A Response to Climate Change Volume 1
Cultivating Resilience: A Response to Climate Change
Volume 1 2020
Copyrights ÂŠ 2020 by by The Trustees of Indiana University All rights reseerved, First edition.
Kalli Miller Taylor Whitlow Zackery Fox Ash Veazie Quinn Newell Eva Monhaut
Short Stories Jane Bonfiglio
Hailey Hamilton Cassidy Parks Antonio Garcilazo Eva Monhaut Baillie Richner
Layout & Design: Paige Dorbin Editor in Chief: Eva Monhaut Editorial Staff: Cassandra Felten & Professor David Dodd Lee
Note from the Editor: How Cultivating Resilience: A Response to Climate Change Began Cultivating Resilience first began in December of 2019 as I planning the project I wanted to pursue for my Sustainability Studies minor senior capstone course. Studying English and working with editing an idea came to me to create an anthology of undergraduate work centralized around themes of sustainability. I wanted to push the limits of the publishing industry by creating a publication focusing on environmental issues. As a result, Cultivating Resilience was born. My intent with this project was to allow young artists and authors to share their work with a larger audience while raising awareness on themes of sustainability. I believe, this has fostered a greater sense of community among students across multiple campuses. I also wanted to give individuals a platform to share their voice through uniting with others in this shared, passionate community of people eager to stand up and protect our planet. Independently, I also sought to learn more about the sustainable publishing industry while creating an impactful publication. Sustainability is about finding ways to allow everyone to meet their needs without jeopardizing future generations from meeting their needs. As I was seeking submissions, I strongly encouraged people to think of what this means to them. As I hope you will see in this collection of visual and written work, sustainability means very different things to every person. It is only through sharing these varied perspectives that, I believe, we can begin to change things for the better for future generations. Whatever sustainability means to you, the reader, I hope that you find inspiration, encouragement, and hope in these works and that together we may continue to cultivate resilience. -Eva Marie Monhaut 5
Poems “Garden” & “Mother Nature” Kalli Miller-Potter is a junior English Major minoring in Women and Gender Studies with a concentration in Creative Writing. She has been interested in writing since she was young and has recently dipped her toes into the world of poetry. Her work seeks to explore how the world can inspire many different emotions. With the state of the climate, she also hopes that her work calls attention to the problem in a unique way. In her free time, she can be found reading, cuddling her two cats or writing tirelessly. 8
Garden the nectarous smell of the lilac bush the bittersweet prick of a thorn the dust of blush upon her petals the crisp air of dawn a lack of rain made the flowers wilt I rub my thumb and hope it’s green
Mother Nature Many claim her as their muse, her beauty cannot compare. The countdown has begun She calls out, â€œRemember me!â€? Soon things will never be the same, no more fireflies in jars. Her beauty floats away as cities sink burning to ash ceasing to exist.
Taylor Whitlow Poems “Unoccupied” & “ Creatures”
Taylor Whitlow is a senior Psychology major, double minoring in German and Creative Writing. They have been writing poetry for about four years now centered on themes of political and gender issues. They have recently branched out into writing about sustainability after a renewed interest in nature and humanities effects on the planet. They hope their work can inspire others to think about how their actions affect those around them, including the animals and the environment. Most of their free time is spent helping run the Dungeons and Dragons Club on campus, as well as attending the Gamer’s Guild meetings.
Unoccupied The sun has never really been my friend. More like an admirer. Sometimes I’ll go outside and see her, most nights she has already departed. I wonder if I could live without her. Her warmth and light. Would the flowers survive? I am sure one could, but I am addicted to this cat and mouse game. Moon watches us play our game. I wonder if she is jealous; I see Moon every day but rarely look at her. I could live without the moon, unless she downed me first. Then I would learn to love the fish. Do you think they would miss her, notice she was gone the day she exploded into cosmic stardust? If they didn’t, she would rain down upon the surface of the water, like those dried pellets of food children throw. “25¢ for a handful” – 25¢ to feed the captured. I am sure that the animals know they are caged. I am sure they dream of the wide-open plains or deserts or forests or mountains or icebergs or the warms of the fire on the hearth in their homes. I wonder how happy they would be if I opened the cage doors. I am sure they would know the difference, but do you think that they might want to stay caged after all the years of being entertainment slaves. 12
Creatures (After Virginia Woolf’s “The Voyage Out”) The sun that same day was saluted by a sparkle of lights. The hours were difficult to kill and the dance tarnished the dissipation. The opinion of the coffee cups and cigarettes was dull, badly dressed, fatuous. Half an hour ago there were no letters. Every other person received three plump hard and caustic animals. Their silence holds a lump of raw meat liken to hippopotamuses, to canary birds, to swine, to parrots, and to reptiles half-decayed. Now cough, now wheeze now patter; stand in the bones being mauled. A careless glance eyes fixed upon spears arranged points Creatures to far from them. 13
Zachary Fox Poem â€œThis is Not the Same Warâ€?
