Archive for August, 2008
This is a down-and-dirty version of Synchronized Chaos. The website’s clearly not fully designed nor as user-friendly as we would like yet but I’ve put up the artwork so our contributors might get the exposure they deserve and so everyone will have a chance to view the work and dialogue regarding the themes and ideas brought forth here. Many of our contributors have experience in other fields (scientific research, academia, business management, marketing, etc) and hope to inspire creativity and innovation in all fields of human experience.
Many contributors have included contact information and/or purchasing info for their work, and we encourage you to patronize our contributors. Also our artists and writers would love to hear from viewers – so if you have questions, constructive feedback, ideas for them, even a simple note of appreciation, please contact them using the email addresses provided. Many are seeking professional networking and/or collaboration opportunities through Synchronized Chaos. If you would like to reach someone who does not have listed contact info please leave a comment to the post and I will pass on your message.
Thanks for following this webzine and for joining with us all in the wild ride that is zine creation! We look forward to a more beautiful, professional site in the near future.
My name is Julia Burton. I’m 21. I started writing in middle school, when encouraged by a teacher who thought that I wrote well. I am from. I am also an artist, but am a student and still learning. I am looking for a publisher to publish my work, I am open to any ideas regarding the issue. When I write, I don’t have any pre-designed poem in mind, I usually just spit out the thoughts and emotions in my head. However there are the rare occasions where something I’ve designed in my mind makes its way to the page. I am inspired by humanity itself, and the swirling emotions surrounding us.
dancing in the sky, normal morning sun
giddy laughter of friends
as we moved through
Lights dull by day, horns and clowns
blazing the way
through this morning.
oh, this morning
I was rummaging, shopping for coffee mugs
when you were falling
descending a path
There is a call
my voice shaking as I answer
something begins to sink
so low inside of me
Stones to weigh down the time inside,
what is left
but a pile of fallen rocks
Placed upon the dingy earth
with nowhere left
I too, will fall
Small staggering streets
move beneath me, as we go to believe
the blurred masses, move around me
White walls glimmer bleach
the chaplain is waiting
to show me in
My mother is still as she
clasps your belongings
her face pale, we are all pale
we’ve called it.
The room expands,
To know the spark moves on
to feel empty
We huddle like broken sticks
gripping weakly the knowledge
and the moment
How we did not see
what time so plainly could
what you told us
I know only
the missing you
I can’t forget now
coffins and sodden earth
rackets of grief
places you used to be
You are all around me now
lend me strength
as you did
in the shadows
standing in the rain
Waiting for the sun
I prayed to reach the stakes, before midnight
The flight to the moon was full of gloom
The executioner said, I’d soon be dead
I’d kick the box by noon, he said, I would never forget
The road to death was full of screams, begging and pleas
I held on to the bars of rusting iron
I fought back all the scars of blazing pain
I sniffed all the tears of distant fears
I watched the stake, fire and wood
I watched the faces of the people
Hatred filled eyes, despising with fear and loathing
All they did was point a finger, scorn with a look
I took my last weeds of wisdom, shut my senses
No preferences, today was the day I’d slowly die
The fire burned so scarily high, Mary was there, her hair was rising up to hell
Sarah was hiding, her tears were washing all my pain
Elizabeth stood both strong and frail, she hoped her trial would just fail
I laughed my heart out at the stake, I was in a hurry to embrace it
Hands tied roughly behind my back, hair trimmed coarsely in a bun
faggots beneath my feet, soot and tar over my head
Eyes reaching the sky so high, ears deafened by church’s bells
I waited for the flames to flare, to burn my feet and burn my dare
But nothing came although the flames were piercing high
across the cloudy, foggy sky
they blew the fire and the wind, waiting for me to turn to dust
But I was higher than them all, saving my dignity and soul
I waited for the time to die, afraid to hurt my precious pride
The executioner’s vicious laugh was turned to gasps and doubtful glare
Maybe she isn’t guilty, someone shouted
But she must die, and die i should
Before I go and leave behind
nothing but ashes, dirt and slime
I had to say that I would pray, to see the day where they became
lesser than me and more than this
