Thursday, 21 June 2012

A Letter to Space

Mr. Don Pettit,
Node 2, Deck 5, ISS, LEO 51.603

Dear Don,
A letter…
“Perpetual Twilight”.
That is the name of my favorite blog post of all time.
You see, I wanted to be an astronaut as a child.
Didn’t we all?
I was obsessed with space travel, in constant fascination of MIR throughout my childhood.
Space travel-
Space exploration-
Exploration of the existential self in confined spaces.
Zero Gravity-
A moment-
That moment-
Just a moment-
Of inexplicable beauty, of unworkable reason; an unfeasible once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of something impossible.
A bit like love.
Like that moment of perpetual twilight, almost impossible, almost not there…
It’s so fascinating, I want to hug it.
I didn’t fulfill on my wish of being an astronaut.
I am a scientist of plays; I engineer theatre pieces, short stories, films.
I am also into conservation, environmental sciences, sports, music, cheddar cheese and books.
My curiosity does not understand of limits, and who am I to stop it indulging in absurdities.
Absurdities for others, perhaps, but for us (my curiosity and me), it means life- understanding equals life.  Perhaps the sole reason for my existence is the questioning of these things.

Randy Paush said he just dreamt of the zero-gravity bit, I did not… not only.
I wanted to be an astronaut. I wanted to wear the kit, I wanted to be alone in space, reflecting on the fear it would give me to be alone in space reflecting on fear…- all by myself, floating above home, far from reach, and observe the earth, its lights, its roundness, its dimensions, its movement and everything outside of it, outside of myself, outside of anything my brain could describe.
I feel like I live my childhood dream through your eyes – somehow.
Zucchini talks to my heart; I root for sunflower’s wellbeing.
I was there when you grabbed little Dragon towards you, present.
I’ve participated of your experiments and games, your stories and your lack of plastic bags.
I now know how to pee in space, how to eat in space, how much toothpaste to use, how to talk to plants, how to listen to them. I now know how an eclipse looks from above, and I even know what Expedition or Increment I would like to belong to. I think I now qualify for Increment 31.
I almost feel like I know an astronaut.

My favorite astronaut of all time- just because you play with food (and channel sprouts)!
I thank you, from my bedroom on this fragment of intergalactic sediment – from this atom of universality…
I thank you for being my window, for allowing dreams to be proof-able, determined, tangible.
For allowing vastness to be spacious.
For forging knowledge, for inspiring discovery and discovering inspiration- in the everyday and in everything.
For taking care of the plants, for writing poems, stories, notes, letters.
A letter to you, my space bound friend, for being brave and cautious, and creative when you need to, for sharing with us-the dreamers on mother-ship earth who wait your return to hear more stories of unbelievable feats.
Empty space.
Never empty.
Always analyzed, observed, proud.
I hunt the skies for a glimpse of that metallic body that houses not only your physicality, but also your ideas, your dreams and the perfect poetry of sight that the outside has ignited in you.
The floating house.
The laboratory of dreams.
I can see through your eyes.
I gain understanding, freedom, inspiration. I am an astronaut. Here. Right now.

Now Earth awaits your landing.
Say your goodbyes to your sleep station. (Just for now)
My only concern now is…
Who will garden the plants?

From this dreamer and wishful member of Expedition 30/31, for Soyuz TMA-03M with call sign Antares,
From a bedroom on Earth,

                                                                         Sophia Mertins

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

I am not a writer. I am a victim.

I want to always be an expression of me. (The innermost me.)
I want my words to always be mine.
"Words are only words within a sentence.” That’s Virginia Woolf…
But this, this is my pen.

As I child I wanted to be an astronaut.
No one- ever- told me: “I think space doesn’t go well with you.”
Perhaps because intuitively they know… they know that a part of us is galaxy, explosion, energy; a part of you, of me, of this pen, of the thought hitting the page like a wave on a rock… is also a star.
And a part of me is a billion years old- but another one is much older.

My pen woke up all aggressive.
It wants to write. Injured wrist and all.
Hand write.


Something about constellations and words within a sentence and Virginia Woolf and a wave and… oh God… the synapse right there…
Ramon y Cajal would be delighted…. And so would be Freud…


I don’t care.
I don’t care, you see?
Today I don’t care.
Maybe tomorrow… my brain does its thing once more, but today, my God, today the wrist, the hand, the neuron firing… they’re all connected to something else- something not my own – yes also- but not exclusively.
Something shared…
There goes a whale in my imagination.
A toy.
A marching band.

This is crazy.
That’s what happens when it is in control.
I lose it.
I become an instrument of something.
For something.
I channel words, worlds, sentences, dots – that appear to be periods, commas, whales and marching bands.
A series of thoughts revolve above my head – not in it, no… outside of me.
I don’t choose them; they drop and continue moving, spiraling down all the way to the tip of the pen.
(yes, this was written in paper before

I am not a writer.
I am a victim.

