s parks animated
///issue 1 | september 2013
Sparks Animated ÂŠ 2013. All Rights Reserved No part of this magazine or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for standalone materials.
â€œin the end, we only regret the chances we didnâ€™t takeâ€?
credits /editor in chief drishti sanger /editor allison klietsberg /design & illustration luc zafiris /art sammy jxl charlestin alexandra fabrizio drishti sanger mam arts /photographs camilla acosta roger branker tim moore /writing drishti sanger christina kuldip mina reyes patrick chan sammy jxl charlestin alexandra fabrizio sage stewart-la bonte tim moore
Words cannot express how much of an honor it is for us to be at this stage of the magazine right now. We would like to thank each and every single person that has taken the time to view this. It is my personal belief that inspiration gives us, as human beings, a sense of purpose. Our souls crave it and our minds are sharpened by it. When we have an idea for something, we become excited and thrilled to share it. Through sharing them we give, these ideas, the permission to live in our physical world. This sharing process can happen anywhere; between you and a confidant or even between your pen and a notepad. I still remember sitting down to write my very first short story for a school assignment. Just sitting there on my bed waiting for an idea, anything to get me going. When it did come, I felt powerful, and with pencil in hand, unstoppable. Being inspired is one of the greatest feelings Iâ€™ve known to have over and over again. Iâ€™m obsessed with the thrill of it. This obsession then led me to the creation of this magazine. Our goal is to try and inspire each and every single person who chooses to pick up this magazine. Through our work and ideas I want to ignite a SPARK that will get YOU, the reader, to go pursue YOUR passions and chase down YOUR dreams. So go ahead and take that first step. -Drishti Sanger & The Sparks Animated Team!
WELCOME TO THE VERY FIRST ISSUE OF SPARKS ANIMATED!
LETTER FROM THE THIS is a very exciting point in my life right now. It’s a major achievement for me to somehow provide something so simple, but yet so beautifully captivating. This “somehow” wouldn’t be achieved if it weren’t for every single person that contributed to this magazine. I’m honored to be able to call these amazing people my friends. God knows it took a lot of courage to be able to open up to people, they didn’t know, and let them into their personal thoughts and experiences. To let you into their perspectives of how they see the world; through the lens of a camera or through the thoughts jotted down by a pen. The most important question I asked myself, before I ever chose to go down this path, was, “what makes me happy?” I’m the happiest when I know I’ve done something for somebody. Knowing I have the ability to put down my needs in order to go help another person or living being is priceless. When I first came up with the idea, I was in disbelief. I was even more skeptical about this when I sat down and had the first meeting.
The real shocking factor was when the people I told and brought onto the team were super excited. I guess sometimes we seem to lack the ability to trust our guts and ourselves. There were many challenges I had to face while trying to put together this magazine. I believe the hardest part was trying to get everyone together for meetings and making the deadline. I mean, Iâ€™ve never really managed so many people before and the list just seemed to get longer and longer. Itâ€™s been a difficult couple of months and personally challenging for many people to come out of their comfort zones. I truly enjoyed putting this altogether, even though I must admit that I was terrified for the most part. During the process I had no idea what the final version would even look like. All I knew was to trust my guts and the people I chose to work with and go with it. With that said, I really hope you love this as much as I loved working on it. -Drishti Sanger Editor in Chief/Writer
A SL ICE OF MY MIND
by Black Rose
I recently learned later in life not to look back because there was no point. Learning not to regret the chances I never took was hard. I still don’t have it right. I once thought I had to be “proper” and stay in line with the norm. Living for me felt like I was merely passing by and my existence remained dull. Fear prevented me from ever being able to see what I could truly achieve. “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Seuss Regret is a strong emotion, a feeling that unfortunately stays with us throughout our whole lives. Part of living and experiencing is taking chances and trying things you could possibly be amazing at. However, it is up to us to live beyond the “normal” limit of life. I don’t see any limits when it comes to self-development and neither should anyone else. To be who you are, is to take a chance.
