A Reflection on Society, Nature, and How We Think

It seems to me that there is a growing rift between intellectualism and the factualism-The difference standing that intellectual thoughts are derived from a disciplined mind that absorbs knowledge and makes it his/her own, whereas factualism is concerned with the one-time attainment of  (often times meaningless) facts, which in today’s world, takes place on the internet, primarily social media sites. Forth over, this undermines an appreciation for what little intellectual sources are left in this increasingly connected world, where topics are made known of, but are not, in the truest sense, known to the very core. These sources, from my experience, have been found continuously by entering an intimate relationship with solitude; One area superb in furthering this relationship between the abstract corners of the human mind (Wherein, creativity is likely to reside) and one’s own self is found in nature, which I will delve into a particular instance by demonstrating this complexity  below……….

The murky silence hung thick in the air and had enshrouded the campsite in a layer of fog that seeped through the overhead pine tree branches, and descended to embrace the damp soil.

Here I sat on this rock on the edge of a dry bank, with moss clinging to its scraggly granite surface, and observed the sun drowsily awake from its slumber, heeding the divine call: “Let there be light!”

It was 5:45am at Blooms Creek Campground, Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Unlike my hometown, to where I am greeted daily with an outpouring of selfies, twitter fights, flashes of the latest IPhone and luxury cars-here they remain unknown, an alien presence.

There are those who may attribute  my choice as an undertaking to what they perceive to be as loneliness-the unthinkable fate of being deprived of these so-called “necessities”- as a sign of social abandonment.

Phrases such as “I couldn’t live without twitter” or “Why go if there’s no wi-fi?” are  commonly used in rejecting this apparently absurd notion of there being some beauty in seclusion.

My difference of opinion therefore labels me as an outcast among today’s herd of millennials. I am in my element full-throttle in nature; It remained obvious as I sat upon that scraggly granite rock a few feet from a dry river-bed where foliage covered it, a blanket of scarlet, gray, and a variety of shades of green, that my views of serenity differed from those of my peers.’

With no one else  in sight, no depiction of social activity deemed hereditary to anthropogenic nature, I remained by myself.

‘Alone’ is stitched upon my breast, visible to naught the naked eye, but to my present disposition amidst the flora and fauna.

There were other campers residing soundly in their sleeping bags, but they remained foreign-lifeless-in my eyes amidst the bountiful  array of nature before me; Where  birds  flitted to and fro amongst the tree tops, where sunlight peeked out through the cracks and crevasses from the tufts of silver-tinted clouds, and kissed the moist soil, where the squirrels peered out in acknowledgment of  the new day, whose morning rays ignited their chestnut fur ablaze in sheens of fiery copper.

Within this Garden of Eden, I am alone, yet with my thoughts beside me. They sing with the meadowlark high above the leaves that litter the forest floor,  from the top of the steeple-crowned tops of the redwood trees and beyond: “Finally, I am here.”

Within this small plot of soil, isolated from any worldly desires and influences, I had entered a portal unbeknownst to anyone, from my understanding, other than myself.

And I haven’t the slightest regret over my preference to nature.

All is calm. There lies no need to  rush, to lord over momentary interests and trivial matters such as a celebrity’s wardrobe malfunction or the latest Apple product; areas that consist of a superficial exterior envelope a dim, lifeless core.

This forest, within this small plot of virgin earth is unstained, untamed, and pulsing with life; My thoughts are left to wander amongst Her creatures freely as if I were Daedalus and given wings to fly, far away from the obscure tower that constrained my spirit.

With a whisper of a smile wreathed upon my face, I inhaled the sweet air infused with  pine sap, damp soil, and that musky scent of bark from the redwood trees, which lorded over the expanse of wilderness as if proclaiming their natural rights to it, flaunting the enormity of their attributes to the gods among the clouds.

Suddenly, a cool breeze danced by their quivering leaves, which were swept away, and drifted,

down,

——–down,

—————–down,

————————–to the forest floor.

One lands upon my face. Its fall leaves an imprint of a smile across my countenance; I am Alone, yet have been given the wings to fly-and fly I will. Toeing the granite bricks o’er the valley that meets the rising sun- I take the plunge.

Now gracious reader, I would suggest watching this here video

Before reading this, you may have viewed it with an air of boredom. Or you may have not. But I wish that by watching it now, the serenity I felt intertwines with your sensitiveness to the content presented, and that you attain the admiration and peacefulness I had felt that morning in that very area (Which I, by the way, highly recommend visiting! :D)

-Heather

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An Apology by the Writer and her Narration

So before I give the audience  my English narration, there is something I’d like to say. First of all, if you’ve come to read this post, congratulations! Over the last summer, I’ve scarcely  (If at all) showed a morsel of dedication for this blog or its followers. And when school came around, I decided to pass off my AP English homework as an interesting  to read about. Unacceptable. If anything, my followers are only repaid in long, droning paragraphs with the speaker (me!) ordering them to find a motive or any literary devices within its content. For that, I am truly sorry. I do not wish this to be a student/boring teacher relationship, but rather of one between friends.

Secondly, I apologize for the lack of photos. Squiggles of ink on the computer screen alone do not constitute a story that would spur on creativity and divergent thinking. I will try to obtain (original) photos in the near future, but it will take some time.

Lastly, I’ve noticed how most of these posts are about me; boring, insignificant, me. This is not only disrespectful towards the audience in failing to acknowledge them, but to the purpose of using a blog in general: Which is to share something meaningful to the world. And I have utterly failed in accomplishing that simple task over the last few months. I will plan on improving on this in the near future, if I have any followers left.

Now with that being said, here’s my English narration essay.

