Geometry of the abyss

Untitled (colour photograph) by Paul Politis

“I am the outskirts of some non-existent town, the long-winded prologue to an unwritten book. I’m nobody, nobody. I don’t know how to feel or think or love. I’m a character in a novel as yet unwritten, hovering in the air and undone before I’ve even existed, amongst the dreams of someone who never quite managed to breathe life into me.

I’m always thinking, always feeling, but my thoughts lack all reason, my emotions all feeling. I’m falling through a trapdoor, through infinite, infinite space, in a directionless, empty fall. My soul is a black maelstrom, a great madness spinning about a vacuum, the swirling of a vast ocean around a hole in the void, and in the waters, more like whirlwinds than waters, float images of all I ever saw or heard in the world: houses, faces, books, boxes, snatches of music and fragments of voices, all caught up in a sinister, bottomless whirlpool.

And I, I myself, am the center that exists only because the geometry of the abyss demands it; I am the nothing around which all this spins, I exist so that it can spin, I am a center that exists only because every circle has one. I, I myself, am the well in which the walls have fallen away to leave only viscous slime. I am the center of everything surrounded by the great nothing.”

— Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet