A Winter’s Day
It is when time slows down to longer appreciate the silent night
What is winter?
It is the covering of fall’s canvas with white paint
It is the powdered sugar adorns the plain donut with a jelly surprise inside
It is the dust in the closet that is closed for a few months until the cleaning breeze of Spring opens the door
It is the frozen touch of a loved one lost
The Power of Holding On by Cameron Bove caught my interest because life is full of unexpected events and you don’t know when the last chance you’ll have to hug someone. For example, my brother recently moved to Montreal. Before leaving he asked for me to hug him, I foolishly resisted for some reason because we as brothers never hugged till now. Till we hugged I didn’t realize how important it actually was. What makes hugging so emotionally powerful?
Cameron writes: “It’s [act of hugging] the current that runs from my heart to yours when I want to say something and words just won’t do.” (Cameron, The Power of Holding On)
After reading the essay I realized how important “holding on” truly is. Cameron believes that “a hug is like a battery charger-a good one can keep me going for a long time.” (Cameron, The Power of Holding On) The essay has taught me to be more appreciative the time I spend with people and to encourage myself to hug more often then I am used to.
Link to Essay: https://thisibelieve.org/essay/10611/
The Essentials to Happiness by, Alexxandra Shuman, caught my interest merely from the title. I was going into this essay to see how I can be more ‘happy’. Alexxandra in her essay tells the essentials of happiness through stories of her past.
Alexxandra said she was reaching a so-called “darkness” about herself during the early grades of school. Only till after being diagnosed with clinical depression and treatment was taking effect, she realized:
“When I began to feel happy again is when I realized that I had to take the responsibility for getting better myself, rather than relying on medication and therapy alone.” (Alexxandra, The Essentials to Happiness)
Alexxandra believes the philosopher Aristotle’s quote to be a mirror representation of what she had to do to achieve happiness. Aristotle said, “To live happily is an inward power of the soul,”. I appreciated Alexxandra’s approach towards her idea of happiness. In the essay, she writes about how happiness is often portrayed as “having a lot of money” (Alexxandra, The Essentials to Happiness) But through a very enriching moment with a nine-year-old girl named Marilyn, Alexxandra realized what with the right mindset truly make us happy. Her answer? Love and hope.
I connected to the essay because I had an old friend who was depressed and just recently took her own life. Depression is a very serious illness and often gets underestimated of the effects that depression has on people. With this new knowledge of happiness, I hope to enhance my friend’s and my family’s lives filling my life with love and hope, ultimately making happiness for myself and others.
Link to Essay: https://thisibelieve.org/essay/2578/
Concrete Abstract Poem
- Make a list of abstract nouns: (love, doubt, fear, hope, despair, imagination, faith, respect, trust, integrity, honesty, anxiety….)
- Make a list of your senses: (touch, taste, smell, sight, sound)
- Write a five-line poem (or more, but make sure each sense is covered) defining the abstract emotion through the concrete.
Grief feels like having bubbles in your hands, only to have them disappear into oblivion.
Tastes like the everlasting taste of garlic, you try to brush it away, only to make it taste worse.
Smells like a never-ending stream of salty tears running down your face while you hopelessly attempt to wipe them away.
Sounds like a never-ending echo only you can hear, but never tell anyone about it.
Grief looks like the clouds that hide the sun, to remind you that the world isn’t always so bright.
I found the essay “There Is More To Life Than My Life” by Jamaica Ritcher, very interesting. The title itself could be seen as some depressing understatement on the author’s life; however, it is anything but depressing. The essay addresses how Jamaica was raised with “straightforward” parents. Which came to play as an issue when a death had ever occurred. Jamaica writes the difficulty she had with death. Worried about her future of “internal nothingness” after her death. When Jamaica’s family cat had died, Jamaica found herself in a difficult position many parents struggle with. How to tell a two-year-old about death. Jamaica carefully told her two-year-old daughter:
“when animals, including people, die, they are usually put into the ground and that their bodies become the grasses, flowers and trees” -Jamaica Ritcher, (There Is More To Life Than My Life Par. 3)
Jamaica puts a once dreadful situation, into a completely different perspective. She made death not seem so much of an “internal nothingness” experience. But rather poetically: ” life, everlasting, in the bloom of every flower.” -Jamaica Ritcher (There Is More To Life Than My Life Par. 5). With the help of Jamaica’s insightful perspective on a very sensitive subject (death). It is argued that she has brightened not only Jamaica’s life but her daughter’s life as well, internally.
Link To Essay: https://thisibelieve.org/essay/2714/
The article “Facebook and the Epiphantor,” by Paul Ford quickly caught my interest. The article addresses how society deals with, but is not often made aware of the very relevant issues regarding social media. In this article, Ford explains the idea that social media posts contain no feelings. Ford gives examples of how people on social media can express their dreadful loss of a loved one with photos and statuses of grief; but not long before, they revise their status with posts of their newborn nephew. Ford portrays the idea that social media has no beginning and no end:
“The tide brings in status updates; the tide takes them out…No beginnings, and no endings” -Paul Ford, (Facebook and the Epiphanator Par. 3 & 4)
Ford’s writing appeals to me through his poetic, insightful realities of social media. He compares very repetitive natural things such as a tide, to the very repetitive traits of social media functions. In our everyday lives as clients of Facebook, we scroll through a feed that consists of various statuses posted by others, which are then annexed by more recent status updates. The goals of one’s post can go anywhere from motivational, to depressing, to angry. Social media provides equal chances, which are desired by everyone.
Link to article: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2011/07/paul_ford_facebook_and_the_epiphanator_an_end_to_endings.html
In Gandalf’s quote, he covers the similar idea that the essay “A South African Storm” describes. One’s actions with great reputation, are less powerful than unified actions from others with less reputation. Allison Howard describes racism as a habit brought from institutionalized racism. For example, Society often criticises commercials for having caucasian families instead of having other races. When it is unintentional, it is seen as racist. When ironically enough, regardless of which race is cast, it is important to understand that we are all the same species, thus, it shouldn’t be of drastic concern and perhaps something that should be ignored instead of pressured on companies’ to hire specific races for their commercials. An unintentional action, like running in the rain to refrain from getting your clothing wet. Allison Howard’s hopes of identifying and taking action on instinctive actions will “keep the darkness [hate and racism] at bay”. Ignoring differences between herself and the others around her as well will help with changing the path of racism.
Miss Brill by, Katherine Mansfield, touches the very relevant conditions of life. Through the eyes of a lonely elderly lady, the short story describes Miss Brill’s perspective of her surroundings as she analyzes the people around her. Listening in on their conversations and making a conclusion of their lives merely based on their appearance. Miss Brill is one unique character, however; I believe that she is also very similar to myself. It is hard to avoid it, but if I see someone and observe their appearance. I instinctively come to an assumption of how they are, and who they are. We never truly can identify someone until we communicate. Anyone who has read Miss Brill could identify this human characteristic being practiced throughout its literature.
Many times we assume “all is well”. Whether it be ourselves or others, we assume that there will be no issues that arise, until we are then, of course, reminded that our observations are just what we think and are not actually factual. To wit, Miss Brill describes a young couple as “beautifully dressed; they were in love. The hero and heroine,” only to discover that they were actually in an argument at the time: “No, not now. Not here, I can’t” the young girl said. Miss Brill was convinced by her mediate thought about this couples’ situation. She instinctively romanticizes them-she sees them as rich, glamorous heroes of a play, who are in love, because they dress nicely and because they are young, fitting the stereotype of romantic heroes in films and books, however; it is then evident, that Miss Brill wrongfully accused this couple, from the distant vibrations that the girl was giving to her significant other.