with Pasithea Chan:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Pasithea: My first experience in writing came out of grief and disbelief when my country’s prime minister Mr Rafic Harriri was assassinated. At that time I was in second year law school. I remember being in class when recording my civil law lecture when the window frame fell over and around me after the glass bursted from the power of the explosion. I remember running out of class to the open to looking up to the sky with rubble dropping into my eyes and my hair with the smell of burnt flesh and fire. It took me two weeks to process the shock and writing was my only release. Later, came travel for work in the Arab Gulf countries and the far East. After meeting my maternal side of the family who are Pinay-Hispanic, and enjoying exploring the Philippines, I found inspiration in the colorful cultural dances and the exotic beauty of the place. Combined with my love for schools of art esp open impressionism, I began to write religiously as a way to take a break from legal and academic writing.
Q2: Who are some of your biggest influences today?
Pasithea: From the contemporary writers? No one but from the old times Gibran Khalil Gibran, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rumi, Ibn Arabi, and Al-Motannabi. I like the power of rebellion for social justice, the clarity of mysticism and asceticism. For me intellectualism and impressionism are key to carrying a writer from a paper unto the hearts of his readers. A writer is someone who can mentally imprint on you.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art? Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?
Pasithea: I grew up(if you consider mental and physical aspect) between Lebanon, Philippines, and Turkey(dad was Turkish Lebanese). Almost every place I’ve been to added to my plume’s quiver. For example Singapore added modernism, Bahrain easy going tones, Turkey intricacy etc. Sometimes a thing as simple as a pattern on a persian carpet being weaved right in front of you makes long to draw what you see in writing. When I write, I always choose open spaces especially when I travel. I choose spots where I can get to be in the background of the local rhythm where I can observe people and listen to life’s melody flow amongst the people I am learning about.
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
Pasithea: I used to think it’s just my #didactic poems but after realizing my love for history and mythology, I believe it’s my historical fiction pieces which I weave into them contemporary political current events. I mention Elissar’s Star Sapphire, Cedar’s Box, Cedars’ Morrighan Crow, and Elissar’s Tears.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/poet/artist?
Pasithea: In 2019, when the Lebanese revolution happened, I felt it was a place for artists and a time to show one’s true heart by inspiring my people to be better. I wrote Truth’s Volcano a double lingo Acrostic. It was a poem half in Arabic and acrostic and half in english also Acrostic.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Pasithea: I love to do gardening, travel, make perfumes, cook, listen to music, and take long walks.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?
Pasithea: Currently I am a contributor here on feversoftgemind and uglywriters. I haven’t been pushing a lot of work since I am finishing my master’s graduation thesis in business law.
Q8: One of your favorite lines from writing or favorite art pieces?
Pasithea: I like Kagaya's digital art pieces and Thomas Cole's series of portraits called "Course of an Empire" from the Hudson River School of painting. As well as Leonid Afremov.
Arcadian Empire A brush carved on the Hudson River honed romanticism on its bristles. Dipped in ideal rustic beauty; paints a paradise lost in an industrial revolution. Glorified in emotional trees standing freely to defy norms of enlightenment and aristocrats. With clear skies and vast greens Thomas expresses beauty’s notions. A fresh morning in spring or summer shifts a river further down as a crag and boulder witness a peak fork from a distance beyond. Much of the wilderness disappears into settled lands. Plowed fields peer with lawns unto newly built boats, shepherds herding sheep, and dancing settlers. His individualism shows as an old man sketches geometrical problems with sticks. On a bluff by the river a megalithic temple hides beneath sacrificial fumes. Ideally this fits pre-urban Greece. The Arcadian Empire signifies humanity and nature at peace. A notion portrayed in activities that relate safety for nature and its inhabitants As far as poems I love Francis William Bourdillon's: "The night has a thousand eyes, And the day but one; Yet the light of the bright world dies With the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one:
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing? Pasithea: Believe it or not, sometimes you meet people online via websites like allpoetry who teach you technique through contests and prompts. Her name was Sylvia. She ran several contests and taught me from shadow sonnets to cinquains, to constanza, to rondeau, you name it. Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Pasithea Chan