All posts by Christian Ashliman

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

Unknown

Short Story Written By Christian J. Ashliman

The dense, thick smell of Christmas pines wafted like a swirling blanket over the crowds, filling the air with a cheerful spring of holiday season. Bells could be heard ringing, jingling in delight as the little ones ran up and down the overly populated sidewalks, with a light pitter patter scattered against the heavy thumping of moving foot traffic. In the distance, caroling was picking up, growing in number and volume as the gleeful singers gained more traction. Dusk must have been on the western horizon, felt by the warmth of sunlight cracking through the cold clouds, bathing his face in a tingling radiance. Continue reading Unknown

Taking It Back

Think Piece Written By Christian J. Ashliman

Have you ever thought about your past mistakes or failures, and wished you could scrub them out of your history? Just completely erase them from the timeline you have created for yourself? The human condition feels like it promotes this inclination to repress these awful moments we have all found ourselves in, for better or for ill; and it’s absolutely understandable. How fun is it to dwell in the midst of murky, negative provoking splices of our lives? Times when we have felt so rotten, and experienced such intense emotional or physical pain. What do we stand to gain from bathing in these episodic replays of the depressed, crestfallen events of our lives? Continue reading Taking It Back

Futility

Poem Written By Christian J. Ashliman

A warm, dawning glow reflected off my cold, pale skin
The morning air stands frigid; frozen to the influence of surrounding life
Something stirs within; an opposite of the outside world, warm to the touch
It is both familiar, and yet, foreign; wanted, but forbidden
It has poisoned my thoughts; seeping into every corner of my mind
This place is dark, filled with the torment and anguish of regret
Here, where life’s episodes are replayed endlessly
There is no consolation, leaving me with the thought of what could have been

Never again, I take the vow
Searching for some way to forget
It’s nagging, gnawing presence fails to cease
Ignoring my command, giving way to one final affliction
Useless in solving my own mystery
Futile is my quandary, as there is no meaningful end
To which I can say, I am satisfied

Culture Fair Intelligence Test Critique

Psychological Test Critique Written By Christian J. Ashliman

The Culture Fair Intelligence Test, or CFIT, is an evaluation of an individual’s IQ using methods that strive to remove any sort of cultural bias. Primarily, its goal is to test general abilities that are comparably independent of academic achievement, socioeconomic status, and other similar environmental factors. Continue reading Culture Fair Intelligence Test Critique

It Happens in a Moment

Think Piece Written By Christian J. Ashliman

It’s not every day that you get to have a little splash of self-actualization tossed in with your daily-routine salad. The moments that cause you to stop for a moment and ponder an action, thought, or idea, and arrive at the conclusion of striving to become better; it creates a system of growth and change for us impressionable humans. Being a major in psychology within my collegiate career, it’s also entirely possible that I geek out over these types of mental realizations more so than the average person; but who’s to say? Continue reading It Happens in a Moment