What Matters? Writing Competition 2014 Year 9-10 Runner Up - Caleb Clifford

Aspects of Mortality

Caleb Clifford with Minister Rockliff
What matters? It is hard to say what matters in an ever changing, ever shifting world of individual thought.

Rather, this is what I believe, written into the meat of this raw, nonlinear thing, splintering into different facets.

These are the aspects of mortality, the concepts that we are simply an empty space without. We are stitched like fabric, threads of morals and logic, of thought, of action.

I believe in expanding. I believe in the expansion of the universe around me, of the universe within me and within you. Learning, experiencing, growing as person, as a son, a brother, future lover, husband, father. I believe we are creatures born of a divine miracle. I believe in absolution. How can we hope to live without escalating? How can we achieve absolution?

I believe in the mind. It is my centre, my axis, orbit, star, gravity, escape. It too is expanding; my eternal source of ambition and emotion and want. But, I have never been good at articulation. My brothers can write so beautifully, uniquely. I consider my words ugly, imperfect, shattered things. It is pain to be trapped within my head, like an insect behind glass.

Oddly enough, I despise sentiment. Even this, which is filled with the sticky honey of cliché emotion, is beyond my usual scope of romanticism. I find it is filled with irrationality, clouding my vision with purple haze. I don’t believe in a rose coloured world. What matters to me is truth, no matter how bleak or grey. An unusual contrast to my belief in a Creator. But it is requisite, a needed balance in humanity.

I am a rational person, I plan and act within the range of necessity. I consider, weigh the flaws and measure the profit. God is logic, I am certain of it. This world is too perfect, filled with such magnificence that it simply existing out of luck is absurdity. Mankind is a balance of logic and emotion, spirituality and physicality, love and hate. We are imperfectly perfect. We have stars in our lungs, machines in our heads, and a bastardisation of intuition within the hollows of our stomachs.

To me, Body and Soul are one and the same. One is just the vessel, the physical form of another. Then, through the catalyst of death, the Soul bursts forth from its bloody chrysalis. I believe Whitman described it best. “O I say, these are not the parts and poems of the Body only, but of the Soul, O I say now these are the Soul.”

Flesh is a beautiful thing; the unusual opposition of the female body to the males, the curve of the hips and the solemness of the eyes. There is a grace in Woman that reflects and disproves the strength of Man. Like pillars, we are made to compliment and support the shortcomings of the others.

Ambiance is a grace unique to humankind. It is an experience unseen among any other creature to the same magnitude. To empathise and feel the agony of another and beyond is the pinnacle of human emotion. But the spectrum is broad and to abandon this irreplaceable sense is an evil I cannot comprehend. How shattered does one have to be to remove the essence of their existence?

This is me, my philosophy. This is what matters; humanity, mortality, existence. I will live, and I will breathe. I will move through time as pure momentum, a blue force made to change all around me. I am an influence of being, moving forward.

I am universal.

By Caleb Clifford
Cressy District High School
Year 9/10 Category

What Matters? Writing Competition

Congratulations to all participants of this year’s ‘What Matters?’ Writing Competition!  Prizes were awarded to students by Minister Rockliff, with each category winner now invited to participate in a Young Writers Forum and attend a ceremony in Sydney later in the year, where an overall winner will be announced.  Students were asked to write an opinion piece about an issue or matter of significance in society today, and award winners have demonstrated great talent, energy and enthusiasm for creative writing.

Award Recipients: 
Year 5/6
Madison Gorenc (winner)
Tristan Meffre (runner up)
Princes Street Primary
Princes Street Primary
Year 7/8
Luke Muir (winner)
Lucinda Lagos (runner up)
Reece High School
Kingston High School
Year 9/10
Chelsea Burt (winner)
Caleb Clifford (runner up)
Cressy District High
Cressy District High
Year 11/12
Belinda Parry (winner)
Jack Pelikan (runner up)
Hellyer College
Hellyer College

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