All posts by sydthewritinkid

There’s a Grief that can’t be Spoken

BLOG TWO

While there are many current popular trends on Tik Tok, my favorite one to watch is “Yeah art doesn’t affect me”. This is a trend that starts off with a song, and in the first sentence of the song, the person will say, “Yeah art doesn’t affect me”. When the second sentence begins they will show a piece of art that has affected them in some form. I love it more when they explain the artwork or piece in depth so we all can understand its reasoning for being so impactful.

There has been a lot of really impactful art out there that people posted. The first one I saw that hit harder is an art piece from a girl name Quin Han. Many artist know Qinni from her artwork on Instagram, but she is most famous for this artwork meme.

Qinniart: Instagram | Twitter

Qing was a freelance artist that used mostly watercolor in her drawings. She had a genetic heart condition and went through four open heart surgeries between 2015 and 2018. She spent those year using art as a coping mechanism and posted them on her media’s along with updates of her life. At the end of December (the 30th) of 2019, she was told she has stage 4 Fibrosis Sarcoma cancer and that she had about a year and a half to live. She passed away February 8, 2020. Qinni is known for her goldfish and glowing stars, when people see them in art many think about her.

Are You Still in Pain – KailD-Art

If I was to do this “yeah art doesn’t affect me” trend. My response would be this song called An American Elegy by Frank Ticheli.

You should listen to it now and keep reading because it is a very pretty song and it’s classical so it doubles as good background filler 😀

A little backstory on me: I have always had my passion in music, a lot of my childhood and being is centered around music. I was a choir kid and switched to band in seventh grade, I stayed in band up to my first two years of college. I was going to pursue music and be a music major; I also wanted my parents to be proud of me. With my mom naysay, I stopped playing music. A lot of things went downhill from there, leading to me quitting college, started working. I think my mom noticed the impact of events or was uncomfortable seeing me in the state I was in. She signed me up for the concert band at our local community center.

Being in the band was short lived, but I have pleasant memories there. I remember this one day we receive a new song and we were sight reading it, and there was a trumpet solo. And the trumpets first two notes took me to a place I went to with my church.

We were on a mission trip to Ciudad Acuña, Mexico (August 2013) to build a shed size home for each family (we worked with two families in need of a house). We drove all the way there and one of our stops was in Oklahoma at a memorial called The Field of Empty Chairs.

Each chair is a person that was killed in the Federal Building Bombing: 168 chairs in total, 19 smaller chairs represent children. This trumpet solo took me to this place of empty chairs. More specifically, it shows me an image of a tree at the memorial that watches over the field. It is called The Survivor Tree and it is an American elm, it withstood the bombing and is now the symbol of resilience.

It took me to this tree in the early morning, just as the sun was coming up and there was a little boy with his trumpet and he standing near the ledge, playing this trumpet solo, overlooking all these chairs, these people (for anyone curious, the solo starts at 8:10 on the video above, ends ~9:15).

But I just started crying. Which was crazy to me because yes I was sad there, but never felt an urge to cry. But in that moment I was so moved and mournful. I can’t quite describe what I felt other than it felt real and peaceful in a place so heavy.

But it is a wonderful piece; I expect nothing less from Frank Ticheli. He is a great composer, I have loved all his pieces. I later found out that Ticheli composed An American Elegy to commemorate the lives lost in the 1999 Columbine Shooting. That was mind blowing to me; I should have known it from the title so I’m just slow.

So this would be my “art has never affected me before” artwork, definitely an art piece I hold close to my heart.

Thoughts that keep me up

I have many nights that are spent awake in thoughts so I thought I would write them down. I’m not sure if using a school blog is a good spot for this, but this is the only outlet I can think of so feel free to ignore this since this is me mostly venting.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how crazy life is, and NO these aren’t weed thoughts, but it’s more like, “If you told me in five years this would happen I would have told you, you were crazy.”

I came back home this Sunday afternoon from Nashville, Tennessee. My brother and I flew down there Wednesday and it was our first vacation without parental guidance or supervision. I went down there to be a bridesmaid for my dearest and closest friend to whom I have never personally met until this last week. Her name is Julia and we met each other my first year of college fall 2014.

