An Internal Barometer of Truth

The seemingly incongruous juxtaposition, the often wildly unexpected pairing of two or more images and/or concepts: This is where Surrealism draws much of its power to affect consciousness, and The Question and Answer Game is no exception.

The gift of resonance allows us to recognize veracity within what may at first appear to be an impossibly matched pair of answers and questions. The insights we experience aren’t necessarily grasped by the Mind, at least not at first, but they are nevertheless felt to be true.  It feels like the opening up that occurs when we hear a sound that is particularly resonant, like that of a bell or a tuning fork, and something within us moves suddenly in synchronous agreement.

This energetic affirmation, this felt sense of  “Yes, that is so,” (often despite initial illogical appearance), is our guide to reading the results of Surrealist literary games,  as well as interacting with haiku and other forms of literature and art that are intuition-based.  It is a felt experience, but where do we feel it? In our ‘gut,’ our heart, every cell of our being? Is our DNA doing a little dance of communion? I don’t believe that it is possible to exactly locate where the process occurs.  Maybe it is all of the above. The point is that this experience is to a large extent internal.

Why does this matter? If the assembly point of our reality and our sense of truth is internal, what does this mean? Perhaps if we can learn to trust this gift of resonance, we can learn to trust ourselves to determine what we will and will not align ourselves with, based on what feels most life-promoting, honest, and authentic. If we can learn to judge these things for ourselves maybe we will be less likely to be easily manipulated or swayed by the agendas of others.

This internal barometer of truth matters. It might even be at the heart of why Surrealism, despite its surface appearance,  is so much more than frivolous, why it is in fact revolutionary, and why nearly 100 years after its inception it continues to be relevant.

Surrealist games and Surrealistic art in general are rather brilliant at shining a light on this inherent, sometimes latent, skill of discerning truth for ourselves, in part by highlighting the fact that there are so many potential truths available at all times. It is up to us to accept or reject what is set before us. It is up to us to see what is possible.

How liberating!

Make two o’clock with one clock

— Surrealist Proverb,  Paul Eluard and Benjamin Peret

 

 

What is time?
          Memories of sleepwalking

Question Harry Hudson,  Answer Michelle Tennison ( 2005)

 

What fills the empty spaces?
          This moment

Q&A Session with Paul Cunniff, Sharon Cunniff, Mary Ellen Binkele, and Michelle Tennison

 

How long does a flower last?
          The eternal soul

Q&A Session with Mary Ellen Binkele and Michelle Tennison (2015)

 

 

The Verge

Perhaps the imagination is on the verge of recovering its rights.

— Andre Breton

What divides the light from the darkness?
          The warmth of the egg

Q&A Session with Sharon Cunniff, Mary Ellen Binkele, and Michelle Tennison (2011)


What is the meaning of Grace?

          I heard you sing in your sleep

Question Harry Hudson,  Answer Michelle Tennison (2005)


What thoughts are weightless?

          I step out of my mother’s dream

Question John Levy,  Answer Michelle Tennison (2017)

“We are Determined to Create a Revolution.”

Surrealism is not a new means of expression, nor a simpler one, nor even a metaphysic of poetry. It is a means of total liberation of the mind and of everything resembling it. 

  —Andre Breton, Surrealist tract, 1925

 

Is there a way out?
          (searching for) a lost oar

Question Mark Harris, Answer Michelle Tennison (2016)

 

When am I no longer me?
          The light fades to this point, the snakes come out

Question Harry Hudson, Answer Michelle Tennison (2004)