Convergence: An Edited Paragraph on a Photograph

It is said that every action has the potential to impact any and all objects, beings, and locations from that point forward. Likewise, nothing therefore exists that is not related to every other aspect of existence. A perfect picture of convergence myself, I stand in simple black and white–the unassuming coloration of an orchestral musician after a concert. The bowtie around my neck perfectly complements the wing-collared tux shirt. Upon a quick glance down, however, the shimmering black material of my running shorts makes a stark contrast. I’ve just recently left the stage after the year’s last performance, and the tux provided by the school has been returned to the closet where it came from. Waiting in the school commons, my freshly exposed legs have begun to stiffen in the cool air of the still warming season, despite having known greater cold on the countless runs surrounding the school. I start to look around, searching for any familiar face among the writhing mass of unfamiliar bodies. It is then that the familiar bitter taste creeps across my tongue as I face, once again, the still fresh wound left by the departure of two close friends almost a year prior. I force myself to look inside then move on, admitting their undeniable impact on me and hoping my own presence lingers even fractionally as strong before I shift to reflect on the day’s activities. Chemistry, Calculus, and Physics. The three sciences that start my daily adventure are seamlessly united in my mind. Cross country, orchestra, and drawing. A trio of extracurriculars round out the day as they bring in peaceful closure. From people to places to things, the variety in the world is overwhelming. But to me, they come together. For me, they converge within a single being.

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Makeover!

This evening, I have finally tackled the task I’ve been looking forward to for a while. Snot’n’Nayls is up to standards and fully functional. In the interest of simplicity, the updates are listed below:

  1. Homepage: This replaces the simple about-me at the forefront of the website. It contains details about each page and category of the site. My biographies can still be found on the About Me page.
  2. Navigational Menu: At the top of the sidebar, an easy-to-use hierarchy of links has been added to assist in navigation throughout the site. (This plan originally prompted me to change site themes and prevented progress for a while, along with disrupting the site this afternoon-I apologize if there were any visitors unable to navigate during that period)
  3. Help Page: Crafted specifically to aid students in the Creative Writing class that got me blogging, the help page is designed to be used as a forum in which followers can ask and respond to questions that I will offer advice on as well. Every question will warrant a blog post in response, while popular topics may earn pages dedicated to their solutions.
  4. “Favorite” Blog Category: Those blog post that have prompted vast responses and views from followers or casual readers, along with very meaningful posts I deem appropriate will appear in the “Favorite” category, for followers and readers to catch up on highlights that they may have missed.

Soon to come:

  1. Completed links to in-site locations on the homepage
  2. Completed links to books under the peer publications tab
  3. Progress updates on a new short story (and possibly a novel)

Let me know if there are any other ease-of access (or fan desired) updates that I missed, or if anything is wired incorrectly! (visitors do not need accounts to comment on this site)

Until we progress some more,
~Snots

The Difference You Wish to See in the World

“Be the difference you wish to see in the world.”

I’ve heard everyone’s favorite adage plenty of times.

I say no.

I say there is one word that does not belong.

The verb must be replaced.

“Define;” “Own;” “Live;” “Make” the difference you wish to see in the world. Do not subject (or restrict) yourself to becoming the entire embodiment of the change.

Define the Difference

In this instance, a difference is defined as a planned change of a large scale. As with anything that is planned, a difference is therefore a goal (or a mission). Regardless the desired effect, all goals share certain qualifications. They must be not only attainable and meaningful, but have clearly distinguished timelines and end results. Anything worth changing is worth the work; and chaos, (however appealing it may be at times) is never a better alternative to structure. Make a skeleton for your vision to stand upon and a path for it to follow.

Own the Difference

Going along with defining a difference or change, owning that action is a preliminary act that confirms the willingness to work for what you believe in. Owning a vision has three immediate consequences-and they aren’t bad ones. Firstly, by committing to a course of action, you show both yourself and others that it really is worth fighting for and creates the pressure needed to ensure further action. Expanding on that, you must know what you are gaining possession of, and therefore owning a change forces a return to my first point-that a difference must be defined. Finally, the momentum and definition given to a movement by setting on this path provides the opportunity for external groups and individuals to learn about your cause and begin offering their own support. An essential part to any team (and that is what those in your movement will become: a team) is a leader, and you are naturally the most qualified to take this position as the one that knows the most about your goal.

Live the Difference

Returning to the original quote, recall that the popular demand is to “BE the difference you wish to see.” Living out a vision is very similar to “being” that difference in that you are required to embody the action you plan on enforcing. Beginning with yourself is naturally a perfect place to kick-start a change, because, as is so often proclaimed, every action must be pursued from the inside out. The minor differences in verbiage, however, lead to very different endings if brought to their conclusions. By accepting that you will “be” a certain thing, you become mutually exclusive with the object or idea. Neither you nor what you represent can exist without the other. By definition, this then becomes a one-time vow that loses meaning as it is later pushed to the background. Everyone expects you to be a certain way, but they don’t think about it. And when you are no longer here to act that way? If you die or move away? The idea is removed with you. By living a certain way, however, you introduce an organic element to the agreement. By living out an action, every day becomes a battle against your mind. By choosing to live out a mission, you accept that you will continually search for ways to keep your beliefs at the forefront–you will search for ways to further your commitment, you will show that you are loyal, and you will not allow yourself to become status-quo. By doing this, you will make it impossible to ignore your allegiances, and others will begin to recognize them as well, furthering your purpose beyond your own life.

