Janet (j4) wrote,
Janet
j4

Desert places

In a school Art lesson once we were asked to sketch an arrangement of chairs by drawing not the solid objects, but the spaces between them. As a practical exercise it soon grew tiresome, and resulted in a fairly unremarkable charcoal line-drawing; but as a conceptual exercise it taught me a whole new way of seeing things.

The more you look for the spaces between things, the more real they become. A tree becomes a crazy patchwork of spaces, railings become carefully-suspended panels of air, and your lover’s hands become claws of absence interlaced with his half-remembered fingers. Even when there was nothing else to believe in, you believed in the solidity of everyday things; this new vision shatters that belief.

Houses become a relentless parade of emtpy rooms. You could watch the windows explode in a bombed building and all you would see would be the shards of space between the glass. This is the triumph of form over meaning.

If you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you. Your body becomes a network of nothingness: your lungs are a million gasps of air, your ribs cannot cage the slabs of void between them. Your heart is nothing but a handful of holes, and the emptiness in your mouth is shaped exactly like a cry.

The page runs white with rivers of emptiness, and these words are just a series of misshapen silences strung together like beads on a thread.
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