Posted in life, thoughts, travel

NYC & Internal Strife

It has already been a couple of years since my first adventures in The Big Apple. Now, I have more to report after my brief but bustling two day trip in NYC.

NYC reminds me of a hyperactive toddler being handed a king size Hershey’s bar and a large bowl of ice cream. The secret pulse and rhythm of the city still amazes me. Everything has a pace and a place. Everything is moving or moving towards moving and where there is a stillness it is always a stillness with purpose.

NYC also reminds me a little of human beings and internal strife. Compacted into such a relatively small space for everything that NYC has to offer is a mix of hope as well as fear; love as well as discrimination and hate; dreams coming true as well as shattered desires lining the side walks like discarded trash. NYC is truly a discombobulated yet cohesive environment of its own time, space, and dimensions.

So are we…

This time in NYC I found myself thinking a lot about where my current roads are leading me in the future. I thought about my own struggles and battles with adversity, facing my fears and faced with the facts that I still can not overcome many of them. It was a sucker punch to the gut realizing that I have come a very long way and added many miles to my internal strifes but yet have gone full circle in many respects.

Just like my late night wanderings in the city that never sleeps so to does my mind wander endlessly till it is sore and fatigued searching for a hidden purposes sheltered by blinding light, fear and renewal. The skyscrapers that lurk and tower over my inner being mimic those that towered over my entirely in Times Square.

Maybe this trip was not about what I thought it was going to be. I walked into this feeling lucky I was given such an opportunity and grateful that I had decided to take it. By the end, ready to go home , defeated, I realized this trip was not about relaxing or sight seeing NYC at all. This trip was about being forced to face things I have been ignoring in the simple security of life’s daily monotony. The complexity, unfamiliarity and unpredictability of NYC was simple the mirror in front of me challenging me to take much needed time to reflect and to no longer neglect my own internal strife. In the heart of a city swarming with traffic, mobs of selfies snapping tourists and irritated New Yorkers while lost navigating the subway I found answers I have been searching for for quite some time. In that internal strife I found the answers to mine.

– Eva M.M.

Previous Posts from my first time in NYC.

https://1withthepen.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/new-york-city-part-1/

https://1withthepen.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/new-york-city-part-2/

Thank you for reading and letting me know any questions, comments or recommendations. I would love to hear about your own personal experiences with NYC.

” Me and the pen, we are one. If its ink would cease to flow, my ink would cease to flow.”

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Posted in life

College Life: Year 1.

Flashback to last week when I walked out of the classroom fatigued, slightly confused, relived and educated. That was my state of being leaving my last class of my last semester of my first year. One down, three more to go. College life has already sped by and now it is time to reflect on this past year and how I have changed.

Okay, technically I am not done yet. I still have four finals and a paper due. I won’t be done until this Wednesday BUT I think I am allowed to celebrate making it through all of my classes without dying, failing or both. I have completed a total of 11 courses. I am officially done with my math requirements as well as many of my other basic gen ed requirements. I found employment on campus, made connections, made friends and tested the waters of many new things. I labored hours over essays… then deleted over half of them… then labored some more hours. I finished my public speaking requirement all without vomiting, fainting, crying, or fainting into my tear filled vomit. I wrote a eulogy for Winnie the Pooh and advocated to protect sharks. I taught the class how to cook homemade egg-rolls and a little bit about myself. I danced across a dance floor at least 100 times relearning how to do everything from a plié to pique and even attempted to do some back bending, gravity defying turn. J’ai appris beaucoup de français et j’ai écrit un article de blog entier en français. I learned about artists from the beginning of time and wrote a twenty page paper on Hieronymus Bosch. I wrote poems. I read poems. I weeped over not getting my poems published. I wrote papers on the working poor, and the porn industry as well as a paper on a story from a culture entirely foreign to me, Māori culture. I gave presentations on everything from Easter traditions and customs in France to the Louvre to a Service Project I conducted for my Honors class. Not to mention I had to coordinate with many group partners on projects including my Service project. I worked with many organizations. I volunteered. I did service for my community. I visited a local high-school working to mentor teens. I visited an after-school program and spoke about recycling. I organized food at the food pantry with my aunt. I ran a book drive for kids on campus and I helped set up t-shirts during domestic violence awareness month. I did a lot. Most importantly, I grew as a person and I learned a lot.

