The Abyss

Lae and I were chatting the other day how he got stuck in an uncharted area of DDO that he has still yet to tell me, and he sent me this:

Image courtesy of Laeris


“I stared into the abyss, and the abyss stared back.”

Something about that was SO beautiful and profound to me, and when he told me it was a quote by Nietzche, a German philosopher, I just had to look into it.

The true quote, taken from his work Beyond Good and Evil, goes as follows:

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

After doing some quick research on the meaning behind this… I have come to fall in love with this particular philosophy. The abyss doesn’t necessarily represent an endless chasm of good or evil – rather, it is representative of the reader’s truth.

Exploring the theme of monstrosity and humanity is a common one in many of literature, like Geek Love and Frankenstein. When presented with the moral dilemma of fighting for justice, who is to say that you yourself cannot be corrupted? That you become a monster in the process of it all? It’s something I’ve been watching as of lately, a lot of vigilante/war/action TV shows and movies I’ve been watching with War. Especially Dare Devil. The exploration of understanding where that personal line is for you is precisely what the abyss refers to; when you’ve reached a point to where you can see the end of the abyss, is when it “stares” back at you. It is a beautiful, powerful, and eerily evocative statement that tells you, “the only way to find out is to stare – deeply – into the abyss”. An “endless search for truth”, and when you find that the abyss stares back, that’s when you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

The question is, where is that personal limit for you?

A Womban

A womban is someone who gives birth to the future generations: a vessel of life, her womb stretches and contracts like a silk cocoon.

Her value determined by the House – cooking in it, cleaning it, caring for it, birthing it.

She is borne to scrutiny of other womben. Man may dictate and oppress, but nothing survives under the familiar eyes who watch her. She must hold hands with the same whimmen who pierce her palms with an embedded needle, clasping ever so tightly.

The womban, already assigned a worth from the moment she is born, until she rends her abdomen, is no longer useful.

When other womben complain of wombaches, when their House wriggles and prepares for the next guest, another womban is ransacked, stripped of her clothes, her belongings, left on the streets to rot, and many womben pass her by.

They scorn her, with those familiar eyes.

So she knocks on her House. She politely excuses herself for her disturbance. She hesitates knocking twice. But there is no fear when she tells it through the broken glass:

“We’ve been through a lot, but you can’t live here anymore. When I lose you, I’ll lose a part of myself. I’ll lose a part of my identity. I’ll lose the respect of other womben in this world. But if I lose the rest of myself, then my worth means nothing. Take it, and I will find my own.”

And so she leaves, her House barren, her worth the lowest of the low, but she does not look back.

What’s So Scary?

I was mulling over some notes in preparation over a final and one thing stuck out to me that I’ve been wanting to write a quick blurb about.

In the last lecture of my sci-fi film class, the professor asked a simple but profound question:

“What’s so scary about babies born with a birth defect, and being called ‘unbabies’?”

The term “unbabies” come from The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian/speculative fictional world where babies born with a birth defect aren’t actually considered babies, but unbabies, similar to some parallel of the undead. It is an interesting topic, especially in this political climate relevant to abortion debates.

But a familiar, usually shrill, voice in the back replied, this time in a deeper and more somber tone:

“A guy like me couldn’t be born.”

He said it quickly and without any refrains, so I think that actually emphasized the sad quality of such a statement. There was a certain finality and sadness to it. Usually, this student is very loud and outspoken, and often annoys the class and professor. But it hit me hearing this and my perspective was enlightened. I have had three special needs students in a couple of my classes and all of them equally annoying, including one other that I won’t really mention specifically where. But knowing this gave me a sense of sympathy, or maybe pity — and some hope.

It gives me a sort of strength, a reminder, to be kind and patient all the more. I never had to worry about my existence, unlike a lot of people in this world, including my own siblings. I can’t stop hearing these words echo in my head.


A guy like me

 

couldn’t be born.