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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Flash

Short Story Time: By short, I mean a cross between oompa-loopas and munchkins.
Enjoy this piece of creative non-fiction:


Flash

I was running, my feet washing over the sharp rocks below me like cold rushing river water. The cold dark air was piercing me at every angle, and every angle felt like the thick darkness of the night was consuming me from within, as if someone had planted a black hole deep inside my chest. I felt empty, hollow, and broken. I knew that the other fifth graders didn’t accept me—I was the freak, the loser, that point on the graph that was nowhere near the domain (as my math teacher would say). I was a shattered piece of glass, swept up and tossed into the depths of a black garbage bag. No one here liked me. They laughed at me, so often that every time I heard a giggle I flinched, as if a bullet was cutting through the air to reach me. I clenched my pale cold fingers around the disposable camera given to me to record this, “great experience”, this trip to Greenkill, a place I and the other fifth graders were shipped off to learn about nature. The only thing I had learned was that nature was wild, and that vultures (if they’re hungry enough) will attack and bite off white chunks of animal flesh while the animal is wounded, crying out in pain, not even with the courtesy to wait until it was dead yet. My fist began to compress the camera cradled in it, as the scene echoed in my mind…

… “Why did you tell him I liked him?” my voice echoed in na├»ve confusion, vulnerable and innocent, “I thought you were my friend! It was a secret! Why did you do that to me? How could you do that to me? I trusted you…”. She looked back at me nonchalantly and replied in a dead voice, cold and hard like a fleshless bone, “He wasn’t going to like you anyway, so I knew that I might as well just get it over with.”…

…Here I had learned that there aren’t good friends and bad friends, only friends and enemies. I was lacking in one department. And there I was still running, still blind, cold and broken—hard rocks stabbing at my sneakers, surrounded by the dark brisk night air, alone. My legs shuffled, stumbled and then I was tumbling, over those rocks, then embracing them on the ground. I was flying fast, slicing my body through the darkness. I felt a sharp ache, one filled with shock, as if someone had shot me in my knee like I was an enemy airplane that needed to be taken down. My camera fell out of my hands, and just as I reached the ground the darknesswas conquered by a blinding flash.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My 16th Birthday Post

It's hard to find the words hidden in m brain to write a proper post for this moment in my life. I only have an hour left of this birthday, a birthday that is repeatedly glamorized and told to be a coming of age. But I know that this day is not what it claims to be. I did not awake this morning as a complete woman, just a person in progress, a soul still be created and refined, torn down and redefined, and forced to look forward while looking behind. I am Ariel, and now I am 16. I have often stood still as I watched the world deteriorate around me, and tried to rebuild what I could, and I have often been the destructor. But this birthday, a one filled with emotions--love from those dearest to my heart, fear of the future, and regret for the apology not said, the road not taken, the fight forgotten--I have made a single wish: for happiness and health, for there to be creation and no longer destruction, to be as whole as an incomplete person can be. I love my family so much, more then I think they could ever understand, because I feel that as well as I can express myself through the written words, I often struggle with expression of the appreciation, respect, and intense love through my actions. I hope that I, an underage, rough, scatterbrained, tame, wild, inspired, fighting voice can finally find the way to express its meaning through my actions, not only art.
I love this world, and the g-d that has put me here, has given me the resilience to survive the challenges I have been presented, and I love all the people that can appreciate what my voice has to offer and are willing to take the time and sincere care and passion to help me improve it.
I think that every voice is born imperfect, and it is only through friendship and family one can smooth out all the cracks.
Dear Mama, thank you for always being there, for loving me for the 16 year old I am and the person I am becoming, throughout every moment, every struggle, every time I fall down and feel like I don't have the strength to get up.
Dear Rebecca, thank you for being my best friend, my sister, my framework I could not exist without.
Dear Grandma, thank you for being a loving and generous individual that I know will always protect me.
Dear Jeff, thanks for the laughter.
Dear Grandpa, thank you for being an image of strength, honor, and dignity, and for never accepting anything less than the best I can deliver.
Dear words, poetry, language, prose, plays: thank you for giving me the power to say this, for without you, it would all be locked within me, trapped, just like how I feel far too often in this life.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Young Voices=Teen Angst?

After an emotional day, a good friend of mine wrote this compelling poem:


i'm drowning in a pool of uncertainty.
i'm groping in the dark for something that isn't there.....the flashlight that isn't there.
how can this be done in the dark?
looking for the awakening that won't come, the emotion that fled, the misdirected attention, the wasted resiliency, the life with no direction.
trying to push away the strangling confusion, the inescapable judgement.
the senseless thoughts, the merciless claims, the arrogant geniuses, the omnipresent depression.
what's left?

Electrifying, right? The feeling many young voices have--the confusion and darkness--is evident within these lines. I would love to do an artist profile, but he declined, stating:

The artist has politely declined Ariel's kind request for a profile in light of the mood of the piece. As incorrect first impressions may be drawn, further background information will not be provided.

