Blog 7: Frames

Frames and Positive Affirmations

The movie short, Frames was a tense watch ( I did not expect to feel so many conflicting emotions at the same time. In accordance with this video representation, facial recognition tracks and profiles individuals but does it really see into their souls? No. It simply cannot. I felt so much for the anguished woman in the yellow scarf. A look of despair marked her face, yet she acknowledged strangers by doing amazing things like paying a bus passenger’s fare and leaving an extravagant tip to a waitress at a coffee shop. My practical, analytical brain asked, “How can she afford it, she’s behind on rent? Will these donations get bounced? Will people not receive that which she wanted to donate out of a sense of altruism and seeking to make an anonymous difference in individuals’ lives? The gestures mean a lot, but if they aren’t backed by real capital, can they really change people’s lives?

And I come to the heaviest part of the film. So heavy it was painful (no spoilers). Even though she was tracked, tagged and monitored, who cared about her? Where were her cheerleaders, her anonymous helpers? Nowhere in sight as she meets the cold and darkness of winter’s endless chill. Very sad.

But from sadness springs awareness! This short reaffirms my very strong belief that we need community and connection, especially in these uncertain times. We have to connect in new ways, online and via telephone and video conferencing. We have to actively inquire about people we haven’t heard from in a bit and ask them if they are ok. It is a time to put pride aside and recognize that we are all vulnerable.

We at the Kean University Writing Project will persevere with our planned activities, which include Meeting the Director, Dr. Mia Zamora, online to inquire about the M.A. in English Writing Studies. Go to @KUWP or @medeathewriter for details and please spread the word. Even as we travel on unknown terrain, we cannot give up. I believe in us and that isn’t just talk.

So what can we do to connect as community? We need to use laughter and revel in the little things. My Nonno Onofrio, a Sicilian immigrant faced many challenges in his life: poverty, WWII, coming to the U.S. and leaving his wife and children to first set up a life for them here. He came to this country with nothing and built a life for them from the ground up. He taught my father the lessons of perseverance and they persist in our future generations. Not to say that he was made of steel, because he was not. This was a man whose tears slipped silently down his face when he watched any documentaries or films relating to war. However, he was also a man who used to laugh himself silly when watching WWF fights, enamored by figures such as Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.

He was very nurturing: he taught me math with great patience and was very solicitous of little Medea. When I was sad, he would look at me and say in dialect: Figghia bedda, si ride or si gianci. You either laugh or you cry- si ride o si piange. Wise words and I didn’t understand their full import until I became an adult. But he was right. Nonno, you are loved and I really feel that you are watching me from above.

Nonno holds me proudly at my christening party.

And because I think in music, I have to leave you with two songs that are very important to me. One is by legend Celia Cruz and it is entitled “Rie y Llora” Laugh, Cry. My favorite line is: “Rie, llora que a cada cual le llega su ora.” “Laugh and cry, for each one of us, our time will come.” A favorite Italian song is from Il Volo and it is entitled “La Vita”/Life. It is a call to action, to embrace life despite feeling fed up. My favorite line there is “La vita, piu bella della vita non c’e niente e forse tanta gente non lo sa”- Life, there is nothing better and maybe not everyone understands this. I will post the songs in their original formats as well as translations:

La Poderosa Celia Cruz, “Rie y Llora.” She also sang “I will Survive” in Espan~ol!

Il Volo, La Vita

It is ok to feel conflicted. Let’s take pleasure in the little things in life and practice mindfulness and Dr. Zamora has encouraged us on multiple occasions, long before this pandemic! It will be a work in progress and it will be frustrating at times but we cannot give up.

By medea

Creative writing is my passion. Coffee, books and music are a hallowed trinity for me. I am pursuing an M.A. in English Writing Studies and am a Graduate Assistant. I am eager to learn the intricacies of the NetMirror! Follow me on twitter @medeathewriter!

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