Volume13

Page 1

mosaic

Volume 13 Spring 2015 The Literary and Visual Arts Magazine of Holderness School 1

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org



mosaic

Volume 13 Spring 2015 The Literary and Visual Arts Magazine of Holderness School Editor: Emily Magnus Assistant Editors: Jane Pauley, Charlotte Freccia ‘15, and Liz Kendall

Cover Artwork, clockwise from the top: Ella Mure ‘17, Gibson Cushman ‘15, Christina Raichle ‘15, and Anne Smyth-Hammond ‘16 Inside Artwork, clockwise from the left: Parker Densmore ‘15, Parker Densmore ‘15, and Katie Ramien ‘15


Personal Essays Alone in the Woods Without a Map By Emily Perkins ‘16 We come out here in search of something. It could be the fleeting courage that escapes us so often in our daily lives; or perhaps it is the solution to the problem we try not to face—always pushing it deeper into our minds, trying not to solve it until we have the answer. But out on the trail, there is no rule, no structure; the woods are as vast as exploration is endless. Outside the context of the world we know, there is opportunity to find ourselves in the skin only we know, to share light in times of darkness, and to ultimately create our own map outside the structure of the road maps that bisect our lives. Courage is notoriously contagious, and can come to grace anyone when they need it most. On Mt. Carrigain one of our group members found her inner strength waiting for her just a little way up the trail. We had been slogging up the switchbacks for hours when suddenly, I looked up and she was gone; the green backpack that had been my constant companion for hours had sped off somewhere into the distance. I stopped bewildered, and consulted with the people behind me about what possibly could have happened. Her tracks carried on up the steep slope, scrambling and sliding up the treacherous terrain. A minute ago, she was huffing and puffing with the rest of us, but now she was just a symbol: a compass in the fog, a glimpse of a steady face in a mirror. The motivation to catch her distracted us from our own personal pain. We rallied, using our lost group member to ignore the deepest pain of all: the fear that we may not be able to do this. Unknown to us, we had another companion that day: it was hope, and it propelled us all the way to the summit. In the woods, on the darkest nights, one can find great comfort in the smallest glimmer of light. On the third day, we arrived in camp late and night was falling fast. Morale was low, and as the sweat sealed our seams, we began to shiver. The snow below us seeped through our many layers, its frigid fingers grasping our flesh as if threatening to take us down with it. But then, a match was struck and the air began to roar and crackle, warding off the negative thoughts and the impending doom of darkness. The frying pan began to sizzle, fending off the threat of ice cold solitude, bringing us the simple comfort of humanity in the vast wild. As we brought the communal food to our

lips, we shared in the strength we needed for tomorrow’s journey. We talked and laughed, and shared in the age old security that we lit a fire capable of fending off a whole sky full of darkness, and learned the lesson of what a single spark can do for an entire fire. Outside the comfort of a group and the comforts of society, we are challenged to find the most true comfort of all, the comfort of solitude. We fear the woods because we fear the unknown, and we fear solitude for the same reason. But so often, in the world that we know, there lie so many unknowns. We push them away—under our beds, to the bottom of our closets, and to the backs our minds; but still they lurk. Heading into Solo I carried my backpack, a trash barrel lid, a tarp, and 10,000 thoughts, questions, and insecurities. I lay down my backpack, and over the course of three days let down some of the many ideas reverberating around my head. Although it is hard to be alone, it is necessary to be able to reconcile the world outside and the world inside. There is an inverse relationship between being physically lost and mentally found. Out Back embodies this relationship, allowing for greater exploration of self, and the discovery of one’s core. We come out of Out Back, not lost but found, guided by the map inside of ourselves.

Ella Mure ‘17

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

4


Surprises Down the Road By Anna Soderberg ‘16 Watching that large diesel-spewing bus roll away that Monday morning, leaving us alongside the road, was surprisingly a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. Of course I was skeptical and anxious of the never-ending land of trees, constant smell of fire smoke, and inevitable cold; however, the forest was my new home and the strangers by my side were my new family. Many days lay ahead, which could surely intimidate most; however, I felt fully equipped and eager to begin such a hyped adventure. There’s a saying— “The mountains are calling and I must go” —and that quote stayed with me that first day and the entire eleven-day journey. I wanted so badly to “find myself ” somewhere out amongst the trees and the untouched snow. I thought “finding myself ” and discovering a whole new meaning to life was the only way to consider Out Back a success; however, quickly after my departure into the woods, I realized that those special moments can’t be forced or man made. During the days prior to Solo I had a difficult time thinking of anything other than whether or not I was prepared and capable of spending those three days companionless. I attempted to fill my brain with positive thoughts, but found it impossible to rid it of potential negative outcomes. I became frustrated with myself for not allowing myself to soul search, and I was flustered that my emotions ranged from cold to bitter and not much in between. I craved a connection with the wilderness and desired to share the same enthusiasm others did. I’ve always enjoyed being alone. I’ve always preferred silence to chaos and ruckuses. That bright and sunny Friday morning, I was nothing but ready to leave my group and experience the wilderness unaccompanied. I felt prepared and powerful, independent and free; however, I can still recall my first realization: that the swirling wind and falling snow felt significantly different when there wasn’t someone standing nearby. Each minute began to feel longer than the next, and slowly I became weary of my newly-found independence. I missed the teasing from the boys in my group; I wished for Mr. Flinders’ wisdom and cheerful attitude; and I longed for Avery’s quiet but sincere friendship. 5

It generally seems that the Solo experience part of Out Back is a designated time to reflect on yourself and life. Those three days I did a tremendous amount of thinking; however, looking back I’ve realized that I put so much pressure on myself to have a triumphant epiphany that I became overwhelmed and self-conscious of my not-sodeep thoughts. It seems foolish to me now, but most of those quiet and freedom-filled hours, I spent curiously pondering when I would “change,” become a better person, and discover whole new dimension to my life. I felt so much pressure to develop new personal traits and characteristics, I forgot to cherish those precious moments of serenity and peacefulness. When Monday morning came, I was fully awake before the sun had even fully risen, and my excitement was almost uncontrollable. I anxiously awaited Mr. Flinders’ arrival at my Solo site. Truthfully, I was pleased with myself for surviving those three days, but also, disappointed for not being quite able to reflect as much as some say they do. I continued to silently and subtly beat myself up for not connecting with the beautiful nature around me and not successfully seeing an inner change in myself. What I soon realized each day that passed after solo was that life lessons cannot be learned in one instant, and the ability to create positive changes in a person’s life isn’t because you slept alone in the woods for three days. Personal reflection is creating happiness in your life for solely being alive, counting your blessings and proudly honoring yourself. Days and days of hiking made me realize that without a positive outlook, a core support group around me, and the capability to bounce back from certain situations, Out Back can be a significant struggle for some; however, Out Back can also make a person grateful for what they hold onto outside of the woods and how lacking an epiphany only means more surprises down the road.

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Up, Over, Through and Out Back By Ryan Steele ‘16 Living off the land is a daunting task for almost any person, but to live off the land in pure solace, unaccompanied and unassisted is what most people would call impractical. Gradually stepping off the bus and into the wild, I clenched as hard as I could onto what little civilization was left and then let go. I was ready to conquer Out Back. However, amidst my jittery nerves and excitement, I quickly realized my attitude was impious. Within seconds of leaving the civilized world, I found myself plunged into the side of a snowbank. What had I gotten myself into? I was just four short days away from an experience that would change my life forever, an experience that would test all my limits both physically and mentally, an experience that would question my morality. In just ninety-six hours I would find myself in the heart of New Hampshire on a brisk March day, in pure solitude. For seventeen straight years I had lived in companionship and soon that streak would snap, and I would be thrown into a fresh new world. John Krakauer, the author of Into the Wild, once wrote, “The core of man’s spirit comes from new experiences.” The idea of going to new places and facing new adventures gives me a strong sense of enlivenment and rejuvenation. Although I have always envied a nomadic and spontaneous lifestyle, it seemed less enjoyable without company, which brings me to the first lesson I learned. Mr. Carrigan, my Out Back leader, advised my group of this before we set out. He declared that no matter what happened, everyone would come to the realization that they are one of two types of people in the world: those who see companionship as essential and those who can live peacefully in isolation. As night dawned on my realm on the first night of Solo, I quickly realized I was not a person who thrived in isolation. However, as the Out Back slogan states: “Enjoy when you can; endure when you must,” and stay strong throughout. Even though I firmly believe in companionship, I still agree that the Solo experience is of the utmost importance. Not only did Solo shape me into a stronger person, but the experience taught me lessons about myself that will remain with me for the rest of my life. Chris

McCandless, a pioneer of the wilderness and the main protagonist in Into the Wild, wrote just before his death, “Happiness is only real when shared.” Unlike Chris McCandless, I did not venture off to the Alaskan wilderness and die of starvation. However, during the three days I spent alone, I undeniably learned that happiness does not come without the presence of others. The third and final day of solo proved to be a testament of my strength. As I lay restlessly in my sleeping bag, the morning sky dawned on me. Peering through the cracks of my tarp, I saw the gloomy sky, unwelcoming me to a new day. I struggled mightily as I unrolled my shivering and fragile body from the comforts of my sleeping bag. It had been two days since I’d seen another human being, and I was quickly filled with defeat as I wrapped my body in my moist, dingy clothes. Glimmers of hope came and went in the form of sunlight. Unfortunately, all hope soon vanished, and Mother Nature was insulting my attempt to live in the wild. For my final day, sunlight was non-existent. Without sunlight there was no sense of time. Would I be eating dinner at two in the afternoon or eight at night? After multiple, unsuccessful attempts to make a fire, I grew anxious and bitter. In a fit of rage, I destroyed every last bit of my firewood and abolished my fire pit. Amidst these great struggles, I realized that I’d reached the lowest of lows. Flakes of snow punctured my face, and before I knew it, I was staring at the dingy ceiling of my tarp, laying wrapped in my sleeping bag once again. While I lay there, thoughts of my family raced through my mind. The family who sacrificed everything they could for me. Three months had passed since I had last stepped foot in my house, and I deeply missed them. At that particular moment, it felt right to read my mom’s letter. Uncontrollably, I began marinating in my own tears. Although I longed for my family, sitting alone with nothing but my thoughts made me realize how much I take for granted. From that point on, I seemed like the luckiest person alive. For me, the final hours of my Solo experience represented

