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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Freedom Fire

My hands don’t quite look like hands. I first noticed it this morning during Physics when instead of paying attention to the changes of energy depending on work I was looking down at them, planning on what words will soar from them and paint page with meaning. My hands are icy pale, fleshy and wrinkled. But cradling my fingernails are patches of red—not cherry from tenderness, but smoldering rouge. The thoughts of how I shall use them sparked a realization: my hands are matches. They are constantly chilled and dead like fallen pieces of wood until moments like this, moments when they are set ablaze as I write. The instant my hands are ignited with the thoughts of my mind, the cry of my soul, and the palpitations of my heart, a blue fire escapes. This fire sizzles, sears and melts my entire world, and I pray that the words left smoldering on the page my fire is fed upon will melt you. I hope it will sear your fears and insecurities. I hope it will sizzle upon the bitter ice that has enclosed you, the pain that has caused you to build your walls up so high. I hope that my fire, my words, my poems, and prose will make the impassable penetrable. For I know that every moment my matches are lit with this shimmering sapphire light I am free.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Eulogy Poem


The first eulogy poem I ever wrote. It's about how futile this band of poetry is.

The Eulogy Poem
The truth is
I could write a thousand poems
All of them beautiful
But at the end of each stanza
You’re not going to be any less dead
You’re not coming back
And I may never see your adorable grin
Never kiss you hello or tell you how much I love you
I may never laugh at your simple charm
I may never have an adventure with you again
Or ride a rollercoaster
Or cook wearing matching chef hats
Or stare at you marvelous, huge hands
With spots of yellow and blue and little black hairs poking through like daisies
Always cold that made me so warm
I may never see you again, Grandpa.
But I will always love you, I swear
I wish I had spent more time upstairs with you
Instead of watching T.V.
I wish that I had lain with you in bed more
Read more stories
Got more kisses.
But nothing I write here is going to change that.
At the end of the day
This is just a poem I wrote for my creative writing class
It’s not going to bring you back
Or tape in more memories in our book
This poem isn’t going to tack up any extra jokes or smiles
It is only going to simply be graded and handed back
But if this poem does anything
I hope it is whispered through your ears wherever you are
At that you know I’m not just writing this for the sake of writing a good poem
I am writing this because I think of you, Grandpa
And sometimes I get angry with myself for not thinking of you more
I hope that wherever you’re eating chocolate ice cream
And reading in your big chair
That you know
That I love you
And how you’ve touched me
And you’ve taught me
To live with dignity and honor
Laughter and sternness
Bravery and creativity
Entrenched in my every movement
Just like you.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Passion, Pride, and Pages