I learned…

  • that I can do a lot of things I did not think I could do when I put my mind to it.

  • that I don’t have to be afraid of relationships that I can’t define

  • that not all relationships need to be defined

  • that hard work does not always pay off but if someone, anyone acknowledges it then it is worth it.

  • that not all resources to help students succeed are actually that helpful but that it does not hurt to try them now and again

  • getting invovled with your community,clubs, etc. and making connections leads to unexpected opprotunites

  • trying your best and working your hardest often results in rewards.

  • you have to make time for the things you love

And of course, I also learned a lot of both useful and meaningless information in my classes.

As I finish reflecting on this year I want to say a few last things.

First, thank you to all of my teachers, faculty members, University staff, tutors etc. for everything that you do. I am lucky that I am able to afford college and learn everything that I want to. I am lucky to be in the Honors Program with a community of friends and classmates who share many of the same aspirations as me. I am lucky to attend such a welcoming school which always puts my success first.

I must also thank all of my friends for getting me through the rough patches and for all of your advice, hard-work and much needed coffee sessions.

Lastly, I must thank four more people. Thank you mom and dad for being supporting and encouraging parents. Thank you mom for all the food you send to me. Thank you dad for always being willingly to make the short jaunt up here if I need anything. I must also thank my aunt for providing me with a warm home and helping me through the year.

Lastly, I must thank dearest C, you know who you are, for being the most gentle and understanding person I know and pulling me through some of the roughest patches and sharing in my joys during my brightest moments. You have never lost faith in me and always told me I could do everything from a scary French presentation to writing a stressful lit paper.

So, although it is not technically done yet. Thank you to everyone including you readers who have continued to read my blog even as it has become more sparse with postings… and I look forward to next year!

Photograph Credit: https://www.iusb.edu/portal/apply.php.

-Eva M. M.

” Me and the pen, we are one. If its ink would cease to flow, my ink would cease to flow.”

Posted in Movie review, thoughts

Critique de film “Ava” pour le français 102

Information de base:  

Récemment, j’ai regardé le film ‘Ava’ en français. Lien vers Ava Bande annonce: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpxlr8dTYrQ.  

C’est un drame passage à l’âge adulte / romance avec un peu d’humour. Le film a été réalisé par Lea Mysius, qui est un ancien scénariste et réalisateur. Il a été produit par Jean-Louis Livi, Patrick Armisen, Fanny Yvonnet.  download (2).jpg

Le film dure 1 heure et 45 minutes. C’est pour un public mature. Il contient de la nudité et de la violence et a été classé MA15 +. Il a été réalisé en mai 2017.  

D’autres choses intrigantes sur le film selon www.thefrenchfilmfestival.com

“Tourné sur film 35mm pour accentuer une palette de couleurs saturées de tons chauds et dorés, l’aveuglement d’Ava est aussi une métaphore de la tendance croissante de la société française contemporaine à embrasser l’extrémisme, ainsi que la détresse sociale croissante: une méditation habile sur la politique, la sensualité et la joie de vivre de la jeunesse, une chronique rafraîchissante de la maturité d’une jeune fille.” 

Évaluation et récompenses:

Il a reçu une note de 85% sur les tomates pourries. (Rotten Tomatoes) Le film a été nominé pour 10 prix. Il en a gagné six. Parmi eux, le prix SACD au festival du film de Cannes 2017 et le prix du meilleur film au festival du film 2017 de Stockholm. Vous pouvez visite IMDb pour la liste complète des nonimations et des récompenses. 

Rencontrez le casting:  Noee-Abita_-Cesar-Revelations-2018--03-662x997

Noée Abita: (Ava, C’est prononce Ah-va): Elle est née en 1998 tout comme moi mais elle est déjà une actrice en développement. 