Adrenaline Rush by Drishti Sanger
Adrenaline Rush HushWhere have you been? Apparently my lifeâ€™s beinâ€™ Lived in sin I do what I want! Whenever I want! Wherever I want! However I want! My sense of freedom: used to taunt. Some spend their lives hiding Focused on the art of rule abiding The concept of change To them, is something estrange. A whole world to go discover The word: recover Apparently means to go re-seek cover Skinned knees Ripped tees Broken hearts Torn Into a million parts Innocence lost Funerals added to the cost Time heals And eventually reveals That nothing is permanent How people are determinant So when the adrenaline begins to rush Hush Consume the thrill Or else your insecurities will
photo: Drishti Sanger
Be Successful at Who You Are “Flowers bring to a liberal and gentlemanly mind, the remembrance of honesty, comeliness, and all kinds of virtue.” —John Gerard To counteract negligence and apathy, we must be part of the success, the success of who we are. Discovering our natural abilities can unleash the bonds of the clutched hands we squeeze ever so tightly to the chains of spiritual imprisonment. To eviscerate these bonds takes connection to the cosmic, imagining the tune of the divine. Tim Moore
ncomfort able U By Patrick Chan
eople see the word “chance” and “luck” as a form of mystical phenomena that is only given to privileged people, and I agree to a certain extent. If we take a moment to think about it, these people rarely sat on their couch. It was something I didn’t realize when I was still on mine. Life was not going so well and I was upset at myself for it while I watched others progress. Looking back now, my life has improved a lot because of my determination to do one thing: getting off my a**. Before I fell victim to that cushiony ‘life drainer,’ something must have pushed me onto it right? It all began during my high school years. For most people, high school was either a hit or miss. Sadly, for me high school was a miss. If I weren’t trying to translate every single word in my homework (because my French wasn’t proficient enough to understand the question), I would spend my weekends wallowing through the quicksand of boredom just to study for another academic institution. To top things off, I also had to attend a math tutoring center, but the time and money that was put into it was not even relevant to what was being
done in school. It was the perfect setup to suck the living soul out of any child; therefore making them a socially inept vessel that is incapable of feeling any kind of emotion. Although, I am aware that was not part of my parent’s intention. From all of this chaos, the only place I could call Utopia was my sofa. It was a place where I truly felt safe from harm; I could satisfy my gluttony desire of food and hours of mindless gaming on the computer. Interaction among my friends through the game that I was playing at the time was a lot more interesting compared to the everyday dullness I had to go through. It had gotten so bad to the point where I felt more comfortable expressing myself behind the computer rather than actually having a conversation with someone in real life. My parents would scold me for hours. This comfort allowed me to feel the ecstasy of being in my own world and free to be myself and from responsibilities. So I just let them yell to their lung’s content. It is only in the future did I regret my decision of voluntary confinement. Your daybed does more harm than good, getting off of it would be a difficult, but
possible task. Attempting to do so, your legs may feel a bit shaky and your arms may even have trouble pulling yourself up. Your self-esteem will deteriorate because the temptation of falling back down is a lot simpler than finding other ways to replace it. Your natural ability to adapt will be forgotten because everything that the couch offered required little effort, whereas the time it takes to change and find a new way of living takes a lot of time, energy and patience. Subconsciously, you become your own prisoner; sacrificing any opportunity in life that could have given you more joy, ultimately changing your own lifestyle. The first step, possibly the most challenging, is to get up. So I asked myself this question, “What is it that I don’t like about myself?” The answer to this question provided goals for me to achieve. I took off from there. When I was in college, one thing that I disliked was my weight fluctuation. People suggested I hit the gym, however it felt like unnecessary time would be wasted just on travelling. That year, I decided to take a yoga course in college and to be frank, it was pretty much for the girls (I mean to be fit! *cough* yes I was quite immature back then). The beginning was intimidating because of circus contortionist moves like Bakasana: the inner thighs are tucked close to the torso and the knees are stuck under the armpits while the hands support the whole body. Being one of the few guys in the room, looking foolish and falling over was not an option! Funny enough, that class was the catalyst of self-actualization, especially during the meditation session at the end. It gave me a moment to self reflect and further identify what it was that wanted to be changed. From one session after another I went from feeling intimidation and embarrassment of my struggles, to acknowledging a growth process. This gave me a new understanding: The learning process is not about being
