“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”
~ Andy Warhol
Today I pinned up my Polaroids, displaying them neatly on rows upon rows. My memories aren’t that neat though. Scattered in fact. Covered in a mist of what I want them to be.
Some Polaroids are crisp, clear as day in my mind. Capturing the moment the breeze flows through my hair, the salt from the sea, the warm sun burning my skin.
Others display images, that’s all. I try to envision them in my mind but it’s foggy. Someone stood behind the camera capturing the moment. But who? Trees of deep green. But where?
Personally I’m an in the moment kind of person. Enjoy the time you have before all you are is an unknown face stuck in a photograph. The problem with this is the fact that the mind is unreliable, when you lose someone you begin to forget. Their smell, their voice, their face. They become just words, just a foggy memory.
Take a second to capture your loved ones so that they aren’t just a memory. Capture their smile. So that you can smile along side them.
Being a university 2020 student is something I have been reaching towards for the last 4 years of my life as I’m sure have many others. Yet we did not have the slightest idea what would be in store for us.
This is week 3.
After a brief freshers and even fresher faces (well half of faces, MASKS you see) me and most of my housemates have formed a strong bond over avoiding our friend Covid.
Everyday is similar as we watch the outside world through our forth floor window. Masks. Rain. Cigarettes. Geese (there are a scary number of geese). Passers by in a group of no more than six, coupled up one behind the other. People watching is our best form of entertainment now. Besides from drinking too much and laughing at that one person with their head in the toilet bowl. Yet to be me.
The restrictions aren’t all bad though; due to our lack of life in the outside world a romance has blossomed within our flat, the exchanges of nervous smiles and whispers. The loud footsteps of running to each other’s rooms in the night. It is quite romantic really. Those two just can’t get enough, it’s comforting really, to know connections such as this can be made even in the darkest of times.
Then there’s the DJ, the life of the party, she paves the tone for the night through her simple love of music. Music is perhaps the most important thing to us at the moment. It’s the only thing that was the same as before. We get lost in words as we harmonise (it sounds good in our heads.) Her round glasses lenses glimmer in the light of phone touches swaying as we forget about the problems of the outside world and stay tucked away in the comfort of our flat.
Lastly there’s a friend. Simple and sweet. Hardworking. Funny. All you need really. The presence you miss when they’re gone.
Don’t get me wrong we complete a lot of work. It’s what we’re here for. But somehow I have a suspicion I am going to value the friendships made within these walls equal to the value I hold of my degree. These people, though trapped with them, unravel me when I feel myself spiralling. They pick me up, piece me back together and stand me on my feet. They make me laugh with them and at them.
So I’d like to thank our friend Covid. Not for the pain or heartache. But for the appreciation I now find in the company I keep.
The collection of poetry and prose by Rupi Kaur explores a variety of negative themes such as silence and abuse to positive themes such as family, connections and personal power. Perhaps the collection’s intent was to mirror the stereotypical aspects related to femininity and replicate and express emotions in which a woman is likely to feel in her lifetime.
Initially, I was drawn to the collection through the title; Milk and Honey which is taken from Exodus 33:3. The idiom is represents the collection as a metaphorical promised land, a place where the reader can find beauty and hope. The contemporary collection of poetry isn’t constructed on academic pretences but on a central persistent force in Kaur’s own experiences. One feature of the collection I particularly found interesting was Kaur’s use of evocative language intended to break the conventional rules of traditional poetry, regarding grammar and punctuation. Split into four chapters:
‘The hurting, The loving, The breaking, and The healing’
it’s evident to me that Kaur’s overall intention for the collection is a presentation of personal progression and evolution, that delves into pain and trauma, promotes female empowerment and investigates the intimacy ignited by love.
Certain poems from the collection felt empowered and encouraged. As I developed an attachment to the book, I was so emotionally committed to some of the pieces. I felt as though they directly related to myself and so I placed it in my bag so that it was never too far away. The physical book itself became a metaphorical symbol of support, in a moment of extreme emotion, I would take out the collection of poetry and was consoled by the words written within the pages. I connected with Kaur’s words on a deep and personal level which was a first for myself as I had always found a way to connect with a piece of literature through persistence to understand. Yet, with Milk and Honey I found my connection with the poetry and prose effortless.
A specific stanza that I had a strong connection with, read:
‘let it go
let it leave
Let it happen
nothing in this world
was promised or
belonged to you
I have always felt a lack of praise for my efforts and often felt I was owed recognition for my work whether that be academically or just myself seeking the praise and approval of others. Reading this prose enlightened me to the fact that I am not owed anything, I must earn approval and praise through self-discovery and development. I think that my interpretation of the piece is different to the way it was intended despite this, this piece alone has made an impact on the way I approach academic and social challenges as I complete them not to gain the approval of others, instead I complete them for myself in order to develop as an individual and prove to myself I am capable.
“The wise only possess ideas; the great part of mankind are possessed by them.”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
An idea is perhaps a person’s most valuable possession. Once it is shared it can spread like wildfire and set the world ablaze with discussion and debate. Ideas can make us rich with intelligence which may transform one’s perspective of the world. They are but possibilities that partner with “what ifs.”
It’s the way in which one acts upon an idea that creates a legacy in which we all dream. No one wants to be forgotten, no one wants to be left behind. So is it perhaps time for us to plant an idea? Care for it, watch it sprout and bloom into an unforgettable vine that grips the opportunities we so desperately long for.
This blog was just an idea. It may sprout and wrap itself viciously around the opportunities I seek. Yet it may wilt and return to the soil and rest, aiding the next idea that sprouts from the soil. Tend to your ideas with patience and care and they will bloom. Rush the little sproutling and it will drown under the pressure.