 

3210816Laure Calamy: ( Maud, la mère de Ava): 

Laure Calamy a 40 ans et est une actrice française populaire. Parmi ses autres rôles, mentionnons Park Benches en 2009 et en 2014 French Woman. Elle a commencé sa carrière d’actrice en 2000. 

 

Juan Cano: ( Juan,  l’ami d’Ava) download (1).jpg

 

Ce sont les trois personnages principaux, mais la distribution inclut aussi Tamara Cano (Jessica), Ismaël Capelot, Mila Cheuzzi (Ines), Carmen Gimenez (Carmen) et Sarah Utrera, entre autres. 

Vue d’ensemble: 

Ava est une fille de 13 ans en vacances près d’une plage avec sa mère. Elle apprend qu’elle va perdre la vue. Alors que sa mère veut qu’elle profite de leurs longues vacances, Ava est têtue et indépendante. Ava explore sa propre liberté, sa jeunesse et sa sexualité tout en luttant contre la perte de sa vision.  

Résumé détaillé du intrigue: 

Au début du film, elle vole un chien noir. Nous apprenons plus tard que ce chien appartient à Juan, un garçon en fuite. Au fur et à mesure que le film progresse, Ava explore sa sexualité et poursuit de nombreuses aventures avec Juan. Après de nombreuses petites rencontres avec Juan, Ava et Juan commencent à un lien unique. Bientôt ce lien se transformera en quelque chose de plus.Ava nomme le chien Loupo. Ava participe a un cours de char à voile, où elle rencontre Matthias (Baptiste Archimbaud), le fils du moniteur et plus tard, elle rencontre Tété (Daouda Diakhaté). Tété, est la mère de son nouveau petit ami / amant. Quand elle raconte ses cauchemars à sa mère et qu’on lui dit qu’elle doit garder sa sœur à côté, Ava se fâche et se fâche. Ava abandonne sa petite soeur le lendemain et sort pour apprendre à se guider avec d’autres sens. Elle plisse les yeux et utilise Loupo comme guide. Elle rentre à la maison pour écrire dans un journal qu’elle commence à garder. Plus tard, elle et sa mère se battent et Ava revient à la plage, les yeux bandés, se déshabille et va nager. Juan, qui vit parmi les rochers, la regarde. Il ramasse Loupo alors qu’elle se précipite pour s’habiller, il s’éloigne. Ce soirté, Ava a plus de cauchemars. Elle rêve de sa sœur mourante et d’étranges rêves sexuels. Puis elle retourne aux rochers pour chercher Loupo. Au lieu de cela, elle trouve où vit de Juan. 

 

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Effrayée, elle se tourne pour partir et tombe sur Matthias. Après avoir reconnu la femme qui discutait avec Juan en tant que serveuse Ava et sa mère rentre à la maison. Loupo est sur le sol couvert de sang. Ava retourne dans les rochers pour trouver Juan. Il est étendu sur le sol blessé. Ava essaie de lui aide. Comme elle ne peut pas voir, elle attend jusqu’à demain matin pour se guérir de Juan.Juan ne semble pas aimer Ava. Ava rentre chez en colère. Le soir elle passe du temps avec Matthias et ils s’embrassent. Pourtant, il n’y a pas de lien entre eux.Ava peint son champ de vision chaque nuit et le regarde devenir plus petit. Alors qu’elle retourne aux rochers et finalement Juan et elle passent la journée ensemble. Ils prennent de l’argile et peignent leurs corps. Puis ils vont à une plage nudiste et les gens avec le pistolet de Juan, volent d’eux. La police les trouve et essaye d’arrêter Juan pour les détournement de fonds de trouver Ava depuis que sa mère a signalé sa disparition. Ava prend le pistolet de Juan et menace les policer. Ils fuient.Ils volent un moto et passent la nuit dans un bâtiment abandonné. Juan dit à Ava qu’ils doivent se rendre dans une communauté gitane pour récupérer sa voiture. Ava appelle rapidement sa mère paniquée. Juan et Ava créent un plan. Ava posera comme aidant dans le mariage de Jessica.Ava se faufile dans un caravane à la recherche des clés et des papiers de Juan. Elle doit se dépêcher car la police est à proximité. Juan trouve Ava et ils s’enfuient de la police. Dans les bois plus tard dans la nuit, Jessica les voit conduire la voiture de Juan. Elle leur tend les clés silencieusement. Le film se termine sur Ava souriant radieusement à Juan. 

