Posts tagged writing.
“Capturing life as it is”
There are many things about that phrase that bothers me. For one, the word “capturing” and the phrase “life as it is” should never co-exist side-by-side; they work against each other. “Life as it is” cannot be captured. Once you capture life through film or other literary works, it becomes a construction, perverted by subjectivity and specific perspectives. There is no such thing as portraying objective truth; the best that one can do is strategically gather information and select from that group of information what to believe and what to discount. Moreover, the truth is a man made construction reproduced through a system of gathering and filtering. We believe what we want to. That is not to say, however, that the truth does not exist. The “truth” is an entity that exists independently in reality, but it is in the nature of humans to pervert and complicate it. My writing, your writing; they’re all but works of fiction inspired by life (as it is). The “truth” in the context of literature, henceforth, is a matter of honesty to the self- the relationship between the writer and his pen, his keyboard” and even so, the truth, here, remains limited, and to a large degree, subjective. So, to try and draw the lines between absolute, objective truth and fiction is to entertain in a hopeless task, for such border does not exist. If you’re looking for matter-of-fact through literature, search with a grain of salt. When indulging in texts that proudly claim to be “based on a true story” or, in other words, aims to capture reality, it is only healthy, and I would argue, very necessary to ask yourself “why” and “through what lens?”
A Continuation of my college essay.
Dad and I sat at the table together tonight, we’re both students again. He’s once again unemployed and the past month, we’ve rekindled our relationship. These moments are financially troubling, but they reinforce the family as a whole. He’s going to start looking for work again soon, he’s been enjoying his first ‘vacation’ in 2 weeks. In the meantime, he’s in the process of updating his license. In his presence, I’ve become more studious since I now have a silent study buddy, we go on thrice weekly hikes, have amassed inside jokes between us. Dropping out of school when I did, now seems like a blessing. I’m confident that he’ll find work soon, but for now I’ll just enjoy our time together. I’ll share the same optimism that he has.
- Wilmington, DE
- Ex-hippie from 60s
- Book publisher, writer, running for President & Pope
- 1st day(10/14/11) planned to stay overnight in the park and leave on the 15th
- In the city for an interview
- Independent, no political party affiliation
My friend and I had been walking around looking for someone we could keep a sane, intelligible conversation with. We saw a well-dressed older man with rose colored glasses, and decided that by appearance he seemed knowledgeable and had lived through past decades of America’s civil rights issues and protests. After we approached him, introduced ourselves, and had him sign the waver, he casually mentioned that he was running not only for President but also Pope. Lola and I noticed that we made an unsatisfactory choice. The clouds had been closing in all afternoon and by now it was scarily gloomy, and a rainstorm was fast approaching so we stayed with Mr. Siggins, I mean Jeff. He was adamant about us calling him Jeff. It felt odd speaking to an elderly person so blithely.
Jeff was in the city to sell his book, “Me for President and Pope”. He made an offer to us that we quickly declined. Among Jeff’s numerous titles, he was a freelance book writer and seller. He was selling his book at the wholesale price of $8 per copy to be sold at retail for $15, where we could earn $7 in profit for every copy we sold. “We have an economic crisis in America. We must get the economy moving again. Profundador Press LLC would like to make its contribution to the employment situation in the country.” He firmly believed that he would be helping the economy by enlisting the aid of people to sell his book. This was his main argument for why we don’t need corporations and how easy it would be to take things into our own hands. There were numerous pop-up small business inside the park venue, some people sold bracelets, others made portraits. Something about that naivety made me smile softly.
Jeff, an ex-hippie came to Occupy Wall Street hoping that with his past experiences in protest and marches, he could have served as a mediator between the protestors and police because of the eviction they faced that morning.
We conducted a quick interview with Jeff seeing that he gave abstract answers to the logical questions we asked. He’s quite the businessman though, I wish him success in his book endeavors.
Everytime I drive by, I wonder….
Do they treat you with the same respect and love that your 130 year old historic frame needs?
Have they found my reading nook and hiding places?
Have they figured out how to sneak to the kitchen quietly for midnight snacks without awaking the stairs?
Do they go searching for snakes in the basement and backyard like I did on summer days?
Do they just sing aloud because of the acoustics that your old walls bounce back so eminently that it resonates in their souls?
Can they manage to fall asleep without a nightlight as you creak all night long, on which I would ruminate what secrets old spirit creatures were sharing?
Do they avoid glancing out the windows at night in fear that they’ll connect eyes with a glancer?
Do they use the bathroom in the dark of night so that they can conceal themselves from your 5 foot barren windows?
