Grow,

When you acknowledge the constant existential crisis,

When you are able to transform what they label as “isolation” into tranquility. 

When you can feel the cosmos move within you and believe there is no life other than this. 

s.z 

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Late Autumn Afternoons,
When the light seeps through the balcony’s yellow striped curtains,
sitting on our juniper green couches, leaning on the left side.
I witness the light touching the atmosphere so gently that if you are able to shift your position to a certain angle you can observe a cloud of dust floating right in front of your eyes, exposing every spec’s movement.
I suddenly have the urge to manipulate their movements,
I don’t even have to close my eyes to envision my essence becoming a star forming cloud.
I am stranded somewhere in the universe,
With every breath of air I exhale I create a new swirling galaxy,
Extending my arms in a dance that decides where each spec will be a fixed luminous point, and which ones will be left to do as they please.
Holding my hands together to form a planet and throw it away with a twisted arm,
Or clapping my hands to remove the left over materials, making asteroids and meteorites.

Nothing was or ever is intended;
Nothing was or ever is according to a rule,
Everything is random,
The universe follows a certain order, and creates a certain chaos.
Everything is whirling at a certain indistinguishable speed, dying at a rate only a few can calculate.

s.z

Autumn Afternoons,

Apologies 

Attempting to analyze the different reasons for apologizing being labeled as one of my bad habits.
I began to notice that yes, the word “sorry” seems to be tattood across my forehead.
I apologize to every person I encounter.
I apologize in every situation I believe I did not act as I expected myself to act.
Saying I’m sorry to myself makes sense to me because I can see how my conscious thoughts are making me aware of not behaving as rational as I aim to be. It’s also apologizing for not allowing my innate emotions and reactions the space to express themselves.
However, I must come to terms with the fact that the people around me are not able to comprehend the nerve wrecking struggle between my need for consistent and systematic acts against my “Go with the flow, say whatever is on your mind”, types of actions and thoughts.
Although saying sorry is something I hate, I preach that you should never apologize for something you did consciously, you should never apologize for doing things that did not harm someone, but I still seem to do so.
I can’t help but make “I’m sorry” a personal statement.
I’m not talking about being sorry for spilling someone’s drink, or bumping into them accidentally.
Rather, I am sorry for being how I am.
I’m sorry for not knowing why I am the way I am.
I am sorry for not knowing why oxygen still flows at a normal rate throughout my body.
I am sorry for not knowing why we exist in this world.
I am sorry for not always being able to provide comfort and reassurance for someone I truly care about.
I am sorry that empty everyday conversations sometimes make me anxious and I end up walking away.
I am sorry for having a different train of thoughts in a common situation.
I am sorry for constantly trying not to expect anything from anyone because as human beings we either underestimate or overestimate eachother, and never just estimate.
I am sorry for being too honest, despite being aware of the fact that the truth is not always the best form of communication with emotional beings.
I am sorry for pushing you into having conversations that would allow your built up protection to slowly peel off.
I am sorry I want to get to know you more than you would ever want me to, or would allow me to.
I am sorry I jot down observations about someone’s general personality traits. It helps me keep myself grounded, by reminding me that a person is not made up of bullet points, that each person is far more complex and I would like to explore that complexity if given the space to.
I am sorry for my odd habits.
I am sorry for pausing half-way through my sentences when intoxicated and refusing to repeat, I am overthinking the outcome of my statements and your reactions to them.
Most of all,
I am sorry for being sorry. 
s.z 

Many, Many Minds

A watercolor painting depicting a woman manipulating a man within the cosmic boundaries. S.Z

Manipulation, an art

Despite being given a map of how as human beings we are supposed to live out our lives, we still get anxious on what to do with the time that is given to us. Time might be an illusion even a figment of our imagination, but as much as we define time it has come to define us. Racing thoughts, racing emotions, drum-like heartbeats, and glitching eye lids unable to adjust to the light.

Because of this, I tend to blame my endless existential thoughts on the nanoseconds it takes for my brain to quench its thirst on oxygen. 
You can never trust the human brain, especially when it’s the source of your many, many minds that fathom themselves in those time consuming nanoseconds.

 
So,

They advise you to seek out Meditation,
They say you should meditate to decrease how much your default mode network functions.
Meditate, to control those many minds of yours. To stop the ‘high you get from visiting a different galaxy that you feel is so real, but know only exists within yourself.

