Powers of Retention

2009. The Princess and the Frog.

2010. Tangled.

2011. Winnie the Pooh.

2013. Frozen.

2014. Big Hero 6.

2015. Cinderella, live action.

2016. Moana.

2017. Beauty and the Beast, live action.

Among the many others. And the many others to come.

Notice, if you will, the pattern here.

Classic animation. 3D animation. Classic animation. 3D animation. 3D animation. Live action. 3D animation. Live action.

I’ve been looking at the movies Disney plans to make too:

Cars 3. 3D animation.

Coco. 3D animation.

Mulan. Live-action.

Gigantic. 3D animation.

It’s appalling.

Look, I love 3D animated movies. I almost cried at Baymax’s death (and I never cry during movies, so that’s about as emotional as I get). I was beyond happy when Zootopia got its Oscar. As an Aggie, I’m really proud of all the great things going on with Pixar. I think they’ve done some pretty great work.

I really love the live action stuff too. I thought the live-action Cinderella was inspiring and put a relevant spin on the classic tale, and I personally can’t wait to see the “Make a Man Out of You” reprise in the live-action Mulan.

But as great as movies like Big Hero 6 and Zootopia and Cinderella (2015) are, the Disney movies I loved best were movies like Winnie the Pooh, The Princess and the Frog, and Mulan (1998). The classic animated ones. They were fun, they were funny, and they had that special element that makes you feel like you’ve come home.

It’s what’s called Disney magic.

And I think it’s dying.

I saw Moana recently, and while it wasn’t a bad movie, I was seriously disappointed. It was like watching Tangled while listening to Hamilton, with a little bit of culturalness that felt forced. Worst of all, there wasn’t anything really special about it. It was the same old story: protagonist leaves home against the will of authority figures, protagonist enters alternate world on a mission, protagonist doubts self, protagonist finds self, protagonist succeeds. It’s been done about a million times. Which clearly makes it fine, since those other 999,999 versions had something special about them.

star-wars-1200x675

Star Wars had outstanding special effects that were way ahead of its time.

disney-little-mermaid-facts

The Little Mermaid had pretty pictures and great music, not to mention a hilarious villain.

og

La La Land, my favorite movie of the year, had fantastic cinematography, a killer score, brilliant choreography, relatable characters, and references to the classic old movies that reminds you nostalgically of the past. It also has Emma Stone.

Moana didn’t really have anything unique to it. Its pictures looked like just about any other Pixar movie, and its music may as well have been copy-pasted from Hamilton (a musical I personally believe is overrated. Good, but overrated nonetheless).

It also didn’t feel like a Disney movie. Disney movies are supposed to have magic, that special something that makes you feel this feeling that you can’t describe with words. It usually accomplishes this with three things:

  1. Original music that, while different, still gives you that same fluttery feeling in your chest
  2. Pictures with a different style from all other Disney movies before it. This was a lot easier back when people still did classic animation; with 2-dimensional cartoons, it was a lot easier to emphasize differences. For example, Snow White has soft curves, as does everyone else in her movie, while Aurora is much more sharp and angular, as is everyone else in her movie. This causes even the same animals to look different.
  3. Disney fun. Kids’ movies are allowed to be funny.

Part 3, I suspect, will stay. Part 2, I have not complained about even though I really miss it. 2-D animation gives freedom in design where 3-D animation and live action do not and has the power to give every film a different feel and style (Notice how Snow White has soft curves that give an innocent feel, while Hercules has characters that look like they walked off an Ancient Greek vase. That’s the power of 2-D animation. Meanwhile, Norwegian Elsa, German Rapunzel, and Polynesian Moana look so similar it’s ridiculous.). But even though 3D-animated characters look alike and live-action movies have pictures that aren’t any different from regular movies, I haven’t complained because each of those movies had something special to make up for that fact. But Moana‘s failure to get original-sounding music (Part 1) made me realize that a new era of Disney is tiptoeing nearer, and that new era isn’t shining at all.

Disney was made famous by classic, 2-D animation. Other animators existed, but Disney was the king. 2-D animated movies are what most people my age grew up with, and they’re what we think about when we think of our childhood. I suppose Disney thinks that the new generation of kids are going to demand higher-tech animations and crazier music, but that decision is really hurting its older customers. I feel like what Coca-cola consumers must have felt like when Coca-cola decided to abandon its old recipe in favor of New Coke: I want a taste of my childhood, but some people from some big company decided that people “just don’t like that anymore,” so they’ve decided to stop making it. Instead they give me this stuff that’s statistically proven to be better, but it leaves a funny taste in my mouth.

