The Fortune of our Future

Hello Obscurians! As graduation fast approaches for some of us, we dwell on the next step, on our future and where we will go. For others, they count the semesters left until they too can continue on their path to success. As this will be my last blog with Obscura, I’d like to offer a word of advice: enjoy the journey for it is never ending. Don’t use all of your focus to plan your future or you will neglect your present. Have fun, work hard, and enjoy the ride.

Recently, I have re-watched the film Teen Witchand it has reminded me of my childhood and all I have accomplished since then. It is the story of a girl who meets what one would call a psychic, and she finds out she is a witch that can make her own dreams come true. She quickly learns that as fun as it is to make her future dreams a reality using magic, it is far better to live in the present and let things happen as they will. If you haven’t seen the movie, I urge you to do so for it is truly a childhood classic!

Similar to the girl in the movie, many of us want to know what our future holds and how we go about obtaining it. Many people visit seek fortunetellers to find out what their future has in store for them. We try to make sense of our past so that we can understand the present and build upon better futures. But, like the girl in the movie, fortunetellers cannot dictate what our future holds. We all contain free will and we all have the option to choose the lives we want. It is always fun to find out what possibilities lay ahead, but while your curiosity expands, ask yourself what you want most and find a way to achieve it. Your present is your one true guide towards the future so don’t neglect the moments that pass us by. The crystal ball is in your hands, what do you want for your future? You are your future fortuneteller; dream of the fortunate moments you will have and appreciate the journey that affords you the opportunity to reach your dreams!


It’s been a blast writing for Obscura and I wish all the Obscurians out there a wonderful summer and success in the future!


~Arlinda Mulosmanaj


A Zombie Perspective

Imagine finally taking a break from a busy and work-oriented life, going to a party…and getting attacked by zombies! After stumbling upon the CW show iZombie, I began to shift my perspective on life. Sometimes we need to take a break and enjoy what is right in front of us because things change fast and the future is unpredictable. While I highly doubt we will undergo a zombie Apocalypse, our lives will drastically change after graduation and we need to learn to enjoy the little moments of freedom in between studying and working.

The show iZombie caught my interest because while it is set a world of fantasy and the undead, the main character, Liv Moore, bring the subtlety of reality and facing life one moment at a time to the show. It is also ironic that her name is Liv Moore as she wants to be able to live more after realizing she had been infected with the zombie disease and is now classified as the undead. As a zombie, Liv works in a morgue and only eats the brain of the dead; she refuses to harm of infect any of the living. Every time Liv eats part of a brain, she assumes the characteristics of that person. She uses her zombie abilities to help solve murders and gain new perspectives on the world.

All in all, the show brings about an acknowledgement of the various ways humans perceive the world. It provides insight that can only be gained by walking in someone else’s shoes and looking at the world through their eyes. While the show is highly entertaining, it also makes you think about life, where you are going, and what those around you may be dealing with; the show provides viewers with a broader perspective of the world and is definitely worth watching!


~Arlinda Mulosmanaj

Falling Into Destiny


Claribel Alegría, 1924

As the falling rain

trickles among the stones

memories come bubbling out.

It’s as if the rain had pierced my temples.


streaming chaotically

come memories:

the reedy voice

of the servant

telling me tales

of ghosts.

They sat beside me

the ghosts

and the bed creaked

that purple-dark afternoon

when I learned you were leaving forever,

a gleaming pebble

from constant rubbing

becomes a comet.

Rain is falling


and memories keep flooding by

they show me a senseless


a voracious





but I keep loving it

because I do

because of my five senses

because of my amazement

because every morning, 

because forever,

I have loved it without knowing why.

As classes begin to end, and graduation soon approaches, I think it is important to look back at all of our college memories and realize that we have so many possibilities for our futures ahead of us. We worked hard, we studied, we made friends, we developed new hobbies and interests, and we made so many new memories over the course of the last four years. It may be confusing and frightening to imagine stepping out into the career path you have chosen and trying to map out the rest of your life, but you have acquired all of the tools and skills needed to do so.

In Claribel Alegria’s poem “Rain” the speaker states, “memories keep flooding by they show me a senseless /world / a voracious / world–abyss / ambush / whirlwind / spur / but I keep loving it.” Yes, our memories may be rushing towards us like falling rain as we begin to close the last chapter of our lives as undergraduate students, but as the speaker of the poem states, “a gleaming pebble / from constant rubbing / becomes a comet,” we too our comets shining in the success of who we have molded ourselves to become. We have pushed our minds to exceed even our own expectations, and by doing to we have become a better version of our former selves; a version that is ready for whatever life may throw at us. We have planned for success for the last four years, and now that we are graduating, it is time to achieve it.

