Happy National Poetry Month

Funny — to be a Century —
And see the People — going by —
I — should die of the Oddity
But then — I’m not so staid — as He

He keeps His Secrets safely — very
Were He to tell — extremely sorry
This Bashful Globe of Ours would be
So dainty of Publicity

Emily Dickinson

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I Guess That Makes Me Honest, Then

“I think the difference between a lie and a story is that a story utilizes the trappings and appearance of truth for the interest of the listener as well as the teller. A story has in it neither gain nor loss. But a lie is a device for profit or escape. I suppose if that definition is strictly held to, then a writer of stories is a liar—if he is financially fortunate.”

From John Steinbeck’s East of Eden

“The Things They Carried”

“For the most part they carried themselves with poise, a kind of dignity. Now and then, however, there were times of panic, when they squealed and wanted to squeal but couldn’t, when they twitched and made moaning sounds and covered their heads and said Dear Jesus and flopped around on the earth and fired their weapons blindly and cringed and sobbed and begged for the noise to stop and went wild and made stupid promises to themselves and to God and to their mothers and fathers, hoping not to die…afterward, when the firing ended, they would blink and peek up. They would touch their bodies, feeling shame, then quickly hiding it. They would force themselves to stand…frame by frame, the world would take on the old logic—absolute silence, then the wind, then sunlight, then voices. It was the burden of being alive.”

From Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried

What is Beauty, Anyway?

“They that have power to hurt, and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow;
They rightly do inherit heaven’s graces,
And husband nature’s riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others, but stewards of their excellence.
The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself, it only live and die…”

William Shakespeare
“Sonnet 94”

It’s okay to crash, as long as you’re not the one who set the coordinates

“If you allow yourself to have safety nets, you’re just setting yourself up for a fall.” -N.M.

So many times I’ve heard friends, family members, teachers, advisors say that it’s best to have a plan C/D/E when you’re figuring out what you want to do with your future. Until recently, I would’ve agreed with that advice, since plan A’s can often backfire and hit you in the face harder than the backlash of Voldemort’s Avada Kedavra. But I’ve long since come to learn that positivity is the best way to form (and maintain) your future. It’s become second nature to me to remind myself that what I want to do is directly tied to what I can do, or what I strongly believe I can do. In other words, why not have just a plan A, as long as you’re going to dedicate yourself to that plan until you get to where you want to be? It’s all about mindset, and making whatever you want to happen…happen. OK, so having a Plan B is also a good idea, not as a just-in-case, but as a second, simultaneous option to go along with A. Having multiple projects to work on, so that you could potentially mold them into one genius idea that is (almost) immune to failure, is a good way to assure yourself that you can, in fact, do it. And it serves to cater to your positive attitude.

Some might say that you need a fall every now and then so that you can appreciate where you’ve been, and I agree with that, to an extent. Falling when you’re not expecting it is fine, because it comes with the territory; aiming high is sure to end in ugly slips every now and then. The problem is when people believe that they can’t really get that position, so they apply for something else. Or they won’t be able to learn a second, or third, language, so they don’t make any attempt. The mentality has to be positive at all times. You are, after all, who you set out to be. Nobody’s going to worm their way into your thoughts and take it into their own hands to submit the book that’s been stewing in your mind for over two years, as awesome as that may be. You have to find the courage and press the button. Where it takes you is a different matter, but at least you knew you could do it.

To Strike A Chord

To strike a chord in the heart strings of those who seek beauty and truth, to make an unsuspecting reader smile, to pave a new wave of thought, to connect with the masses, the unseen and unheard, to show the silent that they have a voice, to merge fantasy and reality in such a way that no distinctions can be made between them, to erase all boundaries holding back the imagination, to captivate a reader in such a way that he begins to think of himself as a character, to share experiences and experience my share of things, to record adventures and make unlikely characters heroes, and to start a conversation among those who otherwise would have never met…this is what I hope to accomplish through my writing.