Their wings would succumb to distress
Their eyes would certainly behold
The death of an innocent lady, a woman with a heart of cold
A woman so pretty and bold, whose crime is turning dust to gold
They lit the fire and withdrew, that time, it hurt to watch it glow
My skin began to melt, my hair began to fume
But I would never beg, would sure not bend
The terror soon swept away, leaving a flower to decay
I wasn’t there when ashes sprang, from bodily hope and dreams and trance
I was above the cowards and whore
Flying across the distant stars, singing along the vale profound
smoke dancing with every single sound I made
I wasn’t dead, you pathetic twits
I was a symbol of resistance, a gale and holy princess
smoke that arose from me was twisted sending letters to the saints and children
Behold the witch in Salem lot
She was the bravest on the spot
to the long lost track
where you and I have been together
Always and forever
Go back to the lonely sand castle
to the twizzler and the whistle, the dreams we shared in bed
If only I could turn back time, I would go back
To the old oak tree, the spring and endless sea
to the deep dark woods, the goth tower roofs
The turmoil and the hoofs of a horse miles away
I wish I could retain, the kiss in the rain
The touch in the mist, the hug and the tricks we played on time
If only I could turn back time, wipe away the dirt, the mud
The fog and the dust, that came along as years passed by
If only I could break the unforgiving stake where we abandoned us
where our dreams and fears, our rain and tears were burned away
our hugs were pulled apart, our arms detached, souls distracted
love brutally crushed, under feet of people running in a stampede
The things we shared are lost, the frost destroyed the love we shared
I wish I could relive those days when we would walk for miles along the coast
when we would make a toast for ourselves
when we would cry if our eyes failed to see each others
where sand slipped through our feet, our skin tanned by the heat
that came from the evening sun
If only I could go back to being small and naive, covered in sheets
Knowing the world was only white and black; no shades of gray
I wish I may, turn my back on today
Relive the day when we were one and stayed together
Forever I will keep you in my heart…
Whisper my name
Take my hands, teach me how to fly; otherwise
I’d sell my soul to the devil, I’d offer my body to the cannibals; I’d sacrifice…
I’d teach you, to listen to the sound of the waves, to watch the birds swaying in the dark blue sky; otherwise
You’d teach me how to live, how to change the truth & the lies…
It’s cold, chilling to the bone, on this lonely afternoon…
So teach me how to break free from the burden of the deep blue eyes & silver skies, in your gaze
Otherwise, I’d teach you how to march with petals, for you I’ll memorize,
my faults, my dreams & cries…
Save me, I can’t tell the wrong from the right, the day from the night
I can’t find the answers, I can’t compromise; otherwise
I’d burn the weeds of wisdom, I’d carry the world on my shoulders, I’d walk alone, head up & die…
So Close your eyes…
Whisper my name
Take my hand, I’ll teach you where to land
When to fly…
No one has ever dared to try and glide with me.
My engine never weakens moving so fast and wild,
A firm belief in me, that I was not a child.
Too bold to take all risks, I always shed my tears,
Roughed up by beasts and ghouls this made me kill my fears.
I dreamt of a vacant world a place for heavenly cries,
No borders to prevent my reach for the Seven Skies.
Crashes of waves do thrill me; thunder knew me by name,
Without hunters that trail me, world stays so dull and lame.
I love my rare adventures, the territories I gained,
Never joining the crowd nothing left me restrained.
Missing a lover makes me enjoy the lingering pain,
I yell and call for someone; my cries are still in vain.
Shall I bear this flight one eighty towards hell,
The brakes are missing or am I blind; I dare if you can tell.
Whom shall I ask for help, who will receive my letter?
I cannot leave the sky coz Earth is nothing better.
Needn’t I keep in me this charming rebel free?
To know I’ll always lead the stormy cruel sea…
I can be; no body else but me…
From an e-mail conversation with Emily:
…My chemical engineering background has certainly affected my work. For instance, chemistry and mesothermodynamics classes showed me that despite how still and stable objects appear to the naked eye, they move constantly at a molecular level, guided by invisible fluctuations in energy. Impressed by this, I decided to make my paintings about movement. I paint what I know, what I have learned. Aside from school, my family members are mostly chemists and engineers and household discussions familiarize me with the latest news in the science world.