             Life is series of pages, of different colors and sizes, with illustrations and coffee stains and flowers pressed between leaflets, and it is the most glorious book to land in any library. I know that mine has been different, for my pages are drenched in poetry. Every single page, every single memory or experience, every ripple of tears down my cheeks or giggle through my throat is a poem. Each line is beautiful, with mixes of Poe, Emerson, Dickinson, and Langston outlining each letter. My English teacher constantly bombards us with a long list of rhetorical strategies with which to analyze and truly understand any text thrown upon us, and I’ve found that one is a perfect tool for interpreting my book of life. Juxtaposition, the aligning two different ways, wishes, or worlds, has been etched into my experiences, and also my soul.  Two experiences, two pages filled with words splattered with purple cursive text are pumped with juxtaposition, and these two different events are only beautiful because the lay next to each other, like two lovers in a bed on their first morning as man and wife.  
The husband is harsh, filled with aguish, helplessness, and regret. He is my visit to Auschwitz concentration camp this past summer. The word causes my fingers to shudder as they type it into existence, just like my soul as I entered a land of horror. I have been taught over and over of the horrors of the Holocaust, I have met countless survivors, and countless descendants of those who were forced to endure the darkest abyss in human history, and I even am one myself. But somehow I had always distanced myself from it, just like all the horrors of the past—the tales were not mine, not from my world…they were simply tales. But then I was walking up the rusty copper train tracks that had derailed the Romanian Jews from their lives filled with culture, happiness, and love. I was looking at endless stables—horse homes that men and women were forced to dwell in as they waited to be murdered. I wandered across hundreds of holes in the earth that hundreds of humans were forced to defecate in. My feet grazed upon the fresh blades of grass that Elie Wisel has said did not even exist in his age—for the prisoners would have devoured them when all they needed to consume was freedom. I tried to see it through my camera lens, tried to create a blockade, and then I realized for these men and women, there was no blockade. This was reality—nightmares had become the ways of the day, and not even dreams could plaster themselves onto this residue of people the Nazis created. None of the books, none of the movies, none of the photographs or statistics meant anything anymore. For the first time in my entire life I started to grasp the struggle of my people. I was demolished and devastated; a shattered window. I did my own death march as I wandered through assembly lines of sterilization, countless children’s shoes tossed aside much more gently than their wearers, and a room filled with nothing except hair. As I stood under the nozzle of death in the Auschwitz 1 gas chamber and peered into the crematoriums the shells of what were once bottles of light and potential were shoved into, I felt my innocence perish.
But this is not a piece about the death—this is about the life, the life I didn’t know I had burning within me. This piece, that memory is married to another, a woman filled with pride, passion, and insight. For that same summer I visited Masada, a mountain on which a civilization was built by ancient Jews in the deserts of Israel. These Jews fled the conquest of the Romans and journeyed on top of this great structure, believing they were the last of their people in existence, and thrived for generations. But they knew that there time was sizzling like water under the same arid sky. The Romans attacked once again, and their oasis was about to be drunk up. The Jews knew that when the Romans conquered them, all survivors would be enslaved, forced to give up the very culture they had spent eternities to preserve. They were a pool of Jewish blood—the last Jewish blood, and these thirsty Romans were mosquitoes ready to attack, wings fiercely propelling them near. These men and women made a decision. They would rather die at their own hands than be raped of their G-d. So each and every one man, woman, and child made a pact to perish. They thought that they were taking the last Jewish blood out of this earth—the blood of Moses, the blood of Abraham, the blood of Einstein, the blood of Spielberg, the blood of…me. This sacrifice, standing here at the ground of those who would do it all again simply knowing that one person could write of their tale and pray to their G-d, has shaped me from simply an individual, to a member of a nation, a fight for existence and preservation that will continue until the earth roasts in flames or becomes petrified in ice. The thirty other teenagers, each a member of this nation we had not known the beauty of until this moment shouted off the mountain the words of our mother tongue:
“Amnei Yisrael Hai!”
“Israel Lives!”
And we heard thousands of voices echoing back. Thousands and thousands, millions and millions, a chorus of our ancestors’ voices dancing through the tops of the mountains. Then it all made sense—here were the voices of Masada, here were the voices of Auschwitz, the voices of all those who had perished, but not alongside with the nation that so many thirsted to destroy. Israel lived—they all lived—in me, in these words I am passing onto you, my heart expanding and contracting with a blood that I cherish more than anything else within the spirals of stars and plains of planets in the universe. This is the blood that runs through my fingers as I write this, as I past new poems into my book. I know that these poems within my book will become one of the many beautiful classics in a library that every soul on this earth will someday read from. And I can’t want to etch in some new pages.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Young Beats

Youth is something powerful. Youth is that state of existence where the boundaries of possible have not been set. Youth is something to be not only embraced, but celebrated. 
Nothing is more essential to celebration than music. So here are some takes on the beauty of youth with a beat.
The Naked and the Famous: Young Blood
Hollywood Undead: Young
Matishyahu: Youth

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Leaking Light

Glass--when broken it is symbolic of when the world shatters, when cohesive it stands for unity. One of the most beautiful sights in our world is when light emerges from the glass. The effect can be warm, soothing, or even haunting. The most common place we can see it is through our own windows. Here is my take on luminescence wandering through glass.

Ascending-Ariel Sobel
Skylights-Ariel Sobel
Internal Outdoors-Ariel Sobel
Geometry-Ariel Sobel
Hope Leakage-Ariel Sobel
Plunging Colors-Ariel Sobel





Sunday, August 5, 2012

Creativity

Here are some inspiring takes on creativity. Enjoy!




And a personal favorite....

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!