Nine Ways of Looking at the Moon

I

The sky was set 

The moon the captain of the army in the still night’s sky

II

Dazed I look up 

The moon, full, like a handle on the door to heaven

III

Scene three:

The moon in its commanding role 

Casts a spell on the audience 

The audience that is us

The spell that is an enigma

IV

A woman and the moon are one 

A woman and a man are two

A woman and a man and a moon are a romance

V

I prefer the moon

The serenity 

The beautiful chasm that allures

That is the moon

The sun is not the moon

I prefer the moon

VI

The walking dream has left me awoken 

Life and light has left me

Love has left me

A lonely spirit searching

A lonely spirit searched 

And found you 

The moon

VII

The rhythm of the heartbeat of the night pulses

The moon hangs on Orion’s belt protecting him

Protecting us

I know of a time

A secret time

That time is now

VIII

Shoot for the moon

And if you miss you’ll land in the stars

The woman who flew to the moon

IX

The captain commands his army

The flames of the day burn

A newly painted sky dries

I see a blackbird fly by

As the moon says goodbye

Image From Nasa

Limited Time

Now that spring has begun and the air is faintly smelling of orange blossom filling the valley air in the brisk mornings, I can tell my time here is coming to an end. The morning and afternoons driving up and down the weaving road into the campus atop the hill. There are so many fond memories that will last more than a life time.

But now I am counting the weeks left in this beautiful place that I have spent the last four years of my life. In one way, this place is kind of all I have ever known, but it has made me want to branch out and go explore. I have learned so much academically, but also as a person.

I’ve learned what to expect from people and how to protect myself and control emotions, I’ve learned how to make true life long connections with people but most importantly I began to learn who I am.

All of these small simple lessons have been learned simply from waking up and going to school every morning and giving it all I could every day.

So now I have realized I have limited time left, and that is in fact scary, but it is leading me to a new adventure.

Photo credit : Ojai Valley School

Who I am

Do you know this feeling, when your heart drops and it feels like someone just dug a knife through it. That feeling that shivers down your spine and makes the hair on your arms crawl up. You’re pumped with adrenaline. Your heart is beating out your chest. And then, just silence. You don’t know what you feel anymore, it’s too much. Tears start rolling down your face. Your breath gets faster and faster.

Thinking about it, emotions are a fascinating and scary thing. One moment they make you feel like you are on top of the world, the next they crush you down to the floor. But I am not saying that that’s a bad thing. They help us learn, they help us communicate with other people without using words. People can connect, solely through their emotions. It helps us understand each other more. 

For the longest time, I tried to suppress my emotions. I feel weak showing my flaws and I don’t want people to see me cry. It is still something I am struggling with to this day. But I have found ways to deal with it by myself. Running, singing, playing tennis, are all things that help me burn off stress. But camping is probably the thing that has helped me most throughout my life. 

When I am outside camping with friends, I just forget all my worries for a while. Everything is ok and I just feel free and relaxed. Its like I’m in a completely different state of mind, like bad things can’t even get close to me. And at night when I look up at the stars, I just feel thankful for the life I have. How lucky I am to have such great friends and memories of traveling around the planet. How supportive my family is, and how excited I am for my future. 

Feelings are a important part of who we are as a person. They define us. And we shouldn’t be ashamed of them. even though I still struggle, I know there are people out there who care for me and who support me in anything I do. 

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Routine

I have conditioned my cat.

Her treats stay in the top drawer of my dresser, along with folded clothes. When I open the drawer, the handle bounces against the wood, making a clanging noise. Each time I hear it, she comes running in anticipation of treats.

Now comes the balance.

I worry to open the drawer for clothes, for fear of her conditioning wearing off. If she does not get treats when she hears the clanging, she may begin to unlearn her conditioned response. She will stop running to me, and I will have lost my leverage.

If I want her to come over, I open the drawer. Though, if I open it for clothes instead of treats, I feel obligated to give her what she wants. I wonder if it’s mean of me to tease her – even if I don’t mean it. She doesn’t know the difference.

I now find her trying to open the drawer herself. One day she will. And that day I will move the bag of treats. And the conditioning process will begin once more.

Trying to get her treats

If you love them, let them go…

At one point or another in your life you are told “if you love something let it go, and if it was meant to be it will come back to you.” It is a statement told to help someone usually adjust to the loss of something loved that is beyond your control. In theory it all makes sense, but you never want to have to tell yourself to abide by that concept.

I never really understood the meaning of that until I found myself fighting to keep someone in my life. Every day I would struggle to watch them drift away. I would think, how could someone that I love so dearly, and who claims to love me equally, simply fade away. I decided to simply let them go, because in reality, or as the saying goes, “if it was meant to be it will come back to you.” So that is simply what I decided to do.

At first, hours passed, the days, then weeks. The pain was real and it felt all so very fresh. like a deep wound that took ages to heal. Then eventually months began to pass, and I felt whole again, even without my dearly loved person. I accepted their leaving, I never understood it, but I accepted it and I considered that good enough.

I felt whole again, even though I was missing a piece. But after the hours, days, weeks, and months had passed a wave of emotions came back into my mind. I felt the need to reach out, to check-in, just to see how they were. But I had to remember that I let them go so I simply put it in the back of my mind.

That was until I received a message. The person who I loved so dearly came back. Did that happen because I simply let them go, or was it because it was indeed meant to be?

So maybe the age old saying isn’t wrong? Maybe if you really do love something and you let it go, it will eventually come back to you?