…Genesis at Epsilon and
…I can talk about my painting process. It involves little planning. I will read or see something and immediately race to make the first mark. After that, I use rules of composition to balance the product. I imagine that my painting is a reaction about to occur. I mix colorful solutions, and watch the substances try to diffuse into a harmonious relationship. The canvas is my system. The rules of composition have a similar result to laws in a physical system. When one side of the canvas becomes too densely populated, marks rush over to the other side.
Please view two of Emily’s series of paintings, “Origin” and “Nature” here:
Press releases and news of upcoming shows also available on the site.
You may contact Emily at email@example.com and she recommends “Nature Loves to Hide” by Shimon Malin, a sidestory incorporated into a book on quantum physics.
Random gentleman I met at a MUNI stop in San Francisco who let me know he was a poet seeking publication when I asked for directions. He goes by Catvonhaufecooper and can be reached at 415-331-1461. Said he’d found that when he stopped pushing things and simply looked around him for opportunities, that the very things he sought from the world arrived.
Legends and maps
With currents Venetian waltzing
With salt and sand churning
With gravity pulling
Arriving departing reliably
Upon light lunar clear
Laguna Veneta bocche di po
Waltzing churning pulling
Legends and maps
Mountains and canyons
With currents Venetian rumbling
With sun and shade meshing
With balance holding
Vanishing slowly silently
Upon darkness still
Castello Franco Veneto, Vittorio Veneto
Rumbling meshing holding
Mountains and canyons
Treasures and trenches
With currents Venetian forming
With silver and gold sinking
With ocean owning
Closing concealing mute
Upon mortality slumber
Mare Adriatico Golfo de Veneza
Forming sinking owning
Treasures and trenches
Gondolas and canals
With currents Venetian roaming
With eclipse and tide yearning
As one sharing
Veiling unveiling softly
Upon sphere somber
Roaming yearning sharing
Gondolas and canals
Take Them Give Them
Dogs are one of the family
Everybody needs a mutt
Romantacy pit bull lives the life
Take them to the movies
Stroll them in the park
Take them to the parlor
Listen when they bark
Give them some advantage
A little behind the neck
Give them a name and a collar
Spoil them, what the heck
The grass I walk Paki
It’s called dog park
Dogs real eyes realize
Take them to the country
Let them roll in mud
Take them to a concert
Hope it’s not a dud
Give them a biscuit
Learn them how to sit
Give them a doghouse
Watch them sleep in it
Ever take a dog to the ocean
Salty water with sand
See flip dog paddle
Take them with you hunting
Let them off their leash
Take them to weekday funerals
May he rest in peace
Give them to your neighbor
You’ll be Mediterranean bound
Give them a pat on the head
Say you are a good old hound
Prota Punka is my sheepdog
Her favorite number is 3,283
Thank you Miracle Grow
Take them to the ball yard
Possibly one at bat
Take them to view fireworks
Ooooh, look at that
Give them a thorough brushing
Seven times a day
Give them plenty of water
Music they will play
Dogs are boys and girls
Male Karass, female Duquesa
Excuse me hardly nearly
Take them to the Laundromat
Observe tumble dry
Run them to the library
Novel about private eye
Give them a muzzle
Keep them out of jail
Give them a bone to bury
Archaeologists will unveil
Pipette is a silver poodle
Wears two top-know bows
Ready to go now
Take them to Hawaii
Six months quarantine
Take them when you’re camping
In case the bears are mean
Give them a birthday bash
Blow candles out on cake
Give them undivided attention
For canine sake
One rage approaching
Fury of possessions fighting
Preceding the gods
Creatures in motion living
White water wave
Wave white water
Water wave white
A surfboard I am
Skegs atop lost
Down upside floating
Debris splinters surround
Loft visionary undimming
Gesture wanes calm serene
Preceding the gods
Waters body great
Creatures in living motion
Wave white water
Water wave white
White water wave
A surfboard I am
Ruins fragments buoyant
Salvation away shrunken
By ocean current swept
Horizon unworthy descending
Image obscurity belongs
The Reign of a Poet
One time ago
Desired to venture
The mountains high
To remain elevated
In the fourth season
Axis revolutions eighty
During his distance covered
Of the empire
All possible became
Homes of currency
Of public purchase
Moons eighty elapsed
High the mountains
State satellite downward
To the empire return
The emperor recurred
His return unawares
The emperor inquired
In my peremptoriness
Who is showing the way?
