1. The process of increasing in physical size.
2. Developing or maturing physically, mentally, or spiritually.
3. Something that has grown or is growing.
1. The process of being reincarnated or born again
2. The action of reappearing or starting to flourish or increase after decline; revival
Welcome to Renaissance: Growth and Rebirth, the fifth issue of CHS Spotlight! With spring finally clawing its way out of winter's soul-sucking clutches, we decided that this Spotlight should celebrate the annual cycle of growth and rebirth. The same cycle that skips Ottawa every year.
-The Renaissance Spotlight Team (Lamiya, Taylor, Chloe and Nimar)
-The Renaissance Spotlight Team (Lamiya, Taylor, Chloe and Nimar)
Three Poems on Growth
by Jackson Hunter
Here, on a bus in march,
I see children walking home from school
and I wonder if it is worth the while to tell them
that they will grow up
and I wonder if it is worth my time
to even think about them
because no matter how much
I wish I could go back
time won't stop for me
and I guess I should accept that
instead of focusing that the innocent
won't be innocent for much longer.
There is heartbreak in a child,
who is no longer a child.
If spring were to never come again
and we were to stay forever where
everyone is so sick of cold
that we wrap ourselves
in blankets and stay inside all day,
would you help me paint our house green
a light shade,
like the leaves of wildflowers
so that we not have to always see grey skies
and keep hope that things will grow again.
For the first time this year
I've danced in the rain
and the water wasn't snow
The air smelling like spring,
it was a grey sky day today
but I knew good things were to come
and I closed my eyes
and let the rain revive me.
by Jasmine Hrynyk Seabrook
As sped down the highway the trees were whipping passed, and birds were soaring above. Oh, how I wished to be a bird. No problems or responsibilities whatsoever, but no, I’m not flying above the clouds with my bird friends. I’m in the car on the highway, in a rush to get to my stupid office job, which I don’t want to be late for. If I’m late again I’m sure I’ll lose my job.
I continued cruising down the highway and realized the sharp turn which always scared me was coming up. I heard a bing and looked down at my phone. It was a message from my boss. I read it aloud.
“You’ve been late way too many times. Sorry, but we have to let you go. Grab your stuff today and leave.”
I was done for. There was no way I’d be able to make it without a steady job or someone to get help from. I might as well be dead, but the choice had already been made for me.
I forgot about the sharp turn. The car rolled over a few times, and eventually slammed into a tree. Everything I saw quickly faded to white, until I was unable to see anything at all. I closed my eyes, and knew I had taken my last breath.
To my surprise, I was still conscious. I tried to look around to figure out where I was, but everything was still dark. I reached out my arm and hit something. Not only did my arm feel strange, but whatever I hit did as well. I decided to try and hit it again, but using more strength.
Finally I heard the thing crack. I was able to break free from my tiny prison. I looked around and noticed I had no idea where I was. I gazed up, and noticed an egg. I finally realized where I was.
After a long two weeks I was finally able to lift off. I spread my wings and flew off into the sky.
by Adrienne Vandenberg
Charles lay on his bed, staring up at his blank ceiling. His old bones ached too much to stand back up, so he had been lying there for hours. His bed was big, much too big for one lonely man, and it made him feel insignificant and small. His chestnut eyes were strained and his body was weary, so he closed them and wished for sleep. Lying passively in his bed, the analog clock ticked relentlessly, and he listened to it and tried to quiet his mind. Charles had spent years in this apartment, decades even. His room was almost bare, and in his kitchen there was only stale bread and a half carton of orange juice. There was no doubt it was the apartment of a man destined to die alone, and Charles had accepted that long ago.
Another minute ticked by, and Charles began to feel stiffer. It was time. The pains and aches he had grown used to living with began to fade into a numb buzz in his bones, before he felt his last breaths leave him, leaving him empty. His arms began to transform when his last bit of life escaped from his lungs. They were becoming wooden, and became rougher as they grew into bark covered branches. His fingers thinned into twigs and his fingernails grew into fresh leaves. The corpse of Charles finally grew a sturdy trunk, and his legs lengthened into thick roots. Completely transformed, his body no longer belonged to him, and was now finishing its transformation into a beautiful oak tree with every second.
A jolt of consciousness hit him, and Charles was back. He looked around at what was once his bedroom, but to his surprise he was in the park on 5th street, rooted firmly in the earth by the pond. He knew he should feel scared or confused, but it felt nice. It was relaxing being free of the confines of his small apartment, and he was no longer alone, with children climbing him and squirrels finding a home in his branches. Charles relaxed, because the cracking noises of his joints were replaced by the September breeze rustling his leaves.
Photo by Lamiya Rahman
Photo by Rebecca Bosloy
The First Day of Spring
by Melanie Zhang
I was sitting with my friend in the mall when I saw her go by. A girl in our class, who was friendly, funny, but that we never really talked to. She came up the escalators and went into the bathroom, accompanied by nobody. It was definitely mysterious, but we didn’t dwell.
I had a dream about her. I’ll call her Joy. I was sitting on a yellow bus with Joy, one of those cramped rust-buckets with grey bench seats covered in what look like the lines tracing across your feet. I overhear a rumour about her, that she lives in a mansion. It makes me want to see her house. And then, when she gets off, so do I, too. We disembark at a finite Greyhound station.
She isn’t surprised. She starts walking in line with me, guiding me through an exit from the squat building, and walking me outside.