Zachary Fox is a junior at Hiram College studying Environmental Studies and Natural History. He is engaged in land conservation work and ecological research at the James H. Barrow Biological Field Station, as well as sustainability initiatives as president of the Environmental Action Crew and chair of the Sustainable Development Committee. More familiar with scientific writing, Zack has begun to use poetry to communicate ideas about sustainability that science traditionally ignores. He hopes that his work can start a dialogue on the abstract effects of the environmental crisis on individuals and communities. 14
This is Not the Same War This is not the same war that my great-grandfather fought when he was in a Sherman in the Bulge. in those cold Ardennes months in forty-four and five when his crew leader was killed by an 88 from a Tiger twelve inches above his own head and when the replacement for that crew leader was killed by an 88 from a Tiger twelve inches above his own head or when they saved the bridge at Remegan, the only bridge over the Rhine. Arthur Rohrs fought the Germans because he had to. Yes, he was drafted but that is not why he had to; he knew that when the world is on fire you put it out. There is no harsh cold in the Bulge that I must endure with Tigers firing 88s twelve inches above my head into the body of my crew leader. In this war, that is not a war but a conflict-filled campaign, a collective restoration, a paradigm shift, politics, a major movement, a necessary fix. This is the struggle of our generation, three generations after those boys of the fourteenth tank battalion and I swear that I will fight for my entire life in this war for Earth because when the world is on fire you put it out.
Ash Veazie Poem “Mother Earth”
Ash Veazie is a transgender climate activist at IUSB who helped the Sunrise Movement organize a climate strike in South Bend. She has been writing poetry since high school, and in her senior year her poem “BluBird” won Bethel College’s The Crossings High School Writing Contest. She adores poetry, history, and the environment, and the crucial role all three of those subjects take on in daily life. She struggles with grief surrounding the climate, and copes with that grief by writing. Her hobbies include photography, gardening, and politics. 16
Mother Earth i sit next to mother earth on her deathbed, sobbing i want to help pay for the medicine she needs to get better but i can not afford it a wealthy man sits in the corner of the room dead silent he could pay for her to live he could pay for it 300 times over but he wonâ€™t
Quinn Newell Poems “Pines” “Elegy to the Beast People “
“The Berries Know Nothing of Consequence” Quinn Newell is a sophomore English major with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Inspired by nature, the occult, and a deer skull they once found in their friend’s backyard, their poetry is surreal and observational. By developing their own writing voice, they are working to improve their skills in editing and publishing. When not at school or work, Quinn can be found baking bread, scribbling in notebooks, listening to podcasts, and cuddling with their delightfully dumb dog, Jasper.
PINES the scent of clove and formaldehyde stains the air around my nostrils while I sit among the pines. I feel like an ant among them. sturdy trunks and arms outstretched to protect those who call them home. they protect me now though I am just a malevolent visitor. like an exhaust pipe I breath my smoke and like a hypocrite I confess my sins to the woodland priest. I am guilty, I tell it, but not so guilty that I am going to stop. I am sorry. the priest watches, eyes many and unblinking. it would frighten me, only I have sat here too many times. have become all too familiar with the stillness of its face, the hollow whistling of the wind through its bones, and the incorruptible conifer of the confessional REPENT AND KNOW YOU RESTITUTION ah; of course. I take one last hit from the smoldering selfrighteousness that brought me here before plunging it to my skin. it burns, and after I have repented for my sins I drop it to the ground. an offering (a weak-willed promise) for the great all-knowing forest. I snuff it, boot tip grinding into dirt and the tar begins to pool, voracious and alive. the moment I lift my toe the priest lurches to the ground, jaw unhinged, and devours the thing with a jaw-full of soil and moss to quell the little devilâ€™s anger. its limbs spasm as it lifts its face to the sky. I see the lump of mud and earth and tar slide with effort down its throat. the moment passes. the priest returns to its silent posture on the pulpit in front of me.
these berries know nothing of consequence about time these wretched strawberries began to bloom! and what time do you call this? halfway through winter and the red still barely begun to bleed to the flesh. now is hardly the time for leisurely ripening! the ghost moths and leaf blight will surely attack come summer; how youâ€™ll wish you tried harder then!