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

6


the light at the end of the tunnel. Three days and three nights I spent in solitude, a feat that very few have accomplished. That last night I slept restlessly amongst the chattering trees; however, my enthusiasm and anticipation for departure boosted my energy. As I sliced my parachute cord and folded my tarp, the most radiant, graceful sunrise crept over the horizon. Pink sky illuminated the land, covering everything in its path like a soft, wool blanket. This particular sunrise did not stand out to me because of its beauty; rather, it became a symbol for my happy ending. This sun was Mother Nature’s way of telling me congratulations. Who knew that something as simple as the sun could bring endless amounts of joy? Because of the comforts that glamorous ball of heat gave me, it holds

the distinction of my favorite Out Back moment and a morning I will never forget. After spending eleven lengthy and exhausting days in the wilderness, I can say that I have grown a much deeper relationship with myself and nature. There were many moments of both triumph and failure. I learned to be more appreciative and grateful. I learned to live in the moment. I learned to be spontaneous and adventurous. Most importantly, I learned that Out Back, like life, is inevitably filled with moments of struggle, negativity, and defeat. However, Out Back also taught me not to focus on my moments of despair but on my triumphs of endurance. With persistence comes moments of happiness and satisfaction.

Yoomi Ren ‘17 7

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


For the Rain By AJ Chabot ‘16 Each drop was serene on the calm ocean surface. The rain and water blended together while the sky blackened with looming clouds. My nostrils tingled with the electric smell of an oncoming storm. We named our 18-foot Grady White Chaboat after our last name; Chabot. Dad always said she had a great shape, making her really hard to sink. And she was much bigger than the boats I played with in the bathtub as a kid. Unlike Dad’s boat, my toy boats weren’t built for the tsunamis I created in the bath tub. They weren’t strong enough to stay afloat, nor did they have a captain. All they had was me, the storm, thrashing them from side to side until they sank. Peter quietly reeled the tube towards the boat, while Billy pointed frantically at the lightning strikes in the distance. We could hear the rumbling sound of approaching thunder. Billy screamed but Peter remained calm, slowly lifting the tube onto the boat. The air became thick and static, and the taste of Cape Cod rainwater coated my lips. Dad always called Uncle John’s boat the pig, and Uncle John called our boat the shrimp. Peter came with me in the shrimp, and Billy went with Dad in the pig. He trusted me with Chaboat. All I had to do was follow him, so I guessed I wasn’t completely alone. Before we left, Dad handed me an extra pair of sunglasses.

Qianyi Zhang ‘15

“For the rain,” he said, seeing I was confused. I pushed the throttle forward, making the shrimp jerk with surprising speed. I could barely see them so I used Billy’s wailing as my guide. Lightning struck water all around us as I slowly lost sight of my Dad. Then we were alone. Our desperate cries were violently muffled by the crack of lightning and smoldering mist. Waves tossed our boat around in the bay as if it were a bath toy. I prayed that we wouldn’t capsize and sink to the bottom, just like my toy boats in the bathtub. I used to be fascinated with how long it took them to fill up with water, and I was confused by the ones that wouldn’t sink. No matter how violently I plunged them under, some always drifted back up to the surface. I had forgotten about Peter. He tapped my shoulder, asking where Dad was. I told him to hold on to the railing right next to me. I had no idea where I was going, but he couldn’t know that. He needed me, but I more so needed him. If Peter hadn’t been there I would have become that immature four year-old again, sinking boats in the bathtub. I couldn’t tell if Chaboat was moving in a straight direction. The winds rushed both salt and rain water through the small openings of my glasses and into my eyes, stinging them with salty pain. Now I knew how those toy boats felt. But unlike my toys, Chaboat had a captain. My grasp on the wheel tensed as giant waves played with us. Peter was worried. His usually expressionless face was distraught with doubt and fear. I eased the throttle back to neutral. Through pounding rain and thrashing waves I told him, “Don’t worry; we’ll be fine. I’ll find a way home.” Suddenly a beam of light pierced through the black clouds, settling the angry ocean with peaceful warmth. My vision was blurred as I looked through the salty lenses of my sunglasses. I took them off and smiled at Peter with assuring confidence. We squinted through the reflective mist lifting off the ocean surface. Peter’s eyes were red from crying. I threw my head back with overwhelming relief and basked in the glow of the warm sun. I urged the throttle forward and started taking myself, Peter, and the shrimp back home, with clarity as our guide.

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

8


College Essay By Teagan Mosenthal ‘15 Nothing guarantees humiliation in fourth grade quite like only having one eyebrow. Sure, not having a Gameboy or a Webkinz isn’t ideal, but coming to class with a penciledon eyebrow is far worse. “Don’t worry honey, the eye liner looks normal,” my mom tried to convince me right before I boarded the bus for school. It took approximately three seconds for the first person to notice and blurt out, “What happened to your face?!” Head’s pivoting, my face flushing, I scrambled to think of an excuse. I thought about blaming my sisters, or coming up with an elaborate medical scenario but decided neither excuse would prevail with my younger, truth-telling sister on board. Without an admissible answer, I shrunk into my seat and willed my eyebrow hairs to grow with Jack-and-the-Beanstalk pace. My misery began when I saw one of my older sisters tweezing her eyebrows. I have always viewed my two older sisters as role models because they have been very successful in their endeavors. Needless to say, that afternoon saw me ferociously scrutinizing my eyebrows in the mirror. To my horror, I noticed more than a few hairs out of place. In a desperate twirl around the bathroom, I spotted a box labeled “hair removal” in the closet. In an attempt to compete with and differentiate myself from my older sisters, I often try to create my own, better path. In this case, I eschewed the single-pluck technique of the tweezers as inefficient and excitedly turned my eyes back to the “hair removal” box.

may seem trivial. But at ten, when I was more focused on assuming the collective fourth-grade personality than my own, and my classmates hadn’t yet learned how to correctly overlay their honest reactions with polite sideways glances, missing a part of my face so obvious and essential felt overwhelming. The painful three months it took for my eyebrow to grow back afforded me plenty of time for reflection. Even though I am someone who likes to make bold decisions, I have learned the value of considering consequences. This ability to analyze different outcomes has made me more self-assured, because I can be confident that my choices are not solely driven by impulse or competition. In constantly attempting to beat my sisters in whatever they accomplished, I often lost sight of my own objectives. My eyebrow fiasco revealed to me that being myself does not mean being the best at everything. Over the years, I have found ways to differentiate myself from my sisters by reveling in my bold personality and pursuing my own interests. I can’t promise I won’t make any more rash decisions that could lead to failure in the future, but I can promise to remember the lessons I’ve learned and carefully read the back of every cosmetic product I use.

Highly pleased with myself for identifying a smarter method, I stuck two gooey wax strips from the box onto my eyebrows and waited the allotted time for the best results. The pain from the removal of the strips ended up being very minimal in comparison to the pain I felt looking into the mirror right after. It turned out that the “best results” meant stripping away an entire eyebrow. Yet again, my attempt to surpass my sisters had failed! I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t as awful as it looked, that is was just the lighting in the room or the angle of the mirror. As much as I wanted either of these factors to be true, I had to come to terms with the fact that I looked like the Mona Lisa, but far from a masterpiece. To count the loss of an eyebrow as a note-worthy failure 9

Yoomi Ren ‘17

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Artwork By Qianyi Zhang ‘15

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

10


11

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Poetry I am From By Thao Nguyen ‘15 I am from an ‘S’ shaped country enjoying the hot, humid air. I am from the Eastern Sea Fresh water cools off my skin. I am from the sweet yellow paddies where children sing, riding on buffaloes. I am from my mother’s fairytales still lingering around my ears. I am from my father’s bad cooking Tomatoes and ramen, really? I am from the English lessons that killed me before I come here. I am from the Pandora’s Box ‘Hope’ is my will to move on. I am from a little nest Now grown up, ready to fly. And now: I am from my school Holderness With all my friends, no sadness around.

Taylor Mavroudis ‘15

Stuck in Confusion By Thao Nguyen ‘15 Look at how this sad world treats me, Laughs at me, slaps my mind broken Forces out my dark side, you see? A new evil self, new burden.

I’ve thought I’ve been my real self Sweet flowers blooming in the light The fresh plant on the clean bookshelf Fireflies under the moonlight.

I thought I’ve been my real self Innocent with the brightest smile Care free, love the world like an elf Loves cookies, munching for a while.

Who’s this person inside of me? Crushing the flowers, no regret, Chopping the bookshelf heartlessly; Morality’s fine to forget.

Who’s this person inside of me? Mocking the world with a hurt smirk Dying for some dirty money Cruel to others like a jerk.

Who am I? Who am I? Who knows? The old kind one, or the new mean self? Sweet happiness, or dull sorrows? Angel stays, or Beast wins by hisself? Or, to my greatest confusion, both?

