Sunday, February 24, 2013

"I can never read all the books I want."

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Okay, I took these about a month ago, but it pretty much encapsulates my weekends here. I've been reading The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, among other things, like short stories by Jack London and Prometheus Bound. I'm almost done with The Things They Carried, which is an incredible book, though at times extremely difficult to read because of the content. It's about the Vietnam war, but it isn't just a book about war; it's a book about life. And it definitely paints life as it is.

Really, it's a bit ironic that I read Jack London and Tim O'Brien in the same weekend, because both of them do this with their writings, and I absolutely love it. They don't mess with romantics; they highlight how cruel and unforgiving life and nature can be. They write as things are.

And I want to write like that.
I want to tackle life--to highlight it, not glorify it.
I want to be real.

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Quotes from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath.


"I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want."
-page 43

"Before I give my body, I must first give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams. And you weren't having any of those."
-page 20

"If they substituted the word "Lust" for "Love" in the popular songs it would come nearer the truth."
-page 21

"Perhaps some day I'll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow."
-page 23

"From now on when a boy starts telling me about his lost loves I'm going to run in the opposite direction screaming loudly. It is a bad sign."
-page 24

"Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that--I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much--so very much to learn--"
-page 25

"And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock of the words you utter--they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long."
-page 31

"...to know that it's twenty-three o'clock by the watch you got for graduation and that in three days you have your first mid year exam and you'd much rather read anything that what you have to, but you do have to, and you will, although you've already wasted two hours writing stream-of-consciousness stuff in here when your stream isn't much to brag about, after all."
-page 37

"I desire the things which will destroy me in the end."
-page 55

"I remember that I was writing a poem on 'Snow' when I was eight. I said aloud, 'I wish I have the ability to write down the feelings I have now while I'm still little, because when i grow up I will know how to write, but I will have forgotten what being little feels like."
-page 58

"You wonder if you've got what it takes to keep building up obstacles for yourself, and to keep leaping through them, sprained ankle or not."
-page 63-64

"...somehow you don't want to live just one life, which could be typed, which could be tossed off in a thumbnail sketch = 'She was the sort of girl...' And end in 25 words or less. You want to live as many lives as you can."
-page 64

"Aloneness and selfness are too important to betray for company."
-page 70

"And so it is that with my leaning toward allegories, similes, and metaphors, I suddenly find a vehicle to express a few of the many disturbing thoughts which have been with me since yesterday."
-page 75

"I am so busy keeping my head above water that I scarcely know who I am, much less who anybody else is. But I must discipline myself. I must be imaginative and create plots, knit motives, probe dialogue--rather than merely trying to record descriptions and sensations. The latter is pointless, without purpose, unless it is later to be synthesized into a story. The latter is also a rather pronounced symptom of an oversensitive and unproductive ego."
-page 76-77

"Yet, God, I want to talk to everybody I can as deeply as I can."
-page 77

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--Emily

Friday, February 22, 2013

That time when it started snowing and it never stopped.

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So, remember yesterday when I was all excited about the snow?
Yeah.
Well, we got ten inches. Ten. Inches.

I barely recognize campus now. Everything is absolutely buried. And this morning, everyone had to move their cars to another parking lot so they could shovel all the snow.

I wish I had gotten a picture of my car. It was an igloo.
Seriously, I drive a VW bug, and when it gets layered under snow, it literally looks like an igloo.

When I tried to move it yesterday, I got stuck. Three times. People kept having to push me out. It was incredibly embarrassing, and the next car I buy will be a tank.

But, with all this free time, I was able to take a trip outside and snap some photos for the first time in ages.


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--Emily

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Variations on a Theme: Snow

Excitement is in the air.
Its name is snow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Story:
Rumors of snow have been circling around campus (and, I assume, all of Missouri) for the past week or so. Today was the day. My first class was at 9:25. The second at 10:50. The third at 3:00.

I awoke at 7:20 or so and looked out my window.
Nothing.

I checked my texts, emails, and school announcements.
Nothing.

I went to my first class as normal.
Snow was to come at 11:00, they said.
Class ended and as I waited for my next class, I stared outside, willing for some kind of movement.

Not even a snowflake.

My 2nd class began. There are no windows in that room. At 12:05, we were dismissed.
As soon as I walked outside the classroom, I saw the scene outside.
Completely white.

My 3rd class has been canceled.
And now I shall drink hot chocolate and rejoice in the ongoing blizzard that is raging outside my window.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Outside my window

During my trip from my 2nd class to the cafeteria

~~~~~~~~~~~~

A poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that we recently covered in my American Poetry class:


Snow-Flakes
Out of the bosom of the Air,
      Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
      Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
            Silent, and soft, and slow
            Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
      Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
      In the white countenance confession,
            The troubled sky reveals
            The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
      Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
      Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
            Now whispered and revealed
            To wood and field.
  


