Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Love Song of My Seventeen-Year Old Self

It’s funny how you can come across something at seventeen and think you understand it yet when you revisit it years later, it takes on an entirely different meaning. At that age, I loved things because I thought I was supposed to. I lived and breathed specific quotes because they were alliterative, metaphorical, personifying. I felt sage for knowing the facets of those carefully crafted words, never caring how horribly pretentious I came across to the arbiters I called my “peers.”

I had an english teacher back then – in high school – a man whom I adored and admired, who frequently told his students that he taught life, not books. It was a statement I found humorous at the time but I didn’t really appreciate the gravity of his words. Four years later,  I’ve come to realize that I’ve utilized more of the knowledge I obtained from that one class than I have any other. He helped to cultivate my love of the written word and my overall obsession with classic literature by introducing me to poems like the following work by T.S. Eliot.

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Tomber en Amour

“I believe that love that is true and real, creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving or not loving well, which is the same thing. And then the man who is brave and true looks death squarely in the face, like some rhino-hunters I know or Belmonte, who is truly brave… It is because they make love with sufficient passion, to push death out of their minds… until it returns, as it does, to all men… and then you must make really good love again.”

Oceans of Thought

There’s a park in my town that overlooks the water and I usually find myself ending up there most nights of the week. It’s the absolute perfect place to think and it’s what inspired this piece. ______________________________________________________________________

I have always found an amazing sense of clarity when looking out on a body of water. Perhaps it’s something to do with the way the ripples across the surface interact with one another or perhaps it’s something deeper, something molecular and biological that reaches out from the recesses of the liquid expanse and melds with the neurons in my brain. Filling gaps and triggering sparks in my synapses, the water makes my world make sense  – not for forever, but for a little while.

Once I’m under, I’ve found that the water has a way of spreading out my thoughts. Moving them this way and that until they are organized into tiny infinitesimal fragments of information that can be flicked away quickly and heartlessly, like an unwanted insect. The complex ideas and problems that, mere hours before, would not cease to obfuscate my mind have somehow been rolled up, tucked into a bottle, and thrown into the deafening noise of the ocean around me. This liquid blanket that envelops me entirely washes away my worries and like cold, hard liquor, it drowns my sorrows.

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