A collection of prose, poems and photographs. Everything seen on this blog is mine unless stated otherwise. Alternate blog: www.rebeccaeagen.tumblr.com

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I’m so sorry about my lack of posts! A lot of big and exciting things have been happening. I’m in the process of getting my teaching certificate, which will probably take several months, but it’s all done! Also, I’m gonna start doing writing workshops at my work next semester, and I’m volunteering as ESOL teacher at my local library. Despite everything that’s been happening, I do have some interesting things coming up for this blog that I’ve been developing. Meanwhile, I’m going to post some of my favorite passages from my favorite books. Hopefully it will inspire you to head over to Barnes and Noble and start some fall reading. Enjoy, my lovelies <3

I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire…I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.

-William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

They were…well, Beautiful People! - not ‘students’, ‘clerks’, ‘salesgirls’, ‘executive trainees’ - Christ, don’t give me your occupation-game labels! We are Beautiful People, ascendant from your robot junkyard.

-Tom Wolfe, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

The Acid Test were one of those outrages, one of those scandals, that create a new style or a new world view. Everyone clucks, fumes, grinds their teeth over the bad taste, the bad morals, the insolence, the vulgarity, the childishness, the lunacy, the cruelty, the irresponsibility, the fraudulence and, in fact, gets worked up into such a state of excitement, such an epitasis, such a slaver, they can’t turn it loose. It becomes a perfect obsession. And now they’ll show you how it should have been done”

-Tom Wolfe, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

His mind, just emerging from the unreal wilderness of childish fancy, gave way completely in this Carnival, and he was paralyzed by the conviction, which often returned to him in later years, that his life was a fabulous nightmare and that, by cunning and conspirate artifice, he had surrendered all his hope, belief, and confidence to the lewd torture of demons masked in human flesh.

-Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel

Miss Lonelyhearts drank steadily. He was smiling and innocent, amused smile, the smile of an anarchist sitting in the movies with a bomb in his pocket. If people around him only knew what was in his pocket. In a little while he would leave to kill the President.

-Nathanial West, Miss Lonelyhearts

It is sometimes advantageous to be unseen, although it is most often rather wearing on the nerves. Then too, you’re constantly being bumped against by those of poor vision. Or again, you often doubt if you really exist. You wonder whether you aren’t simply a phantom in other people’s minds. Say, a figure in a nightmare which the sleeper tries with all his strength to destroy. It’s when you feel like this, out of resentment, you begin to bump people back.

-Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

There will be time to murder and create, time for all the works and days of hands, that lift and drop a question on your plate; time for you and time for me, and time yet for a hundred indecision, and time yet for a hundred decisions and revisions, before the taking of toast of tea.

-T.S Eliot, The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock

They laugh and then I hear them mumbling behind me, heads close together. Humming of black machinery, humming hate and death and other hospital secrets. They don’t bother not talking out loud about their hate secrets when I’m nearby because they think I’m deaf and dumb. Everybody thinks so. I’m cagey enough to fool them that much.

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Dark is a way and light is a place, Heaven that never was, nor will be ever is always true.

-Dylan Thomas, Poem on his Birthday

My mother kept telling me nobody wanted a plain English major. But an English major who knew shorthand was something else. Everybody would want her. She would be in demand among all the up-and-coming young men and she would transcibe one letter after thrilling letter. The trouble was, I hated the idea of serving men in any way. I wanted to dictate  my own thrilling letters.

-Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

You’ll be sorry some day. Why don’t you ever understand what I’m trying to tell you: it’s with you’re six senses that you’re fooled into believing not only that you have six senses, but that you contact an actual outside world with them. If it wasn’t for your ears, you wouldn’t hear that airplane. If it wasn’t for your nose, you wouldn’t smell the midnight mint. If it wasn’t for your tongue, you wouldn’t taste the difference between A and B. If it wasn’t for your body, you wouldn’t feel her. There is no me, no airplane, no her, no nothing, you for kris-sakes do you want to go on being fooled every damn minute of your life?

-Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

A Conversation About Ferguson

Although I use this blog generally as an expansive compartment for my written thoughts and photographs, I do think that certain moments of historical upheaval and unrest, particularly the circumstances at Ferguson, Missouri poses the need for special communicative attention, especially those who are not directly affected by these terrible events. I feel incredibly uneasy about the ascent of violence thus far, namely towards journalist and photographers whose mission is to expose the division of races and the level of violence through their artistic medium. They want people to understand how terribly fucked our world is, and they want to, in their own way, continue and facilitate a conversation that we need to have. These are the concerns I have, but what are your concerns? Do you have any experience with racial inequality? Police brutality? Do you have any issues regarding the blatant militarization of our police forces? As much I find it necessary for me to discuss my own personal musings, it is important that we, as fellow tumblr users, continue this dialogue in light of these historical events. So, let’s have a discussion. What are you worried about? Are you neutral? Whose side are you on? Is there a particular demographic regarding these events that need to be addressed? Message me! Or comment on here. I want to create a safe place where people can discuss these crucial matters.

rebeccaeagen:

Great piece of slam poetry addressing the degradation and sexualization of women incited through the porn industry. I don’t have anything against porn in its own right, but many people do not understand that it is a fantasy, it NOT real. It is true that porn caters to all sexual taste, including the role of the dominant male and the subservient female, yet make note of what Brenna says regarding signs of discomfort. Yes, this depiction might be biased because she had an unfortunate sexual experience in which she was a subject to man’s fantasy rather than approached as an individual with emotions, needs, turn ons and turn offs. The broader implication, biased viewpoint aside, is to transform the standard view of women not as sexual objects, but rather an individual who might have a rich sexual identity derived from the complexities of their own idiosyncratic personalities. Just like what Brenna says “my sex is magical, ”as it should be. Let’s all strive to make sex magical. Sex is the utmost act of intimacy, it’s almost silly to not make it anything but magical.

When the Nation Suffers a Loss…

I don’t typically make note of celebrities passing away. At the risk of sounding insensitive, occasionally I’m not surprised. The vessel of genius and the celebrity world can be a dangerous apparatus conducive to tragic endings- we admire our idol’s ingenuity, and often try to avoid the thought of how that ingenuity is generated. Yet when I heard that Robin Williams passed away yesterday, I felt as if a close family member had died. I cried and lamented several times throughout the day. I kept seeing touching homages, I watched the news coverage of C SPAN, CNN, and read all the celebrities tweets paying their respects. During the overwhelming influx of news, details, and so forth, I tried to understand why I reacted the way I did. I never met him. I only knew him through the characters that he played, and through his hilarious interviews on late night talk shows. I suppose, if done well, one can be wholly affected by the loss of someone because of their craft. I thought about the memorable characters he played. At age 24, I still love watching Hook. His portrayal as Peter Pan/Peter Banning gave me confidence as a kid to never stifle my zeal and imagination, no matter how ridiculous. It reminds you to never lose the inner child, because through that inner child, excitement and adventure thrives, there’s color and awkward blunders and messiness and inspiration and all that stuff that gives us that ecstasy-like feeling of exultation. Peter Banning’s transformation from a tightly wound lawyer to remembering that he could fly is an iconic performance fit for all ages. How could you forget that mantra, “think happy thoughts”? Happiness, and happy moments, can in fact, make you fly. Speaking of mantras, let’s not forget how quotable the movie is. I dreamed as a kid to have a food fight scene just like Banning does with the Lost Boys, concocting ridiculous invectives like “You lewd, crude, rude, bag of pre-chewed food dude” and throwing huge wads of colorful mush at my friends, with a fairy as our only audience.

Of course, the influence doesn’t stop there. When I watched Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting, my life changed dramatically. That confession might sound like a stretch, but the messages expressed in the both movies and Williams’s portrayal of his characters become a part of you. His energy is so potent and electrifying- and shockingly honest.The wisdom and humor overflowed Williams’s person while he became the exuberant English teacher who pleaded his students to never stop being a romantic, to hold onto their dreams and cherish the beauty of our utmost human moments. Two quotes that I will never forget that came from the many aphorisms of John Keating is, “we are not laughing at you- we are laughing near you,” to remind us to always keep our sense of humor intact, but not to exact our humor in patronizing or cruel ways. We must use humor to uplift, not to put down. The second quote, which emphasizes the importance of self-expression, stating that one must ” avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he’s exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys- to woo women- and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do.” When I heard this, it awakened the incredible importance of passion. In wake of fulfilling your passions, laziness is never acceptable.The English language must be treated like a gargantuan tool that helps us make sense of  our lives, and because our lives are so incredible, a lazy, cavalier, indifferent attitude is perilous and wasteful. Whenever I mull over ideas and topics to write about, Robin Williams’s embodiment of John Keating will echo and resonate throughout my creative efforts. Moreover, Williams portrayal of John Keating helps watchers understand that one should never underestimate the power and influence of the written and spoken word.

