[Poem][Mind]

Standard

Mind

The mind is such a complex thing.

It thinks, holds memories, makes us who we are.

It sets us apart from everyone else.

No one has a mind like yours.

And whether that is a good or bad thing, it makes us all unique.

Sometimes minds are selfish, greedy, and hurtful, where some are selfless, giving, and soothing.

Mine doesn’t like to let things go, the good and the bad, remembering the actions of those that have hurt me and those that have saved me.

Sometimes I wish my mind was cold and forgetful.

Maybe then my mind could get some peace from all that’s swirling in my head.

[Things of The Uncanny Sublime]

Standard

Things of the Uncanny Sublime

 

Want something no one else has? Want something people are going to ask about? Why not something with The Uncanny Sublime written on it?

In a small effort to promote my blog and my writing, I thought why not create an online shop that can allow my readers to carry a bit of myself with them.

Shop Things of the Uncanny Sublime!

 

If there are other items you would like to see available in the shop or other sayings (from my poems or short stories), please let me know! I’d be more than happy to fulfill your requests!

A permanent link to the shop is available in the contest bar to the left, under Pages.

[50th Post! Why ‘The Uncanny Sublime!]

Standard

50th Post! Why ‘The Uncanny Sublime’

 

That is correct! This is my 50th post here on The Uncanny Sublime! I thought a good deal about what I should post for my 50th since I only have one and my 100th is 50 more posts away. Therefore, I decided to explain why my blog is called The Uncanny Sublime.

Let me begin by telling you where I had my first deep dive with the terms ‘uncanny’ and ‘sublime,’ and the revelation of what they could mean together. In my 3rd year at the University of Guelph, I took a Canadian Literature course where we examined poems, short stories, and novels that were creating the image of Canadian literature at a time when Canada was still creating its own identity. The literature mainly revolved around the landscape and the unexplored frontier of Canada and how it was a complete contrast to Europe. The new country was seen as bountiful and beautiful but also rough and dangerous in comparison to the developed and thriving European countries that settlers immigrated from. Writers producing work out of and about Canada were attempting to create an image and academic presence that was different than Britain’s and America’s.

Canada’s wildlife and landscape became the focus of the writers’ scope and the icy frontier became the subject to much mystery to readers who had only ever experienced mild winters. The novel, Icefields, was studied in my course and was my introduction to the sublime and the uncanny. The ice fields that the novel is centered around, brings together a group of characters from around the world who interact and deal with each other while experiencing the landscape of the ice. This was the uncanny; that these individuals who were so vastly different gravitated to each other simply because of the ice fields.

The uncanny is described as something or someone who appears familiar even though you have never met or have experienced that which is the subject of the familiar feeling. This feeling is similar to déjà vu, as though you are remembering something that happened to you in the past. The characters in the novel act in a very human way when encountering the uncanny: they cling to it by clinging to each other (usually via group or partnered expeditions on to the ice or through sexual encounters with each other while still technically being strangers).

The sublime is its own beast when it presents to an individual who has lead a considerably normal, mundane life. Something that is sublime has mysticism about its being, simply by existing. This is the aura the ice fields give visitors, and this is why travelers and scientists from around the world regularly visit the ice fields, and why they returned whenever they could. They are able to sense the ominous presence, the secrets that could never be told because they were a creation of something bigger than themselves, thousands of years ago. Any natural phenomena would be considered having a degree of sublime, even though scientifically they could be explained. Just realizing and coming to terms with all the elements that would need to occur in just the right way for it all to come in to existence, whatever name you want to put to it, it’s usually called sublime.

In Icefields, I came to the realization that the combination of the uncanny and the sublime becomes embodied in a single woman in the novel. In the many classes the professor used this text in, no one had thought that the product of the uncanny sublime could be an individual. Could someone be that truly unique and mysterious that the empowerment, the over-bearing sense of wondrous creation, could be felt in the presence of a single individual? Perhaps yes or perhaps yes but only when considering what elements would create such a feeling on an individual level. Could this feeling be confused with love, which is why we seek someone else to ‘complete’ us? The entire concept is a major mind-bend that can only be answered with an unnamed, unquantifiable emotion that most would probably dismiss as an improbability or even impossibility.

Now I don’t believe at this time that my writing embodies or inspires this feeling for my readers. I hope however hope that by naming my blog after this sensation or perhaps delusional concept, that my readers seek knowledge and new understanding with an open sense of wonder. Only so much can be experienced through text and reading someone else’s thoughts via their blog, but I feel that the hope of most writers is to inspire wonder towards whatever it is they write about. Whether it is fad-based or pure imagination, wonder can come from any idea.

If I am able to inspire just one person to discover their own uncanny sublime, I’ll be happy with what I’ve written. I can’t imagine any other purpose in writing other than for the hopeful search of wonder.

 

[Poem][Visual Feast]

Standard

Something that I thought was impossible to happen in this day, has happened. 10 tigers were slaughtered purely for what people are describing as a ‘visual feast,’ purely for the entertainment value of being wealthy enough to afford such a display. I can think of no other means of describing such a cruel act than as disguising, disturbing, and unbelievably selfish of these people to think they had the right to do such a thing. I hope these people are being made to pay in some way for what they’ve taken away from the rest of us.

