The Seasons Issue Volume 18, Issue 1, July 2018
VOLUME 18 ISSUE 1 JULY 2018
The world, even the smallest parts of it, is filled with things you don’t know.”
SHERMAN ALEXIE (1966- )
Definition of Fate
A Trance at the Train
i am autumn, you are spring.
Wings and Stones
The Endless Days of Edna Idler
Happy Little Days
A Love Letter to Myself
Slow Thoughts on a Busy Afternoon
CAMILLE DEHGHAN BLAZE WELLING
JOHN GARFIELD MCMORRAN STEPHANIE SILVA
CAMILLE DEHGHAN MADELINE MCINNIS
MADELINE MCINNIS JULES
EMILY BUCCIONI KOURTNEY REICH EMILY BUCCIONI
SOPHIA GRANDE-LAWLOR KIMBERLY CHUNG ISIDORA
EMILY BUCCIONI AMANDA SCHEIFELE
YELIBERT CRUZ ROO
The Wingless Man
Change of Seasons
KIMBERLY CHUNG NATHALIE BOUCHARD
YVETTE TUYISENGE ITANGISHAKA
Front Cover DAUPHINE RAISIN
EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Sophia Grande-Lawlor email@example.com
Production Manager Camille Dehghan firstname.lastname@example.org
Literary Editor Stephanie Silva email@example.com
Art/Photography Manager Nikolaus Atchana firstname.lastname@example.org
Promotions Manager Kimberly Chung email@example.com
Events Manager Emily Buccioni firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Editor Vacant
Brantford Manager Vacant
Interns Adina Turkonje, Kourtney Reich
Emily Buccioni, Jonathan Collie, Camille Dehghan, Sophia Grande-Lawlor, Madeline McInnis, John Garfield McMorran, Kourtney Reich, Stephanie Silva, Adina Turkonje
Isabella Andrade, Teresa Chung, Yelibert Cruz Roo, Cora Vanessa Haven, Jabril Jire, Jules, Manreet Lachhar, James Lao, Raquel Sa, Blaze Welling
ADMINISTRATION President, Publisher, & Chair Terrence J Mroz Executive Director Lakyn Barton HR Manager Paige Bush Finance Manager Randy Moore Advertising Manager Care Lucas Web Manager Vacant Treasurer Garrison Oosterhof Vice Chair Shyenne MacDonald Corporate Secretary/Director Maiya Mistry Director Daniel Vandenbor Community Director Rosalind Horne Community Director Hayley H.G. Watson
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The Seasons Issue I’ve been waiting for summer forever. Probably because winter felt longer than usual this year, but mostly because I have been dreaming about how this issue would look for weeks. Welcome to another year of Blueprint, welcome to another batch of seasons. When we got this theme, I have to tell you I wasn’t over the moon. Seasons, big deal. It feels like we go through the motions every year: colourful autumn, bitterly cold winter, spring for 5 minutes or so, and then a sweaty summer. But I think what our last wonderful editor-in-chief wanted to leave us with is the bewitchment and sense of wonder in everyday life. Most of our team found this theme to be the most challenging they’d had in a while. I think we can get so caught up in our routines that we lose sight of the fascination and beauty that lurks around every season change. Our surroundings used to fill me with excitment as a child, the fresh green leaves and flowers of summer, the crispness of autumn, spring’s relief in a spot of sun you spent weeks thinking about, and always, always the smell of the first snowfall. And I think that’s what this issue gave us, a much needed catharsis: a chance to stop and examine the beauty, the strangeness, and the emotions seasons bring to our lives. I loved seeing the wonderful work of our contributors in this issue as they captured seasons in their art, writing, and photography. We publish four times a year here at Blueprint, and everytime I pick up a copy, I know it’s a new season full of fascinating and beautiful things. So let’s hold hands like little kids, running through the fields and leaves and piles of snow— let’s get back to finding the magic in seasons.
