Get cozy this winter with arts, ink.

Welcome to arts, ink., where our student artists and writers are given a forum to illuminate the Michigan student experience through art. Why not get cozy at home and read, watch and listen to some of what they’ve created this fall… We’ve compiled some of our favorite posts from the past few months under the “Winter Break Reading List” tag for you to enjoy!

If you’re a U-M student interested in becoming a weekly contributor, there may be a position available to get paid for your work. We review applications and hire new bloggers twice a year, in September and January. Read more about Blogging Opportunities here!
Email us at arts@umich.edu with questions.

©SKETCHES BY MAKO: 7

7

Whether it’s forever or not, each day that passes you get closer and closer to the end.

How do you want to live your life?

How do you want to fill your day?

Can you keep chapters?

Yesterday was my birthday.

It is becoming difficult to understand age beyond its construct.

The linearity of time is an illusion.

We are simply points in a scatterplot

Or constellations

The difference between organic and synthetic is age, because by sheer nature the organic is finite.

Finite nominally but infinite structurally, systematically.

An Apple Rots But A Tree Evolves.

I am finding it difficult to differentiate myself.

I am finding it difficult to differentiate myself.

Am I Apple or Tree?

Perhaps both, curse Aristotle, who

Cried in Gestalt!

Perhaps my whole is mathematically equivalent to the sum of my parts.

If matter cannot be created or destroyed within a closed system, are we not

Simply recycled atoms from leaves, lemon tek

Poured over candlelit dinners

Sangria from Sudanese stelliums

“I love you” my Mother said, in broken tongue

“I love you” my Father said, verbiage assault wrapped in bloody bandages

“I love you” my Brother said, over allergic reaction and laughing gas

Deliverance of severed packages

Regardless if it’s forever or not, for each day that passes, you get closer and closer to the end

How do you want to live your life?

How do you want to fill your day?

Where do you feel safe?

Where can you explore?

Commit to these missions, Rover

Curiosity!

I have been having the same dreams, repeatedly, lately

In that dream, I am more than my parts

I am skin, I am flesh, I am bone

I am carcinogen

I am curator

I am creator

I have words that escape my wet tongue in damp O’s and Ah’s

I can still store data, knowledge, but in images and faded memories found in shipping containers and cargo ships

I can breathe, my gills pulsate through thickened water, like

Fighter jets piercing the sky in a single file line

Criss cross applesauce, dinosaur figurines made from crude oil

Your fingers through my hair, my chest pounding against yours and you whisper to me

“You always had a hand at this”

In that dream,

I can feel love

I can feel touch

I can feel taste

Strawberries, Napalm, Licorice

“You always had a hand at this”

My grandmother would say to me,

Shrimp dumplings coated in canola oil,

Before her last croak—

Regardless if it’s forever or not, each day that passes, you get closer and closer to the end

How do you want to live your life?

How do you want to fill your day?

Poetry v. The World: Used to be afraid of going bald

When I got that buzzcut, I was in the 8th grade, if I remember correctly. I liked it when I walked back the the lobby, but the look on my mom’s face was unbelievable. It’s actually incredibly entertaining to look back on, because she was so shocked and I had this just like “yeah, whatever” demeanor about it all. She knew I didn’t like it before I knew.

I always take a shower after I get a haircut, still pretty much to this day, to get all the little pieces off of me. And when I was just putting my foot in the shower, I looked back to the mirror. Something about being naked and vulnerable with my nearly shaved head, I couldn’t take it.

I got over it in like two weeks, but it was still the first time vanity had really taken a toll on me. The teenage angst was setting in, and it was there to stay for a while.

But!! It’s got a positive end. I still feel I’m slightly reliant on vanity for my self-esteem, but overall I’ve come a long way. When I was going through those phases, my parents and family members always told me that I would grow out of it. And young me didn’t doubt them, but it’s nearly impossible to look into the future when you’re self-conscious in the present is so fragile. So I just kept my head down.