Make the Difference

If you’ll remember the past references to getting others involved, this is where it all comes together. If you vow to make a difference, you vow to find support and make a lasting impact. You do not vow to become the sole proponent of a firm stance as you would if you were to “be the difference.” You vow to lead a change, not to overwhelm yourself with its vastness. If the end goal of your action is too make a difference, following the previously stated steps: defining, owning, and living out your change, it is inevitable that others will notice and some will join you. Keep working with those and soon your cause will grow. Anything worth hope is worth seeing through. Making a difference is certainly life-changing, but it does NOT have to be stressful and life-ending. So go out there and find your passion. And while you’re at it, see it through and make a positive impact on the world!

Yours in Life with a Purpose,
~Snots

Today

It’s not often that I re-blog from any site. This post, however, struck me. The last line sums it up. Life is art. We live to experience a range of passions and it is worth experiencing them to their fullest.

Of Hearts and Houses

It’s what inside that counts. No place knows this better than the small dwelling beside Holy Infant Catholic Church, on Nancy Place. A cookie-cutter house erected long before my own story began, it has since been redesigned, repurposed, and refurbished. It now receives the ever-fluctuating, ever-fractured, always-faithful collection of students that gather for bi-weekly Youth Ministry. A step through the front door is a step into another dimension–one without worries or fatigue. It might have been two days since the last visit, or it may have been six weeks–Will and Tim are always there to offer a smile, a slap, and a warm embrace as the perfect welcome. Friends and families all join as one in the boisterous gathering room. FIFA glows silently in the corner amongst a cloud of enthralled fanatics while ping-pong clatters behind the overstuffed couch and the wall of merrily conversing spectators. It isn’t until Tim gives the official summon that things quiet down just as they’re starting to get dialed up. Rows of teens flood the door, filing into the dimly lit room, lightened only by the stage lights and the peaceful scene cast from the projector. A brief introduction leads into heartfelt speeches and discussions. Souls are laid bare as presenters inspire the masses and the recipients then pour out their own spirits’ wisdom. It all wraps up as leaders and followers join together, grasping firm and slack hands alike, to offer all they are in joyous praise that warms even the most insulated of hearts.

Convergence: A Paragraph on a Photograph

It is said that all things are interconnected. Every action has potential to impact any and all objects, beings, and locations from that point forward. Likewise, nothing therefore exists that is not related to every other aspect of existence. A perfect picture of convergence myself, I stand in simple black and white–the unassuming coloration of an orchestral musician. The bowtie around my neck perfectly complements the wing-collared tux shirt. Upon a quick glance down, however, the shimmering black material of my running shorts makes a stark contrast. I’ve just recently left the stage after the year’s last performance, and the tux provided by the school has been returned to the closet where it came from. My exposed legs have begun to stiffen in the cold air of the still warming season, despite having run themselves on every road within a ten mile radius of the high school campus. The writhing mass of unfamiliar bodies blocks my vision as I search for my friends. It is then that the familiar bitter taste creeps across my tongue as I face, once again, the still fresh wound left by the departure of two close friends almost a year prior. There is no choice but to look inside, admitting their undeniable impact on me, as I reflect on the day’s activities. Chemistry, Calculus, and Physics. The three sciences are seamlessly united in my mind. Cross country, orchestra, and drawing. A trio of extracurriculars round out the day. From people to places to things, there exists an overwhelming variety in the world. But to me, they come together. For me, they converge within a single being.

We’re Back!

School is back in session, and with that comes my access to computers that work with WordPress. The goal is that this will mean I can return to my daily writing sessions. What’s surprising is that, though writing still feels natural, I do see myself as a bit rusty. I’ve always been able to pick things up and drop them relatively quickly, but I guess I’ve gotten to the point that I expect enough from my writing that anything less is a disappointment. This semester, I’ve decided to keep my dual-music classes alive, with a second orchestral class in place of the guitar class from last semester. I played cello in a group setting for the first time yesterday, and it went fairly well. The first piece we played had a simple melody in the familiar G major. The second, however, was more complex and was written in the much more obscure E major. My English class, as well, has changed, but remained similar. I still have an emphasis on writing, but this semester, the styles will shift to much more analytical (if we ever get there: today offered a creative prompt, whose response I will share at the end of the post). All in all, the semester should add up to be a great way to finish my time in high school.

With every end comes a new beginning, and my next beginning is still up in the air, though things are looking to grow more specific soon. Both Milligan College and St. Louis University have accepted my applications and offered me scholarships, and (as long as certain requirements are met when I visit) Milligan is looking like my top (and less expensive) choice. I’m certainly excited to check out the campuses.

Portray July 16th, a forlorn and forgotten day of summer.

Hopping up on my bike, I leave another day at the pool in my past. My chlorine-dried skin tightens on my face as the stiff heat pushes against it, reinforcing the length of the season. School is a distant memory on the horizon behind me and I long for the excitement of a new year: the buzz of countless tongues all moving in unison; the thick crowds shoving past each other in the halls. As I approach home, the smokey scent of barbecue hits me as my tongue twitches at recognition of the over-rated, over-served meal that waits me.

Until the next (hopefully more coherent) time!
~Snots