alternate realities

In the middle of the night when I’m not sleeping, I imagine other realities that might have been if I’d expressed my attraction to this person or that one, or run off to live in the woods or on an organic farm, or if I’d never been told that I couldn’t sing or that my legs were too short and my thighs too wide. What if I’d gone to art school instead of travelling the country, or taken my clothes off that night by the river, or said “yes, but…” instead of just “yes”? What if I’d business-partnered with my boss, closed doors as I walked out of rooms rather than letting the people I was walking away from follow me? What if I had done everything differently? Turned it all upside down? The number of possible worlds I could be living in is overwhelming. And in some ways, under the cover of darkness, and with the delirium that comes with too much raw energy and not enough sleep, each of them seems not only plausible, but real. I can feel the baby at my breast, I can see the bass-string-sized blisters on my plucking hand, I can hear the seductive laugh of the roommate I was too afraid to kiss, I can taste the fresh sweetness of the mangoes and avocados that grow in my backyard. And after a time of revelling in the realness of what might have been, I slip out from under the blankets and begin work on what might still be!

— heidi kalyani, 2017 
from the *nothing is black and white* project: illustration created out of meditation with a single unbroken line