Hello, Again

Hello Readers,

June 24th 2015, I saw a friend of mine post a blog post and I thought, ‘Hey, they’re a thing, I forgot about that’. Low and behold! Welcome to Blurred Limes.

If you have seen this blog before in 2015 it was called ‘by Hannah Rose Govan’, but I wanted my blog to be more than my name now.

In college, I wrote a series of articles in our college magazine, Forward, called ‘Blurred Lines’ where I talked about (in chronological order) pornography, differences between sex scenes in books and film adaptations, and our moral compass when watching films. Already, I knew what I was was interested in talking about, but NOT A JOURNALIST.

When thinking of re-naming my blog which I did over my Easter break, I first called it B|E|T|W|E|E|N T|H|E L|I|N|E|S (visual puns, I like puns, if you can accept that then you can tolerate my blog posts), but when I typed it into Goggle to see it it changed the name URL (It didn’t which I’m quite happy about) but there was another blog called ‘Between the Lines’ and I didn’t want to take that name from them. I typed in ‘pop culture puns’ and found this image:

fstoppers_talking-food_gary-martin

And it became a halo-hallelujah-angles-singing-in chorus flying from the heavens with a spotlight over my laptop moment. Chariots of Fire was fully embodied when I typed the new name of this blog.

Currently studying English with Publishing. I love it, I don’t really need to add into that. 

Trying to fulfill a six-year olds dream as an aspiring fiction writer, what else is new.

I quite like Tuesdays, one reason being Tuesday 5th May 2016, I returned from the metaphorical grave of my unintentional hiatus. Almost like death itself, well-

I like talking about things that matter to me. This blog is me. Not the ‘dear diary’ me, I already have a shelve of half-filled journals (I have a problem with stationary, the problem is I like it too much), but the ‘Have you ever thought why blank is blank, maybe it is because of blank’ me. I also write creative writing (who would’ve thought) when the creative smoothies are a flowin’. Art, the media, literature, culture, film, popular culture, the things I am also likely to write about. Not likely, I do writer about that, ignore the ‘likely’.

If you want to know more about the inspiration of this blog in a more off-tangent way, my blog post on Robert Frost is the place to clicky click on, it is one of my favorites I wrote.

Expect an image-overdose, overuse of parenthesis, rants, not proof reading my work properly and enjoy.

Thank you for reading.

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Lighthouse

It was nice. Sitting there. I made sure we picked the spot that didn’t have patches of mud around them, the evening dew on the grass was slowly seeping into my jeans. Nothing like a mildly cold arse to make you regret deciding to sit on the Hoe. In Plymouth, not a person. Who would sit on a- never mind, don’t want to go there.

I sneaked my hands into the sleeves of my jacket and closed the openings to prevent them getting any colder. My cheeks felt lightly bitten and the wind brushing against us only aggravated this sensation. I stretched my legs out and crossed them, If I tried to sit cross legged them my jacket would rise up like the tide and curl into a wedge of material up my stomach. Attractive. My jacket could stop traffic; it was a fluorescent blue like the water in front of us when it’s a clear day. He stretched out his legs too, the weight of his torso was anchored up by his arms behind him. He just stared forward. He sat next to me. We were close.

‘Thanks for inviting me again to join you’. He turned to my direction but I didn’t want to turn and look at him, his stare was so intense it could make my ear radiate with a flushing heat of embarrassment. I have no reason to feel like that.

‘No problem, it’s just nice to get out’. I didn’t do anything. But then again I haven’t really done anything. To ask. For all I knew he wanted something, or not the case at all. My emotions and vulnerability were locked in a concrete cell. I could hammer it down anytime but the cracks were becoming bigger and bigger, I was tempted to just seal up the cracks again. I wanted to leave them as unexplored and dormant as Jumanji. At least that was what I thought, because this could really mean nothing at the end of the day.

