Comment on Lauren’s “Thoughts From Sleep”

I couldn’t find a place to comment on Lauren’s page (http://laurennesterrutgers.tumblr.com/post/69312770105/final-project-thoughts-from-sleep), so I’m posting my comment here.

I really liked Lauren’s project.  I think that it was a great idea to write a journal about her dreams.  The poems are surreal, as dreams usually are, and the pictures match them really well, both in content and style.  The collages are well done, and the cover art looks great as well.  I think it was interesting that all of the people’s faces are hidden, which reminded me of the fact that it’s difficult to remember the exact identities of people that you meet in dreams.  I thought that putting the titles at the end of the poem instead of the beginning was an interesting choice, because in some of them, such as “Grandpa Visits,” my idea of what the poem was about changed completely after I read the title.  I also thought it was interesting that she decided to put the poem “My First One” in the middle of the piece, which made it more interesting, and went along with the crazy logic of her dreams.  Overall, I think that it was really well done.

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9

Just a Moment

Dear Diary,postit1

            I’m worried.

            Everything available at the dining hall today was either fried or covered in cheese sauce.  How am I supposed to stay healthy if I keep eating like that?  They need to stop making such great brownies.  Plus, I never have time to go to the gym anymore.  Do you think running for the bus is enough?

            All of my friends made new friends in college.  Sure, I still talk to them every day, but what if someday they don’t answer?  I know I’ve made plenty of new friends here, but what will I do if everyone is busy by the time I finish my assignments?

           postit2 I’m not too sure about my grades on those assignments, either.  It seems like in every class, every time I think I’ve done perfectly, I get an A-, or a B.  What if next time it’s worse than a B?

            I found a video online, when I should have been finishing my chemistry work.  I’m starting to worry that I procrastinate too much.  The video was all about not spending too much time worrying, because you only have so much time, and if you spend it worrying, you won’t have enough time to do fun things.

            I’m worried that I will run out of time.

Do you have another moment?

4

Just a Moment

            August 24, 2679history2

           Sara stood in the kitchen with her brother John, cooking a variety of pastas for the annual Carb Festival.  Why their parents still trusted the two preteens with cooking, she could never guess.  She gazed at the tomato sauce, lost in thought.

            “Have you ever thought that maybe the Flying Spaghetti Monster isn’t real?  That it was just made up as a kind of joke?” asked Sara tentatively.

            “Well, it does seem pretty crazy, I guess,” answered John thoughtfully.  “But the religion’s been around for hundreds of years.  Do you really think it would last that long if it was all made up?”

            “I don’t know.  Let’s ask ISIS.  That system has archives on everything, right? We could learn some history!” Sara said with excitement.  She loved learning about subjects that weren’t taught in school.

            “Mostly.  But way back then there were a lot of people that didn’t even have electricity, much less internet, and people who did have internet posted a lot of random stuff.”  John, like most people, didn’t care about history, but he always had to know everything about the internet.   “There weren’t as many fact checkers back then, and I’ve heard that half the internet was taken up by cat videos and Justin Bieber sightings.  Can you imagine?”

            “No, not really,” Sara admitted.  She picked up a wafer-thin piece of glass filled with webs of thin metal wires covered by a screen.  “Hey, ISIS.  What’s the history of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?”

            “Just a  moment!” the device said cheerfully.  The screen flashed a smile. “The information you’re looking for is stored in the old 21st century ‘cloud’ format.  It may take up to one minute to process.”  Sara and John waited.

            “Found it!” said ISIS in the same cheerful tone.  “The Flying Spaghetti Monster was invented in 2005 as a parody of religion in order to protest the teaching of intelligent design in schools.  It went out of fashion during the 2100s, but it was revived in early 2237 by a group of radical atheists determined to make it a real religion.  Since then, it has grown in popularity as the only religion focused on pasta and equality for all, and its roots as a parody have been all but forgotten.”

            Silence.

            “Do Mom and Dad know about this?” asked John in shock.

            “I wouldn’t be surprised if they did,” said Sara, rolling her eyes.  “Even with the ‘Looking Forward’ campaign to ignore the past and focus on the future, they know a lot about history.”   Another pause. “…Well, I guess pasta and equality is about as good a reason for a holiday as any.”

Do you have another moment?

5

Just a Moment

Whoosh, roar, ssshhhh,ocean
Whoosh, roar, ssshhhh…
Can you hear it?

The waves rush to shore,
and fade away,
only to come back once more
as they have done for millennia.

How old is the sea?
It appears as timeless
as the sun, as the universe.

As though the innumerable grains of sand
on all of its beaches
could fill an hourglass
and thus measure its lifespan.

As I walk along its shores,
I fill my pockets with sand, as though I could regain
the time lost from my hourglass as I gazed out to sea.

Do you have another moment?

6

Just a Moment

            In early June, my mom bought my little brother, Alex, a container full of butterfly eggs for his birthday.  I know it sounds like a strange gift for a 10 year old boy, but he really loves butterflies.  He used to follow them around the garden when he was a toddler.  Called them “Assayas.”  No one knows why.