I’m not saying we have to go back to 1930s, 1950s Disney movies. We don’t have to have endings that are happy because someone got married, we don’t have to have all-white princesses, and we don’t have to keep the technology (sound and visual) of the past. Disney movies, like jazz, can keep their roots in the past while continuing to grow and spin unique products. Perfect example: The Princess and the Frog. It had a princess, but she was hard-working and ambitious and fought for herself. It had a romantic plot, but you knew that wasn’t the real reason the characters lived happily ever after. It had Disney-sounding music, but it was jazzy and homey in a way that I think really captured the charm of the American South. It really showed Disney’s ability to capture the past and the future in the same movie.

But just because Disney can doesn’t mean Disney will. I don’t see a single 2-D animated movie on Disney’s list of future movies, and with all the monetary success from each new Pixar movie or live-action film, I don’t know if Disney will have any incentive to change that. Classically animated films simply don’t compare in the box office the way that 3-D animated movies do, and the only reward comes from the hearts of the lovers of classic animation, who I’m not sure work at Disney anymore. And so there is no incentive. That is, unless someone makes 2-D animation cool again.

And old, outdated things on the brink of extinction can be made cool again. La La Land proved that. (I actually got more Disney flutters from La La Land than from Moana, which should tell you about where the rare and endangered Disney magic is on a conservation status.)

Disney isn’t supposed to be like Dreamworks or any other studio in Hollywood. It’s supposed to be Disney, something special. I hope that someone, somewhere feels the same way and decides to join me in fighting for it.

Because Disney magic is magic worth fighting for.

**SIDENOTE** Does it bother anyone else that everyone in Beauty and the Beast (live action) has a British accent? I mean, it’s set in France, during a time when the British and the French absolutely hate each other, and yet everyone has a British accent. I think it might make sense if only Belle had a British accent (It might give the village more reason to call her different, strange, or suspicious.), or if the Beast had a British accent (That might give Gaston and the other villagers more reason to hate him.), but seriously, everyone? That just makes no sense whatsoever.

And There You Are

So, I haven’t written anything in long time. Weird, isn’t it, how when you’re not required to do something, you just stop doing it?

No, actually it’s not that weird.

But thing is, I actually like writing on this blog a lot. So why have I stopped writing?

Not too long ago (about twenty minutes ago, actually), I just realized that I had a total identity crisis my first semester of college. Which should be clear, given the fact that the last time I wrote something here (during my first semester of college), I didn’t even give it a Disney song lyric themed title. Shame, shame.

If you’d asked me who I was about a year ago, I would’ve told you that I was a swimmer. That I also acted in theater productions. That I was a pretty good student taking pretty challenging classes and that I had all these crazy and dorky but equally amazing friends, and I knew the names of about a quarter of the people who went to my school.

That’s just not so true anymore.

See, at Texas A&M, there is one swim team. The varsity team. The team with girls whose heights average about 5’11” and who might someday go to the Olympics and who kind of look like they could beat you up. Not that they would, but they all have strong, Amazonian builds, and sometimes, it’s a little intimidating.

(A swim meet, about two years ago)

DAD: Okay, kid, swim fast today!

(Enter BREEJA LARSON and TEAMMATES)

DAD: Um, who are those people?

ME: Oh, that’s Breeja Larson and some of the girls from A&M’s team. Breeja went to the Olympics and brought home a gold medal…

DAD: I feel like I need to protect you.

So long story short, I’m not swimming on a team anymore. I guess I could go back to the local club team, but I just have classes and student organization meetings during all their practices, so I just don’t feel like there’s much of a point.

I don’t act anymore either. Towards the end of my junior year, I realized that acting was fun, but I had more fun in the chemistry lab than I did onstage. I think maybe I just liked the idea of acting, of being onstage and of people loving watching me. But doing something because you want other people to admire you is kind of a lame reason to do something. So when I started college, I told myself to start being true to myself.