Sophia Grande-Lawlor Editor-in-Chief
by DAUPHINE RAISIN My walls are bare but my window frames a beautiful painting that’s forever changing, a lush garden crowned by a magnificent magnolia tree. Kingly it stands, come spring, in full but ephemeral bloom, each and every flower a ballerina soon to be gone with the wind. Kingly it looks and yet somehow, looking at it I thought of a 19th century man, titled, wealthy, haunting the opera in search of petits rats. In French, a womanizer is described as someone who runs after petticoats, meaning someone regarding women as flowers born to be gazed at, readily picked and easily discarded. Well, the runner depicted runs after petticoats too, except, those are made of cloth: clothes bought then thrown away carelessly, thus destroying nature and shattering the life of their makers. Truth is, fashion seasons are way too many nowadays.
NEXT ISSUE Fears On stands October 2018
Definition of Fate MADELINE MCINNIS
In a fleeting moment, I acknowledged a universal truth within myself: This time next year, I won’t be passing through — I’ll be moving. I applied. I got in. I trained. I lost. I fought. I struggled. I quit. I continued. I conquered. I moved. It must have been fate.
5 KOURTNEY REICH
i am autumn, you are spring. JULES I am autumn And you are spring. I am falling leaves And crushed petals. I am fading colour And disappearing life. You are tulips and daisies, Rainbows and sunshine. You are new life And new beginnings And new hope. I am stormy weather And jaded nights. I am the whistle of the wind Cutting right through you Haunting your soul. You are green grass And ocean eyes. You exchange a sweet embrace with the world A gentle kiss. When your tears hit pavement They mourn for every drop.
I am dangerous roads And winter car accidents An all-around destroyer of life. I am simply too much To keep around.
You see, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what to do When we are so different And all I want Is to be the same.
You are warm nights Spent on the porch Watching new sunsets As the baby comes home for the first time
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death versus life Disappointment against hope Destruction and growth.
But I am also hot chocolate And marshmallows And pumpkin. I am the season of gratitude And combat boots And though my leaves fall, they exude colors Demanding to be admired Because who could ever turn away From the dichotomy Of beauty masking death
Because I am autumn, And you are spring.
But you are also bug bites and too late nights Where everything is confusing And no one knows what is coming next. If April showers bring May flowers, You are April. And May never comes.
I remember it still, we were sipping homemade iced tea in the bright kitchen, smell of spring locked out on the porch. She said whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your favourite feeling and I said this, tulips in bloom in the suburbs, my skin zipped up to my throat like it actually fits. Love, or whatever, or the promise of better things to come.
7 ADINA TURKONJE
Timeline KOURTNEY REICH
Round and round Cycles. Stages. That is the way of nature. Born, live, die. Mortals rise We exist within this nature.
It’s summer, so it’s solitude, so it’s lavender hair and too-cold air conditioning sweat, anxiety, subway rides and thunderstorm minds, a sadness none of us can speak of. Fruit that tastes like nothing, poems that do not rhyme childhood all wrapped up in a picnic blanket and hurled off a cliff.
Happy Little Days SOPHIA GRANDE-LAWLOR Why do you look at your feet? Look to the heavens, see the beauty of the world around you! If you don’t look at the sidewalk, you miss the worms on rainy days.
If you don’t watch your step, how do you make sure you don’t break your
mother’s back? How do you catch the happy little dandelions springing up through the concrete?
If your head is always in the clouds, how do you know when to smell the roses?
The Tulip CAMILLE DEHGHAN I planted a tulip for my daughter. I watered it. I gave it sun. I protected it from predators. Unfortunately, I did not do a good job, because just like my daughter, it died.
The Fears Issue
Keywords: monstrosity, isolation, paranormal, nightmare, horror, suspense Please send work to email@example.com by October 12th
A Love Letter to Myself KIMBERLY CHUNG No matter how much you want to let yourself go, life will keep giving you air to breathe. The sun will always set while spreading its colours across the canvas sky. And it will always rise every morning to help you wake up from your slumber. Your favourite dress will still be in the closet for you to wear and dance in for hours. Your voice will find its way to sing songs that were once forgotten. And those songs will dry your tears during those lonely nights. Your journal will have pages left for you to write about your heartaches and your successes. Your family will always be a phone call away even if you need time alone. My love, there will be many changes that will hurt you, but there are many things in this world that will make you feel alive. Breathe, Take your time, And love yourself.
