i look at recently posted albums on facebook and i see all the aquaintances i've seen in the halls, in my classes. the ones i hear talking all the time, the loud ones who always have friends no matter where they are but nowhere in their constant gossiping do i hear word about where or when these pictures were taken. a curious feeling when i see them all together, a network of "cool?" kids. and they think they're so cool. underaged drinking in your basement while your parents are out of town , taking pictues of your wasted faces, posting them on facebook because apparently being illegal means being popular. yes i know i shouldn't be talking about illegal, but i dont post pictures of me and my friends where everyone can see them. i at least have a little shred of dignity left.


the layers by stanley kunitz

have walked through many lives,some of them my own,and I am not who I was,though some principle of beingabides, from which I strugglenot to stray.When I look behind,as I am compelled to lookbefore I can gather strengthto proceed on my journey,I see the milestones dwindlingtoward the horizonand the slow fires trailingfrom the abandoned camp-sites,over which scavenger angelswheel on heavy wings.Oh, I have made myself a tribeout of my true affections,and my tribe is scattered!How shall the heart be reconciledto its feast of losses?In a rising windthe manic dust of my friends,those who fell along the way,bitterly stings my face.Yet I turn, I turn,exulting somewhat,with my will intact to gowherever I need to go,and every stone on the roadprecious to me.In my darkest night,when the moon was coveredand I roamed through wreckage,a nimbus-clouded voicedirected me:"Live in the layers,not on the litter."Though I lack the artto decipher it,no doubt the next chapterin my book of transformationsis already written.I am not done with my changes.

To me this poem conveys that perseverance has a negative effect. Perhaps the overall meaning does not, but the overall tone of despair does. Though perseverance is not always a bad thing, in fact in most cases it is good, we may be erroneous. Who is to say that what you're striving for will be worth it? Not everyone can continue on, and even if you start out with many friends, some cannot make it, and then you are left alone. Is it worth it? You must be striving towards some great goal, to be willing to give away all you hold dear to attain it. You must have a strong spirit, a clear decisive mind that cannot be sidetracked by your heart's hasty feelings. How hard it must be, to keep your goal in utmost priority, as your comrades fall like flies to the left and right of you. Wouldn't it be easier to resign yourself? To join your companions, revel in the abandon of the absence of something to look forward to, to strive for. Expect nothing and you will never be disappointed. The words of a soul who has relinquished its goal, dead in the dust beside you.The author perhaps had my mindset, but a voice, some other-worldly being, gave him hope in the form of perplexing phrases. He knew not what they meant, but surely they had a deep meaning, if he himself could not decipher it. "Live between the layers",A cryptic message. To live between the layers…the layers of what? Why are the most important messages the hardest to understand? Perhaps because if it was straightforward, we would disregard it. But now we are determined not to let them make a fool of us, we sit and we analyze and examine until we have some fragmented idea of what it could possibly be saying. I have sat here, staring at those words, searching franticly for some understandable aspect that I may use in my writing, I have found countless, "Live in the layers, live between feelings so you can hide if you want to, so you can be shielded from the outside, so unforgiving". "Do not live on the litter. Do not live seeing the ugly that scatters your path, because it will consume you with despair". "Live in the protection of your own expectations" they devoured me; they all seemed possible but all so wrong. Was I missing the point? I grew panicked, worried that I was perhaps missing the whole meaning of the poem because of that one line. I re-read the poem, over and over, until the words were etched into my field of vision. Until I finally realize the line that follows. "Though I lack the art to decipher it". Relief whooshes into me like new life. Perhaps it is not meant to be understood. An elusive line, meant to make us wonder, to keep us striving, forever, for the meaning. And if we do finally discover the secrets it possesses, then perhaps we have already completed the undertaking it was constructed for. Like the meaning of life, only understood by those who have died. Or perhaps it is a meaningless line. A blatantly simple meaning, as plain as the letters that bring it into being. I have too much depth to my guessing. I become engrossed, building up possibilities with countless examples of evidence, until the genuine meaning has hopelessly gone astray and I am back where I started.It is curious, how we dissect and scrutinize the meanings behind the meanings of poetry. Did anyone ever question the why we do this? Perhaps there is no meaning, other than the literal and we are lost, drowning in our own misconceptions and delusional expectations.