“You read and write and sing and experience, thinking that one day these things will build the character you admire to live as. You love and lose and bleed best you can, to the extreme, hoping that one day the world will read you like the poem you want to be.”
― Charlotte Eriksson
(I have been meaning to include this quote on a blog post for quite some time but have not been able to integrate it successfully. So, considering that this is the last one, please just enjoy this quote before you read about daisies and destruction).
In the spirit of pulling out all the stops for this final blog post, here are some titles that I wish I had used:
- Writing To Fill A Void or Writing To Be Employed?
- Depression: The Bedbugs of The Heart
- Underwater Whistling Sounds Like Screaming
Okay, now done to the real business:
I’m holding a flower between my fingers right now and I don’t know what to do with it. It’s a daisy. Or perhaps it WAS a daisy. See, in the time it took me to write that last sentence (the one exclaiming “It’s a daisy.”) I have removed some of the yellow petals. I don’t know why I did it. All I know is that now, instead of looking like a delicate flower, the daisy, if you could still call it that, looks more like an octopus with five lonely yellow tentacles. I’m not sure if you could say that the daisy is less of a daisy now. If you believe that the identity of objects exists only in the nature of its composition, than by all means, this is still a daisy. However, if you are under the assumption that basic identity exists only in the outward appearance of an object, than perhaps this daisy is indeed an octopus with 5 lonely yellow tentacles.
I didn’t know where I was going with this when I started talking about the daisy, but I think I found my thoughts.
At the beginning of last year, 2016, I was the daisy. Living, cosy against the green stem, with the hopes of blooming. When I found out, as a sophomore, that I was to be in AP English Language and Composition next school year, I felt like a new land was blossoming right before my fingertips. The land was called writing and I had been travelling towards it with intention for some years. I felt as if this was my opportunity to truly develop as a writer (or into a flower if we are sticking with that metaphor).
Now, as I review my past thoughts on writing, I realize how very much I have truly changed.
“When I write, I feel like everything makes sense.”
I guess at one point I must have believed this because I wrote a past blog post about it. Now, as I reflect on the idea of “everything making sense,” I envy the girl that once thought that writing could do that. I envy the girl that felt like she could figure out everything as long as she had words to write and a surface to write upon.
Through taking AP Lang (our cutsey little abbreviation for the previously mentioned class), I have learned several things. Now, I know that when one says “learned”, we have become accustom to taking this to mean that they were taught. But, when I say “learned”, I mean that I was violently force-fed a bunch of information and skills and some of them managed to actually help. Although the force-feeding that occurred was due to AP Lang, I do not (under any circumstances) intend to blame this violent act on Ms. Magnuson. Nor do I really blame it on the course itself. You see, the information and skills that I “learned” could have been easily integrated into my mind were it not due to my stubborn and ornery attitude.
Being the impressionable 17 year- old that I am, I have always been told that I was a talented writer. Upon showing another my writing, they would most definitely respond with flattering comments about how the imagery was “so marvelous” or how they could really see “the waterfall of my depression” (p.s.- I am not kidding. Someone actually told me that). So naturally, when I began the course, I felt pretty confident about my writing abilities. Ha. Hahahahahahahaha.
As you can venture due to my outburst of cynical laughter, I was wrong. Dead-flat-slap your mother in the face- wrong. The weekly essays that we wrote in class gave me number grades based on my expressed ability to use language and rhetorical devices (if you don’t know what a rhetorical device is, look it up. You are in for a real treat). And, though it was out of nine, I never got higher than a seven. This came as a real hit to my confidence. And, as the metaphor continues, I, the pedal-adorned daisy, began to lose my embellishments.
But, if we take a gander at the first paragraph of this blog post (not that I expect you to, given the absurd length that it has become), you would remember about the daisy. that destroyed “daisy” that is now laying, as if defeated by a mortar and pestle, on my desk is in fact still a daisy. It still has its stem, though petals are lacking and the pollen has been reduced to mostly sepal, and if the stem were the indication as to whether an object is a flower or not, than perhaps the daisy is, in fact, still a daisy.
Follow up question: Am I still, after months of changing and evolving, still a daisy? Am I still the writer that I once believed myself to be?
No, I am not. However, since we all know that changing is a key part of life (and if you don’t know that, than please just pretend for both of our sake), and perhaps I can still be some kind of writer without having to be the exact kind that I once was. Before I took AP LANG, my writing was vague and full of superfluous abstractions. And, while writing like this does bring about eloquence, abstractions in writing often take away the key point that one writes at all: to say something. It is through AP LANG that I have come to realize that writing should be both eloquent and meaningful. After all, you cannot tell a story without a plot. So, perhaps I am not the same writer that I was last year. But, if I am not, this isn’t a bad thing. Like the daisy, I have changed. But who says that a daisy is better than an octopus with 5 lonely yellow tentacles?