Melting Point ISIDORA I wish I would break as easily as the skin on a peach when you bite into me. A thin furry outside, warm as sunset that gives way to a soft, juicy inside. I am like biting into an icicle that just won’t melt. There is no taste to anything when I’m like this, all the words that drip out of my mouth freeze, and you could look right through me. The feeling of the unrelenting sun beating down on you— too much of the good thing you thought you longed for that lonely winter. I am the leaves that fall away just as the colour starts to turn beautiful orange, cluttering the driveway, you sidestep as best you can to get in the house. But even when I feel this way, you tell me that I am the lake water lapping at your feet. A gentle cooling with the promise of freedom. You treat me like the cup of hot cocoa your palms curl around after drudging home through the blizzard. Cozy, a creature comfort from our youth that doesn’t lose its magic as seasons change. Green summer leaves fading to orange and brown is no weakness to you, it is a sign of the strength to carry through the cycles thrown at us. To you, I am always the fresh spring breeze kissing your cheeks after a long winter: the hope of a fresh start that comes alive each May.
A Trance at the Train BLAZE WELLING The rain from the night before blankets the platform I stand upon with dampness. The pavement beneath my feet stays warm and moist despite the brisk air around me. My attention is drawn to the sky, where the clouds hang low enough that I might be able to reach out and grab them if I tried. A slight breeze fills the silence that occurs after a heavy rainfall. I’ve seen each brick of the buildings and understood their layout. I’ve analyzed the way the yellow lines in the parking lot offer a skeleton to be filled by the cells of cars. The utter noiselessness allows me to notice how peculiar this place is, and acts as an eerie reminder of how completely alone I am. There is an abnormality, something different about this perpetually ordinary place. The fog rolls in like a silent stampede of horses, unnoticable until you’re underfoot. Entire buildings seemingly vanish before me, some left only to be recognized by the faint outline of their shadows. The train station remains still in a whitened haze, suffocated by the fog with every slight breeze. Each and every window swallowed up until there’s no way to see in or out. I stand alone in this ostensibly post-apocalyptic world, my senses dulled with every waking moment until I am completely blind. The fog leaves me feeling completely helpless to whatever lies beyond the veil. The moments slowly beginning to feel like a horror movie, and at any moment something sinister could happen. I stand here offering myself up as the perfect victim to be grabbed and swallowed whole. Questions arise deep in my gut: What is out there? What lies beyond? Why does the fog occur? Of course, there is a scientific explanation to it all, but my questions inspire more. Perhaps this phenomena occurs as a mechanism used by nature itself to conceal the changes being made, perhaps the changes of each season. But perhaps I’ll never know. The sound of a train approaching awakens me from the entranced state the fog has suspended upon me. The sound bellows like a foghorn piercing through the mist, evaporating the suspended particles and sending swirls of white across the parking lot. I board the train, my thoughts of fog seemingly evaporating as the world outside becomes more and more unrecognizable.
EMILY BUCCIONI You’re in love with the smell of woodsmoke it’s the smell of lazy pancake Sunday mornings three o’clock tea with cookies big sweaters and small hugs. Of keeping darkness bottled up in sunsets that streak dark blue across your town, of celebrating death in all its vibrant colours.
Druid AMANDA SCHEIFELE
she walks in summer light with lace around her toes her mind takes her to corners no one can know of, that no one can see her autumn is bright and in flames as she curls in her hands
she leaps, she bounds, she dances for the flowers she steps on while she prances
spring permeates the lilacs and asparagus and berries like the colour of her eyes
SOPHIA GRANDE-LAWLOR her hair shrivels around her head like a cloud she commands seasons change, silent and soft sunwise and as light round, like a as a seed, she spiral that walks never through tightens winter, a blizzard her cloak
Slow Thoughts on a Busy Afternoon YELIBERT CRUZ ROO If you could hear footsteps speak as they placed kisses on the ground, they’d probably tell you they are sorry. They are sorry for the way our tracks show a pathway of destruction and terror, they are sorry that they can only really leave scars. They are sorry for the way they never look up from their own dents in the sand, they take up space and take up time and do not look up to ask the sun if she is still there. Don’t step on the cracks, we all learn, bad luck follows us like a shadow follows a cold breeze. Watch your footsteps, because if you get one wrong you might just fall in. If we could hear our footsteps speak as we fall into the cracks, they’d probably tell us they are sorry.
