• Veruschka Haas


My mind contains universes, spreading and growing, their edges tickling my brain. Worlds of thoughts, ideas and dreams strain against my temples; they constantly struggle to break open my pate and rise from my head like a Greek goddess.

A million versions of myself inhabit these universes and each one of these imagined selves is both like and unlike the one whose mind they are trapped in. Some of them came to me in times of turmoil, as a spectre of light showing me what could be. Some were faint visions, dancing along fields and trees on a long drive, luring entertainment out of my brain cells. Some were angry furies, riling themselves up against every evildoing that I ever had to endure, fighting the battles I ran away from. Some were embraced by the lovers I lost or the ones I never gained, being too hesitant, too scared, too destructive towards my own happiness.

My mind is like a room full of mirrors, reflecting my own multiplicity back at me. Each echo of my being differs slightly. Two widened eyes, telling a story of fear. A genuine smile reaching the eyes, telling one of happiness. The gaze directed towards the ground, telling one of sadness. A small twinkle in the eyes, telling one of victory. When looking at the eyes alone, I can see an endless variation within the selves. Whenever I focus on a different aspect of their bearing, these numbers multiply.

A million variations of myself are within me, and still, I cannot comprehend the multitudes that I hold without, as well.

My mind can cope with the myriad facets of made-up selves while they tear at its seams, continuously multiplying every day that I breathe and think and live and am inspired. But when it encounters change in the life of this physical body––this version that is, at the same time, both inferior and superior to all of the other multitudes—it reaches its limits.

A million different occurrences and people have sculpted me, oftentimes leaving barely visible scratches on my surface, and other times leaving enormous indentations upon my shape, making it necessary to rearrange everything within me. Each new place and situation that I encounter changes me, sometimes lastingly, sometimes only for the length of the time that I linger. Unlike the dream versions of myself inside my consciousness, this physical body is the only tangible variation of my person. It has a beginning and an end. A past, a present and a future. All of the other multitudes have been conjured up at distinct points in time, and have thereupon stayed in a constant state of their specific purpose. But this physical representation of myself has been a part of me from my very first breath in this universe and has been inconstant in everything but its malleability.

My mind does not comprehend this. Instead, distant experiences, times and places lose all shape, colour and vividness. They become no more than a dream, less realistic than the most recent reimagining of self. What I have once experienced seems to never have happened, swirling in between universes, completely entangled in their imaginative visions.

All I can wonder is: does my mind not realise that I can embody and hold multitudes at once? Or do the million multitudes that float around within me make it too easy for my mind to deem my living past selves as just another one of the made-up myriads existing within me?