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GAZE 1

METHOD MAGAZINE


Editors Willa Nielsen Ruby Lang Jonathan Fabry Thank you Jacob Karlin, Jordan White, Betty McGhee, Alice Goldberg, Dylan Moore, Olivia Samos, Lucie Plasse, Solenne Spitalier

www.method-magazine.com

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Index Image: RenĂŠ Descartes, La Dioptrique 1637


Index

NATALIE HARTMAN 1

LIZZIE WALSH 20

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 4

VICTORIA KNIGHT 22

NATALIE HARTMAN 6

LUCIE PLASSE 24

SHELLI WEILER 8

CATHERINE ABERT 29

WILLA NIELSEN 12

SOLENNE SPITALIER 38

LUCIE PLASSE 14

SKYLER DOYLE 43

ALEX PABARCIUS 16

ASA SPURLOCK 48

ANONYMOUS 18

GABY GIANGOLA 54

CATHERINE ABERT 19

LUCIE PLASSE 56 3


Dear readers, Method Magazine makes a return to its original form: print. Issue 1 asked, “Who are we?” Illustrating the creativity and ingenuity of the Wesleyan community, it showcased art and literature from all across campus. Issue 2 asked, “Where are we?” It delved into the spaces we occupy and our place within them. Our influence on our surroundings and their influence on us. Issue 3 asked, “What are we?” Made up of flesh and blood, our bodies and the way we present them tell the story of who we are, who we aren’t, and how our corporality defines our existence. Issue 4 asked, “What do we tell?” Method investigated the Secrets and Lies we tell ourselves and others, what we show and what we hide. Issue 5 asked, “How do we operate?” How do we function? How do we forge an identity? How do we survive?

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It’s been a few years since our last print edition, and in that time Method has gone through some changes. We came up with new ideas, focused on new projects, and worked hard at new understandings. We wanted to get back to the beginning and use the tools and the platform given to us by Method past to understand this difficult past year. We look to art as a form of deep personal expression, and a means of interpreting our world. But as we look we must ask, “How do we see?” How do we look at the space around us? Do we see what we expect, or do we look deeper? How is our gaze influenced? By experience? By others? How are we seen? Who do we look at? Who looks back at us? As the world around us changes, it is all the more important to keep our eyes open. Method hopes to look deeper, understand our gaze, where it comes from, what we bring to it, and how to break it down.

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Food for Thought Euclid believed that vision occurs because rays leave the eye to explore the world. When they reach the object of the viewer’s gaze, they return to the eye, bringing back information. We see because we let our eyes search for information. We see because we explore the world around us. Socrates and Plato believed that it was not only the eye that interacts with the object, but also the soul. Our eyes and souls emit rays that reach the object of our gaze, and return back to us. We use our entire selves to gather information about what we are looking at. Our soul searches the world for what we want to see. Aristotle believed that the eyes do not send rays, but rather they receive them. The things we look at send information into our eyes and make themselves known. We do not seek out the world, the world comes to us. Democritos believed that the viewer makes physical contact with each thing they see. He believed that objects are made up of tiny, nearly invisible, replicas of themselves. As we gaze at an object, an infinitely small version enters our eyes. The world recreates itself, replicating and multiplying infinitesimal versions of itself, and enters our bodies. We do not conduct vision, vision happens to us. 12


Alhazen believed that vision is a result of light bouncing off of an object and then into the viewer’s eyes. But light bouncing to the surface of our eyes would surely blind us. So he wrote that the eye only received perpendicular rays of light. We only see specific things so that we are not overwhelmed. We receive only half of the light, so that we are not blinded. Kepler believed that the images we receive through our eyes are inversions. Our mind uses all the information it has stored to flip the image and present something we can understand. Because we cannot understand what we are given, we use our mind to change it. Descartes believed that vision occurs both mechanically and perceptually. Mechanically the eye reads the physical world. Perceptually the mind interprets it. Our bodies know how to gather the information, but our minds know how to make sense of it. Our eyes and our mind work together, turning vision into knowledge. Molyneux asked, “If a man, blind since birth, suddenly regained sight, could he distinguish objects by sight alone?” His answer: No. He believed that it is not the eye that sees, but the soul and the mind. If our mind knows what we are looking for, we then come to see it. Knowledge influences vision as the mind identifies the object of one’s gaze. Berkeley believed that vision is learned. The viewer sees an object but cannot understand it without being taught. We do not see distance, rather we see something big next to something small. We are taught that they are far apart from one another, and then we see distance. Although we see the world we do not naturally understand it. We must learn to read the objects within it. So how do we see? Does vision create knowledge? Or does knowledge create vision? 13


