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Contour has been produced by Western Sydney University students as part of their Bachelor of Design/Visual Communication degree. 25 November, 2015


encounter


H o w I h a v e l i v e d , I h a r d l y k n o w. - Mary Shelley, Frankenstein -


The following publication is a visual and written narrative exploration through the themes and ideals conveyed in Mary has

Shelley’s been

‘Frankenstein’.

constructed

through

This the

personal stories and accounts of the publication’s contributors, where they have created their own interpretation of the aforementioned themes and ideals. Though this publication explores a range of different emotions and recounts, it conforms to a united vision to cohesively communicate an overarching narrative for the reader to experience.


OPTIMISM


OPTIMISM


OPTIMISM


Look before us. What do you see? An endless expanse of favour and providence lies before. What should we do with it?

No. We can revitalise the senses and retune our mind away from the thrum of the earth. To see the infinite and the infinitesimal. To hear the infinite and the infinitesimal. To touch the infinite and the infinitesimal.

“What may not be expected in a country of eternal light?”. It has been said that the average person “looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness and talks without thinking”.

The light can be blinding – but only blinding to one who has been in darkness all their life. The sound seems overwhelming – but the ears need time to adjust.

Are we not aware of the thrilling existence before us? Are we so overstimulated that we feel nothing anymore? The break-neck speed of things overcomes the senses.

Touch can be frightening – but only to one who has never known true affection. Break the pattern and let there be a new beginning. Is the sky not brighter and more vibrant than it ever was? Can you hear the sound of children playing nearby? Is time now more precious to you than it ever was? Not an hour is to be wasted. Bask in this new revelation for it has set you free.

eternity? Our souls, infinite, trapped within this universe, slaves to the will of fate. Reliving failures and regrets over and over again.

And as rush hour threatens to overcome us again, we draw back and refocus. We look beyond I close my eyes.

Time is not a flat circle. We are not locked in an eternal recurrence. Free spirits are grateful for their past, suffering and

Remember each place and moment of grace, In summer or spring, Winter or autumn.

And my soul is renewed. Is the struggle with monotony over? Never.

all. Our joy is stronger and deeper. Our struggle confirms that we are alive, and true liberation is found in the mind, not in the circumstance.

Adventure is the constant fight to find life in all.

That we look out at this “country of eternal light” and consider – what are the possibilities?

But are we doomed to repeat this cycle forever? To walk the same path over and over, and to rebound from height to depths for OPTIMISM


FAMILY


FAMILY


FAMILY


My father was an immigrant from Lebanon, where he worked as a delivery man. He led a simple life, having modest possessions and rarely seeking help from others. To me, he was the wisest man I knew. He exerted strength, not a physical strength, but an emotional strength. A strength that inspired me to make him proud.

I paced the halls of the hospital ward, frustration building in my body. The anticipation of what might come, what might happen to my father was unbearable. As hours passed, and light turned into dark, I became weary. My eyes, sore, from the tears and the tiredness. I slowly drift into sleep at my father’s bedside. The sight of his lifeless self, drifting away as I sleep.

As I grew older, our relationship stretched further. He tried to connect with me but I kept pushing him away. It hurt him, I could see it. It was like I wanted to be independent, but why did I want to be independent from my family? I didn’t know, but I kept straying. My father would tell me of the importance of family; the eternal bonds between father and son. His love for me was obvious, transcending any grief I caused him, but I couldn’t return his love.

I awake to a doctor, deep in conversation with my mother. A morbidness, as the doctor’s face depicted the topic of the conversation. Cancer. A single word to unravel my world, the world of my family. My father, the strongest man in the world, was going to die. The insidiousness of cancer had betrayed my father and taken him so suddenly from us. The person he was, was no more. He was a shell of himself. The loving, warm, strength in him was gone, now replaced with the sadness of his absence.

One night as I argued with my brothers, defiant of my family, my father came to diffuse the situation. As he came to the scene, my brother and I continued to fight. My father yelled, he almost pleaded with us to stop. How a family dispute would hurt him. He began to kneel on the ground. He sank lower and lower until he was completely still, lying there, in the doorway. His silence cut through any friction between my brother and I. We stopped, we stared at him. “Dad?” As my screams for help grew louder and louder, I heard myself less and less. As his limp body remained still, I felt an all- consuming grief overshadow me. The next few moments remain a blur in my mind as he was taken to hospital. The sterile room, cold and foreign- made a martyr out of my father. His once lifeless self, now dull and still. Family soon arrived, both my brothers sat with me by his side. Had we done this to him? Had our defiance and carelessness broken his heart?

I think back to when we would talk, about everything, about anything. I also remember the times when I pushed him away. How could I? If only I knew. If only I could go back now and show him how I really loved him. I know now what he was trying to teach me. The capacity of love, how it transcends all barriers of time and distance. His love for me never failed. Mine did. But it won’t now. He lays there so peacefully. We sit and pray, we sit and fear; but he lays there so still- almost calm. It’s as if he is telling us everything is going to be ok. It is his way of being strong, even in the absence of himself. He gave us strength beyond what his words and actions could have ever done. I watch him now, as he fades away. My family stand together in the room. In those last few moments, we share an unbreakable bond of love. I realise then, that it is not only my father now at peace, but also, myself.

FAMILY


LOVE


LOVE


LOVE


As we all know, life is changing every moment, for life is both a shade and sunshine. Every moment on earth we need to live up. Whatever time you have is yours. The future is not known. Finding someone who loves with all their heart is difficult to come by. And in the blink of an eye, could someone get that close? Many people have tried to control their unpredictable hearts but they still continue to beat wildly when in love. True love never allows us to forget the first time we laid eyes on each other or when we first felt that spark of fire in our heart. When

two hearts meet for the first time, it makes them clear about each other. Both individuals will be interested to know about one another and as time goes, they both get comfortable. Something strong and powerful will keeps us together in this world, and that is love. It melts our hearts. Though seasons may change throughout time, Love remains the same. It gives us courage to face thunder when sunshine turns into rain. Sometimes there is rain ahead and thunder behind... and the weather is simply treacherous. When that happens, things may seem paused but take it as a sign. In such

weather actions must be taken, things must be said. And let us not forget, this is the very same love sets our bodies on fire, keeps us awake all night and steals our sleep. Those who follow their hearts are known to be crazy. As long as our dreams are coming true, we would do anything for love. We may seem crazy, but we just have passion for each other. If you are true about love, there will be no turning back. Love makes us think about each other and the sweetness permeates our very being. In the presence of each other, our hearts beat fast and our blood flows rapidly. We begin to see vibrant colours in everything we look at and find so much beauty in the

LOVE

air as if it were filled with fragrance. Our face breaks down into a smile and this high allows us both to feel the wave, we are flowing in. A love as pure as Romeo’s for Juliet. The kind of love which lips don’t speak, but eyes do and the kind of love that binds two people together forever. Such love shows us how matched we are for each other. For every one of us there is a soul mate in the world. And it is up to us to decide what to do about it.


