Finally. Here it is, the video that has been three weeks in the making: the very first episode of Soundtrack Stories. I know that today is not my day, but I want this video to be shared this week as a response to or continuation of my Trailhead. Thank you to James for filming the Elizabethan section, and for everyone featured in the video.
Disclaimer: Neither this video nor The Compass are affiliated with City Year New Hampshire, Elmira College or the greater Wilmington area.
Please give me some feedback. I do intend to make another one within a month, and it can only be stronger with your advice.
Hello all. I had intended to share with you a video essay, musings on the three places I call home. I wanted to create the first Soundtrack Story video in time for today’s Trailhead. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it work.
So here’s the new plan: I’m going to share with you a snippet of what will soon be a full-length video. The video below is of me reading a piece that I had written as a senior for my high school’s literary magazine. Each year, a senior would have the opportunity to write a piece for the back page. The piece tended to be a contemplation of the end of a high school, a time of great change and great emotion for many of us. I wrote about the wall on the other side of my school. In the video, I am sitting on that wall, reading the words that I had written seven years ago.
I hope that my fellow Compass contributors are inspired by this to offer up their thoughts on saying goodbye or their words of wisdom for graduating classes across the country. Of course, I hope you offer your thoughts as well.
I am hoping to have the full-length Soundtrack Stories episode done and uploaded this week. Until then, enjoy the words of an 18 year old Paul Riley. (Great thanks to James for filming the video.)
Trailhead: Not with a Bang but with a Wimper
So here I sit, in the final weeks of my college career. I feel myself deep in a period of transition in my life, as I’m sure many of my friends here at school do as well. I spent the weekend visiting the campus where I’ll be spending the next two years of my life pursuing my MFA and I left feeling very excited. I breathed a sigh of relief as I walked around and met students and faculty. I feel like it will be a good fit and that while I am there, my writing is going to transform and really grow…at least I hope. After my Friday morning at Chatham, I spent the better part of the weekend just wasting away at home. The area doesn’t lose its familiarity, but it seems to bleed its own nostalgia.
The feeling carried as I returned to Elmira, the purple bubble’s hold on me ticking away with the seconds on the clock. In a few months I’ll leave both locales behind and move on to another new part of my life. For this I am grateful and excited, but it all seems strange. I feel like I missed the moment of reckoning, or the peak of the action and skipped right on over to the denouement. But I suppose that’s just how it all plays out, you know? Things rarely live up to all the hype. I won’t graduate to fireworks and American flags. No one will blast Hulk Hogan’s theme song (Paul please come blast Hulk Hogan’s theme song).
But that’s okay. The true great moments; those that move us or make us reflect with awe, always tend to be those ones that are not expected or planned. What comes to mind for me are moments spent watching a movie and feeling a deep connection, or listening to a song and walking an empty campus, or sitting on a dorm room bed with three of the best people you know and reflecting on the life of a mutual hero. (RIP MK) These moments, these beautiful flares in the night sky, those are the ones that really get me. The “milestones” come and go, pages on the calendar fall away and we all keep moving. But love; of friends, of peers, and of family is what holds it all together. My time here may seem to dwindle away quietly, but my heart sings loudly as it reflects. And that’s perfect for me.