Six issues in a year for a journal feels like completion, and what comes next—whether a continuation of Tandeta, or a wholly new project—will feel like its own, distinct beginning. On this (as I write) the shortest day of the year 2022, the almost non-theme theme of Yin feels like a particularly satisfying point.
This idea of six issues as completion of anything, or the shortest day of the year as an end-point, is a particularly odd—perhaps silly, perhaps poignant—construct of the human mind. Such points in time—which are certainly not points—are the subject of Kimberly’s translations from Felix Hausdorff’s Chaos in Cosmic Selection. When I read, “A transcendental world-observer, existing in absolute time, would experience the web of simultaneous changes that makes up our empirical world in an entirely random sequence, with arbitrary succession, direction, and speed; with arbitrary interruptions, resting-points, repetitions, jumps and reversals—without the usual fluxus temporis that is familiar to us being disturbed at all,” I believe I understand Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “transparent eyeball” (“I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God”) as it relates to time. It is a not-unpleasant way to philosophize on a dark, short day while wrapping up one part of the year and preparing to move on to the next (however contradictory that may be!)
One story needs special note. I don’t want to call this a “trigger warning” (because I don’t like them, and I despise the term, both topics for another time)—but perhaps call it an impulse to provide context. The story “The Stronger Sex,” by Bella Cohen, was suggested to the author in a dream; though the imagining of the story is fictional, its facts are based closely on real events and people. [One can Google Freud, Emma, Fliess, and (for good measure) cocaine, in any combination or order, if one wants the rabbit hole before or after reading.] It is a story of sexual and medical abuse—abuse of almost unimaginable intimacy and magnitude, but no different from what we see in the news regularly. It begs more questions than it answers: How does this happen? Who allows this to happen, to themself or to another? How did it begin? When does it end? I would submit that some of the answers are found in the theories of time proposed by Hausdorff, but suggesting the darker implications of transcendental thought and human experience. Its tone and mood are distinct from the other pieces in Yin.
Other pieces do share notes of transcendentalism and time, some quite whimsical and others, if not dark, certainly thoughtful. Heidi Modica shares her appreciation of donkeys in an old-time mining town, and I share an appreciation of a Roy Rogers film from almost 50 years ago as if it came out yesterday. Kimberly’s “The Omis” is deeply magical, having come to her in a dream, but her imaginary human-not-human creature reminds me of a few deeply different, special children I have met; I wonder what has become of them.
For anyone who has fought with a sibling, Scott Axelrod’s “Chopped Brothers” is both amusing and maybe a little dark, knowing what we (siblings) know about the abuses we have inflicted and endured and then laughed about (sort of) later. Scott’s “Psilocybin Treatment” and “Mourning Animal Tale” might also strike some of us close to home, as will Kimberly’s “Realm of Possibility”; these suggest the motif of points in time as well.
I think Denise Freed’s “Restful Futon: A Dance” sums up much of the pleasant restlessness of this time of year. Please click the link and enjoy.
May you all appreciate the points of closure and beginning of this time of year. Look for a continuation of Tandeta in one form or another soon.
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