The Pause

It was the most excruciatingly full minute I’ve ever known. The smoke undulated; the red-lit room slowed enough to be a tangible medium. It was a chamber of slow, electric guitar. It was a room of cigarettes, whisky, and people who search and are left wanting. But your eyes are what made my world thicken. As soon as your gaze latched to mine my breath was lost, taken by the flurry of my mind.

Graphic by Marie-Pier LaRose.

I realize now that I didn’t see you; caught in my gaze was every path you held for me. I saw me taking you to bed, the tips of your fingers touching my chin, the flashes of skin and desperation. I anticipated every breathless moment of discovering your intricacies and wondering at them. Your gaze, mine for that instant, was replicated in my mind a thousand times over in a thousand different lights. I knew with the surest conviction that the moment when you were about to smile would make something rise in me. You’d show me perfection, enough to make me itch, enough to make me hunger to hold you closer than your skin could allow.

Even before I knew the happiness you gave me, I felt the sting of losing it. It would be so good that I felt sick and I detested you for the empty space you would leave. I read, in your eyes, every joy I would be able to find in them. I clenched every muscle in my body just to keep them from slipping off my bones. It was deliciously melancholic, revelling in the idea of you. But I was already destroyed by our murdered ideals, fated to be left broken on the floor.

I shattered our locked gaze, breaking from your fiction to scan the room of other lost eyes. You’re magic my dear, or so I imagine, and I’m a coward that you’ll never know. Leave me with my eyes still searching, a hungry soul, but one that is saved from your wonder ripping it to pieces.

Lydia Anderson is a Communications student at Concordia University. Lydia grew up in Vancouver, BC and attended Capilano University before she transferred to Quebec. Her biggest passions include film, photography, jogging, literature, and travel. She hopes to work as a video marketer, creative content producer, or event coordinator in her career. You can find Lydia on Twitter @LydiaAndersonn or Instagram @lydiaanderson.


The American dream is alive in McFarland, USA

Actor Kevin Costner gives insight into the social complexities of Disney’s new film

McFarland, USA, a new Walt Disney film set to release on Feb. 20, is based on the true success of McFarland High School’s cross country team in 1987. The team was created by coach Jim White, played in the film by Kevin Costner, after he spotted potential in a group of students from Hispanic farmworker families. The narrative follows White’s character as he creates the team and proceeds to train the group to achieve athletic success. That may sound like one of the biggest clichés in Hollywood, but the social commentary presented in this film proves it to be one that’s worth risking cinematic redundancy for.

“I’m looking for kids that have a desire to do something better,” said the real Jim White when asked in a conference call what inspired him to start the cross country team. “These boys didn’t slack off and jog and walk like everybody else was doing, they actually loved to run— and so you try to look for things like this in young people.”

To Costner, this goes even further. “What it is, is a combination of young men and a man with a level of wisdom, a level of desire, to come together with one goal in mind, and through work they achieved that.” He also added his insight on another facet of the film: commentary on education: “Coaching is not always about the finish line, coaching is about the big picture which is how [the boys are] going to be as men.”

Costner stated that before this project was even conceptualized, he had read a story about McFarland in Sports Illustrated some years before. “I actually played against this community,” said Costner, who grew up in nearby Compton, California. “I played McFarland in baseball.”

Coach White spoke about his portrayal in the movie by stating that the character, “truly shows a love for the kids and a love for the town and the community. I think that you’re going to get that feeling when you see it and that’s a wonderful feeling.”

Costner went on to speak about his efforts to portray White accurately: “I think he’s quintessentially ‘what you see is what you get’ and I fought to try to make no more of that other than the passion that he had to have running deep inside him everyday when he went to coach these kids.”

White emphasized the film’s focus on the migrant field workers of McFarland saying, “the hardships that the kids have to go through working in the fields, that is so, so important to understand.”

“Seeing these people first-hand, up-close, in these fields … they’re simply working these incredible hours through very difficult weather conditions everyday of their lives,” said Costner. “The American Dream in McFarland is alive and well, there’s nothing more American than a parent trying to make their life better for their children.”

The film follows the classic sports drama narrative, but such Hollywood formulas can often hold both objective and subjective worth. Whether it’s in the variations, details, aesthetics, or thoughts provoked.

“Films are emotional experiences: they’re not intellectual, they’re emotional,” said Costner, “When movies are working at their very best, they become about moments that you’ll never ever forget and we carry the moments of films throughout our whole lives.”


Experiencing and shaping art together

New creative project showing how solo art can become collective

Have you ever felt like your understanding of art can sometimes be very different from other people’s? When examining and interpreting a piece of art, our reception tends to be influenced by our past experiences, personal inclinations and preconceived notions.

Fernando Pessoa’s book, The Book of Disquiet, is a compilation of unfinished works put together after his death in 1935. It is surrounded with a continuous discourse concerning how it should be compiled and arranged. The piece’s unfinished qualities leave an interpretive and creative door open. PME-ART, along with the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, have decided to use this to their artistic advantage with their new performative rewriting exhibit, Adventures can be found anywhere, même dans la mélancholie.

Fernando Pessoa’s book was assembled posthumously from various unfinished works. Photo by Lydia Anderson

To put it simply, the writers partnering with PME-ART are continuing the editing process. By rewording, cutting up, adding to, or shifting emotional connotations, these writers are adding pieces of themselves into Pessoa’s work. Gallery-goers are able to observe the process as it happens, interact with the writers and the text and observe the work that’s been produced thus far. Although acts of writing and reading are not usually practices paired with performance, this exhibit facilitates audience interaction and observation of an activity that can be said to be practiced, to an extent, by everyone.

A work creates a subjective experience for its reader because of what each reader emphasizes or brings to it. This concept is taken further by the performers implementing pieces of their own identities and subjectivities into the text. This project allows for a solitary activity to expand into a group experience. With no immediate, visual emphasis as the focus of the exhibit, the richness lies in the concept behind this activity. Its simplicity is what speaks to the audience, provoking thought about how we experience works of art all together.

According to Claudia Fancello, one of the performers at this exhibit, the presentation gives a rich experience to her as well. The silence of reading, the reading of passages aloud, and the sound of writing, are all elements which make her feel like she’s in conversation with her fellow performers, the page, and the text. As an author, Pessoa wrote behind a multitude of heteronyms; more than alibis, these were different voices with which the author could express himself. This fact, along with the unfinished nature of the compilation, allows the concept of authorship to be played with and expansion of the work to be creatively fruitful and tantalizing.

This performance looks at Pessoa’s work and sees something partly unfinished, but sees it as an asset with a potential to be celebrated. The goal is not so much to improve upon this work, but to perform it and to perform the concept of reading as an act of rewriting. It’s not to dishonour an artist’s piece, but to celebrate it by joining in the conversation and translating the text into our time and experiences. This activity provokes thought about how we experience art in what we bring to it and also about the potential of our art culture: how fading our individualistic practices holds the possibility of richer experiences and results.

The creative project is taking place at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery until Nov. 1. For more information on the Adventure can be found anywhere, même dans la mélancholie project, visit

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