I’m prone to wonder…curious how my life would have been if certain individuals had never crossed my path, or I had never wandered onto theirs, or if they had never existed. I just wonder – and then, I realize that wondering is pointless. Dreaming of an utopian existence will only ever be just that: a dream. So, instead of wiping clean my memories like the bad had never shadowed me or tripped me or shoved me in the dirt is just as fruitless as if I were to imagine… a perfect line of ideal events that settled me comfortably in the right direction; because, all those left turns and right turns and U-turns and ignored stop signs put people in my life that tore down my pride, forced me to re-evaluate my choices, my faith, myself…lent me a hand when I was digging out of the mud, showed me patience and solidified friendships with a stronger bond than would have been possible if I were merely the same person I was before growing up turned my dream into my harsh reality. I wonder why reality has to be harsh, and I think that…of course it has to be! A gorgeous vase is first wet clay, molded and beaten and molded and beaten and thrown into the kiln to strengthen, before it can proudly support a bouquet of lilies.
My birthday is two weeks away, and I could not have been given a better gift. Cold, winter rain has descended on the university, and the classrooms finally feel warm. My paperwork is lining up, and I have no doubt that the end of the semester is in sight with passing grades within reach. This progress towards a better existence has begun to unfold and the aspects of myself revealing their true nature is a dazzling display of color in my life. Friendship has, also, taken a new form. I suppose I have a sister now. A bosom friend: eighteen years old and so much like me at her age. I grew up the older sister of a baby brother, and communicating with a young man is different than communicating with a young woman. Granted, I am still quite young myself, but I have experienced plenty within my personal footprint. I have decided to pass on my wisdom to her; this is wisdom, I suppose, I gained from the life my choices forced me to live out. My past. I don’t want her to follow my wrong steps; but, sometimes the thought is laughable. I tell myself that this is a ridiculous idea because dealing with eighteen-year old drama is sometimes unbearable. I am sorely out of practice when it comes to being the older sister of a girl. She is wild and headstrong and a dork and beautiful. But, I love her for her quirky nature, melodrama and fears because she listens and she cares and she wants what is right in her life. This quality is my favorite thing about her, and why I love her dearly.
She inspires me.
She makes me want to be a better person; someone who strives for a great life with a great partner and great friends. And, finally, finally, I see it all within my reach. I see budding friendships. A bright future. A growing faith. Tell me… can something this beautiful really last?
It is baffling. Baffling is the reality that a writer’s craft develops. I recently, just this morning in fact, scrolled through the previous posts in this most ridiculous of blogs, and found my own craft to have been lacking – severely. Clutter abounds. Euphemisms overwhelm. Colloquial jargon is ghastly. Immature interjections of thought consume the page. It all makes me shudder to think that I was once at that stage in my writing capabilities, but now that I have been at university (again) for the past two months, I have seen a drastic alteration of my craft. Because of this exposer to an education in the art of English language and literature, my words have become more calculated. My style is more refined, disciplined, steady and focused. I was tempted – for the briefest moment – to delete my past, and consider today a new day for expressing my creative talents, but I did not. Why? I want you, most noble reader, to see this development. I want you, most noble reader, to watch me transform. You have been given a glimpse into the progressive nature of one writer’s talent, and I hope that it wizens you to the fact that your own style and perspectives will grow and alter and conform to the urges of your fingers – in time.
I won’t delete my previous posts, however droll and immature they may be, because I want you, just as I have done, to experience the building of a creative foundation. Layers are thin and shaky in the beginning, but they thicken and maintain weight with each new layer of myself I add to the mixer. Likewise will each post I post press layer atop layer atop layer till the most articulate words comprise the surface of my craft.
Thursday night, Tribal Seeds was at the Gas Monkey Bar & Grill in Dallas, Texas. My little brother asked – a few days in advance – if I would like to join him and a group friends at the concert, knowing I live in the area. With tickets being reasonably priced and the bar only twenty minutes away, I accepted his invitation. Although I have enjoyed reggae music for a long time (Bob Marley being a signature voice on my iPod since I first got my player), I had never heard of Tribal Seeds. I could not be more grateful that my little brother introduced me to this group who’s vibe is similar to my favorite icon.
The music was amazing, but, most notably, the artists put on a great show. I do have to admit that I have a favorite from the group. His name is E.N. Young, and he plays on the keys as well as a variety of instruments. Outside of his involvement with Tribal Seeds, he produces his own music. I enjoyed watching him perform throughout the concert, but what sealed his fate as my favorite was his kindness to fans after the concert. Our small group was leaving the bar when we noticed a crowd of people gathering by the front parking lot. Interested, we walked over and there was E.N. passing out free CDs of Tribal Seeds’ summer sampler. He was sweet enough to hug people and stop for photos, and my brother and I were able to take a photo with him – finishing the night with a sweet experience.