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

12


I am From By Tony Boateng ‘17 I am from the boogie down a small town not in size but looks as small when it comes to its minds I am from the crime in which I embrace and I know eventually there will be a time when my people no longer have to commit crime to receive a profit I am from the lack of motivation placed there to promote starvation But I thrive I am from waiting for the beat to drop so I can express my pain because there’s no one to talk to. I can go to a shrink but I simply can’t afford it and medicaid won’t support it I am from the smiles and laughter of innocent children playing in dusty playgrounds using monkey bars as their hoops The “Ohh he just violated” turning into “You gon’ let him do that” I am from the comfort of a small home filled with a family who loves Adulterous men being condemned by people who have also sinned But they’re forgiven. Because he who is without sin shall cast the first stone I am from the slap on the wrist for petty crimes which make my people believe that they are invincible I am from the ice cream truck man grinding in the middle of the winter do what you gotta do to feed your family even if that means getting a little dirty Long hours in the gym grinding to reach success Ass whoopings and sour to the chest ‘Cuz we all know you can’t make it without your mind being elevated whether it’s the loud pack or a sound track or the word of the Lord I am from the boogie down a small town not in size but looks as small when it comes to its minds I am from a place that not many understand a whole ‘nother world where girls seduce hundreds of men because daddy ain’t there I am from the struggle that leads to the success of many and the imprisonment of plenty The hard knock life where if you close your eyes and allow your fatigue to get the best of you You’ll get locked in a deep hole where you can’t ever get rescued I am from a world where Cash Rules Everything Around Me so I gotta get this money Dolla Dolla Bill Yall I love where I’m from but I don’t plan on staying where I’m from and if you can’t tell where I’m from there’s a problem where you’re from My Kids won’t grow up where I’m from but they’ll have the soldier mindset which was installed into my brain like IOS8 by parents who work hard and love me with all their hearts My kids won’t be from where I’m from, but don’t think for a second, that I would change where I’m from

13

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


I am From By Darielle Matthews ‘18 I’m from a small neighborhood where everyone knows each other and the complex is a circle I’m from swinging on the swings from dawn to dusk, barbie car adventures, and tickle monster I’m from Sesame Street, Barney, and Disney Channel. I’m from playing dolls with my sister and going to see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center I’m from love from my amazing family and a feeling of acceptance. I’m from trying on my mom’s high heels, reading picture books, and the sound of my mom’s sweet lullabies at night I’m from sprinklers, basketball, camp, catching fireflies, and helping my dad shovel snow from the driveway I’m from a long time of struggle and acceptance into society I’m from New York born and raised and I am African American I’m from the yellow wallpaper of my grandma’s kitchen I’m from macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and homefries I’m from hugs and kisses from mom and dad I’m from being held in my dad’s big arms and being rocked to sleep I ‘m from the family pictures in a little box tucked away in my bookshelf From the saying that if you fall, fall on your back because if you can look up, you can get up I’m from putting on shows with my sister for my mom and dad in the kitchen. I’m from being vice president of the National Junior Honor Society I’m from constant laughter and joy From the feeling of overwhelming love From the value that family is more important than money I’m from there is no place like home. I am these moments. They define me as who I am and who I want to be.

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

14


Oreo By Darielle Matthews ‘18 Why do you act white? Is all I hear in my ears. As if being white is a prize. As if being white is the promise land. Well take your promise land back because I don’t want it. I never did. I’m called an Oreo. Black on the outside and white on the inside. Has it ever occurred to you that I’m black on the outside and me on the inside? Why can’t I be black and sophisticated? Oh wait, all the stereotypes you believe in said I can’t be. I’m a person, not a tasty snack that can be whitewashed in milk. It’s degrading. It’s pathetic. You act like white is right. Why do I have to be put into a category? What does it mean when people say I talk white? Does talking black mean I have to sound ignorant? Why does my race have to determine my characteristics? How come you do not seem to see the significance of being black? Black is beautiful. Black is powerful. Black is me. You try to get me to change my clothes and my hair to assimilate into this culture. That’s the only way I can survive and stay alive in this jungle. I don’t want to kill a part of myself to keep you alive. I want to be unique and an individual. I want to find myself, but how can I do that with you constantly whispering in my ear, “Oreo” and “She acts white.” Words are brands and I am tired of being branded.

Taylor Mavroudis ‘15 15

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Editorial Photographs

Storm Thompkins ‘17

Sarah Alexander ‘15 Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

16


Liz Casey ‘17

Ellery Smith ‘16 17

Anna Stanley ‘15 Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Short Stories The Buzzing Sound By Chae Hahn ‘16 Death grabs her tiny, precious hand and drags her into his ice-cold world. Her last breath is nothing but a sigh, filled with relief. The pain she has been holding onto seemed to be ever-lasting, but it is finally coming to an end. The blurry, yet shockingly radiant smile is hung up on her pale lips. The smile glows in the gloom for a good amount of time, and there, she is gone. She was gone. What was it? What was it that shoved this girl into the deadly mire and walked away in such a careless manner? 3 AM. The girl with her lips firmly compressed, covers up her ears. Trying her absolute best to ignore the buzzing sound coming from her phone, she turns her back against it. Her effort is useless; the room starts to echo with the vibration. To this girl, the vibration is equivalent to the sound of a giant elephant vigorously tap dancing on a concrete floor. It is inevitable that she unlocks her phone at last; the buzzing is nothing but torture for her. She wears an unpleasant frown as the glow from the screen, too bright for the dusk to absorb, smacks her face. Though the tears forming in her eyes smudge her sight, she floats through the letters engraved on the surface of her phone. The spiteful comments and the unbearable ridicule pierce through her semi-solid heart. She glances at her empty wall. All she can envision is the demonic smirks of the people who stab deep into her throat every second with their lethal weapons, words. Their shadows lie on top of her powerless body. Her sobs last until the oblivious sunlight shines through her window. She gets up from her bed, yet her final determination to fight fades away as the shadows insist on staying with her.

Qianyi Zhang ‘15 There she is, at home, refusing to tell her worried mother about what really is going on and assuring her that she is fine. Meaningless nods. Complete lies. Fake smiles. Even at this moment, her phone continues to buzz.

There she is again, at last, walking into a world where dreams are unseen, hope is unfelt, and love is nonexistent. She is escorted by death; her consent was fully given. Her eager footsteps are ahead of his; she could not be happier. There she is, at school, wrapping her hands around her She shares her delight with him as she glares at the shadhead, tormented by her inability to isolate herself from the ows flying away. They were long gone. shadows. There she is, sitting on the seesaw in the park with no one on the other side of it, reminding herself of the hateful words she reads over and over again every night. She slowly opens her arms and lets the words define who she is. Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

18


On a Journey to Nowhere By Jack Burkitt ’18 The snow was caking onto his boots, soaking them through until his feet were far too cold to feel. He could do nothing about it, but he knew he had to stop. He looked around. It seemed like the woods stretched on and on without end. The hills rose up around him, covered in a thin blanket of soggy snow. He shivered and pulled his jacket tighter against the wicked wind and sleet. He reached into his pack and brought out a single bruised apple. It was a slippery slope, he thought. One bad thing and you end up having to do ten more. He remembered where he got that apple from. Four days ago, he came upon a cabin in the woods. He waited until the old couple had driven off in their pickup truck to slip indoors, grab all the food he could, and leave. He didn’t know why he kept on going. He had nowhere to go. It haunted his dreams. It followed him every day. It weighed him down more than any physical burden. He remembered his face but he did not want to. He wanted to forget it all had happened but his own conscience and that of this society would not. It was rage, he told himself. You were not yourself. It wasn’t really you, he tried to rationalize. But he didn’t believe himself. Oh, he knew. It was planned. It was calculated. It was cold. He continued on. He knew he would be killed if they found him. First degree murder, no less. Capital punish-

Lewis Mundy-Shaw ‘16 ment. The woods slowly cleared, and suddenly he found himself in a field. In front of him, he saw a railroad cut through the snow. He shuffled through the snow and knelt by the train tracks. Pressing his ear to the rail and searing it with cold, he heard the vibrations of a train approaching. He felt a single tear fall down his roughened face. His fate was already decided, he thought. In one way or another he was going to repay his debt. In a bout of black humor, he had a strange thought; one act to rule them all. He knew he should, but he found it impossible to regret the act itself; only the consequences. All of a sudden, with his ear still pressed against the metal, he realized. That is what I must do. I must regret what I have done. All these months he had been tormented by the world, a victim in his own mind. He faced his own fate and only then did he realize his selfishness. I am not wronged, for I have wronged, he thought. He lifted his head from the cold metal and began his journey again. He watched as the train approached, roaring through the frozen field like a bullet. The sky was clearing, and the tiny ice particles tossed up by the train flashed in the rays of sun that began to peek out of the clouds.

Sarah Alexander ‘15 19

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Once There Was a Great Mountain Range By Liesl Magnus ‘17 Once there was a great mountain range, raked with canyons. At the end of one of those canyons was a town. The town was small, only a few hundred people, and could boast of only a main street, a gas station, a small store, a grubby diner, and a school. A winding road connected this little town with the rest of the world outside the mountains. The people of this town were hardy folk, people who were accustomed to the isolation the mountains forced on them. The nearest city was hours away. Most of them were farmers who kept large cattle ranches in the fields outside the valley. The remainder were the half dozen school teachers who taught the few children and teenagers that lived there, the man who ran the store, and a semiretired doctor who ran a small practice out of his home. For many years, the town went on, dusty and dry, and without interruption. The children went to school, the farmers tended their cattle, and the only visitors were the tourists passing through on their way to other parts of the mountains. Then one day around sunset, towards the end of summer, a child saw a stranger in town. The stranger carried a small pack and wore ragged clothes. His toes peeked out of the ends of his boots and his fingers were poking out of worn leather gloves. He had stringy, pale hair that reached down to his shoulders. He was tall, with a long face that was tanned and weathered from the sun and eyes that were deeply unsettling to the girl peering out her window. Everything about him was lanky and gaunt, but he moved with an energy that added to the eerie effect caused by his eyes. It was late that night that the screams began. They reverberated off the walls of the canyon, filling the valley. The shrieks pierced through the walls of the houses, pulling the people of the town from their beds and out into the streets. The screams seemed to be the sound of someone in agony, and they kept on and on into the small hours of the morning when finally, they stopped. The girl who had seen the man was awake just like everyone else but she had forgotten about him in the confusion. The next morning, one of the farmers found his best cow dead in the field, her throat slit.

