Think for a moment….


Think for a moment about just how small we are.  Think about how every little thing you and I do is completely inconsequential to the natural order of the universe.  It’s so thrilling to think that almost every star we see in the night sky is already dead, but they’re just so far away, we still see the light.  

Some people are all sorts of disheartened and discouraged and almost humiliated to think about those kinds of things, but apparently I’m strange, because I find all these concepts exhilarating.  It’s like a constant reminder that we’re all part of the same planet in the same solar system in the same galaxy in the same universe.  Never mind the threat of black holes, because that stuff can get scary.  Let’s just focus on the sort of profundity of this whole thing.  We’re all collections of atoms and molecules that occupy small amounts of space.  And every atom and molecule we’re made of has the potential of being recycled for something else in time.  I think it’s awesome and it really sets my nerdiness off.  It’s such a great thing, in my opinion, to consider.


Writing Prompt #2

ImageI want to try to make these writing prompts a thing, just in case any of you care. This time around, I want you to look at this picture and try to find some sort of meaning in it.  Any kind of meaning.  Then, using the theme “purple,” come up with a piece of writing that describes or embodies the meaning you found or whatever you found yourself feeling or thinking when looking at this picture.   Be as abstract or concrete as you wish, as long as you come up with something.  We’re not here to judge, we’re here to create.  


Broken Light: A Photography Collective

Photo taken by contributor Emma, a 19-year-old from the north east of England. Over the past few years she has visited dark patches of depression and lack of self worth with severe feelings of hopelessness. She’d like to say it’s just been a spot of sunshine and showers, but in reality she’s had giant ups and even more giant downs. She’d rather not disclose the reasons for this but would rather celebrate a hopeful end to this ‘bipolar time’ in her life, as expressed by this photo. She’s a student of English literature and creative writing but she is thinking of pursuing a nursing degree after this, as she wants to help people. She loves photography because each photo can be a snapshot of a feeling.

About this photo: “This photograph was taken off the back of a boat off the coast of San Antonio, Ibiza.I feel this photo represents trying…

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Writing Prompt

ImageOkay, so I’m gonna try something a little different here.  I’m going to give you a little writing prompt.  Look at the picture and write about the first thing that comes to your mind.  It can take any form (prose, poetry, concrete poetry, anything).  I want you to do one of two things with what you create.  You can either leave it in the comments, or you can e-mail it to me at, and with your permission, I’ll put them in a separate post later on.  I’m trying to find ways we can all find creativity in images, and how our creations relate to others’ words or thoughts.

Ready?  Set?  Go.

Broken Light: A Photography Collective

Photo taken by a woman in North Carolina who has been suffering from a major depressive episode for the past two years. She also suffers from anxiety and panic disorder. It has been an extremely difficult few years, but she is fighting to recover for the important people in her life.

About this photo: “This photograph was taken several years ago in the Outer Banks. It was a lovely trip, packed with great food and fun activities. But the whole time there were dark storm clouds brewing. Clouds that felt like they could break at any time and douse us. This was the last fun trip I took before I crashed and the storm of my depression took hold. An enjoyable trip, but one that foreshadowed the difficult times to come.


**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here. Currently accepting submissions.

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Rhetorical Poetry, or, Adventures in Rhetoric- Part 1

Howdy.  So, I’m currently in a class in my school called College Senior English, which is basically Rhetoric (literally, no BS here).  It’s with the one teacher I’m convinced everyone’s scared of, even though she’s like a parent to everyone (hands down, she’s the toughest grader I’ve ever had), and she likes to give big confusing assignments.  The most recent one is an assignment designed to tap into our creativity and inspiration in order to create something original and rhetorical.  She repeatedly showed us the video, “On the Brightside,” by Nevershoutnever (who is awesome, if you don’t already know), and told us to use the video (link below) as inspiration to create something.  Here’s the catch: what we create has to in some way line up with the themes expressed in the video/song, aside from the obvious “be an individual” and “live life to the fullest”, because she hates clichés.  

I really want to write a poem, in spoken-word style, about this, but I’m not sure where to start.  Those who know me already know I like a challenge, and I also like to rant (a lot…force of habit).  I’m thinking there’s got to be a way to inspire people through this poem, and I have a couple weeks to work on it, so I have plenty of time to create something that’s (hopefully) awesome.


That’s my update of the day.


Also, those who know me know that I want to be a band director.  A long, long, lonnnng time ago, I asked our band director if I could conduct and teach a piece, to which he agreed (huzzah!), and the score came in today!  I start the teaching process next Tuesday, so I get an entire weekend to do my Rhetoric homework and study the score (I’ll put a link to the piece below).


