Primarina: The Soloist Pokemon

 

These photo edits are of my favorite pokemon, Primarina (the Soloist pokemon). Empoleon is also my favorite for a variety of reasons, but Primarina beat it by a mile because of how much I relater to this siren. I took the original photos from my game Pokemon Ultra Moon, and exported the photos to my phone, where I added transparent images of water to make the photo look more beautiful and dramatic. I added a filter, and my personal symbol to finish the photos. Its concept based on a Hawaiian Sea Lion, and a mermaid, which goes well with it’s water (the aquatic animal half) and fairy (the mythical creature half) typing. I made these edits of Primarina because it’s eye candy for me, first and foremost. I also made it because I instantly fell in love with this pokemon’s design at first sight, as well as its info. It’s by far the one I relate to the most, and it’s because first: It SINGS! Its info says that it’s singing voice is it’s main weapon, as it uses it to create bubbles that explode upon touch, and other kinds to move around depending on what song it sings. I relate to this because I also sing, even though it doesn’t allow me to control water at my own leisure (insert multiple laugh emojis here). The second reason I relate the most to this pokemon is that it has a caring nature, as do I. Primarina tends to put others before itself, while being positively selfish in caring for its pride and joy (its singing voice). I relate to this because though I tend to put others before myself, I still put myself as priority when it comes to things like identity and self-care. Third, I saw it’s Z-Move called Oceanic Operetta (it’s basically a super powered version of it’s signature move Sparkling Aria), which involved it singing  in a single tone, creating a gigantic water sphere. As Primarina begins to sing, its ponytail bounded by pearl lets loose and flows freely. It then moves the sphere towards the opponent and hovers it over them. When my character lifts both of his arms as if he’s an orchestra conductor, Primarina sings at a higher tone, the sphere drops onto the opponent, and a massive explosion occurs. As the residual water rains down on Primarina, it takes a bow on it’s tail (which it also uses as feet to stand upright) before lying back down into its mermaid position. So that visually appealing move along with it’s theatrical theme is relatable to me because I have a theatrical side where I like to put on a performance (yet I prefer not to do so in front of a large audience). And lastly, Primarina can be either male or female and the appearance is still the same. Given that I am a man that wears feminine clothing as well as masculine clothing, this pokemon fits perfectly to my tastes, and even a part of my personality.

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The Bravery in Art

Art is expression; it is an act that allows for creativity, imagination, and most importantly, it allows one to share their voice. Through descriptive language, imagery, symbolism, metaphors, and a variety of other techniques, writers are able to capture the essence of a person, thing, place, or moment and convey an image that can be seen and understood in the minds of readers; art is able to establish mutual understandings and inspire others to use their voices and create their own forms of expression. Through hosting an Open Mic Night event, Obscura hopes to promote expression through art; it is an empowering experience to be able to get on stage and use your voice to create an image and comprehension in the minds of listeners; it is equally empowering to be in the audience and be able to understand someone else’s point of view through art.

William Wordsworth’s poem “She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways” phenomenally depicts the notion that one person can make a difference. The poem is as follows:

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
—Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

The speaker of the poem conveys what a difference Lucy has made for them. While the poem is eerily morbid, it does contain the important concept that one person can make a difference. If Lucy made such an impact on the speaker while she was mostly “unknown,” then what kind of difference would she have made if she let herself be known? We hide our voices away due fear of not saying the right thing, or being judged, or because we are shy; we can make a difference to others by just being courageous enough to first make a difference for ourselves by expressing one’s thoughts and emotions.

Through one simple action, through a few words, and simply through noticing another person, a difference is made; we all contain the ability to make a difference by speaking out and using our voices to express ourselves and by listening to those who are brave enough to step up and express themselves. So, if you are on campus Wednesday November 29, come by Obscura’s Open Mic Night in SLB 111 between 4:30PM-7:30PM and support all the individuals willing to use their art to share their voices. Maybe you’ll even become inspired to sign up and express yourself at our next event!

 

~Arlinda Mulosmanaj

Time to Re-tune

As November comes to an end, most of us are preparing for Thanksgiving. We buy tons of food and sweets and look forward to spending our day off with our family. Our family and friends are important; they are the people who constantly impact our lives, and each Thanksgiving I am appreciative that I get to spend my day with them. While I become excited each year to spend time with my family, I always dread the black Friday sales the day after. As someone who works in retail, I cannot begin to describe my shock each year when people line up outside stores at the crack of dawn less than a day after they spend an entire day being thankful and appreciative for everything in their lives.

