College of Arts & Letters
MFA: Creative Writing
I’ve always found it difficult to see. My poor eyesight I inherited from my father which didn’t make life easy. I remember asking to sit closer to the board than the rest of my classmates in elementary school. My teacher had made several attempts to write or call home asking my mother to get my eyes checked by a doctor. But, to me, I never found it much of a problem. I had been seeing with my blurry vision for as long as I could remember. Changing anything about that didn’t seem like much of a big deal… until I got my first pair of glasses. During that magical time before I started wearing them (and much of the time after), I had troubles truly seeing. Even though my vision had cleared up physically, I had a terrible time believing what I saw as true.
My vision for the majority of my life was dictated by others so much so that I had no agency. In fact, I’d say it was ignored. This one pleasure (or commodity) was stolen from me so often that I didn’t know how to operate when I actually had it. The problem with seeing something is that you can’t unsee it. Believe me, I’ve tried. My problem was twofold: I saw a lot and believed what I saw as true. My reality had been jaded so much so that I believed all that could happen could only be bad. These ideas dominate the journey through these pages. It is one toward love and self-discovery. These pages are filled with as much agency and fear and ugly and joys I could force myself to submit on a page. With hopes, of choosing to live those moments out more and more each day.
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Branch, Shanisha, "On Being Seen" (2021). College of Arts and Letters Posters. 3.