Sehnsucht

By Julia Koslowsky
10/9/15

It was cloudy and warm outside.  She would have preferred a cold rain, but cloudy was good enough.  It was good writing weather, except for the fact that she had writer’s block.  All writers hit it at one point or another, but that didn’t make it any less frustrating.  Thankfully, the atmosphere was full of inspiration.

The coffee shop radiated life and contentment, though only a few people sat inside.

Yes, rain would make this even better.

The rich aroma of coffee, the tangy smell of tea, the crisp sweetness of pastries filled the air.  She paused, looking up from the blank document on her laptop.  Everything in this place had a story.  There were so many stories that it was almost distracting.

The posters of music gigs and events plastered on the wall by the bathrooms.

The professors working on papers or research behind her.

The two men going over and editing a paper together.

The newspapers scattered over a few tables.

The regulars (mostly hipsters) doing whatever they usually did.

The two little old men catching up over coffee beside her.

That last one was the most interesting.  She turned her attention to the two men and watched as they rose from their seats.  One was tall and thin, the other short and bent.  Both wore glasses and the short man wore a baseball cap.  Having finished their coffees, they hobbled over to the counter buy themselves a scone for the road.  They continued to talk, debating which pastry to buy, laughing with the cashier.  She watched as they thanked the baristas and left the coffee shop.  Outside, they shook hands warmly, the short man tipping his cap.  Then they parted ways.

Suddenly overcome with nostalgia, she looked away from the window.  It was such a simple meeting.  It wasn’t even out of place or time, but something about it prodded her soul.

People aren’t like that anymore.

It wasn’t that people didn’t meet for coffee to catch up.  People did that all the time.  Maybe it was their age, that sweet simplicity that came from bygone decades.  Maybe it was the fact that all they did was drink coffee and interact.  No phones, no break in the conversation, no distraction.

She sighed and sipped her tea.

What a world it would be, if every conversation could be like theirs.  Happy, serious, totally focused on the other, just enjoying each other’s friendship and company.

The thought made her smile, and the coffee shop felt cozier.

She knew what to write about now.

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An Angel and a Demon Walk into a Bar…

5D3_8864I started college this week, and for some reason I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog the past few days.  Throughout my high school career, it’s been a place where I can post my works: my poems, my short stories, my essays.  I did a lot of theater this summer, so I didn’t really write much, but I jumped back into writing this week with a five-page short story. (There’s nothing like looming homework deadlines to cause a sudden increase in procrastination.)

A little over two years ago, I wrote and posted my letter/short story “A Letter From Scratchthorn,” a letter inspired by C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters.  The letter was technically a school assignment, as my class was reading Screwtape, but I had never written anything like it before.  I jumped into a whole new world of satire and irony combined with Biblical truths and facts.  Trying to correctly convey the harsh reality of the human condition while keeping a fairly light and humorous tone challenged me as a writer.  Because I typically write fantasy, and I hate reading most non-fiction, I had never realized what a perfect median this genre was.  I was suddenly able to take the fantastic and supernatural and humanize them in a way that absolutely made sense.  Since writing “Scratchthorn,” I’ve kicked around ideas for stories involving angels and demons.  I was able to include some of these ideas a short time after when I wrote my synthesis for that same year of literature: a short story about Satan leading a therapy group session for various literary villains (“Antagonists Anonymous”).

Some time in between writing these and the present, I came up with a scene I wanted to write someday.  The mental image I had was an alley in the middle of a city, most likely in a fairly modern setting, where a demon and angel were conversing.  The demon was smoking a cigarette, trying to convince the angel of something, and soon after, they parted ways.  I’ve returned to that image several times, wondering what its story is, what exactly the angel and demon are doing in the middle of a city as if they were humans.  On Monday, I finally began their stories.  The demon is Silas and the angel Solomon, though whether those are their real names is yet to be seen.  The short story I wrote over the course of Monday and Tuesday takes place in a bar rather than an alley, but the alley will make an appearance at some point, as I plan to write a series of these stories.

Even though I unintentionally took almost three months off from writing, the realness of this story felt like a breath of fresh air.  Exploring the emotions and decisions of humanity and how the immortal angels and devils might view us in light of those has me excited about writing again.  This is something new, different, and relevant to everyday life.  I’m currently reading Lewis’s Space Trilogy, and I read The Great Divorce this summer, so his theological influence will remain prevalent in my writing.  He has been an inspiration to me every since I read The Chronicles of Narnia when I was seven or eight.  Hopefully one day my stories will be even half as good and thought-provoking as Lewis’s.

Light

Written 3/27/15
By Julia Koslowsky

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Light.

I’ve heard the word, but I have no idea what it means.

Not really.

To put it poetically, I live in a world of Eternal Darkness. There’s nothing poetic about it.

Lying on my back against the cold, creaky floorboards, I stretch my hands upward. There is a window in the wall above me. My mother says there are sunbeams that shine through in the afternoon. They’re very warm.

I can feel it on my fingers.

Light.

I close my eyes, choosing to forget, if only for a moment. There is only the sun and its warmth. When I open my eyes, I will see the familiar colours of the wooden house, the window, the trees outside, the sky, the sun.

Light.

Mother says sunlight is mostly yellow, but darkens to orange and red just before night falls.

I have heard these words, but they have no meaning.

Colour eludes me, floating just out of reach.

I open my eyes, and see–

The Black.

I see the black of the room, the dark of the window, the whisper of trees.

I wiggle my fingers, arms still uplifted.

But I can still feel it.

Light.

Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

I hear it shining through the window.

I smell it in the air as it covers the world.

I taste it in the wind.

I feel it wrap me in its warm embrace.

Light is tangible to me. Even in the Darkness.

I smile.

Light.

Essays: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

This is an essay I wrote for an English class last semester on the iconic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s and how it relates to the women’s independence movement of the 1960s.  I’m going to be posting a few of my essays on varied topics every now and again.  I hope you enjoy them!

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Julia Koslowsky

4 December 2014

Women’s Independence and Breakfast at Tiffany’s

          The 1960s were full of movements regarding rights, wars, and students.  This decade was a turbulent time as opinions exploded and tales of injustice and freedom were preached to the masses.  A very prevalent movement in the ’60s was the women’s movement.  Restlessness sprung to life in the hearts of housewives and young women alike, calling other women to claim and show their right to equality with men.  Although this movement did not reach its peak until the late ’60s and early ’70s, that did not stop the influence of the early ’60s on the movement.  Blake Edwards’ 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s was ahead of its time as far as the issue of women’s rights.  Because the first books on those issues did not appear until a few years after the film’s release, Breakfast at Tiffany’s was the cultural and cinematic precursor for the feminist movement, illustrated by the constant struggle of Audrey Hepburn’s character to not be contained or caged. Continue reading “Essays: Breakfast at Tiffany’s”