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Volume 11 Issue 7 March 2012

The Future Issue


CONTENTS

VOLUME 11 ISSUE 7 MARCH 2012

Future: that period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true, and our happiness is assured. AMBROSE BIERCE (1842 - 1914)

ESSAYS

LITERATURE

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Untitled

13

Ashes to Ashes

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Thirteen

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Welcome, Friends!

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Hour Six

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Water Polo

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What’s Next?

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The Loneliest Colour

FIORELLA MORZI

BREE L. RODY-MANTHA

A.G.D.

ANNE T. DONAHUE

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A Lesson in Growing Up

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Doubt About The Future

ELENA MIKHAILOVA

ASHLEY NEWTON

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The Promisng Future

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Tidal Waves

EMILY HOLMES

SIDEON

NUNO TEIXEIRA EMMANUEL XERX JAVIER

JON JOHNSON

P.G. GALLANT

DEVON BUTLER

EDITORIALS 10

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Beholder XX

Front Cover

JANET KWON

The Final Frontier DAN ZYBALA

PROSE

ART 24

S.A. ROSE

Back Cover

JON JOHNSON

Melting the Cynic LOUISE LOBB

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Sonnet IV (If I Shall Wake)

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Destiny’s Desperation Unfound

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Reality Check

Inside Front

ALEC HOLTFORSTER

JOSEPH BRANNAN

ANDREW SAVORY

EMILY ZAREVICH

Inside Back

MORGAN ALAN


EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Morgan Alan

THE FUTURE ISSUE

morgan.alan@blueprintmagazine.ca

Production Manager Lakyn Barton lakyn.barton@blueprintmagazine.ca

Contributing Editor Devon Butler devon.butler@blueprintmagazine.ca

Promotions Manager Lydia Ogwang lydia.ogwang@blueprintmagazine.ca

Radio Manager Katie Parkes katie.parkes@blueprintmagazine.ca

Brantford Manager Leisha Senko leisha.senko@blueprintmagazine.ca

Staff Contributors Joseph Brannan, P.G. Gallant, Emily Holmes, Louise Lobb, Andrew Savory

CONTRIBUTORS A.G.D., Anne T. Donahue, Alec Holtforster, Emmanuel Xerx Javier, Janet Kwon, Elena Mikhailova, Fiorella Morzi, Bree L. Rody-Mantha, Ashley Newton, S.A. Rose, Jack Rousseau, Sideon, Nuno Teixeira, Emily Zarevich, Dan Zybala

ADMINISTRATION President, Publisher & Chair Erin Epp Executive Director Bryn Ossington Advertising Manager Angela Taylor Vice Chair Judith Brunton Treasurer Thomas Paddock Director Mike Lakusiak Director Jon Pryce Corporate Secretary Morgan Alan

In my three years of work at Blueprint Magazine – two of which were spent as Editor-in-Chief – I’ve learned that there’s nothing more difficult that writing the introduction to your own magazine. To sum up the theme itself and the diversity of contributions contained within the issue into a pithy, well-written thought is never easy. My skill set tends to lie in the editing part of creative writing, not necessarily the producing part. But alas, here I am, penning my final editor’s note for this publication. I’ll spare our readership a self-indulgent reflection on my time here, but suffice to say, my time as a Blueprint editor has easily been the most informative, valuable, and rewarding aspect of my time at university. My work here has afforded me not only insight into what I want to do with my life, but has allowed me to engage with the truly creative artistic community of this city and beyond. I don’t exactly know what my future will hold for me. But what I have learned is that my present context is irrevocably connected to my future, and that my time at this wonderful publication has made that future all the more better. It’s fitting that I’m at a loss as to how to finish this thought off. If I’m bad at writing editor’s notes, I’m even worse with goodbyes.

Morgan Alan Editor-in-Chief

CONTACT Blueprint Magazine 75 University Ave W Waterloo ON N2L 3C5 p 519.884.0710 x3564 blueprintmagazine.ca Advertise angela@wlusp.com blueprintmagazine.ca/advertise Contribute submissions@blueprintmagazine.ca blueprintmagazine.ca/contribute

COLOPHON Blueprint is the official student magazine of the Wilfrid Laurier University community. Founded in 2002, Blueprint is an editorially independent magazine published by Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications, Waterloo, a corporation without share capital. WLUSP is governed by its board of directors.

COVER Art by JON JOHNSON

Content appearing in Blueprint bears the copyright expressly of their creator(s) and may not be used without written consent. Blueprint reserves the right to re-publish submissions in print or online. Opinions in Blueprint are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Blueprint’s management, Blueprint, WLUSP, WLU or CanWeb Printing Inc. Blueprint is created using Macintosh computers running Mac OS X 10.5 using Adobe Creative Suite 4. The circulation for a normal issue of Blueprint is 3000. Subscription rates are $20.00 per year for addresses in Canada.