Elegy to the Beast People there was something in the air that morning in glittering frost and lake effect snow the elk (who did not knowÂ it was going to be dying later that night) sat alert, its ears twitching in the motherly breast of the forest. it was a creature made for times such as these there was something in the air that evening in frozen hydraulics and the icy stretch of road the human (who did not knowÂ it was going to be dying later that night) sat huddled, its hands, shaking in the metallic safety of man-made ingenuity. it was not a creature made for times such as these the grackle was perched silently in a tree black water eyes vast and observant as it surveyed the scene below fractals of glass and ice indistinguishable, wounds cauterized. the hunger of winter is strong tonight, the grackle thought, as the two beasts bled together as one to quench natureâ€™s insatiable thirst the bird took flight. it detested the smell of blood and the scent on the snow would linger for days to come 21
Poems “ Plastic” “Body Temperature” “The Summer Before Climate Change” “ The Winter After Climate Change” Eva Monhaut is a junior English major double minoring in French and Sustainability Studies. She has been writing poetry from a young age and recently has begun writing on themes of sustainability. Her work seeks to explore the culpability of humanity in the face of climate change and other threats to nature. She also is interested in how the human body reflects and mimics nature in its most raw, honest, and brutal forms. She also seeks to capture the beauty of her Indiana home. She hopes that her work can inspire others to think about how their choices impact the planet and what they can do to make a difference. In her free time, she can be found drinking copious amounts of coffee, cuddling with kittens, lifting weights, writing, and reading for hours on end. 22
Plastic I sat and watched the plastic float, the silent bobbing hymn it sang dancing across the dull surface of the lake, the rain, pushing the geometry of the water apart, stitched together again only by the quiet breath of time.
Body Temperature The man from last night’s dive bar lay wrapped in my silk sheets, his eyes heavy, his jaw like carved marble pressing into the feather pillow. I elbow him, “Wake up.” He sighs rotating till he faces me and props himself up with his elbows, erect. I lean in closer. He smells of dirt and mud, the debris of plant life— staring into his green eyes I can almost see a tiny seedling germinating, fighting through layers of thick muck in order to live. “What?” He smirks. “You look at me as if I were a god.” “No, I look at you because I know you understand—” I pause, “because I know—” but he takes me in his arms before I can finish my thought, pulling me against his warmth. I close my eyes, blood boiling, and later that morning as we lay examining the passing of time, I kiss his lips, thinking The globe is getting warmer, darling, can you feel my bones burning?
Baillie Richner 25
The Summer Before Climate Change The summer before climate change we spent diagonal on our puppy-patterned beach towels, Lake Nikomisâ€”mid-July, breasts spilling over the edge of our pokka-dotted bikinis. In Antartica record amounts of ice were melting, the ozone layer was oozing into oblivion sea turtles were washing to shore, bellies bulging with plastic straws, coke bottle caps and micro-fragments of our daily life. But none of this mattered to us: every weekend we were somewhere with someone drinking something with rum and coconut, a tiny plastic umbrella floating on the surface. We spent our days on the manufactured sand our nights grinding our tanned bodies against some man on the dance floor. The summer before climate change I was waiting for something life-changingâ€” straddling adulthood, responsibilities, fatigue. Burnout became inevitable and as the summer wound down we spent one last weekend spreading tanning oil over the curves of our bodies, drinking iced-coffee until our veins pushed against our skin catching the sunlight, blue and purpleâ€” proof we were still living. 26
The Winter After Climate Change The Winter after climate change we spent making love against the bruised permafrost, while the gaunt polar bears stared with vacant eyes in search of food. We watched as they tip-toed to the edge of the ice growling at the frigid waters, hungry but too weak to swim to the other side. You put your body on top of mine, trying to drown out the vicious death that clung to their ribs. Your body, inside of mine, moving, growing warmer until I heard them splash into the depths, sluggishly swimming in search of that which they would not find. **** A month later, when we found out I was pregnant, germinating life in that detris, we walked for hours along the newly-melted shoreline and watched the polar bears die. Some washed to shore with their claws extended in surrender, others stumbled along the horizon line, wavering then collapsing their inky tongues shriveling to match their cadaverous skulls. 27
Short Stories Antonio Garcilazo
Jane Bonfiglio Story â€œ What We Hadâ€?
Jane Bonfiglio is a senior English major with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Sustainability at the University of Notre Dame. She has always loved creative writing of any kind, and has been writing short stories since grade school. She has explored a variety of genres, but recently has been focused on stories that have to do with sustainability and humanityâ€™s relationship to the environment. Specifically, she is interested in exploring how we tell the story of climate change and how we construct different narratives around it as a way of addressing its problems and implications. She likes to focus on individual, intimate relationships in her writing, and wants to try to communicate the possible effects of climate change on human lives and personal connections so that people might realize that something has to change.