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Try to imagine how it feels to be looked at with love. Not the kind your mother gave you, when she wiped blood from scraped knees or filled your stomach with the kinds of food your descendants ate; so that you could taste where it was you came from. Love. In color. In warm, fiery reds. In searing bronze. In flesh tones, with hushed tones. Can you tell if you are a ghost or a girl? Are you even real if no one’s ever touched you? A foul mouth, but only because you have not yet tasted the sweetness of a lover. Instead, let the vodka rip through your chest like wildfire. Instead, pretend the heat of it is a star bursting inside you, that you might throw up another galaxy instead of regret. Try to say, “I want you to map out the freckles on my forearm like constellations”. Try to say, “I want you to name them after the first dragon you ever slayed, even if that dragon was a person and even if the slaying was learning that you do not always have to forgive.” Let someone show you how it feels to be painted in color, tell you that you are seen in three dimensions. Everywhere the light touches your face. Every plane of your body. Every bump and scar and place where your skin has stretched to contain all that is inside you. Every place where you are soft. Tell them you want to be drawn out. Out of your lonely spaces, into less lonely spaces. Tell them that you want. Learn that wanting is not a sickness. It is a footprint on the moon, a reminder of life in places where you once thought it could not be. Can you tell if you are a ghost or a girl and this is not about love.

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your house i would tip-toe across the slats wood-frame and solid a house with no foundation just exactly how i pictured it some things will save me from the rain but not the storms; the dew chilled mornings but not the flood

a woman who lives in a house of her own creation is truly sheltered a house with walls stained with the breath of another will never be as comforting as the house at the end of the block old and cluttered, bricks missing out of place, even with my own fingerprints etched in the firewood will keep me safer for longer 20


Silvie The ceiling was high and inescapable. Silvie had hoped for a better outcome of that particular Tuesday, and the fiery sconce she sat not far from was holding light to her disappointment in the way things were. It flickered, in tandem with her blinks, and her family breathed in rhythm alongside her, unaware in a way that only people related to you can be. Silvie’s breath, on the other hand, was short and pulsing, manual and laborious. The thought of returning indefinitely to this place was omnipresent in her mind, and her seat in the dusty chapel only sought to make this doom more and more imminent. She had moved to a new place for a few months, as a desperate attempt to change things up in her world; something tantalizingly unfamiliar. This scene could not hold her; the strings of expectation had drawn taut. This was the absolute necessity of her return to her family and her childhood home, and the brief but beautiful life she had been a part of was gone in a breath.

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I’m Sorry for These Staples in My Body

I do not want to have you To fill the empty parts of me I want to be full on my own. -Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

Last week when I was drunk, I talked to a couple who I believed were truly in love. They did not tell me that they were in love, but I could see it their eyes every time he did something that made her smile. She would turn her head away and try to overcome the grin, and there would be a lull in the conversation. It would last for a second or two or three, but after accepting defeat, she would slowly drag her eyes all the way up his body, not skipping a single part, to his face, and they would look at each other, and it was in these simple, meek moments that I could almost grasp what they may have felt for each other. I miss it: staring at him in awe that I had him in my life; how the simple act of me existing made him feel like the first time we did molly in high school under the highway; the way he would drag the tip of his finger across the creases in my hand, tickling me in a way that I liked; the curves of his smile when he would pull me in to his arms, hold my neck, grab my back, and kiss my forehead and my cheeks over and over again; that hot, yet innocent, unconditional type of love; how he always appreciated the way I smelled; his eyes when he would raise his eyebrows and look at me, and how they held my whole world.

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Sometimes, I even miss being jealous, or fighting about the simpler things, like how his mother was too present in our relationship, or how he was afraid to address his real emotions with me. Now, all I can remember is him screaming at me at the top of his lungs, in a wasted rage, that Wesleyan was changing me for the worse. He grabbed my wrists tightly, looked at me with tears floating in his eyes, and before I could get myself to speak, I realized it was already understood that I was saying “let go” and that he was saying “no”. I wonder if we know anyone who hasn’t seen us fight. I wonder what that means about us, but love can be heavy and harrowing too, right? Honestly, I could have lived with the pain of jealousy, the frustration of his mother, and the discrepancies in his feelings for the rest of my life. The truth is I needed to leave because I had grown so accustomed to hiding behind him that he had grown too familiar with me staying there. Someone once said, “the word “happiness” would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by “sadness.” I didn’t know I needed reference until I had it. I didn’t know the true difference between being happy and being “fine” until my friend died. Then my dad died, and I learned how to place more value on people. Then my cat died, and I learned to pick and choose my battles. Then my grandma and her sister died together, and I learned how to turn the darkness in to something lighter. I’m not here to brag about all my scars, but I do have some and they’re part of my body, too.