“Ignorance is bliss,”- Thomas Gray

 

“I felt ______ when………..” is the topic of this week’s essay, which is to be a narration.  Times New Roman font, twelve size, and double-spaced? Probably. Use “I” as a speaker? Obviously. So what should I write about? Maybe my vacation to the redwoods, observing a foggy morning in solitude?  Sounds good. With a sound agenda in mind and a plan to format my essay, I set to work.

 

“The murky silence hung thick in the air and had enshrouded the campsite in a layer of fog that seeped through the overhead pine tree branches, and descended to embrace the damp soil…..”

 

“A poetic introduction is always a good start,” I think to myself, sipping a glass of  iced tea, gazing at the  various squiggles of ink on the computer screen.

 

After a half an hour, I take a break by checking up on one of my favorite Christian  blog sites. There’s a new post. One glance, one tap of the mouse, and the subject is all too obvious to comprehend; ISIS, the so-called Islamic State of Iran and Syria, has struck again, with its gruesome beheadings, rapes, and mass shootings of thousands of innocent people, Christians and Muslims alike,.

 

This time however, its victims are children.

 

One little girl, who looked to be approximately six years old wore a white lace dress and Mary Jane shoes. She looked ready to go to a party with her friends, where they would spend the day giggling, playing games, and munching on sweets.

However, she can’t anymore-her head has been hacked off her body- leaving a bloody, rotting stump in its place.

There are many like  her, as I soon find.

Yes, many more have been posted to numerous sites online by the Islamic State, who proudly parade these photos, these atrocities to humanity, all across the internet.

 

I can hardly bear to stomach it. Let alone mindlessly view films of these barbaric crimes. So I click out of my tabs-leaving only my essay draft open- I resume writing.

 

“Momentarily, a meadowlark bravely defies this solitude by emitting its casual yet eloquent song…”

 

After an hour, I only get as far as a few words.

I am writing a narrative, an instance meant to capture so small of an occurrence in so great detail.

 

A narrative is an essay designed by the speaker, and naturally, writing is meant to reflect the speaker’s thoughts and observations. Though with this in mind, the image of the headless corpse of a child continually haunts me-while I am here-devoting my time and effort to romanticizing the western meadowlark.

 

There are other reasons for writing, I realize- and in dire circumstances, such as the genocide of thousands of innocent people in Iraq and Syria by Islamic extremists, it is often times more useful as a tool to speak for others, rather than of personal interests.

 

“For the dead and the living, we must bare witness,”- Elie Wiesel

 

“I will not stay silent, nor, will I remain silent,” I say to myself. Courage to those depraved of ignorance! Ignorance of suffering, of hatred, of utter remoteness and terror, there is no puzzlement over the truth of the old saying: “Ignorance is bliss.”  In ignorance, I realized, we are masked from reality, and therefore remain oblivious to horrendous crimes. They say history repeats itself and its true; Our world is tilted on an axis towards repetition, and sooner than later, we can expect to see another Crusades.

 

So I began to write. Into the wastebasket goes my former draft; my fingers fly  across the keyboard in a blur of whizzing thoughts and emotions that soar through the intergalactical dimensions of my consciousness. I will lend my voice, I will lend my writing to those without a witness. I will speak out of the injustices that have been inflicted upon my fellow Christians, my fellow human beings, whom live in a country so far away, yet whose message urgently demands it being known. I refill my glass of iced tea, take a sip, and began typing away. A profound introduction is always a good start.

 

“I felt_____when…..”  was the topic of this week’s essay, which was to be a narration, a type of essay defined by the speaker’s personal thoughts and observations; I however, aim to accomplish the exact opposite. When people read this essay, they may think that it’s a story about me, a girl passionately against ignorance and crimes against humanity. Yet I don’t think that it’s a story about me; I don’t think it’s a story about me at all.


-Heather

Pride VS Humility

So in English class we were reading the Oedipus plays by Sophocles. If you hadn’t read it yet, here’s what happens (Spoiler alert!); This guy named Oedipus is king of the city of Thebes with his wife Jocasta and has two sons and two daughters. Creon, Jocasta’s brother, travels back to Thebes from Delphi, saying they must find the murderer of Laius, the former king. They weren’t able to investigate his murder years ago because the Sphinx was attacking the city, but Oedipus answered her riddle correctly, so she killed herself. Anyway, Teresiaus, the prophet, says that Oedipus is the killer of Laius, angering Oedipus who calls him a “mad old man.” In addition, long ago, Oedipus  received from the oracle of Delphi that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Long story short; Oedipus finds out he married his mother and killed his father, Creon takes over, improsons Antigone, Oedipus’s daughter, for trying to bury her brother Polyneices because he tried to invade Thebes because his brother Eteocles kicked him out. Creon considers killing her, but Haimon, his son and Antigone’s intended husband, says he would die with her. Antigone later kills herself, and Haimon does too, and so does Creon’s wife because her eldest son died. Whew! A lot of other stuff happens, but I won’t get to that. What  really stuck with me was the last five lines; Tis best in world of deed/To shun unholy pride;/Great words of boasting bring great punishments/And so to gray haired age/ Comes wisdom at last.

Lesson is, although defending one’s pride and honor seem to protect one’s image and reputation, it does not hurt to listen to others. The more pride you put in yourself, the greater the shame/suffering you will face. There is a saying that says something like “The higher you are the farther the fall.” We can boast and brag as long as we want, all to make us feel stronger and secure. When we admit that others are right or that we have made a mistake, however, that strength seems to lessen, which is why those who have great pride seem to avoid those experiences by all costs. But if you take the time to listen to others and critique yourself, there would be less likely be a chance of collapsing from the weight of shame. -Heather