Saturday, April 14, 2007

a little something


As I was reading some online Blogs, getting little glimpses into other peoples' existences-- I will admit to feeling moderately inspired. I think that we live in an incredible world. A world in which any old person, like me for example, can type out my thoughts, click a few buttons, and put myself out there. Although, I am not a huge fan of "myspace" and the like, I do enjoy the idea of keeping a sort of public journal. The idea of empowerment through mass communication. Why public? I guess that it keeps you honest. Growing up, I loved writing. My mother is a published author, so I guess it was in my blood. Once, in fourth grade I won an essay-writing contest and got to read my entry at the state capital. I played it off like it was no big deal, but being there in the rotunda, reading my essay with the governer and other elementary-aged pupils, I felt alive. The following year, I entered a nationwide writing contest. The winner recieved a scholarship for a week at a space camp in Houston, TX. Did I have any interest in space exploration? Not really, but the competition got to me. I enetered my essay based on Robert Frost's Choose Something Like a Star and won second place. Here is the poem.
O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud-
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to the wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.
Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says, 'I burn.'
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use Language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end
And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.
To me, this poem asks us to reach beyond ourselves. To choose something to keep us honest, to keep us focused and humble. When the "mob is swayed" to be petty or prideful, to look up to your star or whatever you have chosen. These days, for example, I am up to my ears in dirty diapers, household chores, and work I sometimes feel like I have lost myself in the mundane. However, there is so much of life to be inspired by.. maybe it is a handful of bloggers, or something beautiful like a star. I am going to try my hand again at writing, I probably won't win any essay contests, but I will exercise a rusty old talent, and isn't that we are here? So, Mr Frost, at least for this moment, I have chosen my "something."

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