OBSESSION


OBSESSION


OBSESSION


It wasn’t supposed to end like this. I mean, I knew it would end - but in a good way - not this way. I always knew that I could control it, I really did and although it made me feel good for a long time, I knew that I would not be allowed to go on. They could never be made to understand. But let me start at the beginning. Well not right at the beginning. I was an innocent baby once, really. Unless, of course, you believe that there is a God and a devil, or preordained good and evil in all of us. I don’t. I have no doubts about my purpose. Nature has set my role – not some fictional God or societal control. Nature is obsessive with renewal, regeneration and survival. It took mankind millennia until Darwin opened our eyes, to realise that we are simply here to ensure the survival of our species, not any individual. I am the cleaner of our society, removing the weak. Oh, and there are plenty of the weak. The old, the feeble, the careless young, the spongers. Those with nothing to add to our survival. I have no dreams of immortality. The ancient Egyptians were deluded. The pharaohs killed by the thousands to see their tombs built – for what purpose? Thousands die for one man’s obsession. But I am not like that. I am not Ted Bundy or Ivan Milat who killed for pleasure and the power of control. Or like any other serial killer. I killed for the greater good, for survival of the fittest. Like a soldier fights for the good cause or how the female praying mantis eats its partner. I take my pleasure from knowing that I have done my job, played my part and fulfilled the contract of survival. What is that you say? You don’t believe me? You think I am a monster? Let me tell you that you are the problem. In other circumstances I would take care of this problem. It is you who will be the downfall of our species. I did what I did because I had to. My mind, my soul, my very existence had but one purpose: to kill the weak so that you and I could survive. We, through our genes, can be immortal. Why can’t you see this? Why do you demonise me? Your Christianity celebrates the death of one so that you all can live. Whole societies are built on this obsessive faith. OK, let us agree that I was obsessive about my purpose. I was selective through my taking of those that nature told me to. There was no voice talking to me – it was all clear about what I had to do. So who is telling you to do this to me? Is there a voice, a God or a spiritual guide? Or is it that irrational and useless emotion; revenge. Did I take someone that you knew? Your friend? Your wife? Ah, your daughter. Will killing me satisfy you on some level? Do you want to know how it feels? Let me tell you it will bring you no comfort. It will stir those basic urges of your childhood that you have repressed. You will have unleashed the genie and there will be no going back. There will be no ‘three wishes’. You will become like me, but without purpose. You could use someone like me. I could help you. I could help our society. The survival of our species needs a strong influence. We could do this together. I can be, and I am, necessary. I can see that you are thinking now – “what should I do?”. The answer is easy – give me the key. Walk away. You will show me that you are not weak. I know that your tears are no weakness. They are for your child, not for yourself. Yes that key will unlock you and me. That’s it... Come a little closer…

OBSESSION


GRIEF


GRIEF


GRIEF


I stared at the floorboards that lay beneath my well polished black shoes that dad had given me. I continued to stare for fear of looking up and being revealed to the bitter truth. I remembered thinking of how my world fell apart in a matter of minutes. Three days had already passed and yet it all felt unreal to me. The night was bleak. Black clouds fixed themselves over the sky and lightning struck continuously, lighting the blackened sky that was once clear and blue. I remembered thinking of all the times in your presents and how grateful I was to have you near. I remember the way your existence would lighten up a room that was so painfully dull. I remember my father explaining to me such news. The words sprung from his mouth uncontrollably. He continuously explained over and over as if he had regurgitated the words he had already thrown up. My immediate shock was then buffered by my defense mechanisms. As I sat there watching him, my mind could only focus on the darken roars of thunder that were coming from outside my bedroom window. My mind would not let such distressing news enter. Trying to persuade my mind to think differently, I dreamt it was a dream that I would soon be awakened from. However I was only awakened by the truth; I was not experiencing a distressful nightmare. As the mask of denial began to wear thin, reality and its pain re-emerged. To my displeasure, anger began to fill my body and I could hear the ticks of a grenade preparing to erupt within me. I questioned why you were taken from us. Why were you taken from me? - It wasn’t fair! Pacing back and forth in my room I asked these questions repeatedly, howling them to the sky, hoping you would hear me. Hoping you would come back and wipe the tears that trickled down my face and ultimately, surround me with your warmth.

Nothing is bright and vibrant like it used to be. Everything looks sorrowful and wistful. I sit on my bed and gaze out of the window hoping to feel some sort of emotion, but still I sit here completely numb. This physical absence has lead me to feel mentally morbid. The following days my room became my sanctuary, allowing me to escape the crazy and unstable world that surrounded me. I kept my mind busy by watching movies; continuously and occasionally having a scroll through my Facebook feed. I didn’t want to come to terms with what had just happened, although I knew that eventually i would have to. On the third day my father entered my bedroom. He glanced over at me for a second. His eyes were filled with sorrow. Then looked to my bed which then he laid a new suit and then left in complete silence. I looked at the suit. It was completely black. The pants, shirt, blazer, tie and shoes. It was all completely black with no imperfections. I knew this meant today was the day. I slipped on my pants, tucked in my shirt, tied up my tie and combed my hair. It was time to leave this sanctuary that made me feel safe and it was time to face my fearful truth. And so here I sit, staring that the floorboards that lie beneath my well polished black shoes that dad gave me. I can feel the darkness of grief weighing me down. begin to look up very slowly. Red and white roses cover the bed where you have been laid to rest. The flowers made something that is so distress-fully painful, look beautiful and lively. Feet pressed to the floor, I stood up and began to walk forward. I can hear the organ soulfully playing in the background. As I reach your presence, a bright shimmer of coloured shines from the windows, gently whipping past your face, giving you a holy glow. I stare down at you. You seem so peaceful and calm. As I hold back the tears, they begin to well up in my throat. I press my lips against your delicate forehead and whisper...

“Although I know the bitter truth is that you have departed, I have not yet grown to fully accept the fact that it is forever.

Cold is all I feel. Emptiness is all I feel.

I love you mum.” As I look around my painfully dull room, I see nothing.

GRIEF


LOSS

Abandonment


LOSS

Abandonment


LOSS

Abandonment


Have you felt the unsettling sensation that something once present in your world of existence will probably never be present again? The crushing feeling that something oh so very important to your being is now oh so very gone? So unavailable. So inaccessible. I wouldn’t wish it on even my worst enemy. The emotions are too overwhelming to deal with. This has to be a mistake. This is not real. Desperately clinging to what once was in an attempt to bring back that reality. The reality where it had not happened. The reality where nothing was so suddenly absent. This. Is. Not. Real. Reality and the pain it carries slowly begins its emergence. Maybe this is real. Why does it have to be real? White

hot waves are crashing just beneath the surface. Shattered mirrors and broken thoughts. Irrational blame and resentment spewing forth from the hole that has been left behind. Trying to close the hole does not work. It only causes the flow to grow stronger like stoking an open flame. The sense of helplessness provides no aid, of course. A sense of control is necessary to invalidate the helplessness and vulnerability. What if I could have changed it? Changed how things had happened so as to change this reality to another? If only ‘this’. If only ‘that’. Hypotheticals. Hypotheticals that lead nowhere. Who do I talk to about striking a deal? About reversing events? God? The universe? There must be something I can do, right? But there is not.

And there never will be. What has happened, has happened. What’s gone is gone. The reality that has come to be is unchangeable. Irreversible. The butterfly’s wings can not un-beat. And with that realisation, the boat that has been carrying me across the waves falls apart and lets the dark ocean swallow me whole. There is nothing to hold onto anymore. Twisted arms reach out and drag me into the depths of despair. Why should I get out of bed in the morning? What is the point? There is no response. Unfinished meals stacking up like the deadlines being missed. Sunsets and sunrises inevitably blur together and time becomes less and less relevant.

LOSS

Nothing can be changed. But that is ok. This is how it is supposed to be. I can see that now. What has been lost was meant to be lost. There will always be the feeling of sadness, this is certain. The discomfort and unease do not pack their things and go. But perspective changes. The world begins to move again, and I with it. The disarray that once saturated everything slowly disappears and life carries on. You have to understand that things will never be the same as they were. Life is not a children’s bedtime story. Certain things will happen and though they are tainted and sometimes unfair, they are meant to happen. They are experiences to be learned from.


