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

The Craft of Nye

naomi-shibab-nye

When I first came to Douglas Anderson I swore I would never write poetry. How could I?  Poetry was constructed of line breaks, and choices. Like fiction these choices were made with intention, but with poetry the intention was a hard technique to learn, a hard technique to master. When I look back and think of what scared me most, was how raw poetry allowed one to be. Every word gave away a personal detail. It feared me to know that in a few stanzas people could know aspects of myself I never shared with anyone other than myself.

My junior year I wrote my first real poem, what deemed it real is I had to share it with others, yet I didn’t hide my emotion, the emotion I was always scared of sharing. Of course it was the cliché poem about the death of my grandmother. Later that year I had to recite a poem of my choice, and I chose Naomi Shihab Nye. A poet crafted in detail, and symbolism. Metaphors that brought me to the sands of the Middle East, every word counted.  What brought me to Nye was how she respectfully wrote about her heritage half American, half middle eastern. I always had a hard time writing about my half Albanian heritage. I felt as if I didn’t have a right to those topics, because it was only half of my identity.  The poem I recited my junior year was titled Blood, a commentary on war, and a narrative about how it affected her father, symbolism for how it affects us all.

“Years before, a girl knocked, 

wanted to see the Arab. 

I said we didn’t have one. 

After that, my father told me who he was, 

“Shihab”—“shooting star”— 

a good name, borrowed from the sky. 

Once I said, “When we die, we give it back?” 

He said that’s what a true Arab would say.”

Yet Nye  wrote about this in the perspective of herself  an American, who is so torn by what is happening, torn because even though she is an American they are still her people.

Nye is the reason I can write about my own father, about my own heritage, and also why I can write about being an American. Because what does the word American really mean? Who gets to fit that description? Nye has made me consider how every detail counts, how a title can convey much more than it seems, and that displaying a picture in someone’s head is a gift that not many can master. Nye is the reason I have never felt that when it came to my heritage I had to choose.  

-Mary Feimi, Co-Editor in Chief

The Biggest Change

PICTURE BrianaMan is not only made of skin, flesh and bones, but also of personal history. What influences someone to grow and shape himself or herself into the person they wish to be, is heavily affected by their experiences. Each of us has a story, some tragic and emotional, some simple, all equally as impactful.

At the start of my teenage years, when I became far more aware of the world around me, I began to recognize the emotional depths of people, specifically my father. As a kid, seeing him upset always registered as something temporary, something he could mend with a good night’s sleep, and his favorite snack. Soon, I learned, it wasn’t that simple.

I learned my father had clinical depression when I was fourteen and he was admitted into a mental facility for the first time. The weeks leading up to his admission, he had drastically changed. He lost twenty-five pounds and all the color in his skin.

He had always been the kind of man who danced on tabletops in fancy restaurants and laughed loud enough for an entire room to hear. He empowered others with his wisdom and he was a role model. He was a man who, more than anyone else, loved the art of living. He was also a man who was fighting for his life.

He didn’t experience another episode until the months leading up to August of 2015. The patterns remained the same. He lost weight and ambition and on August 6th, he took his life.

Often times in dealing with death, people express the hurt in losing someone else. They describe the pain felt in never seeing them, hearing them, or being with them again. I felt a much different pain.

Losing him meant losing my knowledge. He was the one who stayed awake with me at three a.m. eating peanut butter only sandwiches and discussing the history of the world. Losing him meant losing perseverance. He was the only one who always reminded me I was capable. The one who pushed me into the pool to prove to myself I knew how to swim. He showed me that words were art and that with them I was capable of changing the world. Losing him meant losing heart and passion.

With any loss, other things are gained as a consequence. I’m waiting for those things and, slowly but surely, I am learning that they do come eventually.

-Briana Lopez, Senior Editor-in-Chief