What We Had Beatrice “Is this the last one?” I drop the cardboard box onto grandma’s beat-up wooden coffee table. “Careful,” Grandma scolds. “You know you can’t buy wood products anymore.” She sets down her chipped blue mug, the only one she ever uses, and carefully peels back the tape. “Are there any more upstairs?” “No.” “Then it’s the last one.” She removes a thick orange envelope from the box, opens it, and pulls out a stack of photos. “So how do you want to do this?” I say, sitting down across from her. “Do what?” she asks, staring at the photos. “This!” I wave at all the boxes on the faded living room carpet, the coffee table, and the couch. She puts the photos down and takes a sip from her mug. Every time she uses it she tells me that it’s supposed to be used for coffee, and I ask her why she still has it if there isn’t any coffee to fill it with. She never answers, just sighs loudly as she fills it with lukewarm tap water and says for the hundredth time that the white bird painted on it is now extinct. “Isn’t it your job to tell me that?” Grandma peers at me over her glasses, her dark eyes cryptic. “We want our subjects to be comfortable with the process, Grammy. The best way for you to share information is the best way for us to gather information.” “Is that what is says in your project description?” “No,” I lie. “So I’m your subject, then?” she asks. “Well, we want our interviewees—” She holds up a hand. “Just tell me what you want to know.” I pick up my tablet and open her file. “Let’s start with your life,” I say. “Anything you can remember from living on the coast before the Floods. You lived in Eastport, right?”
“Yes, Eastport…” she says, gazing across the room at the weather-proof cellar door. A ding sounds on my tablet, but it doesn’t break her focus. “Why not show me the pictures?” I say. She turns toward me, seeming to wake up. “I can do that,” she says, and hands me the stack of photos. “If any of these seem relevant to your research, I’ll gladly tell you about them.” “Okay, this one.” I hand her the photo that caught my eye. She and another girl are sitting on the edge of a boat. Grandma looks young, maybe in high school or college, and is wearing a strapless bathing suit top. Her tan lines are visible, not hidden by the light hair falling past her shoulders. She is smiling behind pink Aviators and leaning her head against the other girl, who looks about the same age. One side of her friend’s red bathing suit top is visible, and the rest is covered by wavy blonde hair. Behind them, the dark, murky blue of the water makes the light sky even more striking, and two yachts are visible behind Grandma’s right shoulder. ***
Sadie “Sucks you have to leave tomorrow,” I told Elle, unfolding my legs underneath the giant unicorn float on our laps. “Honestly, it was really inconsiderate of you to accept an internship that isn’t in Eastport.” Elle laughed. “Come visit! Because you know you won’t once we go back to school, even though it is your turn to visit for a football game.” “It’s so far. Plus, my mom doesn’t want me gone for any more weekends after I go to the beach with Deven.” “I can’t believe you’re choosing a romantic beach trip with your boyfriend over driving nine hours to come see your bestie,” Elle said. “I also can’t believe your dad is letting you.” “Me neither. But he loves Deven. They bond over baseball and their favorite beers.”
Elle laughed. “Your dad might love him more than you.” “Girls, let me take a picture!” Elle’s mom called out, holding up her phone. “How can you even see us? This float is so big.” “It’s fine, I want the float in. It’s cute!” We leaned our heads around the unicorn’s neck and smiled. Elle’s mom snapped the photo. Then Elle’s dad started the engine and the boat pulled out into the harbor. I watched the docks and houses sail past. Every time we hit a wave the boat went airborne, and Elle laughed as she tried to hold onto the float. I turned into the wind to keep my hair out of my face. When we finally reached the mouth of the Severn River, Elle’s dad slowed the engine and aimed for the Eastport Bridge. “We should rent a yacht for our 21st birthdays. Throw a huge party,” I told Elle. Elle’s mom laughed. “How do your parents feel about that idea, Sadie?” “They laughed when they heard it, too.” “Better idea,” Elle said. “Matching yachts. Then we can throw huge boat parties whenever we want.” “Genius. How about those?” I pointed to two similar-looking boats floating past as we approached the bridge. “Yes. Mom! Take our picture in front of our yachts.” I hand my phone to Elle’s mom, and she says, “Okay, girls, smile.” *** Beatrice “When did you meet Elle?” I ask. “Sophomore year of high school.” “Where is she now?” “She went to Europe after college, when the flooding started to get worse. We lost contact when the big phone networks crashed. I ran into her parents a few years later. They told me she had died in the first big malaria
outbreak around the Mediterranean.” “Oh.” “She’s in this one, too.” I look at the next photograph in the stack. Its background is breathtaking. A small harbor at sunset, the calm water of the inlet visible behind white boats and pilings. Off to the side, a basket of white flowers hangs from an unlit lamp post. Further back, the sun is an orange glow behind the dome of a tall white building. In the foreground, Elle stands on an elevated wall surrounding the water, one leg perched atop a dock box like she is stretching. Another girl is standing next to her, one hand partially covering a slightly exasperated smile. Standing behind her is a small blonde, smiling at the camera but looking like she doesn’t belong in the photo at all. “Who are the other two girls?” I ask. ***
Sadie “What you wanna do now, birthday girl?” Charlotte slipped on her sunglasses and tossed her hair back. “Ice cream?” “Obviously,” I answered. “But where?” “Red Bean?” Sophie suggested. “Ooh, yes.” “Perf,” Charlotte said, typing on her phone as we walked up the street. The three of us filed into the ice cream shop and stood in line behind a young guy with a crab on the back of his t-shirt. Charlotte was still on her phone and Sophie was looking at the menu, so I pulled out my phone to text my parents. Glancing up, I noticed Charlotte was pointing her phone camera at the door behind me. “What?” The bell over the door dinged and I looked back and almost screamed as Elle grabbed me in a sudden bearhug. “Surprise, bitch!” she said. “Happy birthday!” “Oh my god! When did you get here?” I turned to Sophie and Charlotte. “You two knew?”
