Life log + dive log

The memories we keep of ourselves are continually shaped by our retelling of them. We may not realize it, but events as we know them probably never happened in the way we think they did. Each time we run a particular file in our backup, something is disturbed as the connection is made yet again, and that memory will not be equal to the one that stood there before.

Ted Chiang has a short story about this his anthology book Exhalation. It’s about a world in which people have the option of recording everything that ever happened to them in a Life Log, and recalling events instantaneously as needed. This, of course, is not without consequences: causing stress on weak relationships when arguments are settled with recourse to hard facts.

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Blessed be the fruit

The clock is creeping towards five o’clock as I write these words. Jola came up to check on me, wondering what’s up with my sudden stillness. He’s a smart dog, getting used to the strangeness of these pandemic days. Time and time again he wonders why people in different rooms of the house suddenly start talking to walls. And why on earth do walls actually talk back? A mystery for the entire dogdom. Don’t trust a talking wall, they figure — never trust what you can’t smell.

This fourteenth of may was the fifth anniversary of my arrival to Santiago de Compostela after a month-long trip. With each passing year, an increasingly more distant version of me managed to do it, and the heart-aching longing for those days turns into a simple remembrance. Not having been troubled by other problems in the interim is a blessing. Here’s to five more years of such. I’m looking at you, Covid-19.

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Static

My recent YouTube history has been kind of a deep dive. I’m continually surprising myself with how talented some people can be. Programmers fascinate me. Competitive programmers in flux are a wonder to look at, as they bring an algorithm to life with muscle reflex and ingenuity.

I didn’t know procedurally generated games relied on “noise maps” to make their universes come about. Made me think about all that background radiation left over from our universe’s start, and wonder how many worlds can be found within the static. How many stories can be strewn out from all that true randomness? An infinite amount of monkeys… you know the drill.

I’m operating in a fugue state, zoned out, not quite there, like my brain’s on autocomplete mode and all the suggested words are wrong in a funny way. I have a lot of work to do in the following days, and all of it involves me sitting at my desk, obsessing about my writing, always worrying wether I’m short on the tools I need.

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Ants and spiders

This won’t be a well-thought out post, I’m warning you. I’m merely using it for an exercise of procrastination and practice, unrelated to current moods and all-around seriousness of these days. My English needs oiling, you see — I haven’t written very very long time.

I felt the urge to make a kind of self-involved blog shit nobody cares about, me included. I’ve mastered the art of rolling my eyes with this kind of stuff, and yet here I am, making a conflicted fool of myself and wasting your time, all in a beautifully packaged mess.

I can’t even begin to explain the confusion inside my head right now. I’ve been hammering away a novel for the first time in years, and it makes me feel incredibly good. It’s a great feeling when you bring new pages to life, even though they may be completely rewritten and disowned by the upcoming revisions. Using a little transparent plastic tube thingy with a metal ball to carve meaningful symbols on the unsuspecting page is a strange predicament.

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A momentary lapse of breathing

There was a girl in a tiny coffee shop, writing something for herself on a sleepy november morning. It started drizzling outside — a timid touch of rain. The drizzle soon became a pour, and the pouring was loud and angry. Her attention dispersed from the page, as her eyes moved to the roaring waterfall.

‘Can’t outrun rain’, she thought of the people on the chaotic sidewalk. Her breath, caressing the numbing sweetness of the coffee, made a tiny film of foam tremble on its surface, and she took another sip. The falling showers soon became so dense that the coffee shop window could be mistaken for an aquarium.

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A film about a trip

It’s not easy for me to express how much I’ve learned on my trips to Santiago.

The first time I’ve walked the Camino the experience was something I was totally unprepared for. Ever since then, all of the times have been different, but as enriching as the first. I’ve walked the Camino once with two close friends, once by myself, and once with my mother.

Now, at last, with in equal parts shame and longing, I can share the short film I’ve made about that one time I started it alone.

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The failure artist

There’s Erdinger, doritos and monopoly on the table, as our wolfpack is playing amidst a cloud of happy smoke. While we recover our bodies from a day of snowboarding at a cozy Airbnb, a white landscape gazes at us from the window.

This was my first time snowboarding, and, as you can imagine, I’ve fallen. A lot.

I’ve tumbled like wet clothes on a washing machine. I’ve shaken like an astronaut on reentry. I’ve stirred like a martini, rolled like a Royce, felt my brain pole-dancing on its skull as I fell face first on a white sheet of snowish ice.

I’ve hit the softened ground face first, ass first, God knows what else first, and on those rare instances I flew a bit, as I twisted mid-air before the inevitable impact, I knew — this was one of the greatest days I’ve ever had.

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This title belongs here

And you? Do you belong somewhere? How is it that you make a place, a group, a family part of your fiber? Where do you plant your lunar flag? When do you finally set the palm of your hand gently on a lover’s face, letting her close her eyes indefinitely, without second thoughts flying above you?

There was a pub in Glasgow I remember fondly. It had a brazilian theme — go figure — and a mesmerizing scottish redhead from Inverness at the bar. Me and my cousin bristled with enjoyment, as we had been visiting Inverness not many days before. Between laughing at our misadventures, she warned us about scottish winters.

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Autoresume

He never felt like running.

Every other morning, he puppeteered his lifeless mass of numb arms and legs to venture into the cold, brisk north wind that swept the morning beaches. Seagulls kept a promise of life among the dark blue plains of water, crying about their birdly affairs, and the long stretches of atlantic summer chaos, devoid of people, welcomed the elements and almost nothing but.

Every now and then a pilgrim on the way to Santiago crossed his path, and to every single one he wished ‘bom caminho’, dreaming of the times, future and past, he walked to Santiago just like them. Otherwise, he was all alone, for it was much too early in the day, and every wave broke a silence only disturbed by their own echoes on the sleeping buildings.

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Magic air

A timid sun lurked between rows of distant, sleepy houses. The raincoats shone from the constant pouring, and the mud on our boots clinged for dear life. You’d see clearly, by the way we moved, how sore our feet were. Compared to past days, they were strolling gently through freshly cut grass, drinking camomile tea and being massaged to the soothing sound of generic oriental new age monk music.

We had arrived on the tiniest of grocery stores. The old lady running it didn’t care much for light, as half her universe was as dark as a coal mine, and the rest dimly lit. The small collection of fruit and food was everything you could hope for in the middle of the Camino. I picked up some bananas, apples and grapes, and ordered coffee. Scratch that — saying I ordered coffee will sound like I was in a Starbucks, selfie’ing shamelessly around my badly written name on the paper cup. I wasn’t.

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