Sunday, December 23, 2012

Memories from the Storm Part 1

Hello all our bloggers at Blog for Joy. I'm sorry I haven't been posting as much as I used to. You see, I didn't have electricity for a month due to Hurricane Sandy (which hit the east coast of the U.S. near the end of October, for those of you that haven't been paying attention), and of course, I have so much homework that I don't get enough sleep. But that's completely out of my control. What I can control is the writing of this memoir, part one of a long list of writing pieces which described my experience of Sandy. Tell me what you think!
My mom was unceremoniously informed that another hurricane was coming, perhaps even larger than last year's. "It's bad that it will be the full moon. Tides are already high then," said our neighbor. He was a fireman, and he wasn't playing around. The man stocked up on water and candles. He also wisely relocated his car to the mainland. "There might be no water for a week," he mused. I had known that another tropical storm was approaching from school. Everyone couldn't wait for education closure on Tuesday. Sandy had been a gentle reminder on the news, but my mother had assumed that it was solely Florida's problem. I, however, had forebodings about this.

I spent all that Sunday before the storm working on my Global History project, and scratched colored pencils onto poster paper. The left side exploded with tans, oranges and reds, the official color theme of Ancient Mesopotamia. I'd often run to the balcony window to gaze out at the resentful ocean, its usual powerful waves morphing into mountains of choppy white foam pummeling the boulder jetties. I was mutinous about its incoming arrival so I mocked the force of nature in my head, which I regretted later. To underestimate something that colossal is dangerous.

I hurried back to my project, letting the right side (which represented Egypt) dance with violets, regal indigoes and bright greens. I decided upon this color scheme since purple is often associated with royalty. As I sketched the notable statue bust of Nefertiti, I listened to the mayor speak in a melancholy manner about "storm surge", and utter warnings quite frequently to evacuate Zone A as soon as possible. The last subway leaves at seven pm, while the last bus rides off at nine.

I had evacuated last year during Irene, but it had been a stressful stay with friends in Brooklyn. We were agonized with questions of what was happening on back home. We weren’t doing that again, I must admit. I wasn't particularly worried that we might die, since our apartment complex was built to withstand hurricanes. Proof of this: 168 families could nest snugly into one of the sturdy large buildings during one of the gales which batter our skinny peninsula often. It was the other houses that I was worried about. They were constructed of toothpicks.

As I waited for my mom to return I regularly inspected the window, contemplating what parts of my life would be terminated as they took their final stand against the turbulent Atlantic Ocean: the flagpole that had endured so many winds over the time that I have lived here, the flowers which greet our residents, my beloved pines. I gave a sigh. As soon as I glued seagull feathers onto the finished poster I drew, talked to my mom about the hurricane, and went early to bed. There was going to be no school tomorrow, anyway.

Night fell, but I still couldn't sleep. A wind howled through the neighborhood, but it wasn't any more special than usual. That Monday morning, however, brought several changes: that giddy excitement over having an absence of school, and of course, the dread that Sandy was to make landfall at eight pm tonight. Harsh wolf howls spun through the corridor between our long apartment building and the next, and rain needles shot towards the ocean. The sky was a dismal gray, since this was a storm from the tropics and not a furious and crackling thunderstorm.

Around four o'clock an eight-year-old girl's mother called. This girl was Isabel, who has golden hair and bright blue eyes. She would be considered pretty if she wasn't so obnoxious. I was to go and play with her since she was experiencing a dull day, as usual. This would have been strange if Isabel wasn't the younger sister of Ivana, whom I had known for nine years. In a way I was glad. I have people to spend the hurricane with; I wouldn't be so alone.

Ivana is my oldest enemy, though we sometimes pretend that we are friends. On the other occasions we are bitter rivals, through no fault but hers. Ivana has somehow managed to make every member of her vast social clan hate her at least once. Tonight was therefore a surprise: she is a companion again. I told her comfortably how a group of pigeons were trying to desperately to escape the peninsula, flying foolishly in circles. They nearly all crashed into our building.

Even Isabel was pleasant that night. Their mother (who ironically has dark hair) glowed with welcome. However, this may very well have been because I have to entertain her picky daughter half the time. She sees nothing wrong with the fact I am the same age as the older daughter. Isabel decides upon beading. She cuts us two pieces of magenta yarn, and I struggle to get her wooden beads through the unwilling fibers. There are so many colors which I want to use, all too small to fit: peach, plum, green, gold, chestnut...

