By Gabrielle Galchen
In the context of mortality, the pandemic and the imminent impacts of climate change, it is beyond important to remember how objectively lucky we are to be alive. There is a certain priceless appreciation in simply existing and breathing comfortably within ourselves.
Lucky to be alive in the context of time: you and me and our mortality. Lucky to be alive to smell the seas of these clocks: Ebb and flow, ebb and flow, My voice’s cuckoo bird will never slumber. I will never stop seeing kaleidoscopes of corals; My chest is shielded with seashells, Ears brimmed with humming sea-salts and doves’ lullabies. Lucky to be alive, to be; At night I dab my feet in a sand-scale That smells of cornflowers and roses Weaved into purple olive branches. To be alive is to exist is to mark: I won’t float, I won’t simmer, I won’t cease— My span is made of clouds, I know, But I dream of infinity enough to see My reflection in tree rings. Lucky to be, to breathe, to beat: I am, I am, I am, Lucky to be alive before the screech of Ravens sermonizes wildfires, Lucky to be alive during pixelated spontaneities And self-figmented sunrises; Lucky to be alive after winds whispering of Past muddied selves dripped to new horizons. What we see is what we are, A mold born of spiders or bees Into creeping grey webs or honeyed gold.
I had a prompt that was “lucky to be alive,” and this is where it took me! I started thinking about this luck in the context of mortality, but then I also considered the impacts of the pandemic and climate change on public mental health. Though it is obviously easier said than done, as I wrote I wanted to spread the message that it’s crucial to appreciate the mere fact of our existence, as life is filled with chaos and spontaneities that we can never predict. I attempted to take an almost positive view of existentialism and uncertainty, and I felt that the overall joyful tone would fit a more lyrical, song-like poem (spoken-word).
Half Israeli and half American, Gabrielle Galchen will never quite fit in except for when she writes, when she belongs solely to herself and feels the most complete. As a senior in high school, writing is her objective way to make sense of the world and find herself. She is so honored to participate in a program in which she can pursue her passion; Girls Write Now has truly made her high school experience.