a collage of light

*appears around the corner in a rolling chair and grabs at random furniture to propel myself forward until I’ve reached my desk*

*shuffles papers professionally*

Yesterday, in the car, I saw this huge brown dog in the bare corner of a sun-drenched yard, tied to the ground with a massively heavy chain. He was holding his empty food bowl in his mouth and running in small, hopeful circles, his tail waving uncertainly as a man pulled into the driveway and climbed tiredly out of his truck. A smaller dog ran from the front porch, unchained, as the man headed for the front door. We turned a corner, and the scene was left imprinted behind my eyes, like a single, slightly blurry frame from a very strange movie.

It felt like the whole rural south feels sometimes—tired and repetitive and washed in this strange whispered feeling of something isn’t right.

That’s how it seems every now and then, but then I see this, and I don’t want to be anywhere else in the universe. That’s when I remember that it isn’t the south at all, it’s… the world. It’s pretty easy to see everything that’s wrong with what’s right in front of your eyes, but the reality is that every corner of the world carries its own share of darkness.

Plus, y’know, it’s not just anywhere than you find a rainbow over Walmart, so that’s got to count for something.

there’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light / in the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right / and it comes in black, and it comes in white / and I’m frightened by those that don’t see it – Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise | The Avett Brothers

Wanna see some of that light? :)

Behold: a ten-year-old’s 7 AM window artwork. My little sister got up early yesterday and decorated the kitchen with paper hearts and handmade signs, and it was so sweet. The way she spelled “valentines” is my favorite. Later in the day, she realized her mistake and fixed it, which somehow made me a little sad. There’s something so wonderfully innocent about kids’ confident misspelling of words, and I hope she doesn’t outgrow it just yet.

I found two film cameras at the thrift store! That was a happy moment. The little rectangular one is so tiny—smaller than my hand—and it’s somewhere between 50-60 years old. The bigger one is around 40 years old. I wonder who carried these cameras around before I came across them? Whose lives were documented through those lenses?

I’m currently terrible at film photography, but I have the internet and a little ambition, so I think I can figure it out. Do any of you use film cameras? If so, can you tell me anything about the Mintola brand, and where I could maybe get film developed without going completely broke? *hopeful look*

I also bought this t-shirt, for no reason other than…. a dog in sunglasses. I mean, how could you not love that? Also, that shade of blue reminds me of summer.

This was in the beginning of a book I found at the library yesterday, one I’d been looking for everywhere—The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys. It’s amazing so far. Any other Ruta Sepetys fans out there?

This was at the library too, and it made me think about all of the creative people in the blogosphere. I hope you’ll all keep creating and learning and becoming wonderful artists!

I created this collage in a moment of spontaneous inspiration, and now I really want to try making more. I have a grocery bag full of old magazines waiting for another random moment of boredom. There’s something really cool about fitting together all the different, seemingly ordinary pieces to create something interesting and new… maybe this post is a little bit like a collage. A collage of light. :)

I’ve also been drawing things, or trying to, anyways! These are all mostly-copied from things I found on Pinterest, but that’s okay. I’m still learning. :)

This is some beautifully high-quality artwork, is it not? My best friend is an axe murderer, and if you don’t hear from me after she sees this… you know what happened.



(Dearest Laura, please don’t disown me, and be glad I didn’t choose the picture of you sleeping in the car instead. :))

Isn’t Laura just the living embodiment of elegance and grace? Also, wow, the interview with her that I wrote last week seemed to be quite well-accepted! It made us both extremely happy that y’all enjoyed our weirdness. We’re gonna do it again sometime. :)

The colorful sunsets lately have been rather few and far-between, which only makes them all the more special when they do come. *gazes happily at the photos*

I’ll leave you with a playlist of recent favorite music. I could easily list dozens of songs, but I’ll keep it short. :)

Blue Eyed Girl | The Arcadian Wild
Always Gold | Radical Face
1953 | The National Parks
Leave the City | twenty one pilots
The Garden | Jackson Griffith
Dear Wormwood | The Oh Hellos
Running For So Long (House A Home) | parker ainsworth
Stay Alive | José Gonzales
Home Again | Michael Kiwanuka
The Gambler | Fun.
Five Minutes | The Altogether

Where have you found light recently? What are you currently reading? Last song you listened to? Do you consider yourself to be an artist?