I want to move freely.
Go to the toilet, have breakfast.
I can’t.
I am chained to a piece of paper.
This is ridiculous…


There goes the whale, there goes my childhood… astronaut missions in the living room, a play staged by my teddy bears (I directed), there goes something I don’t recognize…
Someone else’s childhood?

That thought is new…
Let me write it…

(Now it’s mine)


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Uno mas.

Y decidí no vivir más allí.
No quedarme pajarito en una jaula que me hacía picar las alas.
No por cobarde.
Pero sí por miedo.

Y no fue que no me diera cuenta, me daba.
Como dolores escurridizos que no saben a nada. Que no significan nada.
Que no tienen sentido.

Es ese algo que tienen las armas de fuego, los cuchillos, la tortilla tiesa, que dicen.
No es que no me diera cuenta.
Es que cuando se ve gente tirada en el suelo con un charquito de sangre  y uno ha dejado de sentir… ¿qué pasó con la humanidad que uno llevaba dentro?
Es que se ha vuelto cotidiano.
Es que se vuelve melancolía, una tristeza que es distinta a las demás.
Como no querer subirse al bus, ¿desde cuándo dan miedo los buses, los teléfonos, las obras de teatro?  El escondite estaba bien cuando éramos chicos. Ha pasado a lo ridículo, teatro del absurdo.

¿Y que es la violencia?
Es que nunca entendí qué estaba pasando.
Es que nunca entendí qué era, de qué se trataba, qué medio usaba para expresar qué cosa.
Yo sé, yo sé que te duele. Mira que la poesía que te sale de las manos. ¿Qué es? ¿De dónde viene?
Todavía me da enojo, no creas que me he divorciado de ese miedo. Ese se le queda a uno.
No sé si se nos dio para saber algo, como para darnos un secreto que no hemos descubierto.
¿Por qué nosotros?
¿Por qué ellos?
Es cuando uno se pregunta, ¿Pero qué jodidos estamos pagando, aprendiendo, recapitulando?

Es que ves, por eso no me quedo, porque no entiendo quién me quiere en una jaula.
Es que me daba rabia.
Miedo. Miedo sí, pero rabia. Rabia también. Me daba cólera de enojos.
“No me quites esto, porque es mío, no me mires así, porque soy mía, no me quites eso, eso no, por favor no me quites…” como si la vida fuera qué cosa.

Y los amigos, los amigos que se los quitaron a uno como que fueran qué cosa, ¿ves?

Por eso.
Por eso no me quedé.
No por hipócrita.
No por cobarde.
Por miedo. Sí.

Si te sirve de algo, tu poesía no habla, grita.

Grita Laura, grita.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


Come on, word…
Come out.
No, not like that- sit next to the right word that’ll escort you.
No. word.
Sit still.
I can’t tell stories without you.
Word. Word. Word. Word.

Eloquent- sometimes rhythmical.
Like the ‘tut-tut-tut’ of a telephone line.
How do I have you, word?

I have you…almost-
On the tip not of my tongue, but of my brain.
Frontal lobe- I can feel you… there hiding between the cortex and the intracranial tissue – moist.

Is it an ‘R’ you start with?

Sunday, 3 June 2012


Se les cambia vestido, zapatitos.
Se les inventan procesos judiciales.
Se les vuelve presidentas. Muñequitas.
Divorcios a la carrera, a la maratón, de San Fermín; todos disfrazados de conejos.
No hay nada. Aquí no hay nada.
Ya pasaron las tormentas.
Se agotaron las razones.
Que absurdo parece todo.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

On plastic waste.


No…. I think it’s fear.

I think all our problems derive from our fear of losing the 3rd dimension.
All the objects act as maps that demark and respect a linear world we created for ourselves in our fantasized protuberant reality.

Isn’t that the function of plastic?
You could think that trees and nature could take care of that, but are they really that material? Are they really there?
The leaves break at the slightest contact with a strong wind- the flowers, the rivers, all in constant motion, in constant apathy of our hands.
Nothing fits in a room, nothing stays put in a room, nothing to remind us that our existence is solid, permanent, real.

(Is it?)

Let’s stuff the oceans with plastic, should we not find a bottom.
Let’s surround ourselves with depictions of solidity.
Whatever you can find! Color! Throw in some color... and shape and texture, and why not some meaning to it too!
Anything that keeps us from expanding- we may explode and become galaxies…
God save us…

I think I am nailing the void.
All those stories, the books, art… the void.
Fear of the void.
Fear of conceptuality, of non dimensionality.
I think I am nailing it.
I think.
I see a lamp, and behind that lamp, a curtain, and behind that, a window, cars, buildings, walls. 
It all makes me feel safe.
It makes me feel I am still here.
The three-dimensionality makes me feel more here, less there… (in outer space).
It makes me feel... something…

(…or am I imagining the atoms?)