Birthday Reflections

Happy two years everyone! Wow, it’s crazy to think that I have had this blog for two whole years. My, times go by quickly…

Anyways, on my birthday last year, I guess I started a tradition of writing a post reflecting on why I started this blog and what I think I’ve accomplished. And I’m going to continue that tradition (now that I’ve said it, it’s official!)

Anyway, I write a lot about how I want to refresh you all with a different perspective and talk about things that need to be talked about. That’s what I want to do with my blog. But why do I blog? When it comes down to the real nitty gritty, why do I write my thoughts, regardless of what I want them to do?

And to me, it’s about giving back. Just two days ago, I wrote about my favorite books. I love books, and if I could, I would slow down time so that I could read as many books as I want. I love taking in literature. But even that isn’t enough. It’s not enough merely to consume literature, as good as it may be. I want to give back, to create. And blogging for me satisfies that.

And it’s nice to know that at least some of you read my posts and that you sometimes even like them enough to tell me so. It’s nice to know that even if I don’t make complete sense, at least something of me is going out to you. Because I want to use my words to serve you, to question myself and you, and to start those discussions. Maybe I’m an idealist. No, it’s not maybe. I am an idealist and a dreamer. But as they say, “Shoot for the stars. That way, if you don’t make it, you’ll at least get to the moon.” 

484183_351110178318375_544510867_nAnd now I would like to talk about a change you will see to the layout. I have changed my main picture! I was thinking about changing the whole theme, but I decided that I liked this too much. But I changed the picture, and I have a reason for it too! I was going back and forth on two pictures, and though the other probably looked better aesthetically, I like the meaning of this one more. Both pictures gave the sense of thinking: the s16557_359541314141928_1801260809_nky through “a world of possibilities,” and the puddle through the simple idea of reflection. And I liked the idea of reflection, a mirror, because that’s what this blog is. I say again and again that this blog isn’t about me. But that will never change the fact that it goes through me, and a part of me will make it my own. So my words are the puddle, the reflecting device that sends ideas from the world through me and back into the world. I hope that makes sense… Anyway, I hope you like it! 

Epylle Spydre

p.s. I think it’s slightly important to mention that I wrote about blogging for the essay I used for the college I’m going to. They at least approve of the fact that I have this blog, so that’s always good! 

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that I love books. The written word is incredibly precious to me and I hope to you as well. So today I just wanted to share a little about my 5 favorite novels! Oh, and I also included a favorite quote from each book!  

Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëJane Eyre

While my listing of these books aren’t in an exact order, this one is by far my favorite. I adore Jane; she’s my fictional kindred spirit, my literary doppelgänger. I connect with her on so many levels, and that’s an incredibly justifying experience. But aside from our similarities, she inspires me. She’s an incredibly strong, honest, eloquent person, and she’s my imaginary role model as well. And of course, there’s Edward Rochester, our wonderful byronic hero. Their story is beautiful and heartbreaking, made all the more exquisite with Brontë’s rich language. Every sentence is dripping with meaning, and it’s nearly impossible to pick a quote because they’re all so gorgeous. In short, I absolutely adore Jane Eyre. Oh, and if you’ve read the book, make sure you check out the BBC Masterpiece 2006 movie version because it’s wonderful!

 

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit is probably the book (other than really short books) that I have digested the most. I’ve listened hobbitto it at least twice, and I’m pretty sure I read it once by myself. Anyway, I probably would have just said the Lord of the Rings trilogy, except that I’m reading The Return of the King for the first time right now, and I read the other two when I was too young to appreciate them. There is a magic to Tolkien’s language, and the world he created is so lavish and full of intricacies. And Bilbo is an adorably honest and hardy character, and Martin Freeman does justice to the character in the movies (probably the best part of the movies, actually, what with all the borrowing and adapting that goes on). Add that to adventures of escaping from trolls, riddles with Gollum, and a jail-break out of Mirkwood, and it should be easy to see why this is such a beloved classic.

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

I actually already wrote a post about this book, a series of memoirs from the VietThings they carriednam War, so this will be brief. Basically, what really makes this book so valuable is the real, raw glimpse into what war is like. It’s the horror we see in movies like 12 Years a Slave and Amistad, where we want to look away, but doing so feels too cowardly. But it’s not just out there to make us feel horrified; O’Brien asserts many times that there is a grotesque beauty to war. Like many things in life, war isn’t a black and white issue, and this poignant piece of literature portrays that elegantly. 

