The Constant in a World of Chaos


Sitting alongside nature isn’t a place that I find myself often. Nature is more of a backdrop. The background scene of an event I’ve been waiting for, or the pretty colors behind me in a photo. I can appreciate the beauty that surrounds me, but never take special care to spend intimate time within it.

I tried to think of a place where words would come freely to me in nature, and found myself stuck in the memories that existed within these locations, rather than the intricate beauties that exist among them. The trees in my backyard that remained the backdrop of each graduation photo. The gazebo on the south side of campus where I first met the strangers that would become my best friends. I wondered why the memories clouded the beauty of every scenery to me.

For this reason I took this trip alone. I thought about bringing my boyfriend, or one of my roomates and making a day out of it, but decided that I would instead spend the day with nature.

I searched for a spot that I’d never seen before. One that would be fresh and wiped clean of memory. A place I could truly take in and appreciate. This place ended up being Kenosia Park in Rochester. A massive stretch of grass, littered with picnic tables, and spotted with people on brightly colored blankets staring into the sky.

I found my own spot among the people. A small park bench secluded by two massive trees that faced straight towards the water. The sound of others was low here, and I found myself listening for the hustle and bustle I’m so accustomed to. Instead of the typical babies crying, and people laughing I was greeted by a low humming sound. This humming came from the very top of one of my neighboring trees, the subtle movements of tiny insects blitzing their way around the very top of the trunks.

These insects were grouped together, forming a small circle at the top of the tree, looking down upon me as I gazed up towards them. I couldn’t remember the last time I truly noticed these tiny creatures, small pieces of a massive world in which they can simply shoot from place to place, barely being noticed. Quiet observers of a world occupied by bigger and more extravagent creatures. I wondered how it would feel to be an unnoticed visitor amongst an everchanging scenery.

The insects zipped down towards the water, the sun gleaming into the wide expanse of blue that laid in front of me. I looked past the lake, noticing the houses that were speckled across the land across from me. Houses that grew up long after the lake did. Families that came and went. Kids that learned to swim. The lake was a piece of these people. A constant in a world of chaos.

I realized in this moment the rarity that exists within every piece of nature. The backdrop that we constantly surround ourselves in, but never take the time to fully immerse ourselves in.

Just as the trees in my backyard signify each of my graduating years, they signify someone elses broken arm, or the spot where they had their first kiss. Memory is intrisincally connected to nature for humans. The everchanging scenery of the next event or milestone, but also a whole unspoken world left to be painted as the backdrop.

Griffin goes outside for Once: A Blog Post

I will start this blog post off by saying that I sort of did this assignment twice. I did go to the arboretum with my fellow gramaicsy members on great day, but I also was lucky enough to go down to Florida a few weeks ago with my girlfriend, so I will talk a bit about both of those experiences. Also, here’s an image, maybe. It looks like an image in my preview, but not when I publish. I dunno man, I’ll figure it out later.


The Arboretum

As a commuter I spend a lot less time on campus than most students. The Arboretum took me a bit to find, and by the time I got there I was already 30 minutes later than when my group had planned to meet initially. Thankfully, I was still the first one there. Waiting in the gazebo was the perfect oppurtunity for me to stew in the thick fog of that day. Most folks probably wouldn’t have liked the weather, it was cold, gray, the kind where it’s hard to tell if you’re feeling the beginnings of rain or just the crisp air, but those are the days I feel most welcomed by nature. As much as I appreciate the sun and all the life it brings, the light and heat bring a lot of discomfort for me. But the gray days, where the sky is like a pillow and I can bundle up exactly to my liking, those are the days I treasure.

What I heard most of all as I sat in the Gazebo was the rustling of the barren trees in the wind, dead leaves skating across eachother, with the odd low creak, probably coming from the Gazebo itself. It may just be because I rewatched them recently, but it reminded me of the Entmoot from The Two Towers. I was eavesdropping on a conversation between the Gazebo and the woods surrounding it. It reminded me of what I’d imagine it must sound like to be in a large ship, where your seemingly static surroundings are constantly shifting ever so slightly around you.

