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Monday, February 13, 2012


The budding year has brought us rain to wash the grime off of the facades of monstrous buildings and to cleanse our burdened hearts soiled from decades of cruelty. It’s not easy to shed a debauched past with the magic wand of a peaceful protester or the whim of a benevolent mogul and expect a miracle to save us all. For I had walked among the dead, the silent ones and the zombies, and saw them for what they are, vampires feeding on hope and spoiling the landscape with their excremental nostalgia. They are an admonition of what we could turn into if we give up our dreams. Outside my window, puffs of clouds, white, gray and dark scuttle across the sky. They gather from all directions, ominous with the threat of a devastating storm or a magnanimous deluge that will bring life to this barren land.

While apathy is plentiful work has become scarce. With nothing to kill but time I lose myself to a recurring daydream*. I’m flying among the clouds in unconditional freedom. I type “cloud” in the search box and come up with a game. I was never big on computer games but this one intrigued me by its utter benignity. Cloud was developed by a group of students at USC School of Cinematic Arts in 2006. It is the closest rendering of the ubiquitous dream of flying experienced by almost every child and a few lucky grownups. The purpose of the game, as if it needs a purpose, is to fly among clouds, to shepherd them in a flock and to bring rain to thirsty cities and souls. The music is serene, the graphics and wallpaper inspiring and the demands on your system and dexterity minimal. It is as close as you could get to practicing Yoga on your PC. Make sure to explore the various dreams and extras after your install the game.
Cloud can be downloaded for free at the game’s project website and on CNET.

*Read more about the Cloud People.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A Song from Afar

I took a lung-full of air and plunged at an angle, my body gleaming in the sunlight before it disappeared. The song came from the north, faint at first then growing louder like the knell of a fog-bell on a distant buoy. It was the first time that I hear such a song, yet it was one I've been longing for as it reverberated through my spine into the depth of my loins.

A primitive feeling of urgency took hold of me. For days and nights I felt as if I had lost all control of my faculties while being goaded by an intangible need. A blurred mirage of mother hung snugly in a dark recess of my brain, emitting a feeble light that turned the blackness into a fugue of gray. An anamnesis from the past, as shapeless as the surface of the sea on a windless night rode the back of the song from far away and guided me ahead.

It grew loud as the water got colder, crisp as the air turned brisker. I felt the currents, diverging near the top, converging the deeper I dived. A vast solace engulfed me in the frigid darkness and when I resurfaced I irresistibly stared with misty eyes at the stars above. Getting my bearings by sound and light pervaded me without any conscious attempt. Where did I learn to do that? Who taught me? The questions, the myriad of them, remained unanswered.

On a spry morning, 49 rising and setting suns after I left the bay, I saw them in a pod dotting the horizon. I called and they answered back, wordless voices of certitude but of little or no choice. They are like me, I reckoned. Memories trickled back then flooded my field of vision. I saw the school I grew up with. I felt the warmth of mother. I remembered ephemeral associations. That’s what brought me here and what will take me further west till I reach that solitary humpback! That’s what brought the others here too. The song, the eternal song, I hear for the first time.

Jets of froth filled the air and cascaded down like broken chrystal. Tall obelisks of fury erupted and ruffled the shoulders of the undulating waves. I was cornered in the endless ocean among my peers, fighting with each of them for my right of passage. Only if I could best this brawny one off to the left. Oh, and that one with the ugly cut in the fin, and the slimy looking one there and that fat one and the other.

With the break of dawn the melee came to an end. The ocean had turned red with the blood of the losers and mine. My body fat consumed, my strength depleted, only the burning in my loins remained. I swam by her side then circled around. Her own quest had come to an end, she acquiesced. She stood still realizing without looking back that I was the sole one for her. I made one last shallow dive and took her from below, holding her with invisible hands. As our eyes locked and my sperm flowed irreversibly into her she sang her eternal song one more time but only for me.

She will call again and I will swim across the earth's oceans. She is mine, we both know it, till the end of time.