The Wingless Man STEPHANIE SILVA It always happens just the same.
When Mother Earth is robed in green and crowned in golden sunlight, the winged man peers wistfully down from the kingdom in Heaven, enthralled by Her beauty, overtaken in love.
But God knows that the ethereal cannot love the earthly. Warned that he will lose his wings the winged man tries to bargain away his riches, to keep both Heaven and Earth, but coins find no value in Heaven and gold leaves drift uselessly down to cover Mother Earth. With sorrowful hands, God plucks the winged man. Soft, white feathers, each one precious fall down from the heavens in swirling, dismal dance and tuck Mother Earth away beneath a white sheet so far reaching that Her beauty is fully concealed Forgetting how glorious Mother Earth once was, the wingeless man finally repents.
His feathers rise back up to heaven, Mother Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blanket is lifted away, and the once again winged man cries tears of joy for his rebirth that rain down from the heavens and wash over Mother Earth.
Wings and Stones JOHN GARFIELD MCMORRAN Sometimes when Liam jumped as a child he felt as though he might never come down. He felt that with every jump he strained the bonds of gravity to their elastic limits before they would succeed in pulling him down again. As Liam got older he was made to become responsible; he shovelled the driveway and set the table and had to bring the laundry hamper downstairs when it was full. The responsibility allowed him freedom, but Liam noticed that when he jumped, gravity did not seem to strain quite so hard before he was brought back to earth. But the allure of adulthood pulled him forward and Liam charged into highschool getting his first job, dating, buying a car, and playing basketball for his provincial team. Each responsibility brought with it weight, and although Liam had grown tall and strong, he could always feel the weight when he jumped. He soared on the court, like a bird of prey above defenders, but Liam felt every one of gravity’s fibers dragging him earthward. On none of Liam’s dunks did he ever get as close to leaving earth as he did as a child. As an adult Liam jumped for his fitness. He skipped rope on Mondays and Wednesdays—unless his arthritis flared up—and he did a high-intensity cardio class every Friday afternoon. Jumps now equated to calories, and calories to weight loss, and weight loss to heart health, and heart health to longevity in life. The calculated effort of every jump made them not so much an exercise in soaring, but a brief departure from the comfort of terra firma. Liam was too heavy to leave earth, and he even felt gravity slackening its grip on him, as though it knew that their days as adversaries had passed. When he became old, Liam’s battles with gravity were postural. He stooped forward like a question mark and took a great many medications to try and retain strength in his skeleton. In the final years of his life Liam was confined to a wheelchair. In this total surrender to gravity he knew that soaring free of the earth was but a hazy memory from a long time ago. ... The arc of Wendy’s physical life followed in perfect parabolic fashion that of Liam’s. During her youth she bounded like a gazelle, her steps moonlike as she floated free of responsibility. But as she grew the scope of Wendy’s world widened. She shovelled the driveway so her mother could take a nap before the second half of her shift. She carried the laundry hamper up the stairs for her father because her father had a balky knee. As Wendy matured she observed that for every weighty responsibility she accepted, the burden lightened for someone else. Wendy gladly collected the unwanted pounds of others, and gravity bent her low under responsibility as she helped those around her climb free of its restraint. By the time she was a mature woman, Wendy had the responsibilities of an entire country yoked across her back, and she smiled under the weight of it, for although she herself could not leap, she was a stepping stone for others.
Change of Seasons JAMES LAO The change of seasons is brought forth with grace and awe. Summer. Fall. Winter. Spring. The change of seasons makes birds sing. Everything around so lovely, All things below all things above thee. Surrounded by a dance of magic. How did nature make this happen? Each and every single day, All the things one cannot say… Even through expression, devotion Words can’t capture the heart’s emotion. Summer. Fall. Winter. Spring. The change of seasons has quite the ring. Words alone cannot capture the beauty Every scene is amazing, truly. So when one comes across the change of seasons, Be sure to go forth with Joy and reason, Because glory should be sought in summer, fall, winter, spring.
