The simulation hypothesis is not new. The idea that we are being held inside a complete, self-sustaining simulated biosphere, observed, and made to believe it is real has precedents in earlier times. Tweaking the basic idea here and there, we can trace it to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave: chained prisoners presented with mere shadows of the real world take them to be the real thing and refuse to believe otherwise. Plato sowed the seed of doubt in the world of experience. Can we ever go beyond the chains of our existence and into the light of the sun? And at what price? Is our existence woven with elements of both, sun and shadows, reason and fantasy, fact and fiction?
Millennia later, we are still wondering. But here, now, with the Church tower bell ringing the hours, sunlight throwing the olives on the table into relief, and grilled sardines scenting the air, the question whether this is the real world can wait.
the ebb and flow
KYSO Flash Issue 7: Spring 2017
I must be on a roll! Delighted to learn that my haibun “Time” received third honourable mention in the “Best of Haibun and Tanka Forms” 2015, for the KYSO Flash Anthology due out in December 2015.
Roberta Beary, award-winning poet and haibun editor of Modern Haiku, the judge of this contest, wrote:
Stella Pierides’ haibun shows how time, which is also the title, turned the narrator’s expectations of her life’s autumn upside-down. The haiku at the haibun’s end effectively juxtaposes the images and original word choice in lines 1 and 2, lulling the reader along until the surprise of line 3. At first glance the haiku does not seem relevant to the prose. A deeper reading shows that the haiku echoes and expands the feelings of surprise and mortality elicited by the prose, which is exactly what is supposed to happen in haibun.
You can find “Time” here
Whenever I thought of the ravages time would inflict on me, I thought of wrinkles. I imagined myself slightly plump, with a few strategically placed wrinkles and a very respectable grey sheen in my hair. I also considered liver spots, imagining myself smiling benevolently behind a seemingly sun-blessed veil of freckles. Now that I’ve reached a point when time weighs on me… let’s say, there have been surprises, indiscretions, indignities. Take the slight pearl that sometimes appears and glistens on the side of my mouth.
a blush spreads over the edge
of the precipice
In KYSO Flash, May 2015
In her long life she owned six cats, each living at least ten years. As a child, she was afraid of her first cat, a street-wise tabby. Then she loved chasing her around the house, transferring her fear to the cat. As a teen, she helped a boyfriend taunt the poor thing. She ignored, tripped over, kicked, or spoiled subsequent cats, depending on her phase of life and her mood. Now resting in her recliner, she caresses and speaks to her latest, and only, companion, an ageing, placid ginger, with a gentleness she hasn’t known before.
the lifelong practice of
learning to love
KYSO Flash 3, May 2015