sábado, 20 de abril de 2013

Staying positive through hard times

I'm pretty sure we can all agree this week has been hell. And don't get me wrong, it's still ongoing. We've had terrible news on the spand of only six days, first there were was the Boston Marathon bombings, then there was a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Iran, a dead officer in MIT, an explosion in Texas and a 6.9 magnitude earthquake that has caused more than 100 deaths in China. Kay, now that we've made it through the list, let's not forget: we're still here.
Obviously, this doesn't apply to everyone on the planet, but if you're reading this: congratulations, you're alive. 
Now, there are lots of people who don't think like that. If I remember correctly, on the day of the Boston bombings, there were more tweets following the lines of  "I have lost all faith in humanity." than any other tweets. Of course, there were lots of #prayforboston but I didn't really see any "I will hug my family tight and appreciate my life a lot more tonight" which, as cheesy as it may sound, was kind of what I was thinking. (I mean obviously I didn't tweet it, I have a reputation as a very cynical sixteen year old to maintain, duh.) But you know what? I'm going to write about it now, because writing when you have been overthinking about a topic feels really cathartic sometimes, just letting it all out once and for all. Especially when the topic in question is as painful as this one.
I'm not going to use the "bad times help appreciate good times more" 'cause that can be applied to good and bad hair days, but it shouldn't be seen as an excuse for lost lives, that's just unsensitive. However, whether it's for better or worse, these situations tend to bring people together. It's amazing how much people can do, if they just realize it. There's this power in unity that kind of sneaks in and surprises you when you're least expecting it.
I guess when horrible things like this happen you can't avoid wondering the reasons that move these people, the motives behind their actions, but you never have to ask yourself why any of the persons that come forward to help in moments of need act that way. That really speaks about humanity, if you think about it. Personally, I feel like the connection between all of us, as humanity, as a whole, might be right there: in the empathy that helps you relate to other people that are in situations thousands, even millions of times worse. If that's not wonderful, I don't know what is.
When the biggest bombings in Madrid I can remember of happened, on March 11th 2004, I was but seven years old and I remember how they told me they happened in a train and that my best friend at the time lived near the train station. I had just got home and I was really really scared about my friend, so I called my dad, then I called my mom and I MADE them called my friend's parents. They called them of course, even though they knew nothing had happened, 'cause my friend lived near the train station but in like a one kilometer ratio. What I'm trying to get at is: catastrophes, big or small, affect us and that they usually have a negative effect on us.
During these times it's awfully difficult to stay positive, especially with the media's treatment of the news, the horrible images you're exposed to 24/7 and the constant conversation and sensationalism that surrounds the events.
However tough times make you look closer for little rays of sunshine that could make your day better. I've been reading "Pride and Prejudice" (as I hope the other Rookie club members have) which brings a smile to my lips instantly because of the number of times I've read it and the memories it brings me. I watched a couple of episodes of  "Twin Peaks" last night (I hope I don't have to explain how great this is to you or to anybody I mean it's fucking David Lynch) and I also had a great and exhausting day helping out in my school. I connected with a girl I barely knew and with whom I actually had lots of things in common with. I talked to new people and I laughed and I procrastinated a whole lot which is basically the description of a good day, if you ask me. I went back home with my sister and her friend and we talked about feminism and how they should always stay strong and clear about who they are which was great, considering my sister is leaving to Toronto for a whole year in September.
We've also had musical news this week, which I guess gave us something to look forward to everyday.
Here is Florence + the Machine's new song for the Great Gatsby's soundtrack:
And Daft Punk's new single:

In conclusion, this week's been shit but, if you ever feel the need to stop thinking about it take Amy's amazing advice and ust  take a break:

Or take mine (which is obviously worse because let's be realistic nobody's better than Amy Poehler) and remember that, even though humanity is clearly fucked up, we've created and continue to create some of the most beautiful things you have ever see or will ever be able to see. Take pleasure in those things, because they make life valuable and if you really do lose faith, remember that's probably what terrorists/bad people in general want to do. Don't give them what they want.

Stay positive!!


sábado, 6 de abril de 2013

The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.

I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions. 