10 Tigers Reportedly Slaughtered for ‘Visual Feast’

Visual Feast

 

They don’t deserve the natural gift they’ve been given

They see flesh and fur, bones and organs

‘Medical’ ingredients that proves no more effective than placeboes

The world sees beauty and magnificent

Perseverance against the ignorant of their endangerment

The world sees and is disguised those that took part

Our own visual feast of what modern day monsters look like

Their selfish distain for thinking they held an ounce of a right

To take away so many precious live that could have brought so many more in to the world

What gave them the right to think they could kill the endangered?

Because of their money? Because they could afford the price tag?

What is the price of their shame now?

Now that the world knows what they did, what they are

How much money will they throw at us to make us forgive, to make us forget?

Not enough for their visual feast to have been worth it

Perhaps if these people threw their money the opposite way

Towards making 10 more lives instead of taking them

Their names would be held in honour in saving the endangered

Instead of our own feasting on their demise

[War of the Seasons][Part 8]

Standard

Susanda was on the verge of arguing with Tracede but Caranne raised a hand to silence them both so she could speak, “the pair of you are speaking too quickly and are obviously privy to more knowledge than myself. Firstly, what blade and what etchings are you referring to? Secondly, the chemists are already testing everything that came out of the arena with you on my orders, and finally, Aeron is…?”

A short paused followed her question and Tracede looked at her, mystified, “the mortal’s name is Aeron. You didn’t ask what his name was, especially considering his victory?”

Caranne was speechless at first but regained her composure in moments, and countering added, “I did not because he was unconscious when he reached the healers. You were also incapacitated by your own injuries and I was more concerned about both your survival than discovering the mortal’s name.”

“’Aeron’, dear lady, ‘the mortal’ is named Aeron,” Tracede reminded her, “I’m sure he wouldn’t mind you or any of us, using his name. Actually, by now the entire Isle would be using his name because of what happened.” During the thoughtful silence that followed, he thought about what seemed an odd action for Caranne, her referring to Aeron as only a mortal. He then realized her behavour wasn’t all that out of place anymore, for he has been noticing Caranne becoming more detached from this world, as though she wasn’t here anymore.

When Tracede had first arrived at the Coliseum, he had noticed that Caranne walked beyond the walls among the mortals on a daily basis. She spoke to them, she listened to them, and more importantly, she enjoyed their company and understood them for what they were. She understood their mortality and their hope and excitement in being able to just catch a glance of her, let alone be honoured to have words with her as though they were equals. He could not pinpoint the day or even the week that Caranne ceased to walk the roads that labyrinthed throughout the Floating Isle, but in time she never left the Coliseum walls. The Coliseum was no longer her home, it somehow became her prison. The degree to which she was now detached became obviously evident and was now beyond any hope of disguising.

Maybe this will be good for her. Maybe Aeron can help her reconnect with the world again, and maybe then she’ll…

Tracede swallowed the remaining food that was on his platter, “as for your other question, the blade is over there. Nothing seemed overly strange about it during the fight or at least I didn’t notice anything. Mind you, I wasn’t exactly in the position to notice anything beyond protecting myself and being on the offensive when allowed. As for the man, Aeron was very skilled and had an excellent technique with the blade he used that simply came from hard work and practice. Unless you’d like to ask something more specific, I’m not sure what else to tell you two lovely ladies.”

Caranne walked to where the ancient sword was set and examined it in her hands, “neither of you were able to read the etchings?” The other pair in the room shook their heads, both only knew that the markings where pristine in condition and of no language they had ever seen. “And if I remember correctly, no outside weapons are allowed to enter the Coliseum and those provided are checked daily, yet this ancient piece was among them. Perhaps there is someone else better suited to answering questions about this sword’s previous location, and I have a good mind as to whom. However, that will need to wait until later. Tracede is there anything else you need to let me know before I check on… Aeron?”

Tracede paused again, a somewhat thoughtful look growing on his face because he was considering the words he had spoken to Aeron as they leaned on the other while leaving the arena. Caranne became impatient, “Tracede please, if there is something tell me now. I need to speak with quite a few people today and I need to do so before nightfall.”

“I told him he was the mortals hope, that he couldn’t waiver in strength as we dragged ourselves out of the arena. It’s important, if he’s awake when you see him, that you ask if he remembers what I said to him. He walked in to that arena with honour and with unselfish motives and we need to make sure he still thinks that way.” Tracede’s breath had become laboured in growing anxiety over Aeron’s potential state of mind now that he was victorious in his first pursuit. He had never spoken aloud about his own hopes and concerns for the mortals that they fought and watched as spectators. He was unsure if even Susanda was prepared for a potential life beyond the Coliseum in a world where mortals could live without the watchful eye of the gods.