Mes pensées: 

Je pensais que le film était très bien fait mais parfois je pensais que l’intrigue était confuse. Je n’avais pas de sous-titres français et j’apprends toujours le français, donc si vous êtes comme moi, je vous recommande de le regarder avec des sous-titres français. Dans l’ensemble, mes deux scènes préférées étaient le vol de personnes sur la scène de plage nudiste et Juan et Ava sur la route. C’était très drôle et vivant.

Si vous êtes intéressé à voir un film, je recommanderais Ava. Je pensais que le jeu était bien fait aussi. Par exemple, Ava et Juan semblaient tous les deux être de vraies personnes qui formaient un véritable lien. Je voulais en voir plus et en apprendre davantage sur Maud, la mère d’Ava.Je pense que le meilleur aspect de ce film était le tournage. J’aimais la façon dont la caméra fait miroiter la perte de vision d’Ava à certains moments. Je pensais aussi que la bande-son était parfaite pour les aventures et les luttes qu’Ava ressentait. Je pense que ma plus grande critique de ce film sérait d’avoir un peu plus de dialogue. Parfois, suivre l’intrigue sans dialogue était un défi. 

Sources référencées et si vous souhaitez plus d’informations:  

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6194530/awards?ref_=tt_awd

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5674565/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6194530/

https://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org/film/ava

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ava_(film)

Photos politesse de: 

Ava avec un pistolet :

http://www.cineuropa.org/ff.aspx?t=ffocusvideo&l=en&tid=3117&did=328712

Affiche d’ Ava : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6194530/

Laure Calamy: https://www.larep.fr/orleans/loisirs/scene-musique/2017/05/10/laure-calamy-un-talent-orleanais-dans-la-serie-dix-pour-cent_12396101.html

Noée Abita: https://www.gettyimages.fr/photos/abita

Ava dormant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WF9-e8J8t4

Ava avec la crème glacée: http://critics-associated.com/ava-review/

Ava et Juan: http://screenanarchy.com/2017/12/review-ava-nakedly-attacks-the-female-coming-of-age-film.html

Ava et maquillage: https://en.unifrance.org/movie/42860/ava

Ava et Juan/ moto: https://www.richmix.org.uk/events/film/bfi-london-film-festival-ava

Juan Cano: https://www.afcinema.com/Le-directeur-de-la-photographie-Paul-Guilhaume-parle-de-son-travail-sur-Ava-de-Lea-Mysius.html?lang=fr

Lea Mysius: http://www.semainedelacritique.com/en/directors/lea-mysius

Note to readers: As many of you probably have already realized this post is very different from what I usually post. I am hoping that for those of you out there who might not know French you are still able to translate this page somehow and read it. For those of you who do speak French, I would love to hear your opinions on my writing. I am doing this for part of a school project but the more feedback the better. And for all readers I would love to hear your thoughts on this movie if you have seen it. As always I welcome any suggestions on movies to watch, music to listen to and books to read. I know I have not posted in a while but I promise after school ends here soon you can expect more regular posts.

Thank you, and Merci beaucoup.

-Eva M.M.

 

Posted in Daily Motivation, life, thoughts

Daily Motivation: The Radiance of the Disconnected.

Lately technology turned against me more than ever. While I don’t really believe I need technology to survive,  as a college student nearing finals with looming due dates on papers, speeches and presentations, I have to face the facts. There is hardly a way to go to college without spending bare minimum of two hours staring at some screen. That is why when my phone stopped charging about a week ago I panicked. How was I going to do my double login to do my homework? How was I going to let people know that I was busy and could not meet with them? How was I going to do anything that I needed to do? My phone was my second lifeline when it comes to college life. If that wasn’t enough my computer had a brief moment once again where it decided not to charge as well. The timing was awful and while my laptop is once again mysteriously charging my phone is still not. I am able to charge it wirelessly on campus where they have wireless chargers and until then I am mostly avoiding using it. In some ways I am far from off the grid. In other ways, even though I am still in theory quite connected, I have received a jolt of memory on what my life was like  before technology… and I think it was a lot better then.