It appears suddenly - like when you round a corner and are suddenly granted with a splendid view, only we were walking in a straight line. It had been there all along. It’s like a quaint cottage that had been super-sized, with a massive door, and ivy leaves bigger than my face, almost intimidatingly, so instead of going inside we walk around her neighbourhood. I see a house, barely a house. It’s enormous, and totally made of golden Legos, except for a Lego-paved pavilion that extends outwards, made of white pieces. A couple stands, displeased, while the pavilion is painted over with white. A woman holding a sheet of Legos comes up to us. She’s painting while she talks.
“Missy wanted white Legos, but they weren’t white enough for her,” she says, with an aggressive nod to the couple, whose faces are set in a frown.
We keep walking. (I’ll say, the part I like about dream conversations are that you never need to figure out some way to extricate yourself from conversations because they simply dissolve.) We are at the Greyhound station again, but now it is so long we can’t see the end. Joy points me towards my bus stop - it is very far away. She walks with me. I look out the windows, small and few and far between, but we are walking fast enough that images flash by like a zoetrope, fragments of a moving picture. An understanding dawns on me when Joy taps me on the shoulder.
“My house is right outside,” she says, and then leaves - no goodbyes, just walks on.
I watch her disappear for a second, before turning back to the window.
It’s the first day of Spring.
Photo by Chloe Wilson
Ah, the Renaissance
by Pascale Malenfant
My mother loves to read novels based in Renaissance England and France. Upon asking her why this period seems to interest her so much, she tells me the Renaissance people contained “a beauty and artistic value modern and future generations could never possess,” which is essentially just the pretentious, Generation-X version of “I was born in the wrong generation, now leave me alone so I can listen to Metallica and privately accuse Courtney Love of murder.”
However, I can’t help but find myself in complete agreeance with my mother! I mean, the artists of the time were of true and pure genius, such as Michelangelo, who made such great use of artistic nudity. All those middle school field trips to the local art gallery would have never been the same without the juvenile giggles and occasional “I’ll give you my fruit roll-up if you touch the sculpture's wee-wee.” The musicians were incredibly gifted, as well, such as Josquin des Prez, who I have never heard of in my life, but included anyways because he was the first name that popped up when I Google searched “renaissance musicians.” And how about the writers, eh? I mean, Donatello was incredibly influential, and was even awarded a great honour in 1990 when one of the legendary teenage mutant ninja turtles was named after him!
But who wouldn’t love a time period almost 300 years before toilet paper was invented? I know that I myself really do appreciate a crusty butthole on the daily. The Renaissance population also believed that “Virgin Mary” was impregnated through her ear by the “word of God,” and women would cover their ears in public to avoid the same fate. Could you imagine walking around in constant fear of getting pregnant via earhole? Amazing! The technological advancements of the time were also seriously remarkable. How wild would it be to be alive during the invention of the printing press? Or being at risk of hanging or house arrest if you tried to print anything other than the word of our homeboy and saviour, Jesus Christ? Remarkable.
Needless to say, the beauty and artistic value of the Renaissance is something we will never be able to match or surpass, and I personally believe we should all revert back to wearing rib-breaking corsets and thinking the Earth is flat.
Photo by Chloe Wilson
Spring? What Spring?
by Rebecca Kempe
Spring? What Spring?
You may have thought that in Ottawa, people wait excitedly for what you call “spring”. I am here to tell you it’s not the case. Most of us do not know what the spring you have told me about is. In the capital region of Canada, we simply wait for winter to be over, deal with the messy transition period that follows, and happily bask in the glow of summer.
by Sydney Orsak
Solar nebula floating in space,
Someone is coming along.
So wild that it, they, she, him, will
Send you, your world, your entire being
Spinning so fast,
So out-of-control that they
Seem to set everything into place.
Slowly making sense out of their madness,
Shaping form from wild recklessness,
Sweeping you off your feet,
Swirling you around..
Suddenly all of these wild
Sensations will condense, compress
Squeeze until you explode,
Shining from their impact,
Sparkling wildly, beautiful like a
Star. Radiating with a reborn energy,
Sending your love
Searing across the sky,
Soaring free for light years,
Scorching your mark in the universe,
Safely within their arms.
by Dylan Russell
And I choose to
Though it seems corrupt,
If I lose you
I might just give it all up.
The world to me;
And I’m just
A ghost to you.
A Second Life
by Eva Lynch
Wouldn’t it be great if life gave us a second shot?
A second chance, a rebirth, our very own renaissance.
If we could change our modern world with a single thought,
What would be your response?
If you had the chance, would you choose change?
Everyone tells us history happened for a reason, but what if it didn’t have to.
You could fix that one action you regret despite how time itself may rearrange,
So given the chance, what would you do?
A Life Determining Life
by Dula Deb
The flower has been around longer than our ancestors have. It was different from the rest; for its seven petals would determine our existence. Each of its red, delicate petals would die every million years on new year's day. Once the seventh petal dies, the human race would die off with it. Some people feared their deaths, while others accepted it.
Some people believed that God planted the flower to tell us to live our life to the fullest and show love, kindness and hope. However, most people believed the flower represented death, misery and pain. Meaning we would be dead and forgotten; believing the flower would be reborn to kill off the next species. The researchers said the last petal would die next year, which caused a massive outburst worldwide. Since the outburst, the death rate skyrocketed, along with poverty rate, and crime rate. People needed to realize that none of this is going to help; hell, we would die sooner if we kept this up.
Photo by Chloe Wilson
by Zach Doyle
You’re the rainbow through my stormy life
A streetlight in the stormy night.
Your love is the eye of the storm
Your laughter is there to keep me warm
You will never understand dear,
My words are sincere
You do so much for my lonely life
Getting me through my poor life’s strife
At the end of the road,
Together we’ll drive home
At the end of the typhoon
I promise I’ll see you soon