INNOCENCE


INNOCENCE


The day after it happened, I watched the sun rise. My eyes observed the opaque sky as it began filling with vibrant pinks and yellows, silhouetting the nearby trees. As it rose the sun embraced the landscape and kissed passing clouds making them glow. One by one each tree was lit by the sun’s warm embrace. My thoughts of fear had dissipated and had been replaced with a quiet resignation of my fate. Realizing that this was the last screening I would ever arrive in time to view, I was determined to experience every minor detail. It had always been in my nature to put others before myself. Kindness, humility and the importance of devoting myself entirely to the Lord had been distilled in me from a young age. I prayed that my eternal soul would find peace but my pleads were only answered with silence. Where was my Lord now? I pleaded for him to save me from the demons I had created in my own mind. I began to come to terms with the idea that I had been misguided by my own faith. Had I sacrificed myself for the wrong man? Would he have given his life for mine? The only answers I received were the echoes of my own thoughts. My ethical senses had been rattled, had I made the correct decision? Was my moral compass intact or had I angered my Lord in some way? My mind was in turmoil as I thought of my impending demise. I must embrace the only person that truly understood why I had pleaded guilty. I prayed for forgiveness, for hope, for a second chance. Deafening silence and my own cries were the only companions I had left. Why had the Lord lead me down this path? Why had I pleaded guilty when I know the truth? I did nothing but love that young boy. I made him breakfast, cleaned his attire I had served this man with my whole life. How could anyone believe I could harm such an innocent soul? How could anyone harm such an innocent soul? My lifetime of faith and service was now being rewarded with the ultimate sacrifice for confessing to an offense that I did not commit. It was the ironic truth. The first time I had used a white lie in an act of love, I found myself paying an eternal debt to the man I adored the most. No. The Lord was not punishing me. I was not guilty. He was guilty.

He had ruined my life. How could a system designed to save the innocent, be undergoing the complete opposite? I locked eyes with the man who should be in my place. His eyes were wide; in complete disbelief I’m sure. It was in that moment that I wished more than anything that I could take it all back. But I could not finish what I had already started. I could not retrieve what had already been lost. As they read my fate allowed, I knew my time had come. I would be at peace with my Lord soon.

INNOCENCE


BELONGING IN NATURE


BELONGING IN NATURE


BELONGING IN NATURE


There is something incredibly daunting about the forces of nature. We live on a planet where winds tear houses from the ground; the sun sparks spontaneous flames; waves reshape entire landscapes; and earthquakes bring entire cities to their knees. So terrified of our own planet we are, that we build our own environment better suited, not necessarily to our needs, but to our desires. Each city we build and each technology we create takes us further and afurther away from our natural place in the environment. What I’m getting at is that the longer we are here, the more of a stranger to nature we become. Douglas Adams, an English author once came up with a set of rules that explains societies thoughts on technology. These were as follows;

The way I see it, the industrial age and any technology beyond found materials is what separates us from the ground beneath our feet. At some stage in history we reached a tipping point between being one with nature to being above it. It is like we as a race have rejected our place in the natural order of things and said;

“1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. 2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. 3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

I believe that it is something the 99% have ignored, whether it be out of ignorance, denial or even fear. I still go about my day consumed with technology, I’m as much a part of the age as anyone. But I believe that I still maintain a deep connection with nature. The idea of escaping to the mountains, to the forest or to the sea; these are ideas that I am very fond of. For me, complete relaxation and recharge lies in the connection to the air, water and land of untouched landscapes. Sitting in a quiet place with nothing but the breeze and the sounds of living things.

This insight definitely has its merits in understanding society’s way of thinking, but psychology aside, in the straight up, black and white, way things really are, I don’t think that it’s necessarily accurate. I believe that no person born in the last several hundred years is truly part of this natural order of things, bar the few tribes left in the far reaches of the planet that remain unaware of the technology of the world.

We can do it better.

I like to think that this connection is one that many people experience; that it is still written somewhere deep in our DNA. Whether or not people are in touch with this subconscious connection is a different story, but I feel like I need to believe that we are still attached to this planet in some way. When we all die, our bodies are buried and burned and discarded; sent back to the land and once again we become truly part of the earth that we do or do not belong to. Personally, this idea gives me hope. To think that we are still bound to this planet means that we still have a home, a place in this natural order of things. “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more” -Lord Byron

BELONGING IN NATURE


GUILT


GUILT


GUILT


What is this that I feel inside of me? It is painful. Uncomfortable. I feel a crawling sensation throughout my heart and lungs. It extends further to the hairs on the back of my neck. All the way inside my head, I can feel it clawing my brain. This feeling’s wretched fingers are poking holes into my emotions. My heart sinks at the bare thought of what is happening. I feel so sick, but I’m not ill. I can’t even think straight anymore. Is what I did wrong? No, of course not. But something doesn’t feel right about this. It felt so right at the time, but why do I feel so bad afterwards? Did I fail you? Did I let you down? Hang on - NO, you made me do this! You can’t blame me for this, I did what I had to do! But I still feel awful. Why am I angry at myself? Or at you? Is what I’m feeling even anger? This doesn’t make any sense. I’m so fixated on this damn issue. Whatever. Forget this. I need to rest. No. I can’t sleep. There’s an in itch in my thoughts that I cannot scratch. It feels more irritating the longer I leave it, and yet I cannot scratch it. This itch… this feeling – it’s awful! My mind is racing along too fast for me to even comprehend what I am thinking. I see blurs of actions that I committed. That I was forced to commit, may I remind you. I’m not the bad guy in all of this. Really, I mean it. I can’t move anymore. My body is frozen in thought. Paralysed by actions gone by. I want to get up to go for a walk, but I just can’t. Is my own body torturing me for what I did? But I didn’t do anything wrong! Right? I’m thinking back to the night this all happened. What was I even doing? I’m full of so many questions, but I just don’t have the answers. These questions are eating away at my soul. My morality has no answers. Maybe I am a bad person? No, not another question! Is what I did wrong? I don’t quite know anymore. I need to figure this out – I need to understand what it is that I am feeling. I did what I had to do. What I needed to do. I can’t go back on that now, it’s too late. But if I can’t go back, what do I need to do to move forward. My mind has me stuck in a desolate, emotional limbo. The longer I stay here, the worse I am feeling. I don’t think I’m ready to move on yet though.