So what is it about technology that has been enslaving me from reaching that same level do radiance that I once had. Certainly it isn’t impossible to find that tranquility and stillness in today’s technology dense world… but it is complicated when you are in a place surrounded by it. The main reason I have struggled lately is accessibility. When technology is right before you and you have a moment of boredom it quickly becomes your answer. Once I would spend my time erasing boredom with any number of activities, now it is all to simple to let technology fill that void. In some ways having technology fail me was the only way for me to realize what I once had and to learn from it.  This all coming from someone who doesn’t even like technology all that much. That begin said, I forgot how much I have come to rely on it and also mindlessly adhere to it’s beckoning demands.

There is a radiance, a silence and a tranquility that cannot be found with your palms glued to a screen or keyboard. Something has been lost in this vast forest of robotic voices and emojis. Something I think that does not have to be lost. Something which I still think we can achieve in our world today but awareness, choice and an eagerness to possess it are fundamental to its blossoming. There is a lost radiance of the disconnected which I inadvertently found myself reuniting with in a way I haven’t in years. While I may be a reflective, quiet, meditative person who rarely gets majorly stressed or thrown off balance, even I found myself in the mire of technology. While I miss many of the conveniences and luxuries  and it is soon to be fixed, I think a new awareness has been brought to me of what my necessities really are. Note to self: Technology is not at the top of that list.

-Eva M.M.

Thank you for reading and stopping by. I hope that that gave you something to think about for today and perhaps a new outlook on technology and its place in our lives.

” Me and the pen, we are one. If its ink would cease to flow, my ink would cease to flow.”

Posted in book review, books, thoughts

Book Review : Jack Knife By: Virginia Baker

Virginia Baker writes a thriller debut novel which mashes past and present in a dangerous double edged man hunt. Jack Knife is the tale of three time travelers brought together in the grimy streets of 19th century London. One with an evil plot to overthrow the English government and the others on a chase to bring him back to their time. None of them anticipated the truths they would find, the love and the heartbreak they would encounter, the dangers that they would face or the impact it could have on history. They must hurry to save lives and solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper before history is ultimately altered.

I would recommend this book to you if you enjoy reading thrillers, mysterious stories and or time traveling stories. I am giving it a eight out of ten on my scale. Even though this story was a twist on the tale of Jack and Ripper it is more of a investigative chase then a violent horror filled book.

I am interested: Have any of you read this book? Do you have any suggestions of books for me  to read?

-Eva M.M.

” Me and the pen, we are one. If its ink would cease to flow, my ink would cease to  flow.”

Posted in song analysis, songs, thoughts

Song Analysis ” One Eyed Lady” By: Sóley Repost.

imagesSóley is an Icelandic indie pop artist who does both solo work under her name, Sóley and group work with a seven person Icelandic band Seabear. Her music tends to have lighter vocals but also has a dark surrealistic feel to it. In Sóley’s own words she tends to  “express her hope that listeners will decipher their own meaning from the words”. In respect to her wishes and to one of my favorite songs of her’s, I decided to write an analysis on this song, “One Eyed Lady”, off of her Album Ask The Deep.

The song starts out quiet and slightly eerie and slowly builds up in intensity. While the song never loses its tranquil tone it does excel in ideas. First, it talks about the one eyed lady herself and then by the end it addresses us listeners. 

These are the lyrics that someone gave me on my last version of this since the lyrics were a little off. It is not entirely different but there are some differences between the two due to the lyrics. 

Did he disappear?
Did he really leave her here to die?

She’s hungry and alone
And needs to find the way to get to him

The first two lines of this song almost attest to a level of disbelief. She cannot believe that he really left her to die. Yet, it goes beyond simple disbelief and she must be full of the deepest anger and resentment as well. Thus two emotions which dominate this song are mentioned: love and anger. This is where we begin to see a precise interrelationship between the two which becomes more prominent as the song advances. Perhaps the song itself being about a one eyed lady, can mean she has one focus and one focus alone,revenge or the need to be loved? Her need to get to him as the song states.