My inspiration for the following poem is a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche which says, “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a star.”
A blessed light has pierced the
Flesh of a heart which houses a delicate soul
Unholy fissures that sever and wound
The Illumination that cries outward to weep
As my back violently arches
Till tips of tainted hair kiss the damp Earth
From radiance in the core of my chest
Nothing now but broken sternum in a weak body
The warrior’s shuddering plea
As chaos overwhelms my quivering soul
As vibrations echo through my throat
Producing ripples in time and space and chilled air
Purity and Redemption devour all
That I am and can feel and ever hope to know
A devoted creation whose
Wide eyes bare witness to visions of Chaos’ goal
As particle waves shatter my body
Producing the embodiment of all passions
An awaited prophesy
Of a reborn cosmic Entity
©2014 Rachel Karp
I don’t actually have a job. BUT, being back at school after a two-year “break” is going to involve work. I have my first class of the semester in two hours, and even though I know I should be somewhat nervous, I am not. I am excited. I am pumped. I am ready to outshine the rest. Is that an egotistical thought? I am not sure, but I don’t care. I seriously want to do my best now that I have been given a second chance at pursuing my education. This does not mean it will not be hard work. I have two advanced English courses and a management course and psychology course. All of these involve intense paperwork that is going to keep my extremely busy. To be truthful, I hope that I can manage my time well. Not only is the responsibility of university now atop my shoulders, but I feel as though I have an obligation to my readers (however few of you there are) to keep you updated on my life. Plus, I started a book review blog that will require a portion of my focus. By the way, if you are not following www.funkymugreviews.com then you should! I hope to see your comments on there 🙂
I never thought… Well, I never assumed I would be here. Again. Ever. I thought this place was so far behind me that it would fade into the mist like a bad nightmare, but that was a lie. It drifted away. Yes. But, inside the grey it transformed itself. It altered me, and while I was playing in the warmth of familial safety and defining friendships, the past was shifting in order to present itself to me again as new opportunities. So here I am, clacking away at the keys on my keyboard, sitting at a foreign desk in a familiar place. I am grateful to be here – grateful for the second chance. Few people are ever granted the chance for a new beginning, and yet, here I am. I ask myself, “Why me? What has made me so special that my stars decided to rewind themselves?” Honestly, I have no clear answer for those questions. Who am I to question blessings and not take full advantage?
So I have decided to do just that. Take advantage. I have been negligent of my duties. Duty to friendship. Writing. University. Life. Myself…but no longer will I allow myself to be defined by that which I have NOT accomplished. It is time – now – for me to prepare myself a worthwhile existence. A few of you reading this know what it is like to submerse yourself into the thick of the action, leap straight into adulthood. No fun is it? It has its perks, sure. There is a freedom in knowing that you can wake up, work and see your friends and boyfriend. Start over the next day. But…where does this cyclical survival leave the dreams you once had when adulthood was not yet an obligation, but still disguised as an opportunity. Heck. I entered university the first time as an idiot, plunging into the adult workforce unprepared and ignorant, and now, NOW, I get to start over. Not only will I begin again to experience the thrill of “real life” – heartaches and bruises and accomplishments – but also, new perspectives.
The weirdest part about all of this is not how excited I am to be able to finally get my head on straight and dive into the modern workforce more prepared, but how much time I have on my hands to do it. I literally do not have to be into class till two in the afternoon every day and I have Fridays/weekends off. What am I supposed to do with that time? Oh I have plans. I get to volunteer and keep up with my blogs, books reviews. I can go to concerts. I get to read any time I want. I get to research for my future plans. I get to PLAN my life as I want it and then accomplish that plan step by step without fear of falling to far from the starting mark.
Wish me luck!
Dreary days have been absent this summer, but today, the skies are a milky blue-grey. This shade of creativity castes the world in shimmering pale. I love the wet. Because the wasps by my window have settled down for an extended nap till a dry shine will wake them. Until then, the rain drips by their heads silently, persistently. On gloomy days, I most appreciate how the world rotates in an ever-constant state while my perceived reality slows – just enough – to feel as if all things are crawling through an invisible field of molasses. And, everything is green against the backdrop of blue-grey. I have been inspired to write. The surge of creative juices has my fingers itching, but insert my dilemma: boop. I have no clue what to write. Oh sure, I’ve ideas. A frightening story has been gurgling in my belly for some time, but am I willing, in ink, to murder? I have considered completing a short horror piece for Halloween, but to what extend will I allow the gore to overtake me, bathe me? Horror is a magic you must be careful to press into ink. Nightmares too easily leap from the page.