I need to take a few moments before I begin discussing the personal and monumental importance of Good Will Hunting. To put it lightly- Good Will Hunting forever changed my life. A little background information before I divulge the revelatory disclosure of this film. In high school, I had suffered several bouts of depression and was regularly seeing a therapist. I hated my therapist immensely, not because I was a surly and bratty teenager. I tried to make ample use of my therapy sessions. To my dismay, my therapist was condescending, and readily infantilized me rather than try to understand the origins of my depression. She made me feel even more miniscule and inferior in a world where I persistently felt invisible and misunderstood. Ironically, the overall failure of my sessions increased my depressive symptoms- I began cutting more, restricting more meals, my insomnia worsened and I gradually stopped responding to my friend’s communicative efforts. In retrospect, I realized that I was reacting to the hopeless belief that I was beyond the possible success of therapy. As a kid, you blame yourself for practically everything- hence, the scene in which Williams states “it’s not your fault”- watching that scene was like emotional divestiture. When I reached the apex of my depressive episodes, I didn’t feel like I had a body and a mind and life to preserve, I became my mental state and it engulfed my entire being. I felt like screaming all the time because of how inescapable the depression was. It clinged to me with a formidable grip and it clinged even tighter in light of my therapy sessions. After I graduated high school, I took a few months to myself, knowing that I wasn’t mentally ready to begin college. During my time off, a sabbatical if you will, I read a lot of books and watched a lot of movies, and one of them was Good Will Hunting. I didn’t necessarily have a firm synopsis of the movie, but had heard great things about it. As I began watching the movie, I was immediately drawn to the dialogue transacted by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck- to this day, I still use “How do you like them apples?” as a comeback and it never fails to deliver. As Matt Damon’s character, Will Hunting, traipsed from on therapist to the next, begrudgingly settling with fellow southie, Sean Macguire, the familiarity of the scenario began to creep through my nerves. I didn’t necessarily want to be reminded of my own therapeutic sessions, yet the relationship between Will and Sean had gradually blossomed into a comfortable level of just pure and unadulterated talking and listening and relating to one another. It was exhilarating to watch two people, one- a wildly smart kid with a lost soul, and the other, a seasoned therapist and widower who had lived a life and drew an infinite amount of wisdom from it, converse in such a casual manner. As I watched the ups and downs of their patient/therapist relationship, in turn, I felt as if Sean Macguire, portrayed by Williams with his tough yet gentle demeanor, had become the therapist that I needed. Sean Macguire did, in fact, become my therapist, because Williams’s performance bled through the screen with compassion and empathy and that Sean Macguire as the therapist perfected by Williams who in turn, is in fact Williams, bringing the impact of his character to life inimitably, was transposed into the room in which I would discuss my struggles and frustrations with my therapist. I no longer needed to complain about my own wretched therapist because Robin Williams was (and still is) my therapist. When Williams looked at Matt and asked him uncomfortable questions, he looked at me and asked me the same questions. When Williams hugged Matt to reassure him that he is not alone, I too, felt the warmth of that hug. Although the virtual plane of which Good Will Hunting took place didn’t happen in a real life sequence, the affects of Williams’s performance was created undoubtedly through real emotion within Williams himself. I believe that only Robin Williams had the ability to utter the truths of Sean Macguire, because the need to express those truths are apparent in William’s overall purpose as an actor. To touch, in some degree, whether big or small, the part of us that needs the most affection. So yes, I am incredibly sad that Robin Williams is gone now, because his impact will stay with me for as long as I live, because after watching Good Will Hunting, I made every effort to live the life I deserved. Watching Good Will Hunting effectively told me that I am stronger than the throes of depression. It might not be easy but it so worth it, and of course, nothing that is easily obtained is worth much anyway.

I will never forget him. I will carry him in my heart, always. Rest easy, Robin.

Having been close to two friends who committed suicide the same year (within a four month span), the tragic loss of Robin Williams resonates similar feelings of dread and sorrow. You don’t necessarily want to believe it, and you struggle to understand that suddenly, within minutes, that person you had close relations with is gone. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the friends I’ve lost. I long to talk to them, to seek their advice, to share a drink or a meal. I still dream about them, and occasionally, it feels like they are still around. I cannot change the past, but we as witnesses to tragedies and with a capacity for compassion must not make light of depression and suicide. There is always help, and if you feel as if you don’t have immediate help from friends and family members, there are suicide hotlines. Nothing should concur anyone’s ability to live a beautiful and fulfilling life. And if you are reading this and you are feeling depressed and suicidal, I want to make a personal announcement for you and you only: I love you and I want you to know that you can message me and talk to me about anything. I mean it.

rebeccaeagen:

Exploring the VSCO cam app. Never using another Instagram filter again.