Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Plea From Hell

I wrote this poem originally in 10th grade while reading The Inferno by Dante Alighieri and studying the romantic poets of Great Britain. I recently found it and made a few small revisions for rhythm and rhyme (considering the content, I felt that an ontology was required):

We've fallen underground
the sounds of Hell around
The pressure and the strain,
the fire and the pain
The gnashing of the teeth
the stench that from us seethes

It's endless torment;
We're in Hell.
the relief we seek
we know well
is never to come
we won't die
though how our souls will
Always try
I can only start
to tell.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What Dorothy Gale Didn't Tell Aunty Em

"End, begin: it's all the same. Big change!"

I love my home, and I've wanted to come back for such a long time -- but, I've got to be honest -- I've had a recurring nightmare for the last few years: when I come home to visit, I am forced by legal or maternal forces to return to high school, and it is awful.

I've been thinking lately that I might want to get an art add-on to my certification. So, before diving into that, I decided to observe some art classes in motion. I contacted my high school art teacher, as well as the elementary art teacher, and I observed them teach for a day.

I loved observing, especially the elementary classes. They were sweet, and creative, and excited about art. They thought I was awesome, and, well, that made them awesome.

Going back to my school was like entering the twilight zone: all of my nightmares congealed with my actual memories, and I felt like I was swimming through a Dali painting.

Everything was just the same as I left it. The teachers were all the same, the posters in the halls and in the rooms were the same, the carpet and schedule and broken policies were the same. The students even seemed to be the exact same students who roamed the halls before I was released, wearing the same cut off shorts and bunched up tee-shirt, combing the same section of hair carefully over the same eye as ever before. The band room reverberated with the same sounds, and the cafeteria stenched of the same smells, the gossip dripped in clinging, black gobs from the same mouths into the same ears.

I took my little sister to a fund raiser fair for the elementary last night, and I saw a classmate who graduated with me. We had been through all those years together, in the same OM team in elementary, in some of the same classes, calling each other strange nick names until the bitter end, and yet, when we passed each other in the hall, we didn't make eye contact. We barely said hello. We walked a little faster.

This town is a fantastic place, full of kind people, and a great school district. There's just something funny about leaving a place as a child, and coming back as an adult. It strips you bear of all you've built around yourself since that time, and it makes you feel trapped in a never-changing mirror.

It doesn't help that I'm in a similar place in my life as I was the last time I was in that building: flux. Then, I had just finished high school, and I knew that I was going to BYU, and everything would be changing, but I was blind the reality of how that change would affect me, shape me, make me the woman I am now. Today, I just finished college. I know that I am going to become an English teacher, and everything will be changing, but I am cognizant of how blind I am to the reality of how this change will affect me, shape me, and turn me into a different woman than I am today.

I wrote a post a while ago about Luke Skywalker. I've been thinking about those thoughts, and I've wanted to take my own advice: but I think that it may have been flawed. Luke and Frodo both find, eventually, the perspective their elders have masted -- eventually. Who am I to criticize them for the time it took them to find serenity amidst a paradigm shift? It may take practice, more than sheer will power.

What do you think? I am all at sea.