GUILT


ABANDONMENT


ABANDONMENT


ABANDONMENT


I continue to ask myself why? It is the question that doesn’t

and in my memories. Though the holes in my identity are the

My final memory of my father, lingers in my mind. Last words,

I continue to ask myself why? It is the question that doesn’t and in my memories. Though the holes in my identity are the My final memory of my father, lingers in my mind. Last words, leave, overshadowing me, overshadowing my life. It dictates my deepest. I haven’t just become the void, the void has consumed I can’t recall. As he said his last goodbye he turned his back leave, overshadowing me,thoughts, overshadowing myperplexity life. It dictates my deepest. I haven’t just the void, the consumedand exited I can’tthrough recall. As said hishe last goodbye hethe turned his back actions, all my and yet the of its confusion me and who I am. Mybecome father’s decision was thevoid roothas of my thehe front door, couldn’t stand actions, all my thoughts, and yetshell the perplexity ofwonder. its confusion me and whoHeI am. My father’s decision was the root of my andorexited the front door, he muttered couldn’t stand the never ends. I sit in the of myself and I think demise. has rejected me, walked away, refused to talk, thought sight ofthrough me any more. His last words never ends. Iand sit overthink, in the shell of The myself andofwonder. I think Hemy hassight. rejected me, away, refused talk, ordoor sightbehind of mehim. anyThe more. Hisoflast muttered why? actions another with the ultimate demise. refused I longed forwalked him to change his mind to to change as hethought closed the nature his words exit rejection of their own. He abandoned his the responsibility, his attitude towards me. He thrown away his thoughts the confusion and overthink, why? The actions of another with ultimate he refused my sight. I longed forhas him to change hisresponsibility. mind to changeconsumes as hemy closed the and door behind him.shadows. The nature of his exit willingly sentenced my emotional emptiness. My father rejection of their own. He abandoned his responsibility, he left his attitude towards me. He has thrown away his responsibility. consumes my thoughts and the confusion shadows. me and ignored me. My absence is now all that I know, one I have no identity. I no longer know myself, is it solicited by this void? Or a willingly sentenced my emotional emptiness. My father left decision was made, I now no longer exist. Silenced, a void. I am lost. subconscious way of distancing myself to he who abandoned me and ignored me. My absence is now all that I know, one I have no identity. I no longer know myself, is it solicited by this void? Or a I am unsure and I am a blur. me? If I don’t know who I am, how can he decide whether decision wasAmade, I now no longer exist. Silenced, a void. I am lost. subconscious wayIof distancing myself to he blind eye sharply turned, a bare back harshly exposed - the or not to know me? Have attained this void as a way to who abandoned unsure I am aI face blur.the harsh world alone as I begin to If I don’t I am,Do how can he decide whether rejection is obvious. His choice is made clear, yet its reasoning I amOur bondand is broken. makeme? this feel more know like mywho decision? I unconsciously A blind eye sharply turned, aexist bare back harshly exposed - the or not to me?toHave voidIsas a way to is not. Questions and remain unanswered, deep, dark fall deeper and deeper into the void. The void that someone step deeper intoknow this void createI attained a sense ofthis control? thoughts His raid choice your mind. The ‘why’ explores darkest created. I beginI face to assume it as my own,alone it becomes trying to feel justify the act ofmy rejection? ThenDo why? My rejection is obvious. is made clear, yet itsmy reasoning Our else bond is broken. the harsh world as I begin to this me make this more like decision? I unconsciously insecurities and smallest it magnifies the dark self doubt. familiar. and The darkness, the blur it issomeone now unanswered questions quietly insidiously in my is not. Questions exist and remain issues, unanswered, deep, fall deeper deeper into the and void.bewilderment: The void that step deeper intolinger this void toand create a sense of control? Is Holes begin to appear in my knowledge, in my experiences, strongest connection. It has replaced what I have lost. mind, but its footsteps are loud and the impacts are real. thoughts raid your mind. The ‘why’ explores my darkest elsemy created. I begin to assume it as my own, it becomes this me trying to justify the act of rejection? Then why? My insecurities and smallest issues, it magnifies the self doubt. familiar. The darkness, the blur and bewilderment: it is now unanswered questions linger quietly and insidiously in my Holes begin to appear in my knowledge, in my experiences, my strongest connection. ItABANDONMENT has replaced what I have lost. mind, but its footsteps are loud and the impacts are real.

ABANDONMENT


REGRET

Rage


REGRET

Rage


REGRET

Rage


What part of me is left, knowing what a monster I really am? I hurt so many people, I even hurt myself. I think about the day I vowed myself to another, one half of a whole. To be faithful to one being, till death do us part. How foolish was I to think this was possible, knowing what kind of a person I am? He knows what I do and where I go, but he doesn’t stop me. I can only read his eyes as they plead for me not to go. But I do. He kisses my cheek as I tell him not to wait for me. ‘I’ll be out late with friends’ is a lie that I didn’t have to tell. We both know where I’m about to go, but neither of us knows why. As I lay with another, the bed feels so empty; the void inside of me; insidious, and ever growing. My body is here in this moment but where is my heart. It is never fulfilled. I need to go to rehab - a place where I can learn regret. I don’t feel it. Over and over again I hurt the ones who love me, and I never learn. I walk through my front door before the sun rises. I lie in my own bed, next to himthe one who yearns for me to return his love. He holds me, he pulls me in and I feel disgusted.

As time goes by we drift further and further apart- sleeping in the same bed but worlds away from one another. He tries to love me, but I pull away. Why can’t I love? Why can’t I love him? Why do I stray, searching for ways to self-destruct? I think the feeling of sickness is purely a result of my own longing, but I come to realize that there is something not right within me. Is there something growing inside me? Another being? The thought scared me. I couldn’t bring a child into this world; not with a man I don’t love. I stray now to avoid reality. He knows that I’m unfaithful; I can see his pain now more than ever. As I leave again, he can’t even look me in the eye, he doesn’t even beg for me to stay. I leave again. I spend another night in another bed, hopelessly trying to feel; my body used, but feeling untouched. I come home again, late. The house feels empty. I find a note on the bed; my mind wanders to the thought of ending it all. Was this a suicide note? What would I do if it were? I knew that I could, and likely would follow in his steps. The note spoke to me of the pain and suffering of my dearly beloved; the idea of his perfect world with me in it. It became clear that he was gone. He had left me. The thought of suicide brought me more comfort than this. My incapacity to love has isolated me. It wasn’t this thought that hurt me, but the idea that this man has an unknown child which he will never get to love. As the burden of motherhood grew with a small bump, I would often think of the time I had another being who cared for me unconditionally, and I was scared at the thought that I couldn’t even do this for my child. I constantly feel regret at the thought of how much my once dearly beloved could have loved this child, and how much I can’t. How my unchanging self drove him away. I think back to the times when he would pull me close, and how different things would have been if I could have just let him.

REGRET


ISOLATION


ISOLATION


ISOLATION


It was dark. It’s always dark

pink dress has now become a pale grey. Although this smile is painted on my face, I feel like it should be upside down. Maybe I am packed upside down. I question my existence in the world outside of this box.. Does she ever think of me? Does she ever miss the sweet bells in my enchanting music. Does she ever miss the magic I once brought to her life?

The empty space around me pierced my skin to the point where goose bumps weren’t just a stage, they were a constant reminder that I am alone; Isolated. Locked away in storage, kept as a memory, never to be enjoyed. I had a child once. Everyday I would stand there prepared for the moment when I would need to dance. I remember it so vividly. I would stand in anticipation, my eyes focused on the lining of the box. When The box would open in an instant, but to me it felt like forever. The light would slowly creep in, inch by inch. It was my sunrise. Then when the rays would hit me, music would flow from the ground escaping into the world of sun where my child would be in awe, gazing at my dancing while music enchanted the ears. It was magical. A sense of belonging flowed over me, a rich gold feeling coursing through my veins, penetrating my surface so that the music could play. Those were the days I brought smiles.

I look around at my surroundings. There used to be rings and necklaces galore, glistening when the box opened. Now I am only left with a plastic bracelet, a child’s tooth and all the leftover memories that are no longer needed. Memories that haunt and linger like a bad smell. No one wants to see. No one wants to touch. That’s why they are called memories; never to be used in the present age. Am I a memory? Being a memory would give me more hope in my existence than this standstill life that I lead. Well, all I can do is stare. I wait until the day comes that a child’s smile will be looking down on me and I can once feel alive once again.

