I love my sister. Actually I adore her. And I could go on and on about how much I love her, but that’s not really relevant to my blog. What is relevant to my blog is this picture (along with all of her other numerous pictures that I’ve used as inspiration): 

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What I love about this picture is that it shows how artistic it is. Not only is it a great photo with awesome composition and a cool angle and all that jazz, but it also shows her love of color. We had an ugly bookshelf, and she decided to get this teal paint and sand and paint the bookshelf. It was a lot of hard, smelly work; I know because I helped her with it. I have already said I’m not an artist, but my sister is. And that’s awesome, even if the job prospects aren’t that high. 

But I hate how little we, as a society, recognize certain achievements. On Friday, I was having a conversation with some friends of mine. We’re theatre/choir kids, and we were really excited about the fall play that was going up that night. And we were a little upset that we were having a ten minute pep rally to get hyped up for the last football game of the season (which most people were sure we were going to lose anyway) but that there was barely anything about the play. People had only three opportunities to see this fabulous play, and the school decided to talk about the last home game of the season. Yes, I know that the “true spirited student” would be able to go to the football game on Friday and see the show the next day. But the reason this annoyed us is because it’s not an isolated incident.

After pretty much every varsity sports game, all of the information is relayed to us through the morning announcements. And I get that the sports teams have people, and that it’s great to recognize them. I have some good friends on those teams, and it’s nice to celebrate in their accomplishments with them. But tell me, why did next to no one hear about the girl who did really well at the International Space Olympics in Russia? No biggie, right? Because we totally have students go to Russia all the time (note the facetious tone here). But no. Because we live in a society that prizes brawn and beauty over brains and creativity.

In our discussion, another big thing was creativity and sexuality, especially for guys. Guys are expected to be big and muscular, filling the protecting roles that society has handed them for so long. Guys aren’t supposed to be artistic. That’s for women. Women are the ones who are supposed to make things (including themselves) look pretty; men are just supposed to run fast or put things together (another friend of mine wrote a post on her experience as an engineer and the gender roles associated with that). Maybe that was acceptable in the stone ages, but we have moved past that. Or at least, we’ve tried. And it’s a shame that just because a guy loves to sing and act, or draw, or play the flute, that he might be deemed as not masculine enough. Don’t even get me started on male ballet dancers (they need just as much strength as any athlete, not to mention ten times more flexibility and expression on top of that). It really is a shame.

Guys are supposed to be strong. Girls are supposed to be pretty. We probably want at least one smart person so that we don’t go back to the stone ages or kill each other. And life wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if we didn’t have music or art or drama. You know. It might be just a little nice (there’s that facetiousness again).

And I come back to my sister. I really appreciate her. And I understand that she may not go into a career that’s specifically artistic (which, as I said before, is totally understandable), but I appreciate that she does what she loves. Just last night, she said, “Maybe since the play is over, I can do more artsy stuff. Or I can sleep.” And there may not be a lot of obvious opposition, but the majority of the world certainly doesn’t give her as much appreciation and encouragement as she deserves. That’s really what it comes down to. There will always be that small pocket of people that completely support your intellectual or artsy side. And aside from the gender roles that society tries to force on us, there aren’t many who go out intentionally trying to bring us down. But we still live in that society that glorifies the transient physical side of ourselves instead of the deeper parts of our being that are just longing to escape into the world and make a real impact.

But my sister still has her teal bookshelf, daily evidence of a part of her life that she loves and isn’t afraid to indulge, even if it means getting less sleep and motivation from society that leaves much to be desired.

We All Need Our Teal Bookshelves

You aren’t Perfect. But that’s Okay.

Hey guys! I just really want to write today, not completely sure why…
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Today, I am inspired by this picture, taken by my lovely sister. She captioned it: reflections. And it was that word that caught me, because I was reminded of a quote. The funny thing is that in looking for that quote, I found another quote about reflections that I really liked. Our lovely friend, Pablo Picasso, said, “Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter?” And knowing who Picasso is, we can guess what answer he was trying to get at. But it does bring up an interesting question, so I decided to dwell on it today.