And she’s the one eyed lady
She pours herself a nice little glass of wine
And prepares all her magics
All the weird tricks she will use to get to him

Next their are possible references to the alcoholic effect of feeling that it gives her some beyond strength but also as the last line concludes the wicked tricks she may employ to get him in her snare, ” her magics” as the song states. Thus, we have the idea that the killing which is mentioned later in the song may be both literal and figurative.

She runs into the forest
The trees are pushing her towards the hill
She lights them all on fire
So they can all fly with her and help to kill

And she’s the one eyed lady
She tricked (tripped) him down
Led him to the water
Where she would push him down
Hold him down until he’s dead

Would you kill for love?
Would you kill for love?
Would you kill for love?

Would you kill for love?
Would you kill for love?
Would you kill for love?

Then this darker imagery continues to mimic the tone of the song further. She is luring him down. She is pushing him down and it is the trees themselves which are helping her in her vengeful mission. The the song turns to address us as the listeners. We are asked the same question that must have internally asked herself at one point: ” Would you kill for love?” In some ways this leaves the question open ended for us. If we were in her situation would we do the same thing. It is easy to condemn her for her actions even though he left her to die, but if we were in her place what would we do? Therefore, the song ends with an eerie question of morality, love and as the theme of this song goes  anger.

Further Links for more Information and to support the artists:

 

Note: All lyric credit to the artist.

-Eva M.M

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on this song as well as any future songs you would like to hear my thoughts on or think I may enjoy.

” Me and the pen, we are one. If its ink would cease to flow, my ink would cease to flow.”

 

Posted in book review, books, life, story, thoughts

East of Eden: My Reflections, Q & A and Rant.

I recently finished reading John Steinbeck’s East of Eden for about the eighth or ninth time. It still stands as my favorite book if I had to choose a favorite that is. For a while now I have thought about writing a post like this for those of you who might be wondering a few things about the book and me.  I tried to stay away from any spoilers in this post but majorly failed so  SPOILER ALERT! Also, these are only my thoughts and interpretations of the books although most people agree on many of the themes and ideas I mention here. If you have not read the book yet and are interested in doing so I would advise reading it then coming back to this post and sharing your own thoughts with me. Since this is my favorite book, I really love hearing how it has changed and influenced  others lives and what others like or dislike about it( though I find it hard to believe anyone would dislike this book at all.) Here are some common questions I have been asked in conversations about the book, Steinbeck and just a few others things I wanted to include in this post.

  1. How did I first come across the book?  

This is actually one of my favorite stories to tell about how I learned about a book. Flash back to around 2013 and little Eva entering high school. Ninth grade year Humane Letters class. I can’t remember how the book fit into whatever discussion we were having but my teacher at that time read us a passage from the book, the scene where Adam  is sitting with Lee naming the twins ( Cal and Aron), I think. The teachers at my school were reading the book for a faculty book discussion that they carry out every year. After, she read us the passage many of us had questions about the book. She said to paraphrase, that it was an beautiful crafted book but that it was probably a little heavy for many of us. In fact, she strongly discouraged us reading it. Naturally, that only made me more curious. I had heard of Steinbeck but up until then I had never read anything he wrote. I went that week end and checked out the book from the library. That day changed my life in many ways.

2. Why is it my favorite book?

      This is one of those questions that internally I know the very answer to but never know how to put into words. I will try…

One question that I think I have been asking myself for years without realizing it until I first read this book was: Am I a Cal or an Aron, a Charles or an Adam, a Cain or an Abel, a Cathy or perhaps an Abra? In other words, as a human being I struggle with the same story we all do, as Steinbeck so elegantly states and as shown in this post I created and put on Instagram a few weeks ago.