Do they try to catch the sparks that fly out the fireplace like I foolishly did?
Do they go out on the roof on clear autumn nights?
- Graduated from Rutgers Law
- Has his own firm
- Came to offer support and expertise last night(10/13/11) because the demonstrators were facing eviction from the park for clean-up
- Will stay for as long as it takes
- Lives nearby
When I asked Mr. Flores-Williams if he thought that eventually there would be some national legislature reform put through to address the issues that the demonstrators were discussing, he replied ‘no’. He says that the reform going on at the park is individual reform on the human mind. He wants there to be a shift in mentality, wanting people to show more integrity. The change that they’ve had mentally will radiate in their personalities.
- Works with the Press Team at Occupy Wall Street
- Has been coming for a week
- Lives in nearby Brooklyn
- Of Indian Heritage
- Professor of Philosophy at a nearby city college.
- Bachelor’s in Philosophy, Masters in International Relations
- His parents are not too fond of his stance.
- Since the movement is young, there aren’t any propositions and demands that need to be met.
- People have branched off into their particular interests, environmental justice, corporation accountability, campaign finance reform, etc.
- Believes that the demonstration can go on for years if need be
Anup was the most insightful person that I ran into today. He didn’t expect any actual legislative reform to come from the protests. What he wanted was personal reform, for people to walk away with knowledge and a sense of awareness of our political and economic system. He says that most decisions that the American government makes relating to finance will affect everyone else. My friend and I were schooled by this man, he was enlightened us. Anup mentioned, ‘When NAFTA(North American Free Trade Act) was passed, there were 2,000,000 laborers in Mexico reaping corn, but after the reform 1,500,000 laborers were let go due to the competition that was coming from America. America had started growing their own corn and in turn selling it in Mexico, which drew their corn prices down.’ He brought up the argument that when Mexicans migrate here, part of their travel involves America. The men that come here to provide for their families have to, because there isn’t work at home. Mexican migration to the United States has placed many American jobs in hands of cheaper laborers. This leaves the Mexican women at home with their children, these children are raised fatherless. I didn’t want to walk away from the conversation that we were holding with Anup, even under heavy rain and persistent winds, we stood under the huddle of umbrellas overhead. If and when I do go back, I’d love to hold a conversation with Anup again.
- Political Science Major from Rutgers New Brunswick, Freshman
- He has been keeping up with the protests since day 1.
- He attended September 17th.
- Attended the May 12th Coalition, it was a gathering of unions, anger towards Wall Street, and spending on public education
- His parents attended Occupy Wall Street for a day, and found it electrifying.
- His father had been part of other marches and movements during the 1960s, and found this one to be captivating.
- Does not see the demonstration eventually getting violent.
- Political Science Major from Rutgers New Brunswick, Freshman
- First time attending, came as an observer with Ben
- His parents were fairly neutral on the protests.
- He believed that if everyone had a unified goal, it’d be more productive
- The protests have become a counterculture of their own at this point.
Meeting Ben and James was refreshing, we were in the process of approaching people who might be in our age range, when they walked up to us. They had figured out that my friend was a Rutgers student partaking in an assignment. The two young men hadn’t really chosen a stance for the demonstration. James came as a silent observer since he had been hearing so much about the protests. Ben had been involved in other demonstrations and marches, had a decent amount of knowledge in protests, but still wasn’t certain on where he stood. I mentioned that even though most protests start off peacefully, very few end in the same fashion. Ben said that he didn’t see the demonstration turning violent unless demands were proposed and then ultimately denied, then the agitation may begin and it may turn violent. But for the most part, he believed that it could persist in the same ‘pacific’ manner that it had.
She came into my life and immediately I knew that she would just be a memory. I knew that she would soon occupy a permanent spot in my cognitive phonebook; the individual that I would never call, but never delete nonetheless. I fell in love with the distance between us. I became obsessed with the detachment holding us together.
…detach yourself to stay.
New York is a city heavily congested with people, when I go there does my brain make use of statistics on the American population. I sat on the E train from the beginning to one of its last stops. I saw all types of people shuffling in and out of the train. Kids getting out from school, working men and women headed home, homeless people pressing for change.