perfect, but it is to develop the sturdy foundation of mastering any skill. Whenever I felt any sort of discomfort from the change, my devil’s advocate would try and convince me back to my old habits. It was often the same pattern: “Oh, you want to be healthy? Are you breathing? Yes you are, now keep eating!” “Ah… now that we have a snack in our hand, take a seat. You can’t stand while eating, since it IS bad for your digestion.” “Why not play one more game? Make it your first win of the day and we’ll call it quits. Wait, that was too short so it didn’t count. OH YOU LOST?! Try again that first one was a test.” Sadly enough, time and time again, I would fall back down onto my famous place of contentment and beat myself for it. Eventually, I cut back on everything a little bit at a time and replaced it with workout routines. I also educated myself on organic foods and on which chemicals to avoid when making my purchases. The procedure later morphed into a lifestyle, making it one thing less to stress over my other flaws. Back then, when things didn’t go my way, I only thought to pity and excuse myself for the lack of luck. Now that I have taken the effort to stand on my own two feet, it’s definitely easier to spot the opportunities that were calling out for me. All I need to do is continue this path and unlock the next chapter of my life, leaving the couch as something of the past.
Bill and Jenna
by Tim Moore
Bill and Jenna..... Jenna in the foreground Pound for pound was the dominant Of the two Bill who didnâ€™t give a hoo Sat by fuzzy Unable To comprehend the path He was to follow Then forever with some And with recourse the oozing Remorse
P SKI PING
by sammy jxl charlestin
“ That is so cliché pops,” said the patient attendant, “the school of life? Really?” The old man chuckled and slowly leaned his head back against the couch. His barely open weary eyes shimmered with an amusement highlighted by the crow’s feet on each side of his solemn face as he looked down at the helper. “You’re right, it is. I must be getting old,” he thought aloud. They both laughed at the obvious and filled the room with their delight. The amusement lasted a few seconds until the senior sighed and they fell silent again. Something was off about the way the old man had laughed and glanced at the folder, which he had been keeping next to him all morning but the attendant let it, slide, waiting for the next part of the story. “Hear me out though…” said the old man with a slightly more serious tone, “that day, I went to the baseball field without the slightest clue what was going to happen to me. I know I sucked at the darn game and two nights of practice in my backyard wasn’t going to change that.” “Then why did you go?” asked the attendant. “I have no idea,” reflected the old man, “I was probably just too dumb to back down.” He tilted his head to the left and his lips made that right-sided smile he did only when he was about to taunt someone. “What can I say? *Cough* Young people do stupid stuff,” he added casually. “Watch it old timer, you’re not too old to get your butt kicked,” clowned the attendant, “so… what happened?” “Well,” answered the senior, “at some point during the game, the coach set me up as the batter and I almost shat my breeches. I stood there on the field with my legs shaking and scared out of my mind. The pitcher had already thrown twice and I was too nervous to even try hitting the ball. I was about to strike out. Then something clicked, I had a… revelation, I guess. I figured I could keep standing there or take a swing at the incoming ball even if I can’t see it because either way, I’d miss.” “Let me guess, a home run?” the attendant teased. “No, but I wish it were,” chuckled the old man, “I swung and hit the ball but it barely went more than 6 feet away. I started running a bit late because I was surprised I actually hit it so I never got to first base.” “But your team still won,” added the attendant. “Yes, but no thanks to me,” he kept laughing, “can you grab my meds on the table there?”