For those that are still on their journey towards completed an undergraduate degree, a word of advice: chase your interests and your passions, and cherish the memories you make and the people you meet while striving towards a brighter future. It may be terrifying not to know for sure what will happen next, but like the speaker of Alegria’s poem “Rain,” enjoy the whirlwind of options awaiting your decisions and love the choices you make for they are the choices that will lead you towards becoming the person you are working towards being today. We are all searching for our destiny’s and hoping we can make a difference in the world and in ourselves, and we are fully capable of doing both. Good luck!


~Arlinda Mulosmanaj

Believe in Magic

I Believe In Magic

By Cassidy F. Chate

I believe in magic.
I believe in stories,
In strange beauty and wonder,
In dreams and glories.

I believe in magic.
I believe in tales,
In Alice, and a white rabbit,
In a land that ever never fails.

I believe in magic.
I believe in Pan,
In Tinker Bell and lost boys
To fly me off to Neverland.

I believe.
I really, really do,
But the thing with magic,
Some endings are tragic,

And I ended up with you.
We look for the good in the world and in doing so we sometimes overlook the bad. We become enthralled in the notion of endless possibilities and happily ever afters that sometimes we neglect to realize what is occurring in our present. It is important to not only keep an open mind full of hope and adventure, but to also take the time to worry about today as we keep hope for our future.

In Cassidy F. Chate’s poem “I believe in magic,” the speaker states that sometimes magic is not as beautiful as we would hope. Magic does not always provide us with the happy endings seen in Disney’s Cinderella, Peter Pan, or Snow White. Sometimes, the magic in the world is meant to teach us a lesson, to show us something about ourselves we hadn’t realized before. The world is filled with magic, and it is those who appreciate the beauty and simplicity in life that can see the magic occurring all around them. From a blooming flower to a rainbow after the storm, there is magic all around us. But flowers cannot survive a New York winter, and rainbows disappear shortly after they are seen. Neither fact makes them less beautiful, if anything, it makes us appreciate their beauty all the more.

As Chate’s poem suggests, I too am a believer in magic. I believe in the beauty of possibility. I believe in the magic of adventure and discovering something or somewhere you hadn’t realized existed. I believe in hope for the future and in the existence of a beauty in the world and in people that we have yet to discover. I believe that happily ever after is not a creation of magic, but instead a product of hard work, determination, and hope for a better future than our past.


~Arlinda Mulosmanaj

The Flames of our Future


“It was haunted; but real hauntings have nothing to do with ghosts finally; they have to do with the menace of memory.” 

We all have memories to contend with, some that leave us with the faint feeling of nostalgia of days long gone.  While I still have not had the opportunity to read The Vampire Chronicles written by Anne Rice, I have seen the movie based on her book The Queen of the Damned. The movie is titled with the same name as the book and is directed by Michael Rymer; it was released in 2002. The story states that the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt has been asleep for a century and only awakes to become a rock star. For 100 years Lestat lay in rest as the burden of living forever rested heavily on his conscience. It was only at the prospect of being able to interact with society and form new moments to remember that he decided to awaken and risk his life for a future that held more value to him than the past.

Throughout the movie, Lestat reminisces about his past. In the movie Lestat appears to be pleased when being given one of his old journals, which leads him to remember old friends and places that he has not seen in centuries. The above quote was conveyed in Rice’s book, and although it is not stated in movie, it applies to a flashback scene as Jessie reads Lestat’s journal. Lestat is a vampire that has lived for hundreds of years, however he still appears to be haunted by the past even with the reality of immortality ahead of him.

Regardless of how old we get, the past still holds meaning for us. Even vampires that live for centuries remember the people they have known and lost and the places they have visited and deserted. In Rice’s book, Lestat states “ it’s an awful truth that suffering can deepen us, give us a greater luster to our colors, a richer resonance to our words. That is, if it doesn’t destroy us, if it doesn’t burn away the optimism and the spirit, the capacity for visions, and the respect for simple, yet indispensable things.” It is our memories that give greater value to our present and future. It is the struggles we remember facing that make all of our future joy worthwhile. We strive for our dreams and our goals, and our determination is sparked by the flames of what we have undergone throughout our lives and what we hope to accomplish in the future. Like Lestat, our past may define who we are, but it does not predict where we are going.

