Straining Letters Into Noise


Jenn Bui (any pronouns)

In Exploring Our Connections (2022)This book is an investigation and celebration of human connection and what we, as people, can mean to each other. 2022 has been a year of me realizing the interconnected nature of the world. Being raised Buddhist, that was always the idea I was supposed to grasp, but it never fully clicked until now. Buddhist philosophy affirms that everything is intrinsically connected to each other: that we are connected to the world as little parts of it, creating it in its entirety. I've chosen a series of texts from various authors I have read over the past few years, addressing these themes of worldliness, culture, and connection. 'Ten Million Trillion,’ the first section of the book, is a poem I wrote back in 2018 that I've held onto, reinterpreting it in many various art pieces. The closing line used to be “it wasn't anything but the feeling of smallness and hopelessness.” I've since cut ‘hopelessness’ out because of how my perspective has evolved. When I was writing it, thinking about the multitudes of people and of the world was really frightening. I actually did do the math, by the way. But surrendering to and accepting that largeness really helps you appreciate all that's around you. We may not completely understand and know one another or the world and its workings, but maybe it should just be enough to accept and love. Texts collected from Rowan White, Virginia Held, Andy Weir, and Thich Nhat Hanh.