Language of imagination
She uses in converse
The principal is a poet
A short time ago
Act of falling
From her body
Her head severed
With a saber
Hello. I’m S. Korhonen, known as Anáryawe, far too young to be taken seriously, and from Finland.
Currently I do images, working with non-digital equipment. For me making art is more about the process than the result – for me it’s leaping into the general mishmash of everything a.ka. into the chaos, and trying to discover and figure out some pieces I see&feel&sense there and bring them some form. It makes me feel worth something and I have nothing better to do. Mostly I combine drawing and painting and collage forms of art and put these works on the Internet, but I also photograph and write and mime and make music, cause for me irrational life is art and irrational art is life.
Spontaneously organized chaos could very easily be used as an explanation of my whole attitude towards life.
Siiri’s Deviant Art gallery: http://anaryawe.deviantart.com/gallery/
Art below – “Cold Irons Bound,” “For Nothing” and “Untitled.”
First of a regular series, this interview spotlights a group or individual which people with Synchronized Chaos find interesting for some reason. People bringing about positive change in their communities, people innovating something new in some field of human experience, people with a compelling story. This month we focus on the Virunga Artisans, an international business cooperative marketing the craftsmanship of skilled weavers and carvers in central Africa’s Virunga montane forest region. This interview explores the opportunities and complexities of adapting products and business models for a world market and provides readers a glimpse of the cross-cultural learning process. Also, we intend to provide a wider audience for works of art which also serve as practical household objects. Many works of art challenge boundaries and dichotomies and blend purposes and styles – and these baskets and carvings bridge the gap between the pragmatic and the ‘artistic’ and show that even practical human activities can be seen as ‘art’ when approached with a high level of skill, craftsmanship, and innovation.
Virunga’s history and products are available here: http://www.virungaart.com
Entrepreneurs Richard Cunningham and Katie Doyle regularly traveled through central Africa’s mountain highlands, but nothing prepared them for encountering one of the last remaining mountain gorillas.
“The experience of sitting just a few feet away from a 500-pound silverback and his family, and making that connection with our closest relatives, was truly a life changing experience,” describes Doyle.
According to the International Gorilla Conservation Program, the mountainous forested park encompassing parts of Uganda, D.R. Congo, and Rwanda provides a home for the world’s roughly 700 still-existing mountain gorillas.
On the park’s border lie several country villages with skilled weavers, carvers, and coffee and tea farmers. Within the past few years, Cunningham and Doyle helped to create an international business venture, the Virunga Artisans (named for the Virunga/Bwindi highland areas.)
The Virunga venture provides extra capital and international marketing for the baskets and other useful household products produced by the region’s people, offers profitable alternatives to developing land within the gorilla reserve, and allows a percentage of profits to fund continued gorilla preservation. <!–more–>
Virunga Arts products have spread around the United States mostly through word of mouth and personal connections, and are now featured in galleries and specialty stores far from the project’s U.S. headquarters in Orinda, California.
I discovered Virunga’s product line in a Pleasanton art gallery this past spring, and became intrigued by the story of how the project got started – through the grassroots efforts and creative thinking of individual people from various parts of the world.
I believe the Virunga project represents a workable, rational, profitable and sustainable business model, and that their baskets, carvings, and other projects could benefit from being marketed as quality ordinary household products as well as works of art. Items people would consider buying when they need a jewelry basket or table centerpiece, tea, coffee, or something to decorate a living room – and found in regular department stores and not restricted to the upscale boutique market.
Through email and through an introduction by the gallery owner, I’ve conducted an interview with Katie Doyle, one of Virunga’s founders. She shared some unique, interesting, and generally positive stories about the business’ startup phase and overall success.
What was the process of setting up Virunga like? Were the local people receptive to the idea of producing their baskets for a world market? Has it been difficult to expand the scope of the business?
Sorry for the delay…good news is we are very busy!
The process of setting up VA was positive. The people, especially the women, were very excited about making money. Some of the women in Uganda had never held money before. The carvers were a little more apprehensive, as folks had come and made promises but never delivered.
Do you have any interesting anecdotes about the people involved in the project, about your experiences becoming familiar with East African culture, about the story of Virunga? What has it been like working with people on the other side of the world? Was it easy/difficult/interesting to bridge the cultures?