On the Brightside:

Blue Ridge Saga:

Shane Koyczan- Juggernaut

ImageThis is one of my favorite poems.  Shane Koyczan has a way of cutting straight through to whatever he wants to say.  As a performer, I love it because of its challenging rhythms and phrases, but as a human being, I love it because of its meaning.  Here it is.

You would say: ”Be still, be still my boy.”

Never son, because I wasn’t. Just some boy from a different dad. Seems like our only thing in common was our need for therapy, but we never went. We just spent quiet time together, as if silence was expensive, but we were both filthy rich. A question like “do you love me?” was an itch our doctors told us not to scratch.

So we just prayed someone would catch it, while rubbing us down after walking around with the weight of each other’s world on our shoulders. We had hearts like boulders, we played Sisyphus trying to push the other’s uphill, but we told our hearts: “Be still. Let no one move you, let no one lift you, let no one get through that stone wall you call skin, let no one in, because people are clumsy and they’ll break you, take you apart in the study.”

You tell the world that they knew you, as if knowing was enough to make them the most foremost expert on you. They’ll claim that everything you did or didn’t do was just another complexity solved as simply as a grade 2 problem. As if by age 7 my only problem was math. As if I was never 7 and more dedicated to figure out which path was quickest to the bathroom, so the bullies wouldn’t have the satisfaction of seeing me bleed on my clothes. And God knows you’d be there!

And so everywhere, like a nightmare I couldn’t stop having, I’d wake up shaking with you there making it worth saying: “Be still, be still my boy.” Never son, just someone who it seems you’re liking, just someone who it seems you never tried to know.

So somehow without moving we’d go through motions, to deserts daydreaming about a time when we were oceans, we were still trying to make our tides come in, as if we had been throwing messages in bottles into each other. And our refusal to actually write those messages was just another way to say – nothing.

We’d bring stillness home like a strayed dog and teach it to play dead. Tongues like leeches, we’d bled our voices dry, while a playing dead dog would try to teach us tricks like “Speak!” But we sat silent. Like two blind students trying to sneak a peek at their grade 6 teacher getting dressed, but we never knew what direction to look, so the kids next to us always whispered, “eyes on your own test.” And I hated you. All the way up until the day you finally spoke.

You said: “There will come a time when the world will look at you without concern, because you’ve always been still. They will look past you. You will be as unregarded as the scenery that people take for granted. You’ll be ruled in the perceptions of you that they have planted in their mind, but all the while you will grow. And after all the years you spent trying to know stillness the whole world will turn their heads unable to miss the moment when you decided to move. And there will come a time when you must move. Move with the full force you would find behind the eyes of someone who could’ve spent their life satisfying a million desires, but instead decided to conquer just one; move like a legion of natural disasters towards the monuments they have built in an attempt to declare greatness they have never earned; move as swiftly as the knowledge learned by the students of practice; move so they cannot dismiss you;like sunlight through stained glass, not around but through each mass, they would raise against you; move because being still is something they can never make you do; move my boy, because I love you.”

And I thought ‘Awesome! You totally taught me how to be stubborn. That’s great.’

But now that you’re gone, now that quality has turned trait, I find myself caught up in an endless debate ‘where’ vs. ‘when’. As if I am waiting for then to become now, so that the answers to ‘why’ resemble reasons like ‘somehow’. As if ‘somehow’ was enough to encompass the rough estimate I make when I decide what direction to take for the moment I break stillness. This heart is a juggernaut. One that you took the time to shape against all those who would hold up red tape in the path of the life I chose to live through.

This is much more than my meager declaration of love. This is my Thank You, and this is for a man who knew me well enough to know that should I ever choose to go through struggle , I can set my sails like a ship breaking through the neck of a whisky bottle. school was a boxing ring and the man in my corner made sure not to bring a towel to throw in.

I’ve been studying stillness, watched my mother fight and lose to an illness that forced itself upon her, as if it were the man she met after my father, the same man who couldn’t bother to stick around after the diagnosis. I have known stillness.

This is for my granddad, who had the good sense to take me to that man’s house, so I could ask him, why he did what he did, why? I will accept your apology, but you better make me belief that you’re sorry. So go ahead – move me.

This is me trying to start a small online community for all those teenagers or adults who find meaning in poetry or music.  If you write poetry, awesome, that’s great, I’d love to read it and, with your permission, share it on this blog.  If you write songs, that’s awesome, too.  I’d love to hear your creativity and, also with your permission, share it with the equally awesome and inspirational people who read this blog.  Of course, this is going to be a small thing, but I hope to get more and more people interested in it.  As someone who wants to go into education, it’s very important and satisfying to know that I can share any sort of inspiration, however small, with someone.  Happy inspiration.