We consistently scrambled to Ivana's room, which has a window overlooking the shore. On one such occasion, we heard a massive crash. One of the construction board-works had fell onto a van. "Great. Now it has no windows," Ivana groaned. Their unintelligent British Labrador slept luxuriously on the bed, with not a care in the world. Outside, as the weather conditions continued to deteriorate and winds reached a reported 90 miles per hour, people practiced for the Sunday’s marathon. One of them lightly jogged by the heap of fallen construction boards when it flew up in the air. He or she wisely ran away. "Idiots," Ivana muttered. "Go kill yourselves." There were even more such bright individuals who strolled on the boardwalk, and even sat on benches watching the ruthless ocean wash in. Suddenly, one of the construction pieces spun 50 feet in the air and nearly hit one of the geniuses on the head.

I returned to my beading, and nearly got all the peach beads on. There soon came another shout from Ivana. "Come look!" We threw everything on the carpeted floor and ran to her, who was behind her computer flicking through Facebook photos. "Look," she breathed. My stomach dropped. Many of the places I had known since the age of six were completely submerged. Their cat meowed, who was anxious as her world tore apart, emitting strange yet loud death cries. Her beautiful tabby flanks heaved as she circled us, flinching at the noises outside.

I was almost finished with my bracelet when the ocean spilled over the boardwalk. It felt disturbing to witness black foaming seawater roll over the park, the only thing blocking its way of complete conquest. The damaged car filled up with the water as the ocean crashed over the streets. I returned to tie my bracelet, glancing out at the balcony window, only to gasp. Shiny black waves rushed past our building, changing the parking lot into a raging river, dragging all the cars. A force that could move cars... We all felt stunned and terrified. At that moment, all the street lights went out, plunging the nightmare into utter darkness. “Get away from the window!" Isabel's mom commanded as a plastic container crashed into it. It flopped around like an angry eagle but thankfully caused no fractures.

"Your mom could come over too, you know," Ivana informed me. "We can all sleep over." I thought this proposal over, surprised at this sunny side in a dark night. I agreed. Her mom was calling mine when the electricity went out and the phone call was cut off.

I let out a groan. Their mother put on a head flashlight, the kind one sees used only by cave explorers with a smile. "See, it's not so bad," she grinned.

There came a knock on the door: my mom, carrying a toy flashlight, the only thing she could find. I was grateful to have her back. We settled down in the living room and Isabel's mother lit two tall scarlet candles, and we talked deep into the night. I touch my mother's hand, trying to find her in the dark. Isabel and I shared the blow-up mattress, since her grandma had gone to her room to sleep. Outside, there were wild thuds and the brute might of the hideous wind, which sounded like five individual airplanes going off. It was very difficult to fall asleep with the traumatic chaos in my ears.

Ivana received a phone call from Rebeca, who, "is practically crying because she's alone." Her parents were caught at their work in a senior center, and wouldn't return home soon.

"Can I get her?" Ivana pleaded.

"Fine, but be careful!" her mother nervously answered.

Ten minutes later, Rebeca returned with her frightened curly white dog, which promptly scampered over to Ivana's British Labrador. Together we spent that night of Hurricane Sandy. Even when I discovered the destruction that occurred the next day, I was more prepared, thanks to people who seemed more human that night. Later on, I would experience a lack of electricity just like the Ancient Egyptians of Mesopotamians, as well as the winter cold and isolation from the outside world.

I kept that bracelet from the storm as a souvenir. Every time I glanced over I would be quickly reminded of candlelight, wind and water. In the weeks that would follow, I continued to witness friendship in the most unlikely of situations. Dark times bring the real essence out of everyone.“During times like this we truly know what people are like,” my mother would say, commenting on the jealousy that would emerge out of people we knew personally. When we must deal with the worst scenario, we let our guard down and let others carelessly see who we really are.

Saturday, December 8, 2012



Has let itself be known.


Beyond this point crimson fire

has burned through the horizon.

A shower of leaves blaze through

the swaying brown wheat, mournful

at its harvest.

The pink berry lives in the fields of orange.

Sleek pines counter the fluid movement of color.

We have lived through the world together,

Gazing at the textiles of fall.

The yellow shores and the azure bay;

The russet meadows and the neon wildflowers.

Draping vines move their petaled fronds

with their transparent silver and shades of gold.

