words. Light, line, value, contrast, form or lack thereof are all elements that can combine to create in the same way words can be woven into a vision, into an invitation to enter that vision. In many ways, I think images are a reversal of the traditional storytelling process–the scene, setting, scenario, etc. is given upfront, the story filling in the absences of meaning here. In traditional stories, a premise usually precedes a scene in that the writer has decided the purpose for that scene rather than the scene deciding the purpose. If that all makes sense. I don’t believe either method/process to be superior to the other. Just different. Unique unto itself. Some stories will find better homes in one than the other. Experimentation is necessary to make a decision–or not. If Elit is interested in anything, I think it is blending, stitching, and remixing. It seeks compromise instead of separation.It seeks to extend past traditional barriers. To, rather, build bridges.

Needless to say, I greatly enjoyed this kind of exercise. It truly felt alchemic. Like I was brewing a potion. Reciting a spell. Doing something conventional enough but, also, something surprising,  with an end result I couldn’t quite predict until I got to the end. That’s kind of magickal, isn’t it?

 

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5 Comments

  1. Oh the magickality… As someone who enjoys the story with the photos / images first or only, your observation is something I never thought of:

    “In many ways, I think images are a reversal of the traditional storytelling process”

    *That* is a total chunk of written alchemical gold. Thank you.

    And i love the hidden text trick, well done.

    Speaking of mirrors, do you know of Hair Part Theory and the True Mirror? Warpy stuff https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1999/06/the-mirror-of-dorian-gray/377630/

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    • Oh, wow! That was an interesting article! I knew true mirrors were a thing but I never really thought about the implications of them. “The True Mirror is intended to restore a sense of reality; in truth it adds elements of perplexity to an object that offers plenty of them already. ” Mirrors are typically thought of as great revealers of the Truth. But, they aren’t. They still show only one version of the story–the reversed, backwards one! To be honest myself, I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to look into a true mirror. Appearance plays an overwhelming part in identity construction and finding out any new information at this stage of the game may be too jarring.
      Anyway, I enjoy using mirrors and mirror-motifs in my writing because of what they represent. And, I think we can all, on some level, can relate to looking in a mirror and not recognizing the reflection. (Which, actually, would be the effect of a true mirror…. Oh. Writing is kind of a true mirror, then, don’t you think? Because it allows us to tell truths that may make us unrecognizable to ourselves or others.)
      I’m glad you appreciated my little hidden trick btw I’m thinking of incorporating other, simple magic into some future posts.
      ~Kelli

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  2. Oh, I didn’t catch on that this was a Five Card Flickr story until I started clicking on your links. Cool!
    When you said, “This is my preferred voice (and the one I think I will use from now on for as many future exercises as I can,” were you referring to the post-modern fragmentary poem that preceded that statement or your blog post, which also had a strong (but different ) voice?

    You know, TS Eliot pioneered the poetry of fragments. He told bits of stories and called them “these are fragments I have shored against my ruin”; that is, the last story bits he will remember as he grows old and consciousness dims. It seems like you might be reaching for the roots of that way of thinking and expressing, which can be quite beautiful.

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    • I had a lot of fun with the flickr–if you couldn’t tell. It really inspired me. (Can’t wait to read everyone else’s stories.)
      When I said that I was going to exercise more of my “preferred voice”, I was referring to the one I used towards the beginning of this post. Really, it’s my storytelling voice. Which, is my favourite voice. I want to share it more with this community since this is a community of writers and artists. It took me a little time to warm up to sharing it though.
      I don’t know much about TS Elliot or much of his work, unfortunately, but I appreciate this quote you shared with me. I like the idea of fragments being preservatory, in a way. Able to capture the moments of ourselves we want to remember. It’s a beautiful concept. I hope, in some manner, my writing is able to capture even a “fragment” of Elliot’s sentiment. Purposeful fragments, I think, can be very powerful. Some of these most striking moments of our lives are remembered in bits and pieces, sounds, sights, feelings, smells…. Writing mimics life in so many other ways, so why not in this way as well?
      ~Kelli

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