I live and breathe words. My heartbeat is the pounding sound of twenty-six letters being welded into tangible thoughts and sentences. My lungs inhale stories and exhale poetry. My nerve endings feel nothing but emotions. I bleed creation.
I am Rachel Sandene, aspiring author and poet extraordinaire. This blog is where you may find updates on my works in progress, some of my poetic works, and reblogs of things that inspire me. Thank you for visiting, and enjoy your stay.
Poetry is the evidence that the heart thinks and the mind feels.— N. Waheed (via miguu)
A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.— Franz Kafka (via jasmine1945)
The Nature of Loneliness
November 3, 2013
The last time I felt like I truly belonged
Was when I was still just a star shimmering in the night sky—
Because at least before my birth as a human being
I knew I was part of the universe.
I knew I belonged somewhere—
I belonged reflected brightly in the eyes
Of some other lonely girl.
But maybe that’s why I’m infected with loneliness now—
A few light years isn’t that far
When the universe is so massive that we don’t even know where it stops
But to a seventeen-year-old human girl,
A single light year feels like twelve hundred miles.
To a human girl
The spaces between the stars feel like heartbreak
And the darkness between the galaxies feels like distance
And the vast expanse of the universe feels like the hopelessness
That she can’t exorcise from the pit of her soul.
I’ve never really belonged anywhere.
The first time I felt like I actually belonged in this universe
Was when I felt like I belonged with you—
Because when I was four, I was always the one who played alone
When I was eight, I was the quiet girl who read books at recess
When I was ten, I was the weird kid who everyone avoided
And when I was eleven, I was the emotional freak who cried all the time.
When I was thirteen, I was the depressed girl who had just one friend
When I was fifteen, I was the angry girl in the middle of nowhere
And when I was seventeen, I was the outcast in a school of strangers.
But when I was sixteen,
I was the girl in love
Who felt like she belonged somewhere for the first time—
And it wasn’t even the universe that I felt like I belonged to.
I felt like I belonged with you
I just felt like I belonged in your heart, in your arms
Because for the first time someone became my universe.
You were my universe.
You made me feel a sense of belonging—
You made me feel less of my loneliness.
I’ve never minded being alone—
I’d rather be by myself than in a room full of people who I don’t know
Standing in the corner surrounded by people who don’t know me.
Alone is manmade—
Alone is something that I built to make myself feel better
Alone is a skyscraper that I am the architect of
That exists silently above all the others
Standing tall against the stars shimmering in the night
Scratching the darkness, reaching for the distant sparks
That mirror themselves in the grey steel and blue glass
My grey-blue eyes.
Alone is being with you under trees that open up to the sky
Where I could see the stars if it were night.
Alone is what keeps me sane—
And loneliness drives me insane
Because loneliness is organic—
Loneliness is a weed that I can’t control
Loneliness is tendrils of ivy creeping around my heart
Tightening around my pulse like a noose
Making the spark in my grey-blue eyes grow dull again.
Loneliness is standing lost in the middle of a dark forest
With no way out
Where I can’t see the stars.
I’ve always loved the stars.
There’s just something about their distant glow
That makes me feel less lonely—
I like to think that I was a star once upon a time
Before I was born into this human flesh and blood and marrow.
That would explain why I have always been so lonely
Why I have never truly belonged anywhere
Other than with you—
Because you are my universe
And I don’t belong on this earth.
But I am not a star shimmering in the night anymore
I don’t exist in a lonely girl’s sky now—
Because I am a lonely girl myself
And I’m staring up at the night sky wondering what it would be like
To have a place of belonging again
To know I have a place in the universe
However small that place is.
I can only see five stars tonight—
But those five stars reflect brightly in my grey-blue eyes
That were flooded with tears an hour ago.
And I know that light years aren’t as far as they seem
When we don’t know if the universe even ends
But twelve hundred miles feels farther
And the spaces between those five lone stars above me
Feel like heartbreak
And the darkness between the galaxies I can’t see
Feels like distance
And the vast expanse of the universe that I can’t grasp the size of
Feels like the hopelessness
That I can’t exorcise
From the pit of my soul.
To know the nature of loneliness
Is such a different thing
Than being alone.