            Anyway, the butterfly eggs came through the mail in a little plastic container, so my mother moved them into a  larger container with food.  Nothing too exciting.  They looked like a bunch of pearls too small to make even a pair of earrings.  Alex was fascinated, though.  For the rest of the week, every so often he would drop whatever he was doing and run into the kitchen to check on them.  Of course, nothing changed, but he was convinced they would hatch at any second.

            Finally, after five days, they hatched.  Alex was REALLY excited.  I think he spent pretty much the whole day watching those tiny caterpillars.  I wasn’t impressed, but he loved the way they scooted around the container.  My sister, Jane,  kept well away from the counter where the caterpillars sat while they were growing.  She was afraid those “scary little black worms” would escape and eat her cookies.

            So the caterpillars sat on the counter for a couple weeks, eating the food that came with the kit (not my sister’s cookies) and crawling around.  They got bigger and fuzzier, which, for some reason, made them “cute” according to Jane.  By the end of the second week, the caterpillars were really fat and fuzzy, and my siblings spent more time watching them than they had ever spent watching TV.  I don’t know why.  All they did was eat, sleep, and crawl.  Sure, it was fun to watch for five minutes, but all day?

            After fifteen days, we came home from school to find the caterpillars hanging upside down, waving around.  It was pretty funny to watch.  I went upstairs to do my homework, and by the time I came down for dinner, half the caterpillars had finished their chrysalises.  I couldn’t believe how fast they finished!  My siblings had seen the whole thing, of course.  I sat down to watch the rest of the caterpillars work on their chrysalises.butterfly

            After my mother moved them into the butterfly box, the chrysalises didn’t do much.  My siblings found other things to do, but they still checked on them once in a while.  The chrysalises were slowly changing color.  It was pretty cool, actually.  My brother accidentally discovered that if you made too much noise or poked the box too much, the chrysalises would start waving around, like they were trying to attack you.  My mother had to explain that it would be bad for the butterflies if they fell to get my siblings to stop poking the box.

            After another week went by, the chrysalises were done growing.  I came home from school to find the first few butterflies emerging.  It was incredible.  As their wings unfolded, they shook them out, not quite yet ready to fly.  By the time my siblings came home, they were hopping around, trying to dry themselves.  We picked them up and carried them outside into the sun, where they dried quickly.  After a minute, my brother sneezed, prompting the butterflies to try out their new wings.  Most of them flew off into the garden, but, for just a moment, one of them paused on the tips of my fingers, as though trying to decide if it really wanted to leave.  Then it flapped its wings, took off, and was gone.

Do you have another moment?

3

Just a Moment

            “Remind me why I’m doing this again?”  Tightly gripping her harness and rope, Martha looked down, even though they had told her a thousand times that that would only make it worse. She saw her feet dangling below her, 2,000 feet above the canyon floor.  fossil1She quickly looked back up toward the top of the cliff, where her team stood waiting.

            “You’re taking samples of the rock so that we can examine them and find layers that might contain fossils,” one of her colleagues shouted down.  “You volunteered!”

            So she had.  It had seemed like a good idea at the time.  It’ll be a chance to get out of the lab, do some field work, she had thought.  Now, she wasn’t so sure.  For a moment, she glanced back down fossil2at the canyon floor. Then she set to work, carefully chiseling out a section of rock. Too little, and they wouldn’t be able to test it.  Too much, and they’d be fined.  The park rangers set a limit to try to preserve the canyon as much as possible.  How they would keep the canyon intact if they actually found a layer of  fossils, she didn’t know.

         You know, some of the fossilized animals we’re looking for ended up as fossils when they fell into the river. They got covered in sediments until the pressure changed them into rock.  If I fell from this height, I bet I would hit with about the same pressure, and become a fossil myself.  Insta-fossilized.  Wonder if they’d add the word to the dictionary if there was only one instance.  Of course, having worked with rocks for years, Martha knew that was impossible.  It took millions of years for fossils to form.  Still, that didn’t stop her from thinking it.

            In a few minutes, Martha had her samples.  “Alright!”  she called, and was lifted back onto the top of the cliff.  She took off her harness and breathed a sigh of relief.  “That actually wasn’t that bad.  You should try it sometime.”

Do you have another moment?

13

                                                                       One Last Moment
thyme

            “Well, that’s it.  I’m out of time.”  I gaze at my audience, hoping that I’ve managed to impress someone.  Or at least that I haven’t put them all to sleep.

            “That’s okay!”  one of the girls shouts.  “I’ve got plenty of time.  Hang on a sec, I’ll go get you some.”  She races out of the room.  I take another look around.  It appears that no one else knows what she’s talking about, either.  A couple minutes later, she comes rushing back in, holding a potted plant.

            “Here you go!” she says, beaming. “Thyme!”

Do you have some more time?