*waves, nearly falls out of my chair, and rolls quickly away without looking back*

40 thoughts on “a collage of light

  1. clara
    this felt like walking home
    like chatting with a friend in the dusk when the crickets begin to chirp
    like stopping at a small store for some candy
    like summer
    like so many good things tinged with a newold feeling
    and it’s absolutely beautiful :)
    so, light? with some new friends walking around town
    reading: adorning the dark by andrew peterson
    song: people will say we’re in love from the oklahoma musical
    and am i an artist
    oh clara
    i don’t even know

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *lays on the floor, stares at the ceiling, and questions all of life* I thought this was a mess that made zero sense and then you come and absolutely make my day a thousand times over and I just— *melts* That description makes me nostalgic for something I’ve never even experienced, and I love it so much.
      Hey, I’m currently reading Adorning the Dark, too! What do you think of it so far?
      UM, have you seen your writing lately? You’re most undoubtedly an artist, and a really, really good one at that. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, first of all, your asterisk greetings (and farewells) always make me grin. :D
    Second of all, I could relate SO much to that description of the dog and the south. I could picture it vividly, but even more vividly, the way it left an imprint in your mind. That happens to me a lot, and is, in a large part, the basis for my poems. And I can just feel what you mean about tired and repetitive and something isn’t right. That’s how a lot of towns or cities seem to me, especially the crying, broken-down houses shoved behind the pretty buildings.
    The world is so sad sometimes.
    But then, ah yes, you see the sunsets and the rainbows over a green and red Walmart sign and the sunlight dancing in squares on dirty convenience store tiles and you’re just filled with the realization that the brokenness is tied up inextricably with the beauty and the now and the not yet just makes your heart ache a little harder and your lips smile a little bigger.
    I love this post. I love how you make things seem nostalgic, like Jo said, but still very real, and important. I love that. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, hehe, I’m so glad. :D I know just what you mean, and I’m so glad you could relate to it – I can most definitely see that in your poetry, you capture it so well. <3
      *big sigh* Yes, yes, yes. That description is just beautiful, Allison. :) And oh goodness, that means so much. THANK YOU. <3

      Liked by 1 person

  3. when you said that something isn’t right, i really felt it. it took my breath for a couple of seconds. because every once in a while i get that feeling, that something isn’t right, and it suffocates me for a little bit. then i realize that this is just life – this is how it is, and this is where i’m supposed to be. nothing will every be perfectly right until i’m in Heaven :)
    i love this update! i am a strong supporter of vintage, and those cameras looks so interesting! lmk how they work for you! the feeling of holding something old and once treasured by hands now wrinkled or gone is absolutely magical, in a melancholic sort of way. i love it.
    i like to think that i’m an artist – hoping that the art will radiate into my DNA by surrounding myself with instruments and paint and words and pencils and music. i hope that it works some day, and that’ll i’ll fit in better next to a guitar and box of watercolors than i do with textbooks and staplers.
    i’m going back to read all the stories I missed right now! i’m so happy the weekend’s here to catch up on your witchingly wonderful words
    power to the local dreamer ||-//

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know all too well what you mean – you worded that perfectly, and it’s beautiful. :)
      Thank you so much! Ahh yes, exactly. <3
      Oh, I love that description. You're most definitely an artist, from your words to your artwork – they're both amazing. :)
      Thank you for the wonderful comment and for your overwhelming support, Jul! <3

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh, I loved this post. I want to second everything Allison said, yes. OH MY, yes. I can feel that too. <3
    Also neat, film cameras! I have no idea. *weeps* Sorry I can't help, but I'd love to learn film photography sometime, too! And AHHH, such beautiful sunsets. <3
    And I love your entrance and exit. :D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, thank you so much. :) *nods* She described it so well. <3
      That's alright! I shall figure it out eventually. :) Eeep, I KNOW. And hehe, thank you. :D


  5. “It’s pretty easy to see everything that’s wrong with what’s right in front of your eyes, but the reality is that every corner of the world carries its own share of darkness.”