What inspires me.
A question I get asked a lot is, “What inspires you to write?” The answer to that question is fairly simple but also quite complicated.
I’m inspired to write by the world. Little bits and pieces such as snippets of conversations and phrases that catch my attention, such as my dad saying “Why is it so cold? It’s almost May!” and me coming up with a whole story based off of those last two words, Almost May. The world is such a fascinating place and if you look close enough or listen hard enough you’ll find some sort of inspiration.
I’m also inspired to write by songs that I hear, pictures or photographs or drawings that I see, things written by others that I read, and so on. Sometimes the best creative inspiration comes from other creations. Of course, I don’t completely take the idea that inspired me. I simply use it as inspiration, as a foundation. Sometimes the final product of my creation doesn’t resemble the inspiring song/image/words that I began with.
But the thing that inspires me the most, I think, is myself. I write about my emotions and my experiences more than I write about anything else, usually in the form of poetry. And the kind of inspiration that comes from within is the most powerful for me, because my best writing comes from things that I have inside of me. My emotions in particular, but also my life as a whole. I don’t have a very interesting life but if something happens to me that really affects me emotionally, chances are I’ll write about it.
Inspiration comes from a lot of places, really. It all depends on the person you’re talking to. Mine mostly comes from my own thoughts and feelings but some people will get inspiration from people they see on the street or books they read or other various things like that. So yeah. That’s where I get inspiration from.
November 10, 2013
And those starving children all across the world whose ribcages poke through their skin, who have never known what it’s like to live without hunger pains, who have begun to think that the hollowness in the bottom of their stomachs is just a natural thing, a punishment from a God that they don’t belivee in, they don’t know happiness. They will never know what it’s like to drink cold fresh water or have food filling their bodies three times a day or to be safe from disease and famine. They will never know what it’s like to wake up in the morning and not feel the pain screaming from inside their ribcages because they have been taught that they don’t matter, that the people who could help them, save them, spend all their time waiting for the next iPhone or newest fashion trend and place the job of saving the human race to a God that doesn’t exist.
And those little girls who suck in their stomachs until their ribcages show, who look into the mirror every morning wearing just a bra and underwear and outline with mental sharpies every stretch mark, every mistake, every part of their body that is unbalanced or imperfect or too small or too big or flawed in any way shape or form, they don’t know happiness. They don’t know what it’s like to undress at the end of the day and look in the mirror and be satisfied with the reflection looking back at them. They don’t know what it’s like to be happy because they have been told that to be happy they must have collarbones and flat stomachs and thin waists and hips that are both soft and sharp at the same time and thighs that do not touch. They are miserable because they have been lied to.
And those who are dying and lay in hospital beds with the vital organs held beneath their ribcages reduced to fluctuating lines on a computer monitor, who drift in and out of a painkiller-induced slumber between pain and reality and dreams and darkness, they don’t know happiness. They will never know what it’s like to live without an IV needle in the crook of their arm because they have been told that they have thirty days left to live. They don’t know anymore what it’s like to breathe oxygen through their nose without a tube, how it feels to walk without having to pull a cart behind them filled with IV liquids and help buttons. They don’t know anymore what it’s like to truly be alive, and in thirty days they will be dead.
And those men and women who can hardly feel their ribcages through the layers and layers of gear that they wear, who could take a bullet in the chest any second from the enemy and yet choose to fight, they don’t know happiness. They don’t know what it’s like to sleep and not hear the sound of explosions ricocheting thorugh their eardrums. They don’t know what it’s like to be awake and not feel the ground shaking their ribs when a suicide bomber detonates and destroys an entire street. They don’t know what it’s like to be safe because they have been told that they do this because they love their country, because they are brave, because they are strong. They don’t know what it’s like to be able to be a coward for once. To be safe instead of in danger.
And those teenagers who are awake at two in the morning with their ribcages trembling under the weight of stress and anxiety and depression and other various disorders that cannot be taken away from their tortured minds, they don’t know happiness. They don’t know what it’s like to fall asleep instantly without having to worry about what their dreams will contain. They don’t know how it feels to wake up the next morning and not have to endure the recurring tidal wave of all the bad things that they forgot for a few hours while they were unconscious. They don’t know what it’s like to be happy because they have been told that it’s all in their heads, that what they feel isn’t real, that things will get better if only they change their attitude. They will never know what it’s like to have pure wrists and thighs and hips and hearts. They are scarred.