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Yup, I know this choice is overused and not original, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t legitimate. What really sells this book is the protagonist, Holden Caulfield. Yes,  he’s obnoxious. But he’s also deeply complex, and that’s what makes this book so meaningful. At the beginning, I was merely amused by all of the unusual thoughts that go on in his brain. I said, “It’s interesting to see a guy’s perspective like this.” But he’s actually really unusual because he’s iCatcherncredibly vulnerable with the readers even if he isn’t with other characters. He’s lonely, and he just wants someone to listen to him. And that is what makes this book so  universal and so loved. While our states of loneliness may not be as deep as Holden’s, we still know the feeling, and it’s comforting to know that we’re not alone. Check out John Green’s crash course videos (make sure you watch them both) on this stuff, because they are genius! 

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

It’s difficult to articulate what I love about this novel. Out of all the novels I’ve listed, this is the most endearing (The Hobbit comes pretty close, but it’s still primarily a novel about adventure). Like Tolkien, Lewis creates his own world, except instead of being strictly fantasy, this one is grounded in our own reality–in space (Mars to be precise). And the descriptions of this world are wild but beautiful. The beauty of this novel lies also in the characters, particularly the made up creatures. In a Silent Planetplace where fear doesn’t exist, the people are gallant and compassionate and wise in the purest sense of the traits. Lewis does the fantastic feat of not only creating a place that is intellectually interesting to read about and adventure in, but a place where I would truly love to live. That doesn’t do this book nearly enough justice, but it’s all I’ve got for right now. 

 

Do you have any book suggestions? I’m trying to read as much as I can this summer while I have the time, so I’d love to hear what your favorites are! 

Epylle Spydre

The Sky: A Poem

Hey guys, I’m going to be different today and post a poem that I’ve been working on. I’ve always loved the sky, and one day, when I had paper, a pen, and some free time, I decided to start writing about it. I would not call myself a serious poet, but I did have fun with this, so I thought I’d share with you. 

If words could paint,
Or letters dye,
My masterpiece would be the sky.

 

On my canvas,
So pure and clean,
I would start with a dab of green.

 

For what could show
The sky’s immensity
Than a tree’s propinquity?

 

Next to come
Would be more hues,
Red and orange, and some blues.

 

A sunset shown,
What greater lens
To display the sky with a few pens?

 

The clouds are next,
Though vapor in essence,
Stand sharp against the colors, as if with substance.

 

The fluffy white,
Shaped by God,
But sometimes black with rain, for sod.

 

And finally, the sun,
That golden, glowing sphere,
Spreading its warmth and dissolving all fear.

 

Heating and lighting,
Proud and strong,
We also praise it with the song.

 

Yes, I would paint the sky.
For I am keen
To capture its glory on a canvas clean.

 

But alas, I cannot paint,
And even if I could,
I could not capture
The sky.

 

Not with the canvas clean,
Nor with a beauteous melody,
Not even with words on a page.

~Epylle Spydre

Image

picture taken by my sister, as usual. 🙂

 

 

The Eye of the Beholder

Recently, I was thinking. What a surprise… Anyway, you know how in English, they teach you about different ways to categorize characters? They can be round or flat, static or dynamic (I don’t really know how to make that sentence look right grammatically; it either ends up with too many coordinating conjunctions or too many commas. Sorry if it’s weird). But yeah, I was thinking about round characters vs. flat characters. Round characters are considered complex; you can generally use more than 2 or 3 adjectives to describe their personality. Conversely, flat characters are considered simple, with only a very small collection of adjectives to describe them.

And the thought crossed my mind, Is anybody truly flat, or is it just perception that makes them flat? You have to admit, it’s a pretty legitimate question. At least half of the characters that we give the “Flat” Label to probably aren’t actually flat. I mean, there are shallow people, but surely they have complexities to them. And when it comes to writing, characterization is completely in the hands of the writer. And if their narrator doesn’t like another character, that character may come across as simple and boring when in reality, they aren’t.

And what if we do that to other people? We’ve been taught that first impressions are often wrong, but that first impression stays with us, at least on a subconscious level. And we make judgments about people before we truly understand them. Voila! Flat people! Or, should I say, falsely labeled flat people who are actually more complicated. But that was too long; it would have detracted from the point. 

So, are there not any truly flat people in the world? I don’t think there are. Then again, I tend to be hope for the best, especially when it comes to people. That’s ‘cause I’m an INFJ. Ooh, personality types! Now that’s an interesting piece to consider when it comes to flatness vs. roundness. I’m actually a little obsessed with personality types, even though I know they don’t truly define people. But it’s interesting, because most people fit into at least one personality type, but everybody has their own experiences and emotions that make them a little different

We’ve all heard that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. But the truth of the matter is, the eye of the beholder has a lot more power. 

Have a wonderful afternoon,

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