I am currently starting to get ready for my College applications. It is a lot of stress and, on top of it, loads and loads of homework. I always try to find something that can distract me. I tend to try and get everything done in one sitting but I have to remind myself that my body needs a break sometimes. I have started to go on runs to get my mind free and it works! But often the day has just been too tiring to go on a run on top of that so I go and do something creative such as drawing, editing photos, or playing the guitar!
But I must say there is one thing that nothing else can come close to that makes me happy and relaxes me. And that is just going to the barn and spending time with the horses. It’s not even the riding part, mostly I just sit down in a stall with a horse and just watch them. Two years ago a very close friend of mine graduated. She learned riding at the school and bonded with one horse especially. The horse’s name is Simba. He has such a character and is an incredibly fun horse to ride. When my friend graduated she asked me to take care of him for her, and so I did. I started forcing a bond with him. Now every time I see him I am filled with happiness and joy.
I have always had stronger binds with animals than I had with people. I guess part of it is that animals don’t talk. They just sit there and do their thing. They don’t judge you and they don’t talk about you behind your back. They have their own characters and they do what they want.
Simba has taught me a lot throughout high school and he has helped me to find time to relax and just be. He can be a brat sometimes but he has taught me to never give up even if you have a bad day. Just push through it, and it will eventually get better.
School is back in session and I couldn’t be more excited.
Online school was an interesting experience, but I would not do it again. It was hard and it did not have the same feeling as in-person learning.
Although it has been two days of in person learning, I have enjoyed it much more than online. I have been able to connect with my friends and teachers, which is much easier to do in person.
Sports are also starting up, which is also another way to connect with new people and make long lasting memories. There are many more opportunities to do outdoor activities, and eventually go into town.
Another upside to doing in person school is that I am able to visit home. Since people are coming on campus, we are able to leave on the weekends and during holidays.
Overall, I am glad the Ojai Valley School opened for school.
Am I laying in a hospital bed surrounded by my family, basking in all of my successes. Nothing but happiness and satisfaction when I look back. I close my eyes with the itention of sleeping. Slipping deeper into sleep. I lose my grip on life. My lungs exhale with my last breath and Im gone.
Is that a sad way to go?
Or am I climbing Mount Everest? Each breath a fight for survival. Each step a step closer to absolute accomplishment. Maybe I started in a group of 15 and now there are two. My other partner ready to make the summit with me. We leave camp four which sits exactly at 26,000 feet. It is a day of oxygen tanks and sheer pain. The wind is generous but the air still spun with little frozen flakes. Were so close. With only a half an hour longer, my partner says he can’t make it. I push on. I make it. The snow had stopped completely. My lungs shrunk and my body crippled with the cold. Sitting down I rest. Absolute peace. The clouds hung below the mountain cutting me off from the ordinary world. Hours pass by after the excruciating journey, I let the cold take my body. The weather changes and the winds pick up. Without enough strength or carry on I sit there letting the elements take me. In my last minutes, all I can think about is the excruciatingly cold pain that rips at my skin. I close my eyes and my body is forever frozen in time.
That would be cool.
But what happens after death?
Do I instantly begin a new life? Do I get re-circulated back into the possibly ever looping birth cycle? Did I die just to die again and again and again?
Or does my energy and soul dissipate into the world erasing me completely?
These questions are unanswerable so I choose not to fear death but accept that it will happen. All I can do is live before I die.
A wise man once said to me that your trauma is not something that can be resolved. A person must take what has happened to them and learn how to survive alongside the pain, and instead of it consuming you, it becomes apart of you.
A wise man once said to me that I was meant to be great. I am not destined to do one monumental thing, he said, I am destined to be monumental.
A wise man once said to me that life was a seed that everyone is encouraged to plant. Some will plant their seed with the best of soil and it will still fail to grow. Some will grow in the crevice of two boulders, striped of all nurtience, and explode into an extraordinary tree.
A wise man once said to me that reading stories about the crystal blue sea or the towering mountains that forever reached to the heavens was not enough. He said to me that I must dive deep into salty water, and let the cold chill take over my body. He told me that I must drown in experiences, and that I must lay above the clouds.
A wise man once told me that my life is a piece of nothing in the scheme of infinity, a single electron in the sun’s ever-burning fire. He told me that beyond my sunken world there was a blackness that stretched out so far that if I were to walk the path of infinity for my entire life, I would not reach the starting line.
A wise man stared at me as I stared at him. The fogged mirror didn’t affect how clearly I saw the man looking back at me. As he gripped my eyes he said, don’t waist Oxygen trying to survive, use what you are given and try and live.
For many years I have been an active advocate and participant in wildlife conservation. With my photography, I am hoping to reach people and show them the beauty and diversity we have on our planet and show how important it is to keep it alive. There are so many incredible photographers out there that do just that, and who use their voice to stand up for animals. I have many role-models that I look up to, but recently there has been an uproar for one of them.
David Yarrow is one of the most famous photographers and one of the seemingly biggest advocates for wildlife conservation. But in reality, he embodies everything that is NOT conservation. From chasing a giraffe to get a perfect shot, to using wolves and bears that are enslaved, to game farms with a record of abuse, there is one image that has caused the public to hold their breath. A picture in which a model is standing just 15 feet away from 3 elephants.
Now many will probably wonder why that is so bad. If anything would have happened during the shooting, say if one of the elephants started to feel stressed or threatened, they could have firstly endangered the life of the model, but also their lives. If one of the elephants would have attempted to charge, he would have paid for it with his life and would have probably gotten shot. One of the three elephants is named Craig, one of Africa’s last big tuskers.
Now I wonder, is it really worth it to risk a animals life just to get a perfect shot. And most importantly, can you call yourself a wildlife conservationist while actually exploiting animals. I don’t think so.
Yarrow has finally said something and apologized for his actions. It is not much but it is a first step in making things right.
Some things really do get better as they age, and the little old house that sits at the top of a hill is the perfect example.
This little house is strong and mighty, and it has seen its fair share of heartbreaks, makeups, first moments, last goodbyes, tears, smiles, storms, fires, spring rain, and much more.
It sits atop a hill, with a view of the mountains surrounding and a window through the trees to look down into the valley surrounding below it. This little house has aged, but it has a story to tell.
The house has sat atop the same hill for over seventy years, watching multiple families grow, being a safe place for kids to run to after the rain starts, a place that is not just a house, but a home.
Even though the white picket fence with the red fence is tipping over with chipped paint, the porch does not keep the rain out, the wood floors inside are warped and worn, the ceiling leaks, and the doors do not keep the winter chill out, it has aged beautifully.
Although those little details seem off-putting to most, to me they make that little ageing house a home.
Walking among trees, flowers, and bushes, I see so many detailed shapes and colors that could be put together to represent almost anything. One homework assignment I had this week was to create a biological structure using elements of nature, and it was incredible to see how many mediums were available in the small space of my backyard.
I can see the textures of the plants and imagine how they would function in a work of art. I remember back in the seventh grade when our english teacher had us replicate the art of a famous nature artist by arranging leaves on the ground. We created the pattern of a heart using the different shapes, colors, and textures of nature. It was incredible to see how so many pieces of nature can come together and create something so beautiful.
While nature is stunning in itself, it has the capacity to be rearranged into a work of art with intent. The intention within a nature piece shows the connection between human spirit and the beauty of the natural world.