Problem was, I didn’t really know who that person is. I wasn’t a swimmer, and I wasn’t an actress. Classes weren’t hard, and I didn’t see my friends very often. I was in all these engineering student organizations, but truth be told, I didn’t feel like I had any technical knowledge to contribute, and I didn’t think a lot of stuff was very interesting (probably because I didn’t understand everything). I was back to being that dumb athlete-actress, except now I wasn’t an athlete, and I wasn’t an actress. (I say dumb because athletes and actresses have this stereotype of not being smart and sometimes, kind of trashy. The stereotype doesn’t meet reality in most cases, but when you tell people that you’re an actress, they get this expression that makes you think that they might think less of you.)

But the great thing about slowing down and not feeling committed to a million things is that it gives you time to think. About who you are, once you strip away what you do and who you know and who you used to be.

ME: I’m not who I used to be. I don’t do anything I used to do. I don’t know everyone around me anymore. But that’s okay. I was never just a swimmer, and I was never just anyone’s friend. I’m… how do I describe this? There’s not really a single word in the English language that really encaptures the essence of me…I guess I could go with “I am an Aggie, but there are a lot of those, and I’m unique, right? So that’s just not going to cut it. Oh, I’ll just go with my name! So when the world asks me who I am, I will say, “I know exactly who I am! I am unique! I am Hannah Brown*!”

FIFTY OTHER GIRLS ALSO NAMED HANNAH BROWN: Did someone say my name?

*Name changed for privacy. Do you really think I’m just going to put my name out on the Internet?

I wish I could say that I actually know exactly who I am. But sorry, I don’t. The difference is, though, that I can now define myself in ways that aren’t going to change with time and that I’m finally figuring out who exactly I want to be.

So here it is:

Hello, world. I’m Hannah Brown. I like Winnie-the-Pooh, the color yellow, and homemade ginger ice cream. I sing in the shower, and I read on the toilet. I’ll always love my old friends, but I have the hardest time making new ones. I believe that I will get a degree in chemical engineering, but I don’t think that I will go straight into the industry after graduation. I like (and think I am good at) cooking, writing scripts, and drawing cartoons.

Let’s see how long that identity lasts.

Open Advice From A Somewhat Frustrated Engineering Student

“Hi, I’m Random Aggie Number One. What’s your name?”

I tell Random Aggie Number One my name.

“I’m a Random Major major. How about you?”

“Oh, I’m an Engineering student.”

Random Aggie Number One’s face contorts to show a combination of awe and disgust. “Wow,” says Random Aggie Number One. “You must be a genius.”

“Ummmmm….” Seriously, what am I supposed to respond to that? Agreeing sounds conceited, but the response, “That’s stupid,” doesn’t really seem too nice either. I decide on, “What makes you say that?”

“Engineering is so difficult.”

“Well, Random Major must have its difficult moments too.”

“Yeah,” says Random Aggie Number One. “But I could never do Engineering.”

Random Aggie Number One stands up and is replaced by Random Aggie Number Two. Who is replaced by Random Aggie Number Three. And so on all the way to Fish Camp, where I get off the bus and have twenty conversations nearly identical to the one with the Random Aggies on the Bus.

I never ask but still I wonder. How do you know that engineering is difficult? How do you know that you’d never be smart enough to be an engineer? I’ve never taken an engineering class, and neither have you. How do you know?

***

It’s a pattern that I’ve been seeing more and more. Random people telling me that I’ve got a hard next five years ahead of me (because clearly an engineering major is going to take five years to graduate). But the thing is, the people who tell me this are not engineering majors. A conversation with an Engineering major usually goes something like this:

ME: Hi, I’m an Engineering major.

OTHER AGGIE: Oh, me too! What type?

ME: Probably chemical…

OTHER AGGIE: Oh, that’s a cool one. Me, I’m doing mechanical, which is really cool because of x and y. But I have a few friends in chemical, and they all really love it. What were you hoping to do with chemical?

And so the conversation continues, and when it’s over, I feel like I’ve been communicating with a person who puts his heart, his whole heart, into something. And that makes me excited to be an engineer.

Few rationales to not do something are as annoying as the response, “That’s so hard.”

Um, duh? Everything worth doing is hard. Finding friends you could trust with your life is hard. Thinking truly intelligent thoughts is hard. Figuring out who you truly are is hard. But anyone who doesn’t try to find good friends, think, or figure out who they are is living a half-life.

half-life

Ha-ha. Get it?

***

My engineering professor has been putting a lot of effort into making his students realize the importance of teamwork in engineering. He had us read, “18 The Enactment-Externalization Dialectic: Rationalization and the Persistence of Counterproductive Technology Design Practices in Student Engineering,” published by Paul M. Leonardi, Michele H. Jackson, and Amer Diwan.