After maybe 10 minutes of waiting, everybody else showed up. The others were understandably cold and uncomfortable, my dreary days aren’t for everyone. We exchanged some anecdotes, poked around the garden, showed eachother pictures of our families. It was nice to engage in some small way with the campus life I am otherwise quite removed from. I don’t often feel the sense of community I hear folks talk about, but that day I felt like I was part of one, maybe even two of them, just for a moment.


My days were quite busy in Orlando, I didn’t get much time to sit in nature and relax. That being said, I still saw plenty. Lizards running around everywhere took some getting used to. The heat was brutal, even on the cooler days. What really got me though, was the birds. I know, it’s such a small thing, and I doubt I’ll be able to really express why they stood out to me the way they did, but I’ll try.

The uncanny valley is a term that I’m most familier with being used in the world of visual effects. If you don’t know, the uncanny valley is a figurative place where things that seem almost normal, but not quite. You may not be able to put your finger on exactly what is different, but you know there is something. For example, think about those weird AI feuled robots with silicon faces, or that makeup trend on tiktok (I don’t use tiktok, please don’t shame me if this trend is no longer a thing).

For my first few days in Florida, the birds all gave me this feeling. Honestly, I thought at first I might’ve been getting the dose wrong on my medication. Whenever I caught them flying, something seemed off. When I could hear them in the parks, they sounded almost like recordings, not quite real.

By the last full day of my trip, I realized what had changed. I was walking through a park with my girlfriend, one she’d walked with her mom as a kid. There we caught a glimpse of a bird, one I hadn’t seen before. It was the most red bird I’d ever seen in my life, I didn’t know birds could get that red. Then it hit me, something that was quite obvious but I just hadn’t considered; Florida has different birds than New York. They’re still birds, they do bird things, they’re not completely alien or anything, but they were just different enough for me, who’s left New York for a total of maybe just over a week since I was 3, to notice.

I’m not sure I can say for certain what all of these differences were, especially since I only registered how these birds were different the afternoon before we left, but it was, sort of embarassingly, one of the coolest parts of the whole trip for me.

Title: My Trip to Roemer Arboretum

I recently visited the Spencer J. Roemer Arboretum, and it was awesome! It’s this cool place in SUNY Geneseo where you can hang out in nature and see some neat stuff. The Arboretum has a big forest that used to be a pasture. Now, it’s full of trees and plants, and there’s a trail you can walk on. There are also gardens with lots of different flowers and shrubs. When my group and I arrived, it all started pretty normal. We all met in the parking lot right outside the trail and walked in together. We picked Wednesday because it was GREAT day and there was no class. I saw some old oak trees that are big and must be super old as I walked through the trail. Also, at the entrance, there are gardens with tons of different plants. Midway through the trail, there was a memorial for 9/11. I also noticed a big sign that showed what could be found down the trail such as plants for example. The sign showed a picture of a plant, with the name of the plant, as well as a little description of the plant. The gazebo was a nice spot to sit and think at the end of the trail. My group and I chose to stay near the gazebo because of the weather. It was a little windy and it was drizzling. The grass was wet and muddy, I was not a fan of that, but I had to deal with it. I was silly and brought white shoes to go on this adventure, a huge mistake. Griffin went on his own journey, and the rest of us enjoyed the natural greenery around us. They were not flowers or anything pretty like that, but it was plants that were green and beautiful in the way they looked, kind of hard to explain. We took a nice photo in the gazebo, one for the memory books. We didn’t stay too long as we ended our trip and began to walk out together. This trip helped us bond more and many stories were told about this place that I found interesting and entertaining. At this site, you can park for free in Lot J after 4 p.m. and on weekends during the school year. The arboretum is open from sunrise to sunset. The Arboretum is a nice place to relax and enjoy nature. I liked seeing all the plants and trees and learning a bit about the history of the area. It’s moments like these that remind us of the importance of connecting with nature and with each other. I would be happy to do something like this again with my group. Until our next adventure! (The image uploaded very weird, I had a lot of problems trying to figure it out, I am cut off, I am at the top right)