The photographer sees the human face through the lens. Though it is a person, it is the lens who captures the photo, and lenses won’t be biased about a person. The photographer could mess with the angle or the setting or the editing to put in their opinion of the subject. But the end result is a realistic view of a person. Sherlock Holmes would be able to deduct all sorts of factual details about the person from the photo, but alas, no one can truly know someone from a photograph.

The mirror is trickier, because the person looking through the mirror is you. You, who know all of your triumphs, all of your faults, are the one judging yourself. This view is even more realistic than the photograph, because you see everything. You will see that terrible mole under your eye. You will remember when your carelessness hurt that one person. And more often than not, that’s all you will see. You could be conceited and just find yourself incredibly gorgeous. But most of us will see ourselves and see our faults. 

And the painter. The painter offers the view of you that is least based on facts. The painter is not only looking for the shape of your nose; they are also looking for the sparkle in your eye, the confident flip of your hair, the lips that offer words that comfort and console. Even if the painter has known you your whole life, they will not see you as the person who makes mistakes. They will see you as the beautiful, glorious creation that you are.

Because that’s what artists do. Artists reveal the soul of their subjects. And yes, sometimes they show the bad stuff to prove a point and speak the truth. But artists do not look for the ugly. They look for the beautiful. And that is why, even when they paint that detested mole or ungainly jaw of yours, they don’t see it as something ugly.They see it as the truth. They see that you are not perfect. But they’re okay with that. Because they know that they are not perfect either. You aren’t perfect. I am not perfect. None of us are perfect. And we can be so much more forgiving of each other and of ourselves when we realize that. 

But because we fail, because we are irrevocably not perfect, it can make us see and appreciate the beautiful even more. 

Epylle Spydre

A Window into the Soul

Why hello there! Okay, so I’m not going to rant about politics. I am SICK and TIRED of all the HATIN’ that’s going around. Seriously guys, can’t we act like adults here? Okay, rant over. On the other hand, I have recently acquired a great deal of time. Yay for me! But, saying that makes me think of a song that I’m singing in Choir called No Time. This song is superbly beautiful. I really can’t describe how beautiful it is and no youtube clip can show you what I experience when I get to be a part of singing it. It’s ephemeral. Surreal. Gorgeous beyond all comparison. When we’re singing, I just get so caught up in the beauty of it, and, according to my friend, I get super expressive. Like, he tells me everyday that I was being really expressive (the fact that other people aren’t letting the joy translate to their face is what makes me special, that’s why it’s significant). But yeah. “Beautiful” doesn’t describe it well enough.

Now, I’m a writer. You figure out your art form by what you can create, and not by what you copy or appreciate. I am a writer, because words come naturally to me so that I can create with them. I’m not trying to be cocky here and say that I can create and blah blah blah, but words are my medium, so to speak. I am not a musician. But I love music. And not just in that cheesy “I know more song lyrics than everything I’ve learned in all my school years combined” way that you see on facebook. I love music because, while I may not be able to create it, I can feel it. Art forms are about expressing the soul. And the really cool thing about music is that I have no idea how people are able to express their soul through it. But they do! And that is SO COOL! It’s so foreign to me, but I still get the “message”, so to speak.