Summer Haze KIMBERLY CHUNG I look outside my window to catch a glimpse of the vibrant sky and watch the clouds go slowly by. I’m in a daze as I fall in love with the mixture of colours blending in harmony. The longer I gaze, the warmer I feel from the sun’s beams. But I get tired of looking. I’d rather lie in my bed than step outside. I close the curtains, curl up in my bed and fall back asleep. I forget the beautiful day.
The Endless Days of Edna Idler STEPHANIE SILVA Damp, spring mornings were the worst days to be Edna. Her porch roof was chronically leaky and day after day the cushion on her rocking chair was soaked through. It emitted a bubbly, squelching noise when she lowered her rear into it each morning. The dampness was more than unpleasant, but once Edna was tucked in between the chair’s wooden spindles there would be no moving. She often entertained herself by watching young birds rise out of their nests for the first time. They made a peep sound when they hit the ground. Come summer time, Edna’s chair was still damp each day. But now it was from her own sweat. The flies were worse than the dampness. They got caught in her watery eyelashes like a lumpy coat of mascara. Past the perimeter of Edna’s dark, shaded porch her sunny street was swarming with children. They played silly games that got the girls’ dresses dirty and gleefully shared the foul new curse words they had learned. None of them seemed concerned that Edna was watching. They rarely glanced in her direction. The children only crossed onto Edna’s porch in the fall. Once the leaves had turned red and pumpkins decorated every porch but her own, the children came for the apple-cinnamon cider that the old woman cooked up each morning. She didn’t ask them to come. But she’d been unable to have children of her own, and she never learned how to tell them no without making them cry. Edna wouldn’t mind them so much if they didn’t make her rocking chair sticky from their grubby little apple fingers. In the winter, Edna’s bones froze and she thought she might never move from her rocking chair. Day after day she watched as the world was buried beneath a white blanket thicker than the quilt she huddled under. The fluffy white covering reminded Edna of her husband’s hair. She had made Roger dye it because the vibrant white colour had made him look old. Roger had complained all the time about how the dye made his scalp itchy. She always had to tell him not to scratch his head so much because it made him look stupid. Roger’s hair was a faded brown colour when they buried him. He had actually looked quite handsome with his white hair and laugh lines. Edna had never told him that. When the spring came again, Edna’s bones still felt frozen. Every morning she sat down in her chair just the same as she had in the winter, and the fall before that and the summer before that. But Edna liked to sit out on her porch and watch the seasons come and go. Each time they were slightly different. Each year the world would rewrite itself just a little bit. Edna couldn’t do that. Edna could only sit still in her rocking chair.
Standing on the corner of Uppermiddle Bridge, its summer time, the happiest time for most. I move closer to the edge.
“Don’t jump,” the voice in my head screams. I started each fall with the same group of friends who tormented me, called me fat, slut shamed my sexual choices, and scrutinized my every move. By winter I threw up 3 meals a day to cope and I constantly cycled through thoughts about the bridge. “Step
Back,” as I open my eyes and see my feet hanging over the edge.
During the spring months I recuperated from cut up wrists and mental distress, part of my rehab was to visit the bridge, toss the rocks over the edge and watch them fall. Wondering what could be if I was a rock. I do the same thing tonight with my feet on the edge. Watch the rocks fall as I contemplate all my life’s mistakes. All my failures. “Stop looking
Down,” I look down.
I always look down. The bottom of the bridge always appears different, each season leaving its mark. Seasons always come and go, bringing something new each time. Life is like the seasons changing. Summer this year will be different, I will be reborn. I will learn from the abuse. I will learn to be better than my abusers. I will not back down, but I will back away from the edge.
