About two months ago, I started college. As with every new environment, I was exposed to things that other people did that I was unfamiliar with. Some of them were minor, like new word of phrases from different parts of the country. Others were bigger, like lifestyle choices and modes of thought.
One of the most notable ones was when one of my new friends asked me to come outside with her. Curious, I followed her to the front stoop of our dorm, thinking that we were just going to have a private chat. And much to my surprise, she pulled out a lighter, and a pack of cigarettes.
Obviously, I know that people smoke. I have relatives that smoke. It’s a fact of life. But had I ever been invited to come with someone that was smoking? No, never. None of my friends from high school smoked. If I dare to talk about social groups, that had never been apart of mine. If I or one of my friends had so much owned a pack of cigarettes, not only would we be in trouble with our parents, but the rest of our group would probably reprimand the individual, and then isolate him or her until they quit smoking, or found new friends.
So I curbed my surprise when she pulled one out and lit it up. As we were talking, she admitted that she was quitting after this pack. I jumped at the opportunity, and started asking more questions about smoking. When did she start? Why? Could I look at the cigarettes?
Being the understanding individual that she is, she handed over the pack, and told me her story. And at the end, I assured her that I was going to help her quit.
When we got back up to the dorm, I took her pack. On every remaining cigarette, I wrote in Sharpie. I wrote all sorts of things-quotes from movies, phrases, titles of songs that she would like. Some of them had to do with carrying on and things that would help her quit. The other ones were just fun, light quotes. Not necessarily things that would down her, but help her be brought back up.
Next time she went smoking, she chose the one that read ‘carpe diem’. Once lit, it slowly burned away the ‘m’ on ‘diem’, and we realized that it read ‘carpe die’. The moment that we both realized it, the power of that simple statement hit us. Seize the day had turned into a much more morbid shadow of it’s former self.
And that is how these pictures were born. The model is my friend David, so the friend who quit smoking didn’t have to smoke again.
Now what to do with these pictures? I took them with the intent on making a layout or poster, but nothing so far has looked right. I just haven’t found how they fit together yet. So I’m putting them here, on my blog, the place where good ideas go to ruminate. Maybe I’ll find something to do with them, maybe not. Only time shall tell. But in the meantime, you’ll know where to find me. Just follow the ink trail.