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 into 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


  • 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

the purpose, made with VEE, the visual evolution engine.


26 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. 😸

      Liked by 1 person

    • 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.


  2. Pingback: rewound world 7: the purpose — inconstant light – Truth Troubles

  3. “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.”
    I went from laughing out loud, to being so moved by the ending…I really appreciate the gifted way you do that so beautifully!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad it worked for you, and thank you for your generous praise.

      When I read back, I realised how different my mind state back then was to the present. With all the fires raging, I find our current reality hard to escape from even for a moment. The smoke, the red sun, are constant reminders.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, and a bit of a pause now, let’s hope it continues for a while.

          I like to set myself meaningless targets and reward myself with coffee (or whatever) when I achieve them. I am no longer a year behind with comments so just had a break. 😸

          Liked by 1 person

        • yes, most definitely hoping.

          haha you really do say such relatable things! I am making myself a coffee right now, for what I am not sure…maybe making it through most of the day before I finally turned on the air conditioner. That deserves a reward. And the comment thing, for sure. Cheers!

          Liked by 1 person

        • You’ve also related, Vanessa. My house is fibro and it was 43C inside well into the night a couple of days ago, impossible to work or sleep. My asthma means I’m not keen, but I’m going to have to get a/c.

          Liked by 1 person

        • oh my goodness, STeve, really? So have you had it put in?
          Gosh that takes me back to childhood…summer pretty much meant not much sleep…actually, it still does as we don’t really like to use the a/c toooo much. Ours is pretty efficient which I am grateful for, we don’t have to have it on too long to get the house cooled down reasonably.
          I’m sorry to hear about the asthma, is it severe?

          Liked by 1 person

        • The weather cooled down, so being me, I’ve done nothing about the a/c, and the asthma is oke with ventolin.

          In other news, I’m going to reduce WordPress to once every 3 weeks, see how that works. I enjoy it all but I just don’t have the time (which is pretty obvious).

          Liked by 1 person

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