For the next fortnight, the screams reverberated off the hills. They filled the valley with their wailings and the townspeople would rise from their beds into the streets, hoping desperately that the screaming would stop. No one knew where the screams were coming from, except that they came from the mountains. Every morning without fail, one of the farmers would find a cow, lying dead in the field with her throat slit. And still the child did not think of the man. A few nights after the screams began, some of the men led a party up into the hills on horseback to try and find the source. They came back white and shaking, saying that the screams were even worse towards the other end of the gorge. The people of the town grew more and more fearful. An agitation spread over the town, and people distrusted neighbors whom they never had before. Rumors ran rampant and doors that were once open to all were now locked. Then the girl who had seen the man thought of him at last. Early one morning, the child saw a plume of smoke rising from the a ridge. She had hours to go before school, so she put on her boots and headed back into the canyon. She followed the plume of smoke up the walls of the canyon and then higher up to where the scarce trees became even scarcer brush. She began to smell the smoke as one from a fire, and as she drew close, the screams began again. They were ten times louder here than they had been in the valley; they pierced her ears and bent her spine until she wanted to curl up in a ball and lie there shaking until they stopped. But the girl kept on, clamping her hands over her ears and pressing forward. She came around a large rock and staggered backward. There, flitting around a campfire, his long hands adjusting little machines at the speed of light was the man from a fortnight ago—the tall man with the torn shoes and the source of the screams. “You!” the girl shrieked, coming around the boulder. “You!” cried the man, tripping over himself in his haste to turn off his machines. “I… mean… Ah…Would you like a cup of tea? He pulled a tea kettle from the fire and pro-

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

20


duced two cups. He deftly poured the tea out and crossed the campfire, handing it to her. She took it gingerly. “You,” she said again, carefully. “Me,” he said easily, seating himself on the ground and crossing his gangly legs in front of him. He took a sip of tea. “Who did you think it was? Wolves? Bears?” He laughed madly, his eyes gleaming, “No. Me. Though I’m almost as scary, don’t you think?” He laughed again, his golden eyes never leaving her. He sprung up and delicately placed the tea cup on the ground. He moved quickly and efficiently around the fire, picking up his instruments and putting them back in his pack. He dampened the fire and grabbed her teacup, spilling the untouched tea on the ground and unceremonious-

ly tossing the teacup back in his pack. He picked up his own cup and tossing his head back, downed the rest of the tea in one swallow. He threw the teacup over his shoulder, and it smashed on the ground. He slung his pack over his shoulder and began to walk away. The girl, who had been watching with disquiet finally found her voice. “Why.” It wasn’t a question. The man whirled around and, crossing the distance between them in a single step “Why?” he said, laughing. “WHY?” He bent so that he was at eye level with her. “To teach little children like you,” touching her nose with a cold finger, “that fear is not often as fearsome as it seems.”

Storm Thompkins ‘17 21

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Little Black Sock By Becca Kelly ‘15 If there was one thing I never wanted to do, it was this. As I stand in front of the mirror tucking in my shirt, it occurs to me how fitting it is that this room be so dreary and dim. Remember when we put our Christmas tree in here because your mom was really sick and we weren’t feeling enough of the Christmas spirit? It wasn’t so dreary and dim after that. The floorboards creak under me when I shift my weight from one foot to the other. I stare at myself in the mirror; I look pale and drained. If you could see me right now, you’d kiss my cheek because you know that’s what always makes me smile. Made. A honk comes from the car waiting outside, telling me I need to be pulling away from this house right now. I sit on the edge of our bed, put on a sock, and—where’s my other sock? I sweep my hand over the surface of our bed but can’t find it. Beginning to panic, I duck my head under the bed and search the floor for the little black sock. Frantically, I run through the house, retracing my steps from my bedroom to the laundry room. WHERE THE HELL IS MY SOCK?!? I needed to be in the car ten minutes ago. They will leave without me. They will be lowering you into the ground, and I will still be here looking for this damn sock. But I need this sock. This was the pair I was wearing when we first met, standing in line at the theatre. I can’t

remember what the show was; it was so long ago, and anyway that’s the kind of thing you’d remember. This was the pair I wore to the shelter when we adopted our first dog, Chuckles. This was the pair in the bag I left in that hotel room we stayed in when we decided we weren’t spontaneous enough and ran off to Vegas for the weekend, and I made you turn around so I could get it. Remember? Don’t you remember? That’s what I’m trying to do right now: remember. Remember where the hell I put that damn sock. Oh, Arthur, I don’t know what I’ll do without you. I bet you’d know where I left my sock. When my memory started to go, I think I may have relied on you too much, but then again, maybe you should have known better than to let me. We knew the day we sat together in that doctor’s office, holding each other’s hands as the nice man gave you the prognosis, that we wouldn’t have much time left to share each other’s sanity. I was losing my mind, and you, well, a tumor was eating away at yours. Maybe we shouldn’t have been so reluctant to accept the inevitable. But sometimes you just can’t, because when you touch some people, they leave scars on your hands. I stand in front of the mirror in our bedroom, and slip my hand into my pocket, at a loss. Something worn and fuzzy grazes my fingers. I pull it out. It’s a little black sock.

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

22


All Photographs by Keying Yang ‘17 23

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Portraits and Self-Portraits

This page, clockwise from above: Hannah Stowe ‘15, Jeremy Gannon ‘15, and Matt Garner ‘15 Facing page, from top: Carson Holmes ‘15, Taylor Mavroudis ‘15, Yoomi Ren ‘17, and Minh Tran ‘16

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

24


25

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


More Poetry Alliteration Domination By Bobby Renalli ‘18 Aimlessly I amble, I am not able to adore, I amass and amaze by amalgamating an archipelago of emotion. When baffled I babble, bouncing through life like a baying bulldog. Culminating and cultivating emotions, not conveying a single one. I do not crimson and I do not cry, yet I do not care. Do not dote on me, I dip, dodge, duck, and dive past my problems, not disarming a single one.

I fabricate false faces to fool foolish fools; I refuse to fawn my fey personality. I am too far gone to go grin, so instead I glom on grim and gaudy sins Hampered and hindered as I hike through the horrible, hot, hazy, hierarchy we call society, High school hijacking creativity like a highway hit and run. I rise in an irate state, I reiterate inept quotes from inane information; hearing incompetence makes me insane.

I eke through this earth, like an elephant seal being affected by the ebbing tide.

Spring By Will Peatman ‘15

Justice and Equality By Kathy Liech ‘18

Dim lights escape from dusk till dawn through broken clouds and spirits Frozen trees hang naked cruel winds howl as our hearts lay vacant waiting

I am strong; I am optimistic I wonder if I am shy I hear crickets chirping I see butterflies flying I want to change the world I am strong; I am optimistic

Mild without a numbing bite though the air still hangs thick with winter’s chill the skies are not yet Bright blooming daffodils bring unfamiliar desire these days linger on our hopes rise higher leaving behind muddy footprints and the things we will soon enough admire

I pretend not to feel the pain I feel eyes burning into my skin I touch a gun I worry if justice will be administered I cry each time he is shot I am strong; I am optimistic I understand I am black I say we are all the same I dream of justice and equality I try to speak up I hope for a better world I am strong; I am optimistic

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

26


Restful Rejuvenation By Taylor Mavroudis ‘15 A dull green has emerged Where there was white this morning. I find myself emitting the same glow the white once had, As a smile spreads across my face. Tiny bulbs peek out From the branches lining the Quad; Water drips from each purple tube, Reflecting the sun’s rays that have finally surfaced From behind five months worth of clouds. I’ve never witnessed such a beautiful metamorphosis Until the snow began to melt and the grass was reborn.

How can something so, so dreadful Turn into something so beautiful in a matter of days When the former was the culminating project of the devil For as long as I can remember? I thought I was ready for a change in climate. Whether or not this is true, I’ve never been so happy To see the steady rising of each blade of grass As the sun graces them with its warmth.

Thinking Of By Anna Stanley ‘15 Thinking of my real mom, soon it hits, I’m after the thoughts of being a broken branch put on a different family tree. I ponder the life before that makes me realize for the first time, since I was little, encountering two types of love. One mom I do not remember and the other I call my mom today; one heard my very first cry and saw my very first smile, the other was there to dry my tears and smile with me throughout my childhood; one gave me up out of love and the other gave me another chance at life. But never before now have I been so proud of my birth mom and my love for her, because she’s the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.

