Old Writings

Yesterday I spent a lot of time looking through things that I wrote once upon a time (ie quite a while ago).  I would like to share a few of them with you.

Exhibit A:  An exaggerated and generalized application letter, written out of frustration, of course.

To Whom It May Concern

I am writing to tell you that despite what other application essays may suggest, I am the person most deserving of your award.

There are dreams and goals that I would like to achieve and without your help they become that much more difficult to actualize.

I have passions and loves that drive me to achieve and sometimes drive me into the ground, but I care so much about them that I relish my time in the dirt because I know my passion is what put me there.

My life has been touched my grief and tragedy and although some people have it worse, there are those that

(the rest of the paper is ripped up)

Exhibit B:  A bit of poetry I wrote about writer’s block.

Fuck.
The words don’t move.
Sentences
Images
Letters
Spacing
All of it looks
Feels and
Sounds
Contrived
What happened to
  words that fell into
one another like a child
into arms that it trusts?
What happened to the ideas
that spouted out of nowhere
into full bloom like
fast-forwarded roses.
My words stutter
My ideas shy away
My stories trip over their
own     shoelaces
And my poetry gives up
before it gives itself a real
chance at life.
Where is that clarity and sense
of purpose that once crowded
my mind?
The aspirations, ideas and plans
that drove me to try and succeed.
THIS IS DISGUSTING

Exhibit C:  A short descriptive.

Clocks ticked and calendars turned relentlessly.  The depth in his eyes disappeared, shallowing as he had to come to grips with what everyone around him called “reality”.  He was told to appreciate what he had and found himself being forced to regulate his being, his essence, with standards that the world had already set for him.  A sense of apathy began to seep through his skin, a result of fear and peers’ standards and other things this boy did not quite understand.

Exhibit D:  A short philosophical musing entitled “On Existence” that I think I wrote in early middle school.

No one can exist if they deny themselves.  Only by forging a unique personality is a person born.  Physical birth is nothing.  It means nothing.  The vast majority of humanity does not exist because they have not created themselves.  People are continually killing themselves and those around them by “forcing” everyone to conform to their (being society) own standards and values.  People do not exist if they do not believe in how they’re living.  If a person has to think about an action before they go through with it it is not theirs and, therefore, is another proof of their inexistence.

Exhibit E:  A rather emo poem.

Misery is lonely rejection.
When there is no one to share
The subtle sting of being turned down,
Turned back, turned away.
Each refusal burns that much more violently
When there is no one to whom
I can turn to
With a commiserating smile.

Exhibit F:  A post-Africa rant.

I sound exactly the same as all the rest of them.  Everyone else who has already been to Africa put their words in my mouth and I spit them out in defiance but I must have picked them up, dusted them off and swallowed them again so I would have some way to respond to questions other than “I don’t know” or “It’s so complicated.”  Instead, now, I laud the intelligence, emotional fortitude and cuteness of the people I met.  I tell silly stories about people shouting “muzngu” as we walk by and how kids pet our hands and arms or touch our hair because they want to know if it feels any different than their own.

It feels like copping out, selling out, however you want to put it.  In trying to finally express my trip to people who need or want to hear about it I have lapsed into cliches that feel every bit as dishonest as they sound.  If only I could help people understand the DEPTH, the MAGNITUDE of my trip to Africa.  But instead I let other people’s hollow, disgusting words fill the air around us and masquerade jovially as my own thoughts and ideas.

Alright, that’s enough comedy for one day.

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3 Responses to Old Writings

  1. Travis says:

    Loved it, loved everything! You give things such a great perspective!

  2. Emily says:

    LOVE it. Man, you’re right. Good writing. I wish reading my own journals seemed so awesome.

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