Some days that ‘high is all we cling to; our casual escape.
But by being more in tune with reality, your consciousness gains the ability to enjoy manipulating your bundle of sensations and emotions.

Everyday we pretend to manipulate people’s perceptions of who we are,
“But To define is to limit!” a well known statement.
You reach a point where you label their image of madness as “art” as “unstable curiosity”;
The art of jumping on the spectrum of being a child to an adult in a matter of seconds.
The art of being so vulnerable that you call it being creative, because only the insane express their thoughts and emotions without restrictions.

By allowing the child to die, you are eliminating the beautiful instinct of being passionately curious about every aspect of your world.
The moment you start having memories is the moment you become a conscious being; without humanity’s gift and curse where would we be if we don’t recall where we have been? The moment you are able to look in the mirror and know it’s you looking back. (or is it you in a parallel universe? Hah ok)

By allowing the adult to die on the other hand,
Is something I long for, something that makes me smile. (as odd as it may seem)
 

Allowing the adult to die is removing the ideologies we crave to identify with so we are not considered uninvolved in this world, 

Allowing the adult to die is throwing religion away and using awe as therapy,

Allowing the adult to die,
Is enjoying the ecstatic biological masterpiece of being alive,
To figure out how to smile and appreciate sadness. 

In a sense, other than having the need to work and make a living, to make love, to nurture a family, to have a retirement plan, to die.
We have the need to explore, to expand our humanity, to appreciate everything and nothing all at once, to find peace and chaos all at once, to embrace our many, many minds and also be able to silence them.

When we are in an adult’s mindset we are occasionally overwhelmed by the reality of having the world in our hands, having our lives as the mascara that decorates our lashes,
the same mascara you wipe away before you sleep. 

We have the ability to end our lives at any moment, and the ability to make it extraordinary.

But still they remain too many,

Too many minds,

A mind for thoughts,
A mind for emotions,
A mind for people,
A mind for society,
A mind for corrupt governments,
A mind for virtual reality,
A mind for the state of the universe,
A mind for the fabric of time.

To reach a state of no mind, might be a magic trick,
To be able to reach a state of harmony across our networks, across our many minds, seems impossible.

At least to me it does. 
s.z

His Autumn Eyes 

I inhaled the thick fog cradling our existence,
And slowly exhaled a bubble of clear darkness that smiled at us with a few stars forming constellations.
I slowly turned my gaze towards him,
He sat to my left and I could sense his confusion and childlike fear materializing and increasing the volume of the fog.
I wanted to hold his hand, to talk to him, to assure him things will turn out fine.
No words were formed, sound bites dissappeared as I found myself getting lost in his eyes.
When my dark brown almond eyes stumbled upon his, I couldn’t help but notice how his iris changed colors mirroring autumn’s leaves.
Shifting from dark green, to green mixed with auburn to brown.
His eyes now brown, absorbing light from every corner; he turned to me.
I smiled lazily,
Shifting my gaze to the clouds.
I was avoiding reality,
avoiding the knot in my stomach, avoiding the sadness I forcefully swallowed and digested.
My emotions fluctuate,
They change seasonally and so do you.
I could have loved you,
But I never knew you.
You could have loved me,
But you will probably never know me.

Stapling a measuring tape on your chest and walking away with my end, I have become numb. This distance was the result of the situation and my choice to fear the risk.
The risk of falling for you and struggling to recover.

But what if,
What If autumn fixates on green?
Would your pupils dilate and fill you up with language the second you perceive me?
Would you lose sense of time and hold me close to you as a wormhole throws us into another dimension?

I want you to stay.
Actually, I want you to leave.

What might have been or could be is not something we could possibly know.
I might never see you again,
And yet our paths might intersect causing both our cars to collide,
Causing an explosion.
Fireworks would penetrate the fog you created in celebration,
The view will leave you awe struck and frozen with fear.

Unexpected collisions cause concern,
Especially when you never noticed your green infiltrating my brown.

An update.

“Flawed”

Are you happy that your green infiltrated my brown?

It’s ironic, despite how many times I get stabbed I still mistaken a knife for a flower.
I still assume that things are better than they seem.
I still assume that people are as raw as I tend to believe I am,
That they will be honest and genuine as much as I try to be.
I would scavenge the scraps you left hoping it’s a trail leading to hope,
Instead I ended up in a wicked home where all the host wanted to do was watch me burn.

