What It Means To Be an Artist

My biggest fear is waking up on a Monday morning, with warm sunlight seeping in through my paneled window, the sound of birdsongs coming in through the ventilation and realizing that someone that I love or have loved, is gone. The idea of that imaged latches onto my insides with bird claws and doesn’t let go until I find something to distract myself with. That’s where Kieona Wallace’s “Return Date: 5/11/1974” really hit me. With her sour story on a man who returns home from war, different than from when he left and the aftermath of the different feelings his wife has to go through. This is the  type of story that forces me into perspective of my own fears. The main character didn’t lose him, but at the same time she did and I can’t seem to wrap my head around how you’re supposed to cope with that. It reminds me of holographic figure. The person is there, they look the same, they sound the same but the smell is gone. The smile has dimmed and there’s something in the person’s eyes that make you uneasy.

Those are the type of stories that make Elan what it is. The ones that dig down into your core and bring something out of you, something that you can grasp onto and look at with wholesome eyes. The type of artwork and writing that makes you lose your breathe and take a step back wondering how someone so young could do so much. Without literary magazines like Elan, people would still be stuck in a idiotic whirlpool mindset that you have to a certain age to produce something as fantastic as Kieona did. People like to blame things one experience. My grandpa in particular preaches on a day to day basis that I can’t know anything about the world because I’m not old enough. He, as do many others, believe that unless I’ve lived for fifty years I’ll always be shallow and naive. Elan proves people like him wrong. You can’t sit down and write about things like this unless you know.

What people like my grandfather fail to realize is just because I haven’t been through a divorce, doesn’t mean I don’t know what heartbreak feels like. I learned that when at the age of two when my parents never came back. Or that because I don’t pay mortgage, I don’t know how to be responsible. I learned that age the age of twelve when my grandmother was getting to overwhelmed to raise a 9th kid. I’m seventeen and me, along with almost everyone else in my generation have more through more crap in one year than most people go through in their entire lifetime. Elan allows people to display that, it allows for all of those talented artists being shooed away into a closet to step out and show everyone what it means to be a writer. What it means to be an artist.

Sierra Lunsford, Website Editor

Sisterhood

(Chelsea Blog Picture)gal-sisterhood-12-jpgMany say that you will forget the people you meet before college, or even in college. They say that you will probably be able to walk past people you hung out with 24/7 in high school like they’re strangers. It is hard for me to understand this concept since I have had the same group of friends since I was a year old.

I met my best friend of 15 (almost 16) years ago in Pre-K. Before we knew how to talk or what certain words actually meant, we understood each other. It’s been that way ever since, even though we’re 375 miles apart and never seem to be available at the same time. When we happen to have share spare time, we talk and it’s like we’re in that Pre-K classroom again, feigning deep conversation.

I met the rest of my friends in K-4. We unintentionally bonded while running around the playground and pretending to nap. Nothing has changed, except now we spend most of our time sleeping at each other’s houses with one of us being forced to sleep on the floor while the rest of us try not to hang off of the bed. And we hardly ever run.

When I imagine my future, I don’t see a lot of concrete details. I see colleges floating in the air, and grasping majors. I see career opportunities rolling away like tumbleweeds in a deserted town. The only thing I can hold onto, the only thing real, is the image of my friends and I, together. I envision it as a Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants or Sex and the City scene, as something iconic

I don’t talk to my friends every day. I hardly talk to my best friend during the week and I see the rest of my friends about once a month. We don’t have a movie friendship where I have them all on speed dial. We don’t have the Disney Channel friendship where I can walk to their house in five minutes or less. We have our own type of friendship and I can’t see myself walking away from that or passing it up for anything.

-Chelsea Ashley, Junior Website Editor

On Meaningful Long-Lasting Comfort

Seth's Blog Post PictureThe first image my mind jumps to at the words “warmth” and “comfort” is a plate heaped with fried chicken, pepperoni pizza, and macaroni and cheese. It’s tempting to keep rambling about unhealthy foods I’m craving at the moment—eating them satisfies me with a warm buzz to the stomach.

The next is my laptop perched on a soft, blue blanket. Netflix waits with its lopsided smile. This is also tempting, since I can go in-depth about the shows I’m really into and hopefully win them new fans. But I’m not going to dwell on either of these, because they only provide temporary contentment. The warmth and comfort that sticks to and infuses a sense of security within me comes from the words and actions of my friends and family—the special few I’m not ashamed to care about.

“I love you” is already such a direct, soul-baring statement, but there are so many other ways to verbalize it: “Are you hungry?” “Did you put your seatbelt on?” “How was your day?” Questions like these show affection and care, and when I’m asked these I feel a little twinge of happiness and reassurance. Trust me, I’m being 100% honest.

Physical contact is another aspect that really comforts me. I love being a touchy-feely person: hand-holding, back-rubbing, hugging. In addition to the heat they literally create, they also warm me up inside with—you guessed it—comfort. I guess it’s an animal thing to crave touches.

There’s the shallow, fleeting comfort that unhealthy foods and TV shows offer and the lasting warmth that the love family and friends offer. It wasn’t really hard for me to choose.

-Seth Gozar, Junior Fiction Editor