Question 1: Finish this sentence: “Life is short…”
Life is short, which is probably why humans have created so many problems for themselves, for generations to come and for all other life currently on Earth in some way shape or form. We are often incapable of seeing past our own short-term goals. We look to the night sky with all the planets and stars, as small as grains of salt or sand, their distant light reminding us how small we are, how insignificant we are, how minute our worries are, and how unimportant our whole life’s purpose actually is. Because our time on this planet is so brief, we have no choice but to seek out this meaning somehow, to search outside ourselves and try to be part of something bigger than us, to somehow matter more than the insignificant space dust that we are. We have built a system where we are constantly told to spend our lives competing against one another, rather than building each other up, working toward leaving a legacy that we can be really proud of, because it helps beings living on Earth long after we are gone. Life is short, so we must choose wisely how we spend our time and energy, so when our lives finally flash before our eyes, we can be proud of what we see.
Question 2: What do you want to really say when someone says “when life gives you lemons…”?
- When life gives you lemons, send them back and ask for a fruit that’s actually good!
- When life gives you lemons, projectile launch them at your enemies!
- When life gives you lemons, plant a damn lemon tree already!
Question 3: What are some metaphors that apply to your life?
I find that I use a lot of metaphors for things in my life in my poetry. I find I can explain things better that way, but here are some metaphors that I came up with that I think are pretty relatable, and that resonate so strongly with me.
Roses and thorns
People tend to only want to know the good or ‘fun’ things about you. And we are always going through life and presenting ourselves on social media as perfect and flawless as though we are completely without flaws altogether, as though we are roses without thorns. But all roses have thorns, even the most perfect rose; we are just always told we have to cut them off or hide them at all costs, act like they never existed.
Games of Chess
Everyone’s life is kind of like a game of chess, going through life, making strategic moves in your favor, we’re all trying to ‘win’ our own game, even if it’s at other people’s expense (sometimes without even realizing it). We may be, or think that we are the kings and queens of our own games, but all too often, we can find ourselves as pawns in other people’s games.
I won’t lie, I had to look this word up. Apparently this is the name for that mixture of cornstarch and water that’s not totally a liquid and not totally a solid (a non-Newtonian fluid). I find that handling oobleck, for me, is like handling friendships and relationship with people. If you try too hard, squeeze it really hard, sure it will keep its shape, but you will get tired eventually and have to release it. If there’s no one else to take over, and hold onto it, all your hard work will be lost and the oobleck will slip through your fingers and you’ll never get that shape back. You’ll have to start all over again.
I had a little help from some of my favorite writers for this one. Daisies are the flowers that people pick to do the whole “loves me… loves me not…” bullsh*t as they take off each individual petal of the flower. Once you get to the last “loves me” you have not only killed the flower by picking it, you have now completely destroyed it and everything it has created. In the words of Ocean Vuong, “to arrive at love then, is to arrive at destruction.” To love someone is to destroy yourself completely for them. This is what some really think love is and this is what they teach their kids. If you’re not sacrificing yourself, expending all your energy, draining yourself to nothing, then you are not really loving them. But love doesn’t have to be like that. I think Glennon Doyle, puts the next point I want to make so perfectly: “What if love is not the process of disappearing for the beloved but of emerging for the beloved? What if a mother’s responsibility is teaching her children that love does not lock the lover away but frees her? What if a responsible mother is not one who shows her children how to slowly die but how to stay wildly alive until the day she dies? What if the call of motherhood is not to be a martyr but to be a model?”