The paper discussed the inefficient work habits of engineering students, who procrastinated their projects, refused to collaborate with team member, and worked without plans or instructions. The students purposefully made their assignments more difficult than intended, then compared the artificial difficulty of the assignment completed like it was a sport.

While at first tempted to dismiss the research as the work of bored social scientists who could never truly understand the mindset of an engineer, I noticed that many of my friends had similar work habits.

And the majority of my friends are majoring in engineering.

Also, given the actions of the students at the researched university (which sound probable in many gifted students across several educational institutions. By that, I don’t just mean colleges. I’ve seen high schoolers exhibit similar behavior.), the “Engineering is hard,” theory seems more linkable to the source. Engineering students make their own assignments more difficult than they have to be. And then they brag about completing the “extremely difficult” project. And so non-engineering students hear all these horrible stories that never had to become true in the first place and might even be magnified for effect!

ENGINEERING STUDENT 1: Hey man, when did you start that project last night?

ENGINEERING STUDENT 2: Oh, seve-

(ENGINEERING STUDENT 2 sees CUTE BIOLOGY MAJOR nearby)

ENGINEERING STUDENT 2: Four hours before the deadline.

(CUTE BIOLOGY MAJOR appears interested.)

ENGINEERING STUDENT 2: (louder, more confident) Yeah, it was pretty hard. I was up all night. I drank so much caffeine, my urine fizzes when I pee.

ENGINEERING STUDENT 1: Four hours? You must really be an expert!

Never mind, of course, that the professor gave the engineering students three weeks to complete the project. Cute Biology Major walks away from the conversation thinking that Engineering is a pretty hard major and that Engineering Student 2 has some pretty nasty pee.

***

If there’s any one thing I feel like I got out of the article, it’s that I don’t think the rumors are completely true. That’s not to say, of course, that majoring in engineering is not going to be hard. I expect it to be hard. I just think that its difficulty has been inflated by a bunch of students who:

  1. Like challenges so much that they refuse to use common sense in order to make an assignment as challenging as possible without being uncompleteable
  2. Like to show off

I have made a chart to illustrate this idea.

relativedifficultyofamajor

I’m not afraid of the difficulty of my major, and I don’t need people to be afraid for me. Quite frankly, it’s kind of annoying the way that people just state their hypotheses like facts without even bothering to test them. Even conclusions based on real data are not facts. It takes many trials and sets of experiments in varying conditions to come up with a theory, and even then, we cannot be completely sure that it is real. Someone might find another set of data that turns everything we believe to be true on its head.

Seriously, people, whoever you are: when you have a conversation with someone, don’t pretend that you know stuff, past or future, about the person’s life. You probably don’t. Just ask them instead. You tend to learn more that way.

 

Or A Perfect Daughter

I think everyone should make dinner for his parents, at least once.

Last night, with all the time on my seniorly hands, I made baked penne, which is essentially the same thing as lasagna, but with penne noodles (Lasagna noodles are just really hard to get right, so I tend to avoid them at all costs.). I’ve made dinner in the past, but every time, including last night, I’m always reminded of how much work it is. Timing everything to come out at the same time, at a decent time, is much harder than it looks. For those of you who don’t know, lasagna takes a long time; if we were doing this in a traditional Italian style, fresh noodles and all, it would probably take a whole day. Last night, I came home from my job at about 7:30. So that’s when I started making dinner. Clearly, those noodles were not made from scratch.

I also made lunch for my mom yesterday. She’s been getting really into gardening recently, and she often gets so into digging up dirt that she forgets to hydrate. And eat lunch.

It wasn’t a very time-consuming dish. Just olive oil, spaghetti, one diced tomato, a little onion, salt, pepper, basil, garlic, and chicken out of a can, all thrown onto a grill pan. Pretty basic stuff. (This actually looks really fancy if you do it right. It tastes pretty good, too. I can see people placing this at a restaurant for about $10.) But Mom was so impressed and proud and grateful that her daughter had made lunch for her that she called her friends to tell them that her child was finally taking care of her. Never mind, of course, the fact that I still need her to drive me around because at eighteen years old, I still don’t have my driver’s license. Or the fact that taxes confuse me, and I have no idea how she manages to do them and still take care of me and my siblings. Or the fact that for every meal I make, I leave one more mess in the kitchen for someone else to clean up.