Now I bring dust. Until that day, I am isolated in my jewellery box. Dust collects on every crevasse in my dress. What dancer ever feels pretty when a dress for twirling is unused? My

ISOLATION


Nurture Vs. Nature


Nurture Vs. Nature


Nurture Vs. Nature


Running through the foliage of the old tree, I took a detour as something took my eye. I followed with haste taking sharp turns left and right. “We can’t go past the tree!”, came a voice came yelling past my ears. I had to see what it was! Perhaps Mother was wrong, perhaps there are other boys in the forest? The glimpse gave me hope and drove me further into the forest. I knew that Mother would be mad if she knew I had ventured past the tree but I had longed for the day of knowing something else. I stormed through the forest on the trail of the boy going on to discover a big empty field. The boy was gone. I heard his empty laughter in the back of my mind as I looked out into the distant field. An anger overcame and I rushed home, running into trees on the way. Upon Returning home I saw that Mother had prepared the usual dinner. Although today we were eating a larger man than usual, he had three missing teeth and he was missing his hair. I prefer the taste of girls but mother insists that they are harder to get. As I entered the room Mother gazed down at me, an unhappy expression on her face. I knew from this look that my brother had told on me… I tried to plead my case but this only served to enrage her further. She pushed me to to the ground and dealt the punishment; putting the dinner to sleep tonight. She insisted that there was no one else in the forest. There was only us. However this did not deter me from finding the boy. After dinner, I waited until Mother

and my brothers had fallen asleep. I quietly snuck out in search of the boy. I looked far and wide, heading past the old tree and past the dry creek. I had never ventured out this far before. I was scared but I knew if I could find the boy everything would be okay and that mother would love him. Sunshine pierced through the gaps between the trees while birds sung out from their nests. As I walked further and further away from home I started losing hope that I would find the boy. After heading past two more large trees I decided to head back with disappointment. But as I walked I heard footsteps. Excitedly I turned toward the sound, failing to notice a fallen branch resulting in me plummeting to the ground.

As I looked up I stared into the eyes of a dismal character in front of me. He looked almost the same as me. He had my face but it was clean and he was wearing bright colours over his skin. His bones were not even visible.. I had so many questions. Were there other mothers and boys in this forest? Did the mothers know each other? As I went to open my mouth to ask about the boy he stopped me… He asked what my name was. I wasn’t sure what he was referring to so I simply smiled at him. We walked around for a while. He talked about lots of things I wasn’t familiar with. He asked me if I wanted to come and play at his home. I knew I would be in a lot of trouble if I wasn’t home when Mother woke up, I was scared of

what she might do. But this was my chance to see what else there was out there. I decided to do it. We walked an unfamiliar route through spiked bushes and past some large rocks. hen we had arrived. It was an area which I had not seen before, everything was so new to me. He pointed to a big structure and said he lived there. We walked inside, my senses were overwhelmed. He called his mother with haste as we entered the home. She looked familiar for some reason. She looked ecstatic and very concerned - almost like she knew me. She asked me where I’d been. She kept asking questions and the more questions I answered, the more her face changed… The boy reassured me that his mother would help me. After an interrogation, the mother asked if I was hungry. When I heard that word my stomach grumbled. I wanted to impress this new mother so excitedly I said yes and ran out of the house in search of some food for the boy and mother. I searched around in haste for some food. I overheard some barks from an animal. I had eaten the barking animal before it wasn’t the tastiest. I quickly put the animal to sleep the way mother had taught me and started to dragged the animal towards the mother with a big smile on my face, ready for dinner. The mother looked shocked! She screamed “Ahh! What have you done?!” Her screams frightened me and reminded me of my own Mother. Was this mother mean like mine? Tears started falling from her face. What was

NATURE VS NURTURE

wrong? What had I done? Maybe she didn’t like the barking animal.. I wasn’t sure but I knew I couldn’t stay around. I quickly ran out of the home, running as fast as I could. I stopped outside the house. I questioned what I had done wrong.. Was putting things to sleep wrong? Mother always said they liked it. I panicked outside pacing back and forth. What was I to do? Do I try and join this world I’m not a part of or head back to my mother which could be doing something bad? As I tried to decide the boy came out of the house looking for me. He looked angry, he came up and pushed me. I didn’t like it, upset overcame me which quickly turned to anger. I put the boy to sleep so that he would stop. As I did the mother stepped outside the house - she screamed and started running towards me. I put the boy on my back and ran as fast as I could into the woods, not looking back. Running through the foliage of the old tree and past the dry creek. I finally made it home exhausted from the trip. I heard the other mother’s voice as I ran through the trees but it quickly faded. The boy would now be my friend forever and Mother would love him. This is where I belonged. In the outside world I was an unfamiliar face. I still wonder though why is it that we are the same but so different. The boy looked so happy. Why couldn’t I be this boy?


IDENTITY


IDENTITY


IDENTITY


It was some time ago that I came to this sunburnt country; a country with boundless plains to share. I realised at a young age that though the plains here may be boundless, the tolerance of its natives was not. This came as a shock to me.

person as I travelled on segmented paths to the formation of my identity. I found myself making new friends as I lost my culture, and I was willing to pay that price. I found myself valuing my social status above all else; nothing was more satisfying than the feeling of belonging and ultimately knowing who you are.

I remember when I began school. The students teased my accent, making sure I felt just as foreign as I sounded at the time. It made no sense to me then - why couldn’t they understand why I was different? Rather, they fueled the adolescent need to raise self-esteem by others’ torment. I can’t blame them now. Looking back, they were just kids. Kids who didn’t know the feeling of being alienated....

My home in turn became less comfortable for me; I soon found that I didn’t belong there. I was not connected to my family like I used to be. I was not even connected to myself anymore. My parents would ask me, “Who are you trying to be?”. And I could only answer, “Myself”. I wonder now, was this all true? I no longer accepted my true culture, rather, I ignored it the more I adopted my new home.

Who am I? Where am I? Why am I? Me - my own being. - It was a misty cloud of confusion. Never before had I felt like this. Never did I question my way of life. Only as I experienced a new world, a new way of life, a new culture, did I see how different I could be. It was now my angst that was triggered by the invisible barrier between everyone else and myself. I had to break this barrier to blend into this place - to actually belong to this place. It was up to me at that time to construct and crystallise my new social identity. I was challenged to incorporate what was out there into what was in here. I imagined myself as another

If I look back now, I see a distorted self staring back at me. The self I once was, the self I should have been; both selves as different as fire and water, yet now I see that I didn’t have to choose one. As I reflect now on myself, I see how I could have been my true self. But I also see my new self; an educated self in new cultures and old. I take my life as a lesson of learning. I didn’t give up my education, or my health, but I did give up an important part of me. And now I see that my next journey is to find it again.