I bought a laptop with my graduation money and met a TON of people online and I still talk to a handful of people from then. But I was naive and wronged by some and I fell into a dark place and isolated myself. One day, I decided to play Garry’s Mod (prop hunt to be exact) with a friend and there was this guy who was being loud and obnoxious, making jokes and stuff. Needless to say, his name is Jordan and we became quick friends. We hung out everyday after school and spent them playing games, joking around, and laughing into the night. We never talked about what we were dealing with in our lives, we came to each other to escape that and just have fun in each others company.

Jordan never failed to bring a smile to my face, even on the darkest of days. To this day, there is no one that has been able to clear my worries and sadness, no one who has made me laugh as much as he has; Jordan saved me and I am forever grateful.

Well one day, Jordan introduced me to his sister Julia and we have been friends ever since. We have seen each other grow and have overcome so much together and I love her so much, she is family to me. What I didn’t know was shortly after meeting Julia, Jordan would cut off all contact with me; my world shattered. I would ask Julia why and if I did something but she had no answer to give. The only words she could give me were these:

“Jordan was always the kid who could light up a room. He always knew how to make people laugh and he was always laughing too and making jokes; was always a bright person. He started dating Caroline (Jordan’s ex) and completely changed. He stopped laughing and smiling, started smoking and doing bad things. Before Jordan met you, he was in a really low place. But he started coming out of room again and making jokes and smiling again. I would hear him in his room laughing and for the first time is what seemed a long time he was himself again. I wanted to meet the person who helped Jordan. I know he’s not talking to you, I don’t know why he isn’t, but thank you for giving my family our brother back”

I later found out there was drama between Caroline and Jordan and she made him isolate himself for her. And eventually, I came to terms with losing what I considered a part of me, and the mentality of not speaking to Jordan again.

During that time I spent it making new friends and relations. Bought a ps4 after listening to Julia raving about a New Years party they had and all the awesome people they met. We still hang out with people from that New Years party and Julia just married one of the guys from that party (his name is Matt).

Julia and I spent a whole summer playing Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) when it released, we were the only ones who bought it. We decided to get married on ESO since we played so much and were always together, plus we are close and it would be a nice XP boost. I remember that day like it was yesterday; flying up into the air as our avatars spin in a circle, we just broke out into laughter. My long standing joke with Julia and Matt before they got married was that Julia is mine, she’s a taken women, she’s mine, I already married her. And Matt would always be like, “You motherfucker! Wait till you come down here” HAHAH.

But yeah these last 2-3 years have been crazy. Jordan started talking to me again, he started streaming and would invite me to hang out with him and we would play games together like the good old days, it was like time hadn’t passed nor anything happened between us. We all have busy life’s so we don’t hang out nearly as much as we once did but it’s always fun when we do.

I also found out that Jordan and Caroline broke up and that Jordan found a new girl and is married to her. Last Friday I got to met Jordan and his wife Erin and she is just a doll, we share a lot of common interest and I think we really hit it off, I hope that I can be close friends with her in the future. I think I spent more time on Saturday with Jordan and Erin than with Julia which was the wedding day so I’m not sure if that is good or bad.

So this is the thing that is keeping me awake is:

That Saturday morning Julia got me from my hotel and drove to the motel her side of the family was staying at to get dressed and ready for the wedding in a couple hours. I was stressed out because I had no where to get ready and I did not want to be in the way or of inconvenience. I tried to Uber, but no one wanted to drive to the church that was 30 minutes away. After pacing the upper level path for awhile Jordan and Erin come back from and Jordan’s like, “You okay?”

I was like, “No, I don’t have a place to get ready and I’ve been trying to get an Uber to the church but no one will take me.”

And Jordan was like, “Well then you can get ready in our room.”

I was like are you sure and they both agreed and we walked down to the end of the hall and into their room. Erin picked up her stuff and set her make up on the bed and said, “Feel free to use anything and all makeup, I already got ready so take your time.”

I thanked her and they both walked out. I quickly started to curl my hair and turned on some music. I remembered when Jordan introduced me to Mayday Parade, and made me listen to Terrible Things and how I couldn’t stop crying after listening to it. So I turned my Spotify to Mayday Parade.

Then I thought about when Jordan stopped talking to me and how much that hurt. How I thought that I would never speak him ever again and much less be in his hotel room these many years later. I thought about Erin and how she doesn’t know me and still let me in and let me use her things. And finally, I thought about how I was saved again by Jordan, that when I needed someone he was there. And I just started crying; overwhelmed in sadness, thankfulness, gratefulness, anxiety, and so many other feelings.