And here are the chestnut oaks as we speed towards the

Rising Sun,

the world

gray in the


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Groovy Art

Sorry for not blogging in a while. I hope my creations make up...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 12th

The cold and quiet clouds
Are encapsulated in a cage of magnificence.
(Weeping vines sweep shoulder to shoulder.)
The city is suspended above us
And forever is beyond us.
One day I’ll take you to the marshes
Where the birds fly free.

Note to Self

In the mirror is my worst enemy and greatest friend.
You convey so little,
Your heart is late.
You trail the blazing stars and then -
You stop.

Pale as snow and dark like a jungle,
In the sun her hair glitters like a yellow forest.
A red rose and a white lily,
(And a bright blue sky as an afterthought.)

Beauty in the greatest,
Greatest is the true.
Truth in those who love you.
Love is beautiful.

Ode to Creativity

Let your
            Take you away from your usual reality

[The stigmatism makes the trees look shrouded in peacock feathers. The charred wood speaks of beginnings.]

Your dreams
            Can only take you so far

[The orange sun emerges like a city light. It’s a globe of fire, continents of flame. But the People of the Sun are burned by ice.]

Your heart
            Can lead the way,
                        But creativity will guide you

[Many things are held sacred in this world: the voices of the feathered things, the coming of Dawn, the mysteries of the end. Do you see your imaginings among them?]

Your dreams
            Can make you stronger
                        Love will make you wiser

[The fog drips down on the sidewalks. Is this what it feels like to be suspended in a cloud? Your breathththth encapsulated in the pearly white mist?]

As the winter goes,
            Spring will come
                        Will your colors burst free?

[The ocean stretches forever, the first sustenance. You always face the east when you swing, because that is where you came from. Uncertain waves channel the essence of infinity. What would it be like to fall into them?]

Be akin to
                        Watch the wild things


The water laps very gently.
The river courses far into the forest,
Where trees rise over the banks.
Algae completely conceal the depths;
It is a light green and opaque,
Forming a floor one would wish to walk on.
The gondolas stir the aquatic foam,
Leaving a trail of black water.

It is quiet and tranquil.
The willow stands among the forest.
Birds hail the air with music.
Two paths diverging into the deep
Makes me think of that Robert Frost poem.
Vines overlap the open ceiling beams.
A large ant walks on a tendril.
Glossy purple, green and black.

A bridge overlooks a waterfall.
On the other side there are waterlilies in the distance:
Giant green plates, pink flowers.
There are reeds to my right.
A cloud of gnats swirl.
Sun pierces the forest canopy,
And bright color dances in the meadow.
Where do you want to go?

Friday, September 21, 2012

What I Am (A Memoir Poem)

I am the summer spent at the library,
Sunscreen beneath chilled sweaters
Where we drew until the lights blinked shut.
I am the autumn covered hills,
The walk where I shared my identity musings
Through a poem with Mother,
And it padded down with us on cat paws.
I am the raindrops on my car window (like tears),
Waterholes for the dinosaurs.
The black and gray mingled fatally.

I am the swing on the ceiling,
Blue like the wide wide sky,
Blue with my simple joy.
I am the store overflowing with shoes,
The floor tumbling with sneakers, heels, boots,
Where I hit an old lady (by accident, of course,
But does she care?)
I am the wedding night of the weeping moon.
Dark with the absence of sleep.
Bland like the strawberry and cream cake.

 I am the museum with the stairs
And automobile fried chicken,The hands with one band each.
I am the carbonated water with ice,
The turtles sleeping in the pond,
And the foreign farewell.
I am the cold night beneath covers,
The cat under the truck,
The secret revealed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nature Quotes

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” –Rachel Carson

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” –Martin Buber

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a songbird will come.” –Chinese Proverb

“In the wilderness is the preservation of the world.” –Henry David Thoreau

“We do not inherit the land from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.” –Native American Proverb.

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” –William Shakespeare

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” –Frank Lloyd Wright

“All good things are wild and free.” –Henry David Thoreau

“We do not see nature through our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.”
 –William Hazlitt

“Let nature be your teacher.”  –William Wordsworth

“The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.”  –Chief Seattle

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Whimsical Wonders

I doll I got from my friend.

Crafts I made for Easter. I just hot-glue gunned plastic eggs and cutomized them with my imagination!

I love this bunny. I call him Fred.

A jounral I made at the library.

Pohtography: Scenes from The Park

I went to a very beautiful park over the summer. I hope you enjoy these!

Photography: Playground

Monday, September 10, 2012