The attendant handed the pills to the 78-year-old man and asked him: “What’s that got to do with the school of life?” “Wait,” answered the senior, “let me finish.” He took a deep breath and swallowed the pills with a half a glass of water. He had a disgusted frown on his face when looking at the unlabeled container that made the helper wonder if the pills were bitter. He noticed the worried look of the attendant and said: “I’ve been swallowing pills for over 70 years now and it’s still a hassle. I hate the darn things.” “I know that feeling,” sneered the attendant at the thought of personal experiences with medicine tablets. The elder continued: “You see, I was unsuccessful at my attempt but I don’t regret it ‘cause I tried. However, later in life, I had forgotten about my little moment of enlightenment that day on the baseball field. So, when came the time for me to choose my profession, I backed down and settled for a desk job instead of going for what I really wanted to do because I was afraid I’d fail at it. It wasn’t the most promising career you see. Still isn’t I suppose… and I’m not complaining about how well I’ve done for myself either. “After all,” he added with a sense of pride, “I had a great financial situation and took care of a family of 5. Now, I have 4 grandchildren.” “I know how many you have granddad,” said the attendant. “The point is,” explained the grandfather his tone now grave, “that regardless of how well I’ve done for myself, I still sit on this couch wondering about ‘what could have been’. I have so many questions unanswered.” “Why do you tell me this now?” “Because *cough* I won’t be here long child. Thought I’d share some life experience before dying,” answered the old man with a hint of sadness. “Granddad, you at least have fifty more years to go.” His grandchild had placed a hand on his knee and attempted to reassure him with a smile. The grandfather gently smiled back and turned to look at the folder next to him. The disgusted glare was back. “Not according to the doctor.” He had his hand on his chest. -J.XL
A UGUST TSUGUA by Alexandra Fabrizio
I could feel my heart pulsating with every beat, sending fluctuations of anguish and a terrible ache somewhere in the hollow of my chest the sense of dread; the wrongdoing of something that had the possibility of being a right, but this is after the pandemonium of my heart, and long after the arguments with only myself about how, all this and what it has come down, was the right thing for me. I know I could question my reasons forever, make a list of how much easier things are without its constant presence attacking me, and it was my own words, my own thoughts and my own decision to end it, so the end it was. And has since remained to be. Love. It’s the sister of death, prepared or not you find yourself falling, only the feeling is symbolically represented as “On cloud nine” or “Six feet under”. Death however has one card to play.
Love...it is filled with many options, chances and risks. The fluttering too... the butterflies I felt when it all began were warm and yes slightly dizzying, but welcomed. Now the very same intrusion is unsought for, yet I accept it all the same, because I realize I have no right to let go to the point of indifference because it will never be that point in my life I can seal my eyes from… From forgetting... Like experiencing a life changing, life altering moment, it was sealed as something that is now a part of me. For better or worse it holds a considerable impact on myself where I have chosen the cards I want to play, the one that allows me choose again the full deck. I breathe in deep and exhale a slow long breath. My heartbeat is back to normal. I accept these moments of contempt as they have prepared me to walk upon a path with less hesitation.
Her Experience The corruption of the Ego on the Soul By Christina Kuldip
The human ego is self involved and self-righteous. It is triggered when a conflict occurs as a self-defense mechanism to protect the soul. However, as time passes by, instead of defending the soul, it bullies and devours it. But, how does one overcome such a tough battle with oneself?
