(Preface) Over the past three months, I and fifty-seven talented writers have been hard at work on a collaboration with a connective tissue knotted in heartstrings and hope. Speaking of connective, creativity, our theme was 'connections'!
To be exact, the theme here was split into three sections—connections with the world, connections with others, and connections with ourselves—and each writer brings a personal flair to the synergy. Through the pandemic, reminding ourselves of the layers within and without us can be healthy.
Unlike previous collaborations, this collaboration will be split into two posts due to the enormous number of parts and to ensure that later parts are not the victim of reading fatigue. Keep an eye out for the second post!
We are all proud of our work, here, and I feel like this might be our best collaboration yet. By the time the second post is out, I hope that you think similarly. We hope that this is a feast for your mind and heart! —Alex
The red bridge I see before me A physical connection between where I am and where I will be
Its smooth wooden frame holds the weight of marching time Though there are many bridges across the world, this red bridge is mine.
Its arching perfection like a tidal wave Pushing me to the future where I must be brave (@somskies)
That bridge is homely and a sense of nostalgia I am longing to breathe in that air
The future I left behind in memoria Bridges are many but that was a childhood lair
I have stood there for hours at a time, gazing at the blue river If I now stood there being a dreamer (@debadityadutta)
For the relevance we carry, chains a bond From the rising sun and beyond
To where I sing the same song For the bridge, is where I belong (@indigosparkle)
the bridge between, doubt and possibility between, who I am and can be will the distance curtail?
lost in those sepia soaked memories baffled, startled but the scarred past cannot be aided
with courage I work across, to a new chapter a place where dawn breaks with hope (@denicav)
But “hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul,” and I spy, in sight, the edges, corners, the whip of leaves, the upward flight—
the pages lift with wind and weathered lilting, almost-hymns I know, and I belong in birdsong. (@y)
But birdsongs don't last long. Away from home, it all feels wrong.
I yearn for life with living skies And dread the day I said goodbye.
The city's despair is a lack of fresh air Compared to the place where my heart felt so fair.
Fresh water flows, flowers flourish and grow, And the landscape is finally something I know. (@bruvton)
Yet I can't help look what's beyond the trees and wonder what lies across the seas.
This land is sacred, filled with memories between breezes, but no stranger to the world I aim to be.
These roots are coastal, this compass full of dunes. I long to be a wanderer, bearing a heart of universal tunes. Seeking what's far away, someday our dreams will awake. (@nazhaabd)
So, who are we, but wanderers of the world? Imprinting our wishes upon casted stars, Our broken dreams spilling into the ground.
For the Earth holds memories, And memories have we. This wide expanse of unknown Tempting exploration and discovery.
We might not find everything, No, not even close But it is enough for now. (@whynot)
Until next time, we shall see and hope for more adventures full of wonders
just a wanderer we are hoping for new adventures (@kas_)
I wonder of the day That we conquer the Earth Adventure brands the places With death and with birth
But, what of the time Earth’s drowned in our marks We fell the land like fire Leave ash that’ll never spark
No, there must be more Than destroyers, we could be Not to raze, but to weld Our homeland’s memories (@orcastogether)
Oily water, cities crumbling to dust. We suffocate each other, On the ash of our burned lands.
Lungs clogged, our eyes fill with stardust, Wondering if there is another, A planet without these soured badlands.
Escape the memories, erase the history. There is no death. This planet isn't dying. Keep spreading lies, inflating our ego.
Watch the water run deep with sophistry. This suffering planet keeps complying, Only to be treated with placebos. (@ivoryannalise)
This crumbling mess, made many bridges burn, and many were sought only to come back to this small patch of sward, binding me gently, with its chocolatey soil and underfoot summer green.
Seducing my mind with its lavish simplicity, quiescent intimacy. This irresistibly contagious connection bears an aesthetic of my home, the one I can't sever. (@soothrain)
As my roots have become deeply braided; I hold a single palm to the Earth, and the other, to my soul—
my soul that flew through this world in a temporal fervor— but always returning to the bosom of rich loam.
To pause among the jewels of wildflowers and sip the dew from the lushest grasses,
where the softest breeze distills my breath into a taste of belonging. (@maia333)
And as the wind whisks my interlaced strands of hands with home, the leaves and tulips lisp my wishes for fingers to caress the sky.
