Blog 5-Stories on Trains

Using any one of Faulkner’s 15-character voices as a guide, create a paragraph in the voice of a character totally different to yourself. Think about people you might have overheard on the train or bus, or someone you might have seen randomly on a street corner. Invent their life, their consciousness in a paragraph. 

My head vibrates against the train window as the mechanical beast shifts in its tracks. The window is cool against my cheek. I shut my eyes and listen to the bustling commotion that takes place in the stomach of the train.

School children are laughing, happy that their school day has come to an end. People are taking phone calls. Two in English, two in Mandarin and one in Hindi. In the distance, I can hear a small child asking her mother how far away their stop is. “How many stops now mummy? Oh, is this ours? How do you say that, Syd-en-ham?”

I love people watching, especially on trains. Each person is like a novel. Each has their own unique story and each person is at a different chapter in their life. I take joy in guessing people’s stories and observing them in the present moment.

As I turn my attention back to the train carriage, I observe a young Asian girl face-timing her family. She seems happy to see them, but also sad. Though I cannot understand her language, I can read her expressions, and I wonder to myself what her story is.

I then spot a lady, I would say in her early 30’s, with a notepad and paper creating the most amazing sketch. She too is observing those around her. She sketches the exhausted businessmen that sit opposite her. One has his arms folded and head down, perhaps he is thinking more than sleeping. The other has his head back and nose in the air, like a pompous gentleman (which I’m sure he is).

The train pulls up to my stop and I take one last look at the array of stories that are seated in front of me. I wander off home, intrigued by what stories I’ll read tomorrow.


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Blog 2- Voice of Angels

The ideology of individualism is a common theme in Walt Whitman’s work. It is a concept that flourished in the U.S during the early 19th Century – “a democratic response to the new class of industrial wage-workers.” Whitman encouraged individuals to “exercise self-ownership and value original thought.” Throughout his poetry, we are able to witness his feelings on the importance of self-expression and non-conformity. It is these ideas that have inspired me to write my own poem on the constraints of society and one’s ability to break free from these shackles and realise the importance of self-expression.


I celebrate and sing myself

For I am the voice that they all wish to silence

The forest fire that burns behind my eyes

Cannot be tainted by your judgement

You tell me I cannot hum to the rhythm of originality

Because you believe that even the moon rises simply because the sun tells it so

And that the heavens cry because it is what mother instructed

And stars explode because they have shone too bright

You’re paralysed by the shame, judgement, and fear that arises from speaking out

But let me ask you one thing

Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?

Open your mind, before you open your lips

And allow yourself to be consumed in the beauty of free thought

And once you have conquered that, allow your tongue to tango with free speech

And once you hear the voice of angels

Your soul will be free!

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Blog 1- Why do we feel so free in Nature?

I want you to cast your mind back to the last time you truly felt free.

Where were you? What were you doing? And what did it feel like?

Were you standing on a vast stretch of beach, alone, with nothing but the wind whispering her calming melodies into your ears as you felt the sea salt hugging your skin?


Was it as a child, when you climbed the trees, among the ever-changing leaves? As you reached the top, you surveyed the land which felt as if it all belonged to you. At that moment you ruled the world, you were truly free.


I believe the reason we feel so free in Nature is because like humans, Nature is so incredibly diverse. In Nature, we do not feel judged for being different. Nature is so diverse in all her glory. We are surrounded by large trees and slim trees, short trees, and tall trees. In a sea of yellow flowers, you may spot a pink one, a mutation of its kind. However, in Nature, we do not say, “This is weird or wrong”, just because the flower is a different colour. We do not say, “What a fat tree that is”.


Instead, we exclaim “How Beautiful!” We appreciate the brilliance and diversity of Nature. Nature is so expansive and varies so greatly, yet it all manages to work together in such harmony. It is perhaps something humans can observe and learn from.

Today, our busy lifestyles are measured by deadlines, hours, minutes and seconds which seem to disappear before our very eyes. Clocks teach us to “abandon the natural rhythms of our bodies and the Earth and conform to a schedule rooted in our economic system.”

However, Nature demonstrates a healthier way of living.

Trees and plants grow s-l-o-w-l-y. Wombats graze calmly and all of Nature conducts itself at its natural pace. When in Nature, individuals allow themselves to lose their concept of time and adapt to the natural rhythm of Nature. As Emerson, himself said “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience”.

Whether you call her God, Gaia or Mother Earth, Nature allows us to be at one with this powerful and divine presence. It allows us to connect with our own spirit and the spirit of natural world. We feel as if we can truly begin to understand ourselves once we connect with our spirit. Emerson stated that “Nature always wear the colours of the spirit”. I believe this is the reason we feel so peaceful and happy in the presence of Nature. This is why Nature heals, as she allows us to find our soul, our purpose and our humanity, which allows us to live a life full of meaning and happiness.