And those poets who feel the pain of those starving children who have no hope, who see the struggle of those teenage girls who look in the mirror every day and can point out at least twenty things they hate about their bodies, who understand the thin line between being alive and being dead, who hear the same explosions that those men and women do, who wear the same scars as the teenagers who cry themselves to sleep at night, they know happiness. They know what it’s like to hear a heart beating beneath a ribcage that is not their own. They know what it’s like to feel their own heart pounding beneath their own ribs and to hear their own intake of breath matching the breathing of the lungs beneath another person’s chest. They know what it’s like to be happy because they have been told that they are loved, and they have loved, too.
My second poetry journal is filled with both good and bad things, and I have written my last in it. Tonight, I will read the whole thing cover to cover. It’s a sort of ritual that I have. When I finish a journal, I reread everything I wrote in it, and then I carry on to the next. Here’s to five months of happiness, sadness, numbness, anger, frustration, and irrevocable love, and to a new journal filled with even more emotions, poured straight from my heart.
I’ve been brainstorming names for characters for my new story idea that I’ll be writing during this year’s NaNoWriMo! A huge thanks to my friend Shayla for helping out.
oh look, thats my photo
Poetry vs. NovelingI am a poet that wants to be a novelist.
Ever since I was little, I’ve made up stories, told them, written those stories down. But as I’ve grown older, I find that poetry is my element—and that doesn’t mean I don’t love prose. Poetry is just a lot easier for me. It’s an easier way for me to express my emotions, and to me, that’s exactly what writing is all about. Expressing emotions.
In the past year, I’ve written over 200 poems about assorted things, mostly about love, but also on the subject of things such as depression, friendships, and society as a whole. Poetry is my outlet. One day, I would like to be an author—it’s my dream, after all, to be a published novelist—but right now, noveling is not my passion. Poetry is.
It seems like anything I write turns into poetry. Even my short stories end up being written in a manner that is more akin to poetry than prose. I think poetry is just in my blood.
The title of this post is Poetry vs. Noveling, so now that I have written an introduction, let the comparison begin! I’d make a Venn Diagram but I don’t know if that’s possible in HTML/CSS, so I’m just going to make two lists.
- Poetry is more about the emotional aspect of writing. What something means to you. How you feel.
- There is much more freedom with poetry. You can make it rhyme. You can make a sonnet or a limerick or a haiku. You can make it an epic poem that takes up like 100 pages or you can make it ten lines long. You can do free verse, couplets, AABB rhyme scheme or ABAB or have it not rhyme at all. There’s so much more freedom.
- Poetry is faster. You write it in the moment, when you’re inspired. You can make a few edits if you want. But once you write it, poetry is pretty much a complete work.
- Prose is a show and tell—you show the reader what is happening in the story and you tell them what the characters feel. Poetry is more hands-on.
- With prose, you get paragraphs. Yes, there’s a lot more you can do with paragraphs than you can with individual lines and stanzas. But sometimes, I find prose to be more restricting.
- Novels take a REALLY LONG TIME. I’ve started so many and by the time I get even a quarter of the way through, I’m either bored, out of energy, or my idea has completely changed. And then you have to edit again and again and again. Poetry is like photography; noveling is like an oil painting.
- Writing a novel gives you a wider audience. More people read books than they do poetry collections. Poetry just isn’t marketable. And if it’s hard to make a living off of being an author, imagine what it’s like to be a poet!
For me, poetry is easier. Some people find it really hard. It all depends on whether you’re a poet or a novelist—and I guess you can be both. I like to think I’m both a poet and a novelist. Like I said at the very top of this post, I’m a poet that wants to be a novelist, and as I mentioned towards the middle of this post, everything I write tends to be more poetry than prose—even if it is prose.
In the upcoming month of November, expect a ton of posts about noveling! I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month (affectionately known as NaNoWriMo) for the millionth time. I’ve lost count. And this year, I’m going to succeed. Brace yourselves!