IDENTITY


OTHERNESS


OTHERNESS


OTHERNESS


Life can be lived alone. Who was the first to say it? Who was the one to decide, the one to deem who was right and who was wrong? Who was normal and who was not? Why am I treated as though I were a criminal; vagrant when the only crime committed seems to be my birth? Your laws do not apply to me. Why should I follow the rules of your precious world when it has made such a point of ostracizing me from it? I feel no need to follow your customs or live up to your standards because I am not one of you. I never have been. And as the years drag on I find myself sated with the fact that I never will be. I find that no matter what I do, how many skills I master or the number of things I accomplish, nothing matters. For I am me- I shall always be such that this world cannot accept... cannot love. As a child, I loved; At the start I didn’t know that I was different. I wanted what you all do; friendship… a simple touch… a kiss… Those things that you all take so for granted. But I could not have those things. I learned very quickly that the world did not reciprocate. As I grew and I saw that I would never achieve those things, that ignorant craving for acceptance diminished; it simply dwindled and then vanished. Perhaps I am but a reflection of my environment? Has your world turned me into that which I am? Perhaps I am as you say…

Whatever the verdict, I have long but forgotten that sense of otherness I once clung to like a lifeline in the darkness that is my world. I am my lifeline. I am all there is and all there will ever be. Now, I know that I am too far gone; even if that yearning resurfaced I would not know what to do with it. I have lived a life of seclusion. I have severed my final ties to the outside world. Cut out those needs like the malignant shapes they were and what has filled the gaps? Nothingness. Nothingness has replaced the pain. Perhaps that is what they wanted? Perhaps they will be satisfied in knowing that I will meet my end away from them; Alone… Perhaps I will be too. I am tired of this farcical life of mine. I feel as though I have tasted enough of this world and I am ready to leave it behind, I have tasted hate so strong that it drove me within myself, tasted love so powerful that it has ended me. I am tired... just tired of that which I have spent years trying to overcome and I have nothing left. No love, no hate, no juvenile need for acceptance. I am ready. Once one comes to terms with it all, it is quite simple. Life can be lived alone.

OTHERNESS


INNER CONFLICT


INNER CONFLICT

Inner Conflict


INNER CONFLICT


I had chosen a path so dark that even on the brightest days I couldn’t turn back. A path so dark the sun never shone through anymore. I believe that our paths are predetermined from a young age and no matter how much I had hoped and pretended that this wasn’t my destiny; it was always going to end up this way. They made me like this. I tried to take a path of normality as I grew older, but it soon became clear that it was never going to work for me. It was a façade I couldn’t maintain. A mask I was sick of painting on. I had to make a choice. The uncertainty of not knowing my true place in this world was a cruel scheme and I wasn’t going to be a pawn in this game any longer. My life had become somewhat like a game of chess, and I was losing the game as the most insignificant piece. I didn’t want to be a pawn, a piece so insubstantial that there are fifteen others like it on the same board. I had to follow my heart and provide some sort of justice for my isolated and intimidated self. I wanted to be the king, a piece with limitless power and infinite value. An opponent feared and held in the highest regard. I wanted to be the most integral part of the game; I wanted to be the piece that’s protected by all of the others. That’s what I had planned for myself when I took this path.

I often found myself on a chequered board in my life, sprayed with white and black squares so clearly mapped out. Black and white, right and wrong, good and evil... it all seemed so simple. My head was a war zone as scattered as the freckles on my face. I know the difference between right and wrong, but the line became blurred. Right felt wrong and wrong felt right. Everyday my thoughts were a barrage of shots fired, and I never stood down. I liked the feeling of power, the feeling of superiority at my fingertips, and the only way I seized that was by doing wrong, by being feared. The game is strategic and you make moves according to precise rules against a component. Much like my day-to-day life. I was subconsciously following rules everyday, placing constraints on myself and in return I was getting defeated. You can’t win if you aren’t at the top right? That’s all that mattered to me. After I had hit my lowest low, trying to live up to society’s standards, I was done. I was sick of living a lie and sick of trying to convince myself everyday that I was a good person with good thoughts. I had dark thoughts, and I was resentful towards those responsible for the isolation I felt in my youth and for the torment I endured. I took the path in search of solid ground. I did wrong so that I could feel right. For a while it worked. I was intoxicated with power at the expense of others and I was the King. Like pawns being captured in a game of chess, I was knocking people off the board at a rate so rapid that the supremacy consumed me whole. I had lost sight of it all and before I knew it, I was faced with justice. I had to pay the price for what I had done. I was exposed and vulnerable. So what path is worth taking if you can still lose, even when you’re at the top? Check Mate.

INNER CONFLICT


RAGE


RAGE


RAGE


Take a moment to adjust your scope on time. When you look at a month, a year, a decade, it feels like that time passes so slowly, so much can be achieved or lost in those years. The average life expectancy of a human being at birth worldwide is 71 years, when compared to your schedule today, your plans for the week, your hopes for the next five years, that is literally a lifetime. When you speak of a lifetime you often mean eternity, because that is how it feels. Now think about the lifespan of a housefly: 28 days, not even the length of a month, not even worth a second thought. Nine hundred and twenty five times shorter than the life of a human. In your eyes they are nothing but a slight nuisance, little annoyances that do nothing but scavenge. Now imagine you are the housefly, and now you are my nuisance. 71 quick years does not seem like an eternity anymore when compared with 4.543 billion. If my life was reduced to a scale of 24 hours, your entire species has existed for one minute and seventeen seconds, a mere blink of an eye in my life. I have sustained you for two hundred thousand years and in that time you have achieved so much destruction and obliteration of all things around you, and you believe this is without consequence, but a great anger stirs within me. I am a celestial body that has survived countless millennia and I intend to survive countless more.

Imagine how quickly you would dispose of the housefly if it were no longer a nuisance and was suddenly a threat, because that is what you have become, and I can no longer carry a parasite whose only purpose is to selfishly serve itself; I will not passively let myself be slowly eroded by these blood-sucking insects. I could let you continue to poison the air you breathe and let you do my work for me, however my anger at your arrogance overpowers me, I can feel my blood boiling, the very air around me grows hotter and I am sent into a rage that you will not outlast. Floods and storms will become heavier, hurricanes stronger, droughts more severe, wildfires hotter and more frequent and your cities will be razed to the ground. Very slowly and subtly you have pushed me beyond the tipping point into an irreversible fury so destructive that I will create a landscape so dangerous that you cannot survive it. The only thing that can quell my rage is the knowledge that when you have been purged from my surface the balance will slowly be restored and I will live on. While it may seem self-destructive, I can survive my own wrath and live on, all I need to do is wait for you to die out, and I am patient, I can wait a few more seconds.

RAGE


MORALITY


MORALITY


MORALITY


I want you to take a moment to think about your life. Think about what you’re living it for and whom you are living it with. I spend my days sitting in a box constructed of eight inches of lifeless concrete. Darkness is inevitable. The only light peeking through is provided by the small square gap flush with the ceiling, dominantly blocked by four three inch solid steel bars. If I could I would grab one of those bars and drill it three inches into my heart to end this lifeless journey – I can’t. So instead I rot in cell C8 like a flower that is slowly dying, petal by petal, pondering life. Another year goes by, another petal falls off and another notch is chipped into my concrete wall. Concrete chippings fall onto a photograph of people who I consider family. These are the only people keeping my heart beating. All I want in life is to freely sit at the table, talking to Pop about his sore hip while my two and a half year old daughter runs rings around the table, helplessly tripping over her own feet. “Daddy, dolls?” she would constantly ask. I’d consider myself lucky if she knew who ‘Daddy’ was.. Oh... Why do I continue to do this? Why do I reminisce on the past when it continues to crush my heart? I look back at my previous self and I hardly recognise him; A mere stranger in my eyes. He held the emotions of an insentient object.;No principle, no values and no morals. Now I live to serve a stranger’s penalties. If we’re going

by Buddhist religion, in my next life I should be an ant or a blind fly as a result of the consequences of his one. Any nuisance that holds the lifespan of no more than a month would be a suitable reincarnation. Taking all of the previous life’s wrongs in exchange for my life will be a fair trade, a fair trade that I wouldn’t have a problem making. These people that I share this barbed building with go through emotional stages while they’re chained up. I see it everyday… I’ve experienced it for myself. We drown in anger, regret, depression, and delusion. We gasp for a sense of sanity when there is only an essence of insanity in the atmosphere. However there’s one aspect of this consequence I cherish;time. I have time to thank for reshaping me. Time has allowed me to re-evaluate my purpose. Without time I would still be him. I guess that’s what happens when guilt overwhelms you every minute of the day. You change. If you know you’ve done wrong, take immediate steps to correct it, right? If only he attained the qualities I possess now. If only he was the slightest bit humane, I wouldn’t be in this situation. Now I must conform to the consequence and serve the moralistically correct sentence. And this consequence brings upon the cost of the one who owns my heart; my daughter. My heart beats for her, but the question is: does hers beat for me, or am I a mere memory, diluting away like a drop of wine in an ocean? I guess we will never know, spending the rest of my life rotting in cell C8.