An Afternoon in the ‘Real’ World…


Today wasn’t what I initially expected. I impulsively went to the airplane museum and to lay in the fields. I drove down the rocky dirt road that stretched out to the ongoing horizon. The trees, finally now in bloom, curled overtop, encomasping my car in a natural tunnel. I parked by the war planes from prior generations and set up camp underneath the biggest wing. I first laid on my blanket and ate Taco bell, (which is not the most natural of meals) but I digress. If I had to guess, the field stretches just shy of a mile long, which is pretty far when its a flat, unobstructed view. The sun was just about to set in the west, resting above the treetops. Its finally spring, and I can feel the world coming to life again. After a ‘nourishing’ meal I knew I was ready to tap into my inner Thoreau. I walked out a few yards, far enough to feel surrounded by open space. I laid on my back, and hushed the voice in my head freaking out about the grass in my hair and ants crawling up my ankle. I closed my eyes and clenched tufts of grass in my calloused hands. I took deep, intentional, breaths, until they slowed down just enough to be in sync with the rythym of the deafaning cicadas. It was in this very moment, when I let my mind, my skepticism and fear, quiet just enough to hear the beauty of the world around me, that sent icy shivers rushed down my spine- this is when I truly felt alive. I stayed in the moment for as long as I could, until the incessantly impatient tap of the ‘real world’ pulled me out of this nirvana state of mind. I am very thankful to have done this assignment, not only because it was fun, but because it made me engage with the world around me. At the end of the day, college should be about preparing us for the ‘real world’, and it doesn’t get more real than this!

Sunny Days Make Problems Disappear?


First of all, I cannot seem to figure out how to get my image in here, as it says it is too big – I have tried reducing the size of it (similar to how we did so in class) and cannot seem to figure it out! That’s why I have a link attached to this post – let me know if it takes you to the image as it is supposed to!

Anyway, something which I have been talking about with my friends a lot is the way in which we all feel so much better at this time of year (particularly Daylight Saving Time, which was March 10 this year. Of course, there have been several studies on seasonal depression and other related mental illness which can be triggered and attributed to short and cold days. However, it always seems like such a surprise when the time of year rolls around and we all start to feel so much better, even if we don’t feel as though we were in a necessarily bad place in the winter time.

I think a lot of the reasoning behind this is that the sad, slow, cold, dark, monotonous winter (can you guess my least favorite season of the year?) slowly gets people to settle into a different lifestyle: one which exists mostly indoors, with nighttime routines taking place much sooner, and much less time spent with nature in general. I think this all happens so routinely and gradually that a lot of the time, we don’t even notice that it’s happening. I believe that this is telling not only of seasonal shifts in mood but with a lot of mental health ebbs and flows. It is hard to notice the sort of place I am in until I realize how much better I feel once I begin spending some more time outdoors and enjoying longer days.

Another thing which I have always associated with happier times and good weather is the migration of birds back into our area. Going outside and hearing birds chirping and feeling the sun on our faces is such a wonderful feeling every year, and usually leads me to realizing that my baseline mood for the winter is not the same as it is in the summer.

On popular social media apps such as TikTok and Instagram, there are trending “sounds,” or audios which people use on their videos of birds chirping. The videos under these sounds typically deal with nostalgic aspects of childhood, getting the viewer to reminisce about playing outdoors as a child. There seems to be a general link between birds and happiness, often accompanied with nostalgic undertones.

I find this very interesting, as I find myself reminiscing each year as the days get longer. In fact, one of the most surefire ways I know that summer is approaching is when I go outside for the first time, breathe in a breath of fresh air, and think to myself that I feel eight years old again.