Cooking dinner isn’t a big deal to me. I love cooking, and I’ve actually considered opening up a restaurant. But it does make you extremely tired when you finish; some dishes will require you to stand on your feet for a few hours, and after everything is done, you still have to clean up the mess and pack up the leftovers. I probably went to bed at two last night. I can’t imagine waking up before six like my mom has done nearly every day for the last six years to send the kids to swim practice.

A lot of us are going to be moving away from our parents pretty soon. Other people might begin to see us as mature and responsible adults. But about 99 percent of us are still going to rely on our parents, for advice or money or just loving assurance. It’s really the least that we can do to make a meal for them. And maybe, by making a meal, we can see just a bit of how hard it is to really be a responsible adult.

But I shouldn’t be the one to lecture people about that. I’m eighteen years old. I know nothing about being a  responsible adult.

But high school’s over now. So I suppose I better figure that out.

Step Into The Future, But Hold On To-

So I’m clearly not giving the valediction speech at graduation, but if I were:

ME: Greetings, parents, teachers, and fellow graduates.

Now, I could do the typical valediction thing where I congratulate all of us and praise us all for turning from the ignorant fools that we were as freshmen into the inspirational young adults that we are today, ready to take on the world.

But the truth is, we’re all still ignorant fools.

That’s not really our fault, and I hope that no one here gets offended by me saying that, but there’s just far too much knowledge in this world for anyone to grow out of being an ignorant fool, much less someone who’s only had roughly eighteen years to absorb it all. Even the geniuses that we revere, with their Ph.D.’s and Nobel Prizes and incredible discoveries, do not have a complete understanding of how the world works, which is why we pay them to figure it out. So you see, it’s just inaccurate to pretend that we high school graduates have gained all the knowledge that we’ll need for the rest of our lives.

Yeah, high school’s full of hyped-up stories that never come true.

I’ve been watching a lot of High School Musical lately, and I couldn’t help but think when I was watching it that movies set ridiculous standards for high school students and will undoubtedly disappoint freshmen for ages to come. And it’s not just High School Musical. It’s Mean Girls and Harry Potter and just about every single movie that ever featured high school age protagonists.

I wish that I could bring the school peace and wisdom at the Spring Fling with nothing but a mathlete jacket and a plastic tiara. I wish that I could somehow unite the three Hallows and defeat the Dark Lord. I wish that I could choreograph some wicked dance with the rest of the school while we all stand, hand in hand, to make our dreams come true.

But nobody makes a movie based on things that people see every day. That’s why people bother to watch them. Because they can’t see them every day.

Now, it’s completely possible for people to break up high school cliques and to sing with their teammates about getting their heads in the game, but for some reason, these things never actually happen. And you wanna know why?

Because our heads are not in the game.

It’s really easy to tell yourself that you’re going to do something. Maybe you dream of writing a novel or of composing a song. Maybe you want to discover how to build a functional human heart, or maybe you want to climb Mount Everest. Maybe you just wanted to ask some cutie to go on a date with you.

But think about all those things we wished that high school was. We had the potential to make them that way, but we never did. We thought that we might do them eventually, but the truth is that eventually actually means never. You can’t just tell yourself that you’re going to do something. You have to actually do it. And unless you actually bother to take action, those ambitions are going meet the same fate as the expectations you had for high school.

So I have a challenge for you, class of 2016. Instead of dreaming about the future, just step into it. Don’t wait for someday. Whatever you want to do, do what you can today to accomplish your ambitions, whatever they may be, as soon as possible. Maybe that way we can finally make our dreams come true.

For what it’s worth, I’ve actually enjoyed high school. I, like many of you, have grown and made memories here that I’ll hold onto for the rest of my life. I won’t say that it’s going to be remembered as the best four years of my life because the people who say that need to get a life. But so far, high school has been undoubtedly the best four years of my life.

I’m almost done here, but there’s one more thing I have to do before I graduate, so it’s really now or never.

(Here I break out into song with some pretty sick dance moves. For tune, see video (3:20-4:00).)

I Wish My Life Could Feel Like A,
High School Musical,
Who Says We Have To Let It Go?
It’s The Best Part We’ve Ever Known,Step Into The Future!
But Hold On to,
High School Musical, Lets Celebrate Where We Come From!
All Together Makes It Better, Memories That Last Forever!
I Want The Rest Of My Life To Feel Just Like A, High School Musical!