“This morning,” Elle answered. “You’re lucky to have me.” We got our ice cream and headed down Main towards the water, passing a few shops closed for repairs and a few that had been vacated. We did a slow circle of City Dock. As we were walking back, trying to avoid the standing water from yesterday’s big storm, I noticed the sun sinking slowly toward the brick buildings. “Wait!” I said, “I want a picture of you all. Go stand on that wall.” Elle jumped up, and Charlotte followed her, reluctant. Sophie awkwardly climbed up behind them. “Don’t just stand there. Smile. Do something fun.” I told them, holding up my phone. Elle swung her leg on top of a dock box next to her, Charlotte laughed and brought her hand up over her face, and Sophie just smiled. *** Beatrice “What happened to Sophie and Charlotte?” I ask. “Sophie went to Chicago. I kept in touch with her for a while, then found her again awhile back. She died of lung cancer a few years ago.” “And Charlotte?” “We were close for a while. Actually, your mom knew her well. But when her kids grew up she took them to France.” “I’m guessing she died there?” “Well, your guess is as good as mine. I haven’t heard from her in years. But if the heat wave didn’t kill her, the drought might have.” I keep flipping through the photos. “Wait,” Grandma says. She picks up the one I just placed on the table. In it, she looks to be the same age as in the other two, sitting on a red bridge railing, illuminated by the flash. Next to her is a lean, muscular guy who has one hand on her hip and one hand resting on the railing. Both of
Grandma’s arms are wrapped around his thin waist. They’re both soaking wet. “Was that taken at night?” I ask. ***
Sadie “You guys really doing this?” Charlotte asked, pulling into the Fleet Feet parking lot. “Why not?” Elle said, hopping out of the passenger seat. “Well, for one thing, the water is super polluted.” Deven and I climbed out of the back. “No backing out now,” he said. “Just swim around the dead fish.” We all walked up the sidewalk onto the bridge. There were no cars, just the sound of the waves gently lapping against the docks, boats creaking, and our flip-flops slapping. “You’re coming out by the Sailing Club?” Charlotte asked. “Near where we parked?” “Yep,” Elle hopped onto the railing and peered over. “Sadie was right. There’s a ledge.” “That’s a first,” Deven said, climbing over the railing with Elle. “Deven, it would be a real shame if you fell headfirst,” I said. He grabbed my arm and helped me climb over. “Are you all jumping at once?” Charlotte asked. “Yep,” I told her. “Want to go down now? Do you have a flashlight?” “Yeah, but…” “We’re fine, Charlotte. Just shine the light and we’ll swim towards you! There are ladders all over those docks,” I said. “I still don’t think this is a great idea,” she said, turning back the way we’d come. No one said anything while we waited for her to reach the dock. I looked down at the dark water below, then at Deven, who was watching me. A warm, salty breeze
ruffled his hair as he leaned over and whispered something into my neck. “There’s the light,” Elle said. “Ready?” We all grabbed each other’s hands. Deven counted down from 3. On 1, we jumped. The fall was fast and breathless, warm air hitting my face and filling my lungs, then a splash as we entered the water. It was cool and dark and gentle and silent. I let myself float below the surface for a few seconds, enjoying the peace, until Deven and Elle pulled me up. We swam towards Charlotte, the gentle splash of our limbs through the water cutting through the quiet air, then climbed up onto the dock. Charlotte handed us towels. “How was it?” she asked. “Refreshing,” said Elle. “Let’s go back up,” I said. We walked to the center of the bridge once more and stood peering over the edge for a few minutes, silent. For the first time, the black water, rising and reaching for the shops and restaurants and homes of Eastport, actually seemed threatening. I turned to Deven and ran a hand through his wet hair. “Let’s get a picture,” I said. He groaned, but climbed with me up onto the railing, facing the bridge. I handed Charlotte my phone and she stepped off of the sidewalk, looking up and down the street, positioning herself to take the photo. “Elle, get out of the way,” she shouted. *** Beatrice “Can we look at the rest of these tomorrow?” Grandma asks. She is gazing out the window at the fading daylight. “You should start walking before it gets dark.” “Sure.” Grandma carefully puts the photographs back into their envelope, then places the envelope in the box. “It’s just—” She looks around at the rest of the
I watch her, hands ready to type. “I had so much,” she says.