From the scent you oozed leaving me unconscious,
I externalized my fantasies,
Painting your reality with my personal misconception.
I saw what I wanted to see,
I interpreted what I wanted to interpret.
I judged you based on the portrait I thought was reality,
Which made the odds never in your favor,
Or did they become all in your favor?

When my breath became as hesitant as my smile,
I knew I began to touch the thought of me not being good enough, so I stopped trying.
I stopped trying and your charming words now mean nothing to me.
I stopped trying and your enigma is now a disregarded, crumpled paper waiting to be picked up.
A crumpled paper labeled as “Flawed”,
But looking at this war zone we label as life, I didn’t think you or I could be anything else but flawed.
You are something different,
Something I tried too hard to know.
You are a confused child that I want to wrap with a blanket and keep him warm.
You are a contagious smile,
With eyes as deep as an ocean.
You know not how to love or how to be loved,
Nor do I.
You know not how to understand the other or how to understand yourself,
Nor do I.
An atom that fears sharing it’s electrons,
Even when the other willingly gave you hers, and became unstable.

I offered you flowers,
But instead of planting them in the rich soil you watched them wilt;
I never liked offering or being offered flowers , and if I was a tree, you’d be nothing but leaves falling.
Because flowers are an interesting addition to your corner bed side table,
But too hard to care for.
In the end, No one wants roots growing where they can’t reach.

Taken by Nataly Hindaoui

Green infiltrating my brown

The Brain, a Universe in my palms

Last night a friend of mine in her first year of Med school informed me of how tomorrow in her anatomy class they’re going to be removing brains from their skulls. Oh and how she’s taking me with her.

I was too excited, I probably analyzed every single reaction I might have the next day.
What would it say about who I am if I threw up,
If I fainted,
If I laughed,
If I cried,
If I stood in shock…

I became so anxious that I got a migraine and ended up passing out.

One of the things people usually cherish and converse about are moments where they lose sense of themselves and all things around them.
I usually experience that briefly when I’m drawing or writing, but today was different.
Today I walked into a lab with a minimum of 10 dead people spread out on tables and first year medicine students starting to cut through skulls in order to remove my favorite organ, the brain.
From the smell you’d think you were on the verge of throwing up, but I couldn’t stop smiling.
Despite the mask on my face, I felt like whoever would lay eyes on me would assume I was possessed by the Joker.
My eyes diluted so much at the sight that my friends said I was ‘glowing’.
I was glowing, I was about to witness an actual brain in its natural habitat.
My heart was beating so fast I just couldn’t stand still, I must have visited every table.
I wasn’t really allowed to do anything because I was a guest.
I also wasn’t allowed to take any photos so I keenly observed every detail so I could have a perfect image of this day imprinted in my memory for years to come.
My friends called me over to see previous brains that were stored. I was jumping up and down I almost pushed the plastic container off the table.
Suddenly Najla looks at me in an odd mischievous way.
“Sumer, hold the brain and Sara will take a photo.”
I was in shock.
“Sumer Hold the brain!”
I stretched out my arm and just ran my finger over the folds.
I couldn’t,
I wasn’t ready to hold it; she picked it up and placed it in my hands.

Almost instantly I fell into a trance, a human brain was in my hands for barely five seconds and I couldn’t breathe,
I teared up.

“The professor is looking! Put it back, put it back now!”

I couldn’t believe this happened, I thought I wouldn’t be able to even come near a brain until I do my masters.

But I held a brain,
For five seconds, and my thoughts raced like a stream so eager to reach its end.
I teared up,
In my hands I held an organ that manufactures our consciousness,
The origin of our creativity,
Our thoughts,
Our emotions,
Our sense of time.
My brain was being fascinated by itself.
A universe was right in my palms,
And I wasn’t sure if this was real or a figment of a dream I was having.
A ghost in the machine,
There was a soul in here, it most probably died when the person died (Yes, I usually lean towards materialism)
But there was a soul,
Someone’s memories were in there,
Their beliefs, attitudes, music preference, knowledge… A bundle of sensations and emotions. Whatever makes them “them” was in there, and I held it all in my palms.

To whoever this brain belonged to, I’m just going to go ahead and say I adore you.
Because if it wasn’t for you,
If you hadn’t donated your body for science,
I wouldn’t have in a way traveled to another universe in five seconds. One of the best days in my life was falling in love with cognitive neuroscience all over again.