My Journal

I realize I’ve forgotten about my daily planner. It’s been sitting in my desk for the past couple of weeks, leaving me to keep track of all my assignments in my head. Without it, academics have felt like one big game of whack-a-mole. I’ve been barely holding on, about to turn the lights out for the night before I realize an assignment is due tomorrow.

It can feel annoying writing every assignment down as its given. However, without an organized book to keep track of my assignments, I have felt like I’ve tuned out of academics.

Today I wrote down everything I needed to do. It’s not too much when you look at it on paper. When it’s all in your head, however, it can feel overwhelming. Just when you think you’ve cleared your agenda, another task appears. When I write down my assignments or meetings, however, I can accomplish things in a more mentally civilised way.

It is important for me to not let my own head be in charge of keeping track of things. Not everyone works the same way, but for me, writing down my responsibilities is the best way to get them done, and erasing them is very rewarding.

Image Credit:  LEUCHTTURM

Chewy

Going back 10 years ago, a 6-year-old blonde-haired girl went into the rabbit shelter in Santa Barbara (that to this day does not exist) with a determination. As she comes into the outside rabbit room, she laid her eyes on hundreds of bunnies. She walked around the shelter saw some cute ones, but not staying more than a few seconds to thoroughly examine the rabbits until she comes upon an odd pair, two brothers one bright white with blazing red eyes and the other another jet grey. She immediately sat down as began to play with the bunnies. His mother seemed shocked because these two bunnies were not particularly young and not particularly friendly. Not more than half an hour later the little girl left with her new bunnies, chewy and sweetheart. Sweetheart, the white rabbit got his name from immediately coming up to the girl and resting his small head on her equally small foot. While the grey one simultaneously chomping on a carrot, moving his mouth in a circular motion made the child burst into laughter. As the girl began to grow, so did the bunnies. Stages of their life passed by quickly. Skipping ahead two years. The girl left her house with one of the Dork Diaries in hand and walked out to the back yard where the hutch sat. She climbed through the bunny door and sat in the wood and chicken wire cage. The bunnies would hop over to her, lay down, and not move until she got up to leave. Every day, she would read aloud to her bunnies, all the way until she graduated the fifth grade. Going into middle school the bunnies became a second priority, but she still fed them twice a day and would do monthly spa days for the rabbits, which they thoroughly enjoyed, until that next summer came and the white bunny that had glowing red eyes died. She held him in her arms for the last time before her dad took him to the bunny clinic. He had bladder stones. That night the not-so-little girl, her mom, and brother sank onto the living room carpet embracing one another in each other’s sadness. The girl had never truly lost anything to that extent before. But life went on. The girl in the fifth grade, about a year before sweetheart died, had gotten two more bunnies. Chewy lost his bother that day, and at 7 years old decided to keep living. As middle-school continued, the girl grew more distant from the bunnies, she became more interested in drama and “life”. She still took comfort in them and would visit them when she wanted to take comfort in something so innocent and that depended on her. Although she loved all of her animals, she would always hold chewy longer and give him extra carrots. She loved the way he would eat them. Although it did not make her burst into uncontrollable laughter, she smirked and watched until he finished chewing. In eighth grade she lost one of the bunnies and she buried him in her yard. She spent the rest of that day with chewy and the other bunny. Chewy looked happy as ever. His jet grey coat was sprinkled with white. His eyelids dropped slightly but his eyes sparkled the same that they did nine years ago when she got him. Now, skipping ahead to the present day. At 10:13 on November 22d, 2020. The girl’s mom comes in and says that something is wrong with chewy. Immediately the girl, who has turned into a young woman, begins to sob. Running outside she sees chewy laying on his side. Shaking. His head hung low as he tries to stand. She picks up chewy as he lays on his side. Turning him over she sees that he has an infection. Putting him down gently and stroking him in hopes to provide comfort to him as he had done for her. Her mom and her get into the car with Chewy. They decided that the best thing to do is to end his suffering. Knowing that a piece of your childhood is dying is something hard to face. Arriving at the 24-hour clinic, she carries the box to the front door. Her mom fills out paperwork as she sinks into a patio chair looking at Chewy. As a man approaches the door to the clinic, she opens the box and gently strokes chewy’s back and says goodbye for the last time. Standing up. Not being able to stop the tears, she hands the box to the doctor. And at 10:55 pm, Chewy and the girl are separated forever. Turning to her mom embracing each other like they had done so many years before with Sweetheart, they drive home. Sinking into a coma of emptiness, the girl thanks Chewy and wishing him the best where ever he may be going. She hopes that he finds peace and that he is relieved of all pain that he felt.