*** The next morning, when I walk into the living room, sweating from the heat and the long walk over, Grandma is holding a leather-bound journal in her lap. “What’s that?” I ask. “I found this last night.” She opens the journal to a page marked with a faded strip of newspaper. I lean closer but am only able to read the word Obituaries on the newspaper before she tucks it into her pants pocket. “I wrote this right after I left Eastport, so I wouldn’t forget.” She hands it to me. ***
What I Had My uncle’s boat, Painless, me sitting on my mom’s lap and wearing a puffy blue life jacket. I loved watching the water swirl behind the boat and the American flag in the aft flapping in the wind. I was always afraid it would fall into the water. Jumping off the boat, mom is trying to teach the cousins and me how to do back dives. We always landed on our backs. My cousins. One day Tommy decided that jumping off the top of the boat would be fun. He put on two life jackets, one on his chest and one on his legs like a diaper, climbed to the top, hesitated, then, after several minutes of encouragement and a few insults from the rest of us, jumped off. He said it was higher than it looked. Kayaking to Do What You Want Island. Nikki chose this name for the tiny sand bar because “You could do what you want there.” Her reasoning was that our parents wouldn’t kayak or swim over there to boss us around, so, in theory, we could do what we wanted. Quackers and Daisy.
Boating with Deven. Fighting over who got to drive. He told me he always let me win that argument because he liked watching me hold my hair back from my face or press my sunglasses to the bridge of my nose, instead of driving with one hand always on the throttle like my dad had taught me. Tubing. The feeling of holding on for dear life, being whipped around behind a boat with my brother. He made me furious and we were constantly at war, but those fifteen minutes on the tube were a temporary truce. Eating ice cream at City Dock. Watching the ducks bob in the wakes of motorboats and shake dirty water off their wings. My dog George, who we could never get to jump in the water after us. Tanning on the dock with Charlotte, listening to Tim McGraw and Sam Hunt and putting lemon juice in our hair and complaining about summer jobs and not being able to go to the bars downtown without seeing people from high school. Lying on the dock with Deven at night, listening to cicadas hum and boats creak in the waves. He pointed out the constellations, one wiry arm under my head, the other waving at the sky. I looked at his eyes, blue and gleaming in the small dock lights, and told him that was all a load of crap. He laughed and said that I was right, it was, that he had no idea which stars were part of which constellations. I elbowed him in the side and complained about light pollution, until he tangled his hand in my hair and pulled my sunburnt face to his own. Chasing George to the edge of my backyard, then watching him run out onto the frozen water. He would look back at me and tilt his small head as if he knew I couldnâ€™t get to him. He came back when he pleased, wagging his tail, snow on his nose. Reading on my screened-in porch with my parents, rocking in the green wicker chair, and watching the water darken between the trees as the sun went down. Visiting Deven at work. Sitting with him on the
dock with my legs dangling over the water, seeing how far I could push my flip-flops off my feet without dropping them. Getting up and leaning against the sun-warmed wall of the general store whenever customers came. I always smiled at the boaters and watched Deven fill up their gas, making small talk in his red uniform shirt and a blue bathing suit that made him look like a walking American flag. I told him that, and he wore it to work for the rest of the summer. Sitting on a paddleboard with Sophie, watching the Water Taxi go by and waving at all the tourists. They would smile and shout at us, but we felt sorry for them, because they were only visiting. Driving over the Eastport Bridge. Rolling our windows down when we had to stop for a sailboat, letting in the sounds of seagulls and motorboats, the smell of the brackish water churning below. Bonfires in Oliva’s backyard on the Fourth of July, giggling after our fourth glass of champagne and listening to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and watching the dancing red reflection of fireworks on the dark water. Sneaking onto the dock with Deven after everyone else fell asleep and tasting him, salt and tequila and Spearmint gum. “Do you know where Deven is now?” I ask Grandma, flipping through the rest of the journal. “Deven?” A yellowed sheet of paper falls from the back of the book. I pick it up and unfold it. “What’s this? A letter? To Deven?” Grandma is silent. “Can I read it?” She nods. Dear Deven,
Your hair was as messy as we were. It fell over the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen, and I wanted to drown myself in them and never look back. I wish every day that I had.
