Visual Assignment: Poetry Art (3 pts)- “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep”- Sebastian Crane and Lawrence Spitler

do not stand at graveh

 

For this character collaboration post, I chose to make a picture that contained not only the words from a poem, but the visual created by those words. The poem “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep” is one I have read and seen at different times of my life and I wanted to make something dedicated to this poem. This visual shows how the death of Sebastian Crane greatly affected Lawrence Spitler.

Initially, I wanted a post where both characters were the same age, but I was so interested in Tiffany’s present-day character that I decided to come up with a story for how they know one another. By 2015, Sebastian would be 90 years old and Lawrence is in his 30s, so I had them be neighbors. When they first encountered each other, Lawrence thought Sebastian was just a senile old man, yet Sebastian saw himself in him and wanted to know more about him. So to initiate the conversations, Sebastian once put a letter from his mailbox into Lawrence’s (Sebastian still played his tricks, but these were not malicious) so that he would come to deliver it and he could try to talk to him more. Lawrence was still closed off, yet one night a man tried to break into Sebastian’s car and Lawrence scared him off. To thank Lawrence, Sebastian invited him over for a beer. Soon enough, Lawrence began visiting Sebastian’s house a several days a week and Sebastian brought out the best in Lawrence, as he was the most honest about his feelings when he was with Sebastian. Although they did have arguments about Lawrence’s lifestyle, Lawrence loved Sebastian like his own father and Sebastian like another son. They grow close to one another to a point where Lawrence sees him as the father figure he never really had after his own father passed when he was so young. Sebastian would tell Lawrence all about his life, from how he once was cold, but because of his loving wife Sasha and his brother Donovan, he was able to show his golden heart to all those he met. He once told Lawrence that “You cannot see light without walking through a field shadows. The light, the good, is waiting to be seized by you. Because every good and bad thing happens for a reason. We need the bad to know what good really is; to know what what is worth fighting for and what things can be left behind.” Sebastian saw himself in Lawrence from the moment they met and that was why he wanted the best for Lawrence and encouraged him to make better decisions or have more of an open heart. Lawrence drove Sebastian to the hospital when he had a severe stroke and stayed with him until the end. Before he passed on, he told Lawrence that he made the last years of his life better and that Lawrence would never be alone. At Sebastian’s funeral, Lawrence spoke of the man who showed him towards a new light and soon, he was the only one standing in front of his grave. He remembered Sebastian reciting the poem “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep” once when they were on his porch as he told Lawrence that the poem helped him cope with the losses of his father, Donovan, and Sasha. He told Lawrence that he believed the spirit does not stay at the grave, rather they stay beside those they love, like a guardian angel. Since then, Lawrence had a change of heart because of Sebastian and he sought to do better for himself and others.

To make this photo, I combined a picture of an angel statue and one of two men walking beside one another on Pixlr and used Powerpoint to add the text (which took a very long time figuring out how to do because of the color of the text). After, I adjusted the color of the final photo to make the poem stand out more.

Explorations of Beauty and Decay father-son-walking

 

I chose the angel statue because it represented the idea of a grave and in this particular post, Sebastian passes away and serves to be Lawrence’s guardian angel. For the picture of the two men walking together, I wanted this to be a picture of Sebastian and Lawrence going for a walk, showing their closeness to one another.

Visual Assignment: “Storytelling Collage”(3 and 1/2 pts) – “The Lover and the Cheat; Sebastian and Margaret”

the cheat

 

A heart given is a heart that can be more easily broken, destroyed. When Sebastian looked at Margaret, his skin became electrified with a sensation he never felt with such intensity; a love so real he felt it deep to his core, pulsing through his blood and corrupting all logic in his mind. Dictionary definitions could not fully define the feeling he had when he looked at her, kissed her, adored her. He knew that all he wanted was to give his heart to her. Only his Margaret. But this love was cursed; it was unrequited, tampered with, and tragic. She shared her affections with another man and lived in her lies she told to Sebastian. I don’t want to hurt him. Why, why am I doing this? The thoughts that ruptured her mind as she made love to this other man who promised her love and a life they could make their new beginning. Sebastian sensed a distance between them, his stomach turning inside itself. One day, she told him she was going to visit a her girl friend. He watched her drive off and he picked up his keys. Without her noticing, he had trailed behind her car on the bumpy, unpaved road until she pulled into a driveway of an unfamiliar home. Sebastian parked far from where he eyes could see his car and he then saw a man emerge from the front door, a beckoning, sinister smile on his face. She skipped to him like a gleeful girl in love and he embraced her, kissing her while running his hands down her body, the one Sebastian gently caressed and never wanted to let go of. Sebastian thought of her smile, her laugh, her perfectly-sculpted bones under her sun-freckled skin and was plagued with the thought of her giving her love to this man that wasn’t him. Hours of agony, he sat in his car, unable to drive away, his spirit defeated, making everything immobile. The sight of her exiting the house was the oil that made his tin body move, stride with anger. Her smile turned into a Cheerio and her sun-painted skin went two shades lighter when she say Sebastian walking her way, his now-cold blue eyes piercing her heart. she began putting her arms around him, crying, writing a rough draft of a story he knew was her fiction. He backed away, letting her knees hit the dirt, she stared up at his gorgeous head rimmed with the sunlight behind him. His muscles softened as he saw her in tears. He never wanted to see her cry, but he thought of her lies and love she never returned. He became cold in that moment among the breeze of wind rushing between them. Standing in silence, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a velvet box, ripping it open and tearing the diamond ring from its pillow. He looked from the ring to her and tossed into the lawn, telling her “go to hell, Margaret” and paced to his car. He never looked back, afraid he would turn around and be caught once more in her black-widow web of love he knew wasn’t real.

