Thursday, January 8, 2009


While reading the book Caucasia, I noticed that I found the book to be interesting. The book is about a white girl with straight hair named Birdie. Birdie grew up with a white mom, but she also grew up with a black father. Birdie had an older sister who was also black like her father. As the beginning progresses she begins to notice her race, when going to an all black school. Things start to turn around for Birdie, race was never an issue to her before, and now all of a sudden it becomes something she never noticed or looked at. Pretty soon her family is separated and Birdie is on the run with her mom, racing to get away from their own identity and start all over again.

What I noticed so far throughout the book is motifs. Some such as Invisiblity, Silence, being held back, and music.
Invisiblity is seen significantly throughout the book...well at least to the part I've reached.
Some examples....
"Perhaps I was protecting myself from something more obvious than my mother's invisible enemy--something Samantha faced every day"-Birdie/Jesse pg. 259
"...they seemed to move in slow motion, heavy, lumbering movements, looking through me, not at me, as I walked over bodies, shoved past couples who made out against walls." - Birdie/Jesse pg. 283
" I wondered why she couldn't see me, and felt a thrill of anonymity, invisibility, all of a sudden." -Birdie pg. 13
From reading the book, I've seen the motif of invisibility as something that was already there. From Birdie's perspective it seems like her true personality was always somewhat invisible, she always tried to transform herself to fit into the mold of anothers. Such as entertaining her father and sister when they were talking amongst themselfs. The reoccuring motif of invisibility led me to another which is Always being held back.

Held Back/ Pulled Foward
"I shrugged and moved to turn away. But I felt his hand squeezing into my arm--tight." -Birdie pg. 14

"When I was close enough, she grabbed my arm and pulled me down so I leaned over her." -Birdie pg. 164

(The whole "on the run" case is another example of Birdie being moved around and pulled forward.)

These examples show how Birdie is never sticking up for herself...she's always being held back instead of taking a step forward. For awhile that was constantly reoccuring, but lately it's been starting to change. Now being held back is showing up rarely. But it's still there from time to time.

"I swayed before them, listening to the rock music that pounded out from the heavy red door."- Birdie pg 289

"I had to face the music sometime. Now was as good a time as any." -Birdie/ Jesse talking about Jim pg. 255

"...and his voice singing along to something on the eight-track cassette, something falsetto and sentimental like the reasons that we're here, the reasons that we let our feelings disappear." -Birdie/Jesse pg. 188

Music is also seen a lot throughout the book. To me the music is metaphoric for change and identity. In the second quote Birdie and or Jesse was talking about how she had to face Jim. She had to face the changes that was happening in her life at that moment.
Another example is when Jim was first introduced music was playing in the background...perhaps maybe forshadowing coming events....

The Media...

In my college lit class, we had a discussion about gender. One of the topics brought up was about media affecting females. I found that some of the things mentioned were true, however I found that some of it wasn't quite as true. I think it's tough for some while going through puberty, because there's a constant pressure to look a certain way. I went through that myself when I was younger, but it wasn't long before I got over it and decided to be myself. I disagreed with the fact that every girl who didn't follow the "media's" expectation of being the "ideal" woman would lead to becoming an outcast. I think as long as you're confindant with who you are, that will show, and other people will sense your confidence as well.

The media itself, is everywhere. I think if people realize you don't have to follow it to be "beautiful", they'd be more happy, and less pressure would be put upon people especially girls.
The image of being tall, and thin is seen as ideal, but if the whole world was like that, would our world be as unique as it is? To me, It would be boring. So embrace the uniquness that we all have. To me that's the beauty in the world.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More War letters.....with more of a personal touch. -Make up post

So. I've found out this morning that my Great Grandma passed away yesterday. My great grandma was my grandma's mom.
She was 94 years old. I'd say she lived a pretty long life.
Well talking to my cousin Daniella, I came across some old photos from my grandma's side and my grandpa's side of the which a couple had to do with WWII. The first photo pictured is of my Great Grandpa, he was my grandpa's father. This was a caption that was found under the last picture and in my Cousin Daniella's words.
My great grandfather was a Captain in the army during WWII. He was an emergency medic directly behind the frontlines. He was with a troop that liberated one of the death camps nobody knew existed. Imagine being a Jewish doctor liberating a death camp...

This is the envelope of a letter he sent my grandfather on his 9th birthday"

My Grandpa Ted has also appeared on other posts in my blog. He's inspired me in so many ways. But this letter was written for him.

Looking through these photo's have been somewhat emotional for me since I've found out about my Great Grandmothers (GGB's) death. But she always seemed to have such high spirits I can't help but smile when looking through the captured moments of her life.

Here's some more pictures that I've come across...

From Top to Bottom
The top photo is of GGB
The second to the top photo is of Milt and GGB
The second to the bottom is of my Great Granmother and a cat
The bottom is of my Grandma Richie and My Grandpa Ted on their wedding day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Morbid Fabrication (Creative response to war letter)

Alright so in my college lit class, we read poems written during a period of war. One of the assignments given was to creatively respond to one of the letters. I decided to write a poem on a letter written by a soldier during the Civil War.

I don't have a link to the letter at this time, but I hope to get it soon to put in here.

The letter was about a guy who seemed tired with the war he complained about how the soldiers had no time to themselves. From the letter, I also got the sense that the soldier who wrote the letter was longing to remember what it was like before the war started consuming him, turning into something that he never wanted to become.

Morbid Fabrication

It replenishes the thirst my life craves...
The beating of my heart, pulsing through my veins...

It kills others, leaving one to forever lie in their own crimson liquid...
The beating that war burdens onto others...

Yet still I stand
My country in my alienated hands
I'm in denial of what I'm becoming

These two hands of mine,
have caressed tears
captured laughter
And they've destroyed.