It has been very challenging working with people on the other side of the world. We had no idea what we were getting into, as there is no culture of commerce at all in this region. They have so little, that explaining the need for consistent sizes, quality, or colors didn’t seem to mean anything to them at first.
Cultural differences. One of our key goals is to for the artisans to be able to make a decent living while maintaining the integrity of local economic and social values. We want to respect and encourage the local culture, just help them have better lives. But it is challenging, as our worlds are so far apart.
[Once they made a whole set of orange baskets] when we had ordered many other colors (none orange) and when we asked why they said it was because they had orange dye. And they couldn’t understand what the problem was…we still got our baskets [and they’d be useful regardless of color!]
It is like peeling an onion, the more you know…the more you don’t know. Why don’t the women come to the hut to make baskets and why don’t girls go to school every day? Answer: they have no underpants or sanitary products! So then we had panties made for all the women and girls so they could make baskets and go to school. Why didn’t they fill an order that we sent? Answer: they have to harvest the crops that month, and with no electricity they couldn’t work at night. Yet they won’t tell you that in advance.
Also, [it’s been challenging] trying to explain about our web site and the internet. We’re used to the idea that people see a photo and expect to receive something which looks close to that, but the concept at first seemed to go right over the artisans’ heads. There is now one computer in Nkuringo but it has no internet access, so they still don’t really know what we are talking about…except now they trust us as we have been true to our word about providing long term buyers.
What has been the most personally interesting, or gratifying aspect of working with Virunga? What would you say has been your greatest success, and your greatest challenge so far?
[We all have] great positive stories also about how Virunga Artisans has changed the local people’s lives. One woman bought a cow, many bought chickens and started egg businesses, one bought an ax and saw (her husband might watch out!), many bought pencils and uniforms for their girls to go to school for the first time….all so rewarding for us.
The women have gone from looking at their feet when we first met them with no hope, to dancing and singing for us in a very formal ceremony each time…now optimistic about the future.
The most gratifying has been seeing the change. Women are now very positive…and the carvers are changing from surly teenagers to highly productive young men, several with cell phones.
How is Virunga able to be competitive in the slowing Western economy? What special features do your products have that continue to attract customers? How do you generate interest/help get the word out about the project?
There’s been a very positive response to our story here in the US. Great woman-to-woman connection between the artisans and the largely female consumers.
And people such as Manda Heron, owner of the Bodytime chain, totally embracing our project, carrying all of our products even though her store sells primarily soaps and lotions. And she has sold them all! She put up a 36”poster of the Kinigi weavers in her windows and this was the most successful promotion they had ever had. So her loving what we were doing…and being willing to support our products…ended up being a real positive for her too.
And the wonderful people I have met, like Manda, and folks involved in the Fair Trade Federation all seem to be really nice with their hearts in the right place…very different from my corporate experience.
[Both Katie Doyle and her husband Richard Cunningham have MBAs and experience with the Western corporate world.]
We generate interest through personal connections primarily. A friend of a friend who has a store, connections at the African Wildlife Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund (used to be on their national council), Fair Trade Federation, and the Global Philanthropy Forum (they used our large baskets as centerpieces this year.
There has been a bit of a slowdown for us due to the economy and our prices are increasing due to fuel. But if folks are going to spend money they seem to support the Virunga Artisans because we have the highest quality at a good price…and we “do good” …makes them feel like mini philanthropists.
[Note: To give Synchronized Chaos readers an idea, the baskets are available online for cheaper prices (around $20/$30 each) than I have seen in the galleries.]
Are the local people interested in gorilla preservation? What is their attitude towards wildlife and nature? Do they visit the gorilla refuge and park?
Most of our artists have not seen the gorillas, except if they have come out of the park to raid their crops in Uganda. That doesn’t happen too much in Rwanda. The weavers don’t really want to go, but we are paying to have the carvers visit them a few at a time. They are very interested in gorilla conservation, especially when they see that they can make money from tourists.
I am aware of the 17% increase in local gorilla populations recently – please share more about what’s happening ecologically and the successes with wildlife.
You can find out a lot more about mountain gorilla conservation at AWF.org under species “gorillas.” With such a dense population it is challenging work to protect the gorillas. We are finding that the greatest threat is human interaction and disease transmission (more info at the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project’s website, MGVP.org). The tourists who have brought in the revenues to keep them alive are now themselves the greatest threat.