I have spent so long questioning myself and his actions that I was only torturing myself. My romantic emotions had become Pandora’s box. It was my decision to pry it open but the two optional fates seemed just as terrifying. The moment I was patient for so long to have of my own, or nothing. The curse in the box was that very often I guess it’s nothing and it turns out I’m right. Sometimes it’s not fun being right all the time.

I didn’t know what to do. The calm ocean had flickering moments of chaos when it collided with the earth. I wonder what it is like to have flickering moments of chaos. Or even a small break from equilibrium. We all like those so when crashed into, we don’t know what to do afterwards. Does the sea ever know when it crashes what to do afterwards?

This was the only chance I could really get, but my small and meek words disappeared when I began overthinking this, it was too late to rehearse anything in my head. I don’t know if it was my tongue-tidied thoughts leading me or some stupid sense of suspicion to find out the truth. But I did it anyway. I leaned my head on his shoulder.

He froze. I could feel his entire body and his breath petrify. I did not expect what happened next.

‘NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO’. He recoiled away from my head, his eyes widened and his glasses steamed briefly out of expiration. Probably shock. I flung back myself from such a reaction. I opened the box. I was right.

‘Ummm…’. I wanted to give an explanation but I was thinking of the multiple responses from him:
What the hell is wrong with you?
I have a girlfriend.
I’m not attracted to you.
Did you really think I would be interested in you?

The actual words weren’t as triggering and he wasn’t horrid, but just as painful and soon his words became ugly and repelling. It was unlike him.

‘What are you doing?’ He jumped from his spot and towered above me whilst I crawled myself up to his level.

‘Everything was fine and now you had to ruin it. What did you think would happen? Why do girls always assume that we are interested in them like that? God!’ I didn’t know what to say to this, even hearing it from a person a liked as a friend and as a possible other for quite a while seemed out of character from him. And I had to ruin our friendship. I wasn’t sorry but I knew things have crashed and wouldn’t be the same.

‘Look, I’m sorry, it was just a lean. If you feel this strongly then forget about it’. I didn’t want to look at him again from either embarrassment that was more appropriate to this situation, or a mild bubbling of anger. He paced in short bursts on the pavement off the grass, leaving tracks of his shoes from the mud he squelched out from his abrupt move.

‘What did you think was going to happen? Did you plan this the whole time?’ I had no words. They have completely gone. I tried to must a sense of logic out of me and shut the box again.

‘I don’t know. Wanna head back?’ He took of his glasses, grabbed a handful of his shirt and wiped them clean. He perched the glasses back on the bridge of his nose and pushed them closer with his index finger. He then interlocked his fingers, swept his palms above his head and sighed heavily as if the situation made his breathing buckle out of confusion and angst. That was how I was feeling.

‘Why did you have to complicate things?’

 

Feature Image URL: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/Plymouth_Sound_at_evening_light_-_geograph.org.uk_-_89777.jpg

The Road Not Taken By Design: Revisiting Robert Frost

This blog post has been brought to you by things.

leaf

This is a thing. A very beautiful thing. Now we are in the right sort of mood, let’s talk about poetry!

The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

OK, I know I said we’ll “talk about poetry” (Govan, 2016) and this is a kid’s TV show, but I have a point. I am pencil, this bit is the sharpener, let’s sharpen the point (what is this metaphor?). 2007, there was an episode where Zack had to go to Summer School and was called ‘Summer of our Discontent’ (No, I didn’t remember that far back, the internet is a wonderful thing!) named after the quote from Richard The Third, ‘Winter of out discontent’. (Also, not-that-fun fact: from 1987-79 in the UK there was a period known as the ‘Winter of Discontent’ because of multiple strikes from miners and other trade unions, putting a lot of things on hold such as piles of black bin bags outside people’s houses not getting collected because the dustbin people were on strike. A-Level Late Modern History being put to use. Where is my point? I think I broke it.)