Clockwise from top left: Abby Wiseman ‘18, Thao Nguyen ‘15, and Abby Wiseman ‘18 27

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Analytical Essays Quinine By Lydia Fisher ‘16 The Civil War caused the death of thousands due to the brutal reality of the battlefields. However, the four years witnessed a larger battle for survival against a third unseen enemy: disease. Malaria was a constant threat to humans in all places with infected mosquitoes. As seen in a census map of 1874, before it was discovered that mosquitoes transmitted malaria, the disease caused 14 percent of the deaths in the marshy lands of the coast and rivers of the South. Most at the time believed in the miasma theory in which malaria was caused by bad air. This threat indiscriminately affected both sides as they struggled to produce and utilize the one proven aid: quinine. With its chills, fever, nausea, diarrhea, profuse sweating and headaches, malaria could quickly debilitate a soldier and eventually lead to his death. Quinine was a crucial factor in the fate of the Civil War from its production to its application and its power over the soldiers, leaders, and civilians. In the early 1600s a new cure-all arrived in Europe, introduced by the Jesuits. Made from Peruvian bark, it could relieve the symptoms of malaria; however, it fell into obscurity as the physicians preferred bloodletting and other ‘cures.’ Then in the mid-1800s France was the first to synthesize the alkaloid of quinine from the bark of the cinchona tree. In Philadelphia, Rosengarten and Sons quickly hired French chemists and within three years were selling quinine to the masses. It was a tricky drug as the recommended dosage was 3 grams of Sulphate Quinine, but 8 grams would kill an average human. When the war broke out the North was at an immediate economic and infrastructure advantage. As the industrial capital of the Union, it had immediate access and the ability to manufacture the necessary goods to wage an invasive war. Newly selected, Union Army Surgeon General William Hammond reformed the army’s medical apparatus. He created the U.S. Army Laboratories to ensure drug quality and organize their production and purchases. The company Powers and Weightman joined Rosengarten and Sons as the mass producers and suppliers for quinine and other necessary drugs including opium. With huge depots in Philadelphia and New York, the U.S. Army issued over 19 tons of quinine throughout the war. Though quinine was usually given as a prophylactic from 1861 to 1866,

over 1.1 million Union Soldiers were still diagnosed with malaria. In addition to fighting a defensive war, the South, that had once relied on the industry of the North, faced the impossible task of both finding supplies and building a system to support a large country and a fast approaching war. At the beginning of the war, Jefferson Davis approached the newly resigned U.S. Army Surgeon Samuel Moore of Arkansas who accepted the post of General Surgeon of the Confederate Army with the duty of building an entire medical corps. He formed a department whose effectiveness saved thousands of lives and raised the standards of medicine in the South. During the war, the North declared cotton and quinine contraband substances, and their blockades and alliances limited all importation including the bark of the Peruvian Cinchona tree. To combat this, Moore approached Francis Porcher, an army surgeon with a history in botany. Moore asked him to find a substitute for quinine from the plants found in the South. In response, Porcher wrote a massive book that was mass produced for both civilian and military use in the field and in the administration. Titled Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests, Medical, Conomical and Agricultural: Being Also a Medical Botany of the Southern States, the book was filled with patriotic language and marshaled the entire Confederacy in its quest to document all plants and their potential. Despite this, no substitute was found though everything was tried from Dogwood tea and red pepper to rubbing turpentine on the belly. While the Confederacy’s eight army and one naval laboratory were dedicated to manufacturing supplies, it was never enough. The North’s successful blockades forced the Confederates to rely on blockade running, smuggling, and capturing Union supplies. In small quantities large amounts of quinine and other essential supplies were smuggled in dolls and hoop skirts right through the battle lines. But the capture of the North’s supply trains was crucial. The son of Edwards Squibbs, a Unionist front runner of high quality drugs, said “our chief distributor [to the South] was General [Nathaniel] Banks. The Johnnies

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

28


always managed to capture his well-equipped trains. Our goods went all through the Confederacy and were appreciated.” Lack of essential supplies weakened the Southern states both mentally and physically. Soldiers of both sides faced two enemies—one they could see and attack; the other manifested itself in debilitating weakness. With little knowledge of proper hygiene, the natural “pestilential atmosphere” was amplified by lavatories near water sources, open standing water near the camp, and little thought to cleanliness. It was only later in the war that hospitals began to add ventilation and sanitize buildings. Quinine offered a solution as Union army Surgeon John Shaw Billings wrote, “Quinine was always and everywhere prescribed with a confidence and freedom which left all other medicines far in the rear. Making all due allowances for exaggerations, that drug was unquestionably the popular dose with doctors.” Many commanders required their troops to take quinine daily with whiskey as a prophylactic treatment. Jack Billings wrote about life in the Army in his book Hard Tack and Coffee and said that at eight o’clock the bugler blew the Sick Call: Dr. Jones says, Dr. Jones says:/Come and get your quin, quin,

quin, quinine,/Come and get your quinine,/Q-u-i-n-i-n-e! All told the Union army issued more than 19 tons of quinine during the war. Mosquito nets, known as bars, were not widely available, so many soldiers reverted to exploding gun powder packets in their tents to clear the swarms of bugs. Though the connection between malaria and mosquitoes was unknown, it consequences were a daily struggle for all soldiers fighting in the South. On the battlefield precaution had to be taken to account for the dangers of disease. At the siege of Vicksburg in the summer of 1863 on the banks of the Mississippi River, both armies were devastated by disease. As one soldier said, the mosquitoes were so thick around the camp that they “filled the air like raindrops.” Thousands were incapacitated or killed by various diseases, particularly malaria. Those cut off and trapped in the city also faced disease and starvation. As one defending officer spoke, “The command suffers greatly from intermittent fever, and is generally debilitated from the long exposure and inaction of the trenches.” For the North patrols, blockade work could be

Will Peatman ‘15 29

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


a death sentence in the standing marshy waters. Those of African descent were considered to be immune or resistant to malaria and were sent to work, patrol and fight in the most dangerous of areas. Four years of long fighting ravaged the farms, towns, and cities. The trampling of the crops combined with a lack of manual labor and supplies caused food shortages throughout the South. Meanwhile the fighting and troop movement fouled the water and supplies, and those with resource who would normally depart for the ‘sickly season’ were forced to remain with travel restrictions. In worsening conditions, malaria’s perceived cousin, yellow fever, plagued port cities and created public panic. As critical drugs were earmarked for the army, civilians struggled with the malaria. As one daughter begged her mother in the North, “I write now to beg you to send in your next letter a quarter of an ounce of quinine. You know, in this climate, life depends upon quinine—and though large quantities come in every ship, it is taken up so immediately for the army that it is exceedingly difficult for private individuals to procure it even at a very high price.” In her response the mother expressed her incredibility that such a small amount could be a life saver. The Civil War upended daily life in the South and affected every class.

of endless marches, sieges and camping, waiting for the Confederates and diseases that plagued the South. That the North could supply their troops with adequate quinine allowed them to pursue the war wherever the Rebels went throughout the year. To make the necessary drugs in the right quantity and competently treat their troops, the North quickly advanced in sanitation, treatment and production. In 1860, there were 84 manufacturers of pharmaceuticals in the North; by 1870 there were 300. By 1880, the true cause and spreader of malaria was identified, and 70 years later the country was declared malaria free. But despite our advances, there are still diseases we cannot cure—from polio to Ebola to HIV and AIDS. In addition, malaria is still a global issue with 3.2 billion people at risk.

The United States Civil War was not a just war between two defined enemies on the battlefield. It was four years

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

30


Facing page, from bottom left: Quinn Houseman ‘18, Emery Gray ‘17, and Emery Gray ‘17 This page, from top left: Katie Remien ‘15, Caroline Ferri ‘18, Katie Remien ‘15, Will Blatz ‘18, and Caroline Ferri ‘18

31

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


The Crack in Our World By Karina Bladon ‘17 A major gift given to us at birth is living in a civilized society; unfortunately, very few people know what they possess until it disappears. Many individuals living with civilized laws, schools, and shelters take them for granted every day, often having the audacity to complain about them, even though millions of people have not been given the blessing of possessing these simple three ideals. The boys in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies have taken advantage of their “ideal” society for their entire lives; when Golding tears this away from the boys, and sets them on a deserted island, they are forced to keep up with their old ways without any adults to enforce humanized behavior. William Golding uses Piggy’s glasses to symbolize the sharp change the boys have to go through when their plane crashes, creating the “scar” between their old lives, and the new ones that lie ahead. Piggy’s glasses change in structure and shape throughout the novel, symbolizing the boys’ diminishing civilized behavior. At the beginning of the novel, the glasses on Piggy’s fat face are in pristine condition; but as the glasses first wander from Piggy’s terrible eyesight, the intelligence of the boys starts to slowly crumble into savagery. Jack, without permission, pulls Piggy’s glasses off his face to use as a fire starter; the first signs of a depleting civilization rest in the first few moves by Jack. When Piggy finally gets his glasses back after Ralph lights the fire, he says “just blurs, that’s all, hardly see my hand,” (41); Piggy says this unknowingly foreshadowing that once the specs break, leaving Piggy blind, the civilized and intelligent ways of the boys will break as well.

As Piggy’s glasses crack, the small break in the boy’s humanized mannerisms crack far beyond the point of repair. Jack is an unhelpful “leader” throughout the book; however he still gets followers, while Piggy has absolutely no followers. The boys find Piggy’s intellectual and civilized ways unbefitting for the island. Jack made the first move by taking the glasses off Piggy’s face to start the fire; he also makes the second major downward move when he smacks the glasses off Piggy’s face, breaking them. Simon, who also has “sight” in this novel is the one to pick them up for Piggy, exclaiming “one side’s broken,” (71); the half cracked glasses represent the half cracked civilization the boys are now living in. The way the boys communicate with each other reveals that the boys are split down the middle, unfortunately this split is not even between littluns and biguns. After Piggy has “the intellectual daring to suggest moving the fire from the mountain,” (129), getting the fire together takes loads of energy and time because Piggy and Ralph’s group has very few biguns. The shattered glasses make the other boys repel away from Ralph and Piggy, choosing to go with Jack, sneaking off into the night to follow him, and moving closer to being savages. Once Jack steals the glasses from Piggy, the symbol for intelligence, community and respect for all is truly shattered. The stealing of the glasses chronologically comes right after the killing of Simon. Golding purposely does this to show that the glasses, which have been broken and bent, have absolutely no power over the boys anymore, other than the fire; Golding depicts Jack stealing them, instead

The glasses represent intelligence, power, and most of all, civilization. Piggy represents the glasses through his intellectual understanding; unfortunately, no one on the entire island takes him seriously. Piggy helps the crack in their civilization grow larger when “his voice lifted into the whine of virtuous recrimination,” (43). Already an outcast in the group, Piggy enforces the boys’ hatred of him by whining about how nobody listens to him. When Jack finally makes “the downward strike,” the civilization falls one large step deeper into savageness because now they have the feeling of killing in their veins.