~~~~~~~~~~~~

--Emily

A Lost City


Never in my life has a poem taken me this long to write. I started this weeks ago and only just finished it. It's written in iambic tetrameter, which I have never before attempted and what proved to be more difficult than I would have ever imagined. But, I'm pleased with the finished product. Let me know what you think.



Forgotten cities scattered round
inside my brain; these ruins found
by elder hands that long forgot
their ancient purpose, though they brought
and built these lands of long ago,
the lands of myth—of friends and foe—
of legends, whispers—there was truth
once hidden here within my youth.
The pillars fell and crumbled down
by something past—some slow break down
extending through my nineteen years;
a demolition of my fears.
I lost you there within the waste
and so much more that’s been replaced.
These cities glistened at their height
like beacons through the black and white,
but something happened throughout time—
a war, a flee, a horrid crime—
that drove these cities underground,
these cities that can now be found
decaying, falling. Pieces of
my memories—of joy and love—
of anger, heartache—all these, lost
among the wreckage. And the cost
of memory is higher than
a treat or trinket made by man.
A thought of you I had back then
encapsulated how and when
and who you were compared to me;
but now, you are an absentee,
and now, my past is but a ghost
inside these ruins. Here’s a toast
to all of you I will forget,
to all of you I may have met,
to all the friends I may have shared
the times of old, the times we cared,
the times that we once knew each other,
the times when you were like my brother,
the times when love was hidden in-
between our words, inside our skin,
and wrapped around our fingertips.
The images and written scripts
have not survived my passage through
the fading years and on into
the present day. Goodbye, farewell
to fallen cities where you dwell,
goodbye sweet songs and dancing days,
where secrets slept inside a phrase.
And now, I've long forgotten why
the cities tumbled from the sky
so long ago. My hands have found
a broken piece from underground
engraved with language I can’t read;
a word that holds a long-lost creed,
but useless now. I rise again,
not knowing where it is I've been,
and leave the ruins to their doom,
and leave the cities in their tomb,
while I march on to modern lands
and leave the mound with empty hands.

--Emily

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Summarized Week

It's been a week.
An entire week.
Who knows what has happened since then?

I ate, I slept,
I studied, and wept,
and told myself just one more day.

The times were great
here and there,
when life could have just stayed put awhile.

I conquered all,
I fell abruptly,
and still got lifted up again.

The miles fled
beneath my feet
like water rushing over stones

and I appeared there
for a short while.
I held you just long enough to breathe.

Now, I've returned
to monotony
and the drone of seconds and syllables.

I'll come back--
I'll always come back--
in three weeks time

and we can be ourselves again.

--Emily

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Favorite Movie Moments

I was reading this blog post earlier, which got me wondering about my favorite movie scenes, which I had never really pondered before. So I'm going to make a list of particular scenes that I love, in no particular order. The movies they are from may not be on my list of favorites, but the scenes have some kind of profound effect on me.


--Tommy's Scream in Never Let Me Go
can be seen here starting a minute into the video:



--Hiccup touches Toothless in How To Train Your Dragon
can be seen here staring about two minutes in

--the rain scene in Pride & Prejudice
the whole scene can be seen here 

--Neytiri shoots the arrow at Quarich in Avatar
I couldn't find a video for this scene, but here is some wicked acting from Zoe Saldana:


--Ivy finds Lucius in The Village
I love the whole scene of her traveling to his house and finding him on the floor, but I particularly love her sob when her father pulls her away, which can be seen starting at 1:25 in this video:


--The Ending of August Rush
all of it. A little far-fetched, but it just comes together so perfectly. I remember going crazy when I first saw this in theaters.

--When Christian turns back and sings to Satine during the finale of Moulin Rouge!
no video for this one, but here's the audio:

--Albert and Joey reunite in War Horse
I couldn't find a clip or picture for this, but this is afterwards:

--The ending of Homeward Bound
I seriously just cried watching this again.

--all of the speeches in Good Will Hunting
Here's one of them, but there are a lot of others throughout the movie.


--Eduardo rage in The Social Network
Andrew Garfield again. But seriously, this is such a great scene.

--Pocahontas saves John Smith in Disney's Pocahontas
not historically accurate at all, but a beautiful moment for Disney

--Farewell in Pocahontas
while we're on the subject, can anything be better than this final wave?

--Shane starts singing at the end of Camp Rock
It's just a perfect moment when he realizes that she's the one he's been looking for all along. Start this video about a minute in.

