Tag Archives: Fiction

Just Like Starting Over

It has been more than a decade since I have been able to listen to without a cringing and, more so, to enjoy the Beatles or John Lennon’s songs by any degree. Ruined by a jealous guy who claimed to be re-born Lennon, the new musical messiah and my knight in a rug. I was 16. And soon enough I was letterswatching the wheels go round and round without ever mounting to anything except all his loving. No instant karma there, except as a torture device, excuse for bad behavior – a tool to twist and shout, order me to get back in line. How dare I buy chewing gum on a free period from school and not tell him about it? It’s
like how do you sleep at night, knowing a day in the life of someone like you made a woman like me feel worthless and insecure, scared and at the same time – curiously fascinated? You were the walrus, the nowhere man that was here, there and everywhere. I had no chance. You said all you need is love – and I gave you all my loving. We dove head on to helter skelter.

In our mixed emotions and thoughtlessness it never dawned that our life together could have been so precious, and we could have grown – spread our wings and fly – and it could have been just like starting over? It rather became the long and winding road, the pressure of constant demand of oh my love, love me do. I was 19. And I didn’t yet know how to say no, I can work it out on my own. I can be me and still be worth something.

For the decade after I used to walk out the room, leave the table for bathroom, change radio channels, skip the song on playlist, talk loudly over each song as soon as I recognized it for what it was. Nobody told me these memories lose their meaning over time, but I know I’ll often stop and think about them. Thinking about the time when you showed up in a rug under the balcony and sang Jealous Guy like your life dependent on it. And maybe it did. Sure felt like it. You were just a loser. you let me down. You did warn me; you were beginning to lose control, acted like a clown.

So how do you sleep? Now the sound you made is muzak to my ears, and you must have learned something in all these years. I know I have. I have learned I am strong, I am 2D11403865-today-beatles-140123.jpgworthy, I am smart, I am a loud mouth nasty woman that would never again tolerate what was said and done. I’m not 19 anymore.
Do I have to keep on talking
till I can’t go on? Well, now I’m 31 and I am no longer grooving up slowly, well over the joker who did what he pleased, and I am reclaiming the Beatles and John, too.

Hello, goodbye and welcome back, gents, I’m sure we can work it out!

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Brave new words: literature in science

Written by Aija

“We react to the new world around us with awe and curiosity. In order to understand it, we tell ourselves stories.”

That is part of the description of the event Brave New Words: A Celebration of Words and Science at In Space that drew many science and literature buffs. In the form of prose, poetry and graphic fiction, the event celebrated the winner entries of Tales from Within – Imaginative Non-fiction on Stem Cells, with readings of Sarah Byrne’s short story “The Beginning” (read by lovely Ariadne Cass-Maran), Eliot North’s poem “He Blew Me a Kiss” (by rally of Rally and Broad, Rachel McCrum), all set with the graphic fiction display of Naomi Moris on the wall as well as a lively discussion with some special guest, led by storyteller Emily Dodd. The guest speakers were the writers Pippa Goldschmidt, Ken MacLeod, Barbara Melville and Mhairi Stewart.

Can literature and storytelling be a gateway to science? To make it more appealing and slightly more understandable – into the vernacular of layman –through these crossover platforms? After a quick poll of how many of the attendees were in science, and the total coming to less than 1/4th of those present, the answer seems to be yes. The interplay between narrative and science enables deeper levels of science to be explored, as well as ensuring a wider reach, especially for non-science plebs such as myself.  Unfamiliar things intrigue us. Same way as science fiction or crime literature carry an appeal of mysterious unknown territory, science non-fiction writing can provide an access to many complicated issues. It is a dialogue, engaging the members of the public. As Pippa explains; creative non-fiction is an interesting way to explore science – for fiction to be true, it has to borrow from the real world and from real science. This builds trust between the author and reader.

Emily continues on this train of thought by asking how does science use storytelling? The panel agrees, science does not work without words, and it has the same beginning and end structure. And science also readily provides action that makes a story captivating. Science and art are both creative forms and in order to succeed in either one needs to have an open mind. Whether science in entertainment is purposefully dumbing down the science it represents is a question that has Ken on the fence. It is not as much about dumbing down, Ken explains, as it is about simplifying, not lying but making it more understandable. Especially, as Ken puts it, when considering the abysmal amount of ignorance among people when it comes to basic scientific concepts, such as the solar system.

By default, is science writing dystopian or utopian? Gloom and doom stories do tend to attract more than fansical explorations of the uknown. Barbara believes science writing can be forward looking – yesterday’s beliefs of impending doom are today’s science. We wonder in order to create and explore – this is where creative writing and science can unite.

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