MGVP is developing a ‘one health concept’ to include care and attention for people and animals and gorillas…very innovative. Of course it is totally different in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as people and animals are threatened mainly by charcoal warlords showing their power and the soldiers getting way too close to the gorillas.
[Editor’s note: According to the MGVP website, mountain gorillas are the only great ape species whose numbers are actually growing. Although still seriously endangered, their numbers have grown from around 248 to around 360 just in Rwanda alone.]
Thanks for your time, and for the detailed answers and information you provided about the Virunga Artisans project! Glad to hear of a grassroots business model for developing a region’s resources for the benefit of humans as well as local wildlife that has proved profitable and successful.
Michelle Meijs combines traditional and digital media. She creates the initial drawings with pencil on paper and the circulism shading technique, then the image is scanned and replicated with a graphics pen & tablet. She has no formal art training, so is self-taught and learns through trial & error. At the moment, she’s exploring other media such as watercolors and gauche, and will take her drawings to a new stage in the future. A few of her works have been featured in a graphics novel, and on a music CD album cover.
Michelle was born in Jamaica, but has resided in Curacao since 1990. She had her first art exhibition here in Curacao last November, and is now preparing new works for an “Island Theme” show.
You may find Michelle’s art and contact/purchase information here: http://www.thenightvisions.net
– Inez Romanescu
your coat of sugar is long gone
that trail of poison is so evident, don’t make me tell you another time
i can’t have succubus
i can’t have judah
i can’t have cling-on
i can’t have slime
gnash your teeth all you like you are
not going to infiltrate my life
go wrap those claws around another specimen
we are done here
and here is another little short sample:
i am falling like an empire
i am starting to enjoy that sensation of falling. leaves
these things are good
and they fall
i will ride a sun beam
all the way the bottom
and here is a little piece that i wrote about gender:
i want to wear lipstick
and blush and eye liner
and thick gobs of mascara
really caked on
then wipe it all off and
fuck your beauty standards i am
fabulous with out face paint
i want to wear baby doll dresses
under trenchcoats with
a top hat
and 3 days stubble
commando of course
i like my hair short so
when i go out in my tight tight jeans and
pretty scarves and ambiguous shoes
people see me from
behind they don’t really
know what to expect they
could think im a dyke
or a girly man
or something else
or or or.
i like it this way
i like it this way
hard to define
someone on the bus
said what is he
what are you
– D.B. Smith, free verse poet
i sense your presence but why don’t you see me?
i feel like crying, yet my eyes are dry.
You always said no one was there,
But i was,
acting as a shadow,
walking behind you..
your face always has me stoned,
and i was always, as usual, lost for words.
But i believe a photo could show a story of who we were,
but do you still remember me? (i hoped)
i sense your presence everywhere.
I tried to dream of you, really hard.
But sometimes they say,
people try to hard,
yet get nowhere
I wished, there was a bridge between you and me.
That i don’t have to be dead to cross over.
Surrounded by people but truly so alone
People going and coming,
Losing myself bit by bit,
in this world full of ugliness
Its no wonder why people nod and agree.
why dying could be a bliss.
BUT THEY SAY.
Time can heal a broken heart,
time can nurse a wound as well.
but why couldn’t time allow me to forget you?
& time should also,
let me be at rest,
and let this pain,
slowly walk away.
Dreams were dreamt
yet they were dashed,
since everyone knew no one was perfect,
Fiona Soh – writer from Singapore, her work is available here: http://community.livejournal.com/poetssociety/3373882.html
Odysseus, come lash me to the mast
That burns priapic on the deck – make taut
The ropes; secure me ’til the danger’s past.
I have no safeword; every word is fraught.
Faintly begin the raptor maiden moans -
Now keep the rudder straight, and rowers pull!
Lest sunken wrecks and coral-coated bones
Scuttle my ragged clause and hole your hull.
The deafened seamen toil fore and aft
Past monstrous hybrids singing, each to us -
It’s too late to reverse this fragile craft,
So lash me to your mast, Odysseus!
I need the Sirens’ music in my ears
More than I need to be the one who steers.