--Eugene's story in Pay It Forward
Kevin Spacey is just fabulous in this scene. This whole movie is just great.

--"You were the chosen one!" from Revenge of the Sith
the whole battle scene is pretty great, but this moment starts about 6:30

--When Link starts dancing with Tracy at the end of Hairspray
It's such a cute moment.

--The truth about Severus Snape
especially the scene starting at 2:50.

Honorable Mention:
--The entirety of Les Miserables
I've only seen this movie twice so it's hard to pinpoint a particular part that fits this list. But I mean, come on.  Anne Hathaway's "I Dreamed a Dream"

I'm pretty sure there are more. I will probably add them to this list whenever I think of them.
Do you have any favorite movie moments?

--Emily

    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Favorite Quotations

    I'm taking these off of my Facebook profile because they're all from high school and don't really apply anymore, but they've been on my account for as long as I can remember and I didn't want to just delete them. So I'm posting them here for safe keeping.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~


    "She's webbed."
    - Mrs. Fletcher, 2.18.09

    "In fact, I'm gonna eat him."
    - Plymouth, 3.20.09

    Emily: That is my goal in life.
    Jenna: To be killed by natives?
    - 4.15.09

    "Gotta look up Hornbuckle."
    - Mrs. Fletcher, 4.15.09

    "Emily, get real."
    - Tyler, 4.22.09

    "So now I'm the leader of the Horse People."
    - Mr. Martin, 5.5.09

    Jermaine: It's always excuses with you. Who goes to an odd number, anyway?
    Mr. Redecker: ...Ten is an even number.
    - 6.24.09

    "Patience, my young Padawan."
    - Stephanie, 7.24.09

    "She's so determined to figure out who Tobey Yum Yum is."
    - Karlee, 8.13.09

    "So if you can't swim and you know you can't swim, get a calculator."
    - Mr. Petty, 8.25.09
       
    Aristotle: What kind of a name is Avogadro?
    Mrs. Chapman: Well, it's kind of like ARISTOTLE.
    - 9.21.09

    "Miley Cyrus is my kryptonite."
    - Mr. Christopher, 9.24.09

    Mr. Petty: So when do you eat ice cream?
    Student: On a boat.
    - 10.5.09

    "Not everything in life will be given to you in moles."
    - Mrs. Chapman (aka "Cougar"), 10.21.09

    "I'm comfortable enough in my manhood to wear these underpants."
    - Lauren Smith, 10.24.09

    Mrs. Chapman: You scared the crap outta me!
    Landon: I thought it was pee?
    Mrs. Chapman: Both. It was a messy day.
    - 11.??.09

    "Now, here's some string. Start making us shoes."
    - Mr. Toney, 11.18.09

    "I'm kind of worried about my sanity today."
    - Mrs. Chapman, 11.??.09

    "You can trust us; we're the Germans."
    -Mr. Toney, 11.23.09

    "You never know when you might need a shady spoon."
    - Allison Lucas, 12.24.09

    "If I had a bra, I'd take it off!"
    - Karlee, 12.26.09

    "The Amish people are staring at us!"
    - Jenna, 1.5.10

    "If I used John Smith (by the way, he's a popular author) and his book "I Hate Kites," then I would say, "John Smith, in his legendary book 'I Hate Kites,' says, '...blah blah blah, kites are stupid.'"
    - Mr Noble, 4.14.10

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    --Emily

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

    Pebbles


    Such a stone to function through;
    are these pebbles stuck in here,
    in this heart, this mortal heart?
    Sinful heart—and my own thoughts
    drove them there. My rolling thoughts
    smoothed the stones and clashed against
    them, depositing by day
    little secrets, lustful ways.
    Oh, my God! Please come and save
    me from this—the weight of sin
    trapped inside a wand’ring heart.

    --Emily




    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    Nostalgia.

    I should be memorizing a skit for Spanish. In Spanish.

    I've been out of classes since 11:00 this morning and I just can't seem to stay on track. My mind has been swarming with past memories. I've gone through my old Myspace photos (which, for some reason, MySpace has resized to tiny little thumbnails, which upsets me greatly because many of those photos are not saved anywhere else) as well as digging through old albums on my jumpdrives and external hard drive.


     
     
     

    I love those two pictures of Eric and I. I think they pretty much capture our friendship. The first is from one of my birthdays early in high school; the last is before a band concert during senior year.

    I keep wondering if I was happier then. I certainly look happier in all of the photos, and it's true--most of the major events that have shaped who I am today had not yet occurred. Although I am not saying that I'm not happy now. On the contrary--I think I've reached a much more stable point in my life.