Anyway, in this episode *SPOILERS* Zack turns out to be quite smart in terms of literature during his first days at Summer School. When he is getting bullied for it he tries to fit in by being ‘dumb’, but after a reading of the line by the teacher-embodiment-of-regret:

Two roads diverge in a yellow wood, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference’ (I don’t think the ‘an I-‘ bit was included for some reason).

She then asked the class what was Robert Frost trying to say. Then from inspiration and being pestered by the teacher to possibly know the answers, he says he could be talking about how sometimes there is one way to go which everyone takes and you feel like you should do, but you decide to take the other direction because it’s okay not to follow what everybody else is doing. This was a metaphorical life-lesson for what he was going through with being the bullied rather than the bully about being smart.

This was an enlightening moment for me, because it reinforced for me when I was (oh god, math time) about 11 that I was happy and fine thinking and taking different routes to other people because it suited me better and I didn’t have to try and fit into what was considered ‘the norm’ for pre-teens to think and do. I wanted to be a writer. I was a bit off-the-grain, I didn’t really get trends just because I didn’t like them and not the trying-to-be-anti-mainstream sort of way. I was content being myself even if I took the road not taken, because for me, that made the difference as to who I was. It became my mantra and I carried that mantra through my life, I’m not kidding.

Oh, how? Well, have you seen at the very top of this page what it says under the name of this blog? If you read something I wrote last summer you would have seen that and not think I was just putting it in therefor this post for effect to be like a mind blown moment, but it really has become something I live by. Not to the extent I would want a tattoo of it. But it is still prominent in me thinking I am this person, I am not these group of people who think a certain way or have certain attitudes towards writing like ‘how about journalism/teaching?’ and that’s okay. Because what YOU decided to do makes the difference for what YOU do and who YOU are. CAPS LOCK FOR EMPHASIS.

So that is why The Suite Life of Zack of Cody has sharpened my point, because if a kids comedy show can affect one person that way, then something is done right and is why their so popular. As well as being very funny. Oh, the nostalgia.

So, what’s special about Frost?

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How he describes the feeling poetry gives. Need I say more? I mean, what a way to explain the power poetry can give.

People (including me) consider him as one of the greatest American poets. One reason could be because he writes so vividly about nature they aren’t about nature, they become something else entirely and have a grounded sense of meaning in them as readers we try and de-tangle.

If you haven’t read at least one poem of his then I think you should at least read one in your lifetime. You don’t have to analyse it, or figure out its meaning. Just read one.

Frost? How vintage.

Puns! Get your puns here!

The summer before I went to University, I bought the Vintage Classics edition of all of Frost’s poems in one volume. I’m so saying stop what you’re doing and buy a copy. No, that involves exchanging it for money if you can’t trade or borrow it, even for me I was having £6-something worth of separation anxiety. Call me weird, but by my bed, I have on shelf dedicated to Chris Riddell and one shelf dedicated books I might read in bed. One of them is the collection of poems.

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OK, call me lazy if anything. But you know what?

I could be brown, I could be blue, I could be violet sky

Colour plays a prominent role often in Frost’s work and often, that imagery of crisp colours becomes so visual we are distracted for small moments of the weighted meanings that be read from the poems. Repetition of colours such as ‘white’ are so ingrained in some poems to certain items or things that conceptually are strange and yet fascinating to imagine in our head, we are encouraged to think ‘now, what could that mean?’ Yes, he might be using colour for the sake of colour because why the heck not. But, the text of an author arguably belongs to the public once it is available to them so I am going to read it the way it reads to me because interpretation has become an open privilege.

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Isn’t it cool? the idea that ‘nature’s first green is gold’. Green is grown from the power of photosynthesis with help of sunlight, associated with gold. Gold fields. Sunrise to sunset, green is illuminated with almost a blanket of gold. Green is nature’s gold because of how rich we can feel when we are with the vast amounts of nature available to us. But sadly yes, ‘nothing gold can stay’, heavy with ideas of globalisation and the current state of the environment. See what I mean with how heavy Frost’s poetry can be about the world? AND HE’S TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE SEE SUPERFICIALLY in such beauty that the last words are powerful enough to take your breath away to the fact he distracted you with such beautiful imagery. We are brought to a certain amount of truth and reality at the end. I mean, wow.