Two years earlier… March 2011 The icy chilliness of winter had not entirely left, and spring was barely showing signs of arriving. Sirens were blaring violently in the background. The last two days had been traumatizing. My boyfriend was in trouble and his best friend had gotten stabbed. My jaw was trembling and my words were barely forming. I was choking back tears and trying to call people on my blackberry, as I stood there in the police station’s bathroom. Gasping for air and barely able to think, I started to dial the number of a dear friend. As I called her cell, tears streamed down my face. Fear paralyzed my body. I was in a realm of perpetual darkness and my best friend was no where to be found. Since her cell kept going to voicemail, a sinking feeling in my gut started to form. “Okay one last chance, ” I told myself, “she’s your friend she won’t abandon you when you need her most, she won’t.” I slowly dialed the number of her house phone, heart racing, mentally praying that she would answer. “Ring! Ring!” the line went, and the tears continued to stream down my face. “Hello?” answered the voice on the other end of the line. I paused for brief second before I answered, barely swallowing my tears. “Hi is your sis home?”
“Sorry she’s not.” “Ok bye.” Moments later my blackberry begins to vibrate. It’s was a text from her. Finally! Oh god, I prayed, I hope she’s okay. It read, “I don’t want to come off as mean or anything, but we can’t talk anymore. Please don’t reply to this message because I won’t answer”. I stood there for a moment in utter shock, staring at the girl on the other side of the mirror of that bathroom. Slowly trying to understand what she had done for someone to completely abandon her. I spent the next few months living in a gloomy and wretched pit of sorrow. It wasn’t long before anger crept out of my soul and my ego began to grow as tall as a mountain. I mourned the loss of a friend, constantly questioning why? What had I done that was so bad? Only to have my ego grumble, “Who cares? She’s gone now. She never cared about you.” I soon had an ocean of anger flowing viciously through my veins whenever I heard of her. “You did so much for her, you fed her when she was broke, you comforted her when she was sad, and you were always there when she needed you” it ranted endlessly to me. We had done so much for her, and we had been abandoned. My ego crept out of me, and I became a self-centered and self-righteous person, who was drowning herself in self-pity. Releasing my soul from the caging of my ego was one of the most difficult, but momentous battles I had to encounter, in order to find my path to enlightenment. My ego instigated, “Why forgive her, she’s not worthy of your forgiveness”. While my soul would pipe up: “Who are you to judge someone of not deserving forgiveness? Have you forgotten all she’s done for you? She had been there for you countless times before. So what if you paid for her when she was broke? Money isn’t everything. So what if you listened to her complain a few million times? That’s what friends do, they listen. You are not perfect; you have many flaws, just like everyone else.” It was only then, by self-reflecting, did I begin to understand the importance of forgiveness. By taking this leap of faith, I learned the significance of being humble. Hence, I put down my guarded shield of pride and ego, and decided two years later that it was finally time to release this agony.
a breath of
by Mina Reyes
Regret comes from two things: 1. Taking the chance to do something and failing Or 2. Not taking the chance and regretting the unknown. It’s a catch 22. Looking back at my own life, there have been numerous opportunities that I’ve never taken because of my own fear of failing. A lesson life once taught me not too long ago is that every single thing in our lives, big or small, are never truly promised to us and taking them for granted will always leave us with regret weighing heavy
on our chests. Allow me to set the scene: October of 2012, the week had been long and the weather was acting strange in Far Rockaway, Queens New York. The newscaster mentioned that hurricane Sandy was on her way up to greet us and that we should be prepared. To no surprise, we, the citizens of New York raided every supermarket for food and water. I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted the amount of damage Sandy left behind that day. At least, I didn’t. I was more than convinced Sandy would pass me by without hitting my apartment, even though I did reside 4 blocks from the beach. I quickly learned that I was mistaken.
Dozing off into a light nap that evening, I re-call the heavy winds howling like banshees and beating at my windows as if they were dying to enter. I thought nothing of it, but as the branches started to fall outside my window, I realized Sandy just might visit me, and an hour later she did. Water started seeping into my apartment, crawling across the floor, covering it as though it were a carpet. My heart started racing as I panicked, I had to keep calm and think logically. Gathering all my belongings that meant most to me, I elevated them on top of my kitchen table. Quickly the water rose and in about 20 minutes I found myself waist deep in water. I prayed that night and begged God to protect me. I was so sure I was going to die. In that moment, almost 5 feet under water, I realized... This might be it, I might die right here, tonight. Regret filled my heart and brought me to tears. What about my loved ones? What about school? What about marriage? My dreams? Traveling?