MORALITY


DESTRUCTION


DESTRUCTION


DESTRUCTION


How did I get here? What have I done with my life? I can’t even remember the last time I felt happiness; darkness and pain have overwhelmed my thoughts for as long as I know. One day I’m an innocent child, without a care in the world. The next, a ticking time bomb about to self-destruct, with the sole focus of where my next fix will come from. Is this life even worth anything at this point? I’m pretty sure it’s pointless to go on living this way, and I don’t see any other way out. I can’t even look at myself in this mirror - I’m that disgusting. What possible future is there for me? I was only ten when I was first exposed to it. Both my parents were into it, so naturally I followed in their footsteps. Children see, children do, right? I was only 10, can you really blame me? My dad was the one who got me into it.

Now that I think about it, he was never really a ‘dad’ to me, more like one of those crappy mates who always gets you in trouble. You know the ones I’m talking about; those mates who wouldn’t give a second thought about you or how messed up you are, they only care about their own crappy lives. Yeah, that was pretty much my dad in a nutshell. By the time I was 16, I was doing it all the time. My parents had split up, and I was living with my dad. He was constantly angry, and started abusing me for no reason at all, so my body was permanently covered in bruises. After a while I got used to it, I would find ways to numb the pain. I’d do whatever my dad had left lying around the house; pills, coke, heroin, whatever. Heroin became my drug of choice. After I shot up,

I would get an amazing rush; as if I was invincible. I’d forget everything. Time just passed by. I soon became addicted. I needed heroin just to get by. If I went too long without shooting up, I would experience excruciating pain; every bone in my body would ache, I wouldn’t be able to sleep for days and I would be constantly throwing up. I had to have my fix, and would do almost anything to get it. A lot of the time this meant stealing. I knew where my dad stashed everything. One night he beat me so bad that I couldn’t feel my body, I had to get away. I grabbed his entire stash of heroin and got out. I went to the nearest park and shot up. The next thing I knew, I was falling through the ground, everything began to look blurred and fuzzy, more so than usual. I thought I was going to pass out. I found a

DESTRUCTION

bathroom and went inside, as I passed the mirror I caught a glimpse of my reflection and I jumped out of my skin! The person I saw was unrecognizable, I thought I was looking at somebody else. I was terrified. How had I let myself turn into such a monster? How did I get here? What have I done with my life? I can’t even remember the last time I felt happiness; darkness and pain have overwhelmed my thoughts for as long as I know. I’m writing this from this bathroom so people will learn not to become like me. I have enough heroin here to overdose. I don’t see any other way. What possible future is there for me? This is it time to self-destruct.


PSYCHOLOGICAL TORMENT

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PSYCHOLOGICAL TORMENT

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PSYCHOLOGICAL TORMENT

Theme


It was once there, wasn’t it? That warmth? That familiarity with which I had used so freely, taken so for granted? I lie here awaiting what must come, and even now I outstretch my hand in hopeful longing, in anticipation that I will once more feel that warmth envelop me… But all that greets me is the cold embrace of nothingness, of guilt, of the things that I have done… and him…

But I am exhausted; such a life is no life at all and I have nothing left. For who could see this demon- this man - who as much he denies the need for love, compassion and kindness, burns for them night and day?

What could have been? ‘What could have been’ only ever served to wound me… but now it is all that keeps me alive, alert, conscious to this world. It is all that remains of my sanity. It is all that keeps him at bay. I see the ledge now; I see it. It approaches me with stoic humility as hope once did, but hope is all but forgotten. I can see it now, so finite, so decided… all that I feel is unease, a prickly malaise that tells me that I will find no rest there.

With each passing day I found myself drifting further and further away from myself, falling deeper into that neverending abyss of self-loathing... lost...

No rest with him… He beckons me now as life once did… As warmth once did..

I had simply failed to see him. Failed to see myself. And so I ask of you, am I beyond redemption? Am I that far lost to the hell which I have created? Have I allowed this torment to envelop me beyond the point of salvation? Perhaps so. I suppose it is fitting for my crimes.

So many memories haunt me, they torment my every waking thought; memories that reinforce a painful truth that I have tried endlessly to overcome. Though I have tried to shut them out, to cleanse my mind of such human, such earthly weakness, I find that I cannot. Over the years I have tried to distract myself from these truths. The morphine dulled the pain, as was its purpose, but this was only a temporary solution, a masking.

Now I am gasping for air, reaching for something in the darkness that is not quite there. Something that never will be… The memories that haunt me seep through my induced delirium. Sometimes I find myself locked inside them, unable to resurface... Sinking… Drowning… Should I force myself to stay? Why do we partake in games such as these when we know that it is all but hopeless?

PSYCHOLOGICAL TORMENT

There isn’t much time now. There can’t be. I can feel it slipping away and yet becoming clearer to me with every lost second… Faces; meaningless to me. Words; they no longer retain any sound familiar. But they did once… I know that they did. Only I cannot seem to recall them. I cannot think on anything now but the figure approaching me. He has been here all along. That I am sure of.


REVENGE

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REVENGE

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REVENGE

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They have no idea what it’s like, what it’s like to lose as much as I have. They couldn’t possibly understand that what they did was evil. At first, I wanted to believe that there was a way around this, a way for all this to become better if I just took it slow and faced it with a clear head. I would simply confront my fears and make a distasteful yet honourable decision. Surely, if I just reach out and speak my mind to other humans about my situation they’d understand and then they’d take on and understand the same pain I’ve been enduring ever since. Who would’ve thought? That I would be thrust even deeper into despair, that my own common species would toss me aside and leave me to suffer even more than before? There’s no longer any hope that I’d be saved or relieved from this horror. If I couldn’t turn to others than whom was I to turn to? What more could I do to sate this feeling eating away at me?

The answer should’ve been obvious the moment I encountered evil. I’ll simply even it out, make things fair and show them what it’s like. No, even better, I’ll make them suffer even more, far more than they can live with. After all, I’ve been living in what can only be described as hell. They laughed and scorned me as I begged for mercy, and I will do the same when they realise what they’ve done. First, I will make everyone around them suffer. It won’t even need to hurt, all they need to know is that their world is falling apart around them as their beloved turn distraught. Once they realise that it is them that are the cause of all the suffering, then they’ll helplessly try to look for a way out, and fail. But wait, what if they are not as evil as I had discerned in the beginning? Perhaps the tests of time have withered their corrupt souls? Is it possible that this could be the way things are? That they may have changed for the better? I don’t care. It doesn’t matter if they’ve even the smallest bit of regret for their actions. If what they had done to me had been executed so haphazardly, then without a doubt that many people have suffered because of them. And it is obvious now that none of those victims have stood up to them and I fear that any future victims will remain just as helpless, taking no actions to receive justice. If I do this now then I can say for sure my life won’t be ruined, that my life will not end in vain, nor will I ever regret it when it ends. I’ll be better than them. Better than all the victims and people that chose to allow evil to walk among them. I’d have done a deed that only the worst of sufferers could understand. Once it is done they can have me; arrest me, kill me, it doesn’t matter anymore. I’ll have no regrets. REVENGE


CONFRONTATION


CONFRONTATION


CONFRONTATION


Only after slowly descending into the abyss of my depression did I realise that she was my ball and chain. Attached to my ever tired heart that continued to drown me the more I tried to gasp for air. She wore dark clothing that draped her skeletal body. With her weary, inky eyes, she looks towards me, grabbing my hand and pulling me into a black portal. I’d follow her down a cobbled and eerie road. She’d float across dragging her black rags along the way to a place where I felt most free but didn’t want to remain. Her hand clenched my wrist, the grip getting tighter and tighter. I’d pull back, trying to release my arm from her strangling hand. She stopped, turned and looked at me, once again with her mysterious inky eyes. I looked back confused and worried that I may propel deeper and deeper into her control. I flinched my arm, pushed her back and escaped the eerie road. As I look back, she transforms from herself to a black dot, swallowed by black trees and dark clouds. I felt most content with her but I couldn’t stay.

