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the first circle
feeling small
by sigbjørn lund olsen

It feels the pull. It feels the pressure. It feels the friction. Silently... screamlessly it rolls down, mutilated by its surrounding. That singular drop of sweat on her smooth skin feels the forces, but is ignorant of its fate. She’s running past the eternal trees of a chaotically coherent forest. It can behold the walls of Socrates’ cave. Logic’s touch of irony - it can’t see them.

He shifts restlessly through the room, feeling the walls, searching for a notch. Or a handle. Something. He does not know, but he crawls and touches and breathes and lives. Where is the door, he thinks with torrents of self-pity and frustration. The door.

I have been wounded. These are the things I would like to do in my life:

> See Earth from space
> Make the film
> Create the album
> Write the book

I have truly been wounded, for I am legless and I didn’t drink, and I am disarmed though I never carried a gun, yes I am headless though I... Yes, sharp teeth ripped through my scream and now I am without one. How gargantuan, how gorgeous...

She’s running. Deep breathing. Blood thumping. Shock travelling from foot to head, foot to head. Foot. Air. Wind. Rhythm of the run. She avoids a tree and leaps into an avenue of precious open, twisting to the right. Foot. Air. Wind. Above her the enormous trunks diverge into branches, twisted into evil shapes, webbed together into a twilight carpet of black and green. Foot. Air. Wing. But you can only fly so high in this forest, and only so far.

He sits in the middle of the box and feels it contract. Smaller and smaller. And he grows bigger and bigger. He curls up, like a grown up infant, sits and wants. Where is the door?

Since I was a child I have always written, imagined. Short stories, arcs of history, civilizations rise and fall, whole universes. The two main ones, one was a arc of history into the future, aliens and all in an infinite universe. Some of them were even white with big black eyes... Oh the originality. The other was fantasy, a thousand worlds linked through magic, and a dark sorcerer threatening the destruction of all. I had dragons. Oh the originality. I have grown since then, though, to my own great frustration. As I’ve grown older I’ve found it increasingly more difficult to write fiction, to imagine, to create as I did when I was younger. Not with greater sophistication. And in there resides the problem – it leaves me with this one world, and I hate it. Here we are ignorant of our own insignificance and think ourselves the pinnacle of evolution, the centre of the universe, and kill each other for percentages. Those universes by comparison... They were gargantuan and gorgeous...

They were stupid. Even though I’m bigger now I see that my chest width should have decreased, even though it didn’t before now. Using my new analytical skills, I have found that the book is a phantom. A universe is too complex, too complex by far. The book is, mhmm, God. God... The ways of God are many and complex. I still don’t believe in God – for me the idea of divinity is a representation, a personification of the universe we impose on ourselves for the benefit of our sanity.

Foot. Air. Wing. Space. Fly. As I pass in my mind through voids between the stars into the unknown, into the past and into the future, through time and space, and marvel at the harshness, the coldness, the beauty... the ruthlessness, the extremes, the accidents and the deliberates. And as I start and as I end, as I see the relationships, the bridges, the amazing intricacy of the system which hosts both simple yet beautiful truths such as Euler’s Formula (e^(pi*i)+1=0) and relatively complex beings like us... As I experience the Universe, I also realize that God is a higher form of intelligence. The Universe is too big to fathom, and I cannot write the book, or make the album, when I cannot understand. How stupid... To think that a limited intelligence can perfect that which can only be represented by a higher intelligence. How utterly stupid.

Foot. Air. Wind. There’s blood in her hair, a dark rose of black on black, where she planted the head into the ground. Up is the God Wall. Down is the land of Lucifer. But she’s not an angel nor is she fallen. Foot. Air. Wind. Climbing didn’t work, and she didn’t fall quite far enough. So she runs. But where is she going? Where has she come from? Foot. Air. Wind. She runs... But what is she running from?

Momentum. Blur. Collision. He pulls his fist back, curls it up, behind his head, twists and turns and squeezes. He hits. All his force... He hits. A cracking sound. Ripples in his flesh plant themselves. Blood. Pain. And pain of new wisdom, a new outlook on the darkness.

And I see... I think I see. I too am in Socrates’ cave – I can only see from my perspective. She is running. He is searching. Mmhm... I am running. I am searching. But this forest has no edge... It is the infinite Mirkwood of the soul. This room has no door. I can’t find the door because there isn’t one. I think. It’s time to ditch it, that elusive definite article.

> See Earth from space
> Make a film
> Create an album
> Write a book

If totality will not – cannot – be achieved, then I will go as far as I can. I am good, I know that, for my age. And the road is living. Who knows where it will take me. It’s time to stop trying to create an all, and start writing about the leaves, the trees, the wall.


Sigbjørn still maintains that he is going to be somebody ... carefully neglecting the fact that all the ninety-year olds still singing into their combs in front of their mirrors, they too knew that they were going to be somebody. It is slowly dawning on him that his shot at being a star kid actor may very well have passed, so as a backup plan, he's currently attending university in Trondheim, Norway, studying film.

more about sigbjørn lund olsen


what makes you one?
by sigbjørn lund olsen
topic: writing
published: 4.23.00

the last loaf
a moment of postmodern being
by sigbjørn lund olsen
topic: writing
published: 12.11.04


tracey kelley
3.31.03 @ 8:06a

...I had dragons. Oh the originality.

Oh my. I have a folder of poetry that will never see the light of day because of this. I have early airchecks that will oxidize and wilt because of this.

About 5 years ago, I took out one of my first poems, and laughed until the tears rolled. I'm hoping these will one day be reminders to keep my successful ego in tight rein.

jael mchenry
3.31.03 @ 11:37a

Mine are hilarious. All so very serious. Gleaming knife blades, "skin on skin that smokes and steams," silly passionate things. Hilarious.

sarah ficke
3.31.03 @ 11:42a

I've got a whole binder of that stuff at home. It seemed very deep at the time, but now most of it is morbid and kind of funny. On the flip side, though, I look at some stuff and marvel that I came up with the idea in the first place. I think I was much better at making up stories then.

tracey kelley
3.31.03 @ 11:57a

I think that is what is indicated here. That our imaginations are so free when we don't know what we're facing, when we're not cognizant of failure. We are unaware of failure.

Or, at the very least, unafraid.

matt morin
3.31.03 @ 12:43p

Yeah, my parents have this big box full of stories I wrote as a kid. Looking back on them I laugh at how bad they were, but in a certain way they're actually really wonderfully childish.

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