In his life, he has had to experience a lot of family tragedies with him outliving a lot of his family members included some of his children. How ‘nothing gold can stay’ and the nature of family (love) as a precious, golden thing, can be another layers to the infinite layers of meaning in a text. Although authorial intention is not necessary to know when reading their work, it can always be interesting to explore. Because we don’t know for fact (in its truest form) that his tragic family history and personal life could have affected the way he wrote and approached work, unless it is explicit in the text that is the intention, we don’t have to read into that if we read something else. As readers we have that power.

But, what is meaning? 

17th April 2016, Monday afternoon in a Lecture on Post-Structuralism.

Run-down in the best way possible:

Structuralism: Meaning is given based on the structures of language such as Semiotics which I learnt about similarly in A-Level Media Studies. The key components of Structuralism were by Linguist, Ferdinand de Saussure and the essay compiled out of lecture notes made form his students, Course in General Linguistics.

Post-Structuralism: Criticisms on elements of how Saussure viewed signs based on this essay and Post-Structuralists like Jacques Derrida examined signs and meaning in a philosophical manner such as the definition of meaning, what is given meaning and our consciousness of meaning which creates interesting arguments about our identity as well. Get your knee-highs because that’s deep shoes.

Correct me if I’m wrong, both theories are difficult to get your head around. Especially when you are not only question the existence of meaning in language, but what is meaningful to us.For me, there were brain spatters everywhere. I wouldn’t recommend that happening to you, imagine how frightened and angry the person who would have had to clean that up would be. But not before a quick snap and insta on what has been witnessed by many students with many phones.

Our lecturer gave us two poems. One of them was Design:

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Design

I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth —
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches’ broth —
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?–
If design govern in a thing so small.

Why is the spider dimpled?
Why is it white? Why is a heal-all white when their a blue flower?
It is a morning or is it morning?
Why is something comforting like a broth juxtaposed with witches?
Why is it night?
Why are the wings dead?
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Welcome to Post-Structuralism.

The second poem was a full circle moment and I almost gasped at this reunion. It was The Road Not Taken:

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The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

My introduction to this poem encouraged and drove my pursuit of my writing and what I wanted to do. Being at University 9 years later older and probably wiser, I was simply reminded why I was at University and why I was studying English with Publishing. I was reminded what that all meant to me. I was reminded, when I stared at this poem and next to it drew a red heart (handwritten double-tap) in a lecture room, what it meant to me.

This is the root of the meaning of my blog (pun very much intended); the root of the meaning of me. This poem certainly has meaning.

I will leave you on a final note…quote (rhymes):

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Thank you for reading.

 

Feature Image URL: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_uTGKd6u5pJ4/TQJIMZpm0JI/AAAAAAAAAI0/X6tktDmJUIM/s1600/Nature-wallpaper-landscape-blue-sky.jpg

Image 1: https://louisey.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/leaf.jpg

Image 2: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Dew_on_spider_web_Luc_Viatour.jpg

Image 3: https://environmentalbrigade.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/o-tree-rings-facebook.jpg

Quote URL: https://quotefancy.com/quote/32248/Robert-Frost-A-poem-begins-with-a-lump-in-the-throat-a-homesickness-or-a-love-sickness-It

Quote URL: https://quotefancy.com/quote/23/Robert-Frost-In-three-words-I-can-sum-up-everything-I-ve-learned-about-life-it-goes-on

Book cover URL: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/fa/22/bc/fa22bc0ef0aa556a0f6d2cca3669d799.jpg

Art Fart: Fantastical Waves

When studying at a University known for being a coastal city, it is hard for even my English course to tear itself away from the sea, and I don’t blame them.