That evening her voice was chasing me. Trying to lure my soul back to her. I hadn’t seen her in many days. But this day, I was feeling low. Unable to be as beatific as the others, I stayed in bed, counting moments of uncertainty and sadness. I could tell she had arrived. I could sense that cold and heavy aura anywhere. I went up to her. Stared into her inky eyes and told her that she didn’t have to be here any longer. She shrugged carelessly and continued to drag me into the portal. I resisted and pushed her down the portal where she would remain in constant darkness for eternity. For years I was with her, ready for her to take me down the cobbled, eerie road. But I could go no more. She would visit me in my weakest moments, convincing me to stay with her. The more trust I put in her, the more she’d bring me down; leaving me to fix the puzzle she had created. It was never completed. With only one piece missing, I knew it was with her. I swore I would never return, so I made my own piece. Peace.

She was both warm and cold. Her eyes, although dark, drew me in like the night sky. Every now and again we would meet unexpectedly and I would go with her down the dark portal. But I wanted this to end. Her need for attention began to haunt me. Her cruel remarks, echoed in my mind; hidden memories would reappear and she would steal my soul again. CONFRONTATION

I realised this while slowly ascending from the abyss of my depression. She was my depression.


DEHUMANISATION


DEHUMANISATION

Dehumanisation


DEHUMANISATION

Dehumanisation


DEHUMANISATION

Dehumanisation


The screen consumes me. Day after day it takes another part of me from myself. In fact, I wonder when the day will come that it will replace me entirely. I don’t think as much as I used to. The screen does that for me now. It grants me access to the knowledge of nearly every being, far surpassing the capabilities of my own. I can know everything, and yet I still know nothing. So what does that make me? Is the screen my superior?

It’s 3AM and the screen is the light to my being. It’s soft glow illuminates my tired, aching hands. I can’t see what is below them, but I know what’s there. My link to the screen. My link to everything. As I tap away blindly I become one with it. When was the last time I spoke to someone, felt their presence or their warm embrace? I don’t quite know anymore… the screen does that for me now. The words in my head never leave my mouth. No, now the screen is the vessel of my communication. Faster than I can blink, my words are everywhere… but they are also nowhere. I can know you better than anyone, and yet I have never seen you in the flesh.

I don’t move much when I’m with the screen, there is no need. In fact the screen comes with me wherever I go, yet it cannot move. It forms in many shapes and sizes, but it is always there. Always. It is showing up in more places too. There is no stopping it. The screen grants me happiness, but it also leaves me lonely. I see the others out there being creative, innovative... having fun. But I stare from the outside. It’s safer here, the screen protects me. I have fun too… it’s just, well, different. The screen entertains me. It takes me places far beyond my own reality. I can travel and explore not just this world, but the worlds of many other minds. Every experience is unique, but I can only achieve it with the screen.

How can the screen be so much more than I could ever achieve? It is the work of the most brilliant minds of their time, but I am only the result of chance; an anomalous statistic. It was not born, it was created. Created to be better. Created to be faster. But it takes what it wants for itself. And we give it every demand. More power. More control. More life…

I can’t escape the screen, not now, not ever. What it owns of me, I can never have back. To work, I need the screen. To learn, I need the screen. To be entertained, I need the screen. The screen. I need the screen.

DEHUMANIZATION


MORTALITY


MORTALITY


MORTALITY


The notion of mortality forces the question of our existence. Our humanly presence has been pondered over the centuries of our earthly inhabitancy. In the midst of our subconscious, our minds drift towards the questions of the universe and the unknown. We disregard them, but they remain unanswered until our own time is drawing to a close. Death is not a light topic. It evokes strong emotional responses. Death is a natural occurrence, but one question will always linger; what now? Approaching without warning. Consuming you in a breath. The darkness is inescapable and your mind succumbs to the warmth. A dark tunnel, a bright light, an all-consuming sense of ‘coming home’ leading you to your life after death. Greeted by deceased loved ones and friends you lost long ago, those you mourned and grieved for. Your physical existence forgotten, the mortal body that housed your ethereal soul. Lying there, almost cold to the touch, your skin donning a purple hue. Memories, experiences and knowledge; vanished into a physical world that has no bearing on the shapeless form that you now embody. Lost to a world that you could never comprehend. The human mind; too fragile, too weak to understand the glory and wonders of unseen heavens. Emotions become pitiful excuses for feeling and experiencing. Words no longer do justice to what you are witnessing. Incomprehensible.

An existence incomprehensible to the weak human mind. Destroying all previous misconceptions of the life you’ve led. Where you once questioned your existence, your motives, your choices and your life. That doesn’t matter. Not now. Not here. Congregating in a single atom, a tiny space, unfathomable to any person. You are here, but you are there. You do not conform to any solidity. You are free. The true definition of free. Free from thoughts, overwhelming thoughts that once consumed. Free from earthly obligations. Free from existence. Here, all that once happened has no bearing on the state of being, of pure unaltered existence. You are transcendent. You have transcended against a physical frame, a mortal body that trapped you on earth. Those who gather down beneath, far down below, fear your state of being. Fear of what comes after. It is an all consuming, indescribable, other worldly experience that exists in the deepest recesses of a world too incomprehensible to a human mind, subdued by endless futile musings. To feel is to be alive. Mortality is to be susceptible to death. To die is to escape. Mortality questions the life we have led, the wonders we have witnessed, the horrors that haunt us, and the unknown that lies before us. To relive the shape of life, MORTALITY

experience all once again, would it be missed? Will we relish in these moments? Will we remember them more clearly? Death is an inevitable end. Inevitability is undeniable. Mortality is to question your existence. Many want to transcend death, to escape from their inevitable end. But is it really all to be feared?


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Farewell.


CONTRIBUTORS ART DIRECTOR Brooke Deakin Kimberley Brooks DESIGNER Jesse Conlon Kaitlyn Durgali Vincenzo Panuccio IMAGE DIRECTOR Jayde De la Coeur Marcus Masukwedza EDITOR Chelsea Schofield Daniel Churches Emma McQuillan Albert Viloria PRODUCTION MANAGER Dannielle Dodds STUDIO MANAGER Adrian Lee Priya Pulikkal DIGITAL COORDINATOR Jonathan Herring Julian Wilton EXTRA CONTENT Harry Paton Mitchell Harley Mohamed Allam DOCUMENTER Elisabeth Organ Jade Carney

Under the guidance and support of Dan Johnston

Contour – Encounter  

Contour – Encounter is a visual and written narrative exploration of the themes and ideals conveyed in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The publ...

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