After spending over a year in the Creative Writing department, I can say that this department has given me some of the most enriching life experiences I can ask for. I’ve had the opportunity to meet several intelligent and friendly people that I get to share every single school day with, and I’ve gotten to read tens of impressive pieces of writing. I’m extremely thankful for the department and have little to complain about.
However, my experiences in Creative Writing are often reduced by my struggles with mental health. Much of my time last year revealed little productivity as a product of depression and anxiety, and I’ve had similar issues this year as well. I’ve found many mechanisms of coping, but one that has helped me a great amount is to try to understand my experiences through writing. I’ve found poetry’s obscure language to be a great device to describe my self-uncertainties. Much more than fiction or playwriting, poetry helps me realize that it’s okay to not always know why emotions appear the way they do.
This year, I was asked to write a poem about a change I’ve undergone this summer. I decided to write about my outlook on depression. Essentially, I realized that my thoughts don’t make an effect on how the world works, just on how I perceive it. I’m slowly working on developing a positive perspective about my depression, and this poem has been a huge help in the process.
My Mind is Not the World
Whether the skylights open
When I’m restless in bed The night still
speaks And the shatters of glasses
and plates Remain the same through
As they do all
And no matter the days I shake and cry At the people and the
volcanic pressure of an inflexible universe The moon still
shines through the skylight
above my bed If there was ever a
storm in my bedroom, The city gardens certainly wouldn’t
notice They’ve looked the same since I got here
My tears are not what halts the world The
world moves like it always does In
renewing, constantly undiscovered beauty
My thoughts are not my experiences And
my experiences will always unfold If there
was ever a storm in my bedroom, The
universe certainly wouldn’t notice.
– Parker Burrows, Class of 2022