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

32


of anybody else, to represent the drop of the civilization to full blown savagery. Before Roger “leaned all his weight on the lever,” (180), in order to kill Piggy and force him to shut up, Piggy speaks words of a civilized man, showing his intelligence to the group one final time. The boys are full blown savages, killing Piggy in broad daylight, without so much as batting an eye to what they have done; now that the glasses have lost all they stand for, the boys are completely dehumanized. The savages killed a human being. Ralph is next on the list; the boys don’t even realize that what they are doing is truly evil and savage. The savages try to smoke Ralph out of hiding, using the glasses to

light the feudal fire so they can brutally murder him. The fire, backfiring on all of them, leads not to the boy’s death, but to their rescue; “a naval officer stood on the sand, looking down at Ralph in wary astonishment,” (200) as Ralph stumbles to the naval officer’s feet. Ironically what the glasses represented in the beginning—intelligence, leadership, and civilization—is what saves the boys in the end. Piggy’s glasses have been smashed and broken and are now hanging from Jack’s pants, the most uncivilized boy of them all. Following the glasses throughout the novel, the boys would not have survived another hour on the island if the naval officer had not come and saved them. The boys would have killed Ralph, the last sensible leader on the island, and all of their food would have been burned to a crisp. The glasses that once represented strength and reasoning are now garbage, leaving the eminent symbol to be torn apart piece by piece; the glasses and the boys are nothing more than rubbish drifting on the debris of the island. Golding depicts the boys’ salvation in the end—instead of a slow starvation after the wildfire—to show even when it seems everything is lost, one must never lose hope. Expertly depicting the glasses as the symbol of the civilization, Golding has them smashed, broken, and stolen in perfect alignment with the boys’ slow decay of civilization to savagery. Facing page: Thao Nguyen ‘15 Left: Will Peatman ‘15; Below: Elly Bengtsson ‘15

33

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Paintings on Canvas

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

34


Facing page, clockwise from top right: Keying Yang ‘17, Yoomi Ren ‘17, and Gideon Peres-Rothberg ‘17 This page, clockwise from top left: Tia Tang ‘18, Kathy Liech ‘18, and Jullia Tran ‘18,

35

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


The 1960s Reenactment of the Civil War: the Civil War Centennial By Moti Jiang ‘16 In April 1961, exactly one hundred years after the start of the Civil War, Ms. Madeline Williams, an African-American woman and the delegate of New Jersey, was sent to Charleston to participate in the Civil War’s Centennial commemoration. However, she was declined a reservation in a hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. The seemingly trivial rejection of Mrs. Williams sparked the nationwide unrest over black civil rights. Ironically, the five-year commemoration, designated to consolidate the nation under the pressure of Cold War, started with the schism between the two sections. The controversial Centennial exposed the unfortunate sectional division developed during the Civil War Era. Through the lens of the Centennial commemoration, the distinct ways to commemorate the Civil War highlighted the sectional division of the North and the South.

position that slavery occupied in the Northern version of the Civil War memory. Unlike the North, which took a determined stand behind slavery, the South adopted the idea of reconciliation at the beginning, but its segregationist attitude was soon exposed in the remarks of its public figures. On choosing the speaker for the opening of the centennial ceremony in the South, the SCCWCC (South Carolina Confederate War Centennial Commission) surprisingly made the same decision with the New York Commission and chose Bruce Catton as the speaker. To minimize controversy, Catton subtly shifted the focus from slavery to the misunderstanding between the two sections. However, the effort of the SCCWCC was broken by the incident in Charleston.

After receiving criticism from the Northern state centennial commissioners, including, ironically, Mr. Catton, for In the Centennial celebration, speeches were one of the rejecting Ms. Williams, many public figures in the South most powerful means the states used to convey the patriactively defended their section. They circumvented the otic feelings of their people; however, they also showed the argument about Jim Crow Law, and instead turned to deep trench between the North’s and the South’s undercastigate the North’s abuse of federal power. In his speech standings of the war. In preparation for the Centennial, on the failed Peace Conference held in 1861, the Governor the federal government emphasized the theme of “reconcil- of Virginia attributed the root of this result to “radicals iation,” therefore avoiding the theme of slavery in the state on both sides” and specifically stated that “Henry Ward celebrations. New York, however, managed to circumvent Beecher was sowing the seeds of hate throughout the the “gag rule” of the commemoration and delivered several North, when Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s speeches on the issue of slavery at the opening ceremony. Cabin and falsely depicted conditions in the South.” One of the most prolific Civil War writers of this time, Almond justified Virginia’s going to war as an action “in Bruce Catton expressed his belief that “The Civil War was defense of the state’s right of self determination under the about something. It was fought for something. And let us Constitution.” The prevalent rhetoric of “state rights” in never for a moment forget it won something…the war was the Southern speeches proved that the South still held an fought for freedom.” Freedom, as he later explained, was openly racist norm and saw the reconstruction as a stigma. the end of slavery and the African American’s experience In Southerners’ eyes, the war was not about abolishing in the war. slavery and the struggle against slavery was not nearly as important as the defense of state rights. Meanwhile the The spirit of Catton was passed on from 1961 to 1962, North believed that abolishing slavery was an inseparable the year in which Martin Luther King delivered a far more well-known speech which later became iconic in the glory in the commemoration of the Civil War. Civil Rights movement: “I Have a Dream.” King delivered Another major commemorative event that sprang out the speech on the hundredth anniversary of the signing of of the Civil War Centennial was the reenactment of the Emancipation Proclamation as part of the Civil War Cen- battles, which were designed to face a less selective auditennial. “I Have a Dream” not only addressed the ongoing ence and thus reflected the favorable versions of Civil Civil Rights movement, but also emphasized the vital Wars stories to the masses in different states. The war Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

36


and a white men’s acclaimed fight. The North’s attitude on reenactments was drastically different. Most northern scholars held a negative view of this practice because war reenactments trivialize the pain suffered by soldiers, slaves, and the whole nation. James I. Robertson, an executive of the Centennial Commission appointed by John F. Kennedy, “actively, sincerely, and unwaveringly” condemned the reenactments and saw them as a practice that “mocked the dead by providing entertainment on ground that human blood had made sacred.” He pointed out that the reenactments only presented the entertaining and exciting aspects of the war, and failed to Karina Bladon ‘17 convey the agony that the soldiers suffered. The NYCWCC (New York Civil War Centennial Commission) reenactments were scenes reconstructed according to the actualized Robertson’s idea by not holding any large scale records of the battles. With simulation costumes and reenactments. There were, however, several small reenactweapons, the audience can feel the excitement of the war ments, which were considered proper, and focused on the and satisfy their curiosity without actually experiencing conversations between President Lincoln and Frederick the loss and pain. The reenactment soon became another Douglass. The North did not focus on the glorious side of popular event in the South. To commemorate the Battles the battle as the South did; on the contrary, the Northernof Bull Run, the state of Virginia employed 3500 reenacers focused on the soldiers’ suffering, the struggle towards tors and held a large scale reenactment, which eventually freedom, and the scar that still needed to be healed. attracted 100,000 spectators. In 1962, the state of Georgia staged a reenactment of Andrew Raids, a civilian who led The phenomenon exposed in the commemoration was the first Union Soldier in Georgia into a locomotive chase; bewildering: why did the South, the losing side of the war, put more emphasis on celebrating and honoring the Civil the event drew 200,000 people along the railroad stretching all the way from Kennesaw, Georgia, to Chattanooga, War than the winning side? Probably the most obvious answer to this question is that most of the 237 named Tennessee. However, far from being accurate, the reenbattles in the Civil War were fought in the South; it is actment of the war often contained made-up plots. For reasonable that the South paid much attention because instance, the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain reenactment, they wanted to recognize the martyrs who spread their which took place on June 27, 1964, presented several unblood on the Southern soil. Nevertheless, we cannot truthful details. The ratio of the number of Confederacy and Union soldiers was erroneous. The result of the battle ignore the economic side of the explanation. Before the was even changed from a draw in reality to a Confederate Civil War was fought, the South was at its peak economically. It was producing one-third of the total cotton in the victory in the show. Apparently, these artificial facts did not discourage, and in fact perhaps fostered, the audience’s whole world. The reliance on slave labor did not show its vice from an economic viewpoint before the war, and the interest; 7,000 people showed up to see the reenactment and 2,000 participated in the show. The dedication of the cotton price was at an all-time high on the eve of the Civil Centennial Commission and the enthusiasm of the people War. After the war, however, the agricultural prevalence in the “reenactments” demonstrated the image of the Civil declined enormously. The decline was first caused by the War that the South wanted to remember—a war of noble Union’s blockade during the war that stifled the mobilization of the cotton and the ability of the South to sustain civilians and soldiers defending their homeland, a war its plantations and thus its thriving economy. The Southunder the brilliant leadership of General Robert E. Lee, 37

