There & Back Again

Infinity Mirrors at the Infinite Kusama Exhibit, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.

Just like that, I’m back from vacation. For the purposes of this post being on my writing blog, I’m going to divide my trips into equal parts: the sight seeing and events, which were all well and good- easily summed up in museums, events and such. There was the other half of the trip that was woven through all those events, the adventure of “meeting an old friend for the first time” as Nathalie put it.

Meeting anyone for the first time is always a nerve wracking process, and the challenge with any new friend is the degree to which you can put them at ease in your presence, and how much you are yourself at ease in theirs. For my part, I’m glad I made the trip with someone who turned out to be the easiest person to find that groove of comfort with.

Again, I’m going to skip a lot of the travelogue here and simply state that present on my mind throughout the trip was what I was going to take away from it and bring back to my work (at the very least, a renewed vigor thanks to the break of course). I was blessed to have a an uncommon travel companion in Nathalie who was willing to listen to my mad rambling notes to myself on messaging, themes and ideas, and she was an invaluable encouragement and guide through some of my raw thoughts I took note of.

Most important to me, while I don’t think I have a new story just yet, I have found my line. I’ve found the core by which I approach understanding, appreciating and appraising all people. How does one confront existential emptiness/pursuit of personal fulfillment? Do they ignore it? Are they altogether ignorant of it? Unmotivated to consider it? Sacrificing it for some greater good? Is the “greater good” their fulfillment? Are they just too lazy for it?

These are broad questions, but its very subtly been the way I truly get to know people, and thus should be the canvas against which my characters and stories should intentionally be painted and understood.


I came to this realization the evening after attending the Infinite Kusama exhibit (credit again to Nathalie for putting this on our agenda). The exhibit’s placards pointed to the theme in all Kusama’s major work of confronting the infinite within ourselves and beyond ourselves. The Infinity mirror installations were all contained spaces meant to imaginatively instill a broad sense of the infinite despite being contained within a measurable space- akin to the infinite depth within the spirit or soul and beyond physical nature of existence and life transcendent.

My point in bringing that up is that it turned my mind to what my core theme is for my work. I can’t say this is what it’s always been, or what it will always be, but for now, to the very core of my being, it’s that questioning of our lives, actions and feelings against the concept of fulfillment versus emptiness. I’m back home in Los Angeles, my desk chair is waiting for me when I get home, we move forward.

(Thanks Nathalie).

Author: Y. Balloo

Amateur novelist / Work in progress.

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