Abbey Seth Mayer is, among other things, a Master’s candidate in English, Creative Writing at the University of Hawai‘i. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Art, Painting Concentration from Yale College. Abbey writes whenever he can, every now and again. He blames any inconsistencies in production on lack of discipline, but also has determined it is no function of discipline at all. His short story, “The Limits of My Love – a Kitsune Tale,” was awarded first place in the 2015 Ian MacMillan Awards for Fiction. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the literary journal, Hawai‘i Review. He hates bios, especially his own.
What does the word ‘paradise’ mean to you?
Paradise is a place (or state of being) in which joy is ample and accessible, and where pain is easily understood.
Alternately, I think the planet Earth without any people on it would be a very badass paradise.
Where is home for you?
My primary dwelling, shelter and place of retreat in tucked away in Nu’uanu, up the Pali. While I love this home, and Honolulu in general, I do also harbor domestic affections for other cities: namely Kyoto and New York City. I dream of residing in the Frank Lloyd Wright house in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on a yacht on the high seas, or in a lighthouse on a remote Aleutian Island.
What is the best book/film/article/piece of visual art/piece of music/play/etc. about paradise that you’ve encountered?
I am going to vote here for John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, because it has Eden in the title, though it seems to be more about the lands Cain was banished to than about paradise itself. Any of Rembrandt’s self-portraits, when I’m lucky enough to glimpse them in person, conjure an overwhelming feeling that makes me suspect he was channeling paradise when he painted, in particular, the light that floats and glows there.