Mended

Whether silently resigned

Or curtly unkind

I knew you had something to hide

And softly creaked open your heart’s door

 

I tentatively stepped inside

A timid whisper drew me across the threshold

A nervous flame began to grow in a dark corner

Overlooking a musty muddled mess

 

To the untrained eye

It held a chaotic quality

But my calm palm felt

The quaking pile of thread

And sensed the unraveled beauty

 

Weave convenient needle

Through weather-beaten thread

To pull ravishing features

Back together again

 

Words flesh out in blue

But held in caring hands

Begin to change and evolve

Color after color bursts forth

 

Uncertain but steady streams

Of an identity you used to be

Before sun rose over horizon

And you fell below the tide

 

I gaze at the sewn color wheel

Of letters I am blessed to hear

You mutter rapidly

Into my empathetic ear

Before withdrawing to your hushed corner

So easy to cling in the winter

 

I lovingly carry the new creation

With me to the doorway

Look back adoringly at your

Dark cavern

Outlined in silver

 

Every edge is visible from the doorway

Where you would grimace

But I simply beam

 

The door snaps closed in fright

I determinedly place the message

On the wood that

Inevitably absorbs the label

You let me delicately mend:

“Not fargone nor forgotten.”

 

~Annah

My Heart, My Passion, My Dream

I’m a writer and I hope to write books someday. Chances are there may come a time when someone asks me who inspires me to write. I think about all of the writers I admire for different reasons: J.K. Rowling, Victor Hugo, J.D. Salinger, Jane Austen… I could name those people, but if I’m truly honest with myself those are not the people who mostly inspire me to write. To be completely honest with you, I’m a really weird writer, because the people that inspire me to write are not novelists, they’re musicians.

Music has always been my favorite way to unwind and find comfort in other people and the beauty the world has to offer. I experience inexpressible joy in music, whether that’s hearing my flute join the dialogue of the rest of a symphony band or listening to the plot line of lyrics my favorite singer is spitting out of my iPod. These people are sending out emotions and messages that are going straight from their recording studio to my heart and I am so in love with this art God has created.

When I was in elementary school my musical palette was either my Spirit movie soundtrack or Jack Johnson (I know… I was a pretty cool kid.) I have so many sporadic memories of moments in my life with music, whether that was clopping like a horse in my living room to Spirit or listening to Switchfoot’s “Learning to Breathe” album on the way to my dad’s high school men’s varsity basketball games. They’re random snippets of my life that my brain has decided to store away and when I think back to my childhood, music is what I remember first.

My neighbor, Nathan and I would always put albums in his television and literally run in circles in his living room, instead of dancing. First of all, what kinds of kids do that? We were so weird. But we did that all the time. Sometimes if we were feeling really rowdy, we would stop at the couch as we were running and try to do cool jumps and kicks off of it.

Then in middle school I started playing the flute, which I still play in a weekly concert band group at my college. Band was and still is such a nice break from my other classes. It’s incredibly refreshing to use a different part of my brain after hours of reading, writing, and memorizing constantly. I also started singing for fun in middle school. This is a well-known fact to my family, but an unknown fact to almost everyone else. (Thank you to my family for putting up with hours of singing.) I would spend hours almost daily listening to my iPod and belting out songs. This was almost a daily occurrence during high school too! But only in my closed bedroom or basement when no one else was too close within earshot, because otherwise it was too embarrassing. Honestly, whenever I come home from college I still go to the basement and sing. I can literally do it for hours… it’s my security blanket. For some reason I enjoy and am addicted to singing, even though I know I’m not the greatest.

But perhaps my favorite part of music and my best memories of it are concerts. I’m not kidding when I say I live for concerts. I get the worst post-concert depression too. My first concert was in eighth grade, when I saw Allstar Weekend on November 13. I counted down to that concert months in advance—I was a full-on obsessed 13-year-old girl. Side note to musicians: watch out for the 13-year-old girls. They are the most intense, I promise. It’s kind of scary.

Last year I went to my two favorite concerts of my life: Twenty One Pilots and Switchfoot (with Relient K as their opener). For those of you who don’t know, those are all of my favorite bands. I could write entire blogs dedicated to each of those concerts, so all I will say is there was so much love and joy for Christ radiating onto those audiences. The only difference was one crowd was not aware of the source of this joy and love, and one was.

Alternatively, the other week I was at a local concert expectantly awaiting this band I had newly fallen in love with. They definitely live different lifestyles, yet there was still beauty to be found in their music. Maybe we don’t live the same way, but we still share a passion for the art and that’s what matters. Their opening band was not at all my style, with intensely loud drums and bass, on top of inaudible lyrics. But for some reason, while I was standing there next to people starkly different from myself and the smell of alcohol wafted through the air, I found positivity. Despite my personal tastes, it is still music and there is still beauty in it for some people. I’m always in awe of this art we have been given to express ourselves in any manner we choose. No matter what, there is passion behind music, and that can’t be said for a lot of other things.

This creative outlet and these musicians are what drive my desire to write. Music makes me want to squeeze everyone I love close and show them why life is good. On top of my English major I have a Communication major. Besides the fact that Comm. pushes me out of my comfort zone, I took on this major because I want to combine what I love most: music, writing, and communicating with my fellow human beings.

I have no idea yet what my specific career will look like. It could be public relations, it could be marketing, I have no idea. All I know is I love music and if I’m going to live my one life and have (in theory) one career, I would be pretty upset if it didn’t involve music.