Overall, I feel as though a lot of people can probably relate to this, though we don’t usually talk about it as much (potentially because we don’t realize how much these things affect us). The picture I have attached below is of three birds which I saw perched in a tree when I was on a walk the other day. They reminded me of the summers of my youth and how good it feels to be outside.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you can see my picture with the link!

Peace at Home

I woke up to the familiar sound of a squirrel chirping about in the neighbors tree. At first, I was frustrated. After all, it was 7 A.M., and all I wanted was five more minutes of sleep. I made myself an iced chai latte and decided to talk in the morning sun. One of my many safe places as an off campus student is my beautiful backyard. It can be hard to find a nice, quiet place to observe my surroundings and start the day. I walked towards the bench where me and my friends have hosted some of our best smore sessions. I have created so many memories and prepared to carry more as I looked up at the sky. The sun, the clouds even, looked so astonishing in the early morning. After another long and harsh winter, I began to ponder to myself: when was the last time I came outside and just looked at the sky?

As a kid, I loved to sit on the grass with my mom and watch the clouds pass us by. Together, we would point out the different shapes of the clouds, create short stories with them and make personal connections. I realized how much I missed this, and how much I missed sharing this with somebody. As I sat on the bench, I watched as the birds fluttered towards each other, their chirps as distinguishable as the squirrel who woke me from my slumber. I never realized the diverse amount of birds within my area. I occasionally see the most beautiful Northern Cardinal bird, who resides in a small tree right by my driveway. Although it is small, it is quite loud, making sure that its presence is known. Yet, it is always hiding in a place where I cannot seem to find it, no matter how hard I try.

Every morning on my way to class, I seem to encounter an American Robin. They are naturally friendly birds and are attracted to areas that are highly populated with people. Different from squirrels, who would rather risk getting hit by a car, the American Robins are undaunted by my presence. If I am in no rush, I like to sit and watch them. Never making alarming noises, they are simply curious animals. I occasionally find one wavering around Bailey on the 1st floor. They love to sit by the window. Sometimes I find myself staring, I wonder if they can sense my presence and curiosity from the classroom. The more I see them, the more confident I am in my day.

I realized I wasn’t getting as much as I would have liked just looking towards my house, so I turned around. There is a large land of grass behind the house, shared by many in the neighborhood. I walked a little further and sat on the grass, ignoring how badly it made me itch. I watched birds chirp amongst each other in a tree as two squirrels raced each other to the top of a tree. Two stray cats wandered into the large, unbothered area. Both taking glances at me, unaware of whether I would try to gather their attention or not. They soon scattered away when a flock of deer came into the scene. They were beautiful and so gracefully silent. I hadn’t even realized they were there until I stopped focusing on the stray cats.

Completely unfazed by the neighborhood clatter of lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and minor maintenance, they were fully enthralled by their environment. Looking at them from afar made me admire their bond. Before I could snap a picture of them, they galloped away.

Before I went inside, I took one last look at the clouds. I pointed out a few in my head, making small comments to myself about their shape, figuring out which ones my mom would have liked the best. I decided I wanted to do this again in the future. I want to experience this nostalgic feeling again, embrace the love and connection with my own family. When I go home, I’ll be sure to do this again!

Looking up

Within the world of technology looking down has become common practice, and almost instinctual for humans to do. We look down at our phone screens and avoid eye contact with others. When we finally look up and out at nature we can finally feel peace and connection that no phone screen could ever give.

A week ago I was in the union all day studying in a conference room without any windows for 4 hours. I went in at 2 pm when the sun was high in the sky and left when it was beginning to set around 6. When I left the Union I remembered this blog post assignment, and I decided to sit outside and wait for the sun to set. When I was sitting outside I started to reflect on how disconnected from nature I am. With the semester coming to an end and work piling up I am focused so much on my computer that I forget to look up and enjoy what’s around me. When I was sitting and watching the sun go down I put on some music and decided to observe as much as I could. I thought about the grass I was sitting on and how interesting humans use grass. It’s a sign of nature and a sign of class. a nice clean-cut yard looks nice, but if we let grass just grow it’s seen as unkempt. Grass also is a place for everyone to walk on and dance on and enjoy. It’s such a common plant that we don’t think of its existence often. Another observation I made was when the sun began to set. When the sun was going down and the sky became colorful people stopped to appreciate it. When a day comes to an end and we get that small moment of beauty, people do stop to enjoy it.