Earlier today, I was listening to the wonderful tribute by Hans Zimmer, “Aurora”. This song is said to express what words cannot: the loss and pain felt by all who heard about the tragic Aurora shooting incident in the summer. The pain and loss, but also the hope. The hope that the world isn’t so bad after all. The hope that we can rebuild and be better than we were before. It is not easy to express that hope. But Hans Zimmer did it. The musician who wrote “No Time” also expresses that hope. The song goes, “Rise, oh fathers, rise. Let’s go meet ’em in the skies. We will hear the angels singing in that morning.” AH! Words and music coming together in a blissful reaction that creates such a surreal feeling. GAHH this is difficult to express. See. Sometimes words aren’t enough. Sometimes only music can express what we feel. Or, it might be a water color. Or a dance. Or theatre. Art forms express the soul. Give me pen and paper, but give my sister a brush and canvas. Or give Hans Zimmer an empty sheet of music. We are communicating creatures. And because we are all human and feel similar things, art does another thing: it goes beyond just us. It transcends our own personal, exact feelings on the subject and instead touches on the vast database of human emotions. But only if it is real. In a world jaded by lies and  half-truths, we find solace in the true expressions of WHO WE ARE. When people express from the heart, it is real. And other people can see that. We recognize the truth for what it is. Art is truly a window into the soul.

Have a lovely night,

Epylle Spydre

Why Different Is Delicious!

A friend asked me to blog about key lime pie. So here I go.

First of all, why do we call it KEY lime pie? Why are key limes so different from normal limes? According to Wikipedia, key limes have a more tart and bitter flavor, and that makes them more unique, and apparently, more delicious. I’ve never actually compared different types of limes, so I wouldn’t know.

But that leads me to a different thing that will take this from a blog about the mundane topic of food to the deeper topics of philosophy! Yay for philosophy! Sorry (insert name of friend who asked me to write about key lime pie), this might not be the direction you believed this post would take, but it’s my blog, so HA!

Okay. I was thinking about how I said that the key lime’s unique flavor makes it delicious. If you apply that to humanity, you could say that as a species, we value uniqueness and originality. Now, given our history, you may not think this. You see, there is this little thing called racism, and it tends to do the opposite of valuing differences: racism tries to get rid of people who don’ t look like you. But think about this: if we didn’t value uniqueness, would we have different clothes the way we do? Different houses? What about art and music? If we didn’t value uniqueness, we wouldn’t create. That is one of the beautiful distinctions of humanity: our creativity.

We are all different; of all the billions of people who’ve ever lived, you are uniquely you. ISN’T THAT SO COOL? Sorry, that was off topic. But everybody is special, and as cliché as that sounds, it’s true. Recently, I’ve become only slightly obsessed with personality types. They’re so cool, and if you share my fascination, tell me so that we can be nerds together. But it’s kind of interesting that we can take all of the crazy, wacky, uniquely-you personalities of the world and try to confine them to only 16 personality types. Though, it is kind of creepy when you read your type, and you say, “OHMYGOSH MIND READING IS OFFICIALLY POSSIBLE!” Why am I getting so off-topic today? Sorry about that. Okay, so all of our brains are different, despite what we think after reading our personality types, and so that gives us the ability to contribute ideas to the world that are uniquely ours. Okay, that sounded weird. Let me rephrase that. We are all different from each other, which makes us all creative in our own special way. Our brains love to create, to innovate.

And because we love uniqueness, we do create. The wheel, the printing press, the smallpox vaccine, the Mona Lisa, Ziploc bags, facebook, modern art made out of wire hangers from our closet, jazz, Doctor Who. The list could go on and on and on and on… And we love these things! Actually, we don’t love all of these things, which is why we create our own version of it! You don’t like country, so you decide to write hard rock songs. My sister doesn’t enjoy modern art, but she’s an awesome photographer. We are all so different, but that is what makes us amazing. And, as I’ve said in other blog posts, we are loving creatures. As humans, we love other people, and we love to love them. And we love them (I know I said love waaaaay too many times, sorry) because they are different from us! If I was stuck with a million me’s forever, I would probably go crazy. But if you were in the same position, so would you. We love our differences, even though so many things tell us that that we shouldn’t. We love uniqueness so much that they even decided to make a pie out of a bitter, tart lime.

But it tastes delicious, so I’m glad they did.

Epylle Spydre