expression through words and photographs - karlyn rainey
Hi everyone! I’m Karlyn Rainey, I’m a freshman studying professional writing and rhetoric with a minor in anthropology. As hinted by my major, one of my favorite things to do is write! I love the idea of being able to experience different worlds or live through different things through the short stories I create and poems I write. I’m most inspired by the idea of love and the people in my life whom I love including one of my pieces I added to this post, “Mother”. I also take inspiration from my admiration of the outdoors, and how being out in nature reminds me of the intimate relationship we all have with our planet, which I try to reflect in my photography as well. I started my photography business during the winter of my senior year, which allowed me to pursue my passion for capturing the beauty of the world through pictures and share that with others. I felt so showered with love from the support I was surrounded by in the release of my website as I was taking that avenue of my life more seriously, and now I hope to get a jumpstart in my writing and maybe even get published before I graduate. Here are two of my earlier pieces that I hold so close to my heart. I hope maybe someone can feel touched by my writing, or maybe even feel understood.
There was an apple tree all alone at the top of a tall grassy hill.
It was the only one of its kind throughout the town.
Its foundation sturdy, rooted deep into the soil with long frail branches
reaching out to touch the clouds that scattered the blue sky above.
The very sky that rises and falls with the people of the town.
These clouds, though rare to see, could block the hot sun for the beings
living below the grassy hill and under the blue sky.
On a common day, they looked to the apple tree all alone at the top of the grassy hill for shade.
They would sit at the bottom where its trunk sunk into the ground.
Relieved from the heat, they would pick her ripe fruit.
You see, it was her purpose, she felt, to feed and provide her leaves for shade
to the people who she looked below on, seeming as small as the bugs
who crawled between the cracks in her trunk.
She wishes only that they thanked her for her berry and green hands
she had worked so hard to grow.
One cloudy day, an apple fell from her grasp.
Without anyone sitting below to hide from the heat,
she fell without a witness but her own mother.
Bruised and damaged, she saw her purpose no longer.
Her coating tainted, not vibrant nor red.
The tree all alone at the top of the grassy hill, however, saw
that this was what her fruit needed to grow.
Her entangled roots outstretched beneath the fallen fruit,
her strong limbs swayed in front of the hot sun as rain dripped from her fingers.
Soon, the apple would break and seep into her mothers’ soil,
growing her very own roots each day to then possess a sturdy foundation resembling her parents.
This once fallen apple looked to the one who grew her, now equal in size.
The tree on top of the grassy hill no longer alone, as together their shade was used.
The elder no longer looked for thanks, as she saw her purpose fulfilled beside her.
The two apple trees on top of the grassy hill.
In her attic bedroom sat Luna May wrapped in an old patchwork quilt. With her knees to her chest at the foot of her bed, she watched the tree toss about in the wind. Luna's window was far too high and far too small to see below the tips of the old oak, but the frail twigs of the branch were the only percussion to keep steady on the glass it tapped on.
Luna remained still as the moonlight danced a pattern across the old wooden floors, imagining to be the conductor of the song she wished she could hear. Alas, the leaves moved to their own music. Every few moments the moon was the lone dancer through the window and the beam of silver light grazed her pale skin to show the shadow of her own goosebumps the old quilt failed to quash. Out of her body, she could see herself in this spotlight surrounded by the dust settling about the air. These particles, a showcase of abandonment, moved with the leaves like a slow whirl of two lovers she has yet to know. Luna imagines being tucked into someone's arms to sway along with her, being held tighter than the weight this tangled blanket anchored her down to the floorboards with.
The old patchwork quilt had a familiar scent of her childhood woven between the individual squares, as it had been passed down through her family, thus now measuring to be heavier than her when she first inherited the cloth. Luna remembers how she used to love the sound of the rain hitting the tightly shut windows of this very room. Though everything was bigger then, maybe the walls have shrunk with every year. Encased in the quilt in a similar fashion, Luna would sit with her feet dangling off of her bed and watch the midnight storm roll in. The sky was just as dark but her room then lighter. The house breathed with the soul of the outside rather than shivering at what was to come. It stood strong against each crash of the lightning and wave of the cloud but now cower and shutter in the calm stillness of the night.
Where her feet once dangled down to the webs and the dirt, Luna now perched. She sat and watched the wall of water hit upon the cracked glass, reminded that her only companion left in this creaky house was what came with the squall. The house shaking with weakness, the walls groaned in agony; a cry for caution that she might fall at the next gust of wind. Luna closed her eyes in the chaos, her chin tilting high to the window and the back of her head resting upon where she used to sit. Luna listened and allowed her home to scream as she never could. It made noise as she had never heard before, and grew in distress as the storm fell on. The rain grew louder until eventually, everything was foreign again.
All was quiet. The distinct moans had hushed, and the watercolor moonlight painted on the dark walls had washed away to shine across now as a sharp and distinct shadow. The dancing had ceased, the curtain had closed, and the musicians had packed their bags for the evening. Luna despairs that she had missed the standing ovation as the artists bowed in glory at the end of their marvelous show. The companionship of Luna and the night seemed more to be bitter nostalgia than a sweet memory as silence turned the beats of the leaves waltz into mere seconds passing through time. Alone, she sat wrapped in an old patchwork quilt with her knees to her chest at the foot of her bed. The casted silhouettes had fallen asleep along with the old house. In the noiseless room, she stood without the quilt around her shoulders, baring her goosebumps the draft from the walls had risen. Promising to watch the grand finale of tomorrow's performance, her cold feet shift towards the bed behind her, allowing the floorboards the final word of the night. She falls asleep, dreaming of another visit from her figured friends.