I always return to the dirt that dances like flickering stardust, yet my feet dream to breathe in that curtain of clouds—
my voice muses to melt those sunsets into my heart and become more. (@stadarooni)
This dirt that looks like golden dust with some rust flickers before my eyes, like a cat's whiskers when a bug flies by them.
The golden dust that is actually dirt keeps flickering until a message is, not quite clearly formed but can still be seen in many person's minds.
"Your hair has been formed by particles which ye can see, here. Never forget that, please." (@jaxjax)
The hot teacup makes my warm hands warmer I was all drenched earlier Now I burn in fever
It stopped raining The sun plays hide-and-seek Through the leaves and figs-to-be
The entire garden is blazing like paradise The air smells like yellowed love letters, dreamlike
I can feel the autumn comes I can feel another leaf falling from my heart (@snowflakepixie)
As the nip of wintry blusters strip me down to none As the nip of wintry blusters hollow out my soul
I find solace in yet another barren sycamore a kindred fate we’ve both erected as we grow our branch forevermore
though seeking eyes may never know the lines inside will always show (@violette)
The bitter bite of winter’s teeth sinks into my skin The air surrounds me with its piercing grip
I look at the frozen bluish haze of winter It chills me to the bone
My mind wanders And, I think of winters past With the cruelty of its numbing air Seeking any warmth I can find
I long for sunny yellow days Surrounded by happy souls (@iowamamaof3)
I am surrounded by machines— I mean, the bridges between my friends and me are digital.
The proximal notion of community is soon to be untenable: Most of my friends I know online;
Most people I know leave behind the binds of physical place To find friends in cyberspace, And be by distant forces defined.
The confines of locality eluded; The locality of community eroded. (@vignette)
I am immersed in a realm of dysphoria. Social interactions are in decline.
The slightest drop of social interaction a euphoria. To find People within themselves recline.
Story telling and sharing personal meaning lost. In the face of machines our social intimacy by inequivalence is coshed.
Most people I know have always struggled to lift their eyes. Reclused behind their phones is the modern guise. (@jbo)
But, as I lose myself in today's Cloud, All I really seek is a place where I'm allowed.
A daily life surrounded by pretenders, Our century's dishonesties being life's offenders.
We've been living in a ruse, Thinking our dignity is all we have to lose. So we hide ourselves away, Fearing our faults will be put on display.
But as we stop confiding, Won't it cause more dividing? (@whoknowsreally)
And as the brunet earth splits in two, Roots dangling over the abyss of the ravine,
With the charcoal waters rushing in fluid tons, And the reality drowning me,
There’s no place like home in this ignorant bliss But the flitting birds call to me above the gurgling waves
“Take the hand that’s offered, and if you shall push it away, That burden will be placed upon your nest and your shallow stray ways” (@hymn)
Relentless waves of guilt torment my sorrow self, yet I cannot tear my eyes nor block my ears from the melodious birds fluttering about.
“Take it, take her hand young one!” As their cries grow louder, I relent and accept the hand before me.
“You have done well, sweet child. Rest now, forever in my embrace.”
With fairies and deities dancing, The Earth’s splendor seeps into my soul. (@iiidreamsiii)
Suddenly, awoken by gentle wings, Flutters of butterfly dreams, Slowly form her lonely guise, And beams of light connect our eyes.
My heart gets warmer, my soul gets dark, As I long for her words in the dark of the night. Free from barriers, we're carriers of a true bond. (@blastimus)
like stars in the dark we glow in a constellation of collaborations connecting dots within our souls
until the world of snowy misery and metallic machinery melts away leaving us standing here
now together hand in hand heart in heart. (@t_astrid)
Hold fast to this heart Let my rhythm Tremble your bones Awaken the dancing star That calls you its home
Together We will Never be alone We shall enchant the moon & ensnare the sun
We yearn to collect oceans In glass jars & crave castles On our tongues Our gaze Will devour the sky
This is a world That belongs To you And I (@tayawayy)
(Afterword) We hope that you all enjoyed the first twenty-six out of fifty-eight parts! A herculean effort went into the cohesiveness and narrative of the collaboration thus far, and I look forward to share the works of the remaining thirty-two writers.
You may also be wondering about the video from the previous collaboration that many writers helped to assemble. Stay tuned for more information on that as it will be happening again, likely with the second post of this collaboration.
I will save a longer afterword for the next post but for now, thank you so much, Commaful, for all the support and brilliance that you all have. Stay connected to the joys and wonder around you, all, and stay creative and wonderful! <3