NEXT ISSUE Theme to be announced On stands Summer 2012

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My ideas are often coloured by my English & Film Studies education. I don’t know what the future will be like, but I do know what some people in the past thought it would be like. These covers represent imagery from the film and words from the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey. The real 2001 was nothing like the 2001 Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke imagined, but their ideas are still the first things that come to mind when I hear the word “future.”


DEVON BUTLER

By 2014 I want to be living in Montreal, grabbing coffees and naming my pet pig, dying my hair colors and being a graduate student. I want to soak up French-Canadian culture, meet wacky people, and fully enjoy being a twenty-something woman. I want to improve my writing skills, and I want to sing everyday. I want to have a strong sense of self. I want to learn about healthy eating habits, and how to use basic French in everyday conversations. I want to connect with the natural and the magical. I want to receive flowers. I want to give flowers away, and smile at everyone. I want to be hairy by letting everything grow, even in the summer. I want to discover new moles and new sides to my ever-changing psyche. I want to learn about the sun and the moon. I want to seek solitude. I want to seek friendship. I want to seek sisterhood. I want real tattoos, fake tattoos, to be kissed and kiss in return. And lastly, I want to be in love with me, and after that, you.

FIORELLA MORZI

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Thirteen

BREE L. RODY-MANTHA

There’s a version of myself that I love to pay tribute to: the thirteen-year-old version. She is a spritely little figure who is still very much alive in the back of my mind. I feed her occasionally with viewings of her favourite movies (Center Stage and Dumb and Dumber), the consumption of Tim Hortons hot chocolate, and long hours of listening to Radiohead’s earlier work. I still own at least one article of clothing from those days - a pair of red short-shorts - that I don whenever I need a friendly reminder of the little, nagging voice in my head. It’s important that I keep this past version of myself alive. I value the opinion of my thirteen-year-old self and hold her in the highest regard. She was opinionated to the point where she lost friends, and she was judgmental and strong-willed as the day was long (and boy, they were long back then). She alienated people on a daily basis, but kept a fiercely tight hold on those closest to her. She loved and she was loved back. She was a lot like her twenty-two-year-old self, except that her naivety and strong will left her with no questions, big or small. It’s a far cry from the woman who second-guesses herself on every decision, from which career to choose to which flavour of tea she should get. Thirteen-year-old me loved to picture herself in the future, and I would lie if I said that she never once pictured a pretentious, bitter version of herself hunched over a laptop in a coffee shop, a pensive look on her face and a comically large cup of tea by her side. In fact, I would also be lying if I said that she never pictured an English student with a penchant for scarves, newspapers, the occasional whiskey drink, and soft indie rock playlists. In fact, while I would love to be the bitter young adult and say that I am everything that my past self hoped I would never turn into, I have to admit that I am living my tween self ’s underwhelming vision of the future. When thirteen-year-old me looked into the future, she never made overarching promises about never drinking alcohol or “saving it” until marriage. She did, however, vow to never “go too crazy” or live a life of excess. And I guess not setting particularly high standards for the future allowed me to never disappoint myself too drastically. Thirteen-year-old me actually wished for quite the boring future, though she never quite realized it. I wouldn’t necessarily be proud to have my thirteen-year-old self meet her twenty-two-year-old counterpart, but the meeting would probably be a comforting one. But I’m not sure if, at thirteen, I was able to consider that “the future” would not arrive all at once but would slowly seep in like a viscous liquid as the years brought about subtle-yettorturous changes. For me it was years of dark secrets that piled themselves up until they weighed me down, taste tests

of every drug available and “experiments” for which I was not ready - not by years. Somehow I reached a point where things stabilized and I managed to “settle down.” Like my thirteen-year-old self, I still don’t quite understand that the future is fluid. When I instruct myself to picture

Thirteen-year-old me loved to picture herself in the future, and I would lie if I said that she never once pictured a pretentious, bitter version of herself hunched over a laptop in a coffee shop, a pensive look on her face and a comically large cup of tea by her side. In fact, I would also be lying if I said that she never pictured an English student with a penchant for scarves, newspapers, the occasional whiskey drink, and soft indie rock playlists.

the future, I picture a finished product, a static figure. I would love to believe that my life is easily divided into neatly packaged, clearly defined chapters. Which is why I keep coming back to the thirteen-year-old me and the twenty-two-yearold me, and pretending that the years in between are merely strings loosely tying the two stages together and have earned nothing more than an afterthought. Wouldn’t it be nice if that were how it really is?

