This Album is Heaven Sent

PICTURE ChristinaI’m not the kind of girl who wonders why Katy Perry hasn’t been making new music. I’m not the kind of girl who cries herself to sleep with Lana Del Rey dripping in her ear like melting popsicles turned black and grey.

I’m the type of girl who listens to the weird musicians, with the mellow voice and cocky attitude. The musicians who don’t care if they have fans or not. I’m the type of girl that listens to bands from the 90s and early ‘00s. Who listens to the musician that only posts music on sound cloud, and expects their fans to post concert videos on random YouTube pages.

Ever since seventh grade, I’ve been obsessed with the album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis. Wonderwall is one of my favorite songs. I absorb the orchestral background like a washcloth absorbs sweat and grime. I bask in the off pitch voice of Liam Gallagher as he sings about some girl that he’s probably still in love with. His voice drifting in the prominence of the cellos, acoustic guitars, tambourines, and drums. Leaving me in a tranquil state that makes me smile, even when tears are fanned out on my cheek like a parachute.

This is the album I listened to when I got a phone call saying that I was accepted into Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. The album I listened to when I had to stay up until 2:00 in the morning, because I had to finish a “group” project by myself, since no one finished the book we were assigned. The album I listened to before my dog was diagnosed with cancer. The album I listened to when she died. The album I listened to when I decided to tell a good friend of mine that I had a crush on him. The album I listened to when he told me he was dating a girl whose name wasn’t even her real name. The album I listened to after an old friend of mine walked by me, and neither one of us said hello. The album I listened to when I won an iPad for a poem I’m not proud of. The album I listened to when I wore eyeshadow for the first time. The album I listened to when my friend told me it looked bad. The album I listened to when my doctor told me I was done growing. The album I will listen to when I get accepted into one of the colleges I want to go to. The album I will listen to when I get my first car. The album I will listen to when I get married, then divorced, and decide that maybe I should wait a while before looking for another man. The album I will listen to when I retire and live in a beach house, even though I hate sand.

As long as I listen to this album, I’m okay.

-Christina Sumpter, Senior Creative Nonfiction Editor


The Exploration of Comfort

PICTURE SavanaThe most comfortable I’ve ever felt has been in a field full of strangers. Sweat burning its way through my clothes. Sun beating down a steady rhythm on my scalp. Though it might not sound too enjoyable, it is one of my favorite places to be. Its rare to find a group of people who all find pleasure in the same exact things and then on top of that, be able to get them all together for a music festival. This opportunity was something i had never experienced on such a large scale. After my first concert, I realized that it was something I needed in my life.

Everyone has their own version of this experience. Whether it be in the church pews or an empty bedroom. It’s so important that everyone, especially teenagers, take time to find the places in life they feel comfortable. It offers a way to discover yourself in a freeing and safe environment.

I lived for most of my life feeling different, less impactful moments of comfort. Being tucked into covers fresh from the dryer. Feeling my father hug me goodnight. Leaning back in my seat after eating until my mouth was tired of chewing. All of these moments are ones I wouldn’t trade for the world. However, time makes these moments seem less important.

There are still days where I crave those quiet intimate moments. But now that so many years have gone by, I find more comfort in being cradled by a mass of strangers than I would in being cradled by any single person.

Whatever you find comfort in, don’t be afraid to find new, different ways of being happy. Try painting, sculpting, go somewhere you’ve never been before. Eventually, you will find something so different, so new, that you will never be able to look at the rest of your life in the same way.

-Savana Pendarvis, Junior Creative Nonfiction Editor

I Go To Music

Rey BP pic 1In the beginning was the word. And that word was very heavy, full of life and anguish. The word was existence but also the end of being. The word carried nations and dropped kings with the same move. The word embodied imagination, making us gods over the realms that we produce. So, in the beginning of my creating process, of becoming the god to a world that may exist solely by my observation, I listen to music. It starts from a random rhythm. Either it pumps my pulse up, to meet its tempo, or it drags my heart beat down, to drown me in what it wants to convey. Either way, I go to music before placing finger to keyboard (because there’s no pen to paper nowadays).

I really can’t get into my writing without this overlaying, outside shroud that the harmonies become. I find the right song or playlist that carries the emotion that I need for the piece- whether it’s a raging rock album or soft, liquid dubstep mix. Then I follow the strongest feeling back to its home inside of me (usually in the gut area) and try to pull it out onto the page. I imagine the scenario and everything that is happening in order to mold the experience for everyone to feel. Either that or I know what emotional experience I want to convey already and I use the music as an enhancer to help myself become caught up in that emotion enough to find some kind of words to describe it. I never go in anticipating a masterpiece or a message to the world. I just go in wanting to say what I’m thinking or feeling. This allows me, for the most part, to get out whatever it is. After that, well that’s not the beginning. That’s the rising action and it varies by how I feel. For the most part though, I’m satisfied with myself for bringing this thing into existence.

-Rey Mullennix, Fiction Editor