Romance has been tickling the back of my brain lately – too – like a subtle seduction. Love frightens me more than gore, and a true love story is hard to find – even harder to capture on paper. I dislike the production of cheesy love. Not to say that true love can’t be cheesy. If you have an adorkable personality…Go with it. What I am trying to say is that my love story should feel like a travesty of emotions. Perhaps love is nothing but a figment of perception coupled with an onslaught of adrenaline, but I refuse to believe. Taking the scientific stance on love is boring and mature. Since when has love ever FELT like a rush of hormones? Never. At least, that’s not how we put it to words. Love is an overflowing spring of torment that tastes of raspberry and honey to the tongue, smells of lilacs and lavender to the nose, feels like goose bumps on the belly beneath silk sheets.
I’m just going to have to get back into the groove of the consistent writing, I guess. I’ve been negligent, but when reality like lightening strikes you down with responsibility, you must do it and put away pleasures till they are reasonable.
Honestly, writing is not the only thing that I will have to “get back in the groove” to accomplish. After a two year break, I am headed back to university to finish my degree. This step in the supposed “right” direction has me nervous and excited. Transferring my mind and social standing to that was a college student is going to be tough. Exhilarating. Never before have I had such a rush of mixed emotions. I am in love with the notion. I am going to miss my friends. Leaving them for months at a time while I get my life figured out is going to be the hardest aspect of this transition. How does one maintain friendships over such a distance? I have had difficulties maintaining friendship when they are merely on the opposite side of town, but now that five hours distance will separate us, I am not sure how to react. I wish to assume that they are going to forget me. I wish we had taken more photos over the course of the summer, but there is always next summer to accomplish that goal. I have promised myself that if I make good grades, I will treat myself to a camping vacation with my friends. But…we will see how the winds blows a year from now. In a year, much can change. People change. Lives change. Dreams change. I’m not sure I am ready for it. By Friday, I have to be ready to sign my name to fate. I must force myself to take a positive outlook on all of this and channel that outlook in a constructive way for my future. I have goals, true, but I don’t want to leave behind my friends in order to get there. But, growing up – this time – is not going to be fair.
“My Cat Never Sleeps”
My cat never sleeps.
She lives a second life
In her dreams.
Tonight as she curls up and
Tucks her tail to her side
After grooming and purring
And kissing my nose,
She closes her lids
Only to open them in a world
Much grander than this.
Beside her I’ve transformed –
A sleeping giant
Whose breathing makes the waves
Crest and crash.
My toes are now serpents;
My hair a wild mop of sea weed.
My tossing and turning rocks her from her boat.
Nothing worries her it seems
Because the waves do not touch her.
With ease of a pro
She steps from her boat onto clouds
That take her places:
A staircase of stars to lands populated
With creatures and critters and smells that entice her.
Beside me, she sleeps soundly –
Her whiskers flickering
In the moonlight.
I watch her with one eye:
Her steady breathing;
Her kneading paws
And, I know for a fact that she is
A space explorer,
A rat thief;
The clouds have taken her to a world
Quite far away
And as I give in to sleep
My monstrous breath forms her pedestals.
During these few hours
While we are worlds apart
My feline is dancing for giants
And stealing their crumbs.
She’s planning parties for mice and
Taking quick naps in fields of exotic flowers;
Surfing the Milky Way.
In times of danger
She disguises herself as a mighty dragon
Sharpening her claws on the trunks of great Sequoias
Howling her fires and
Whipping her fierce tail.
She makes art with the butterflies and
Molds a crown from beetle shells,
But she is always happy
Though curiosity not sated
To return to me when the sun in that world
Turns from yellow to orange to the bluest of pinks.
As I rise to a new day in this world
Full of grays,
She waits patiently.
She lives in the normal
Where bugs are not massive and
Swirls of snow do not paint her white.
Though when I come home,
She curls again with her monster
On a bed of black fluff
Excited to venture
Past my reality
To worlds all her own.
©2014 Rachel Karp
When considering my creative process, I was hesitant to put it into words. But, when I gave myself time to consider the essence of my creativity, a poem revealed itself:
Quick do the blackened waters
Wash away the Memory
Of fiction dreamt
Survive on gray
Jelly in my grooves
Channels considered the subconscious
Stories gorge themselves on
Delicacies of brain
As mud weighs down my eyes
Till forcing myself
I break the surface
This silent pond of muse
Open mouth for prophesy
Of flowing phrases
Ink stains on my teeth
Till dreaming once again
Pulls me with the current
Sinking to the silt
Miers of creation
©2014 Rachel Karp