As I set my book aside and climb out of bed to cross the room to my desk, I glance at the open window. It’s nearly 1AM, yet my room is cushioned with a comfortable warmth, like the complimentary dinner rolls you get at nicer restaurants. As I’m standing in a pair of old basketball shorts, a baggy T-shirt, and my shower sandals from college, I feel as if it were still August 2011. The month I moved here: the bewilderment and amazement at the God-awful weather, the newfound freedom of being on my own, the anxiety about how I would survive my first year at an Ivy League graduate school, and the cuffing pull of solitude, no–loneliness, that one can only truly feel in a big city. The burning red leaves, the perpetuity of naked branches, the blindingly blooming flowers all wisp by into thin air. The older I age, the more I lose Time.

There is never quiet outside. The soft, continuous whirring of electricity.

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Sacrifice

Writing is so difficult for me. I find myself in so many moments throughout the day when my pulse is beating straight into my fingers to write. But those moments usually occur during the actual occurrence of inspiration, such as a class, a conversation, or a beautiful solitary walk. In order to transform all of the feelings, beliefs, and meanings into words, I must stop–pause–and write in that very moment. But is that the same as the criticism toward today’s obsession with photographs, in which we, as a society, are becoming less fully present because we are too busy worrying about capturing the moment on our digital cameras/smartphones in order to post on Facebook? By the time I get home and sit in front of my laptop or sit with a pen and journal, the majority of my inspirations and energy are depleted.

Being a writer is such a paradox. Admitting that I am biased, I do believe that writing is a way to truly understand the nuances of being a human being more than non-writers. That is why writing falls into the category of Arts & Humanities. And at the same time, writing requires so much sacrifice of one’s life and the possibility of experiencing so many other possible moments.

Bird

A little defeated, a little relieved, she shuffled toward her light switch. She glanced at her fingers as they momentarily rested on the flip, expensive nail polish chipped and peeled. She heaved a sigh and turned off the main light, leaving her room almost unnoticeably less-bright. She loved the light because it gave her a false sense of hope that it was still daytime, and she was willing to sacrifice as much electricity as it took to keep her in her happy delusion. It’s okay, utilities are included in her dorm payments. Along with her soul.

She shuffled over to her next lamp, mindlessly wiped off any residual moisture on her thumb and the side of her index finger, and twisted the somewhat broken light switch four times until it finally turned off. This time, her action had created a greater reaction than the first time, but it was still light enough in her room to read, write, even cut your toenails safely. The Christmas lights strung around the room were on, and they were never, ever off.

She turned to face her bed. Time to crawl in and think about everything else that she might–no, will, she must think will–conquer tomorrow. Perhaps it was better that she put off coding those notes for the next day. Perhaps it was meant to be done on January 18th instead of January 17th, because everyone knows that January 18’s are much more fertile with epiphanies and other good stuff.

She looked back at her laptop. Just a few hours ago she had read in a book the words, “word processor,” and didn’t understand for a few seconds. That is how little she has used her laptop for words, writing. “Gossip processor,” “photos processor,” even “cat processor” would have rung a louder bell. She walked to it and placed her hand, this one with less chipped nail polish, on top of the open Macbook, ready to close it and end the night.

A twinge of guilt poked her, just bit more annoyingly than her unfinished coding, about her possibly ruining her resolution of writing everyday. But what was she to even write about? Her day was an overflow of lethargy. She had no encounters with the Lord that day, no anecdote that she found hilarious and hoped to God that others would also find hilarious, no life lesson to be shared. The only thoughts fresh on her mind were when she had shuffled toward her light switch, a little defeated, a little relieved.