    Maybe happiness isn't the right word. Maybe I was just more carefree back then. I wasn't so serious. But is that a good or a bad thing? Or can it be both?

    I look at those pictures and wonder if that person is still even within me at all.

    I wish I had more time to ponder this right now, but I must go memorize that skit.

    --Emily

    Final Project for Medieval and Renaissance Lit

    I've been meaning to post this for awhile. Last semester, I was in Medieval and Renaissance Lit, which was basically focused upon old texts over King Arthur and Robin Hood. It was pretty neat. For our final project, we could do virtually anything.


    Narrative Poetry based on the Suite du Merlin

    Explanation: The following poetry is a retelling of the story of the Suite du Merlin, but written in verse and through the perspectives of all the main characters. My goal was to personalize each narrative to fit each different character.

    ·         Merlin: written in complete free verse without any constriction of rhyme or meter whatsoever. This was to symbolize his freedom from King Arthur. In this story, he is not bound by his normal obligations, but instead follows his heart and travels with Niviane.

    ·         Niviane: written in three stanzas containing three lines each, with a rhyme scheme of aaa/bbb/ccc. The repetition of the number three is to correlate to her quest for power, strength, and completeness. I think of her as a triangle—though a little odd to deal with, she is much stronger than the average rectangle.

    ·         Arthur: written in twelve lines with every two lines rhyming and each line alternating in a pattern of nine and ten syllables. His poems were very structured because as King, he is led by rules and obligations.

    ·         Diana: her poem is written in short lines with every other line rhyming and possessing only four syllables. The rhyme changes every eight lines. This was done to resemble Diana’s mind going back and forth between the two men, never quite staying on the same track. One line will have no syllable count at all, but the next will have specifically four, which shows her thoughts swaying as if she was on a teeter-totter.


    Merlin
    She was a huntress—a title well suited—
    for she had hurled a harpoon through my heart
    the very moment that she entered the court.
    The king saw her beauty, but I saw her eyes—
    her intelligence, her fierceness, her glory and strength
    radiated forward from her young face.
    It was then that I knew not the future or past,
    but that she would be more—
    yes, she was much more—
    than a mere huntress to me.

    Niviane
    When I was younger, I was told I’d be
    much more than a queen or huntress; I’d see
    far past the limits of mortality.

    I came to the court in a sort of disguise
    to learn from the one that I swore to despise,
    and afterwards be his source of demise.

    I’d learn Merlin’s ways—four months, he would teach
    me to move mountains with my spells and my speech
    and climb to new heights I before could not reach.

    Merlin
    When they sent for her, my heart was pulled
    two ways. My love and my lord
    on divergent tides, like North goes from South.
    A choice was in order, and though my head said stay,
    the harpoon pulled away and followed her home.
    They say love is blind, but for a man with more sight
    and knowledge than anyone, it is but a light
    that extinguishes all else by its brilliancy.
    I would go with Niviane—I’d follow her footsteps
    with no knowledge of anything—of where they might lead,
    or what was ahead—I knew but one thing:
    wherever she was, I would there be.

    Arthur
    Merlin! That wretch, that traitor, that fiend,
    on whose advice I had desperately leaned,
    left me today! The temerity!
    And made me—the king—a hilarity!
    It will not do, but find him, I won’t—
    to offer a pardon to those who don’t
    repent of their sins done against me
    would be a disgrace. No, Merlin shall be
    left on his own, and I shall prevail
    a loyal leader and fight without fail,
    and Merlin away! Magic will be
    of no use to me. From him, I am free.

    Niviane
    I hate him! That awful Merlin—who knew
    he would accept my offer and join me through
    my journey home? Oh, what now shall I do?

    A plan, I must form—I must make Merlin see
    the last of his days and longing for me.
    But first, earn his trust in the highest degree

    and take what I can while under his love—
    learn from the lake and the spells up above—
    and then dear Merlin will be disposed of.

    Merlin
    There was not one thing I would not do
    for her, my love, my Niviane—
    the daughter of Beauty, the Goddess of Good,
    the mystical enchantress that cast upon me
    a powerful spell: adoration and love.
    She was the huntress who captured and caged
    my heart. It was hers—but she, loyal to me,
    and of the finest and most lustrous purity,
    would never betray it. And so, I offered to her
    a story of passion: the lake of Diana
    and the tomb that rested there. I knew she would find
    enjoyment in it, and hopefully, me.