I have always been at some point close to the sea, not the seaside-holiday-bucket-and-spade-sun-burning sea, but the quiet-everyone-has-gone-to-have-dinner-and-you’re-just-walking-alone-with-a-few-kite-surfers-blocking-the-sunset sea.

This post is going to be in waves of three:

They say here that great waves reach the coast in threes. Three great waves, then an indeterminate run of lesser rhythms, then three great waves again.

The Outermost House, 1928 – Henry Beston

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The Great Wave of Kanagawa | Katsushika Hokusai, 1829-32 | Colour Woodblock

This is one of the most iconic images of waves. Even when I typed in ‘wave’ into google, it immediately showed for one of the results this woodblock print. It is also seen as the most recognised piece of Japanese artwork. The amount of intricate detail and control of colour really shows the care and time Hokusai has taken into making this piece of work.

Even though the subject matter is these boats trying to steady themselves yet struggling against the great, and even majestic, waves of the sea with a small mountain peaking in the background as if to imitate one of the waves but a less fluid form. Although this clearly shows a sense of chaos, because of the nature of working with woodblock where a steady hand is often required to make clean lines and the distinct style this Japanese art(ist) has acquired, there is also an element of control and focus embodied in these waves. The waves almost appear beyond nature, monumental and ungodly with their sweeping forms and small curls looking like pointy fingers gripping at the air. The sea spray looks as if it is falling gently like snow, juxtaposing the sharp imagery of the waves.

It also really shows how mankind is powerless and quite meek against the monster that is nature, no matter how beautiful it is and no matter how much we try to control and tame it in this artistic style.

Image source: Wikipedia.org

27bride_of_the_wind272c_oil_on_canvas_painting_by_oskar_kokoschka2c_a_self-portrait_expressing_his_unrequited_love_for_alma_mahler_28widow_of_composer_gustav_mahler292c_1913

The Tempest / Bride of the Wind | Oskar Kokoschka, 1913 | Oil on Canvas Painting

This is a self-portrait of the Expressionist artist and his lover, Alma Mahler. However, she was a widow to composer, Gustav Mahler. This made their love a struggle and even though Alma made the decision for their unrequited love and relationship to come to a conclusion, Oskar never stopped loving her. This painting became his most expressive pieces of work and a passionate form of their expression viewers get to see immortalised in oil on canvas.

The two lovers are swirling in an ocean of their love and compassion with a shell cupping them into each other’s arms, showing an intimate connection. However, because they are in an ocean, the ocean is a grand and expansive amount of space that the painting represents their distance in a dreamlike state/fantasy as well as togetherness. The overwhelming blue and green tones are expressive of the sad and even mournful undertone of the painting based on their relationship. But the active and gestural brush marks evoke a sense of excitement and passion that the relationship might have brought for Kokoschka. This can also be seen in the small flecks of vibrant colour floating around the painting.

Mahler looks like a bride as expressed in one of the painting’s names, ‘Bride of the Wind’. This is from the light, pale colours to appear like white, a colour that signifies purity and innocence for weddings in western culture and her hair is entangled in the ocean like a veil. However, the colour white signifies in Chinese culture (forgive me if I’m wrong) death and is worn in funerals so for people who are familiar with that culture competence could read this painting as the mourning and death of their romantic relationship. Because of this glowing pedestal, Kokoschka has given her in her restful and calm state, she almost becomes an embodiment of the sea and shows how the waves can be gendered as a female in art and literary texts.

Image source: Wikipedia.org

starry-night-original

Starry Night | Vincent Van Gogh, 1889 | Oil on Canvas Painting

‘Wait, this isn’t a piece of work with waves’ No it isn’t, BUT it can be read as if the sky was. Bear with me. Grrrrr. Sorry, bad pun.

The sky looks like very dreamy, albeit trippy, swirls of waves and because of the individual impressionist marks, not one wave is the same. These swirls are almost paradoxical being at the top of the painting reaching above the surface and the stars look like bio-luminescent fish in the depths of the ocean that only appear during the night time.