Change Please! YVETTE TUYISENGE ITANGISHAKA Never be ashamed of your origin You live because of it. Sometimes we forget our genesis When prejudice attacks our promise And egoism wipes away the consensus. Instead rock your origin You are gorgeous, From a diverse town. The difference doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter now. When were we not different? Are we even different? Learn from me, I will learn from you. Rebirth our culture, exchange our virtues We used to laugh before color emerged We used to dance before racist publications We used to eat together before hate attacks We definitely need change Embrace your culture and I will embrace our diversity Together we coexist and nature is not meant to change us How will you laugh without me? How will I jiggle without you? Where will you eat that food that you loved most? How will you dance those songs that you loved most? Where will your kids find playmates if love is hidden? I found love and peace in your presence And you thought we were siblings
The Cranberry CAMILLE DEHGHAN The cranberry is juicy. It oozes blood. It creates a trail behind the feet to which it clings. Slowly dying. Realizing it will live an unfulfilled life. Not the abuse it expected. No companions. No heat. No cold. Not even a mouth. Just the bottom of a shoe. The sun peaked between the trees and everything stopped. The shoe is removed. It gets scraped against the bark of an old friend. Falling apart. No longer one. A bear comes. Red fills the scene. The bear then approaches the tree. The cranberry gets sniffed and licked. Finally fulfilled.
The Edge MADELINE MCINNIS I sat on the edge of the dark, hollow porch, watching the sea churn and grumble, isolating me from the world beyond. After months of waiting, waiting for the tide to turn, the seasons to change, the storm to pass, the grass to grow, I just kept waiting. The winter consumed the island like a ravenous beast after a hunt. Waves relentlessly battered the shore, a constant reminder of the roaring danger that any attempt to leave would hold. The only promise of freedom was the promise of summer. Summer with calmer seas and brighter days. Visitors to the island and a colour that made it home instead of prison. What if summer never comes? But what if it does? But what if it does.
Castle CORA VANESSA HAVEN
Once upon a time, there was a princess and autumn couldn’t come fast enough for her. Autumn always sparkled bright with the coming of a journey to a far-away land where she could go on a different adventure every day. These adventures would involve feasts and balls and fancy, elegant gatherings. Friends from several corners of all the kingdoms would join her in revelry, all celebrating the beginning of a new quest together. There would be gossip and cheer, dizzy thrilled excitement all around. For the first few weeks, anyway. Then winter would come, and so would the challenges. The days were short but felt like they dragged on for weeks apiece. The challenges that came with the adventures would surmount to great heights, and some days had the princess feeling as though she were just barely trudging along. But at least she always had her friends when her soul felt like it was being buried under the snow. And even at its worst, there was always something gentle and sweet about the cold. It reminded the princess she was alive. Spring was a whirlwind mess. Muddy, dirty, exciting with the prospect of the sun shining and the world coming anew. There was always something so grand about breathing in the breeze, wind filling her with terrible pollen and joy. And the princess would go to the streams, watch the rush of the currents and smile, and in the water she would see her own anxiety reflected back at her. And when summer came, the princess returned to her castle and she locked herself in the tower. She would gaze out the window at the trees below and wonder what it’d be like if she let herself get lost in them and never returned home. Sometimes dragons would kidnap her and take her to forests and caves and oceans, trying to fill her craving for adventure. But they would try to get her back before the king and queen were angry. Because the dragons didn’t scare the princess, but the king and queen did. The queen despaired, constantly trying to fill a hole in her heart, yet would never believe anyone who told her she was good enough on her own. And because the queen never felt good enough, the princess never did either. There were angry words and taunts and yet the queen never quite understood just how much they would hurt. And the princess was a very good secret keeper. The king wasn’t much better. He was always playing a magic act, here one moment and gone the next. To the princess, he was a face and a reputation more than a physical entity. Joyous on the rare occasions when he was there, but it always rang of lies. He loved his subjects, yes, but the princess always wondered if it was a fair cost that he loved them more than he loved his own family. And between the king and the queen was a power struggle, one scarier than any force the princess had ever known. They had the power to set upon the castle an unforgiving gloom, one that fixed itself into every nook and cranny. They had the power to freeze the entire castle those summer months, icicles hanging from the windows and ceilings. They had the power to suck all the air from every room and make it hard to breathe, just by standing there together. And so, the princess hid in her tower and avoided. Avoided the dark, avoided the cold, avoided the suffocating tension. She avoided, avoided, avoided. But the princess repeated her mantra. Autumn will come again soon.
3939 MONICA BARAN