Your smile was everything, and every day I want that smile to meet mine just one more time, and then I would never stop smiling. We were laughing and crying and sad music and a beer can opening and you don’t have to hold my hand but please just let me sit with you forever. But you left and the blue keeps flowing. I hated you for smoking cigarettes when you were drunk. I used to think that I only smoked cigarettes when I was too drunk. But since you left me with your ghost, I’ve realized that I actually only smoke cigarettes when I’m broken. It doesn’t make me feel better, but it makes me feel in control. In control of the destruction. But we’re only in control until we aren’t. We knew we were losing control and losing chances. And then it was too late. Now I avoid blue eyes. Now I avoid blond hair and scars. Now I avoid saying all the right things. No talking, no walls, no clementines. This is all because we’re vulnerable but not on purpose. So, I try to protect myself from myself and everything I had. But one thought, one word, one memory, and the water comes flooding back, and I’m even more broken than before. I’m left scribbling in the water and trying to make sense of words that won’t last. Come back. I’m sorry. Sadie Grandma’s eyes are closed. “Oh…I’m sorry,” I say. “I’m sorry to dredge up painful memories. But this guy Deven is in a lot of your stories, and we’re trying to fill in as much history as we can. Can you tell me what happened? Did he leave because of the Floods? Do you know where he went? Could you get in contact with him?” She doesn’t answer. The clock ticks.
“Grandma? Are you okay?” “History,” she says, giving a sad laugh. “Deven didn’t leave, honey. He died.” My stomach drops. “Oh, my God, I’m so sorry. I thought—” She shakes her head. “It was a long time ago.” “How did he die?” I ask quietly. “Well, he drowned, of course.” I watch her, still holding the letter. She’s not crying, just breathing slowly, deliberately. “You don’t have to tell me about it.” She looks up at me. “Yes, I do. Get your tablet.” I retrieve my tablet from the armchair and sit back down. “You know the Floods weren’t a single event,” she tells me. “It was years of worsening storms, heavier rains, more frequent flooding. The Eastern Shore was being swallowed by the ocean, but people on the other side of the bay didn’t want to leave.” “Even though they knew it was dangerous?” “It was our home,” Grandma says. “We didn’t want to leave because we knew that once we left, we’d never go back.” She shakes her head and continues. “Anyway, it kept getting worse. They tried sea walls and sandbags and resilience plans, built breakers and outlets. But the water kept rising. Eventually people did start to leave. Slowly at first. My parents left with my brothers. Most of my friends.” “But you stayed?” “We stayed. Deven and I. We’d moved back after college. We had it all planned out. We’d get married and have a house on the water. A dock. Our kids would know how to kayak and sail and catch crabs. But in the back of our minds we knew that eventually we’d have to leave, and we wouldn’t have any of that. Our kids wouldn’t have… They wouldn’t have any of what we had growing up.” “So, you left?” Grandma shakes her head, blinking. “I didn’t want to. He didn’t want to either, of course, but he was willing to
admit defeat. Not me. He tried talking me into it, he tried so hard, but I was stubborn and stupid. I wouldn’t let go, and I was angry at him for giving up so easily.” “Did he leave you?” She smiles. “He would never have left me.” Then she is silent for a few seconds. “He loved me too much.” “What happened?” I ask quietly. “A storm. A flood.” Her voice is a monotone. “Hurricane Ida. He was trying to help our neighbor who was stuck in his car. I didn’t see it. All I know is what people told me.” “Where were you?” “At home. We were looking out the living room window at the filthy water flowing down the street. I think I was crying. I knew at that moment that everything was falling apart. I don’t know how long we were standing there. Then our neighbor Sharon called us, asking for help; her husband was the one in the car. I said I’d go with him, but Deven made me stay. So, I told him to be careful. Told him it was time to leave Eastport. Told him that I loved him. He told me he loved me. He kissed me. Then he left.” “I’m so sorry,” I say. “When he didn’t come back, I left,” she says. “I came to the Midwest, before the Great Retreat and before everything fell apart. I went to my family. My friends. We survived together. While they were alive, it was like I still had a part of him with me. But now everyone who knew him is dead. Everyone who knew Eastport is dead.” She looks down at my tablet, then out at the roiling clouds of another summer storm. I blink away tears, and Grandma smiles sadly at me. “Don’t cry for me, sweet Beatrice,” she says. “If anything, cry for yourself.” “Why?” “You’ll never really know what we had.”
