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In an airplane
by lipamanka

(NOTE: I don’t have access to my community usage data right now [because airplane], so that won’t been incorporated here! So far these are only my opinions.)

Greetings! I’d like to write a little bit about lupa. Many people describe lupa in completely different ways. Some say it’s a hole cut into something, others say it’s a space where the material is different when compared with the surrounding material. and others (including myself, before giving out my form) described it as the potential for something to travel into or through it. Which of these is most accurate? As I write this, I’ll try to figure it out, so come find out with me!

First I think it’s important (and useful, probably!) to talk about what “into” and “through” mean for toki pona. “ijo li tawa insa lupa” for “the object goes into the hole” works pretty well, and through implies the object comes out the other end, which you could describe too. So the concepts here we’re identifying is a distinction between going into something and staying there or coming out the other end. Both of these situations usually unambiguously contain a lupa, which is the the object a thing either goes into or goes through. Let’s examine some examples of the “through” meaning to see what we can make of it.

Let’s look at some “into” situations with lupa to help see and figure out what we’d need to do to them in order to stop them from being lupa.

I think I figured it out. The material being different is only relevant if the material lets something through it that the surrounding material can’t let through. It’s both of those at once. To clarify, air and a vacuum could be these “materials.” I used the word material here because it seemed more useful and specific than “thing,” which I was already using a lot. I don’t think that “a hole in something” is specific enough.

One lingering thought: considering that light, or the image of something, is a “thing,” could lupa be used for transparency? I think it could, and it should be used in such a way! not only are traditionally “transparent” objects like windows already called lupa by many speakers, lupa already covers most of the transparent things we think about. Are there any transparent things that aren’t covered by lupa? Not entirely sure. A peephole in a door is a lupa. A porthole in a boat is a lupa, and could also be described as a window.

Ah! But what about say, a drinking cup made out of glass? Is that a lupa? This is where things get interesting, because right away I suspect different toki ponists would answer differently. But the way I usually answer questions like this is “maybe. let’s try it out.” After thinking about it I don’t think it really works. And it makes sense too, because the thing the cup would be letting through (light/image) is already let through by its surroundings (air). Now let’s be pedantic and try to embed the cup in a wall so that it’s surrounded by wood, a material that can’t let light through. Then it’s a lupa! So it turns out that in the end, the answer involves both material and what can pass through it.

drops mic and screams

Future thoughts:

If you skimmed and you want a nice summary, here it is: a lupa is made from a different material (which can include air or a vacuum) when compared to its surroundings (which could also be air or a vacuum). However, that material has to differ from surrounding materials in one key manner: The material has to let something through it that its surroundings can’t let through.

I hope this last bit at the end makes the whole thing more accessible for people with dyslexia (like me!) or ADHD (like me!) or other things that impact reading comprehension/ability/speed/focus etc

Wow I wrote a lot

Do I have time to ramble about something else? checks flight info it says I land in a half hour. So maybe? … what about though… What about more about lupa? Why not? Okay please let me know if you have mind boggling thoughts about any of these things

Do all (physical) poki have a lupa? Yeah I think so. What about tomo? Yeah. Or not? if a hollow space is sealed shut inside of something, is that space a lupa? Now THAT’S a question. But is that thing a poki if it’s empty and you can’t put anything inside of it? If you were somehow able to put something inside of it without unsealing it, would that method be a lupa? Like a portal. I have discussed that with people before and i think a portal is definitely a lupa, though it doesn’t really exist in real life, conceptually it is a lupa. But what if it was teleportation? I guess it depends how teleportation works. but if the hollow space is empty and it is sealed, without breaking the laws of physics (or the seal) it’s impossible to get something inside it, so I don’t think it’s even a poki. So yes, all poki have a lupa, and all tomo have a lupa too. (I think?) Now selo is where this breaks down. selo can have lupa, but they don’t need them! Like skin has lots of little lupas everywhere and also larger lupas like the mouth and nose. So the human body is surrounded by a selo, and that selo has lupas in it. but a layer of paint around a rock is a selo too, and it has no holes in it. So that’s really interesting! But hm. What if we put a person inside a tomo and then seal it shut completely so that it has no lupas? is it still a tomo? or what about say a set of keys in a poki? In order to fully remove the lupas we would have to completely remove any trace of them having been there, because a locked door is still a lupa. Right? So in this wild hypothetical where we remove the trace of the thing that made it possible to put the thing inside, is it still a poki or a tomo? I don’t think it is anymore! At least for poki. Maybe not for tomo. Or is it? idk I’m getting tired and also my plane is landing so I think I’m gonna just. Finish this. Maybe make a bit LUPA form later on to talk about all these questions.

Okay in these rambles I somehow amassed about two thousand words which is very impressive all about lupa! exciting. Okay bye