I think of the water—crashing and reaming against the sides of their boats, rocking the steel platforms that they had their feet planted on. A frothy, foamy excursion through wailing winds and raging ocean waters. The spray would plume up and over the sides of the boats, misting them with a salty shower that seeped into their cuts and sores, chapped their dried, burned lips, and singed their swollen tongues. The unforgiving water would cling to their jackets, soaking through into their shirts, chilling their cores to a shivering edge. It would bleed into their boots, coating their socks in the freezing ocean rain until their feet were frozen and wrinkled, covered in blistering wounds that ached with every step. Continue reading June 6th, 1944 – D-Day Remembrance
What’s the hurry? If we always hurried to the next moment our lives, would we ever actually stand to experience the moment we are in? Or would every passing second slip through our fingers, losing it’s meaning because of our rush to prepare for this unreachable future, ever eluding us, ever being chased over fences to greener pastures, ever dangling just out of grasp. To fully live the present in service to the future is to live both pieces half-heartedly. Continue reading Hurriers Wall
I have traveled 3,004.8 miles on this little adventure of mine, up to this point, sitting just outside of Bend, Oregon. Or at least, that is how far my car has driven—I could probably tack on a few extra miles to the overall count if I added in the nature hikes and city walks I have been on. It doesn’t feel like 3,004.8 miles—for some reason, it feels like a lot less, which could be due to the length of time I have spread the mileage out over (roughly 3 weeks).
I have traveled 3,004.8 miles, and what do I have to show for it? Continue reading 3,004.8 Miles
Being on the road is such a strange experience–and not because of the obvious reasons, like having to figure out where to sleep, where to piss, where to get a snack, or where to get some free WiFi. Although, these things are all aspects that take more consideration when living on the road. I’m referring more to the mental game of transitioning from living in a house with four walls, to living in a car with six windows. From a place where I had any luxury I needed–heat, internet, memory foam bedding, a couch and T.V., people walking around, filling those spaces–to this point, of balancing the car battery and fuel bill for heat and power, paying close attention to data usage for mobile hot spots, eating out of the Rubbermaid pantry that sits in my back seat, and pit-stopping every day or two for a new bag of ice to keep my passenger-side fridge operational. Continue reading Free-duh-m
I have spent too many hours trying to define what this blog functions as in my life. When I began it, I was thinking it would be a portfolio, a collection of everything that was my ‘best work’, so that when I applied to jobs, I could easily shoot off a simple link that pointed critical eyes here. The only issue with ‘self-publishing’ your ‘best work’ on your own blog, is that it becomes just that: published work. It sounds completely absurd to think that writing some blurb about your feelings and posting it online counts as ‘published work’, I know. Continue reading The truth of it is…
To read through the first issue of bildungsroman, download the PDF by clicking below.
bildungsroman is a wildly random journal that aims to explore and entertain the spontaneous thoughts, ideas, emotions, and stories that dance through my head. It also serves as another training ground for me to practice and toy with style, design, effect, and voice.
Some work that is included in the bildungsroman journals has already debuted on this portfolio blog as well—so don’t be surprised if you see some familiar pieces.
Thank you for taking the time to read my writings, I deeply appreciate it, and look forward to continuing work on more issues of bildungsroman in the future.
Christian J. Ashliman
Creative Nonfiction Written By Christian J. Ashliman
Cleats pound the smooth cement that paves the floor of our musty, humid locker room. Vibrations from the repeating bombardment shakes the lockers and rattles the sealed doors leading outside. Football cleats are sturdy and forceful, sometimes having little metal pins shoved in each protruding spike on their bottoms, in order to add more durability and strength under the pivoting weight of the player. Metal or not, thousands of half-inch pikes slamming into the ground creates a thunderous boom that rails against my eardrums. The sound is familiar, yet still surprising, bounding through my head every Friday night, ricocheting and echoing off the cinder-block walls that encase our manly den. Continue reading Throbbing Heels
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
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
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