Saturday, July 19, 2008

From space.

In the past on this blog the subject has been a few times a book written by the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.

The book is called “Solaris”.
Two films have been made based on this publication.
One by Russian Andrej Tarkowski in 1972 and one by Steven Soderbergh in 2002.

We are not going to explain what the book “Solaris” is all about.
This time we use it to explain something about the lagoon currently facing the Fuso Szulc.

In Stanislaw Lem’s story we learn that a team of explorers and scientists are in a spaceship far away somewhere in the universe circling around a planet called “Solaris”.
They are studying if they could colonize this planet and mine minerals for export to Earth.
However, the team of explorers and scientists start to notice that the planet “Solaris” has a special effect and influence on them.
They all experience a confrontation with themselves.
And this in a most unique and peculiar way.
Persons that have been important in their lives in the past, suddenly appear again in the spaceship alive and well.
Even if that person from the past has died long ago.

This is a very intriguing concept.
That a planet can have an influence in such a way.

Stanislaw Lem’s story comes to mind because of staying next to this lagoon.
In a way the lagoon and the situation of being next to it in the Fuso Szulc is comparable to “Solaris”.

The spaceship isolates the crew from society.
They are far away from the social context they are usually living in.
Communication is limited and artificial: by videophone.
The crewmembers are deprived and become vulnerable or open for unusual experiences.

The same situation exists here.
The current location of the Fuso Szulc is far away and hard to reach.
In 16 days only once people came by.
Communication is by Internet: e-mails, MSN and SKYPE.
Limited and artificial.

The crew of the spaceship were facing the planet “Solaris”.
They were completely involved in this engagement.
This happened because there were no other things around to pay attention to.
It was they and the planet and nothing else.

The Fuso Szulc is facing with all its large windows the lagoon and the view is only that.
The ocean is behind the dunes and not really visible.
It is the lagoon that constantly fills the eyes and consequently the mind.

Every day it is realized more and more that the lagoon is a living thing like “Solaris” was.
In a literal sense.
Looking at it for so long and so intense it has been learned for example that the water level is constantly changing.
The different kinds of birds feeding in the lagoon have changed from birds to individual species with their own characteristics.
The surface of the lagoon has become like a projection screen showing what is above and constantly changing there.

However, the lagoon has also become a living thing in a figurative way.
It has penetrated as a metaphorical entity into the being.
Exactly as “Solaris” did.
The lagoon enters spaces and cavities in the mind to haul the discoveries out to present them on the screen the water surface is.
Confrontations that are so total and definite that escape or denial are no options.

In Steven Soderbergh’s version of “Solaris”, the protagonist, Dr. Kelvin (George Clooney), has to decide what to do.
Run away from the confrontation and return to Earth or go all the way?
The rest of the crew recommends and chooses to return.
But Dr. Kelvin decides to stay and accepts not to know what will happen and how it will end.
This dilemma also plays constantly near the Mexican lagoon.
To stay or to return to society?
To believe in oneself or to rely on others?
To grow or to stagnate?

The hypnotic powers of the lagoon are strong.
Making it difficult to leave.
But most deciding is the realization that although it is not an easy experience, this idea of staying next to a lagoon for a longer period of time is a very interesting and beneficial exercise.

Life is the voyage, the idea is the itinerary.
(Victor Hugo)


To learn more about Stanislaw Lem, click on:


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