So Where Do We Go Now?

I sit here knowing I shouldn’t write about school stuff or the things that make my eyebrows squint downwards so the images in my head can replace my vision. The creases on my face tighten almost rhythmically at the thought of anything abstract. Yet all that spirals around in my brain are the things I’ve been learning. 

When I close my eyes at night I have dreams I’m dining with Luis Barragán or Bijoy Jain. Walking past Ruth Moore sharpening her pencil for her next novel with the shavings clinging to beige and brown bathroom tiles. I close my eyes and imagine myself on an island in the middle of the ocean with a lighthouse and a good book. Would I trust its might against any storm that brushes over? Or a creaky schooner that instead shifts in the water- secured by no landmass does this make us safer?

I wake up from a nap with creases on my hands that fall beneath me. I look down at them and read the words of Baldwin or Morrison creased onto the etches of my skin. Or instead of waking up naturally, I wake up to an alarm that plays tales of my lupine-lady-landlord-laughing lionhearted friend, Brenda, asking me to take her to the post office, grocery store, pharmacy, then library (in that order so I don’t have to make any lefts) for her weekly confession of dependence. 

Subconsciously a small segment of my brain dissects any interaction with the filter of “how does Marx’s theory of materialism manifest into this situation?” Why it does, your guess is better than mine. 

I often wish I could turn my brain off. Sometimes the organic squiggly lines you see on diagrams of brains look more like continents and countries, oceans and lakes, an atlas of all my ideas. Constantly asking myself is this some sort of obsessive-compulsive tendencies or am I really just different? Or maybe I’m no different and this is just all what we’re secretly thinking. Maybe everyone stares outside their windows to look for sparrows.

It used to be easy to write fiction. But now I find myself finding the concept of anything outside of what I am truly experiencing to be egregious. Instead, I think about places I’ve been to and experiences I’ve had. I finally realized I’m not a visual or auditory learner like they try to break us into in elementary school. I’m a spatial learner. In my head, I remember where streets in foreign countries lean to the left or end at an intersection. You ask me to remember my surprise eighth birthday and I can tell you which way in the cafeteria I was facing. 

So my question then is, how do we escape the spatialization of our brains that know not when day and night end. Do we dissociate or push it towards the back of our brain where we store our less pleasant memories. Or do we embrace it? Do we talk to our friends about Ruth Moore’s pencil sharpener and how we care which street you prefer over another? Until my brain is no longer occupied by my classes I wonder what I can fill the stories part of my blog with, the dreams part of my blog with, the spaces part of my blog with. Maybe I don’t always need a map to guide me. Maybe it’s okay if I don’t have a direction for this place, right now, right here.

please clink linked words for reference.

Published by ellakotsen

student at Bryn Mawr College

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