I have been trying for a long (actually really long) time to write something about Sylvia Plath; something that she would feel proud of reading or something that would please her, something to describe how much I love her poetry. This purpose has been squeezing my brain for days. It has been difficult, not only because I cannot put into simple words the huge amounts of feelings and the empathic connections I feel whenever I am reading something by her, but also because I easily end up talking about my favourite poem, 'Tulips'. (First of all, I warn you, I talked about this to my sister and she was all like "zzZzZzZzZidon'tmind" so I am trying really hard to not make this boring, I really hope you could be as excited about this topic as I am, which is actually A LOT).
The first time Tulips' words came in front of my eyes it was last year's July and I had started to write again after I had given it up during my 13-year-old "people-will-think-this-makes-me-a-geek" crisis, and I was looking for someone or something which made me see clearer what I wanted to do with my writing - I am afraid I do not know how to express myself too clearly right now, but I guess I was at a moment when I wanted to understand my writing and realize the things I liked and what I did not like, and the writers I could look up to and things like that, if you know what I mean. Sylvia Plath caught my attention due to her ability to talk about her problems, sadness and chaos. She is simple, she is human. She writes about her scars, real life problems, and she is not ashamed. I find her writing enormously catchy and beautiful, she does not need to pretend she is someone she is not to write something good, she is transparent and that is enough.
Of course I do like a lot of her poems, but 'Tulips' always inspires me to an unfamiliar degree.
'Tulips' is a beautiful battle between serenity and confussion. I believe Sylvia wrote it while she was at the hospital, due to her appendicitis.
In this poem, Sylvia describes a white world, a silent world, which posseses and enormous absence. She frees herself from the responsability of having an identity (I am nobody, I have nothing to do with explosions. / I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses / And my history to the anaesthetist and my body to surgeons. - and also: Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage) and describes the world in the eyes of a passive expectator; unable to connect; expressing confussion at the same time (The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble / They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps / Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another / So it is impossible to tell how many there are).
In 'Tulips', Sylvia refuses any kind of attention, represented in the form of the tulips that people send to the hospital where she is at. There are many lines in the poem that talk about how this attention disturbs her. First of all, the tulips are red, a colour that contrasts too much with white, the colour of the world she wishes to be at; this annoys her: "The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me". She states that the Tulips are changing the atmosphere of her hospital room: the walls seem to be burning, there is less oxygen; and also compares them to a great African cat and dangerous animals, by this, she does not mean that the tulips (the attention) could hurt her physically, but that they may hurt her emotionally. However, from my point of view, she does not talk about the tulips in a way that expresses fear, but something more similar to agony or disturbance. In my opinion, this is understandable when noticing the desire of not being seen or noticed that she expresses in this poem; she wants to be left untouched, weightless in her white world (I didn't want any flowers, I only wanted / To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty).
Finally, she emphasizes how far she sees health, from my point of view, she does not talk only about  physical health (the appendicitis) but also a mental and sentimental tranquility.

These feelings are transmited in a way that is totally touching, that floods you into the same contradictory calm agony. It is a total masterpiece and for sure one of my favourite poems ever.

Sylvia Plath was an american writer, known mostly because of her confessional poetry. However she also wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar. 'Tulips' is included in her book 'Ariel'.
And if you haven't read 'Tulips' yet WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???? Seriously, it's a beautiful poem. Click here to read it.


Well this is all, I also included an artwork I made, to make this post a bit more attractive. And if after reading this post you're interested or curious about Sylvia, read 'The Night Dances', which is another poem I have fallen in love with ("And how will your night dances / Lose themselves. In mathematics?" - I feel really cool by quoting this poem).
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you (INFINITE THANK YOUs) for reading this.

(Note: if you know about any Sylvia Plath fan club LET ME KNOW and I'll love you forever. Just kidding. No, I'm actually not kidding.)

jueves, 4 de abril de 2013

Maybe it's only us.

When I came home from school today, contrary to what I had told my friends, I did not go straight to bed and sleep for a thousand years for I had fifty pages left of Lord of the Flies to read. At school today, we were discussing the different greek philosophic currents on how society should be organized in order to for the collective to live happy and move forward. While discussing this, I realized how close they both were and how many similarities I saw between Goldging's views on human nature and Plato's excuses against democracy and equality in society.
Anyhow, marvelling at the big coincidence that I just happened to feel the need to read this book right now while it had been sitting on top of my pile for a very long time, and then just finding the opportunity to be able to discuss it in class as a modern-ish example of Plato's views on human nature, I finished Lord of the Flies on a rush today and felt like sharing what I got from it with all you lovely, pretty much non-existent, Rookie Club Madrid readers.