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


ern economy failed to recover to its heyday even after the war. In the Centennial, the South was not only commemorating the bravery of its soldiers, but also celebrating its past glory. The ideological explanation of why the South was not ashamed of their failure lies in the legacy of “Lost Cause,” the South’s attempt to dilute the importance of slavery in the Civil War in order to justify the cause of the Confederacy. This idea first emerged in the post-Civil War period. In 1866, Edward A. Pollard wrote down the prevailing Southern political view in his work Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates: “Slavery afforded nothing more than a convenient ground to dispute between two parties, who represented not two moral theories, but hostile sections and opposite civilizations.” The revival of the idea of Lost Cause also related to the heating tension between the North and the South under the Kennedy administration during the Centennial. Many white Southerners used the chance of the Centennial to counter the wave of black civil rights movement by showing their dismissal of slavery in their commemoration. Their refusal to admit slavery as one of the fundamental causes of the war prevented the South from commemorating the Emancipation Proclamation and any other activities related to slavery. Therefore, the South could only focus on the sacrifice of the white soldiers and the celebration of one side of the war. In the field of education, the governments in both sections were aware of the importance of informing the public, though they used different ways to spread the knowledge. The Northern government treated the Civil War education more solemnly as a research subject, using relatively traditional media like pamphlets, handbooks, and essays to inform the citizens. The government increased its expenditure on education of school students and studying programs. Many essays even achieved popularity at the time of their publication. The New York Centennial Commission distributed 350,000 of its pamphlets “New York in the Civil War” and received high commentary from both academia and the general public. Not only did the Northeast contribute to the Civil War archive, they also sought to publish their research on Civil Wars. In ad-

dition, the Wisconsin Centennial Commission published the memoir of the famous political figure Rufus Dawe, who served with the 6th Wisconsin Volunteers. Besides publications, some of the Northern states also displayed some important documents in exhibitions. For instance, New York exhibited the Emancipation Proclamation, the milestone of the abolitionist movement. The exhibition of the Emancipation Proclamation not only restated the motif of emancipation in New York’s commemoration, but also highlighted the side of the Civil War other than military stories of white soldiers. The South also actively funded the studies of the Civil War, but in more mass-oriented and less esoteric media such as public facilities and modern media. For example, the state of Virginia constructed a multimillion-dollar Civil War museum and orientation center. Arkansas also purchased the Pea Ridge battlefield for the price of five hundred thousand dollars and donated it to the federal government as a national park. The Texas government was even planning on microfilming the hundred thousand Texans who served in the Civil War. The Southern government’s heavy spending on public exhibitions does not mean that they neglected the scholarly side of the education. William H. Price’s Civil War Centennial Handbook published in Virginia effectively narrated the Civil War and organized many precious graphs and first-hand photos that are still used by scholars today. However, the whole handbook only depicted the war as “brothers against brothers” and did not mention the significance of slavery at all. With the exception of two places in which “the first negro troops” were mentioned, the handbook was merely describing the “white” version of the Civil War. Both the North and the South did agree on one thing: the Civil War was a lesson that should be learned and remembered by the contemporary and preceding generations; however, the absence of emancipation even as a minor role in the educational commemoration of the South further reflected the segregated sphere in the Southern academic realm. After the burst of interest in 1961, the Centennial gradu-

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

38


ally lost its popularity, though some commemoration activities, especially war reenactments, still continued till the hundredth year anniversary of General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, the Cuban Missile crisis, and the March in Washington also drew a large amount of media attention from the Centennial commemorations. At the time of Appomattox, most states either ceased to fund the program or gave little attention to the event. Both the rejoicing celebrations in the South and the solemn commemorations in the North faded into insignificance. The meaning of the Centennial, however, outlived its actual ceremonies. It provided a 1960’s “reenactment” of the stark difference between the North and the South and their sectional tension, the trauma still not cured since the Civil War. Its legacy includes war reenactments, which are still popular today, and much useful academic material. But even today, fifty years after the Centennial celebration,

we have to ask ourselves: have we really conquered all of the prejudices exposed in the Civil War Centennial? On this question, Jamie Malanowski, who experienced the Centennial, expressed his opinion: “When asked about the cause of the war, far too many people will say that there were many reasons. Slavery was one; states rights, tariffs and northern aggression were others. This is sad, because when you read the words spoken by the leaders of the rebellion, when you read their secession ordinances, there is only one reason: slavery—the preservation of slavery, the extension of slavery, the expansion of slavery.” While the other factors mentioned by Malanowski were definitely relevant to the outbreak of the Civil War, should we reconsider the role of slavery in our education materials about the Civil War? Have we given it the degree of recognition it deserves? These questions that the Civil War Centennial provoked further prove that the Centennial not only repainted the significance of the Civil War, but also left its own footstep on the long path of history.

Seojung Kim ‘15 39

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Recycled Art and Sketches from Collage This page, top right: Nick Lacasse ‘16 and Annie Smyth-Hammond ‘16; Bottom left: Jullia Tran ‘18; Bottom right: Tia Tang ‘18 Facing page, top: Katie Remien ‘15 and Christina Raichle ‘15; Bottom: Ella Mure ‘17, Avery Morgan ‘16, and Sawyer Gardner ‘15

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

40


41

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Short Stories Inspired by Published Novels Monster By Catherine McLaughlin ‘17 Prompt: Your task is to write an additional chapter of Flight. In this novel, Zits, the protagonist, is a time traveler who inhabits other individuals’ bodies during various time periods, forcing the audience to question many problematic Native American stereotypes. For your chapter, you get to decide the body Zits inhabits.

“Mom, I need to ask you a question.” She sits up, but she’s hesitant. “I want you to get better, I do. I know you’re scared that he’s going to come back for you if you say anything, that until they catch him you’re in danger. But please just help us, Mom. We want justice for you, but we need you to say something. If you could just...”

I open my eyes to familiar darkness. The midday sun, attempting to bleed through the heavy curtains, casts dim shadows on the walls. I realize that I am looking through the eyes of a woman. I can feel her hunger and her pain and her sadness, and each time she closes her eyes, I can see the recurring images that plague her brain—the white man, the pain and terror, the baby, the escape, and the face of her son, painted in terror. I also feel fear within her. She is too terrified to eat or move or eat or cry. Each painful, fear stricken moment blurs together in the woman’s timeless, wistful state of mind.

“Joe,” the woman says. Through all her fear and wistfulness, she knows she is sure about this one thing. “Don’t you spend a single minute worrying about justice for that man. He’ll get it, but not from you. You understand?” The boy nods, and I’m shocked this woman can still discipline him like this, when she can’t even manage to brush her hair.

I hear the soft padding of two sets of footsteps up the stairs. They near the door, but stop. “Why can’t she just say it?” whispers a young voice. “She could end all of this.”

“But if you don’t know exactly where it happened, it’s not a complete lie. It’s worth it Mom, isn’t it?” To me, this made perfect sense. Was that one small lie, that wasn’t for sure a lie, really that bad in comparison to the man, who committed rape, getting away unpunished? After all, crime was crime, no matter who did it to whom or where it happened; the crime deserved a consequence. I tried to compel the woman to see this, but she was resolved. “Mom, if you don’t do this, he gets away. I can’t let him get away; I won’t no matter what.”

“We can’t make her do that, Joe. I wish more than anything that she could say who or where or something, but she’s afraid, Joe. More than that, I don’t think she knows for sure.” “But if she just said it was on tribal lands, you could get that monster and this would all be over. But if she doesn’t say anything, he could walk away. That’s not right, Dad. That’s not why they made laws.” “I don’t expect you to understand, Joe. Right now, the most important thing for us to do is to help your mother get better. The lilacs will be blooming soon, and I’m sure she will want to see them.” The door quietly clicks open, and in steps the boy. “Mom, I brought you a sandwich.” He’s carrying a glass of water and a plate with a sandwich that has the crust cut off. He’s cautious. The woman, who lays in a lifeless, bony heap beneath the covers, doesn’t say anything. “Mom, can I talk to you?” She rolls over, still silent. “Thank you for the sandwich, dear.”

“But Mom, why don’t you just say that it was on our land so that he can be arrested?” “Joe, I…I don’t know. I just can’t. Don’t ask me to lie.”

“You will do nothing, Joe,” she says, and the boy, as if finally seeing strength in his weak mother, silences. “The only one who can get justice for this case is me, and you have to let me. You have to wait until I can do that. I can’t just do what’s easiest. Nothing about this is easy… And I…I just can’t do that. I don’t know why, but I can’t.” And with that, the woman sank back into her cocoon, ignoring her son and the meal he had brought. As the boy leaves the room, I see him look around slowly. He looks at the dark, shut curtains, remembering that until recently he had never seen them drawn. This room was never dark before. The bed was always made perfectly. There was usually a nice book on the night stand. Joe ran his finger over the shelf as he passed and it came up grey

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

42


with dust. He sighed and picked up yesterday’s uneaten sandwich with the crusts cut off and a full glass of water and left the room. Oblivious to all of this, the woman drifted back into a deep but restless sleep, pulling me with her.

partially out of denial. She’s afraid for her son and can’t bear the idea of making him confess to murder, but she doesn’t think talking to him will help him all that much. What would she even say? She couldn’t simply tell him that violence was wrong no matter what. He probably knew the bad morality of what he had done, but was unable to see the extent of its seriousness. He had done this trying to achieve justice; he had done it out of love for his mother and anger at what others could not give him. She decides that—to see the truth about what he had done, to understand it—her son must see this himself. In the long run, he must live with and learn from the consequences of his actions.

