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The Earth that Flowers Laughter: The malleability of emotions by nature

This project was originally a single-person project but then after Anne suggested the two of us work together, we did. 


Eating ice cream in winter is a kind of circumstantial sweetness.
Being happy and naked in summer is a kind of fortuitous freedom.


The cold stays on the outside, at least that’s how I imagine it. It lurks and meanders in corners and shadows and sometimes right at your front door…you can hear its gusty breath pressure the hinges and deadbolt. The cold always waits to be welcomed in. But the heat let’s itself in. It slithers in through closed window panes and the walls and chairs and your skin become saturated; like everything inside has been doused in some sort of heady, pungent fragrance made to overwhelm the senses and underwhelm the mind.



Slithers in, the cold dark gray
So quietly so
So you don’t know
It’s here until the cross-breezes
Catch you in the cross-hairs.
Scurries out, the cold dark gray
So quickly so
So that the ice doesn’t melt
But bursts into sunshine.
It’s jarring either way.



Finding oneself
Contentedly caught-up
In the affair between
Cherry blossom trees
And a chilly spring morning
New precious life
Found in a barren desert
…is a beautiful thing


If the cold that knocks at my joints and clutches the nape of my neck was extinguishable I could walk faster.
If the cold I consume when it's hot wasn't so faultily filling I could walk faster.


They say that no two snowflakes look the same.
I say a snowflake is a snowflake is a snowflake
Is a pile of ice collecting on the hood of my coat.
They say family is everything.
I say family is everywhere
Under the sun,
Atop the sizzling pavement
And even in the furrow of my brow.


I’m content because the lights are on.
The lights are on because I am inside.
I’m inside because it’s cold and gloomy outside.
It’s cold and gloomy outside because it’s the dead of winter.
It’s the dead of winter because that’s just what happens…
            And when it’s hot outside,
I’m content because my senses are everywhere.
My senses are everywhere because the foliage sings to my eyes and nose
                                            Because the birds sing to my spirit
                                            Because the sunshine sings to my heart
And I sing back because that’s just what happens…


It just so happens that sour expressions
That look like stoic and sullen
Rest in my heart
And cloud my mind
And smother my face
For something like
Five sinister months
Until finally May marches in
And marries my wish to reality
And mother’s the earth so life can return
For something like
A few measly months.




I wonder, so often, whether the weather conditions have the same effect on most other people as it does on me. All my site sits were influenced by my mood and the way I interpreted the nature and my surroundings were directly connected to the weather and how cold/hot it was. It was interesting, while working on this project, to see how many people prefer winter to summer. Stereotypically, people tend to like summer more, but when asking if people prefered the "coldest day of the year" or the "warmest/hottest day of the year," there were a surprising number of negative reactions towards summer. I also felt that weather and climate are both a part of nature that tend to get left out when people are asked to consider what "nature" is.

In terms of actually putting the project together, I found that we worked well together and had a process of thinking and organization figured out. While it was a surprise, it was a welcome one. 


Celeste Ledesma's picture

A brief reflection:

We tried our hardest to creat parallels that both complamented and contrasted. One of our goals was to not seem like I had written a piece to go along with a photo. We wanted there to be an instance that Amala could capture with a camera and that I could try to capture in words. We tried to meet this goal by also asking the participants to offer us some words, phrases, or stories that come to mind when they think of the season they were told to react to. This was an interesting because photography and writing are such different mediums. Additionally, this collaboration was certainly an experience because Amala and I are such different students as well. It's easy to acknowledge that she is a talkative student in the classroom while am less so (neither characteristic makes us superior or inferieor to the other). Something particularly interesting is that, while Amala talks plenty, she chose a medium without words and I chose one in which I could solely use words.