(A scene, dark and empty but for a small round table with four chairs. arethousa, genevieve, hadewych, and melinoë are seated around the table.)
: Alright, what’s the plan?
We first used the term ‘transduction’ in the zine “MOUSEION”.
: As an experiment in transduction, both towards ourselves and the audience, we will each describe one of the others in our own words, according to our own desires. We will randomly pick someone to transduce.
: We’d best make it accessible a bit. Explain “transduction".
: Well it’s just a joke, isn’t it? Means the same thing as “introduction", except it has “trans” in it.
: “Introduction” is ‘lead into’, while “transduction” is ‘lead across’, suggesting a larger physical or conceptual divide.
: This is not
what we came for. Get on with it.
: I propose we won’t do any two-way descriptions, to avoid provoking any argument. Or just, let’s not comment on each other’s descriptions today, period.
: OK, random choice of person to describe, no mirror matches, comments. Got it. I’ll start... (grabs a six-sided die.)
1 or 2 is Rethi, 3 or 4 is Veevs, 5 or 6 is Meli!
(hadewych rolls the die and covers the result with her cupped hands, grinning.)
hadewych (revealing the result)
: One! That’s you, Rethi. Here we go. (takes a breath.)
Arethousa is the sister that feels like a mother. Her first priority is keeping the family together, making sure we all rest enough, feel comfortable, eat well, and all that stuff. Oh yeah, and that we get along, as you’ve seen. It doesn’t always work out because the rest of us tend to absorb a lot of our body’s energy with our bullshit which doesn’t leave much for her, and we bicker a lot. But, speaking for all of us now, I think we all depend on Rethi a lot. She has hidden wisdom, even if she isn’t always forceful about it. She is when she needs to, I think. She also extends these good feelings and intentions towards other bodies as much as possible, sometimes even prioritising others above ourselves. Too much maybe? Um... recently we’ve been thinking about whether we have a dragon hidden somewhere in our realms, and I’m beginning to suspect it’s somewhere in Rethi’s grove and that she has a special relationship with it somehow. We’re still very much in the dark about this particular aspect, but I think it would be super cool if we had our own dragon. Maybe I could ride it into battle! I think that’s it for now.
arethousa (nodding, grabbing the die)
: Alright, I’ll go next. No mirror matches. One to three is Genevieve, four to six in Melinoë. (rolls the die; the result is again a 1.)
Alright. Genevieve was originally called “voidassembly_progenitrix_v∞”, a name that reflected in an early stage that she is in some way our parent, and the spirit most associated with our life before we were all fully formed. To the extent that we are. Genevieve is an analytical, driven, curious mind. She wants to understand not just the world outside, but out inner world as well, and loves to think about what the difference even is. She is not particularly attentive to the desires and needs of others, both those of ourselves and other bodies. She is extremely focused on following her own trains of thought and analysis, and this is where her strength is. The matrix formed by these thoughts is the soil in which we all can grow. Genevieve, particularly in our pre-fragmentated life, can be a very dominant spirit. If her powers are not balanced by other spirits, it is to the detriment of all of our bodily and mental health, and we have suffered the consequences of that. That said, in important moments she is extremely cooperative with the rest of us in trying to figure out a sustainable balance, and without her sharpness and creativity, we all would never have the forms we now have, and will have in the future.
: I shall go next, then. One to three is Hadewych, four to six, Melinoë. (rolls the die; the result is once again a 1.)
Fascinating. The odds of this happening are 1:216. Oh, I suppose I’ve just discovered the flaw in our system. If I would talk about Hadewych now, Melinoë would have to transduce herself, which is against the original plan.
: You’re not as clever as you’d like to believe.
: So, what now?
: It’s not even the worst idea if Veev describes you and I describe myself. You know I’ve got the self-criticism. But it does kinda defeat the original point.
: Agreed. It wouldn’t be an awful idea. But let’s stick to the original plan and just ignore the last die roll, as satisfying as the odds of rolling that were. Genevieve will have to transduce Melinoë, and then finally she will transduce Hadewych.
: Very well. Melinoë represents a lot of what we could call our darker desires. Things that we often feel we should be ashamed of in the general culture we live in, or at the very least, things we fear we would be judged for. Melinoë is bitter, jealous, arrogant, and dominant. She believes we deserve adoration, because we are very special, and when that adoration is not felt, she becomes frustrated. We used to repress her desires and disocciate ourselves from her, but this was not sustainable. We now acknowledge that these so-called negative feelings and desires are an integral part of a set of attitudes generally seen as positive: Melinoë is passionate, creative, and full of admiration for people who bring beauty and energy into the world. She is very critical, and has high standards, both for ourselves and for others. This can be difficult to work around; it puts a lot of pressure on everyone.
melinoë (cutting in)
: Right, well. Let’s finish this up then. Hadewych, or Hedda as we usually call her, is crude, impulsive, exasperating, and her jokes are much weaker than she thinks. And yet, without her energy and enthusiasm and mindless positivity we probably wouldn't get anything done, although she has a tendency of pushing us too far when she sets her mind on something. She is our first and last line of defence against depression and other spirits that seek to tear us down. Her sense of justice is strong. (sighing:)
I’m tired of this. Hedda is simple, OK? In a good way. Hadewijch of Brabant deserved a sainthood, of course.
No ecstatic visionary like Saint Hadewijch, nor quite a powerfully tragic hysteric like Hedda Gabler, although she has more in common with the latter namesake than the former. Our Hedda is the one you need when you just want to get the job done. Can we wrap up now?
: This has taken a lot out of everybody, but I think it was somewhat helpful, yes?
: Yes; another semi-successful attempt at dragging ourselves out of the proverbial darkness so that we may be seen. Imperfect. As the previous ones. But we tried.
(The scene goes completely dark.)