Dorothy Hickson is a writer and yoga junkie living in Columbia Heights, D.C. She has a day-job proofreading radio transcripts and scribbles madly on the subway. You can go to www.dorothyhickson.com/tumult.html for a few more scraps of her writing. She is currently seeking a publisher for her first novel.
Fran Laniado is a graduate of Bard College. She’s had several day jobs, but writing is her passion. Her work has appeared in publications including Verse Noir, Pure Talent Online, OperaOnline.us, and New Works Review. She is honored to be a part of Synchronized Chaos.
The Smell of Onions
Fran Laniado is a graduate of Bard College. She’s had several day jobs, but writing is her passion. Her work has appeared in publications including Verse Noir, Pure Talent Online, OperaOnline.us, and New Works Review. She is honored to be a part of Sychronized Chaos.
Lucia hated onions. She hadn’t always. She could faintly remember a time in her childhood, when the smell of her mother cooking onions was a comforting, pleasant sensation. But it had been warm then. The onions were not cold but spiced with the secrets of her mother’s recipe. That had been when she was a child. When she still saw them as food- as a mere vegetable and not the bane of her existence.
Her hatred had developed over the course of the past eighteen months, working with them; unloading them from the picker’s crates and loading them into the boxes in which they would be shipped to the markets. Working twelve to fourteen hours a day, her eyes had finally stopped tearing up, but the smell had seeped into all of her clothing. It had invaded her pores. No matter how much she scrubbed in the tiny cold shower that her employer provided her and Pedro with, she couldn’t rid herself of the subtlest remnants of its reek.
We’ve received a great variety of submissions so far and have nearly 12-15 artists’ work to include in the August issue. Thanks to everyone who has submitted or contributed in any other way – and we accept submissions at any time to my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org for this or upcoming issues.
Many of our artists sell prints of their work online, or are in the process of finding publishers and agents for longer written works. We will provide links and information regarding this once the webzine goes up, and we strongly encourage you to contact our artists regarding purchasing their work.
We also own the www.synchchaos.org domain and will redirect people here soon.
In terms of putting our title into action, discovering a theme from all of the ‘random’ works submitted…that of course is up to readers and contributors also, but what I’ve noticed is a trend towards creative uses of various materials and sources from which to draw inspiration. Emily Chimiak’s scientific background informs her evocative paintings, reflecting the internal thermal molecular movement of objects around us. Fran Laniado’s short story is inspired by the hardships and disorientation, yet strong sense of family love and loyalty of Mexican migrant workers – and the plot concept hit her during an academic lecture she attended. Siiri Kohonen’s combined digital images reflect shapes, colors, and images from daily life which he finds interesting or surprising and picks out to modify and explore. Artists are innovating new sources for creative inspiration, and new ways to draw upon familiar ones.
This concept is refreshing now with the media and our daily experiences with the economic downturn sending us constant messages of fear regarding terrorism, environmental crises, wars, shortages, financial crises, etc where we are tempted to give up, to shrink our creativity and focus just on protecting ourselves.
However, the international artists in August’s Synchronized Chaos issue have shown, through a wide variety of projects, that the everyday moments, natural and human-made phenomena, tragedies, and challenges facing our world can be transformed through art and curiosity into positive opportunities for growth and invention. The Virunga Artisans, a group of basket weavers and carvers in east/central Africa profiled in this issue, represent a path towards wildlife conservation that also encourages dignified creative work for the area’s locals. They offer a creative alternative to the binary thinking which so often gets people stuck: animals OR people, progress OR traditional culture, etc and illustrate an innovative, rather than paralyzing, response to the fears of mountain gorilla extinction or of facing dire poverty in the region.
Perhaps inspiring people to choose creative growth rather than self-shrinkage in the face of personal, societal, and ecological fears and challenges is one of the crucial functions of art. Perhaps it is our writers, our painters, our playwrights, our graphic designers, our scientists and dreamers and inventors who can encourage us to transform our fear into an impetus for useful adaptation to a new era. And perhaps it is they who can lead the way in inspiring a more compassionate, inclusive future by promoting the creative ability to imagine another’s perspective, to put ourselves in another living creature’s place.
I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has already contributed to August’s feast of creative abundance, and encourage people to continue submitting for future issues and to pull themselves up a chair and enjoy the banquet!
– Cristina Deptula, Creative Facilitator