Sycamore

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Winds of change,

carry me away,

I will spiral

as I ride the currents,

to still waters,

to green pastures.

The gale will wail,

but I will not falter,

it’s fury will take me

somewhere new,

I have faith.

I will put down roots,

I will stand as tall as I can,

from midsummer,

through first frost

but, here, I cannot stay.

Winds of change,

I will follow your lead,

I fear no obstacle,

you have carried me above them.

Though you have set me down,

I will not rest,

The sun sets in the West,

I will face East,

and take in the morning light,

no matter the hand I’m dealt.

Winds of change,

carry me away,

I wish to see the world,

carry me away.

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DECLASSIFIED: I Hope you Find What You’re Looking for

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Read the original here.

Ever cloud-watched at night?

It sounds paradoxical, but if there’s enough light pollution in your corner of the world, the clouds stand out even in the night sky.

And it’s disappointing sometimes that you’re able to do that; wouldn’t you rather see the stars?

But just because you’ve been dealt a hand that you’re unhappy with doesn’t make the clouds any less spectacular than they are in the daytime.

Thousands of tons of water are floating miles in the sky, never in quite the same shape or location as their counterparts.

Stars, on the other hand, will always be there. Most are probably dead anyway, so far away that the light we see from them is essentially showing us how they looked billions of years ago. They aren’t going anywhere in the grand scheme of things.

Perspective is what matters, insofar as that it’s under your jurisdiction.

The sky, however, is out of your grasp.

DECLASSIFIED: Wear and Tear

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View the original story here.

yinandyang

 

I edited this piece pretty heavily subsequent to publishing it. A friend told me it “didn’t feel finished” upon reading it, which spurred me to make revisions and extend it too.

It’s hard to hear something that you don’t want to.

Ever baked brownies? If you’ve never baked before, it seems pretty counterintuitive to put salt in them, but anyone whose neglected that one step can tell you it’s just not quite the same.

Criticism, if it’s from a genuine place, is never unwelcomed. To offer guidance is an act of kindness, even if the words themselves sting a bit.

Bad can be good, and good can be bad, doesn’t that mean they’re related? Doesn’t that mean they’re more similar than their surfaces suggest?

Dual dynamic, dyadically-divided, concentric-contrailed comets.
Binary– but also not.

This is yin and yang.

What looks like a Pisces is really a Gemini.

DECLASSIFIED: Human Behavior

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View the original poem here

Imagine you’re driving in an old Impala with four of your closest friends on a road trip across the United States.

“Let’s go to the Grand Canyon,” says your best friend, in the passenger seat.

You’ve hardly nodded your head in agreement when you hear called out from behind you “What about Mt. Rushmore?”

“I want to see the space needle!”

“It’s too cold there, let’s go to the Everglades!”

You tense up, frustrated by the dissonance. It’s going to be a very long car ride, especially if this continues.

But why do we find choices stressful, even when they lead to fun things?

My worst nightmare isn’t a monster chasing me, or falling to my death or being caught in my underwear in public.

I’m staring at blackness, my muscles feel muddled, I hear muffled voices.

I can’t move, like I’m stuck in lukewarm mollasses.

It’s a dream I can’t wake up from.

DECLASSIFIED: Small Things

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“It’s the little things in life…” is one of the most wonderful clichés I’ve ever taken for granted. We populate a universe so incomprehensibly huge that even some Earth-shattering event is actually quite tiny in comparison to the immense cauldron of empty space we’re all slowly spiraling through.

Suffice it to say all the little things that populate our lives are, as it were, tiny even in comparison to us!

Still, as that time-tested adage says, ignore them at your own peril.

We as people are not separate, distinct entities from the universe.

Take your phone for instance.

It isn’t one object, it’s a bunch of tiny parts all working as one synchronous whole, all designed and manufactured by different companies, all incorporating parts sourced from all over the world.

This was assembled by a stranger in a foreign land thousands of miles away, and was shipped to you on a huge barge. You bought it with your own paper money and can use it to talk to your friends, all with different yet compatible devices with roughly analogous procedures used to make them.

Leave no stone unturned when looking for amazing things, only then are you bound to bump into them.

DECLASSIFIED: Here and Now

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Sometimes I’ll say to myself internally, “I’m thirsty.” It follows that I drop what I’m doing, walk to the faucet and pour myself a glass of tap water. This is a logical set of steps that is quite satisfying, even necessary to my survival, but sometimes I’ll hit a snag. Once in a while I’ll find myself walking down the steps, and maybe my mind is somewhere else, but by the time I get to the kitchen I’ve totally forgotten why I walked there in the first place.

Sometimes I’ll play it off like I didn’t and end up grabbing something else- say a plate- and only once I go through all that trouble, I realize “Oh! I’m thirsty!”

How much of my life have I missed just because I wasn’t paying attention to myself?

It doesn’t have to be absent-mindedness, and it doesn’t have to be internal.

If I could see the amount of time I’ve wasted procrastinating or complaining, I’d probably have no way to justify that to myself.

Take this with a grain of salt, though. There’s plenty of time for reminiscing, just make sure not to make too much. That’s also not to say that thinking is a bad thing, just make sure you’re only thinking when you think. Try to cut down on procrastinating and complaining, though, I can’t think of many situations where they do much good.

We’re all barreling forward into the future, no matter what twists and turns our minds are making.

In that way, we are both pilot and passenger.

DECLASSIFIED: In the Sunroom

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View the original poem here.

I like to think of memories as daydreams with instructions. Your brain- I guess by extension you- already has a sort of template to visualize that past experience. It isn’t a perfect mechanism, of course, but it doesn’t have to be to be a vivid, mostly accurate account. In the Sunroom tries to put one of these clear memories to paper and the results are quite gray and wet.

It felt like an April shower, I sat on a toy chest in my cousin’s titular sunroom around the age of four or five years old. I particularly remember the smell, since the deck itself was only screened-in, I could smell the rain, and the wood where it splashed through the mesh. The “pitter-patter” it made on the roof was really distinct as well because I remember the house being silent otherwise. There were patches of illuminated ground that moved with the Swiss-cheese clouds.

Until you see a sun shower, you think of rain and sunshine as mutually exclusive, but really there are many gray areas in life and the weather doesn’t care about offending any preconceived notions you may have of it.

Oh right, robins. There were some robins, I suppose they were robins given their appearance (brown on the top with red bellies) but the memory, like the robins themselves, is just a bit fuzzy and I could be wrong. Still, I remembered birds wandering in and out of the light, pecking at the ground and generally not thinking very much about anything. I soon realized they were calling out to each other, which grew more dissonant as the chorus swelled and swayed.

“The wind whips and whisks the wisps” is actually the first line of this poem I had written. It came to me on an unrelated stroll through my campus where I decided I would, of all things, look up for a moment. The words just kind of welled-up as soon as I saw some slow-moving cumulonimbi.