Thank you Chewy for all that you have done for me. You will be remembered and loved forever.

image found on Pixabay

sealed with wax

When your heart breaks

Is it like melting wax

dripping and oozing concealing the facts

then stamped by a whoever your breaker may be

hardening in place

the stamp easy to see

the next person to come along

sees that the wax is not very strong

how easily the wax could crack

with a simple are you okay

could take you all the way back

the facts concealed in the wax tight letter

spill out in hopes that it will get better

your feelings are expressed

and all it did was add stress

suddenly the thin layer of wax holding you together is broken

and you wish the feelings in the letter had gone unspoken

but spoken they were

and now your life is back into its vulnerable blur

you must reheat the wax

reconceal the facts

and start a new

in hopes that the next person will be kind to you

another idea that you have is to discard your letter

there is no point in trying to get better

the feelings are shoved into a drawer

the stamp never broken never torn

later in life

when heartbreak comes back

remember that you must over come

the cracking and oozing glum

Image found on: https://www.stampsdirect.co.uk/

Holidays

The Halloween experience acts as a measurement of growth as it changes after every birthday. I watch each Halloween become less and less magical as my costumes have faded to my everyday clothes. Halloween is, as they say, “what you make it,” because unlike holidays like Christmas where there is no escaping the holiday spirit, Halloween is the easiest time to take a knee.

Spending time with friends and family passing out candy or trick or treating this year has been discouraged due to COVID. I’m not too disappointed, as I haven’t done much in recent years either, though I celebrated with a glass of apple cider and a little pumpkin to keep up the spirit.

I look forward to the day when I can spend the evening with my friends again, and maybe put together a costume with some magically newfound makeup skills. For now, however, I am content with this year’s Halloween because I know that there are many more to come.

Image Credit: Tony Thomas

suffocation

grey muffled voices–

shuttered dusty white shades that don’t rotate

that don’t move,

that bend and shake as you pull the little white cord.

Never more than the briefest glimpse of light peeks through.

it’s oppressive in that warm room

the floor creeps toward the ceiling 

the walls pour in from the sides

the carpet pulls the fight from the soles of your feet

the white walls.

the relentless clock.

the viscous air.

and your feet cemented to the floor,

body still,

heart racing.

and the voices,

the walls,

the shades.

your feet that won’t move,

your labored breathing,

the creeping white walls,

and the encroaching ceiling.

from Saatchi Art

An uproar in wildlife conservation

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.

picture credit to David Yarrow

Ageing

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.

Image Credit: https://pixels.com/

Found In Nature

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.

Image Credit: Krsmith Last

empty

love is like a shower

when you’re in it

it is warm and nice

it feels better than anything in the world

but once you get out of the shower

its cold

its distasteful

you want more of that shower

some people dont shower

and maybe their on to something

if you dont go in the shower

you dont have the feel the pain of leaving it

love is the same way

if you dont fall in love with her

you dont have to be sad when it goes away

sometimes not showering seems like the right idea

maybe you feel dirty

but you dont have to get your expectation up

and then fall down

with love,

maybe you’re sad and lonely

but if the relationship ends

the pain is way worse

so sometimes

i dont like showering

Medium shot of an old television on a bed at night - Stock Video Footage -  Dissolve

art credit: dissolve.com

18

I’m turning eighteen very soon.

It’s exciting, yet I feel like I am losing the security of youth. This is my last chance to live guilt-free as a dependent before I look upon myself as an adult who must do adult things.

I will be held accountable and have obligations (more so than I already do.)

I can vote.

I can go to prison.

I can adopt a cat.

I will now be one of the “grown-ups” I never thought I’d be. I will still be seen as a “kid,” though the number to my name proves my maturity when people find it convenient. I’m old enough for financial shame. Adults will look at me as a young teenager in the hierarchy of age, yet call me an adult when I make a mistake. I’ll have been alive for eighteen years. I’ll no longer be grouped with the “children” at family Christmas parties.

But I’m still in high school. I’m living at home. The title of “adult” on government documents makes no difference to my level of maturity. I will be a true functioning adult when I move away to college. I will soon become independent, but for now, I am happy where I am – finishing high school with my supportive family.

Turning 18 – The Beginning Of Adulthood – The Paper Cut
Image Credit: Dorian Chase, The Paper Cut