rewound world 7: the purpose

Previously on the rewound world: we were on our way across the Nullarbor Plain when one of our number, John Pessoa, unexpectedly became an assortment of birds. The first episode is here.

We came upon a cluster of demountables
(that had been long ago)
where we gathered sandy bolts and feathers—
a tribute to John P.

For a while, we stood around our makeshift monument
in awkwardness and silence, until Deirdre chose to speak.

the ceremony

John P once told me of his Paraguayan life.
He spoke of moonless nights in Asunción,
of the whisper of the air machines
that wove the darkness in sibilant strands,
of hotels and illusions, of his first and unforgotten.

Now all that’s left is a miscellany of birds.

Ada looked at me. I wrote in my notebook,
“Her eyes were dark as a Paraguayan night.”

It’s your turn. You with the blue lips and chewed-up biro.

I couldn’t decide what to say,
so I deflected. Look. Birds.

Curious birds were fluttering all around us.
Some were sparrow-colored, some starling-,
and some were algal red and grassy green,
neither parrots nor rosellas, but judgmental
interlopers, stern and unforgiving.

Paulo saw them too, and shivered.
The ancient angels, they’ll be coming for us.

Ada was persistent. It was time
for me to do my part.

John P, I said, John P was lost, his proper
and proportionate empiricism had been unwound
in Paraguay. His mind was birdified
long before his body was.

In Asunción or the Nullarbor, I blame reality.
What use is it? What good did it do him?
He was turned to birds, inside and out.
Reality is worthless.

Ada disagreed.

Always writing, writing,
how l
ittle you know of living.
The purpose of reality
is to intertwine our dreams.


to continue

sources

  • Índia, originally composed by the Paraguayan musician José Asunción Flores and the poet Manuel Ortiz Guerrero. The Brazilian version was written by José Fortuna. Índia was declared a National Song of Paraguay in 1944 and has been performed by many artists.
  • air looms
  • the ancient angels

artwork
the purpose, made with VEE, the visual evolution engine, artworks at Artxio, an online art market based in Sydney.

 

14 thoughts on “rewound world 7: the purpose

    • I find these tidbits of historical information rather fascinating, and I easily get sidetracked on the internet.

      I recently used Ada’s lines elsewhere, and added an incomplete explanation in two parts:

      * dreams and visions for the future are a fundamental part of being human, and

      * the essence of reality is that it is common, it is shared.

      These lead to Ada’s human purpose of reality. I hope Ada’s copyright people don’t sue me. 😸

      Like

    • Thank you, Paul. I have to agree about mythological. Perhaps it’s partly the situation: the ceremony in the desert, but I also have the idea of the apocalypse taking us back to some ancient time stuck in my mind. It started long ago when I read “Deus Irae” by Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Whenever I see the word “Paraguay”, I think of the German word “Papagei” (parrot). In the context of the Rewound World, it seems particularly appropriate, given that John P’s mind and body were birdified.
    “Always writing, writing, how little you know of living.” Maybe Ada is admonishing all writers. I, for one, read far more than I write. Perhaps I know very little of living because I’m always reading, reading.
    Watching the video made me feel a bit dizzy at one point… but only for a nanosecond.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The word for Parrot is similar in Spanish and Portuguese. Paraguay comes from Guarani, and it appeared pretty much because I spent a bit of time there myself. There is a curious bird-related state in Brazil: Tocantins, which in the Tupi language means ‘toucan beak,’ named that way because the confluence of two rivers on the state’s border forms a toucan beak shape.

      I accept no responsibility for what my characters think, 😸, but, personally, I know very little about living. I don’t think you can write fiction unless you know something about the world.

      Thanks for letting me know about the video, it may be relevant if this video or something similar is displayed publicly on a large screen at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Nikita. Seagulls gliding above the waves would be great. If it happened to me, I suspect I would become a dodo bird waddling around the place wondering what happened to the other dodo birds. 😸 I’m still experimenting with videos, trying different things.

      Like

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