“It was, gentlemen, after a long absence—seven years to be exact, during which time I was studying in Europe—that I returned to my people.”
So begins Tayeb Salih’s 1966 novel Season of Migration to the North. This fraught first sentence, spoken by a westernized Sudanese narrator returning home, has many layers of division—between home and away, between outsider and insider, between strong and weak, between man and woman, between West and East, between black and white.
In his essay for this series, All Our Names author Dinaw Mengestu indicts what he calls “the fractured gaze”: any worldview that sets apart “us” apart from “them.” For Mengestu, literature offers a way to see beyond the simplistic labels that confine us. In a passage from Season of Migration to the North that suggests the essential human sameness of the Sudanese and Europeans, Mengestu locates his mission statement.
Read more. [Image: Doug McLean]
For you I undress down to the sheaths of my nerves.
I remove my jewelry and set it on the nightstand,
I unhook my ribs, spread my lungs flat on a chair.
I dissolve like a remedy in water, in wine.
I spill without staining, and leave without stirring the air.
I do it for love. For love, I disappear.
Friend: “Can you believe we’ve been on this earth for 30 years?”
Me: “Yeah time does fly, but when I look at myself in the mirror, I thank fucking god for my Asian genes because those years have not been showing. I love still getting carded.”
Updating said friend about farcical time with someone who did nearly anything and everything stupid to cover up layers and layers of lies…
Friend: “Wow, he really tried stretching his intellectual limits to keep you around. He reminds me of one of my client’s delusional ex husband who really thought he had super powers but he was living out of his mom’s basement.”
Me: “Or more like one those Lance Armstrong characters who believes there’s absolutely nothing wrong with him even though he’s been caught.”
Friend: “When you mentioned “story of a lifetime,” this wasn’t what I was expecting. I’m speechless. But you know, there’s certain slip-ups and mistakes a straight man will make and he will absolutely deny it happened inside his head, let alone deny it to anyone else.”
Me: “I’ve reiterated this story so many times that it’s exhaustive, I should just blog it.”
Piano notes made visible for the first time
Music is beautiful isn’t it? The team at CymaScope visualized the dynamic sounds of the piano’s first strike and the eventual plateau and decay phase of different notes. You can listen to the sounds here and watch as the geometric shapes come to life.
Cymascope - Sound Made Visible
Did you see my post about piano notes as visualized via the Cymascope last week? Now with hypnotic animations!
I love when our senses combine to illuminate something that would otherwise be invisible, or worse, ignored. A reminder of the limitations of our senses, and an artistic nod to synesthesia.
Follow that with another example of sound made visible: Beautiful Chladni lines.
On the first day of music lessons as an adult learner:
Me: “I’m classically trained on the piano, but now I want to play Kraftwerk.”
Teacher: “I get so many students but you’re the first to request Kraftwerk. This is going to be fun.”
We jammed to “Neon Lights” the first day.—