Wk6 – A Trip to a Stranger’s Mind (a short story inspired by Ariel Maldonaldo’s ceramic artwork “Talk to Strangers”)



Ariel Maldonaldo


6″ x 6″


CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West

As a young woman who is constantly thinking about each of her steps in her life, she constantly wishes she had more control of her life. This woman would go through each day going through many emotions like anger, happiness, sadness, envy, and anxiety. It may seem like this is something that everyone goes through on a daily basis, but her case was more extreme. She was bullied, and damaged so much that her emotions were out of sync with herself. Her mother who tried to support her as a child passed away in a car accident when she was only a teenager, leaving her to deal with her curse as an adult. Every time she faced a person or a particular situation she could not control the emotion that would come about. Making happiness spring out of her in a serious situation, and making sadness or anxiety appear in a joyous occasion. The people in her town knew her only as a weirdo and crazy for how she would react. Although that was the case, even when they would have encounters with her they were still afraid on what she would demonstrate to them in terms of her emotions. After a few years, the woman was distressed and felt soulless due to her loss of control of her emotions. Her emotions were separate from herself, and she felt she was being bullied all over again. The difference at this point in her life in comparison to her childhood is now she has no control over them even if she wanted too. This was the reality of her life, and each day she would try to get through each day knowing she had no real control. One day she was walking by a graveyard not knowing what to expect out of the day.

Suddenly a soul from one of the local tombs came from the ground and went inside her body. Her vision went black and it felt like time stood still. Suddenly all she saw was a white orb floating in front her, and she realized that she was inside her own mind, with only herself and this mysterious orb. The white orb spoke and said “Do not be afraid, I am but an old soul, looking to find my peace.” She is shocked and the orb continues and says “in the afterlife as our bodies deteriorate, it does not mean our souls pass on.” “In order for me to continue my journey to heaven, I must help someone in need,” the white orb said. The white orb explained to her that it felt her pain and wanted to help her out. The orb said that he would help her with her problem and would get her to control her emotions. To do this however, the orb would have to stay with her in her body. Once they were bonded together in one body and soul, the woman started to feel a difference in her life. Each day she encountered someone in her town, the orb would talk to her and help control her emotions to correctly respond to her situation. This surprised not only herself, but the members of her community. As the days went by, the woman started to feel better about herself knowing that others were seeing changes in her, including herself.

As the orb continued to help, the higher the woman’s confidence and self esteem started to rise. But the woman did not know that as she was improving, the orb was slowly disappearing. It reached a point where the woman did not realize that the orb was only barely helping control her emotions, and that most of the controlling was done by none other than herself. One night when the woman was going to sleep, she was once again placed into the darkness of her mind. This time however, the bright white orb was not as bright as it once was. The woman could barely see the illumination now as it floated in front of her. The orb finally spoke in a weak voice and said to her surprise “daughter…I hope that these few weeks that I was able to live with you again will help you live the rest of your life in peace…”. The orb then used the last of her strength to project an image of what seems like five meaningless wavy colorful lines with metal rings around them. “Each of these lines represents the emotions that were out of sync within you” the orb whispered. “The red represents your anger, the green represents envy, the blue represents sadness, the yellow represents anxiety, and the pink represents happiness. The rings are what you have gained over the past few weeks and are a symbol that you have gained control over your emotions,” the orb whispered. At this moment, a black base was placed into the projection and the woman asked what that represents. The orb answered her and told her that the base represented her soul and now each of the colorful lines along with the rings can be connected to the base so that the rings will never fall out. Although this meant that she would finally have control of her emotions forever, she had to once again say goodbye to her mother as the light of the orb gently started fading away.




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