As I was sitting I began to think about human impact on the environment. We’ve caused such destruction for our planet, and without massive changes, we will cause our extinction. How did we cause this? How did we get to a point where there’s nothing the common person can do to change this? How did we go from living in trees to living in massive buildings and cities? I started to get discouraged. I mean thinking about our destruction can make anyone upset! But I realized something… everything we’ve made and built was for each other. everything we’ve built was for people to live and work together. yes, we live outside of nature and are ignorant of some huge issues, but humans are nature. All of our buildings and roads are just the huge ecosystem of humans. Were destroying our planet, but we’ve done it for mankind and each other. Thinking like this is a part of the problem, but it can be beautiful. It’s amazing what we’ve built together.

As the sun started to set and my time thinking like Walden was coming to an end, I was grateful for everything around me. I’m grateful for my education and the shoes I wear. I’m grateful for everyone around me. I’m grateful that people have come together to build our beautiful campus. I’m grateful that the sun will rise again tomorrow and we’ll get to live another day.

Flowers, Ghosts and Other Things…


Dandelions, white and green. Their stems are straight and tall but their heads are round and soft. They sit next to little yellow flowers with frilly ends. I thought they were different species that are different from one another but they are the same. In the life cycle of those flowers, the frilly yellow ones, the dandelions are only lingering ghosts of the sunny, yellow pedals they used to shine when they were younger. Now only a dandelion remains, waiting to be blown away like dust and disappear as all things do eventually.

They say if you blow on them and let each seed dissipate in the wind, that whatever you wish for will come true. I have tried many times to blow out each dandelion infructescence but I have never been able to do so in one try. When this happens, your wish has not worked and it cannot be granted. It always disappointed me then, like I had missed my one chance at my one wish, and now it would not come true. Still, I would blow on it a few more times, but a few of the white puffs still lingered, clinging on to their home flower, like they were not yet ready to disappear. In capitulation, I’d pluck those off with my fingers and drop the green stem back to the ground. The stark realization that none of my wishes would come true that day. And why should they?

When I was a child, there were yellow buttercups that sprouted in our backyard every summer. All the neighborhood kids would pluck them from the ground and hold one under their neighbor’s chin. “If it glows, that means you like butter,” they all said. The golden light cast its own shadow on their skin, underneath their chin. I can’t remember now the last time someone tried to see if I liked butter, but I’d bet it was a long time ago.

I wonder if those flowers still sprout on my lawn. I don’t see why they shouldn’t but I no longer live there, and although I visit, it has been too long of a time since I last checked. As we grow older, those flowers and dandelions become ghosts forgotten behind everything else. We step on them now, just like we plucked them then, forgetting they are living until they are not.

My landlord was mowing the lawn just yesterday, and he paid no mind to the taraxacum or the buttercup flowers. The grass must be trimmed, so that houses look nice and you are not judged by your neighbor. This is the colonization of land. This is how we have dominated nature. This is all that we know. And despite these irreversible effects we have cast on nature, we still torment her. We use her and defile her because she can give us what we need but she is running out. She will become a ghost like the rest of us. We are all doomed to the same fate.

