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2B or Not 2B

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August 2017

August Writing Contest Winner

2B or Not 2B’s monthly writing contest has been on hiatus for a few months due to a busy summer. However, I’m happy to say that we are now back in business! Submissions are currently open; if you would like to submit any piece of your writing, you may do so here. Every month there will be a new winner pertaining to all genres of writing, so keep a lookout for new artists featured on this blog!

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I would like to congratulate Nitesh (AKA Sketchesbynitesh) for being August’s poetry winner of the 2B or Not 2B website! His writing is enchantingly philosophical and filled with potent imagery. His piece “Eternal Rest” spins the concept of death so that readers perceive it as a state of peace and serenity (rather than a state of gloom). I hope you enjoy his work as much as I did.

 

Eternal Rest
written by Nitesh

Between the lines of truth and blame, death is certain.
But there is a better day, a better way, behind the lines, walking, talking, but not the same.
There’s God, there’s heaven, but no pain.
I’ll be at peace, on the day I’ll die, my restless heart at rest, under the haunted sky.
There will be no heaviness in my head, I’ll be broken, dazed, speaking of death.
There will be nothing to accomplish, in all the broken promises.
Gentle and brutal companies, they become inseparable, because once around the bend, there is no question about
how much space eternally remains.
But in the hearts of all, who lived by my side, I will crawl to them, until there’s nothing left inside.
And in the smoke of my body, that burns and smells, there will be no trace of anguish or conflict
in my rushing eyes.
But one last thing to tell, here I go, my love, erase me completely from your memories,
here I go, my bride, free from all the blind rage,
here I go my love, turn the page.

 

*If you would like to participate in the September writing contest, simply fill out a form on this website’s Submissions Page. You may send me an email or comment below if you have any questions or concerns.*

I’ll be looking forward to September’s submissions!

Letter to My Adult Self

Dear Future Wanderer,

The present is flooded with the desire to know the future; people incessantly want to know what will happen rather than what is happening.

With this in mind, I hope you understand that, in this letter, I refuse to ask you questions. I will not demand answers because I am not meant to hold them in my hands. My present is my present, and yours is yours. I have no desire to know what to look forward to or what to dread. After all, one of the greatest things about life is that it is unexpected and whimsical. The future is so unknown, and yes, it terrifies me, but I am content with the fact that I know that everything happens for a reason.

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I am hopeful for who you are: I hope that you make an effort to pray to God regularly; I hope you treat others kindly and are just as kind to yourself; I hope you’ve found love; I hope you are making people happy; I hope you are making impacts. I hope no one has dissuaded you from doing so.

I am reminding you that experience is, in every situation, worth more than money ever could— memories are invaluable and precious. So, I hope you’ve traveled around the world. I hope you’ve met dreamers, failures, lovers, addicts, and healers. I hope you’ve collected memories with these people and cradled them in your arms like they were made of porcelain.

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I am confused about who I am. I hope you’ve figured yourself out by now. And, if you haven’t, I promise you that there is still time. Time, after all, is continuous and forever– energy is not. I am not planning to be a physicist, but I hope you are putting your energy into things that matter.

I hope that you still value education. I hope that college treated you well, and that you are aspiring for the stars (I hope that you still look up at Orion with a smile on your lips). I hope that you followed a career in publishing. I hope that you never listened to the people who told you that you are raising yourself up only to crash. I hope you’ve self-published anthologies. I hope you’ve written a memoir.

I hope you are someone that our sister can look up to. I hope that, at this point, she sees you as the big sister that you are rather than a distant friend. I do hope you still value your friends as much as your family. They are loyal to a fault, and I hope you still learn from their words and heed their advice.

Live every moment like it’s your last. Live in your present rather than in your future. And, like me, I hope you ask questions and continue to search for your own answers.