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Hour Six A.G.D.

It started to dawn on me around hour six of waiting that I might not make it through this. A temperature of 38 degrees and liver pain was enough to get me to the hospital, but not enough to get me seen with any measure of speed. I did not feel that I was going to die immediately; I had been living with this pain for almost a month now, and I was starting to forget what life was like when I was healthy. I thought of the bucket list I had jokingly compiled just after New Years’, and wondered if they would still let me skydive while doubled over in pain. This dramatic turn in my thinking was mostly due to the illness, and the boredom of spending six hours in a waiting room. Yet, the mystery I presented to doctors was beginning to unnerve me. Doctors had appeared at the door during my previous hospital visits, and poked and prodded me in all manner of places and taken what felt like several pints of blood. They listened to my heart, my lungs, asked about my bowels, took ultrasound and x-ray pictures. Yet even with these detailed maps, they still could not find the source of pain, which had established a beachhead in some organ midway up the right side of my torso and was content to fight a guerilla campaign against my immune system. So here I am again, occasionally thrashing, but mostly just trying to keep comfortable in the waiting room chairs, while keeping my writhing to a low as it may unnerve the other people in the waiting room. And what a motley menagerie I seemed to be a part of; what company I had to share this late night in the emergency room with. Moving clockwise from the wall that I was slumped against were new parents with their infant daughter. I had assumed that they had come because of their baby, who was sleeping soundly, yet they tragically had seated themselves underneath a television showing a program about custody battles. While they seemed oblivious to the television,

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it loomed over the couple and their newborn daughter. The next group was a rather healthy looking man who was accompanied by his girlfriend, and his mother. The only reason I knew he was sick was that after long periods of silence one of them would ask how he was feeling, to which he would always answer “It’s okay, I’m fine”. Sitting behind them were my favourite pair: and elderly gentleman and his wife. They both sat upright and rarely ever fidgeted or fussed; occasionally, the woman would reach over and squeeze her husband’s hand reassuringly. Whatever illness they were facing they did it together, and even if their prospects were grim, I knew they would face their final moments with poise. Finally, sitting across from me, was a man accompanied by his wife who had brought his elderly mother in. The poor woman did not appear to be very sick, but she was senile; every now and again, she would look around dazed and her son would ask her if she knew where she was. The resemblance between the two was striking, and though they had been here longer than I had, he never left her side. It was like an airport terminal, except we were all going to the same place, and while the machines were exotic, it was doubtful that anyone wanted to be there at all. Crueler even was the triage process, which had given each of us a grade that reflected our level of illness. Although waiting was a labour, the destination was no better, and a quick trip often meant you were the sickest of the bunch; a bad time to be the top of the class. The nurse came out and called for myself and the senile woman, and as I sat in a room it had taken me six hours to get to. I wondered where I would be in another six.


Melting the Cynic LOUISE LOBB

The poem you’re about to read is about someone who has cut themselves off from the world: skeptical of love and romance, withdrawing when someone other than their friends and family member touch them, embracing solitariness so they don’t have to worry about being disappointed. . . But when the cynic melts through time and random acts of kindness, a very different potential future presents itself.

I have a lot to learn the lines in my face show my years but none of the lessons I’ve come across the pliancy of my mouth and cheeks hide a harder, deprecative side God, I have a lot to learn take my hands and let me touch your face I don’t have words to describe . . . what I’m touching - suffice it to say: I’m loving you it is so strange, and I am new at this down in something; slippery and stuck drowning, slapping, pushed between layers I call to you, wait, and let my arms slink to my side but not to wrap around myself, though I shiver steadily. You don’t even have to lead me to land just stand with me and we’ll hold each other by the eyes

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What’s Next?

ANNE T. DONAHUE

Depending on your religious beliefs (and guess what we’re not going to get into here), you get one of these “lives” and every minute you spend replaying and navalgazing to the Garden State soundtrack, you lose a chance at achieving your dreams.