The statistics that most often come to my mind are ones pertaining to poverty, child abuse, abortions, mental illnesses, and lack of health insurance. Externally, we can’t identify people who have experienced these. They are unseen to the outside world, but does extensive damage internally and in the ‘home’. I keep in mind that statistics are only of reported cases. For example, in the United States, 1 in 58 children are abused physically, that’s near 2% of children. It doesn’t seem like much until herds of children walked past me. I started counting off and putting random faces to these statistics. My haphazard selection brings life to the statistics. It’s a mixture of Russian Roulette and Duck, Duck, Goose, as I count off heads and land on my unfortunate goose. My heart sinks to the person I’ve chosen during my stochastic process. My train ended up being jammed for two hours, during this time, I ran enough statistics mentally until no one in our car was sparred. This time, my habit made me realize that most everyone is facing or has faced something traumatic in their lives.
Sign Language is one of my favorite languages. I was introduced to this beautiful language by one of my closest friends, A, about 4 summers ago. She was born to deaf parents, so it’s her first language. Every time I see her sign, it captivates me. I love seeing the hand motion, body language, and exaggerated facial expressions, because you can grasp what the conversation is about based on these three things alone. I’ve been trying to learn, but I’ve been failing epically. I can’t follow up with the emotions that go with the signing. It’s a truly universal language; it touches people from every race, culture, and creed. Deafness occurs everywhere. I love the deaf, mute, and sign sub-culture. Now, I’ve been following deaf dancers and rappers. I have so much respect for deaf dancers because they rely on counts and the vibration of the music, and you wouldn’t be able to guess that they were deaf. Another thing that amazes me about it is that unlike other spoken foreign languages, you can talk about people with them ever hearing you, that’s always a plus. But seriously, sometime in my life, I want to get around to learning this art form.
Now I’m making this a reality, it makes me feel accomplished.
I can’t stand hearing another person describing someone as one of these poorly descriptive adjectives. The English language is a language filled with bountiful words that can meet the characteristics of how someone’s traits come off to you as. Humans are capable and fascinating creatures that are everchanging, sometimes there isn’t a word fitting enough, don’t keep it overly basic.
I didn’t notice how prevalent the use of the words ‘real’ and ‘fake’ were until I started tuning into reality shows. The characters on the show sometimes spend a whole season trying to show how real they are while they denounce other characters as fake. Too much emphasis is put on the ‘realness’ of a person. Just because someone doesn’t live their lives according to your code or morals, doesn’t make them fake or boogie. We are real, we’re human, we’re different.
In psychology I learned that we sleep, so that the day’s memories can turn into long-term memories. But what if something happened to us that we don’t want to remember? In times of distress, can sleep deprivation actually help us? According to science, on the days that we are sleep deprived we are forming long-term memories. We’d hypothetically remember the event less, and technically we would be less traumatized in the future. The option of us drawing the memory back up in the future would lessen.
Instead of telling patients to rest during rough times in their life, should doctors be telling them the opposite? Just a thought. It wouldn’t be safe if there were a whole bunch of sleep-deprived people walking around, but later on it might help their sanity.
Just a random flow of thoughts.
Sitting down in Kingdom Hall, the brother’s voice has faded out and sounds like French gibberish. My eyes are dazed, I look down at my hands. My polka dot dress and beige carpet has gotten out of focus, but my fingers remain clear and upfront. For the first time, I notice I have my grandfather’s hands, almost everything about my hands resemble his. It’s never been brought to my attention before. In my dorsal hands, the cracks in my phalanges and grooved fingernails are that of his. I turn them over to look at my rough palms. I’ve always had “man’s” hands. These features have always bothered me and the thought of handholding makes me nervous. I close my eyes and run my fingers through the cracks and bends of my hands and feel like I’m grazing your hand. I remember when I used to trace my index finger along your palm and his carpenter-callused fingers and I smile. These little epiphanies bring me an incredible amount of joy.
You tell me to put the pen down and do something practical. But I am, writing helps me discern my thoughts and keep track of how I’m growing mentally. It helps me keep track of my emotions and ideas, and how I felt for that moment in time. It’s one of the few things that keeps your daughter mentally sane.
Today I started my second summer class. I was expecting to drive to the community college that’s 20 minutes away from my house, but due to lack of funds and my mother’s denial, I couldn’t. Mother said ‘You have to try new things’, I got emotional because I’m not used to being denied driving privileges or being away from Sammyiie. She suggested that I take the bus to and from my night class. I’ve only been on a bus twice before, so I was hesitant but was left with no other choice. Lately, I’ve been feeling uninspired in terms of writing, and felt like I needed to travel someplace new to get the inspiration I was looking for. But I didn’t. All I had to do was step outside of my comfort zone. During the bus ride, I felt different, my mind was awakening. And after my class finished around 9:30, I sat outside in the humid heat while waiting and I looked around and took in my new sights, new feelings, and new emotions. I think I’ve gotten out of my rut, and will try to write more often.