We spend our Thanksgiving appreciating everything we have, how then has black Friday become one of the biggest sale days in the year? It is saddening that instead of valuing time with one’s family, people are rushing and strategizing where to start shopping and how early they need to arrive in order to secure a decent spot on the long waiting lines. William Wordsworth’s poem “The World is Too Much With Us” reminds me that we need to learn to appreciate the real, living, and valuable things in life rather than focusing on material gains. In the poem the speaker states, “the world is too much with us; late and soon / getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; / little we see in Nature that is ours… / for this, for everything, we are out of tune.” The speaker of the poem draws attention to the notion that humans have lost their ability to appreciate the natural things in life and because of this humanity has become lost. This poem reminds me that we need to remember to appreciate the world and the people around us because they are the things of true value, not material items.

Thanksgiving is just a few days away; I hope you all have a wonderful day spent being thankful for the phenomenal people that are in your life. While black Friday deals are great, there is nothing greater than living in the moment and being able to spend an entire day off with your loved ones while eating delicious food. As the speaker in Wordsworth’s poem “The World Is Too Much With Us” states, “we are out of tune;” hopefully, this Thanksgiving brings the world back into tune with the important things in life.

 

~Arlinda Mulosmanaj

Spirit of Poseidon

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This is an image I made during my sophomore year of college, representing my zodiac sign, Pisces. Aside from the zodiac representation, it also represents my ruling planet Neptune, and my affinity to water. When I made this, I was thinking about zodiac signs in an artistic way, and let my imagination take me to what lead up to this photo. The original photo of me was posing on the scaffolding bars. At that time there were people fixing up the one of the buildings at my old college. The blue bar-like handle of my weapon you see was actually a scaffolding pole. I cut myself and that pole out of the original image, blended it into the ocean backdrop, added what looks like a harpoon shooter to the tip of the pole I was hanging on to, and blended in a photo of Poseidon to make it look like I’m emitting the spirit of the God of the Sea. The name on the corner of the photo (Aurora-V Gala) was my personal symbol at the time, and I would use it as a mark to say I made the image. I made this image because I have great interest in mythical beings (Though I don’t like to spend too much time reading about them. I’d rather visualize it in photos like these), and was particularly inspired by the ocean god. The image of this being that projects from me in this photo sparked ideas to me the most, because it goes well with one of my favorite oceanic sounding songs, called “Sun In Your Eyes” by Above and Beyond. The song’s soothing beginning, dramatic climax, and soothing fade at the end caused me to imagine a scenario where I’m out in the middle of the ocean, where no ship has ever traveled. In this scenario, I encounter various beings never before seen, including a silhouette of Poseidon himself. My photo manipulation is also representative of my masculine and my feminine characteristics, as they sometimes carry themselves with grace and a calmed mood. The fact that people often find me unapproachable and somewhat intimidating at first glance is the reason my photo represents the calm and graceful side of me. I’m usually in this mood when I’m by myself, because I have no one around to draw my chatty and silly side out of me. I also use this side of me to keep myself from paying people mind when they judge me by appearance or stare too long. Staring back at them with the same calm mood makes them turn away to avoid my eye contact as well. Thinking in terms of spirituality, it’s as if a guardian spirit (In my case, I prefer to imagine it as Poseidon due to his intimidating stare in my photo) repels them away to protect me. I’m not saying this is for real, but when I use my imagination, I see it that way. It’s fun to re-imagine various situations based on what goes on in one’s mind, so long as you don’t lose touch with reality either.

Seven Billion

There are some that are acknowledged for the differences they have made in the world; they win prizes, and trophies, and are written about in books, magazines, and newspapers. Then there are some that go about life never realizing they have made a difference. As you grow up, you wonder what you want to be in the world when you grow up and how you want to affect those around you; when you grow up, you realize that being able to make a difference in one person’s life is more than enough. You don’t need to be a famous prizewinner; you just need to be you.

Emily Dickinson’s poem, “If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking” allows me contemplate the importance of our humanity and the ability to influence others around us. We are able to make a difference, and it doesn’t take a grand gesture to do so, it just takes a little compassion. In Dickinson’s poem, the speaker states, “if I can stop one heart from breaking / I shall not live in vain; / if I can ease one life the aching / or cool one pain / or help one fainting robin / unto his nest again / I shall not live in vain.” While it is important for us to build a life for ourselves, it is also important for us to use our humanity in order to inspire someone else to do the same.