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I’m not going to give some heartfelt rendition of whichever speech is your favourite from that lovable Michael J. Fox film Teen Wolf. This isn’t me reflecting on “what the future means to me,” or a recap of my last dining experience at Future’s restaurant. This is just about the future. That blank slate and giant question mark that a lot of you are probably staring at in the face and thinking, “oh god, what’s next?” I’ll tell you what’s next: something. Anything. The opposite of sitting there and wondering what’s next. We’ve all done a very good job at looking and naval-gazing and plotting and planning, and done a very bad job at just doing. You learned to ask, “What do I want my future to hold for me?” from Zach Braff films, before forgetting that the future is actually yours. You know what you do with it? Anything! You can do anything that you want. For real. No one is joking. This is real life. Obviously, knowing what you want to do is hard, and deciding to pursue it is even harder. But life isn’t for just sitting there, wondering and worrying about what the future means. Depending on your religious beliefs (and guess what we’re not going to get into here), you get one of these “lives” and every minute you spend replaying and naval-gazing to the Garden State soundtrack, you lose a chance at achieving your dreams. Yeah, those things. Those shiny, happy pieces of future that you hope to attain and to nurture, and make into that big, beautiful platform you get to act out your life on. Isn’t that neat? Your dreams can be your future! Those things you want to do? You can actually do them. And yeah, people will say mean things, and they will discourage you, and they will tell you just to get a paycheque, but do you know where those people will be in five years? Who cares! Not in your future, the topic we are all reading about today. I know, it seems like a trick. It seems like this is just a really long verse of Baz Luhrman’s “Everybody’s Free” that got cut, because who the fuck would put this on the radio? I would, because I better get behind the shit I’m saying. But other than that, no, this isn’t a trick (and no, no one would put this on the radio). You might be young, you might be old, you might be a 46 year-old man reading this waiting for his wife to finish ordering her damn coffee. I don’t care. It doesn’t make the future being yours any less true. So do something. Do what you love. Do what you’ve dreamt your whole life of doing. At least try. What’s the worst that can happen? You won’t succeed right away, but then you’ll try it differently and then it will work. Or it won’t, and you’ll realize you want to try something else, and you’ll do that. Just pick up your bags/computer/guitar/dancing shoes/calculator, and go. The future is now, so the saying goes.


DEVON BUTLER

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ALEC HOLTFORSTER

The Final Frontier DAN ZYBALA

They say we can’t see the future, for future is an illusion of the mind, where the realities of all rely solely on the memories of the past. In the coming decade, the world is set to evolve into unimagined practices that augment or makeup a ‘normal’ reality. This change of perception will reveal the ideas behind the technological and globalized framework that shapes our universal system. As nations get closer , the hyper-individualism that designed our social system will fade into a call for help that defines our need of planetary function. We are already seeing this with social media, and the importance of networking all over the world. The reality of our new universe is not only the unexplainable dark matter that is often studied in exploration, but the open horizon that breeds our mankind into infinite beings trying ever so hard to merely exist in the whole objectified notion of existence. Beyond a solar altitude is the ability to gather informative minds that tell us what to believe, what to strive for, and what to do in a world with endless possibilities. In the year 2012 we are still trapped by the limitless corners

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of earth, for our presence is a mere speck in the dust of our starry-eyed heavens. Together, the world must unify differences, strengthen ties between countries, and even develop a new system that brings forth revolution to the world. Not in a Marxist sense, but an educated proletarian sense that recycles the old republican ways and reaches for the democratic heights that present a refurbished identity to the entire earth. With movements from society and calls from external foundations, the world must liberate the masses and force change into a beat-down path of refurbished classical renaissance. The formation of the future is a shout for the start of a new big bang that sends the universe into culture shock of freedom and prosperity for all who live in its immense peculiarity for the born again life of existence around us. Upon the worlds final frontier, we see the beginning of a new existence in the life around us which leads to the open landscape in the furthest horizon; like finding the end of a rainbow’s light right in your backyard.


A Lesson in Growing Up ELENA MIKHAILOVA

When I hear the word ‘future’, I am honestly terrified. As I watch the months pass by, I feel responsibilities and duties mounting; I feel the pressure of graduation, like a noose tightening around the neck of everything I have come to love. I like the feeling of walking around familiar grounds, smiling a greeting at familiar people, and sitting in familiar chairs at the library. I like the constant shifting of what it means to live the ‘school life’ and the changing assignments and the changing priorities; Friday night is Philthy’s, while Monday morning, it’s time to get down to serious business in-

on Sunday nights. Now, as I struggle with my progression requirements for my program and trying to find a job for my first co-op term, my problems definitely seem like they have more significance. But I also have a more significant life; the future of the nervous, overwhelmed first year I was, ironically included a couple of new executive positions around campus, a vast variety of new experiences and a whole new batch of friends for my weekend plans. I have grown as a person, and there is perhaps nothing more exciting or satisfying than that. As I watch some of my

I remember when my biggest concerns had to do with dodging my don, and how there was never anything to eat on Sunday nights. Now, as I struggle with my progression requirements for my program and trying to find a job for my first co-op term, my problems definitely seem like they have more significance.