(I stop dancing and singing.)

Okay, that’s all I’ve got. Take it easy, Consolidated. It has been totally awesome.

I’ve Started Talking To The Pictures On The Walls

I have a lot of conversations with myself/imaginary people. Which is inconvenient because when I have conversations with myself, my facial expressions change a lot, so I look pretty stupid. This is why I usually stop having conversations with myself when other people enter the room.

But there’s really nothing to be ashamed of. I think a lot of people have internal conversations (even if they’re better with keeping the same face), and the way I see it, other people should only be upset because they didn’t get invited to the conversation.

SHELDON: I wish you could all be inside my head right now. The conversation is sparkling.

But despite the billions of people who have had conversations with themselves since the English language was born, the English language doesn’t really have a word for talking to yourself.

I propose the word autoloquate to describe this action. Auto, from the Latin autos, meaning “self” or “same,” and loqu from the Latin loqui, meaning “to speak.”

autoloquate/ ôdə·lō·kwāt/ v. to converse, silently or otherwise, with oneself or people created by one’s own mind (Ariel autoloquates with a statue of Prince Eric.)

He Watches Over Everything We See (Georgia O’Keeffe, “Two Calla Lillies on Pink”)

He was all she had. He knew that. But now he was being called back, and he couldn’t refuse duty, not when he’d signed on for eight years of it.And so today he was dropping her off at her aunt’s house. He didn’t expect it to be this way. He’d always thought that she could have at least one parent with her. But that was no longer an option. Damn those drunk drivers.

“Papa!” Lily ran towards him on her short little legs, the blonde curly hair she’d inherited from her mother fluttering behind her. She stuck out a fist with her tiny treasure. “Look what I got for you!”

Two calla lilies, wrapped in the pink doll’s blanket her mother had made for her. His throat hurt. What was she trying to say something?

“Look,” she said proudly. “I brought you my favorite blanket, because it always makes me feel better, and lilies, so you’ll remember me.”

Maybe not. She was only five years old- too young to know that a calla lily was not a real lily and was usually used to symbolize death. But he didn’t tell her that.

“Silly Lily,” he said. “I’d remember you no matter what.”

***

He missed her. He missed her a lot.

He took out the little calla lily bouquet she had given him. The calla lillies had gotten slightly crushed in his bag and had wilted slightly since she gave them to him two weeks ago, but he still thought they were perfect. They were from his daughter- well, they were actually from Mrs. Murdoch’s garden next door, but Mrs. Murdoch was so blind that she probably wouldn’t notice and so grumpy that he definitely didn’t care whether his daughter stole flowers from her garden or not.

He took the flowers from the blanket and held them up against the pink morning sky, releasing the smell of home. And then he realized that the morning sky was pink.

Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

He looked out over the ocean and saw the waves. Big waves. And then he saw lightning in the diatance.

He stuffed the flowers in his left pocket and rushed downstairs to help out the crew. They would be needing all hands on deck.

***

it took them six months to find his body. Even longer to tell his family.

“So sad,” said Lily’s Aunt Sarah when she thought Lily was gone. “That poor child growing up without her parents.”

“What’s sadder,” meditated her husband,:is that Lily won’t even remember them.”

Aunt Sarah nodded. “Perhaps we should give her some pictures to remember them by.”

In the room next door, Lily was listening. Silly Aunt Sarah, she thought. I’d remember them no matter what.

***

They buried him with her mother. It was a beautiful funeral, or so they said anyway. It was hard to see through all her tears.

When all the guests had gone, Lily asked her aunt and uncle to stand by the gate and wait for her. She approached the newly-dug grave and laid by the headstone the flowers her aunt had helped her pick out at the store. “I got real lillies for you this time, Papa.”

The grave was silent. But she knew better than to expect an answer.

Lily Callaway turned to the gate to leave with her new guardians.

***

Ten years later, Lily came back to her parents’ grave like she did every year on her father’s birthday. And her mother’s birthday. Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, too.

Today she realized that the grass shoots sprouting two feet from the headstone were not grass at all, but flowers. Two of them.

She smiled and looked at the sky, where she always pictured her mother and father watched over her. “I knew you would remember me.”

And then she left the graveyard, two calla lillies over her parents’ hearts fluttering gracefully against the pink clouds in the night sky.

011-georgia-o-keefe-theredlist