26 January 2014

Poetry - more than an expression.

Poems have a remarkable ability to express the heart's deepest concerns, desires, and pains. A poem can be triggered by a simple word, a thought, a smile, a tear, and any event close enough to one's mind, heart, and soul. A poem is the manifestation of words being brought to life. What that life means is dependent on the author and the reader, but the result is an extraordinary relationship that is derived from two individuals' commonality.

A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away) I wrote a haiku in response to an assignment in my freshman English class. We were told to construct a haiku about any tragedy - ranging from losing a wallet, to heartbreak, to major catastrophes. For the most part, the project was completely freeform and up to our decision so long as we followed the rules of haikus.

After much deliberation, I found the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centers to be at the top of my selection. However, rather than discuss the particularity of the attacks, I wrote my poem in a much broader aspect to discuss the importance of freedom. The following is what my 9th grade mind came up with:

I fight for freedom
A freedom long forgotten
The freedom of life

21 January 2014

A Student and a Cynic

Through my time here at Defiance College, I've been able to meet and befriend some individuals capable of inspiration and enlightenment, just as you may find on any other campus. One of which is in my Composition class with me and is following the same assignment structure through his blogs. He's a very charismatic, insightful, and engaging writer. Not to mention a talented musician, world class chef, and actor extraordinaire as he puts it. James Boley is certainly the only individual I could be speaking of - a fellow college student from the great state of Texas. (And yes, he has confirmed that everything is bigger in that great state.) From what he's posted and told the world in his first blog posting, his history and his story truly differs that of mine. That said, I notice even more similarities.

James lists his Grandmother as a key influence and centerpiece in sculpting him into who he is today. I think we all can relate if we can locate that person in our lives. For me, that person is my father - from his beginnings and learnings of life, he has striven to provide for a better life for his children. Just as James is inspired and given strength through his Grandmother, so am I thanks to my father. And even so by James himself, even in the short time I've known him.

One of the first things you might notice about James when you first meet him is his easygoing attitude. More so, beneath that easygoing attitude is a unique ambition which is inspiring in and of itself. James carries himself with the attitude of pursuing dreams - and that my friends is contagious.

You can see James' blog for our class at http://jboley001.blogspot.com/. Enjoy and have a great day!

07 January 2014

“…the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.” -James Baldwin

Consider the remarkable life you lead. You might not consider yourself extraordinary or exceptional, but if only for a moment consider exactly what you are. A wonderful creation that thinks, analyzes, records, and creates. An amazing human being that has been carefully made and that is constantly being remodeled and refashioned. It's a little known fact that every three seconds fifty thousand cells in your body die and are replaced. And from the start of that sentence to the end, fifty thousand more cells died and were replaced - it's happening constantly day and night. It's a wonder you're so tired all the time!

And quite possibly one of the more remarkable things about you and me, being who we are, is the way each of us is constantly creating history with every single one of those cells that dies and is remade. Every step we step, every breath we breathe, every blink we blink, every second of every day is intricately affecting the world in which we live, penning down the words that will go down to affect our children and  our children's children, and our children's children's children, and so on. Just as Mr. James Baldwin states in his essay, White Man's Guilt, “…the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.” 

I find it awing when I consider the immense weight of each of my decisions and every occurrence in my life. Think about it for a moment with me, and perhaps you can relate your own situational anecdote: 

As I left for home one weekend, I found myself experiencing some car issues. If my car wouldn't have had trouble starting, I wouldn't have been held up for a few extra minutes as I pumped the gas in frustration and I might have gotten the headstart I wanted in traveling to my destination. However, as I finally coaxed the vehicle to turn over to start and began on my way, I saw ahead in the distance what appeared to be a minor wreck happening before my eyes as a trailing car rear-ended the car ahead due to an abrupt halt.

Consider for a short moment if I wouldn't have had such a bothersome dilemma in starting my own vehicle - I could've had a much more terrible car-debacle upon my hands. Which would probably put that day down in my own history as one of the worst yet. Now consider hypothetically if Abraham Lincoln had experienced an aggravating quandary in his life on his way to deliver the Gettysburg Address in the dedication of Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. American history would be missing one of its most profound and dire speeches in the story of our nation! The underlying point is the impact that each situation, decision, and thought in our lives has on not only ourselves, but the tapestry of history upon which we write. The tapestry that as Mr. Baldwin describes, "we carry within us," and by which we are, "unconsciously controlled by it," and which truly is indescribably and remarkably present in our past, present, and future. The story that is changing and being rewritten with each perishing cell within us, but that is penned in an even more beautiful tone with every small, miniscule cell to replenish and remake. History, the ideal by which we all can find our place and discover our common thread to understanding, is by far the most stunning and delightful creation with which we have the liberty to work together to inscribe upon the hearts of the forthcoming generations.