    Oh my goodness. Clara. Your posts are always so moving, and that line really spoke to me! Reading this post just felt like a warm, fuzzy blanket during a rainy day… and as always, your photography (and art, the drawings you made are beautiful! *heart eyes*) is amazing. <3 <3

    (Oh, and I tagged you for the Share the Love tag over on my blog! xx)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think a lot of time the light comes from the people. You know how you said in your letter that there are so many stories in crowds? I think that’s sort of where I see light. It’s incredible that you pass so many lifetimes and stories, just going through Walmart. :) Sometimes it can be darkness too though, because so many of the stories are sad ones, but sometimes that can be kinda hopeful somehow, because it’s not the end of the story and maybe it will inspire you to be a little light in the story. :D
    Anyway this was a wonderful post! I love your little drawings – that style of art is one of my favorites. Also the collage is so cool!
    Thanks for the playlist too! A couple of the songs made it to my playlist and I enjoyed listening to all of them!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. how do i even begin to express myself on this post – IT WAS WONDERFUL CLARA. WONDERFUL.
    there is something about your posts & the way you “weave” your words that leave me really happy. i can’t place exactly why, but maybe that’s a good thing because it just feels like magic then :))
    THE COLLAGE!! clara, i swear you are talented at every art/skill you try O.O i’m literally fangirling over your drawings too xdd.
    ooooh, the film cameras – i love them. i’m honestly obsessed with all things vintage (vinyls, aviators, etc… can’t help but be obsessed :v ). unfortunately, i know nothing about film photography but i know you’ll be great at it. gooooo gurl *fistbump*
    *bursts out laughing when seeing the pic of laura* xddd
    yayyyy, i was hoping for more sunset photos in this post. & there was so now i’m 100% satisfied & happy xdd. tho it was nice to see them after a looong, dark, rainy day :))
    ooo, i spy a playlist! *jumps for joy* stay alive is such a calming song – i love the continual ticking throughout it & it’s almost ambient sound. ooo, leave the city *faraway daydreamy look* it’s such an emotional song… i hope one day you have the blessing of hearing it live, then you can feel the full atmospheric effect of it :)) anyways, i must listen to rest of these songs i have not yet heard because your music tastes are spot on ^_^
    akbshfjei please forgive me for SUCH a massive comment (aka essay)!! but, real quick, here’s the answers to your questions. light: just going for a quiet walk near golden hour today & having a little me-time. reading: just finished a walk to remember. song: one more light by linkin park. & uh, i like to *think* i’m an artist, because to me art is creating something that once was nothing & making it my own & then finding purpose in that creation (perhaps, & most likely, a purpose nobody else can quite feel (idk if any of this is making sense. oops)). what would your answers to these questions be?
    WELP. clara, i think i should end this incredibly long letter length comment :v. but thanks for such a wonderful post, i <3 it!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *really big sigh at WordPress for marking this wonderful comment as spam*
      YOU ARE TOO KIND, SARAH. *melts* That makes me so, so happy – you have no idea. :)
      UM, I would say the exact same about your incredible artwork! <3
      Hehe, same here, old things are so cool. :D I don't know about that, but thank you! *fistbump back*
      *hides and feels really lucky that Laura hasn't seen this post yet* xD
      Awww, yay, I'm so glad the sunsets could bring some light into your day. :)
      Oh my goodness, I can imagine that Leave the City sounds absolutely AMAZING live. *heart eyes* Eeep yay, I hope you enjoy them!
      No, no, I LOVE huge comments, they make me quite happy. :D I loved reading your answers. <3 Your description of art is amazing. :) Oh, let's see… today I found light in a lovely, quiet morning in which I read the Bible during breakfast. I'm currently trying to read The Toll by Neal Shusterman, I last listened to The Calm and the Crying Wind by Trampled by Turtles, and… I think I consider myself to be an artist in the making. :)
      *hugs you* Your comment made my day, thank you so much for taking the time to write it! <3

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yesss. It’s such a lovely song.
        And actually it played at my brother’s wedding as the song for the first dance with his bride. It was incredibly sweet and I fell in love with it immediately. It’s rare you find a song with a true picture of love in all it’s beauty, and it reads so much like a poem. <3

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Esmeralda! :) Ooh yay, it’s great to meet another fan, her books are so good. I finished Fountains of Silence, and I thought it was really well done. What’s your favorite book of hers?
      Aw, that makes me quite happy to hear. <3


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