There have certainly been doubts and fears, which will continue throughout my journey to whatever is next. Sometimes I don’t feel cool enough and sometimes I feel like being a female is a hindrance to my dreams, but I’m going to push through the lies. All of these memories and thoughts are filled with joy, because music has been with me through it all… innocence, joyful times, hardships, awkward middle school years, angsty teen years, frightening transitions, uncertain adulthood. There is an innumerable amount of people that need loving in the world and the best way I can offer my love is through this passion. So music: will you have me?

~Annah

Remodeled – An Excerpt

As some of you may or may not know I want to be an author. However, I always feel hesitant telling people that because so many people say the same thing and never get anywhere. It’s just an ideal dream. But it has become kind of a mission of mine to come through with it. I have a lot of things to say, I guess. Mainly I’m just super quiet and observant. I have things I want the world to know. And I don’t just want to write, but I want to make people think, whether that’s through different lifestyles or viewpoints. My goal is to get people outside of themselves, but also write realistic, relatable characters.

This past semester I had my introduction to creative writing class, where I probably wrote more in a few months than I ever have before. My favorite piece was the one fiction story I was able to write, Remodeled. After over a month of poetry I was pretty relieved to write some fiction. Short stories are a challenge though, because I become way too attached to my characters.

Anyway here’s the beginning of my story! I’ve never shared any fiction on here before so I thought I’d give it a try. Maybe you’ll like it. Maybe you’ll think I’m a terrible writer. I’m always game for feedback, so fire away.

 

“There’s an elderly woman outside who can’t lift the grocery bags into her car,” I heard my boss say from the supermarket entryway. “Will someone help her out?”

I stared transfixed at the plastic bag turntable in front of me. It was no more than twenty degrees outside and snow was falling thick and fast. Please, for the love of god, don’t pi—

            “Adrienne, you don’t look like you’re doing much. Why don’t you go help?”

“Sure,” I replied, mustering the weakest smile possible. “I would just love to help.” Ugh, why do I always have such a crass attitude?

On the plus side, at least I could cover up my atrocious yellow work vest with a coat. Stiffly, I jerked the black cotton over my sore body and pulled a wool hat over my tightly pinned black bun. Yeah, I’m really starting to feel the repercussions of my workout yesterday. It had been the first time in a month I’d forced myself to do something worthwhile, like caring for my body.

Lane, my boss, made me hate my job even more than I already did. He was short and squat, with dark-rimmed glasses he always stared over the top of, probably because he thought that made him more menacing. To him, he was better than all of us lowly minimum wage workers who had to cater to customers in this tiny town in the middle of nowhere. When I walked past him towards the door, he grabbed my arm.

“Hey, watch that attitude. We are here to serve customers. If you won’t do that, you’re always welcome to quit.”

I glanced down at him, thinking of all the things I wanted to say in retort. How I would definitely leave if I could. How his attitude wasn’t that much better than mine. I considered taking out an earring and stabbing his cornea. But instead I just barely nodded, saying monotonously, “Please let go of my arm.”

The biting wind grazed my face as I stepped into the flurry of winter. A small lady stood hunched over her grocery cart, while another younger woman lifted a bag into the trunk of her small, red bug. I approached reluctantly. When the younger woman saw me, she smiled.

“Hey, you don’t have to do that, I was just about to help,” I said weakly, grabbing a bag myself. “I’m the one working here after all, this isn’t your job.” I laughed a little. Why would you waste energy on work you don’t have to do?

“Oh, that’s perfectly all right, you go back inside!” she exclaimed, warmly. “I’m sure you’ve been working hard all day! You deserve a little break.”

I opened my mouth to disagree, but closed it abruptly. Well I mean if she insists, I can’t argue with that. Who would want help from a rude person like me anyway?

            With an awkward nod at the old lady, who had been staring and giving me a toothless smile this whole time, I returned to the warm embrace of the store. Luckily, Lane had gone off to attend to other duties, so I returned my coat and stood at my assigned place on the end of a checkout lane.

As another customer entered our lane to purchase groceries, I delicately pried open the bags, so they sat ready for the incoming items. It was nice to be the bagger, because I hardly had to converse with the customers. Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out earphones and placed one in each ear. Music processed my inexpressible emotions for me and I liked that. Emotional rock music was my favorite; profound lyrics mashed with electric guitar solos. It brought out emotions I didn’t even know I had. Mostly, it kept me calm when I had to talk to customers, because I’ve never been a people person.

“Have a nice day,” I said, blinking in response to the customer’s smile. More groceries began to pour in from the next customer and I started over. One of my favorite songs drifted through my earphones and I let the words consume me, as I continued my mundane work in autopilot mode. I was so absorbed in the song that it wasn’t until the customer had tapped me on the shoulder that I jerked out of my reverie. The young woman from earlier was back.

“Adrienne… that’s what your nametag says, right?” the young woman asked, while I unplugged my ears and let the unnecessarily loud music flood the vicinity.

“Yeah…” I said, trying not to let my annoyance become too obvious. “…And yours?”

“My name is Brielle,” she said simply. She held out her hand to shake mine.

“Cool name,” I replied with hardly any enthusiasm. Her hand remained facing me and without any other way out, I shook it.

“Thank you, I think so too! But you’ll have to thank my mother for that,” Brielle said, moving a strand of auburn hair behind her ear. “Anyway, I just recently moved here with my family so I thought I would get to know everyone in town! Adrienne… I will remember that for sure. It was lovely to meet you!”

“Yeah… you too,” I said, hesitantly. With another smile, Brielle walked away, her cart squeaking along in front of her. She’s a little too chipper for my taste. I gazed after her, my eyebrows furrowed. I wonder if she’s like that around everyone.

~Annah