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Isidora Durán Stewart

Writing

Isi’s background in philosophy draws her to the bigger questions that seem out of reach; she is particularly concerned with pursuits of meaning, the growing surreally of reality and alternatives to technocratic capitalism. She explores these ideas primarily through words, written, spoken and/or incorporated into greater audio pieces, as well as photography and performance.

»I want to push it as far as I can, take a step back and see what I’ve done, I want to get to the very edge of what is creatively possible. I want to be like Twigs or… or Björk; well, not exactly Björk, but something… something…«

His eyes glistened in the soft haze of the lamp, cutting through wisps of incense that were hanging in the air, dodging shadows, stretching and fading into themselves, shoved along by our quiet movements on the couch. Cutting through these twirling breaths and towards a dusty corner on the ceiling, his eyes, shimmering and iridescent, somehow gazed both outward and inward, lost in the moving mirage of imagination. It seemed as if he had momentarily stepped off this earth, consumed by the wonder of potentiality.

As I watched him silently, the soft heat of the fire thickened the air, and along with the incense, infused each breath with a headiness. I could tell he was somewhere else, and, trapped under his weight on the couch, became acutely aware of my sobriety. What was I doing? What plans did I have? I wanted so much to be whisked off beyond lucidity, to be touched by his excitement, to be wrapped up in a fantasy unfolding at my own will, defined only by the not yet rather than the no longer.

As I watched him silently, the soft heat of the fire thickened the air, and along with the incense, infused each breath with a headiness. I could tell he was somewhere else, and, trapped under his weight on the couch, became acutely aware of my sobriety. What was I doing? What plans did I have? I wanted so much to be whisked off beyond lucidity, to be touched by his excitement, to be wrapped up in a fantasy unfolding at my own will, defined only by the not yet rather than the no longer.

And still I watched him, enraptured by the allure of creation, meditating on the unknown world, despite it all. I watched him as I watched my drama classmates spend weeks writing a short film dangerously similar to The Hunger Games trilogy we were all obsessed with; as I watched a friend stand up to our history teacher who blindly claimed that the middle class was the true victim of the 2009 crash, as I watched that same person establish and lead the Amnesty society during our Leaving Cert, as I watched my mother make more friends than she has ever had, organising online bridge tournaments during lockdown, as I watched my best friend turn me down to watch Glee together, she had to practice guitar.

I watched him as I watched all of the people I met in college climbing out of that melting pot toward each of their horizons, coming together and drifting apart to create, propelled by an indistinguishable hope. It was the first time I was exposed to the divinity of ideas, the raw potential of pursuing a creation, adding to the existence of things as an existing thing. I watched as one of them sat across from me in the pub and with eyes twinkling, asked: »what is art?«

I watched him as I watched homemade masks, portraits and pressed flowers arrive in the post, as I drew for the first time in my life, as my mother swam in the sea in her new wetsuit, as I posted a book to a stranger, as kombucha carbonated, as pasta boiled, as the dog slept, as the sun rose and set, again and again and again, as ideas bred silence, as silence bred ideas, as I watched myself awake peacefully for the first time in a year, finally released from the grip of anxiety.

I watched him as I watched us all depart for our uchronias, grasping for Marcellus Wallace’s suitcase, Gatsby’s green light, striving to run faster, stretch out our arms farther, rising toward the next world like an escaped balloon.