It might be interesting to note the dark undertone of this painting and probably all of Van Gogh’s work. In terms of a biographical reading, this painting can be a metaphor for the waves of depression and problems with mental health Van Gogh was going through during his adult life. Considering he was famous for using yellow in his colour palette evident in the stars and moon of ‘Starry Night’, this would often evoke a connection to happiness, light and joy. However, it can be seen as almost the colour of being unwell evident in the wilting ‘Sunflowers’ and Van Gogh’s self-portrait. Not only that, but the yellow in this painting is almost drowning in the dark depths of the ocean that can represent Van Gogh’s cloudy waves of mental stability and his internal struggle between life and death.

Unfortunately, this painting can, therefore, be a metaphor for the dominance of darkness and death when Van Gogh had taken the decision to take his life in 1890 when he shot himself in the chest.

Image URL: http://roman-shymko.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/starry-night-original.jpg

 

I hope you can see these pieces of work in a different, more interpretive way that are really just layers to and endless amounts of meaning. Thank you for reading.

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Me, Myself and I: Casual Musing | It’s Good to Be Alone

Introvert, Extrovert, Ambivert, Amphibian, let’s just ignore that for a musing or two. At some point, we will all have just the company of ourselves, even if people are around you, you can be alone with your thoughts and only have a connection/interaction with yourself.

adjective, (used predicatively)
1. separate, apart, or isolated from others
2. to the exclusion of all others or all else
3. unique; unequaled; unexcelled

adverb
4. solitarily; solely
5. only; exclusively.
6. without aid or help

Dictionary.com

You can be alone, that doesn’t mean you’re lonely. Now, we got that out of the way.

When you are working, your thoughts are with yourself. When you are typing they are your words you pre-think or unconsciously type by yourself. When you are reading the narration is a voice only in your head. When you listen to a song with earphones the voices are only talking to you in your head. A song might be in your head. You are reading this now you yourself. We do things all the time on our own without the assistance of outside company, and that’s okay, and so is not being alone.

What is great about yourself is that they will listen, they know the right responses, they keep the conversation going and they laugh at all your jokes, even if they shake their head after the shame of a bad pun.

Have you ever noticed the way to speak to people is different depending on who they are? Have you noticed the things you talk about are different depending on who they are? Depending on who they are, have you noticed they have an agenda of discussion just as much as you do? Have you ever noticed when you on your own you don’t have to comprehend or worry about that?

It is your agenda, you think the way you naturally (want to) speak and you think about what you want to talk to someone about, but this time that someone is you. Everybody based on all those factors and more have a certain perception and list of thoughts about you as a person that is specific to them in their perception unless stated otherwise. You are a different person to different people. It is an unconscious performance of a characteristic or extract of yourself.

When you are on your own, there is not need for that ‘performance’ because you (on some level) know who you are. You are truly yourself and all of what people have seen or known or thought about you on your own, there is no different person of yourself in your own head to what you already know and are. Sometimes that can be hindering if you happen to be someone whose thoughts, and feelings change the way you see yourself because the version people have come to known might have changed to what you think of yourself now depending on what your thoughts say who you are on your own. This could possibly, although I have no experience with this so correct me if I am mistaken, be the case if your mental health is not at its best or if you might have a mental illness. Being on your own can be in that sense both a gift and a curse. To have thoughts think the opposite of who you actually are and then in result change the perception of who you are.

Interesting then when looking for the opposite, what is not ‘alone’, there was only one result:

Antonyms for alone
together

Thesaurus.com

There is the absence of togetherness in the sense of being on your own, but your own company can make you feel as if you are together with your thoughts, your ideas, your conversations in your head, yourself.

We can be together with ourselves, and that is great about being alone because of we aware enough to know that we can not be truly alone if thought is present. It is the absence of thought and communication is when loneliness truly exists.

Thank you for reading.

 

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