Visual Arts Eva Monhaut “Roots” 45
Graphic Narrative “ Strawless Lids” Hailey Hamilton is a French Secondary Education major with a Creative Writing minor. She works at Starbucks and often hears people freaking out about “saving the turtles” by skipping a straw without taking into account the animal products they eat or the impact animal agriculture has on the environment. Starbucks has recently made statements about pushing non-dairy milk in order to reduce their carbon footprint, but they continue to push mostly non-vegan items while charging extra for vegan milks. A lot of people don’t talk about the severe damage that animal agriculture has on the planet because it is seen as inconvenient, but if the silence continues, we will suffer the consequences. Because it is less talked about, Hailey’s interest in sustainability is rooted in educating people about how destructive eating animal products really is to the planet, our health, and of course, to animals. 46
Hailey Hamilton “Strawless Lids”
Cassidy Parks Sculpture “ Help”
Cassidy is a Sustainability major with a minor in Anthropology. She has been sculpting since her junior year of high school and has a deep passion for it. She has recently started to combine her love for sculpture and her passion for activism within sustainability. This piece shows food waste her family collected throughout one week at their home. She used this food to shape the letters to show others how much food waste can build up within a week’s time. She hopes that this project spreads awareness of the issues of food waste in South Bend.
Cassidy Parks “Help”
Antonio Garcilazo Antonio Garcilazo is a freshman Exploratory major. He has been taking photos for about one year and mainly focuses his time on portrait photography. With climate change being such a prominent thing in todayâ€™s world, he believes that we need to capture the beauty of this world before it runs out. He hopes that his work can inspire people to see the beauty in the world and to go out and do something to try and preserve it. He also spends his time hanging with friends, editing videos as well as lifting weights.
Baillie Richner Art on page 25 Baillie has a General Studies degree with minors in Psychology and Sustainability. She enjoys spending her free time outside hiking with her dog Georgie. She hopes her work conveys the extreme temperatures we have seen in the last couple of years. She took this photo around February of last year, the difference is freezing temperatures and pounds of ice compared to this year. It is normal for it to be cold in the winter, but not freezing one day and summer the next. She wants people to understand there is a problem. She also enjoys working with her hands creating macramĂŠ plant hangers or creating oil paintings.
Eva Monhaut â€œHomesteadâ€?
Eva Monhaut “Home”
Acknowledgements I would like to thank the following people for all of their contributions to this project. I want to give a big thanks to Professor Krista Bailey and the staff at the Center for a Sustainable Future without which this project would never have happened in the first place. I would also like to thank the Women of IU South Bend for providing us with a generous grant to fund this project. I would like to extend my thanks to all of the faculty and staff of the English and Sustainability Studies departments who greatly helped in the organizational stages of this project and served as mentors along the way especially Dr. Kelcey Ervick, Dr. Mattox, Professor Joseph Chaney, and Professor David Dodd Lee. I also think it should be noted that faculty and staff at other universities in the area made a huge difference in the outcome of the project for that reason I want to thank the English and Sustainability/Environmental Studies departments at local universities including Goshen College, The University of Notre Dame, and St. Maryâ€™s. I also want to thank Goshen College, the Merry Lea Center, and Professor Tom Hartzell for inviting me to speak at the annual Sustainability Summit this year. I learned so much through this process and enjoyed hearing others perspectives on writing and sustainability. I also want to thank the staff at Wolfson Press and The Deadline for the support, input, and aid in gathering submission for the anthology. Next, I must thank all of those who submitted without which this project would have fallen through. I truly enjoyed seeing the varying topics and perspectives each of you took and hope you continue to create work that focuses on these themes in the future. I want to acknowledge the hard work the review and editing committing put in including Bryce Delaney, Cassandra Felten, Jenna Sule, Professor April Lidinsky, and Professor David Dodd Lee. Furthermore, I owe a huge thanks to Paige Dorbin, she is the one responsible for the beautiful layout and design of this anthology. Lastly, I want to thank anyone I may have forgotten to acknowledge here who helped in anyway with this project, your work, commitment, and support has meant the world to me!
This body of work is a collection of poems, short stories, and visual art centralized around themes of sustainability from undergraduate stu...
Published on Mar 27, 2020
This body of work is a collection of poems, short stories, and visual art centralized around themes of sustainability from undergraduate stu...