Wandering Rocks: My Life as an Archipelago

I am an archipelago – a spray of islands, wandering rocks in a swirling sea. I am a sailor sailing from isle to I’ll, picking up new eyes at every port so I can fall in love with the shimmering wavering skykissed sea all over again. Surfing on sirensongs, I lose myself as life finds me. It’s time for another voyage – can you feel it? A new island is rising from the restless foam.

Many of the early philosophers were itinerant.
The first Greek philosophers came from Miletus (now in Turkey), at the mouth of the Meander.

Everything is made of water.
–Thales, Miletus, 625-545 B.C.E.

My eyes are made of water. My mouth too, and the words dripping off my melting tongue – globed droplets of my dissolving self.

Humans originally resembled another type of animal, namely fish.
–Anaximander, Miletus, 610-540 B.C.E.

My mother is a fish. I was born to swim upstream, but the river has been wearing away my doggedness with its sweet-tongued murmurs – relax into the current.

The soul is immortal. It changes into other kinds of animals.
–Pythagoras, Samos-Croton-Metapontum, 570-510 B.C.E.

For a long time I used to be protozoa. I would go to bed an amoeba and wake up a vorticella. After lunch I turned into a radiolarian. At night I continued to mutate in my dreams.

Men die because they cannot attach the beginning to the end.
–Alcmaeon, Croton, fifth century B.C.E.

I have neither a beginning nor an end to attach to each other. All middle, I’m in perpetual suspense, always about to –

The thunderbolt steers all things.
–Heraclitus, Ephesus, flourished 500 B.C.E.

The lightning flash illumines other ways, the thunderbolt forks the unforked path, my tongue

splits again at every crossroads, doubling my voice once more, multiplying my already rampant paradoxes.

it is indifferent to me
whence I begin, for there again shall I return.
–Parmenides, Elea, 515 B.C.E.-

It is indifferent to me whence I begin, because I know nothing will be the same when I return. Begin!

What is moving is moving neither in the place in which it is nor in the place in which it is not.
–Zeno, Elea, 490 B.C.E.-

A flickering haunting the elusive spaces in-between, I’m impossible to place, but I’m not lost. (I’m not trying to find myself.)

It is fine to speak twice of what one should.
–Empedocles, Acragas (Sicily), 495-435 B.C.E.

I never know what to say, so I either say nothing or repeat some strange saying I’ve stumbled into till it feels like home. Then I repeat it some more till it feels strange again.

Do not speak in the dark.
–Fifth-century Pythagoreans

Listen. Darkness speaks.

The world is one. It began to come into being from the middle . . .
–Philolaus, Croton, 470 B.C.E.-

They say every story has a beginning, middle, and end. I might be a story, but my life definitely isn’t.

We in reality know nothing firmly but only as it changes in accordance with the condition of the body and of the things which enter it and of the things which resist it.
–Democritus, Abdera-Egypt-Persia-the Red Sea, 470 B.C.E.-

A porous interface between rival enigmas, my skin too is an unfathomable mystery.

And mind controlled the whole revolution, so that it revolved in the first place. And first it began to revolve in a small area, and it is revolving more widely, and it will revolve yet more widely.
–Anaxagoras, Clazomenae, 500-428 B.C.E.

Centrifugal autobiography:
I was born spinning. I turned around you and I turned around me and I turned into this and I turned into that. Awake or asleep, I’m always spinning both stories I can’t tell and unstories I’m always telling, and someday I’ll spiral into silence – a quiet that’s still turning.

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