She saw the wheels of his car leaving a trail of dust behind him as he drove away. Margaret went inside the house, sat in solitude and wept for the man she never wanted to destroy, but did and did not understand why or how she would see his face in her mind as this other man was holding her in their nights together. She went back to the house she shared with Sebastian to find all of her things packed tightly in the cardboard box she brought when they made this home, this “love” theirs. Margaret gathered her box into the passenger seat, leaving this life behind, but never once letting Sebastian abandon her thoughts.

Sebastian’s mother broke his father the same, an earthquake shattering them both, striking the pavement of their lives with rough cracks because of these women, these faults. Since that day he left Margaret, he has not again given his heart to another woman. He gives it only to himself and his family. No one more. The women he meets are nothing more to him than doe-eyed dolls looking for love in the wrong place. They have their fun, tasting new foods, sailing, and filling their lustful desires, but he never once stayed in bed with the girl when she awoke. One early morning, when the sun had not even risen from its slumber, Sebastian drove to that house that haunted him. He’d see her maroon car there parked next to his and feel an unrelenting misery in his heart knowing that her life goes on and his is in a constant state of rewind and replay of love he dreads feeling again.

 

 

Visual Assignment: “Post-It Notes and Grocery Lists!”(4pts) -Sebastian Crane’s To Do’s

To see this visual better, here is its’ Flickr link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/janellegelino/16190828290/

Sebastian's To Do list

This is Sebastian Crane’s to-do list. Most consist of work-related material since he is the Editor in Chief of The San Francisco Chronicle. The one orange card is a job offering from a man named George Jamison of the San Francisco Examiner, wanting Sebastian to come in for the job. This is a part of a storyline I can explore, but I personally feel he wouldn’t leave the Chronicle simply because he has been there for about five years now and has been the Editor in Chief for two successful years. One card detail a visit he plans to make at the rehabilitation center where his father currently is receiving help for his alcohol addiction. Their relationship has better developed since his father decided to bring himself into the center. Sebastian is a big reader, so he has a whole list of novels he plans to read or what friends and colleagues have recommended for him. The blue note cards are from his current secretary, who will be retiring in the next few months, which is why one of the yellow cards has Sasha Kellogg for an interview soon. One card is specifically for Donnie: going to his physical therapy appointment and groceries he needs to pick up for him. He has always put Donnie first and he is one of his top priorities. There are three cards dealing with Sebastian’s dating life, which to him consists of one date and one night together; nothing more happens after that. He isn’t completely interested in these women, but he is willing to have a good time on a date since he is sociable and knows he has an irresistible charm. At this point in his life, he has not met anyone he is serious about and only looks for a fun night in the meantime. Most of the cards detail work-related business, such as meeting dates, calls from writers, etc. For the most part, Sebastian is a very busy man and he places his family and work before anything else.

These are some of the tracks that play in The San Francisco Chronicle as Sebastian and his team write up the paper :D:

 

Visual Assignment: “What’s in the bag?”(3pts)- Sebastian Crane’s Treasures

1. The flask- Sebastian always carries his brandy-filled flask in his coat pocket each flaskday. He drank leisurely before at social gatherings in college and after work, yet he became more accustomed to drinking when he found out the love of his life, Margaret, cheated on him. Since then, he had begun to go into more bars and bought a flask to carry on his person. He even felt that the brandy in the flask was  soothing the constant pain in his fractured shoulder along with his pain medication.

 

2. Pain medication- When Sebastian was 14 years old, his father was in a drunken rage and went after him and Donovan. In the altercation, Sebastian’s father managed to severely damage Sebastian’s shoulder with a baseball bat. Even though Sebastian underwent surgery, he still experiences a shooting pain in his shoulder and he has to takes pain relieving medication to make it more tolerable.

medication

3 & 4. Leather wallet and the photograph- It is essential that anyone carry a wallet on their person and Sebastian never leaves home without it. Within it, he has cash, business cards, names of clients to call, and most importantly, a photograph of him and Donovan. This was taken when Sebastian was 5 and Donovan was 3 by their mother, who later the following year found love with another man and was forbidden to take them with her when she left. This left their father devastated and he slowly began to go out to bars, leaving Sebastian to feed and take care of Donovan. He keeps this photograph in his wallet because it was the last time that they truly had their innocence and happiness as children; it captured a moment of joy he always wanted to remember. When Donovan was in the war, he found himself looking at this photograph at least twice a day, in the morning and at night, in that way, he could make sure his thoughts and prayers reached Donovan when he woke up and went to sleep

.wallet  seb and don

 

 

 

penPen- As the editor in chief of The San Francisco Chronicle, Sebastian always has a pen on him. He is very meticulous and pays close attention to detail and this pen reflects how he always takes accurate, in-depth notes or edit marks on articles turned into his office.

 

 

watch

 

The pocket watch- Sebastian was given this pocket watch by his father the day he and Donovan were leaving home. He had found a house in the city and he was packing up the car when their father came outside to say goodbye. He hugged Donovan and he headed to wait in the passenger seat as their father bid farewell to Sebastian. At first they shook hands, but his father pulled him in for an embrace, apologizing for not being a better man, a better father. Sebastian did not feel anything in the embrace, but when his father placed the pocket watch in his hand, he held it close and told his father that he needed to get better or they would never come back. Sebastian and Donovan drove off, seeing their father grow smaller and alone in the rearview mirror. Sebastian carries this watch with him now not only to check the time, but subconsciously remind him that he is free from that life he once lived.