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Contrary to what most people say, I do not think it is that hard to fake filling a hole in your heart if you find the right person to occupy the space. The problem is when you are young, everything lasts a lot shorter, so don’t expect that hole to be filled forever or completely. My dad died a couple months after we began dating, so he made me more whole for almost three years. But this is the first time in my life that I haven’t had either a father or a boyfriend, and my friends who don’t understand try to tell me that the two are unrelated, but I don’t think they know how often I lay in bed alone, with no one to hold, wondering how many more laps it would have taken my dad to swim to keep his heart healthy enough to be alive right now. Last night, I dreamt my dad woke up me up in the middle of the night. He fell to his knees, crying, begging me for my forgiveness, for not being there right then. I jumped out of bed, fell to the floor with him, wrapped my arms around him, and told him there was nothing in the world that he could ever do to make me stop loving him. But I then I squeezed too tight, and he popped. I didn’t have a say in my dad’s heart attack; no one sent in a request form, no one gave two weeks’ notice, and no due date was stamped on his chest with ink. That almost feels easier though, that I know there was nothing I could have done, that my dad literally had no other choice but to die. But breaking up isn’t like that. Breaking up is premediated, calculated, dated, addressed, and signed. Breaking up should make me feel lighter, but I just miss his hand, slowly slipping down my pants and grasping my hip bone like it was his own.

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We broke up for three hours in three different locations. Half was spent in silence, half of the other half he was begging me to stay, and I don’t even know what happened to the rest of the time because if I go back there in my head, I am still lost. I asked if I could hug him, and we stood there with our arms around one another, in silence, and I have no idea how long it lasted, but I remember wanting the world to end right there, so badly that I closed my eyes as if it were about to. I wish I could print out that memory, frame it, and staple it to my body every morning. I think I must have missed so much of what he said because I was so preoccupied with the different parts of my body and what they meant to us. There was nothing he could say to stop me, but our bodies are so clogged with recollections of one another that I feel like if he had fucked me, I easily would have stayed. I cannot look at myself anymore without wondering how he would be looking at me, too. I cannot touch my hair without remembering him pushing the curls from my face so he could kiss my forehead and my cheeks over and over again. I cannot look at my shoulders without picturing his fingers tips sharply poking the tender spots to massage the kinks away. And most importantly, I cannot think of my father without knowing he was one holding me when my mom called to tell me that “daddy was dead.” I called him last night, but there was no answer. Do you think he can still love me after I broke his heart and whose turn will it be to fill the space he occupied when I come to terms with him not loving me anymore? Do you think I still made the right decision if I am too scared to be alone in my own skin? Can I rip it all off and forget this body I’m in? 46


~ One night, a little over three years ago, he and I got drunk in my basement. I was starting to pass out on the couch, so he helped me upstairs and tucked me in to bed. I was asleep and my dad is dead now, so there is no way to know the exact details, but he often told the story of how when he left, my dad was outside, drunk as well, smoking a cigar. My dad shared the cigar with him and they just talked about life. At the end of their conversation, my dad supposedly said something along the lines of “I’m inclined to tell you not to break my daughter’s heart or I’ll kill you, because I would, but I don’t feel like I need to tell you that.” I am sure he likes to think my dad said that because he is a nice guy who treated me well, and that is half true. But sometimes, I imagine different versions of his story: I come out just in time to hear that last bit of their conversation. He kisses my forehead, shakes my dad’s hand, and stumbles across the street. I sit down, put my head on my dad’s shoulder, and ask “how come you feel like you don’t need to tell him that?” My dad laughs and puts his arm around me for the last time, “Because you don’t need him, baby, you don’t need any of them.” Maybe one day I’ll live up to my imagination; maybe one day I’ll learn how to be full on my own; maybe one day I’ll be the person my dad may have thought I could have been, but for now; I am alone and drunk, and staring at myself in the mirror naked, marking the points of impact, connecting dots with lines, and slowly starting to understand the parts of me that must be cut and where to staple myself back together again. 47


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Method Magazine 2017 55


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ISSUE XI: GAZE  
ISSUE XI: GAZE  

We look to art as a form of deep personal expression, and a means of interpreting our world. But as we look we must ask, “How do we see?” H...

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