Posted in Arlinda's Newest Posts, Homepage

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 Homepage

Don’t Ask, It’s Surreal

CINÉMONDAYSWITHHARDIK:

The Exterminating Angel

Dir. Luis Buñuel

I’m not a party animal. But whenever my dorm friends back in India threw late-night parties, I’d immediately become one: a sloth with all limbs stretched, in bed. I’d sleep till the following afternoon, then leave, most likely. I wasn’t dorming—I was, as they’d put it, a localite. Why wouldn’t I leave for home on time? What time? Isn’t afternoon ‘time’? I don’t know why I wouldn’t leave for home at some conventional hour, but I knew that I was probably very tired from all the excitement of the night before. Why did I leave and not just stay there forever? Well, what can I tell? I’d come across this proverb—‘A hedge between keeps the friendship green’—quite early in my life.

In Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, the hedge, to say, has been broken. A lavish dinner party after an opera, company of other elites, and no one is able to just leave. Morning, then evening, then morning, then evening, so on. Elites have servants, but they’ve left. There’s no water, no food. But why? Don’t ask. “We don’t want answers, we want to get out of here!” You might want more answers, for quite literally the party ‘animals,’ the life of parties, have joined guests and the hosts. Bears, sheep. But why?

To find out, you’ll have to watch it, that is, between your laughs; the promise is you won’t stop laughing, just remember it’s surreal.

~ Hardik Yadav

Posted in Kat's Newest Posts

Eet: Today’s a Bad Day (And That’s Okay)

Kat’s Music and Comics Corner Vol. 2 Issue #7

It’s like forgetting
The words to your favorite song

How could someone forget the words to their favorite song? All those hours of practicing the words and getting the rhythm down seem to have gone to waste because now you’re sitting in your car, the radio is actually playing your favorite song on an oldies station and as soon as the singer begins you freeze. We’re human and it is inevitable as humans to err, but another thing about us humans, we love to try and be perfect. Probably because of pressure from our parents, friends, teachers, or society. We’ve got to have flawless skin, perfect white smiles, and carry all the knowledge our fragile heads can possibly bear. We are sometimes made to feel like making mistakes will completely obliterate all of our progress, but that’s not true. On days when things aren’t going your way, whether you’re running late on a heinously delayed subway train or you forgot that today was your exam that you happened to not study for or like Regina sings, you forget the words to your favorite song, all we can do is two things: cope and hope.

As I usually preface with all the bands and artists I talk about here in my blog, Regina Spektor is one of my favorite musicians. She’s an angel. Her voice is so gentle and pure, she can play the piano nicely, and her lyrics are either unsettlingly eerie or silly or really beautiful. It’s hard not to fall under the spell of her music. Far is my favorite album from her and although there are other tracks on this album that I like more, I felt like this one really related to the way I feel today. I woke up this morning exhausted from small hours of sleep throughout the week, late night outings, night classes, and exercise. My little sister was my alarm this morning. She always reminds me to wake up at 7 AM to feed my cat, Mishu, if I don’t wake up on my own. I can barely keep my eyes open. I go to the kitchen, see that the litter box has crap in it, so I clean it out accidentally spilling some litter on the already litter covered floor. My little sister who woke me up is snapping at my other little sister and I try to intervene and then she snaps at me. I grumpily disengage and go back to sleep. Well, I try to and then my mother comes into the room to nag me about how my side of the room is a hot mess. Which is true, but I pretend to be asleep even though I know she knows I’m awake. I just want to disappear. I want this day to be over and it’s only just begun. It’s these little things that crack away our sanity and test our ability to handle high stress and not so ideal situations that sometimes (most of the time in my case) we put ourselves in. Sometimes the darkness almost wins and like Regina sings, “You spent half of your life/Trying to fall behind/You’re using your headphones/To drown out your mind.” We have to find the thing that brings us to a place of calm or at least escapism to deal with all these things that come tumbling down on us. Sometimes we just have to exit.

Right now, I’m on my way to work and I’m one of the lucky ones who actually like their job, co-workers, and boss. But not all of my friends and family are as lucky as I am. Some people are working two or three jobs and sometimes even one terrible, overwhelming job is enough to put you in an emotional grave. It’s the season of fall and that means you can try to avoid from falling down, but like the leaves in this autumn, you will succumb to a bad day, as will everyone around you. It just happens. The best we can do is find that one thing or person that calms us and hope for the day to end kindly. Trudge on my college mates, we can make it through this bad day.

– Kathryn “Kat” Fornier

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 Homepage

People, Places, & Things, and Endings

CINÉMONDAYWITHHARDIK:

People, Places, & Things

Playwright: Duncan Macmillan

Director: Jeremy Herrin

People, places, and things.

We are all powerless over these.

But, be it as it may, movies have a way of suggesting there’s always going to be a solution to it, our powerlessness. At least that’s what movies I watched last week seemed to suggest. That it’s either we’ll walk into doom, or come out of it by some strange miracle, say, by our writer’s afforded convenience.

These movies that I ended up watching (yeah, I just ended up watching five movies in one week) left me annoyed. Their endings did––they were too sure and easy a conclusion. What added to that annoyance was the fact that they followed a pattern: their characters weren’t society-favorites, say gay, or addicts, or this color or that, other minorities, and how their stories ended didn’t seem to matter to their makers, they had two ways out: happy ending, or a dog’s death. Why? Why that easy––heads or tail? By way of oversimplifying the ending, not only is it ripping potential complexities off of its characters but also it is saying that as audiences this is what we will be served, this what we deserve.

I have a problem with that, the way I have issues against stereotyping people.

So, when over the weekend, my family and I went to watch an off-Broadway play, People, Places, & Things, which my brother mentioned was about an alcoholic in recovery, I thought, here, we go again. Fives movies a week, then a play… I was sure I could predict the character’s fate. Sarah, her name. Or maybe, Lucy. Or maybe, Emma. You have to watch it and find out for yourself. All I will add is that, thanks to the writer’s efforts, the character doesn’t find an easy way out, doesn’t force us out of the theater frustrated. My weekend wasn’t spoiled.

It helps that as writers we aren’t powerless over people, places, and things, and how they end.

~ Hardik Yadav