Letter from a Friend

Letter Written By Christian J. Ashliman

To the person you are, right at this moment,

What is your current state of mind? How can you be sure? Under the pressures of school, homework, the job you probably have, a relationship, family, a child, friends, your relationship with yourself; how can you be sure of your current state of mind? Will you be sure of it tomorrow afternoon? What about next Thursday? Were you sure of it five minutes ago, or are you still thinking about it? When you finally decide that you are sure, will you really be sure? One emotion jumps into the next, bouncing back and forth helplessly; when that happens, as it inevitably will, how sure will you be then? What does it mean to be sure at all, to know—to really know? Continue reading Letter from a Friend

How much longer?

Prose Poem Written By Christian J. Ashliman

If I had known that day would follow the track that it was destined to, I might have curled up in a tight, little ball, hiding under the thick, woolen blankets that draped my bed—for it was a day lived in the clouds, floated through as I scraped for solid ground, trying to make sense of a change that felt too sudden. We were together now, motoring down the highway towards a preschool where it was doomed to crash, bound to deteriorate into a child-like match of show-and-tell, featuring all of my infinite shortcomings, breaking way to a wave of wrenching realizations of losing the one. Tears, anger, frustration and guilt—emotions swirling around in a boiling chemical cocktail, using my imploding skull as a chalice. In the classroom of a dark, dingy schoolhouse, the jet-fueled spiral broke, dragging me kicking and screaming into a new reality, no matter how intensely I wished to wake up.

The River

Poem Written By Christian J. Ashliman

Familiar waters gushing between rocks
Crashing around every boulder
A sound growing in volume
To encapsulate a waking nightmare
A time when he stalked her
Watching her every move
A slip, an error
The world comes caving in
Beneath knuckled fists
To live in fear
Is to not live at all
A guilt, a sadness, a creeping smile
She was glad she had done it
Stone after stone, tied with thick, raspy twine
Cast into an abyss of cold, wet darkness
Dragging the evil away with it
He couldn’t hurt her anymore
Not down there

Past, Present, Future

Think Piece (Academic Purpose) Written By Christian J. Ashliman

The pursuit of mastery in the field of writing is an ongoing, never-ending, bumpy road that leads through twists and turns, around sharp cliffs, down racing slopes, across open fields, and eventually, out onto a blank page. Writing is one of the great passions of my life, but it wasn’t always that way. I remember a time when writing seemed like a chore, a boring act that was required as part of a school essay in a subject that I couldn’t care less about.  Continue reading Past, Present, Future

Small and Simple Things

Think Piece Written By Christian J. Ashliman

Thinking about the looming future, and all it’s possibilities, opportunities, and pathways, can be extremely daunting and difficult. It seems to be a part of our nature: to conceptualize the intense, stressful plans of our lives into small, heavy packages that weigh us down when we think about them. I have a perfect example that occurred just earlier this morning as I was starting my final semester of college. Syllabus Day, as the first day of any semester is known, is filled with handouts and glazed eyes as teachers swathe over what will be the next four months of everyone’s life. Typically an easy day, in regards to homework, Syllabus Day always sort of freaked me out. It consisted of the instructor filling everyone in on everything that will be due, discussed, or worked on throughout the entirety of the course. Multiply that by six courses, and you’ve got an entire spiraling disaster on your hands. Continue reading Small and Simple Things