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T hrough the L ens by N atalie R ich 1 thought T hought Think-Me-Not: Such a swell little flower, which grows in the mind. Always ahead, never behind. the hours that collide the days that rage the S nake that cannot S hed its S kin parishes Topple Topple Topple Topple Topple Topple Topple topple stand tall stand tall stand tall stand tall stand tall stand tall stand tall stand tall

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  • Through the Lens

    by Natalie Rich

  • 1thought

  • Thought

    Think-Me-Not:

    Such a swell little flower, which grows in the mind. Always ahead, never behind.

  • the seconds that splinter

    the minutes that fracture

    the hours that collide

    the days that rage

  • the Snake that cannot Shed its Skin parishes

  • topple

    Topple

    Topple

    Topple

    Topple

    Topple

    Topple

    Topple

    Topple

    Topple

    Topple

  • stand tall

    stand tall

    stand tall

    stand tall

    stand tall

    stand tall

    stand tall

    stand tall

    stand tall

    stand tall

    stand tall

  • Fire, flickering flames, hot so damn hotBoxed in, architecture, structure

    But go aheadlight your world on fireJust remember to enjoy the pretty sparksBecause come dawns first light, youll besleeping peacefully, snow white in the graytinderbox of ashes

  • Fire, flickering flames, hot so damn hotBoxed in, architecture, structure

    But go aheadlight your world on fireJust remember to enjoy the pretty sparksBecause come dawns first light, youll besleeping peacefully, snow white in the graytinderbox of ashes

  • Isola

    tion

    SolitudeLet me take you away from the worries. Come with me. Escape. Float above it all.

    To another place, another more distant, untouchable time, where they cant reach you. Share my meal of acorn stew. When the stars are in their indigo quilt, I will walk you to your mushroom house.

    Then

    we w

    ill da

    nce t

    he ni

    ght a

    way.

    Befor

    e you

    mus

    t tipto

    e bac

    k to b

    ed w

    here

    you s

    hall s

    leep.

    Sleep

    my c

    hild.

  • Wav

    es pro

    pel me

    Numbs my body, Exhilerates the mind

    Heaving, gasping, laughingBreathing life back in through your barely stirring chest until youre

  • Mo

    ral

    cu

    lpab

    ilit

    y v

    s Fr

    eew

    ill

    A tiny child walking adult hallsFootsteps patter so quietlythey mightnt make any soundat all

    Do they touch the ground?

    A firm, lean hand,warm, clasping Tightlyto the wavering, ghostly pale onetethering the thin balloon animal that is the girlHolding her to the earth.

    He feeds her a bananaperhaps if he puts something inside of hershe wont float out of his reach.

    eyes like glassy sea stonescast Downwardhiding beneath a shag rug of bangs

  • She doesnt speak to the boy because she craves nothing more than to Drift Awayinto the crying skywhere she would be weightless, and see-through.

    She knows it would hurt him;So instead she makes her tonguemush the banana against the top of her mouthlike a Swollen slugripe, Sickly sweet oozing.

    sentence.Punishment.string.knotted and tiedvery Firmly.

  • RegretI dont believe in regrets. However that doesnt mean I dont feel them. To regret something is to want to take back the words you mistakenly spoke, the things you inflicted on another out of spite, the unallowed thoughts you let enter your mind. These things weave a tight, sticky web to trap you in. Spun out of others reactions, the way they look at you or would look at you if they knew.

    No matter how much time passes the twinging, twisting feeling in the pit of your stomach will always linger.

    Its important, though, to make peace with your mistakes. Your mistakes define who youre not, not who you are.

  • The man lost his hands. They detached and levitated away, floating approximately six centimeteres from his wrists. The man was greatly puzzled and didnt know what to do with himself. When he moved for-ward, so did the hands. When he moved back, the hands did likewise and so on. He tried forcing the hands into a corner of the room, but somehow they always slipped away like slinky silver fish.

    It was as if thre was a wall behind him made of one-way glass. It had to be some kind of cruel joke produced by an optical illusion. The laughing behind his ears was constant and manic. They were laughing at him! They hated him. Im a freak of nature, he thought with self-loathing. That was when he realized the laugher was his own. And he was utterly alone.

    thoughts are the shadows of our feelings

  • ReflectionAt first it was very bizarre to have to respond without thinking to the prompts because an integral part of my personality tends to lean towards over-thinking and over-analyzing most aspects of my life and relationships. However as we continued it became easier and easier to very much disengage that part of my mind that chatters and just focus on being in the moment and doing what felt right. This progression was similar to the one I went through with my writing as well. Over the course of the unit, I found myself more readily pouring out the words I felt onto the page, worrying less about how it would seem as perceived from an external view and instead concentrating on the images and words that most accurately depicted what I wanted to express.

    One thing that did remain constant throughout the process though was how I rarely responded to the written prompts in my writing. Instead I always let the visual I created inform my writing. For instance, for the prompt Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings, my drawing had a man with his hands detached. So I wrote a story about the mental state of that man finding out his hands were suddenly detached, the phases of denial, self-loathing, and despair. Likewise for Solitude vs. Isola-tion my painting shows a mushroom house and my writing talks about escaping to a relaxing imagi-nary place, a kind of childhood-fairy-land.

    My favorite prompt was the Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings one because it caused me to produce something I never would have thought of otherwise. I tend to be a literal, emotion-based thinker. Im not good at producing surrealism work, so Im especially proud of that piece. On the other hand, my favorite medium was paint. I love the texture of it; its very therapeutic and relaxing.

  • One of the largest risks I took throughout this project was expressing a much darker side of my emotions. This year has not been easy on me, but Im someone whos very conscious of how I present myself. I dont like the world to see me at my lowest; its not something I choose to share with anyone but two or three of the people Im closest to. However, this project came at a time when I really needed an outlet for the things that were eating away at me from the inside, things I felt I would get in trouble for talking about, or even suggesting. It became a way for me to grapple those heavy ideas. This is most vividly expressed in Moral culpability vs. Freewill, which depicts how it feels to want to vanish into nothingness.

    The work has a dichotomy not present in my older art and writing. It flip-flops between a serious tone, with sub-dued color schemes and an otherworldly, bright escape. The former is seen in Regret, Moral culpability vs. Freewill and Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings. The latter in the line structure of eight and the colors of Solitude vs. Isolation.

    Themes:

    Mistakes, alone, day dreaming/mental escape, the places we hide in our mind, shedding every color, partisanship, lack of will, wanting, crushed, fear.