Congratulations to our One Book One Town Writing and Mixed Media contest winner: Emily.
When times get tough, I sometimes let my pencil explain. I take out my pencil, and write. The overflowing feeling caused by the situation spills onto my paper. I write and write and write. The words form into sentences, sentences to paragraphs, paragraphs in a story. The story of my emotions. I write how I feel, in a story. I can write a story about someone else, someone else in the same place as me. I write about that person’s adventures and how they comprehend and deal with things.
This person overcomes obstacles with the help of people who love her. Even when she feels alone, she’s not. She takes the wisdom and strength given to her and marches forward. She has the love of her friends to get back up again. She has courage to take the next step, but not alone. She has bravery to face the season she is in. And she has the love of the important individuals in her life to help her through it all.
But at times, she is blind to it all. The storm blinds her from the solution, and circles around her like the middle of a hurricane. She is so focused on the hurricane circling around that she forgets to look up at the sun shining above her. The clouds try to block the sun but the clouds fail, for love never fails.
At times, I begin to draw. Draw what’s happening. The girl has friends and family beside her to comfort her through it all. She is happy and not alone, even when she feels like it inside. Then I draw her in the middle of the storm. The different shades of blue go around her. But the storm is overlapped by the sun. The streaks of yellow shine above the girl, and comfort her. She cries in the arms of the light, not in defeat of the storm. She cries and talks to her family and friends. She cries and talks about what she has been facing. And her family hugs her, and tells her that it will be okay.
She gets back up and walks home. The situation is still there, but the feeling is smaller. There is a new feeling, a feeling that reassures her that it will be okay. Over time, the negative feelings get smaller, and she is okay. She is strong. I sit back and look at what I have written. This girl is me, and look at what the girl has accomplished. If she can do it, so can I. The overflowing negative feelings turn into overflowing hope. Hope that it will be okay.
I put the pencil down, and lift my head up. I walk to my loved ones and tell them my troubles. A tear runs down my cheek, and they hug me tight. They tell me that it will be alright. I get love and encouragement from the people I love, just like my character does. I do the things I have to do.
I look back at my past adventure a certain amount of time later, and I see the story I wrote. The stories and pictures. I remember the girl, the girl who went through the same thing as me. I remember how she solved the problem. How I solved the problem. I look back on the girl and her situation. Then I look at it now. I notice how I was helped and loved, still loved. I see the path from then to now. I now see how things are different, but in a good way. I am thankful.
Another storm hits and it knocks me down. But I do not shatter. Tears run down my cheeks. I don’t know what to do for a while. But then I think of the girl. The girl who was in the middle of a storm. And she says, “ It will be okay, you can do it!” Everyone else says it too. The light is there to comfort me. I get back up. And I am reassured by those who love me, “ I am here, you can do this!” I know what to do. The storms in my life can come, and I may not be ready at first. It may be overwhelming at first. I may not get it right at first. But I do know this, I will have the people who love me to guide me. To help me. So I can get back up again.
Congratulations to our One Book One Town Writing and Mixed Media contest winner: Locked by Piper.
How was your day they said,
With their ear to ear bright smile
I answer with a lie
I reciprocate that smile, ‘good’
The tough friend can’t tell people the truth
The tough friend is embarrassed to show friends the truth
I’m the tough friend
The friend that can’t be weak
The friend that hides everything under a pillow
The same pillow I whimper under twice a year
I open the document that carries my secrets
The document that feels like a friend I trust,
It all works,
Behind the locked door,
In the one place I feel I can express myself
Alone I feel safe to share,
Nothing leaves the page
The nights cry
I form my tears into verses
The verses that will always be concealed
The mascara running down my face
Dripping on the pillow,
Flip it over, no one cares,
that's what I feel everyday,
Hidden, is what I feel
They say talk to someone,
Who can I talk to except for the poem page in my phone
My emotions fill
But like a full glass
It has to spill soon
But I can push it deeper
I can’t let anyone know
Even though, the poems grief,
Begging to be let free
but I’m not ready
They're safe here
I can’t be known as the weak friend
In the open air people can judge.
Friends spill their glasses,
tell me their secretes,
Knowing they won’t get anything in return
And they can’t tell I’m broken in,
From the mask covering myself
I always have a smile on my face,
Still I keep theirs private
In fears that one day I’ll open up,
Mine won’t be the secret of my life anymore,
It will just add to the story of my life,
But hidden is my life,
The life I know,
The life that is viewed as safe
The phone dies, the poems locked
The secret no one can hear,
Locked from fear of no one understanding the pain,
The page poured my emotions on last night.
I rise with the sun,
As I read the stanzas back
The words flow
The page got my point
The page that gets me the most,
Congratulations to our One Book One Town Writing and Mixed Media contest winner: A KWeen Dethroned by KWeen.
A KWeen dethroned:
What brings me joy, also disrupts my peace. My expressions of dance often tire my feet. In song, my voice is heard yet my lyrics are bleak. If I am to be made strong, why am I painted as being weak? In a most critical time in the world, my options still seem oblique. When will it be my time to express myself unharmed and freely?
How can the world be free to roam, when we have to pay to live? How can we be equal when most don't have the resources from the tree of knowledge; What do you suppose I feed my kids? Why do I seem to gain a fool's wisdom while inheriting senseless self destruction? Is this what this whole isolation is about? If so, it's a concept I'm not in love with. Do I pray? What's the point? Do I complain? Who will listen? Do I explore finding another way? I'm just drained. Go away, maybe I'll stay in my bed today and accomplish absolutely nothing.
Thank you to everyone who participated in last night’s One Book One Town author program! We are so grateful to Ibi Zoboi and Dr. Yusef Salaam for taking the time to share their wise and uplifting words with us about Punching the Air. We’d also especially like to thank our community partner, Fairfield University, for hosting this virtual event. Check back soon for a recording of the evening!
Fairfield Public Library has a new podcast! The staff at the Fairfield Public Library love to read and our new monthly podcast will showcase what we are reading and what we are looking forward to in the near future.
In our first episode, we talk about our 2021 One Book, One Town selection, Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam. You can listen below. Don’t forget to subscribe for more episodes!
This is the signature event of Fairfield’s One Book One Town 2021 celebration! Join us for a wonderful evening with the authors of Punching the Air, Ibi Zoboi and Dr. Yusef Salaam. The story of a tragic event leading to an unjust imprisonment and the impact it has on family and community, Punching the Air shows how strength can be found in the power of art and poetry. Ibi Zoboi is a New York Times bestselling author; Dr. Yusef Salaam, of the Exonerated Five, is a poet, prison reform activist and inspirational speaker.