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A Stone in the Waters

A Stone in the Waters is a short story of a castaway who experiences the qualities of coexisting with nature and decides to spend the rest of his life alone rather than surrender nature to humanity.

Petro Lales
09/03/23

I have lived in this landscape for so long. Some people would call me a castaway like I did when the wildness of nature exiled me here to this land. But now this is my home. My company is my body, animals, trees, Nature. The insolence people of my old homeland had made me believe that away from them I would lose whatever I was calling myself; I remember how alone I was once feeling, standing curled up and isolated inside the improvised hut that I had made scared to the roar of the trees and the examining gait of the insects. Until the day I embed my hands in the earth, under the hit of the sun. Until I hugged with my whole body the mossy stone, down the river, in the dark. Until the insects, even those that have poison to hunt and defend were passing in front of me or appearing from behind me without causing me abhorrence or fear. I built a house over the ground in the branches of the tree, this giant full of knit branches tree next to the ocean. The cliffs on the north were blocking the northern freezing wind. The east was bringing the hit while the full of perfumes breeze was cooling me passing through the leaves and falling on my cheeks. I learned how to dilute the resin, to start a fire with the sun, to make wicks and threads with the white tuft of the daisies. I fished and hunted with prudence only the older ones, kissing and honoring my prey with tears, songs, and dances. I learned to respect each of their houses. I wrote and painted with the colors of the barks, the bugs, and the sea mollusks. I asked a companion from the stars. I couldn’t wait for an alien to come and visit me even if we were both be conquered by fear at the beginning. I missed the beauty and the erotic landscapes of a body beyond mine, the warmness, the care.


And all this for me to be now watching the boat of the return standing silently at the horizon close enough to discern me. I black in the white sand nestled until my knees in the water, bowed as I was washing my face. My eyes were sparkling nailed on this bright form. I was old; my tongue was touching my few teeth, my lips nonplussed by the spectacle were hanging funny. The only thing I wanted was for them to come here, to visit my home, not to take me with them. I was about to get up and by jumping around to scream as loud as I could. I was ready to run to the island’s top and set up a fire so that they can notice my existence, but I felt the nature behind me delightfully unbowed. I didn’t belong to humankind anymore. If I let them know that this island could be inhabited, I would bring a great disaster to everything I loved, in everything that was giving me life so generously. I immediately stopped in my position. Slowly, like a hunting lioness, I bent my knees and immersed my body into the cerulean waters, only my eyes were left barely outside the water. My head would look more like a stone from such a distance.


I sat there motionless, listening to the waves until that white sails death vanished. Afterward, I laid back and cried. My tears I thought, is the sea I am carrying inside me.


Read more about the artist here


Featured artist on Volume II of the magazine.



Cover Image:

Image courtesy of Petros Lales

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My art practice addresses social, political, and cultural topics. Often referencing an argument toward human notions, my work explores the varying relationships between contemporary cultures, their by-products, and mythologies. I engage in subjects such as data collection, AI, climate change, and technological innovation through physical-digital performances and language that manifest into multidisciplinary installations. My methodology includes an array of materials and practices determined by each project's nature. Although there may not always be material similarities between the different projects, they are linked by recurring formal concerns and subject matter.

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