Whimsical Wednesdays with Arlinda
Understanding, empathy, and balance are often missing in our day-to-day routines. We can’t understand when things don’t go right; we can’t comprehend what someone else is going through; we can’t take the two extremes we work with and find a position in the middle. Poets, such as Rudyard Kipling in “If”, captivate my attention and cause me to question why we force ourselves to create boxes of burdens limiting our thoughts and actions; we are capable of more; we are capable of logically understanding the two sides to a story, so why do we feel the need to only perceive things through one angle?
The poem highlights the transition between childhood into adulthood and all the alterations of our perspective that should be accompanied by growing up. In the poem, the speaker states, “if you can dream—and not make dreams your master; / if you can think—and not make thoughts your aim, / if you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / and treat those two imposters just the same… / yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it”. We can dream, but our dreams should not consume our waking lives. We can think, but our thoughts should not be forced. While we are faced with good and bad situations, we need to remember that both are fleeting and cannot last forever, therefore we must balance our reactions to each, as each situation is in its swiftness the same.
Without understanding that there is a balance to everything, we cannot learn to truly enjoy all that the world has to offer. By constraining ourselves to perceive the world in one way or another, to oblige ourselves to create new thoughts and ideas, and to chose instantaneously whether a situation is beneficial to us or not we are boxing ourselves into the labels we have imposed upon our lives. We can choose to believe in both sides of a story, because every story has multiple angles. Understand that it is ok to seek the balance in your life by standing in the middle of life’s proverbial seesaw instead of choosing one side or the other; and realize that trying to understand how others see the world will only broaden your perspective of it.
Whimsical Wednesdays with Arlinda
Langston Hughes- Dreams
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Dreams are important; they allow us to enter a world where anything and everything becomes a possibility. Dreams are capable of lifting you into a world filled with unpredictability and new ideas. In Langston Hughes poem “Dreams”, the speaker states that without dreams “life is a broken-winged bird / that cannot fly”. Within dreams, our imaginations fly into different worlds and different concepts; our dreams have the capability of exciting us, inspiring us, and enticing us to broaden the scope of our goals.
The endless possibilities contained in dreams remind me of Emily Brontë’s poem “I’m Happiest When Most Away”. I perceive her poem as a description of a dream-like state, and as I sit here sleep deprived, I can understand the happiness the speaker of the poem describes when stating, “I’m happiest when most away / I can bear my soul from its home of clay / on a windy night when the moon is bright / and the eye can wander through worlds of light”. Dreams are a form of freedom for the mind; they allow us to explore our imagination and escape the pressure’s of reality. The speaker of the poem continues to state, “when I am not and none beside— / but only spirit wandering wide / through infinite immensity”. In these lines, the word “immensity” seems to stand out most to me, possibly because of the use of alliteration in “infinite immensity”, or perhaps because of the realization it evokes. Dreams are immense; yes, dreams contain the capability of inspiring and exciting us, but they also contain the ability of terrifying dreamers with endless possibilities that may seem frightening at times. It is within the immensity of dreams that fear can become born; personally, I like to focus on the parts of my dreams that make me happy and motivate me towards a brighter future, rather than allowing the immeasurable nature of dreams scare me into self-doubt.
So while your dreaming, enjoy the experiences created by the freedom of imagination within your dreams. Do not fear the immensity of your dreams, instead focus on the possibilities that have been awakened by your subconscious.
Whimsical Wednesdays with Arlinda!
Welcome back Obscurians! The fall semester has started and already we are struggling to meet due dates, brainstorming new concepts, and ordering new books. In all the chaos of keeping up, sometimes we forget that we need a moment to relax and to reflect.
Percy Shelley’s poem “O World, O Life, O Time” reminds me to appreciate the simple and calm moments in life. It is a reminder that life flies by and the moments that pass cannot be relived.
O World, O Life, O Time,
On whose last steps I climb,
Trembling at that where I had stood before,
When will return the glory of your prime?
No more, O never more!
Moments are fleeting and each one holds significance unique to all the rest. While we are working towards our educational and career goals, it is important to reflect on all that we have accomplished thus far and look forward to our future without forgetting to actually enjoy the present.
Personally, while I climb the stairs leading to my future, I do not want to stop and tremble “at that where I had stood before” wondering “when will return the glory of [my] prime”. Instead, I want to look upon the steps I have taken and remember how hard I worked and how great it feels to have walked up one more step on my path.
While you are stressing over assignments and working towards completing your goals, remember to take a break every once in a while, relax, have some fun, and take pride in how far you have come. If you ask me, the “glory” of our “prime” is overrated; life is filled with different stages and different steps, each glorious in its own way.