26864231_1975222659185145_6632097084675719168_n.jpg

Maybe I just feel that Steinbeck encapsulates the human condition, the human story and my own struggles like no one else can. I feel this bond in his words that resonates so strongly with me and my life. It isn’t about  the way the story reads, though it reads beautiful and I stand in awe of his use of language. It is about looking into the pages and seeing my own reflection.  It is about wanting to hate Cathy, or Charles and call them evil…but then seeing myself in them. It is about knowing we are all in the Land of Nod, east of Eden, struggling between good and evil like those in Steinbeck’s Salinas Valley who find themselves stuck between the darkness of the Santa Lucia Mts and the goodness of the Gablian mountains. 

In short, I love the book  because of its amazing penmanship, its message, my connection to the author( who connects himself directly to the text in many ways therefore displaying his own struggle with good and evil), my connection to humanity through it and my personal struggles with good and evil.

3. What do I take away as the key message from the book?

      I kind of went into this one in the last question. I think these are the keys points though.  

             i.)  Good and evil are part of being human… but we have Choice, in a biblical sense, free will. 

            ii.) Having that choice may be important but we have to learn to want what is good and to go after it even in the face of personal battles that may lure us to the evil.

          iii.) Identity: We can’t take what is given to us for all that we are. We are not those who came before us. Even Lee shows this idea throughout the text. He may be Chinese but that does not define him and in many ways he doesn’t relate to it. Yet, he finds himself connected to that part of himself in other ways as well… he isn’t afraid to choose to be something outside of his nationality.  This is also about Choice. Choosing to perhaps go against your inner voice and also the choice to see the good in yourself and others. We can’t identity with only the darkness in us, Cal and Adam both struggled with this throughout the book. Of course, there is the question of whether Cathy had any good in her…. but I think she did, she just chose to never see it, to never feed it and therefore she died full of darkness.

iii.) Naming/ Familial Bonds: Commonly this is something that is not a key theme but I think it is really important. Not only do we see this importance in places such as when Adam refuses to name the twins but we also see in through other characters.  Cal chooses to go by Cal instead of Caleb, his full name. While the story offers this has a simple choice of preferences, it is interesting that at the very end of the story when Cal is receiving Adam’s blessing the name Caleb is uttered. We can see this significance in relation to the bible. In the bible, names are an important thing uniting people to god. In fact, another reason names are such an important theme in the book is because of Steinbeck’s choice of names. As I mentioned earlier the names can be divided into two main categories, those that start with C and those that start with A, likened then to the biblical Cain and Abel ( good and evil once again, as well as the ideas of acceptance, rejection and blessings). This also ties into my next point about familial bonds in the story. While one may argue that families are only stressed so much in the story because you have to have background in any story to understand what is going on, I disagree. The story is built around different familial structures all a part of a whole, that of humanity which as I mentioned earlier is the crux of the story. The story of humanity and our struggles. Therefore, names and naming as well as familial structures, relationships and bonds or lack there of  are more key themes and sub themes in East of Eden.

While, I do believe there are more themes in this book and perhaps will consider doing more posts on this book in a different format in the future, these are the four main themes from the book in my opinion: Good versus evil ( as shown in many forms and through many biblical references, choice( free will), Identity ( personal, national, familial, and choice involved in it), and the importance of family/familial bonds as well as the significance of names and naming.

4. If I am not religious then why do I latch onto many of the ideas in the book so firmly?

Some of this I already covered in the above questions but in short, I don’t think this book is saying god is the only way. I don’t deny it can be read through a religious lens but I think it goes beyond that. I want to be clear though, I think it could not be what it is if it did not have the biblical references in it. It is about the human condition, so is the bible… and while I don’t believe the entire bible is true, I do believe that true or not it speaks to the human condition… the same in many ways with East of Eden.

5.  Have I read in other Steinbeck books?

     Yes. After reading East of Eden. I read The Grapes of Wrath, Cup of Gold. Of Mice and Men, The Red Pony, Cannery Row, and The Wayward Bus. In fact, I consider Steinbeck my favorite author overall since most of his books carry similar ideas and sentiments that I resonate with on a very deep level. 

I know this was a bit of a longer post but like I said I wanted to address many questions in regards to my relationship with this book. If you have any others or want to know more drop your questions in the comments and if I get enough maybe I will make a part 2. Also, if you want to see more quote art work follow me on Instagram where I have shared more similar posts to the one above.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by my little ink angels and have a wonderful day!

