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Reflecting/Rambling on: Night by Elie Wiesel

7:07 PM

In my Introduction to Religion class we are going to be assigned to read Night by Elie Wiesel. I was trying to get ahead and figured that this would be an easy way. I ended up reading the whole thing in a night and a morning. Why? Because it's thought provoking and intriguing.

Of course I knew about the holocaust, most people do. However, I'd never read any personal accounts like Anne Frank's Diary or this book. It was very emotional and all throughout the margins I noticed common words that I scribbled down: sad, terrible, why? 

I've only ever dealt with personal tragedy in my life, meaning something bad that has happened to me specifically in my life. While this was a personal tragedy for Wiesel, it was also a mass tragedy. After reading, I believe that I've grown as a person. It gave me insight on these sorts of things that I don't think I could have had before. That's what reading can do.

There are tragedies all over our world happening, and it pains me to think of anyone feeling things even remotely similar to what Wiesel felt during this time in his life. Something must be done, and I'm still looking for my way to help. (I think that education might be the answer, to give children the ability the read these types of books so that they too can understand and find their place in the world to help. To develop empathy in readers. Everyone has their call to help in this world, and that could be mine.)

In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Wiesel reiterated again and again that silence is the worst oppressor, just as bad as those who are doing the oppressing. That is still screaming at me. I'm the quiet one, who sees things and knows about them but can't seem to think of what to do. Which is scary. There are people going through tragedy, every single day, similar to what Wiesel went through. Painful.

Now that I understand, I will find out what I can do. Awareness is one step that needs to be taken, and generating understanding as well. I can hope for a peaceful future but without action it will be nothing near that.

Thanks for reading my ramblings about this story. I highly recommend it; it was truly changing.

Alice Walker

Response to Alice Walker, "The Flowers": Surprise

8:43 PM

If you'd like to take part in this discussion with me, feel free to read The Flowers, by Alice Walker here.

When I used read stories in my high school English classes, I could always assume that they would lead to some sort of coming of age. After all, we were in high school and those were the kinds of stories that they wanted us to read as we came of age ourselves. In a way, the stories then were comforting. They let me know that I was not alone in my struggles to understand the vast complexities of our world.

Now they scare me. Here I am reading Alice Walker's The Flowers in my dorm room, thinking how nice it was to be a child as I read, "She was ten, and nothing existed for her but her song, the stick clutched in her dark brown hand, and the tat-de-ta-ta-ta of accompaniment." That sentence made me feel so good inside. I didn't have any idea what would come next in this short story, but I thought it would be good.

Instead (spoiler alert), young Myop finds herself making "her own path" and coming in contact with a dead corpse. She's puzzled at this corpse, and instead of screaming she looks so as to investigate it. She finds a rose with a decaying noose around it's root. That shocked me. Of all of the things I expected Myop to do in the forest, her finding death (and by such evil ways) was the last thing that I'd ever expected. I don't know why I was so surprised. I had read things like this for the last four years of my life and every time they seemed normal, for what I was going through. The story ends with the sentence, "And the summer was over."

I was instantly filled with a feeling of sadness. Young people are so innocent, and they do not deserve to see the things that happen in todays world sometimes. Myop discovers death while she's looking for life in form of flowers. It can happen at the least expected times, when we are dancing with the light and suddenly our partner is gone and replaced with Darkness.

However unfair I might think it is, Myop was interested in what she found. Young people are all interested in these sorts of things; I know that I was. That's why I must remember that it comes time to grow up. Growing up happens at different ages for everyone, but there's a reason it happens, and most of the time it's for the better.

At least I think so right now. Had I not realized the things I realized when I was younger, I would not be the same person today. But for me to say that about everyone is too much. Perhaps others see it differently.

Do you?

(My college lit book advised that I begin keeping a journal of my responses to the literature that I read, so that's exactly what I'm doing! I hope you enjoy, if you're reading!)

books

Short: On Writing

10:49 PM

Sometimes I love writing so much that I need to stop penning the story that I've been churning over in my brain and write about writing. I don't know why, but it helps me clear my head. When I'm stuck on some situation brewing in my mind for a story, I can return to why I love to create these stories so much and it refuels me.

Rainbow Rowell wrote in her novel Fangirl that, "There is nothing more profound than creating something out of nothing." God, does that resonate with me. Writing, while you don't have to be imagining stories, is the act of sculpting words. No two essays, poems, books, or short stories will be the same because of the way you choose to craft them; it's entirely up to you. Making something that could have an affect on someone out of merely the thoughts that exist in your head? That blows my mind, yet I'm able to create every single day.

That freedom can be both liberating and daunting. First, you're given the opportunity to get your feelings down, or the lives of the people in your head; you get the chance to get their story down. So you write it. Or maybe you get scared that you're not telling it the way it's supposed to be, and you can't write anymore. That's pretty scary. The next part is the other scary part. Once you get it written, you have the And Then What? This is the part where you're not sure what to do with it, but most of you is telling you that it's trash and you shouldn't do anything with it anyway. The other, small part of you is saying that if you just edited it, or showed it to someone, that it could be worth something. But those two things are scary in themselves.

Writing is both a joy and terror, but never a burden.

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