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Once upon a time our stories were simple.

Once upon a time our mothers turned the pages for us, held our hands, and promised to read out the words we still stumbled over, sometimes, if we were tired or alone.

Once upon a time we were taught to walk only so we could begin that ancient human race: the desperate sprint for success, power and fame. The one where your mother lets go of your hand and tells all her friends that you can do it without falling sometimes, if they pretend they aren't watching or they shake a rattle at you; the one where coach says the people sitting at the side-lines are only kids who can't run fast enough, who didn't try hard enough, who aren't enough; the one where you are named by your number.

Sometimes we are drowning in the texts.

Sometimes definitions escape us, and questions will plague us, and it feels as if our teachers taught us words only so we could understand what we should not say.

Sometimes we are reading so hard that we forget to stop and look behind a story, behind a person, and see what is holding them up after all these paragraphs. And in those times we are at our worst; becoming only blank paper, simply vain intent covering sheets of tree pulp. And we would be the cruelest of trees, reaching ever-further over our friends as we yearned for the sun – oh, but it's true, isn't it? We are spreading branches, all of us, crushing saplings between ourselves on our crusade for the golden, our beloved ambitions.

Now is the time to lay ourselves down on paper.

Now is the time to stop running a race; to stop starving our friends of the sun; and to sit among the bookshelves with all our ilk and be worthwhile to anybody who comes along, picks us up, reads a word, and remembers it always as a better man.

Now is the time to reach out and grasp a being, page to hand; to look a person in their eyes, and tell them they are beautiful and that they mean something in this world, even without all the kinds of things our parents want for us; any child, any father, any lover, you tell them and you become that brief shining substance that pours in their soul and fills up the cracks that shudder ever wider over the years of being human.
erst·while /ˈərstˌ(h)wīl/
adverb: before.

i guess it is called erstwhile for a lot of reasons; maybe the main one is because i hope that just one person could read this before being affected by it, somehow.


this is kind of, sort of, a thought-story-poem that spilled out of my hands in the early morning. right now i am looking out at the sky lighting up and i am feeling like i could walk miles down a road that nobody knows about and just watch things be still.


please tell me what you think, or simply what you liked, or didn't... i truly appreciate any kind of comment :heart:
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ActsofArt Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
this has good imagery and I like the way it is written. Personally I feel stories like this have more impact when they leave off without calling to action. Just pointing out flaws alone is usually enough to get people's attention. Still it has a nice flow and that bit is most definitely just a personal preference.
dracoignis Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Student Writer
I usually don't watch people who do literature on dA either because the writing is too simplistic or merely "pretty." This is one of the cases when I realize I also avoid literature a lot because the good stuff makes me think. Gosh darn you for making me think.
Leap-of-Faythe Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Very powerful and inspiring. I think the last part is particularly impressive, the way you called people to action. It's very easy to make those sorts of things sound preachy but you managed to escape that trap. Well done! ^^
catdey Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is beautiful. :heart:
whatpumpkins Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012   Writer
thank you so much :heart:
styxthedrummer Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
"Sometimes we are reading so hard that we forget to stop and look behind a story, behind a person, and see what is holding them up after all these paragraphs."

...isn't that what really defines that person? the glue binding the pages?
whatpumpkins Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012   Writer
yes, which is why i feel (and tried to put into words, though i may have failed) that it's sad to forget to look at the glue, because it is the most important part of a person. it relates to all the talk about trees; too many of us get caught up in the surface of a person - their leaves and their branches - rather than where they are coming from and why - their roots.
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