I felt the need to give something in return so I made the bed, picked up, and folded clothes on the floor and bed. When I finished, I went back to doing my make-up. Jordan and Erin came in and looked around like and were like, “I know this room was a mess when we came, I know we told the cleaning lady not to come in.”

I told them I did it and they thanked me and got on the bed and watched tik toks. I turned off my music to not disturb them and packed up to leave. Jordan was like, “You didn’t have to turn off your music I listen to that band all the time.”

When I tell you I perked up like an excited puppy, ohmigosh. I was like really? and he was like yeah, I love Mayday. I told him that he introduced me to the band and he was like, “Oh yeah, wow, that was so long ago.”

But yeah, after the wedding I spent most of the day hanging with Erin and Jordan, I got to sit in shot gun with just Jordan while he tail gated some people and we just laughed and talked. I thought I found closure a long time ago, but Saturday was the spoon full of sugar. To know that Jordan is happy and is with someone that loves him and treats him good and to know she is happy and is well taken care for, to know that they are okay, and to know that they both accept me and like me and want to hang out with me; that is my closure.

That night Julia and Matt where driving me back to the hotel from Dave & Busters and I told them about Jordan and Erin letting use their room and everything that was on my mind at the time. I got all choked up, but I told them that I’m so grateful to everyone and when I say everyone, I mean everyone. They all made me feel at home and they were all so nice to me and cared about me and treated me as family. And Julia was like, “Because you are family Sydney!” And I felt it, I received more hugs in three day than I have in the last, oh gosh, maybe five years.

I miss Julia and being with them, its weird not having her around. But as the saying goes, there is no place like home. As hectic and stressful as last week was for all of us, I wouldn’t have had it any other way and I’m so thankful to have known Julia for all these years and have these relations. I would have never thought we would be this close, or that I would ever meet her or her family, I especially did not think I would ever meet Matt. But I am happy I did and that I had my families support and trust.

Some people wait a lifetime to find the right people ya know, I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

The Card Called Coral Reefs

Over the summer, I took an environmental communications class for my racial issues graduation requirement. I learned a multitude of information on climate change and its effects. The first thing the professor has us do was watch a documentary that talked about climate change (CC). I watched a documentary called Chasing Coral, it was released to the public on Netflix in 2017. The premise was to find out why the coral was turning white, to which they coined this phenomenon as bleaching.

The whitening of coral in the Great Barrier Reef in the year 2016. Chasing Coral

After some research and sampling, they found that the coral was bleaching from water temperature increase. They discovered this when they increased the test water samples 2°C (3.6°F) more and thus caused the test corals to whiten. They understood that when people heard this seemingly insignificant change in temperature the majority would brush of their urgency (I am guilty as well). They told us to look at it this way:

You as a human being have a regulated body temperature of ~98.6°F (37°C). Now imagine increasing that temperature 2/3.6 degrees more, we are talking 102.2°F (39°C) temperatures. These are very sick to fatal numbers and that is exactly what is happening to the coral. That white you see, that is the corals skeleton.

The team of divers and photographers set out between the years of 2014-2017 to capture and record the worlds most severe bleaching event in recorded history. They found out that 75% of corals suffered or died from heat stress brought on by climate change in those years alone.

In the documentary, there was a Coral Reef Biologist named Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and he was talking about how everything in the world is connected. There we are pulling out this card called “coral reefs” and discarding it. He wonders how many cards will be discarded before everything collapse. How many cards will be pulled out before we notice? And how many before it’s too late?

Everything in white represents what would get effected with the extinction of coral reefs.

Near the end, they concluded that 67% of the northern region of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) was dead. This is equivalent to losing most of the trees between Washington D.C. to Maine. The GBR experienced its fourth mass bleaching this March; I will save you the heartache from those statistics.

That is when I came across this Tik Tok from an organization called Coral Gardeners. They found a breakthrough, creating “super corals” that is resilient to CC stressors. They are, quite literally, coral gardeners. This organization goes out and dives into their gardens of coral and raises them to be healthy enough to withstand CC and aid existing (or barely existing) reefs.

It made me so happy to know that there are people out there trying to help conserve these corals reefs and make them stronger. It is unfortunate that it has to come to this.

Coral Gardeners Website | Chasing Coral Website | Chasing Coral Documentary