“I do not think I am entirely sure I understand why you would say something like that to him, but alright. Both of you were exhausted and suffering from blood loss and pain… perhaps when you are of a sounder mind, you can explain to Susanda and myself what you meant, if it still means anything to you by that point.” Caranne said reassuringly if only a little skeptically due to Tracede’s condition and his usual flare for the emotionally dramatic. She moved to leave the room, “I will come check on you later, but please send for me sooner if there is anything you need or remember further.”

Tracede and Susanda shared a look after Caranne left, knowing her last response to them was to be expected. They had both noticed the slow downward progression of Caranne’s grasp on the mortal realm, and as a result she had become less and less understanding of their plight. Spending less time among them devoided her of compassion and accepting of their mortality. What Tracede had told her he said to Aeron, she could not even begin to understand why he would need that sort of encouragement from an opponent whom he had just defeated. Caranne saw mortals as desire driven for wants that consisted of material wealth and the right to boast and not for honour or prestige. They were slowly becoming a breed of animal that thought no more in to the future than beyond their next immediate satisfaction.

Tracede silently kept the hope that Aeron may change that view for the better and reunite Caranne with how the world was becoming. The gods were a fading people among the explosion of mortal settlements that where becoming villages, that were becoming cities, becoming landmarks. Even the Floating Isle was becoming less and less a location of exotic uniqueness as the mortals created their own monuments of grandeur. They craved the need to appear just as powerful as the gods and just as capable of being their own masters. Their negative desires, their selfish distain for the lives of those they trampled and used for their own advancement only caused Caranne to further doubt their ability to behave rationally towards what they should be striving for. Aeron strove to the same degree as these other mortals but he did it for the right reasons and through a means that would only burden himself.

“What you are expecting of her is improbable, I hope you realize that. The rest of us have already, Tracede,” Susanda said quietly but with a matter of fact tone.

“Improbable but not impossible. Until that woman is too far gone and becomes impossible, I’m going to keep on trying.”

~

A foggy haze had begun to cover the grounds, the sky that had been clear darkened with the threat of rain and thunder. The weather seemed to reflect the disbelief of the earlier crowd as they shared what they had witnessed within the Coliseum. It was impossible, a mortal had never defeated a god before; they had never heard of such a thing ever happening. They were unsure what to think of this development and that such a thing could happen, especially in their own lifetime. What did this mean for them? What could this mean for them? If the gods were no longer invincible, who would protect them from the things they could not protect themselves from? Who could they turn to, to rely on, if not the gods? If one mortal could defeat a god, could another accomplish the same?

Perhaps the most debated question that had spread through the streets like wildlife was why the mortal did not kill the god. It was a fight to the death, after all. They had both been injured in the last blow and maybe Aeron didn’t have the strength to finish Tracede. What other reason could Aeron have to leave the god alive to heal and return to the Coliseum arena to take more lives? Whose side was this ‘hero’ on? This Mortal Champion may have won but how did he do it? Did he cheat or bribe the god into falling to his sword? Who were they supposed to have faith in now that a god had bled and a mortal was victorious in the Coliseum?

Aeron’s victory had tipped the balance of the Floating Isle and the citizens sought answers. The notice had been formally given at the time of Aeron and Tracede’s departure from the arena grounds that Aeron had collapsed in to unconsciousness and had remained so until the evening. The answers that they and Caranne sought would be gotten once he awoke and was deemed fit enough to discuss what had occurred during the battle. The uncertainty of what may come from Aeron’s success shook even the most confident, especially if everything changed or worse, if nothing did. Would change of any sort be beneficial at this point? The mortals seemed to be having a difficult life already without needing to rely further on themselves where they already relied on the gods.

Caranne had walked half the length of the Coliseum to where the unconscious victor was placed to recover. She had taken her time in doing so in order to consider what Tracede had said to her. It was a simple enough statement he had said, but she was aware of the connotations of what it would mean if she informed the mortal of his words. She knew what the others thought of her attitude towards the mortals and their incapability to care for their own wellbeing. They were wrong though, about having absolutely no faith left in them, it was because she did that she no longer spent her time among them beyond the walls of the Coliseum. If the mortals felt her constant presence in the streets, in their homes, there would be no means to urge them to rely on themselves. Yes, they relied on the Coliseum to run their small economy on the Floating Isle and gave them dreams of fame through the battles, but they chose what to do with the attention.

Caranne believed her absence was working quite well because although she missed seeing those kind citizens, it caused the lazy and the incompetent to push themselves in to making a living. Before, simply hearing that a god walked among mortals brought many from hundreds of kilometers away to spend their time and money on the Floating Isle. She inadvertently brought easy money to her mortals, causing them to lower their standards and coast on the income they knew would come willingly. So she stopped her walks through the marketplace, she ceased accepting dinner invitations, and she refused to attend festivals that were held for her and the gods. She created a dark period for them and many did chose to leave the Isle, many of the ones remaining being the persistent and hard working. They created lives that they could call their own and be proud of and she was happy for them. That happiness did not prevent her missing them though.

Beyond the door she stood in front of laid a mortal that could solidify the mortals hope and faith in their own abilities. However, if Tracede had been wrong and this young man had been changed by his first victory, then anything beyond that door would be tainted.