stead of down to the beats. Nevertheless, everyday I am challenged and I am completely free. I am only in second year. It probably seems absurd that I feel like my days are numbered when there are people graduating in a matter of weeks; some with a clear vision of their newfound adult-esque autonomy, and others probably with their palms sweating heavily around their diploma. Age considerations aside, I can confidently say time seems to fly by for all of us. Sometimes when I’m in the dining hall, watching first years come to terms with their new lives and independence, I wish I could tell them it gets so much better, and simultaneously, always a little worse. Some people may phrase this as just ‘different’ rather than attributing a negative connotation to the change, but those people are usually guidance councilors. I remember when my biggest concerns had to do with dodging my don, and how there was never anything to eat

older friends take pictures with a graduation gown and apply to leave their home away from home for the past 4 years, I can see that they have grown as well. Perhaps the future is terrifying, but once upon a time, it was the past and you were a lot less equipped to deal with the change than you currently are in the present. While I cannot pretend that I am completely relieved and relaxed regarding the end of my school career, I can honestly say that I am excited to know who I will become after another two years surrounded by the people and school I love. Perhaps after graduation, I will find new familiar grounds at a job I adore, and I will smile at my old roommates over a coffee date. There are so many possibilities out there; I currently can proudly say that I capitalized on a lot of amazing opportunities I did not even know about last year. And there is always the silver lining to any cloud; past the point of graduation, there is a sudden dearth of exams you might not pass.

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JACK ROUSSEAU

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Ashes to Ashes S.A. ROSE

Ash fell from the sky like fat, fluffy snowflakes. Sound buzzed in her ears, quietly at first, an incessant nagging that slowly spread from the dark recesses of her mind, growing louder and louder all the while, until the cacophony was echoing in her mind. She felt the hurt deep down in her bones, and though she could not bring herself to weep, she sensed the fiery tears throbbing behind her eyes, unshed emotion that hunted her like an animal. She listened intently to the raging storm beyond her, the urgent call from the living to the dead, the helpless cries of children aching in the night. She listened until she felt sick with it, the anger rising in her chest, flush in her face, a curse on her lips. She knew she would seek vengeance that night, would run to the depths of the world to bring justice to the scorned. The atrocities were too much to bear, though she did bear them, with a brutal unkindness, an unforgiving pain that fed the shadows in her heart. She would reap and sow the bloodshed she had witnessed, even if it robbed her of her last, and dearest breath. And like a knife in her skull, she heard her name, echoing through the vastness, calling to bring her home again, pulling her down, under, until the darkness was crushing her, choking her, smothering and suffocating, and a quiver ran through her body. “Nila? Nilani! Wake up!” With a jolt her body was released, the slow, paralyzing fear unwinding from around her muscles, and she sighed in the sudden stillness. “Rory?” She whispered, her voice thick with exhaustion and that irrefutable tension that never left her side. “Why did you wake me? I was having the most wonderful dream,” she sneered sarcastically. He smiled, that crooked, half smile that she had once loved so much. “Well, you did seem like you were having a ton of fun in there. Maybe I’ll just let you go back in, see how you do this time eh?” Nila closed her eyes, pushing the dark locks back from her face. “No, no. I wouldn’t want to deprive you of all the joy. Please, why don’t you go next?” She pushed herself from the modified lounging chair, pulling the needle from her veins as she moved. Her legs felt stiff and awkward, her throat burning with thirst. She turned to the large mirror at the far end of the room, her sallow reflection standing out amongst the white tiles lining the floor, lining the walls, lining the purpose of her life. Everything looked sickly to her eyes, though she reminded herself that was merely a side effect of the drugs...or so they said. “Hey! Would it kill you guys to keep me hydrated? Maybe