Gasping for air as the piercing cold water embraced me I vividly recall every thought that crossed my mind. It’s unfortunate to say that most of them were regrets for things I hadn’t managed to do. After hours that seemed more like days the water started descending. Hope was ignited in my heart and I thanked God. I had been graced with a second chance. While hanging for hours between life and death, life taught me a valuable lesson: faith. It is greater than any hurricane, greater than any fear and that taking a chance will always be better than not taking one at all. It is normal to fear the unknown, but never let that fear suppress your desires to become who you know you have the potential to become. So remember: Have faith.
by Tim Moore
Meandering about Running though the stream Might this be a dream? Did I forget to make that left turn Or was it to the right? What if I plunge ahead And fall down the ledge Like a clump of lead What was said? I cannot think about Such things As I am Just being Do you love what you are seeing? As long as I flow And not rush about I am happy not to go Back to the place of my home Where the water is sown How do I know?
abstract story by Drishti Sanger
“I want- want a home! Not a battleground!!” a man’s voice thundered across the room. “So stop turning everything into a war!” a woman’s voice responded, matching the volume. “Me? How about you STOP?” “I have…” “Really? What? Is this what you call ‘stopping’? Are you fucking DELUSIONAL? -Not have spent another fucking Friday night at this again!”
Put a hand to my throbbing head whispered with a hint of fury, “We agreed there’d be no more of these…you agreed, I agreed, so why?”
I woke up hung-over from the intoxication of yet another argument. Because when the words start pouring out, it gets harder and harder to just quit and walk away. Glancing at the light pouring in through the windows gave me hope. Violet curtains matched our violent delights so I began to hope a little harder, “Maybe it’ll be different today. Maybe we’ll find ourselves today…” I said tiredly. I patted the other side of the bed with one hand and discovered he hadn’t occupied his rightful place next to mine. There he was, passed out on the floor, fully dressed. “Bryce...” I began to say. Saying his name felt nice, almost comforting. Lazily pulled myself out of bed and went to sit on the floor next to him. My bruised hand gently stroked his tired forehead. I knew I was going to run out of my luck eventually. He was going to run out of patience and out my life soon. “Loves me more than the air that enters
his lungs and I take advantage…” I then removed the coat he was using as a blanket and threw it on the small couch in the corner. Crawled over to his feet, removed his shoes, socks and eventually his pants. He was deep asleep. “I bet the gin helped.” I whispered under my breath as I yanked the covers off the bed and threw them over him. Leaned down to kiss his lips and a few tears began to roll down my cheeks. I was stunned to realize I was crying. Quickly got up, wiped them off and made my way out the bedroom. The living room: with a broken vase in the middle of the floor, a few shattered picture frames, burnt photographs, and a large smear of a hand in blood across one of the walls made it look like a sadistically beautiful poetic mess. I sat on that couch and stared at the room in front of me. Slowly, bit-by-bit, the screams from last night began to flood the room. I closed my eyes and for once in my life, I quietly listened…
by Drishti Sanger ///OCTOBER 2013
by Sage Stewart-La BontĂŠ
As time sits still I wait anxiously For the stars of fate To reveal my destiny Moments pass -I fade into time Roads appear, But which one is mine? I wish I knew which road to take Perhaps from this trance I would finally wake
“Now you understand the Oriental passion for tea, the first sip is joy, the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy.” —Jack Kerouac
Sip on that passion and watch it brew. Sit on that porch and swing. To brew your passion, contemplate, “What does it take?”. We must sit in silence, listening to its music. Tim Moore
MAM Arts ///OCTOBER 2013
s Sparks Animated ÂŠ 2013 All Rights Reserved
To give people a place to go when they lack inspiration. If they have the inspiration, then we also provide the motivation. Show some lov...