Ready, Set, Swim

Although I only started swimming in sixth grade, it has been my passion and hobby ever since. I looked forward to the daily practices and the long conditioning sessions. It was strenuous, but fulfilling.

The main reason that I joined swim was because I did not want to do any team sports, but I had to join at least one team sport per year. Swim came easy to me, especially the flip turns because of my previous gymnastics training. During sixth grade my strokes were breaststroke, back, and free. I was so happy when I got first place during my meets, and getting these results boosted my liking for the sport.

Photo credit: Olympics

I continued swim throughout my middle school years; going to meets, practices, and gym sessions. Middle school sports are really different than high school sports though, and so when high school came along I was scared for swim.

I did not know if I was going to make the team or even progress with my times. My coach did not release the team roster until our first meet… I got on Varsity! Holy Sh*t, I was so proud of myself. During the few meets we had due to Covid, I competed in back, free, and IMs. I was also the backstroke leg for the team medley.

Swim started out just being a scapegoat for me ot having to do a high intensive sport to a passion that I cannot live without.

A Culmination

I present my Capstone this Wednesday. It is a culmination of my experiences in high school, and a chance to share a topic I am passionate about. For my “project,” I fostered kittens. Not only will I share my experience, but I hope to educate others on how to care for animals and why it is a community responsibility.

Fostering is vital to the life of every cat. The Humane Society is filled with kittens, yet nobody considers where those kittens were for the first eight weeks of life. Every kitten was either raised outside by their feral mom, or they were fostered by someone who sacrificed their time to raise a kitten.

Fostering kittens gave me firsthand experience with the issue of finding homes for cats. While I “foster-failed” and ended up keeping one of the kittens, I did not have room in my then five-cat household to keep another. I named her Blue, and we took her to the Humane Society where she was adopted.

I look forward to sharing my experience and enthusiasm with my school, and I hope to inspire others to foster kittens and save lives.

Image Credit: Hannah Shaw

Racing thoughts

Often at night, I find myself just laying in bed and not being able to shut off my thoughts. There are so many things just racing through my mind. While I lay there, listening to the rain hit the roof of my room, I think about how funny life sometimes is. It can be amazing, you are happy and everything is perfect, and then the next day everything just comes crashing down on you. And when one thing goes wrong suddenly everything starts going wrong and it feels like you are drowning. But then there are those people that just pull you out of that hole. It might take a while to get out, but these people make it so much easier.

Honestly, sometimes you just need someone to listen to you. They don’t even need to say anything. It can feel amazing to just get everything off your chest without being judged for it. And once you make it through rough times you have so much to be proud of. You can reflect back to the times where you were at you lowest and look at yourself and say “I made it through this” and it proves how strong we are as a person.

So I lay in bed, and think about all the things of the past weeks, and I just think about how lucky I am to have people that support me in anything I do.

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Spring

Each year, spring seems to be the most overwhelming season. School begins to speed up as we are faced with tasks each day.

Now that the pandemic is slowly returning to normalcy as more students come onto campus, we are catching up on what we missed. This, however, results in the cramming of a years’ worth of experience into a single month. It is enjoyable in its little moments, though when I look at my planner, the words begin to blend into each other as the pages are smeared with hastily placed pencil marks. I return to my planner hourly, adding both academic assignments and extracurricular events. It is covered with reminders, such as bring my costume for the musical, or drop off a scholarship application.

I enjoy each day thoroughly, though looking ahead can be overwhelming. The tasks for one day are manageable, though skimming the multiple notes and plans for the week can feel as though it all must be done that day.

Perspective is vital to managing a planner. I always note that I am living in only one of the days on the page, and it is not yet time to manage the others. This spring may be busy, though it is my last opportunity to experience high school. I plan to enjoy every day, as they are my final moments on this campus.

Spring
Image Credit: Alina Demidenko – iStock

Unspoken Words

I can not even count the times I have wanted to reach out to you, scrolled through my contacts to find your number, went to type out a message I never sent, or looked at old pictures and felt an urge to speak to you again. But I remained silent and kept the words unspoken. I’ve wanted to tell you how much I’ve missed you in these last six months. There is not a day that goes by where I do not think of you… But recently you’ve been living in my mind much much more.

Recently everything has reminded me of you. I see images of us from a year ago to the date, hear your name in conversation, or see things we would have shared with each other and something tells me I must speak to you again. But instead, I keep the words unspoken, although there’s this feeling deep in me that we need to speak once again and that something will bring us back.

My unspoken words consist of these thoughts for the most part; you rapidly became the most significant person in my life, and for that, I’ll forever be grateful for, but the day we stopped speaking a little part of me began to crumble. You took a part of me with you when you evaporated from my life. You were part of my daily routine, we spoke every day from the second we woke up, to when we would lie our heads on the pillow each night. We shared some of our highest highs and lowest lows together, and always made an effort to check in and see how we both were feeling. You being gone felt like I was missing my other half. You were my person.

These unspoken words have given me the chance to reflect on how I feel, and what drove us apart. I understand why you had to leave, but I do not accept it, and if I am being honest I probably never will. But I am slowly becoming okay with that, with the idea that you are in fact gone, weather that be for now or for forever.

I still often wonder how you are doing though, and I check in on you from afar. I only hope that you are doing as well as you used to be, and you are carrying on. I hope you still have the call for adventure, and a sparkle of mischief in your blue eyes. But I miss you more than you’ll ever know. I miss us, our adventures, late night conversations, and most of all I miss my best friend. I hope we cross paths one day in the future, for you will always hold captive a large part of my heart.

Photo credit: Pintrest.com