pass me a juicebox at lunch break or something?” She sniggered, eyes devoid of joy. The loudspeaker crackled and buzzed, followed by a brief pause. She knew the Labcoats were furiously writing about her at that moment, as they had done since she had walked into the hospital all those years ago. A grainy voice spoke softly through the loudspeaker. She knew him only as The Experimenter. “Now now Nilani,” he chastised quietly. “You know we take perfectly good care of your shell while you are away. If you are thirsty, you may have a single glass of water. Not too much though, we wouldn’t want you to feel sick.” She looked down at her meagre gown, the holes in her arms from repeated trials, the scars that would never fade. “I already do,” she whispered. Rory passed her a tepid glass of stale water. She guessed it had been sitting there since she had been knocked out, and who knew how long that had been? A day? A week? A month? She suppressed a shudder and gulped it greedily. Stale water was better than nothing. It slid down her throat with ease, her cracked lips soothed, and regretted that she had downed it so fast as she stared at the few droplets left in the bottom. She noticed the grainy powder sticking hungrily to the sides, no doubt to quell her noisome personality, and inwardly she shrugged. She immediately felt the drugs flowing through her veins, felt the molten lead spreading from limb to limb, until it reached her beating heart. Slowly, oh so slowly, the beating began to stiffen, until it seemed to her that a decade had passed between beats. Suddenly, Rory was at her side, and she saw through bleary eyes, that the floor was creeping steadily closer. She watched with detached fascination as her legs swung uselessly on the floor, her arms dangling from side to side as her body was heaved onto the hard, metal chair that had so effortlessly become her prison. She groaned as the Lab assistant placed another needle in her arm, yellow liquid spurting into her bloodstream, until she could feel the fabric of time, the edges of reality tearing, fading, falling into shadow. “Rory?” she whispered. It felt as if sawdust were packed into her mouth. “When do the experiments stop?” She wasn’t sure he had even heard her; so long she swayed in that strange limbo, reaching futilely for some semblance of life. Finally, he leaned close to her ear, and his words sent a chill down her spine. “When you’re dead.” And then she was being thrust through darkness, hurtled towards something she couldn’t remember and couldn’t forget, the fear rising inside her, panic pressing on her mind. The ash fell from the sky like fat, fluffy snowflakes.

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Doubt About the Future ASHLEY NEWTON

Thinking about the future is a terrifying thing for most people. Until I began my third year of university, I thought I had my future plans solidified. When I applied to university, I had the intention of continuing my education and planned to attend teacher’s college. That plan has since fallen through. I used to be someone who knew what they were going to do with their life, someone who had a concrete plan, and knew all the steps to get somewhere. I no longer hold that certainty, and it still frightens me. But learning to live with doubt about the future is something I have had to accept, as my own personality and goals shift into a shrouded path. For the first time in my life, my plans and hopes for the future are unstable, but I am slowly learning to appreciate this apprehension. Since I was a child, I have associated myself with creative writing. When I revisited this passion in September and realized I could pursue further education of it at the Master’s level, my life seemed to illuminate with hope. Ever since I realized that a Master’s in creative writing might shape my future, it has been the topic of heavy debate in my family. They ask questions such as, “What kind of job is that going to get you?” or “What will you get out of that?” But the issue shouldn’t be what I will get out of it. That’s the least of my worries. To me, the most important aspect of this epiphany is the realization that this will make me happy. I don’t know what will happen to me if I choose to pursue a career in creative writing; it can be rather competitive. But when I feel so strongly about something I was born to do I feel like I cannot fail. I’ve had to remind myself that I don’t actually know what will happen should I follow that path, and I’m learning to live with that uncertainty about the future.

I realize that it doesn’t matter what countless other voices are telling me to do; my own is the loudest and strongest of them all. It is my future, and I know what is best for me. Creative writing is just one of many possibilities for my future, and not knowing about it right away is not something to be ashamed of. Rather, doubt about the future is something to be proud of. It shows that we as humans are concerned with the lessons we will learn from new adventures. Despite all that is unfortunate for us, it’s important to remember that there will always be those people you can have faith in forever. Only we can decide what to do with the pain inside us, and whether or not we will use it to go backwards or forwards. The time that we spend on people that mattered only mattered then, but you can still relish the fact that the person ever mattered to you at all. Even if you do the most work in something you love and it doesn’t get you very far, at least the work was done with good hands and a good mind. When someone else is wrong about your future—or even theirs—sometimes it’s best to just let them discover it for themselves. Be humble. No matter how busy our lives may get, it is essential that we keep our creative minds active and follow our dreams; it is part of the reason why so many people are not inspired to do anything incredible anymore. Learn to appreciate who you are and where you might go with your life. Listen to your heart, because it is often stronger than your brain. If I had listened to my brain’s logic of doing what others wanted, I wouldn’t be writing this now. I would have become robotic and lived an unhappy life. I realize that my dreams may not be attainable. But how will I know if I don’t try?

I realize that it doesn’t matter what countless other voices are telling me to do; my own is the loudest and strongest of them all. It is my future, and I know what is best for me.

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DEVON BUTLER

Welcome, Friends! JANET KWON

Gather round slaves, and rejoice! I come from Master Zukunft’s manor, and I wish to speak to you all about your new home. Fellow slaves, the binds here don’t hurt; they’re as easy to wear as our hearts, as natural as dreaming, and as comforting as praying, for Master Zukunft trusts our fidelity in true kindness. The sick embrace their shackles, kissing them. They’ll tell you that Master Zukunft will heal them. Doubt in Master Zukunft is unheard of, and even those otherwise weak in spirit will proclaim their confidence in our Master Zukunft. The old and young alike depend on Master Zukunft for he creates possibilities and presents them as opportunities. Even the disabled speak of days when they will run robustly again, alongside Master Zukunft. “Revolt, revolt,” Camus has cried, but even he was Master Zukunft’s slave, for if the sun is to come up tomorrow, only Master Zukunft is to blame. And if salvation is to come, it is only through Master Zukunft. Hope is synonymous with Master Zukunft, so slaves, I ask you again, rejoice! To belong to Master Zukunft is to give into joy. Master Zukunft will save us all.