Love,
HB

What is it Like to Have Synesthesia? An Interview

While most people try not to judge a book by its cover, some involuntarily judge a book by its colors. Simply seeing or hearing words can cause a select group of people to instantly associate words with colors, a phenomenon known as synesthesia. After hearing about this condition, I wanted to know more about those with vocabulary-based synesthesia; when they read a book, for example, do the words form a rainbow in their minds? Are their thoughts as colorful as an artist’s canvas?

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According to the American Psychological Association, about 1 in 2,000 people are synesthetes. Additionally, 1 in 300 have some variation of it.

Personally, I have always been a very visual person, and I may have some variation of synesthesia. I’ve always had textual experiences when I have conversations with people and when I hear sounds; I view dialogue as physical, solid words above a person’s head. If they mumble and I do not understand what they say, however, their words transform into symbols that I try my best to decipher, much like how an archaeologist decodes hieroglyphics.

Alicia Mrachek, student, writer, and close friend of mine, has this condition known as synesthesia. Her brain joins objects such as letters, numbers, or people’s names with the sensory perception of color. 

Alicia was so kind as to satisfy my curiosity by answering a few interview questions I had for her. I hope you find as much interest in her story as I do.

  • When was the first time you found out that you could associate colors with words and numbers?

Being able to associate colors with words and numbers has always been with me I suppose, but I first noticed it when I went into elementary school. I really struggled with math, and as a way to remember the numbers and what they added or subtracted to, I would associate them with colors. For example, the number 7, in my mind, is a light orange-yellow while 9 is a deep green. Together, they make 16, which is a light, aqua green. From there, I began to see names and words in colors depending on the letters that they contained.

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  • Does your synesthesia come with challenges? If so, what kind?

This mindset certainly does comes with its limitations. I practically think and breathe colors, colors I cannot even name, and as a result, I associate certain colors with certain words and/or numbers. Even my ideas pulsate with their own colors and feelings. Because of this, I will automatically assume certain colors for terms that are being introduced to me. However, the terms themselves will often have a different color or a too similar one between my assumption and the “correct” form. For example, I’ve always struggled with math and oftentimes I’ll confuse numbers and terms together because their colors contradict in my head. To this day, I get the greater-than and the less-than symbols confused in my head because, in my mind’s eyes, the word “greater-than” is a dark green while “less-than” is a light green. When I see the two signs themselves, they are so similar in color and in actual shape and form that I cannot distinguish between which is which. Hannah can testify to this as to this day I still ask for her help in distinguishing the two, haha.

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  • Do you believe that this mindset is more of a curse or a blessing?

It’s been more of a blessing since it has shaped my likes and my successes. For example, I excel in history, the arts, and literature, and I find great fascination with them because I can comprehend them well. And because of such a color coordinated mindset, I am an extreme visual learner. In history, for example, I can remember dates well because I associate colors and feelings with a certain year. In literature or creative writing, certain words or sentence structures create a color or remind me of a feeling I had a long time ago. As a result of this, these subjects I thrive in and feel successful in because they pair well with my mindset… It is such a part of who I am and what I like that I feel that even if I had the choice, I would never change it.

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  • Are there specific letters in the alphabet that you associate with certain colors? Can you provide examples? 

Yes, there are certain letters in the alphabet that have specific colors, but some letters vary in shades or colors depending on what they are paired with in certain words. For example, in my name ALICIA, the letter A in my mind is a rosy pink, if not a baby pink color. L is almost a minty green color while I is a pearly white. C is a light, soft yellow and the colors repeat for the repeating letters in the rest of my name. However, in the word LEAF, L is a dark, forest green, while E is a frog-type light green, A is a distinct pink, and F is a light, coffee-cream brown.

 

A big thanks to Alicia for taking the time out of her day to answer my questions. I truly appreciate all of the detail and dedication she gives me on a daily basis.

Do you have synesthesia, or know of anyone that has? Feel free to leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you.

Happy writing and have a happy and healthy weekend!

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