Rejuvenation Of Writing

KB PicTo be a writer does not mean that that piece of you is always going to be accessible. Sometimes, you can go weeks or months without feeling the need to put anything of value into this outlet. Often times, it is a certain circumstance that takes this fire from you. Ironically, this becomes a cause of misery that works as fuel to start back up again on the individual’s journey as a writer.

Personally, the experience that made me temporarily quit writing was when I got my first speeding ticket. It was not the ticket that really took my motivation, but the fact that this fine resulted in me losing my car for several weeks. In addition to this, I had to work to gain the funds to pay for it. Without this transportation, I realized how much freedom I didn’t have before I gained my license. This confinement resulted in me remaining indoors, wasting my time with sitcoms and the drawn out plots of video games.

While this may sound like a pleasurable alternative to leaving the house, as it usually is, it quickly became lonely when none of my friends could be reached through anything other than text and the occasional phone call. I lost my motivation to try to do anything. It seemed that with my loss of freedom came the loss of responsibility and admiration for the kind of life I was on the path to living.

As I noticed more frequently how far behind I was on the lives of those I once cared about, I decided something would have to change. I found the old bike that I had once been closely acquainted with before the introduction of a car. The wheels weren’t deflated yet so I kept riding north until they gave out to the sand they met. I seemed to have forgotten how close the beach was to where I once lived. By this time, it was nearing sunset and the sky lowered its eyes to cast shades of violet, grey, and pink along the thin space between the sea and the sky. I sat beneath an abandoned life guard chair as people left the spectacle of the shore behind. I remained stagnant, moving the sand gently over and under my toes thoughtfully.

As dramatic as it sounds, I felt so filled and peaceful then that it only felt appropriate to pull out the notebook that followed me everywhere and its accompanying pencil; I had to write. Though what I wrote wasn’t anything incredibly eloquent or beautiful, it was enough to make me feel as if I had rejoined the untied ends of my disconnected attention together. From there, I suddenly began to turn back to my methods of using writing as a form of release. This practice allowed me to gain peace with myself and my decisions.

As an appropriate accompaniment to this rejuvenation, the next week was the beginning of school. The reconnection with my friends and a well-planned schedule made it much easier to remain consistent with the art I practiced and how often I produced it. Since I have begun again, I feel as if I am reconnecting with an old friend. Though I am behind, I am confident that writing is something that will follow me through everything, despite its ebbs and flows. In my experience, it is the most underappreciated foundation of the human temple. I hope to one day not neglect this pillar as often as I have, as I clearly see that this practice only truly has a positive impact on the life of the writer and, if the writer is successful, the reader.

-Kathryn Wallis, Junior Art Editor

My Old Friend, Writing

I remember at any social event; my mother would tell everyone I had my own imaginary friend. This made me feel stupid of course, shy even to get to know people. At such a young age I created a bubble, separating the outside world from my own imaginations and desires. My mother thought my imaginary friend was something I could see and hold on to. I never considered this imaginative being a physical entity or a way to escape my social encounters. It never had a name either. I communicated with my imaginary friend in the form of little sentences in a glittery journal I got for Christmas because I was too nervous to speak. Always confused with Spanish and English language, I was scared to mess up in front of my friends. I didn’t want them making fun of me for not knowing English. I spent up until fourth grade with speech difficulties and I resorted to writing my conversations down to pass my classes. I fell in love with writing as a form of communication first and then it just disappeared.
At the end of my childhood and especially during late stages of my preteen years, I was mad at writing. In the sense that I was betrayed, writing left me for a while. Like an old friend, writing just moved on from me and it left me feeling extremely bitter. My family was going through financial difficulties and I was still confused about my growing body. I’d thought about what I wanted to say when writing came back. “Hey um, you pretty much left me at my lowest point in life. Thanks, I hate you”. At that age, I told myself that writing left me, like it was something it could ever leave. I was defensive. I left writing.
After my trip to Colombia for a summer, I had recurring night terrors of not being able to speak. One morning I woke up to a dream that a man from Bogota removed my eyes as I was walking down the street. My experience in a third world country made me realize my fortune in the United States. The hot water, the air conditioning, the equality. I never realized how free I actually was. My dreams of Colombia’s brutality pushed me to write until the sun rose, and if I was tired, I slept in a closet where no one could see me. Instead of being afraid to speak, I was afraid to step outside. I wrote long poems, poems that had two lines, and poems that tasted like hot dogs they sold after church. I wrote when I told my grandmother I hated her in front of a mountain that stretched all the way to Venezuela. Sometimes I painted with my neighbors when there wasn’t any money for paper.
It was the strangest feeling when my old friend came back. We were both familiar with each other and it was almost like we picked up right where we left off. I was still bitter at my old friend but I never stopped coming back for more. Today I realized that I am addicted to writing, addicted to communicating how I feel on paper. The only way I got over my fear of speaking was to write about being afraid.
-Evelyn Alfonso, Poetry Editor

Severed Ties

kinley's bp picNear the end of my sophomore year, I felt very distant from the work I was producing and my creative writing classes in general. Nothing really drastic happened, I just woke up one day and no longer wanted to write. I’ve found that it sometimes happens that way. Something in me had severed the connection I’d felt in holding a pencil to a piece of paper, and I didn’t have the energy to reconnect the ties. I got through the rest of the year emotionlessly, and that was that. At the start of the summer I spoke to my mom about the way I was feeling and about switching schools. It didn’t feel right to continue at the school when someone new could take my place, someone who stepped into the writing classrooms and felt a purpose. I didn’t feel that way anymore. I wanted to leave. And I was going to; my mom agreed that if by the middle of the summer I still felt the same way we’d look into different schooling options for me.

I tried my hardest to get back into writing that summer. I bought multiple journals took time throughout the day to free write but never saw any potential. Mid-summer came and I still felt distant from myself as a writer. Somewhere along the way, however, I’d let my mom talk me into staying at Douglas Anderson and giving it one last try. She said if I hated it after the first couple of weeks I didn’t have to stay. She knew how happy the school made me and didn’t want to see me give that up. I didn’t hate Douglas Anderson, I just felt guilty for taking someone else’s spot there. The idea of leaving really hurt, which is why I allowed my mom to change my mind.

The first day I walked into my poetry class on the first day of junior year, the shift was almost immediate. I’m still not completely sure what it was, but I knew that the year was going to be different, and a part of me knew I wouldn’t leave after all. After a couple of weeks, I realized what the problem had been; people. I had surrounded myself with negative people, who had already lost their connection with writing and no longer cared about what they did. They wrote meaningless pieces and turned them on. As a very easily influenced person, I let that state of mind slip into me and I became that. Once I realized this, I dedicated myself to working harder and pushing myself to love my art again. It took me two full notebooks of writing before I decided I could call myself a writer again. I think I would’ve gotten there sooner, but I didn’t fully trust that the connection was real. In the end, though, I realized how lost I had felt without writing. That’s what made me see that it was real; once I no longer felt lost, when I knew who I was again, I was a writer.

-Kinley Dozier, Managing Editor