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Sonnet IV (If I Shall Wake) JOSEPH BRANNAN

Am I now old, or yet young, presently, When wary at life’s crossroads I do stand? Dreams and fantasies at my full command, If I shall wake, from waking reverie. Though I accept what Time may serve to me, The past marked firm as if with searing brand, On what’s to come, I may still yet expand, And steer this course without old apathy. Wake! Destiny is not set in its course, That you and I should settle with dismay. Let us our joinéd happiness enforce, To taunt fortune, capricious fate assay; Let no rude qualm breed pitiful remorse! Our quest, our liberty, begins today

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The Promising Future EMILY HOLMES

My purple suitcase sits quietly in the corner of my room. Shafts of moonlight seep through my blinds just enough to create an obscure criss-cross pattern on the bags’ surface. It sits innocently, unaware of the journey it will soon be making with me. I’ve packed and repacked too many times to count. Tried to envision the damp weather that awaits me and how best to be prepared for it. I outwardly stress about not bringing the right number of socks, or how durable my new rain jacket will be. I blame the emptiness of my suitcase on my wardrobe anxieties, but I know the real reason I lie awake late at night watching the moonlight dance across the floor. When I began to pack a few days ago, the first thing I noticed was the thin layer of sand that coated the bottom of my suitcase. It serves as a reminder of the trip we took together just months before. The sand was the same sand that we laid on underneath the stars, while we talked about life. When I saw it, I felt a pang of guilt at the thought of leaving you behind this time. From that moment, everything I tried to pack reminded me of you. The shirt that I wore on the first night we met. The shoes I wore one night that hurt my feet so badly you carried me home on your back. Everything I tried to stuff into my medium sized, Disney-themed luggage was connected to you somehow, yet it would never be enough to fill the void that was sure to arise in your absence. I expect that in the months I’m away that things will become different, and this is what I fear most. I expect to learn things about myself that will alter how I perceive the world around me. And although I have great expectations for what awaits me, I can’t ignore the reservations I have about us and what lies ahead. I know you worry too, which is why I’ve decided to make a promise to myself, and ultimately a promise to us. I promise that I will change. I promise that I will learn new things about the world I will explore, and share them with you as I learn them. While I can’t promise I will be back to see watch you graduate, or to see you turn twenty-three, I promise that I will be thinking only of you in those moments. And although I can’t tell you when I’ll be coming home, I promise that when I do come home, I will come home to you. The summer really isn’t that long, you know.


ALEC HOLTFORSTER

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Tidal Waves SIDEON

It is how we react within the outcome of change that defines us as individuals. When we allow ourselves to learn, grow, and change, we become stronger and more aware of ourselves. It is a personal choice in how we tackle life and we can either change with it, or be moved aside by it. Only once we have accepted the gravity of change can we begin to calm some the surrounding tidal waves. I cannot change your tone of your voice, or words you choose to use, but I can change how I listen or whom I listen to. I cannot change the times, but I know how to appreciate the importance of being heard. I cannot change that I still love her, but I can change the way love myself. I cannot change that I’m still dealing with consequences of a past I thought I’d left behind, but somehow life found a lesson I had missed and I’m being pulled back though corridors and calamities. I cannot change the fact that my best friend has cancer, but I can make a stand with her and fight this unwelcome intruder at her side. Positivity attracts itself, and it seems to be an underestimated practice that deserves more attention in today’s world of obsessive cynicism. Although I have always tried to be positive with advice to friends, I have not always pertained this knowledge into my own lifestyle. The mantra of positivity seemed unrealistic and made me nauseous. But my mother falling ill changed me. We surround our lives with endless clichés and hollow aphorisms that only seem to gain substance when they hit close to home. What do you do, when change becomes a branch of heartache? Do you let it take the time you do have? This moment? Or appreciate it knowing you are being changed forever?