Morning on Repeat

Every morning, my body finds itself waking up a lot earlier than everybody else. Not to disturb anyone I slowly roll out of bed and find myself sitting in my common room on an ottoman with my cat, looking out the window. The grass is so green every morning because the sun is hitting it just right and it’s so high up in the sky that it’s gleaming down through the windows and the trees making good little sunray puddles for my cat to sit in and sunbathe in. Sometimes if it’s raining or had rained the night before, I can see the water flowing into the storm drain beneath my window all the grass around it is a lot more wet and dewey. The pinecones are open today which means it’s a warm and dry day, I’m sure I’ll be seeing squirrels playing pass around with them soon. The two trees outside my window face each other and pull my attention into the middle where when each person walks it seems like a garden hitch or a wedding altar is above them. I don’t know for sure but I imagine their roots are intertwinted somewhere undernesth the mulch and soil. I like to think they’ve been holding each other for quite some time. The small pink leaves at the ends of each stringy branch fall into the same place creating a pile on the ground, almost like a pretty version of a leaf pile sized for small creatures. Little brown birds with blue chests like perching themselves on the thicker branches. I often get to enjoy their singing in the mornings but sometimes I wake up too late and miss it, at that point they only chirp when another bird finds itself on the tree with them.

Sitting here, I can feel the warmth on top of my head and the tips of my ears from the sun, it shines onto my jewelry and creates little shimmers for my cat to follow. His eyes moving back and forth in the sunlight are almost the same color as the dandelions outside. I get reminded of him when I see them moving in the wind and for some reason can’t help but love the little weeds. I’ve slowly seen them transform over the course of my time here, sitting in my window, day after day. Small green buds that resemble asparagus while growing, turn into these gorgeous bright yellow dandelions, then get withered away and sulk for a few days. The buds become dry, fluffy, and white. They’re soft to the touch yet very fragile. I love blowing them out like birthday candles. They are as weak as can be, where even a light flow of wind from a person’s pants will blow some off. But those fluffs have seeds within them that fall and grow more bright yellow dandelions, and the cycle will just keep continuing. Not every morning but some, when I catch myself admiring his eyes and the dandelions, I am reminded that life isn’t always as it seems. Each day is a little different, just as each day a new dandelion has either sprouted or disappeared, only for a moment. The dandelions just needed a second to recuperate. even if they sulk, wither, dry, or fall. Wherever they land they will regrow, one step at a time, and the cycle will just keep continuing. No matter how frail I feel or what stage I’m at in my life, I will always plant more seeds as I go and have the chance to grow again.


Field Trip!

Yes you read that correctly, we took a field trip. My group and I took a little trip to the Romer Arboretum the other day and it was an experiece. Some of us have only been there a handful of times, and some of us not at all. As you can imagine this short hour or so was and adventure, knowing us.

It started off relatively normal, I picked up Rachel from her dorm and we made our way to the Arboretum. When we got there, Izzy had just gotten there alongside us, Cole was waiting up for us at the enterance, and Syd and Griffin were waiting patently for us at the gazebo just inside.

Before doing anything else, we posed for a photo and enjoyed each others company before stepping out of the gazebo and taking it all in. There was a light rain, and it was a bit chilly so almost all of us were prepared for the weather. We did not stray far from the gazebo as it is very easy to get lost in the arboretum and, to be honest, all of us could not afford the time it would take to get lost on that particular day. In the surroundgin area, there was what giffin dubbed ‘the bee hotel’ which im assuming is something that the Beekeeping Club here on campus constucted, he did also try to climb a nearby tree which was interesting.

While Griffin was out on his own adventure, the rest of us, minus Cole who was still in the gazebo pacing around and even trying to climb it, were looking at the surrounding plants which we assumed to be native plants to the area. Pretty much all of them were just green plants with no special flowers or colors, but nature and plants do not need those things to continue to be beautiful. Something that I realized while reflecting on this trip, was that the grass was particularly green on that day and I am not sure of that was the weather or just my imagination, but it was beautiful and really pretty to look at and just be in the presence of.

We knew it was time for the end of our trip when we started to get a little cold, all of us walked out of the Romer Arboretum together while Izzy told us some stories of some of her time spent in there. All in all this trip served a purpose more than just for the sake of being one with nature, but as a fun bonding experience with the people i’ve grown closer to over the course of the semester. Gramacisy forever.

gramacy forever