Lord of the Flies is a 1954 novel written by William Goldging. Its plot revolves around a group of young boys whose plane, in the middle of a wartime evacuation, crashes onto an isolated island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. The first boys we meet are Ralph and "Piggy", the former being described as fair haired and with a natural leadership instinct and the latter being described as a sensible, overweight boy with glasses. While exploring the beach they meet in, they come across a conch, which Piggy thinks of using as a way to call other survivors on the island. As more and more stranded boys come forward and a smaller group of them takes the leadership of the group onto their hands to try to organize the survivors until they wait to be rescued, we can truly see how each of the character's inner natures comes forward.

However unknown this book might be in non-english speaking countries, it is a forced high school read in both the United Kingdom, its country of origin, and the United States, which, in my opinion, makes a whole lot of sense. As a sixteen year old, older sister to a thirteen year old, I can absolutely relate but cannot even imagine the situation in which these boys are in. That's one of the factors that I think made Lord of the Flies as influencial and well-known as it is today. We have tons of science-fiction stories about post apocaliptic societies in which we see to characters falling in love or just kind of trying to fight the regime together (1984, Farenheit 451, etc) but I had never come across something like this, a tale of lost innocence, of beginnings, where kids are the main characters, which kind of just turns out to be set in a not-so-distant future.
Relating to this month's Rookie theme (DUDE, THERE ARE SO MANY CONNECTIONS, IS THE UNIVERSE TRYING TO TELL ME SOMETHING?) I do see the kid's loss of innocence as one of the books major themes. This loss of innocence, caused by their sudden independence and loneliness, the absence of female figures who could have filled their need for motherly love and also the fear of the unknown (represented by the island yeah yeah I know kind of like in Lost), is what leads their inner and more instinctive and animal natures to come foward. This, as you could have guessed, means a no no from the civilized society they had planned in the beginning and basically means the start of the long road to decadence for which there are lots and lots of symbols in during the story. As I said earlier in the post, I found this book even more haunting that it might appear at first glance to most people, simply because I am living or at least I think I am supposed to be living that lost of innocence. Don't get me wrong, I am not comparing myself to a 12 year old boy who has to hunt and kill animals to survive and then just ends up enjoying it SO MUCH he basically becomes a blood-ridden beast (maybe it's only them). However, and even though I have never felt particularly innocent myself, we are supposed to feel that loss sometime soon, if we have not experienced it already. What I want to say is that, although the boys might loose their parents in a very abrupt and awful manner, it is something we must all go through (except if you wanna be that 40 year old girl/guy that still lives with their parents and has her/his mom make her/him lunch, which hey it's a completely valid choice we're not judging here) and while the rescue they are so eagerly awaiting doesn't come, we also see them loose that childish belief of how special they are and how they'll always be protected by their parents that every kid has had to go through if their parents ever cared for them. It's a times like these when you slowly realize that the world does not stop when you stop. It doesn't wait for you, or speeds up for you. It goes on, as you are supposed to go on, but the world doesn't turn around you as an individual. I'd go as far as saying the world does not turn around any individual, whether it's you or Obama or Margaret Atwood.

(There's a film dated from 1963 which I'm hopefully going to watch this weekend, the poster's the image up there, it's really pretty.) 

Yayyyy We're done with this first book talk! Hope you liked it and uhmmmm let's hope we'll be able to start reading Pride and Prejudice, which is going to be the first book we read together as a book club, soon. Exciting stuff is coming (much more exciting than this entry tbh), stick with us!


- Sofía.
(a sixth part of the Rookie Club Madrid)

martes, 2 de abril de 2013


source: rookiemag.com

Hi, hey, hello, everybody!
I'm not really good at writing introductions, so I guess I'll just sumarize what this whole thing is about: we're a group of friends who share a passion for Rookie Mag - as well as other obsessions - and who've decided to create this blog so we can talk about books, movies, music, anything and everything.
We're Sofía, Inés, Lourdes, Alba, Geno, Cristina and Irene, and, well, this is all, thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy this blog.

Rookie Club Madrid.