There are seven billion people in the world; if each person was able to perform one small gesture of kindness a day, then that’s 7,000,000,000 gestures of kindness each and every day. As the end of the fall semester nears, we’re all stressed out; we are tired and we cannot wait to get all of our final projects done so that we can finally relax. With that said, if you see your friends or peers are too overwhelmed, take five minutes and talk to them. You have the ability to help someone simply by listening, simply by letting them know that they are not alone. We all need a boost of encouragement every once in a while. We each contain the ability to make a difference in the world; it is up to you to decide what kind of change you will be putting forth each day.  As Emily Dickinson’s poem “If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking” states, “if i can ease one life the aching…I shall not live in vain.” There are seven billion people in the world, and it only takes one to begin making a difference by simply by showing a little kindness.

~Arlinda Mulosmanaj

The Carelessness of Childhood

Sometimes it feels as though time is moving too quickly; it’s already November and the months since summer’s end have been passing by faster than I can notice. The older you become, it seems as though life is a string of deadlines. When we’re children, we cannot wait for the days when we are grown and have a sense of independence; but, now that we are older, we look back on our childhood and it’s fleeting moments to remember our sense of adventure and curiosity and wish for the days to return when we played and imagined all day rather than spend it working and planning.

A poem by Lord Byron reminds me that the feelings of childhood can be renewed in adulthood, even if our childhood imaginations are lost when we begin to see the world in its entirety instead of the blissful world our parents painted for us when we were younger. In Lord Byron’s poems “I would I Were a Careless Child,” the speaker states, “how dull! To hear the voice of those/ whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power/ have made, though neither friends nor foes/ associates of the festive hour. / Give me again a faithful few/ in years and feeling still the same/ and I will fly the midnight crew/ where boist’rous joy is but a name.” in these lines, the speaker fantasizes if only he were once again a child. The speaker urges time to add to his life by giving him his childhood years back along with the feelings of adventure and exploration. The speaker continues by stating, “few are my years, and yet I feel/ the world was ne’er designed for me: / ah! Why do dark’ning shades conceal/ the hour when man must cease to be? / Once beheld a splendid dream/ a visionary scene of bliss: / truth!—wherefore did thy hated beam / awake me to a world like this?” in these lines, the speaker admits to being young, but still cannot understand the responsibility of awakening from one’s dreams to face the day in adulthood. He ponders why nightfall hides how long he has until the sun beams wake him from his dreams.

Lord Byron’s “I Would I Were a Careless Child” allows me to realize that I still hold the same views on the world as I did when I was a child; I have come to understand that the world is not as peaceful as I once imagined as a child, but I still contain the same wonder of exploring the earth and finding new places, as I do the same sense of adventure for living my life and trying new things. Although the speaker of the poem doesn’t realize it, the feelings of childhood do not get lost when we grow up; instead, they grow and make us in the people we are today. While we care about our futures, we are still careless children in our attempts to shun responsibility for a little fun every once in a while. We still seek to explore the world, to learn about humanity, and to fantasize what our futures will be like. In this sense, nothing has changed; we are still children at heart for that is the core of the adults we have become today.

 

~Arlinda Mulosmanaj

The Beauty of November

While November is filled with hot chocolate, colorful leaves, and delicious food filled Thanksgiving, I am still not very fond of the cold weather or the imminent arrival of snow soon to start falling. While I love the upcoming holidays, quality time with my family, lighting the fireplace, and enjoying the warm colored scenery on my drive home, the whistling of the winter wind in the middle of the night still creeps me out.

After discovering Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem “When the Year Grows Old,” I instantly connected to the depiction of the love/hate relationship with November. The speaker states, “I cannot but remember / when the year grows old—October—November / how she disliked the cold! / She used to watch the swallows / go down across the sky, / and turn from the window / with a little sharp sigh.” I too often find myself distracted by the falling leaves when I sit near the window in an attempt to finish my homework. It also amazes me every year to watch swarms of swallows fly across the sky in their winter migration; it is beautiful to watch how all the birds unite and fly away from the bitter cold together each year.

In Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem “When the Year Grows Old,” the speaker states, “the roaring of the fire / and the warmth of fur / and the boiling of the kettle / were beautiful to her! / I cannot but remember… / how she disliked the cold!” I realized that Millay’s poem emphasizes the beauty contained within the changes occurring in November. While I have learned to appreciate the beauty of November with lit up fireplaces, warm drinks, delicious food, and the images of flying red and orange leaves…I still don’t like the winter chill. Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem “When the Year Grows Old” reminded me that I am not the one who appreciates the beauty of winter, while still detesting the cold.

~Arlinda Mulosmanaj