I guess our mystery man isn't proud of this dark mood that often we as youth are drowned in. But it seems as if this is not the last time we wil hear from this underage voice!

Handing out Light

This is a photo of my beautiful younger sister. I think it portrays a message that there is insight and beauty we are capable of giving to eachother, the candle she seems to be handing to the audience is like a symbol of positivity, light, and clarification.


What do you think? Are there any photographs or voices you know that have a similiar meaning? What are your thoughts?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sometimes I can go weeks without remembering...


Sometimes I can go weeks without remembering

Why I write
Why I jumble some poetic words and propel them into flight
Off my fingertips and onto the screen
Where sometimes while reading them I growl or beam
And they become a stream of thoughts
Rocked together by rhythm and rhyme

Sometimes I can go weeks without remembering why I write
I am caged within life’s patterns
And don’t have the time
I forget, and become temporarily blind
To the fact that my only liberty is through each poem escaping my mind
How when I write I have a choice
I have the power to regret or rejoice
I have a message that someone can hear,
An uncensored meaning that they can judge or fear
When I scribble, even though I am too juvenile to speak
Compressed within society’s chest, silent and meek
I still have a voice

That when I write I am more than a mundane adolescent
Striving to discover my natural light instead of a fluorescent
For when I write
When I embrace a stage
I hold ability far beyond my age
My name is worth remembering
Even though its wearer is constantly blending and bending
Changing and rearranging
Merging with the views of those who witness me and how I perceive myself
Sometimes she revolutionizes with such stealth
That when she peers into the mirror she views a woman
That she’s not ready to be
That I am not ready to be
I just want to be Ariel
But I don’t know who Ariel is
How can I find myself if I haven’t even created it?

Sometimes I can go weeks without remembering to write
Because I’ve forgotten how
If I forget to write
I’ve forgotten to fight
To be heard vibrant and proud
I lose the feeling steaming through my veins right now
The feeling of not breathing air but words
That through my lips escapes a plethora of birds
Creating a home within the mind 
Of anyone who dares to find
A call that was designed for their ears
A line that can soothe their fears
And how each stanza I remember to inscribe
Is a member of the tribe
Of clarity and understanding
Reinvigorating and expanding
All the beauty standing on this earth

But right now I have not forgotten
And I refuse to let these words dwell in my skull until they become rotten
This is a moment I have driven myself to write
And pour down a cascade of insight.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Universal Canvas

Completely drenched in glee with the creation of Underage Voices, I quickly emailed the link to a few friends and told them to look, critique, and suggest. Useful feedback came from my friend Paul, who noted:


I think the reader will get a better sense of what you mean by this is our canvas if you can make the concrete connection between your personal blog and the multitude of other people's voices. How is it their canvas but your blog? How can they communicate, or is it just meant to showcase the ability to be heard regardless of age? Or is it just their canvas via their comments?


It is my honor to tell you that this is a universal canvas. My work will be featured in posts, but so will  yours! The blog will showcase the work of many young powerful voices I see day to day, as well as voices I am yet to meet! If you are interested in expressing your young voice, send some work where it is expressed (writing, art, photography) to underagevoices@gmail.com  along with a statement about what your voice is calling out. 


I fully understand the unwillingness to submit one's work to a website due to fear of plagiarism as a fellow artist, but I can give you nothing more than my word: Everything that is sent will be regarded with the utmost care and respect for you as a growing young voice! This is our moment, and be assured that I, nor anyone else has any intention to rob you of your insight, for there is no achievement or pride is distributing a creation that is not one's own.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

An Introduction

Who am I?
I am a poet, a dreamer, a fighter, a speaker, a listener, a seeker, a photographer, an artist, an activist, a survivor, an explorer, a lover, a friend, a sister, a daughter, but mostly, anything but ordinary.


What is this?
This is the place where I will express myself, and present my young voice to our world through creative mediums (mainly art and writing).


Why?
Time and time again I have felt oppressed and repressed because of my age. In our society, we often treat our youth as if their age inhibits them from delivering insight, shove them and their views aside, claiming that because we have witnessed less sunrises and sunsets our voices have less to offer.
I know this is a strong claim: when there are so many strangled by the chains of slavery, famine, and war, to say that I am repressed in the paradise of middle class America does sound ridiculous, but I have learnt both from quantitative numbers and personal experience that we underestimate and undervalue the opinions of today's youth. It will take many more posts to voice my opinions, study, and experience with this problem (which will come in time), but this blog is not about whining "we have a problem" without even  attempting to make a change. This blog is the change, the place where borders are shed, walls topple.

I will not allow there to be a bouncer checking identification and prohibiting minors from entering the hub of creativity, the land of expression, or the ears of this world. This is our time. This is our blog. Here I will show you my voice, and invite you to share yours.

Contact

Ariel is available and interested in anything creative!
For spoken word performances & workshops, web & graphic design, or other writing/film projects please contact via email at arielsob@usc.edu.
New York & Los Angeles work preferred!