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Destiny’s Desperation Unfound ANDREW SAVORY

As structures of endless metal are erected, the little town around the corner fades from memory. My hands used to wield a scorching iron hammer, now they grasp nothing but the items at my stationary. All along the while my voice can manage nothing but a stammer. What I once recognized as my kin has regressed into a faceless classification to be analyzed. I’m told that only three words remain audible: Working, middle, upper. Working middle, upper. How can this be true? I have a voice! But am I already through? It seems I have no choice. Looking for my past only points towards my lack of a future, has what I once saw as nature concealed itself as nurture? Personal desperation calls but the individual’s fate stays unbound. I’m desperate, where is my home now? I remain unfound.

Reality Check EMILY ZAREVICH

I recall a time where future was a word that didn’t make you cringe. “Start thinking about your future…” they keep saying. We thought out it long ago. Future once meant flying cars and robot friends when we were kids. Now we’re lucky if we can even afford a car that drives on solid ground, and to have any friends at all is luxury we still ignore. We’ve reached a scary age with our priorities scattered around. Suddenly it’s not so glamorous. Does future sound as good as it once did? Go argue about that on the internet.

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ALEC HOLTFORSTER

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Water Polo P.G. GALLANT

I’ve always thought it strange how young men and women choose to consume water. I drink from the tap myself, but currently, the available options for water consumption are obtuse, if not impressive. Daniel has a loft apartment in downtown Speatbridge (Speatbridge is a fictional city that I’ve made up for storytelling purposes, and I should also point out that Daniel is actually a woman, and this woman does not exist). Daniel prefers to get his water from a filtration container, which is of course, filled from the tap. It’s unclear why Daniel chooses the filtered pitcher over the tap water, but he has never acknowledged this as an obsessive compulsion, and has instead normalized the behaviour as if has been typical for generations. Daniel keeps the pitcher in his fridge, next to the milk and orange juice. Despite his dependency on this filtration system, and having used it for years, Daniel has never investigated what it is that goes into the filtration process, and what it is that functions as a filter. While Daniel was out, I looked into it, and it seems that the pitcher is governed by the filter’s “carbon and ion exchange resin.” This resin improves the water’s taste, and makes the water healthier. This may not be important to Daniel, but it is important to me, as I am strangely interested and invested in Daniel’s health. If you’re wondering, I’m less concerned about my health, embracing the copper, mercury, and cadmium that may or may not be a regular part of my diet. I had given up on my health long ago, accepting water from fountains, taps, and arbitrary canteens. Surely, this behaviour represents some kind of gamble, and I have been fortunate enough to survive in this ongoing game of truth or dare. I’ve come to believe that this consumption of unfiltered, unbottled water is some kind of complicated addiction. Every day I find myself at a tap with an empty glass, ready to fill and consume, with no regard for the contaminants that I may be ingesting. Often I find myself wondering how so many generations have survived, when so many have been afflicted with this impulse; to drink tapped water.

Daniel prefers to get his water from a filtration container, which is of course, filled from the tap. It’s unclear why Daniel chooses the filtered pitcher over the tap water, but he has never acknowledged this as an obsessive compulsion, and has instead normalized the behaviour as if has been typical for generations.

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Majestic Sheep DEVON BUTLER

The Loneliest Colour DEVON BUTLER

These are the purple walls of my prison. Scratching up my back. Laughing as I fall to the floor in a state of blurry despair. They watch me at night, when I’m most active, like a hamster running in its squeaky wheel. Trying to get somewhere. Waiting for somebody to forget to close the cage door so I can make my escape. I tried and I failed. A disembodied hand slammed the door shut, just as I was making my grand exit. There is more power in that pathetic hand than in all my attempts to succeed. The only thing to do in this place, solitary and detached, is to sleep and hope you dream of pleasant things. Fluffy lambs baaing in the distance and the strong arms of a man picking you back up. But my dreams are disorderly. Disjointed. Fragmented pieces of things and thoughts and images that consume my brain while I’m awake. Even if I could escape, would it make any difference?

Would it patch together the broken thoughts that haunt me, the thoughts that tell me I’m nothing. No good. Worthless. If I could get in the car and drive until I see an ocean, or something bigger than me I’d still be trapped within the structure of its metal pieces, the borders of a country and the deterioration of my mind. In the happiest place on earth I will still see a flash of purple, calling me back. Reminding me that no matter how many miles I travel, I must return. I must return to not getting what I want. To being overlooked and judged unfairly. Criticized, demoralized and having all my worst fears confirmed. But those strong arms materialize and new hands with more sensitivity guide me into a car, into a place, an escape. They possess enough power to lift me, but let me walk on my own. Into a place without squeaky wheels or beady eyes, dirty carpets, board meetings and most importantly, without the purple walls I will try to rest of my days to prove wrong.

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Profile for Blueprint Magazine

The Future Issue  

Volume 11 Issue 7 March 2012

The Future Issue  

Volume 11 Issue 7 March 2012

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