Then there’s a blur. Things start to move really fast, like I’m in one of those time lapse videos where you watch a city and see all the cars and people and stuff move really quickly. Except now I’m watching the people move quickly in and out of the room, the shades gradually being undrawn and the woman gradually getting out of bed and getting back to an almost regular day. I watch her going through days, starting to cook again and care for her family. I suppose I should be weirded out by this, but honestly, That day when her son comes home, I take a good look I’ve experienced stranger things. at the boy. He can’t be older than me. I try to picture him holding a gun, filled with enough anger and determination Suddenly, with the ringing of a telephone, the time-lapse to end another person’s life. I imagine his finger pulling halts. It is morning and I can smell the warmth of the the trigger and his small frame being jerked by the kick of coffee on the table. The woman’s husband picks up the the gun. But then I remember the bank, and I remember phone, and his face drops. He stammers out a few words being filled with so much conviction that the only effect before hanging up. the kick of the gun I felt was a surge of power rushing “Geraldine,” He says grimly. He walks towards his wife through me. I look at the boy and I hope that he didn’t and embraces her. “He’s dead, Lark. Someone shot him.” feel like that. I hope that he isn’t the monster that I am. The woman is stunned. She doesn’t know what to feel. At first she’s relieved or perhaps slightly happy or whatever that this man got what was coming to him. But then she’s conflicted, because her morality is telling her that in order for the horrible man to get a form of justice, someone else had to stoop to that level. She begins to wonder who did it, and she is hit with a terrible thought that clears her entire brain. Joe. He had been disappearing a lot in the mornings recently and just this morning he had come back acting very strange. With fear and sadness, she remembers the many times that her son vowed to bring the man to justice. She feels guilt, thinking that if she could just have gotten better sooner or been more present or given the law the power to do its job, maybe she could have stopped her son from murdering her rapist. After a few hours, battling to come to terms with her realization, the woman decides not to confront her son about it. This is partially because of her guilty feelings and 43

Sean Cashel ‘15

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Tangled Sheets By Brooke Hayes ‘17 Prompt: Your task is to write an additional chapter of Flight. In this novel, Zits, the protagonist, is a time traveler who inhabits other individuals’ bodies during various time periods, forcing the audience to question many problematic Native American stereotypes. For your chapter, you get to decide the body Zits inhabits. I wake up tangled in scratchy sheets, an IV stuck in my arm, and a million machines around my bed. My eyes wander the room. Some pitiful wilting flowers desperate for water sit on a table; a bag with some extra clothes rests on a stiff blue chair. Outside the door, posters only those desperate for their happiness could bare to look at, with cartoon puppies and hearts and telling us all it will get better, there will be a cure. I notice lots of pink ribbons around, like the ones I always see on taxis and billboards every fall, the ones I got so used to seeing as I sat on my mother’s hospital bed. The room looks familiar, the wilting flowers strike my memory, and the teddy bear laying on the floor—I remember his name. I raise my hand, draining my energy much more than it should. It’s a pale white. I reach for my hair. It’s a beautiful sunset orange—and it’s long, very long with bouncy curls. I realize who I am. I see myself as a tiny little six-year-old boy; I come running into the room and jump into my arms—my mother’s arms. My mood lifts instantly. All the pricking of needles and constant checkups become worth it. The pain doesn’t feel

Will Peatman ‘15

Tia Tang ‘18 so bad. I can feel my mother thinking of my future, worrying over every aspect of my life. She can’t worry for long, as I can feel her fatigue coming on. An overwhelming wave of sleep crashes into me; I lay my head back, but desperately cannot relax. I watch as six-year-old me climbs into his mother’s lap, my lap. He curls up in my arms. I feel his slow breathes, his little heart beating into my chest. I watch the dreams dance through his mind, feel his little hand curled around mine. He falls asleep peaceful, quiet, and oblivious. A tear rolls down my cheek. I follow it as it flows from my chin, and lands softly, leaving a tiny circle on my hideous blue hospital gown. I know that this time, as strangely as it may have happened, is precious to my mother and me. I reach for the sleeping child in my lap; I hold him close, knowing it will be the last time. I watch as my eyelids slowly close, and I focus on each breath, in and out. That’s when it comes to me. In her last days, I watched

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

44


puzzled, as she wrote and wrote in a dark brown leatherbound book. She would write until she was sobbing so hard she began to choke. Mildly conscious, I trace my hand along the night stand, searching for the handle. I pull open the door and grab the soft leather book. I’d never had any closure on my mother’s death. All I remember is a thin, pale, beautiful woman dying slowly, watching the world drift away. Then comes the nausea, demanding to ruin me. I immediately reach for the trash bin next to the bed, heaving. As my breath comes back to normal, I reach for the book once more, and use all my might to hoist it onto the bed with me. I turn to the first page. On the inside of the cover is my kindergarten picture, my light brown skin clashing horribly with the maroon-colored background. It is a pocket-sized picture that came free when you couldn’t afford the package from those stupid picture companies. I remembered the overzealous man with white hair telling me to smile and tilt my head to the left: “Ok, boy, perfect…now smile.” He turned to the side with a sad look and whispered, “Too bad the little Indian’ll never be anythin’.” They handed out those gross little black combs to each kid so they could fix their hair before each picture. I worked so hard to fix my hair that day; I wanted my mom to see me looking great. Seeing the picture on the inside cover instantaneously makes my day and breaks my heart. I turn to the next page in the journal… “White sheets, white walls, white tiles… I feel like they’re mocking me. His light brown hand reaches up from the puzzle, and he grabs my own and says, ‘Mommy, look; I finished!’ Is it my fault for bringing a child into this world so destined to be troubled? The nurse peeks her head in to check for a moment, sees Michael on the bed, and returns to her duties disgusted. Yes, it’s true, I look nothing like him; he has his father’s beautiful skin. I’ve always loved that about him. I wonder what it’s like for the little guy to be stuck with me all the time. I wish he had his father to play baseball or run around with. I love him, and I think he loves me…the only problem is that I am not here for much longer.”

Yoomi Ren ‘17 “I watched him from the car window; it still wouldn’t roll down, and I don’t think I’ll ever have the extra cash to bring it over to the shop. My little baby climbed up the stairs and twirled down the slide. He laughed and played with little white boys, black girls, and everyone in between. I only wish they’d always treat each other the same. Growing up is a cruel thing. No longer are children sweet; they’re mean and insecure and they bully. I can only hope he’ll be bigger than those people; I can only pray for that beautiful little boy. I wonder everyday if he’ll remember me when he’s grown; I wonder everyday if his father will ever come back. Each morning I know I am closer and closer to my last; gosh, I’ll miss my little boy in heaven. Michael, if by some miracle you ever find this, honey, I love you, I love you, I love you little boy.” “Mom,” I whisper, “I love you, too.”

Next page… 45

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org


Of Little Consequence By Caden Cutter ‘18 Citizen 94,820,338 woke up and looked out the window. It was a cold and foggy day. He climbed out of bed and walked across the sparsely decorated room to the chute where his clothes were left each morning. On this particular morning the Judge had decided to supply all citizens with a pair of white boots, a pair of white pants, a white shirt, and a white jacket with the citizen’s number printed on the back. After putting on his clothes, the citizen walked to his door. A screen appeared on the door with the standard test. It read, “Each day before a citizen is allowed to leave his block, he must complete the puzzle to insure that he is not a danger to society.” Each day the question was different. Sometimes he needed to write down a law from the society; other times he had to write down how he would react to a hypothetical. On this morning it was a simple curfew law, and he wrote it down from memory. The lock on the door whirled and the door swung open. He took a step outside and shivered from the cold and emptiness of the blocks around him. It was an endless graph of white cubes. He was contemplating skipping work when suddenly the citizen heard the rapid unwinding of a lock and looked down the hall to see a stranger emerge from a cube. The two looked at each other, an empty blankness in the in the air between them. The stranger turned and walked down the hall, squeaks echoed each time his boots hit the rubber. The stranger gave the citizen an uneasy feeling, and he decided he would skip work. He looked up and noticed that the fog that he had seen earlier looked even thicker than before. It was like a curtain, shielding the sky from the prisoners below. He heard a deep rumbling from the fog above. As the citizen watched the sky, he saw a white plane fly overhead through a patch in the fog. He knew that this was a transporter. Where they went or what they carried was of little consequence to him, so he carried on. The citizen began walking down a hall. Everything was identical and he was thoroughly lost. The tracking device in his leg could lead him back to his cube at any time, but it let him continue. He made a few turns and changes of

pace, but the endless rows of cubes continued. Suddenly he heard a sound. It sliced through the silence like a chain saw through butter. The citizen had never heard this sound before and it caused emotions he had never experienced before. He moved towards the noise until he saw a woman through the window of a cube. She looked extremely distressed as she beat against the window. She was older, possibly eighty years old. Drops of water coursed from her eyes down her cheeks. This was something the citizen had never seen before. A red light was flashing on her door and the screen read a single word, “Failure.” The citizen felt confused and uncomfortable. He turned his back on the woman and walked away because her issues were of little consequence to him. The screams faded in the distance and then abruptly stopped like a candle being snuffed. The citizen felt relieved. He continued walking through the countless rows of cubes until his tracking device began leading him home. As the citizen walked back to his cube, he noticed how beautiful the sky looked. It was a nice light blue. The citizen walked up to his door and requested entry; the door scanned his retina and then allowed him access. The captive walked across the room to the same chute that had delivered his clothes. Inside was a needle. He injected himself with his daily meal and then put the needle back into the chute. The citizen walked to his window and stared at the beautiful sky outside. It had warmed up throughout the day, and he felt very content watching the clouds pass by. Suddenly the citizen heard a noise; it sounded like footsteps. He turned around and looked at the room. Nothing moved. Thoughts of how he had skipped work came flooding into his mind. As he turned back to look out of the window, a bullet smashed through the glass and shredded his stomach. He lay screaming on the ground, covered in glass while the blood bubbled up into his mouth. He looked up and saw four men dressed in all black, wielding guns and clubs, pull a hood over his face and drag him into a cruiser. The cruiser read “Insubordinate Citizen Arrest Force.” The prisoner’s screams were heard, but the other citizens allowed the armed men to take him because his demise was of little consequence to them.

Mosaic ¦ Volume 13 ¦ Holderness School ¦ www.holderness.org

46



PO Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264 (603) 536-1257