While life surges through my veins...
Revenge takes over my mind...
Leaving me to come up with solutions to end another's right of time

These frigid hands of mine are connected to the war.
Time is...
And yet the war and I are breathing....

I'm my own morbid fabrication.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December 25th 1994....the beginning of my metamorphosis

Plunging faster and faster, darkness was caving in on me, drowning me in sadness, when I hit rock bottom that's when I understood--emptiness.


It was the year of 1994, and I was four years old. I was the age of innocence, where everything to me seemed right. I watched cartoons, played dress up, I loved to learn new things, but most of all I adored being around my grandpa.

He had thinning hair and was tall compaired me, but he was also my best friend. Our favorite activity was to play with a frog puppet in the childrens room of his and my granma's house. But little did I know my innocent four-year-old life would rapidly change its course.

Soon I was visiting my grandpa in the hospital. Glancing around, I noticed the pale walls mirrored the skin of the sick. The patter of my feet echoed down the dreary halls.

"Shauna," my mother spoke to me. "Before you go in and see grandpa, I want you to know he's very sick. He has cancer, so you can't run right up to him."

I nodded in agreement, although I was confused. Arriving at his room, we pushed open the door and stepped inside.

*beep* *beep* A monitor flashed waves and movements. A clear bag containing liquid flowed through a tube leading to my granpa.

"Grandpa why are you all tied up?!" I broadcasted.

My whole family then burst into laughter along with people in the waiting room just outside the door. In that instant there was a sparkle of happiness amongst the bleak and dark contained within the walls of the hospital. Even though there was a moment of joy, I still felt and saw the horror that was before me.

Slowly a strange foreign feeling began to drip inside of me flowing through my veins and straight to my heart. The feeling was of pain, but not the kind when one falls down and scrapes there knee. This new sensation left me feeling confused--I didn't understand.

When I finally made the connection to my alien feeling--It was too late.


"Merry Christmas!" Cries of happiness and laughter filled my neighborhood. Aluminating colors reflected from my neighborhoods windows and danced their way into my hazel eyes. I peered out from my living room window in wonder. My house didn't share the same cheer as others.

"Merry Christmas, Shauna and Sabra," my mother said, giving us each a peck on the cheek. She gave us both our presents.

Everything seemed normal, but deep down I knew it wasn't. Like my unopened present, my feelings were unopened too. They both remaind trapped by it's container. My grandpa passed away that christmas, but it was months after, when I finally understood the feeling within me.

After the tragic christmas of '94, I became overwhelmed. Bleakness continued to devour me leaving me with the understanding of emptiness.

Alone I played with the puppet frog at my grandma's house. Hesitantly I picked out books and dragged them to the soft tan carpet, where the puppet frog rested upon. It's beady eyes beamed up at me. A slow smile crept it's way across my face--I felt safe. This lifeless puppet was my strongest memory of my grandpa.

One year later

Wind blew at my face and playfully batted at my long blonde hair. Walking to my neighbors house, I notcied birds flying freely amongst the shimmering blue sky. Their glossy wings sparkled while they cast a shadow upon the soft brown earth.
The pain I felt a year ago serged through me once again but this time I understood.

"Hi Katie!" my high pitched voice called out to her.
"Hello Shauna," she said, her blue eyes focused on the ground.
"Katie..." I spoke softer. "I'm really sorry about your loss."
"It's okay."

Noticing the gloom in her face, I wanted her to know she wasn't alone.
"I lost my grandpa too, last year."
"Really?!?!" "...oh"
"But I wanted to say I'm really sorry about everything."
"Thanks Shauna," she smiled in relief.
"Well I'll see you later."
"Bye Katie."

Walking home I felt better, I made my friend smile, somthing I couldn't do in my darkness.
I walked away with a realization that even in the darkest of times, it's okay to let the light shine.

Monday, November 24, 2008

At War With Time

Here's a poem I wrote based off of our blog assignment in which we were to write about a time we were at war with something.

My poem is about a time when I was in a pool at a daycare I went to. A kid thought it would be fun to push my head under water...and keep it there. One moment I was minding my own and then I found myself underwater not being able to breathe... I was at war with time.

At War with Time

Blackness engulfed me-It was too dark.
My four-year-old hands grasped to hold onto something-Nothing.
I was at war with time.

The pressure upon my head wouldn't budge.
My life falling deeper and deeper.
It was getting darker, and weaker.
My throat burning, craving the sweetness of life- I wouldn't give in.

Drawing blood, from which the pressure now dripped,
realeased me and I was free.

Resurfacing, I greedily took in as much air my lungs could hold.
A blinding light seeped it's way into my barely open eyes-I won.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Finding My Own Confidence

In my College Lit class, we had a discussion on times when one didn't fit in.
Something like that happended to me when I was in third grade.

It all started...when I got my hair cut.
My hair extended down to my lower back and was cut above the shoulders.
I had no idea my thick, Janis Joplin-like-hair would turn out to be one giant poofy disaster. Instead, I thought I would end up with sleek and straight hair.
After the horrifing trip to the hair salon, I became self conscious of my hair, and at school others took notice of it and would point at me and laugh.
I still had friends to go to, but it was the other kids words that hurt me.
Finally, I decided I'm not going to care what other people think, because that only brought me down even more. I became more self confident with myself. The other kids who used to stare and point and me finally stopped. I think they also realized that making fun of another was really childish.

I learned a lot from that whole experience. Although I wouldn't get my hair cut like that ever again. I'm really happy I did then. It taught me to not care what other people think of me because if I did, I would never be happy in life. I'm also happy because the hair that I cut was donated to Locks of Love. Locks of Love is a charity that makes wigs for people with cancer. Eventhough at the time I didn't like not fitting in, I got myself out of it. And in the end I became more confident.