    Diana
    I loved him, I did—
    which one, you say?
    Fair question. It might
    change by the day,
    but Faunus, you see—
    love me, he may—
    would be, after all,
    one to betray.
    Felix, however,
    handsome and dear,
    was where my heart was—
    that much was clear.
    My solution, it seemed,
    must be severe:
    Kill Faunus! Alas, my
    love had no fear!
    To spare him agony
    of course, was fair.
    Molten lead, I decided—
    simple affair.
    It was easy and quick—
    I could ensnare
    him in the tomb without
    even a scare.
    No mess to clean up,
    no yell or scream
    to take care of after
    my little scheme.
    I ran fast to Felix,
    my love and dream,
    and told him the tale, but
    he would then deem
    me a murderer, a
    snitch and a snake,
    and kill me—toss me
    into the lake.
    I still reside there,
    dead, but awake,
    and dwell in dread of my
    horrid mistake.

    Niviane
    This place is enchanted—I shall not leave
    it ever again. Instead, I’ll deceive
    Merlin once more—a great wizard, na├»ve

    enough for my bidding. A house, he would build
    me on this lake where Diana was killed—
    invisible to all but those that it filled.

    My powers advance—oh, but to see
    the look on his face the moment that he
    is slain by his student, his love, his trustee.

    Merlin
    I had not seen love so fiercely before—
    no man throughout time, present or past,
    or still yet to come, had ever known love
    such as this. My loyalty and life was all one:
    Niviane, my possessor, and I her protector.
    To make my love known, oh, what a day
    to imagine before me. But no, no—
    No, I must say, for she deserved better
    and brighter than my indulging in pleasure.
    I should not test her or vex her. It’d be
    most inconvenient. No—I would wait.
    It was, in itself, an honor to wait
    to earn her. To turn her. She was, unto me,
    my first and last thought and endeavor each day.
    My allegiance was sworn. She was and would be
    the one I yearned for—my darling, my lady.

    Arthur
    Close call, I had! I almost desired
    Merlin’s return before all transpired.
    Death nearly caught me—fearful, I was
    to be in its claws, and merely because
    of my own pride! But thanks to Sir Kay
    King Arthur still reigns, to which I might say
    thank you, good knights! But no thanks to he
    that turned a blind eye to battles and me.
    Merlin, the wretch, a wizarding fool
    that left me forsaken. Taken by rule
    of a shameful love—falsehood, it seems
    keeps one away from the sound of my screams.

    Niviane
    Arthur in trouble—and Merlin, though he
    can see the outcome, he does not agree
    to go to his aid. It now lies on me

    to retrieve the sword and scabbard—twelve days
    to get to the sight before it conveys—
    and see Merlin’s end before we part ways.

    I couldn’t wait longer for death to occur
    without a design. And I would prefer
    to kill him and put things back as they were.


    Merlin
    I did it for her. It was all for her.
    That she might have loved me—I humor myself.
    I was blind as young Oedipus, who clawed out his eyes
    in shame of the events surrounding his birth;
    from the incestuous longing and lust of his heart.

    We went to the place where love once bloomed
    out of season, like poppies in late October,
    and I thought I would tell her. I thought that she knew
    that I had given my all, and would continue to.
    I don’t pretend to have had honorable intentions;
    I wanted her, but with approval,
    and I thought this might persuade her.

    So when she wanted to sleep next to the tomb,
    I would not leave.
    Out of protection or promise, I cannot say—
    but both were revealed to be unfounded
    before the sun appeared again.

    Niviane
    What more shall I need but a lover entombed
    in the place that he had so proudly presumed
    would be mirrored with us? No, he was doomed

    to fall victim to love and the bite of the snake
    that his lustful heart met—a mindless mistake
    not taken kindly by the one from the lake.

    Son of the Devil—a demon who thought
    he could seduce me; well, he would be caught
    and trapped in the tomb by the spells he had taught.

    Merlin
    My sleep was painless—it was if I had died
    on the spot and was resting away in paradise.
    When my eyes opened and sleep still
    hung around me like a heavy raincloud,
    I still thought it true for the span of a moment.
    But then I saw my body, disconnected
    from cognitive control and numbed so that feeling
    escaped from my senses—I knew the spell well,
    though I wished that the numbness
    could have stretched to my heart.

    To the knights’ high amusement, they poked at me like
    a child examining a dead bird on the road.
    When they turned me around—a pig on a roast—
    I then caught her eye.
    Never in my life had I felt less alive.

    Niviane
    Merlin, now captured and confined to his grave,
    would study his conducts while stuck in the cave
    and I would ride on to find Arthur and save

    him from Morgana. Restore balance to
    the world from all evil—the terrible two:
    One a foul villain and the other taboo.

    His cry echoed out from the dark and decay
    and stabbed at my soul—I found on that day
    that as Merlin died, my heart was astray

    and all I had known had soon passed away.

    --Emily