~Arlinda Mulosmanaj

Absence of an Ancient Mariner

Sea Fevers- Agnes Wathall

No ancient mariner I,
   Hawker of public crosses,
Snaring the passersby
   With my necklace of albatrosses.

I blink no glittering eye
   Between tufts of gray sea mosses
Nor in the high road ply
   My trade of guilts and glosses.

But a dark and inward sky
   Tracks the flotsam of my losses.
No more becalmed to lie,
   The skeleton ship tosses.

In the above poem, Wathall brilliantly channels Samuel Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” to provide a response to the idea of guilt presented in Coleridge’s poem. The mention of the albatross is symbolic of guilt as the mariner in Coleridge’s poem hung the albatross around his neck to display his immense guilt in killing the bird. Unlike in Coleridge’s poem, the speaker in Wathall’s poems seems to ironically wear her guilt around her neck without the burden held by the ancient mariner. 

The speaker of the poem both seems to display her guilt while also concealing emotions. This can be inferred in the lines “but a dark and inward sky/ tracks the flotsam of my losses.” The dark and inward sky can be symbolic of the dreary tone presented in the poem. Only inside the darkness can the wreckage caused been understood. Finally, the speaker tosses away the “skeleton ship” when it becomes evident she can no move forward. 

The eerily feeling prevalent through the poem signifies the idea of someone who has given up and no longer believes in redemption. The speaker wears her guilt both externally and internally. Through the connection to Coleridge’s poem, it can be inferred that unlike the guilty and sympathetic mariner, this speaker does not seem to feel remorse for their actions.

The supernatural undertone of the poem evokes an emotional response in readers as they try to piece together an understanding of the poem through Wathall’s poem itself and through the connections prevalent to Samuel Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” It is always interesting to stumble across a writer that has been inspired by another poet or writer of the past. While John Keats once stated that “a poet is the most unpoetical of anything in existence because he has no identity- he is continually infirming and filling some other body, ” Agnes Wathall’s “Sea Fever” poetically creates an original twist on a Coleridge’s poem and by doing so provides the reader with a outlook on guilt. It also conveys to readers that we are all able to provide inspiration to others just as Coleridge’s poem provided inspiration to Agnes Wathall.


~Arlinda Mulosmanaj

Twinkling Starlight

While New York weather has been unpredictable at best, I have been taking the time to enjoy starlit skies on the nights when the sky is actually clear enough to see stars. We are so accustomed to hoping for good weather during the day that sometimes—this may just be me—we take for granted the beauty of the night sky as we attempt to predict what weather we will experience tomorrow. As I was driving home a few nights ago, I realized the sky was remarkably clear, and the stars shone beautifully across the night sky. I even spotted a shooting star, and while I didn’t remember to make a wish, I did remember a poem I once heard.

Alfred Edward Housman- “Stars, I have Seen them Fall”

Stars, I have seen them fall,
    But when they drop and die
No star is lost at all
    From all the star-sown sky.
The toil of all that be
    Helps not the primal fault;
It rains into the sea,
    And still the sea is salt.

Sometimes we neglect the stars because we assume they are always going to be there, much as we assume our daily lives while remain the same from day to day, but that isn’t always the case. Unlike the speaker in Housman’s poem, I believe that one star falling and dying makes a difference. When we look up at the night sky we don’t know if the stars we see are still shining bright or if they have stopped existing ages ago and their last flicker of light is still traveling through light years to reach us. One star does make a difference. One star falling is one less twinkling light to brighten up the skies at dusk. It is one less star to make a wish on.

For decades, stories like J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, and various adaptations, have relied on the magical twinkle of the stars to explain the entrance to a whole new world. Neverland exists within the realm of the second star to the right, or so the story goes. As children, we appreciated the stars because they spoke to us of stories, as do the names and legends behind different constellations. Stars are not futile, they are mystical and beautiful, and inspiring.

The seemingly insignificant details we notice from day to day make appear to be little and unimportant, but they aren’t. The little things matter; they are what make a difference in such a subtle way that people rarely notice. The stars, while they might not make a huge difference in our artificially lit New York sky, are natural nightlights to someone walking down a dark street in a city in which we may be unfamiliar, and they are reminders of the stories we loved as children.. The moral of this blog post…don’t take nature for granted; it is not futile, instead it has the ability to provide us with feelings of safety, peace, inspiration, and maybe even a nightlight.


~Arlinda Mulosmanaj