Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
Recommendations: 21

(in my opinion) Adding "mesmerisingly (mesmerizingly)" and "picturesque" to captivating is unnecessary, as all three words state the same thing. Either choose one of the three or change the third sentence to " They're so mesmerizing" or "they're so Picturesque"

Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
Recommendations: 21

"One skidded across the surface of the water causing me to smile"

Rebekah King Rebekah King
Recommendations: 21

Mesmerising and captivating mean relatively the same thing, but picturesque is different. Also I used mesmerising as an adjective to picturesque and both are in a different sentence from captivating, so different idea.

Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
Recommendations: 21

"I imagined my Dad sitting here beside the same lake twenty years ago."

Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
Recommendations: 21

I have always believed that ducks are an integral part of any waterway. Feeding ducks at our local botanical gardens was one of my favourite things to do whilst growing up. The only thing craftier than ducks when trying to take a photo are cats. You spend ages trying to get them to look at the camera and just as you are about to take the photo they turn their heads.

Jim Miller Jim Miller
Recommendations: 29

"That you cannot have on (one?) Without the other,..."

Rebekah King Rebekah King
Recommendations: 21

Typo. Good contribution there, Jim.

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Rebekah King Rebekah King
Recommendations: 21

Creative Soul

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For Fools

Something I wrote today whilst at Orientation Week for my University.

I think something profound happened to me today. I arrived at University over twenty minutes early, the lecture theatre doors not yet open, and decided to rest on the grass beside the lake. My legs were aching from the walk and the ascendance of what felt like 200 steps. The University is such a big, sprawling place it’s a wonder I’ve only gotten lost once so far. I sat down on the grass and leant back on my hands, looking out at the lake.

I love lakes, I always have. There’s something so captivating about them. They’re nothing short of mesmerisingly picturesque. I get that same feeling staring out at the softly swirling currents that I do staring into a burning fire: peacefulness. Like I can drown the rest of the world out and, for a moment, nothing else matters. I’ve never cared too much for swimming, but I love to watch the ducks. One skidded across the surface of the water, then, and I smiled. 3 comments

I thought about where I was sitting and I imagined my dad sitting here, beside the same lake at the same University, twenty years before me. It’s funny how things have a way of coming full-circle. Now I’m here, preparing to study a degree in Drama and English, just as he did. I was just two years old then. I don’t even remember him bringing me here, on the days he studied, to look at the ducks. But I wouldn’t mind betting that’s where my love of ducks first blossomed. 1 comment

There was a few to my right at that moment, scratching about in the fallen leaves and bracken under a huge tree. The tree looked very old, like it had been there since the University was founded, fifty years ago this year. I could hear the ducks quacking and see them waddling about happily. I reached into my Achievement Hunter bag and pulled out my phone to take some photos. But I only snapped one before they were onto me and flew away towards the water. They’re crafty, ducks. They always seem to know when there’s a camera on them. 1 comment

It was then that I felt it. A feeling I hadn’t known for quite some time. A feeling I’d almost forgotten. I went back into my bag, pulled out my workbook and a pen and started writing. I scrawled an entire page before I had to move off for my lecture. In my lecture, the professor discussed critical thinking and how it was used in a University context. And there’s something he said that stuck with me more than anything else I’ve heard this week.

He said that critical thinking and creative thinking are not opposites, but rather two halves of a complete form of thought and self-awareness. That you cannot have one without the other, and thus they should not be considered separate. And then he said that we don’t have to believe him or agree with him on this view just because he says so. That we should question everything, and analyse and refute and research and debate everything; including ourselves. Because all forms of knowledge and information are based on someone’s point of view. Nothing is truly neutral or un-biased. And this is the first time I’ve heard a teacher tell me this. 2 comments

I have always been a natural-born critical thinker. It’s what I’m good at: questioning everything in the world. And all my school life I have been chastised or put down by teachers for questioning them or their ideas, pointing out flaws in their logic or arguments and correcting their mistakes. So many times my teachers have told me “you’re wrong”, and now this professor has told me I was right to question them. It wasn’t me who was wrong, it was my teachers who were wrong for being close-minded and incomplete in their thoughts and knowledge of their subjects.

I had such a moment of clarity then; I felt as though a huge weight had suddenly been lifted from my shoulders after a lifetime of burdening it. The education system is simply not built, not designed for critical thinkers. They didn’t want me to question what I was taught, they wanted me to blindly accept it. To conform and be an obedient little model citizen; which is something I have refused to do my entire life. But here, at University, my habits of questioning the world and its leaders and teachers are accepted and embraced. And I’m surrounded by thousands of others who are here to do the same.

I haven’t felt as good as I did coming out of that lecture in too long. And that feeling I had felt earlier was still there, so much so that I had to return to the grass by the lake. I had the bug now - the writer’s bug - apparently not squished by the mundane repetition and suppressiveness of adult life as I had thought. I was feeling inspired. Inspired by observing the world around me, taking it all in. Inspired enough to pick up my pen and let it fly across the page, the words suddenly coming to me effortlessly.  This is something I haven’t felt in a very long time.

I am a creative soul, and a creative soul thrives off of creativity. But, for years now, the inspiration has been running dry; the words have been leaving me. Because the world I’ve been living in, the ‘normal’ world, doesn’t appreciate creativity, doesn’t value it. The 9-5 is no place for someone like me. But it’s this place - The University, the lecture theatres, the libraries, the professors, the lake... it’s breathing life back into my creative soul. This is a place where I can thrive.

The sun has come out now and there’s a breeze in the air. I can feel my skin drinking in the rays. I can hear the ducks chattering to my right, the birds chirping in the trees above me and the breeze rustling through their leaves and the reeds in the lake bed. I feel such a sense of tranquillity sitting here, in amongst all of this beauty, with my pen and paper. And now I can’t even remember why I was so scared to come here, why I put it off for so many years.

Because this is where I’m supposed to be - in a place where I can hone my skills and talents and not be put down or ostracised for them. A place where I can be a creative soul. Right now, I’m going to forget about the future, it will work itself out. Right now, I’m going to just be.

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Next: Fenton and the Dusty Fragments. Part Two