If I’m honest, I think this poem would fit better into a collection. It kind of jumps from two large stages of growing up with little transition and minimal details. I feel the context of a piece inside of a collection is huge. Like way bigger than people give it credit for. Just in terms of emotional variance, imagine reading a poem about like… leaves falling, and then being thrown into a narrative poem bout World War II. There’s a lot of poetry just in how you structure the things you make, and I’m excited to read more into that in the future.

Anyways, please do be well and remember that vanity is nothing. [Steps off soapbox]

Sincerely,

Jonah Sobczak

-jonahso

The Indian Artist: The Festival of Lights

Seeing as yesterday was Diwali, I thought that it would be appropriate to do this week’s post on the festival of lights. Diwali is one of the most important festivals in Hindu culture and symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, power of good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

A classic image of a rangoli design done with powdered pigments

During times of Diwali, which most traditionally is a five-day affair, families adorn and clean their houses, decorating it with beautiful flowers and ornaments. On the days leading up to the holiday and the day of, the entire home is lit up with candles and diyas. Diyas are small oil lamps that are generally made from clay. The wicks are made out of cotton and fueled by some type of oil or ghee. These Diyas or oil lamps are lit for deities and to bring light to the house and ward off any darkness. Another part of custom adornment is something called rangoli, a personal favorite of mine. Rangoli is created from either chalk or pigmented powders and used to create beautiful designs on pavements as well as home entrances.

The lighting of candles and oil lamps is a welcome to the Goddess of Fortune and Prosperity, Lakshmi. It lights a path, welcoming her into blessing the home with good fortune, prosperity, and health. The holiday celebrates new beginnings and the start of the Indian fiscal year.

The Goddess Lakshmi sitting on a lotus with wealth and prosperity flowing from her arms

The story of Diwali is long and well-loved. Diwali is said to be the commemoration of the return of Lord Rama and his wife Sita (Reincarnation of Goddess Lakshmi) and brother from a 14-year exile into the forest. While on their exile, Sita is taken by the demon Ravana. Lord Rama and his brother travel with an army far and wide, eventually conquering Ravana and bringing Sita back home. Lord Rama’s return to his home kingdom is celebrated by a festival from the townspeople that last for days with music, food, singing, and dancing. From then onwards, this festival came to be known as Diwali. The day Lord Rama returned home with Goddess Lakshmi (Sita).

Diwali is a time for being with family and loved ones. Families light fireworks and host large feasts and celebrations. Temples, homes, offices, and buildings are brightly illuminated inside and outside. In the days leading up to Diwali, people clean, renovate, and beautifully adorn their homes. On the final day of the celebration, people dress in their finest clothes and perform a puja (prayer) for Lakshmi.

This piece titled The Festival of Lights, well-named I know, is a small depiction of Diwali and the beautiful tradition that it represents. The hands are covered in henna holding a diya lamp. The entire piece is done in colored pencil and was done early on when I started using my culture and upbringing as a topic of my art. For me, Diwali has always been a beautiful time of the year. Family and friends come together and we all sit around enjoying each other’s company and laughter. Eating delicious food and Indian cuisine, praying for one another’s health, prosperity, and happiness, we all forget the daily mundane troubles for a moment and lose ourselves in mutual companionship and love.

Happy Diwali to you all. As always, if anything that I discussed in this post stands out or if any questions arise please feel free to comment and share your thoughts!

Looking forward to next Sunday.

 

~ Riya

 

 

Please feel free to support me on Instagram @riya_aggarwal.art

Phillis Wheatley’s Response to Biden and Harris’s Victory

Relief has come with Biden’s victory

T’is true indeed for Kamala you see

Methinks there’s hope to cut Gordian’s knot

In which America shrivels and rots 

 

Muses tell me of two worlds we may live

One with work toward peace and informative

One with chaos, divided, filled with hate

God has saved us, I pray, from Satan’s bait

 

Now ye chosen by the people’s penned hand

Live up to your promise made to this land

Acknowledge pain and those bereft of hope

Lead all oppressed up freedom’s troubled slope 

 

Image taken from phillisremastered.com: https://phillisremastered.com/2010/10/14/why-i-love-phillis-wheatleys-word/