-Eva M.M.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in song analysis, songs, thoughts

Song Analysis ” One Eyed Lady” By: Sóley

imagesSóley is an Icelandic indie pop artist who does both solo work under her name, Sóley and group work with a seven person Icelandic band Seabear. Her music tends to have lighter vocals but also has a dark surrealistic feel to it. In Sóley’s own words she tends to  “express her hope that listeners will decipher their own meaning from the words”. In respect to her wishes and to one of my favorite songs of her’s, I decided to write an analysis on this song, “One Eyed Lady”, off of her Album Ask The Deep.

The song starts out quiet and slightly eerie and slowly builds up in intensity. While the song never loses its tranquil tone it does excel in ideas. First, it talks about the one eyed lady herself and then by the end it addresses us listeners. 

One Eyed Lady

Did he disappear
Did he really leave her here today
She’s angry and in love

And needs to find a way to get to him
She’s the one eyed lady
She pours herself a nice little glass of wine
And breed by sad hard magic
Or the weird tricks she will use to get to him

The first two lines of this song almost attest to a level of disbelief. She cannot believe that he really left her. Then emotions, which dominate this song are mentioned: love and anger. This is where we begin to see a precise interrelationship between the two which becomes more prominent as the song advances. Perhaps the song itself being about a one eyed lady, can mean she has one focus and one focus alone. Her need to get to him as the song states.Then we see the language of sad, hard magic. This can refer to the alcoholic effect of feeling that it gives her some beyond strength but also as the last line concludes the wicked tricks she may employ to get him in her snare. Thus, we have the idea that the killing which is mentioned later in the song may be both literal and figurative.

She runs into the forest
The trees are pushing her towards the hill
She lights them all on fire
So they cannot fly with her and tell to kill
She’s the one I played him
She tricked him down
Led him to the water where she pushed him down
Hold him down until he’s dead
Would you kill for love
Kill for love
Kill for love?
Would you kill for love
Kill for love
Kill for love?

Then this darker imagery continues to mimic the tone of the song further. She is luring him down. She is pushing him down but then the song abruptly takes a turn. It addresses  us as the listeners. perhaps, we are thinking that this lady is taking her break up a little to far. But it addresses us because there is the possibility that we all could be susceptible to her actions, yet again both figuratively and literally. One last thing, is that some of the lines are both questions and statements. Kill for love… can be a statement, a command to kill for love or a question, would you kill for love. Once again, the duality of this line leaves things open ended when addressing us as listeners and leaves us wondering would we ever truly kill for love?

Further Links for more Information and to support the artists:

 

Note: All lyric credit to the artist.

-Eva M.M

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on this song as well as any future songs you would like to hear my thoughts on or think I may enjoy.

” Me and the pen, we are one. If its ink would cease to flow, my ink would cease to flow.”

 

Posted in life, Poems, thoughts

De-con-stru-ct-ion in vague.

Why did you ask if I was angry when

rain was filling my

lungs

are

titanium tanks over

flowing with hate;

I hope you can forgive

my doubled up wa

-lls; I hope you

can forget my

subconscious lies

but if you are still wondering

oui, I am a pissed off.

-Eva M.M.

Note on the art: All credit to the artist.

Hey everyone, thanks as always for stopping by and checking out my post. If you are new to the 1withthepen community I invite you to share your thoughts and ask any questions you may have, as well as explore some of my older post and pages at the menu on top. Thanks and all the best wishes!  🙂

” Me and the pen, we are one. If its ink would cease to flow, my ink would cease to flow.”

Posted in Uncategorized

My Mirror Lab Creations 2

Part One of this series was a lot of fun so I decided to do a part 2.

Here are some of my favorite latest creations using the Mirror Lab App.

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I hope you enjoyed these creations as much as I did creating them. If you have an image you think would look interesting as a creation. Comment a link to it below and I will try it out.

Thanks, have a wonderful day and stay warm!

-Eva M.M.

” Me and the pen, we are one. If its ink would cease to flow, my ink would cease to flow.”