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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

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Posted in Arlinda's Newest Posts

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

Posted in Arlinda's Newest Posts

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Not Taken- by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

We all have choices; while some choices are easy to make, others prove to be far more difficult. We begin to prioritize, restructure our daily lives, seek purpose in the tasks we complete each day each, and we search for the meaning behind our journey so far. It would be easy to state that things happen for a reason; the point of it all is to discover the reason and figure out how its meaning fits into your life. Whenever I have a difficult decision to make, I think of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road not Taken” and it usually inspires me with a newfound sense of clarity.

After reading Robert Frost’s “The Road not Taken,” I always begin to wonder about all the times I made a decision that was uncommon or under valued at the time. How did it make a difference? Can I look back now and say that the decision I made has helped shaped my life into what it is today? As the speaker in Frost’s poem states, “yet knowing how way leads on to way / I doubted if I should ever come back.” When you realize what is most important to you, and you make the decision to change the path your on it will set you in a completely on a new course and you may not be able to go back to the person you once were.

We learn something new each day; we grow, we gain experience, we perceive the world with a new wisdom as we continue on our journey in life. Decisions are always hard; when facing a choice or a challenge, think of the person you will become if you choose the road that not many others have taken. As the speaker Robert Frost’s poem “The Road not Taken” states, “two roads diverged in a wood, and I– / I took the one less traveled by / and that has made all the difference.”

~Arlinda Mulosmanaj

Posted in Arlinda's Newest Posts

Lullaby: Soothing Song or Melodic Warning

Whimsical Wednesday with Arlinda

While most of us have fond memories of being sung lullabies as children, the legend behind the origin of lullabies in a dark one. As children, we can remember our parents singing us soothing songs in an attempt to get us to fall asleep; lullabies were joyful bonding experiences between ourselves and our parents. After stumbling upon various lullaby origin stories, one caught my interest.

After researching the origins of lullabies, I found a multitude of websites claiming the legend of Lilith as the inspiration behind the creation of many lullabies that we have all heard since our childhood and grew to remember the soft and calming melodies. The term lullaby is said to have been derived from Lilith abi that is derived from a Hebrew phrase said to mean Lilith begone. Just wait, it gets creepier. It is said that lullabies were used as a form of protection for children against Lilith coming to steal their souls in the night.

This view of the origin of lullabies brings a whole new perspective and analysis Rock-a-Bye Baby, a lullaby that surely we have all heard time and time again.

  Rock a Bye Baby

Rock-a-bye, baby

In the treetop.

When the wind blows,

The cradle will rock.

When the bough breaks,

The cradle will fall,

And down will come baby,

Cradle and all.

Baby is drowsing,

Cosy and fair.

Mother sits near,

In her rocking chair.

Forward and back,

The cradle she swings,

And though baby sleeps,

He hears what she sings.

The baby eerily hears what the mother is singing, though the mother sits away from the baby in her rocking chair. While reading this I thought, why did the mother sit away from her child? Was she guarding the baby’s room against the arrival of Lilith, or was she afraid to sit near her child should Lilith arrive? While I can explore the various possibilities of lullabies being derived as a protective shield against Lilith, I shall leave it to my readers to come up with their own interpretations.

As far fetched as the concept of Lilith being at the center of the origin of lullabies, it’s October and with Halloween just around the corner it seems the perfect time to share such a creepy and chill provoking origin story. If you wish to explore the many different origin stories of lullabies, I have posted a few links below. I hope you find the links as interesting as I did upon stumbling onto these websites.

 

~Arlinda Mulosmanaj

 

http://mentalfloss.com/article/67896/12-creepy-lullabies-around-world-will-keep-you-night

http://www.jeanniemusick.com/lilith-legends/lilith-as-the-origin-of-the-lullaby/

 

 

Posted in Arlinda's Newest Posts

The Beauty of Inconstancy

Whimsical Wednesday with Arlinda

While I love the occasional stargazing and daydreaming, it often makes me wonder what is real and what is just a false projection of images. Take stars for example, they shine their light upon the earth each night, but for all we know the stars we are looking at may have stopped existing light years ago; it takes time for the last glimpse of starlight from the now nonexistent star to illuminate the night sky and then cease to shine again. Similarly, our daydreams may be far fetched; psychologists have been trying to analyze daydreams for many years with different results each time because daydreams, according to Sigmund Freud, can only be analyzed by the dreamers themselves, and since our dreams are always changing, I wonder how we might go about understanding them. How are we to know what is consistently real and what is an ever-changing projection contained within our minds?

Percy Bysshe Shelley conveys the double entendre, which we struggle to perceive and comprehend each day. Shelley’s poem “The Moon” beautifully depicts multiple views about the loneliness of the moon, which can also be perceived through the lens of viewing the moon as an entity searching for an object “worth its constancy” while it travels across the earth each night.

The Moon- Percy Bysshe Shelley

And, like a dying lady lean and pale,
 Who totters forth, wrapp'd in a gauzy veil,
 Out of her chamber, led by the insane
 And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,
 The moon arose up in the murky east
 A white and shapeless mass. 
 
 Art thou pale for weariness
 Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
 Wandering companionless
 Among the stars that have a different birth,
 And ever changing, like a joyless eye
 That finds no object worth its constancy?

While this poem seemingly portrays the moon as a lonely object, I tend to perceive this poem in such a way that allows me to realize we are all moons searching the earth for something constant, for something we can understand and connect to, and we learn to appreciate the differences we notice in others.

Even though I cannot be sure whether or not the stars I see each still exist, it is poems like Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “The Moon” that teach me to appreciate the stars as they dance across the night sky until sunrise; even if I cannot prove that the stars still exist light years away and that their lights will remain constant for many more light years, I can remain constant in enjoying the beauty and brightness depicted by the stars each night.

We do not always require a solid and never changing answer to our questions; we grow and evolve, as do our questions. Similarly, the answers we seek need to grow and evolve along with us. Our daydreams may not be constant, and the stars we see may no longer exist, but both are beautifully unpredictable in their own way, and both should be valued and appreciated. Until next week Obscurians!

~Arlinda M