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"What is Life?" - Supplement Essay

bio1995 1 / 6  
Dec 10, 2011   #1
This is for Harvard and Princeton. I know it is risky and extremely poetic. But then again, I had to do something different in order to catch an eye or two. My common app essay is an experience, so I am pretty sure it would be fine to include something abstract as supplementary. Looking forward to your comments!

An aura of obscurity tickles me as meandering rays of sunshine fade into crags of limestone. Birds stop singing melodious madrigals, oak leaves rustle in chilling autumn zephyrs, and impenetrable clouds now blanket the starlit sky. A deepening darkness engulfs the entire pond, capturing my thoughts and my emotions, leaving only a thin, wavering silhouette of my stringent face in the muddled waters. Is life a mystery waiting to be resolved?

A twig cracks beneath my foot and, instinctively, I look down. I see a rock glimmering in the fading sunlight, exposing brilliancy in simplicity amidst darkness and fragility. I quickly pick it up, examining each nook and each facet, brushing away dust with my gloved finger. Sides smooth as glass and rough as granite emerge. Edges sharp as needles and blunt as cardboard divulge. This is no rock. It is a precious gem, once lost in a sea of dust, now unearthed. Is life a crystal waiting to be discovered?

I perceive in the crystal a reflection of myself, the face of a determined young man bewildered by nature. But it is not my face reflected. I am the crystal, taking the color of whatever is near me, whatever I touch. The color is so strong that I forget who I am and identify myself with the color. I lose myself, and fear and worries and anxieties and troubles and mistakes emerging from that blunder, the hurricane of life, my mistaken emulation of those around me, engulf me. Is life a reflection waiting to be shattered?

Life blankets me with an anomalous assurance, like a newly hatched bird expecting warmth and attention from his surroundings. Sometimes giggles, other times cries, and still other times agitation, desperately longing to understand and to experience. When it comes to understanding the world, I too am an infant. At times, I find joy and sadness and surprise, but never can I pinpoint the mystical influences governing my life. It is amidst my efforts to discover impossibilities that I choose to escape the inscrutable as untouchable enigmas, questions to be bewildered by. In my efforts to understand, I stifle understanding. Is life an endless journey waiting to be completed?

Our individuality is thus silenced by our passiveness towards life --- that like an aging leaf destined to be trampled upon, we live as cowards, predictably and unquestioning, trampled upon by society's thoughts and beliefs, moved by even the slightest change of wind. Whether it is nobler to etch in blank forests an impermeable reverie or to drown inner courage in a sea of winds and, through passivity, embrace hesitantly peace --- that remains a complex problem many have yet to solve. Is life a baffling paradox waiting to be uncovered?

My eyes open with a jolt. I am still gazing into the sky, but everything has grown silent. Rivers in my mind still rage with philosophy, but darkness remains no longer; it is daylight. Unconsciously I put my hand in my pocket and take out a moist crystal. In it, I see a reflection of myself, determined and enlightened. Is life a dream waiting to be realized?

So many questions yet not one definite answer. What then is life?
Life is a process, a story with a definite beginning and a definite end and numerous blank sheets in between. It can be a mystery, a crystal, a reflection, a journey, a paradox, and a dream depending on what colors and what experiences are splattered upon those blank sheets. For me, to have the ability to write my story and forever etch my thoughts upon the world is enough satisfaction. Life's greatest treasure is life itself, a treasure not to be questioned, but to be fulfilled.

Prettywings 1 / 74  
Dec 10, 2011   #2
You are truly a gifted writer, and I must say I enjoyed reading your essay. Indeed you are very poetic and philosophical in your essay, but I believe the indulgence is warranted :)
OP bio1995 1 / 6  
Dec 15, 2011   #3
Anyone else? Thanks for your comments Prettywings!
arnela123 2 / 13  
Dec 15, 2011   #4
your a great writer! i love this essay! that will deff catch their eye, you will stand out! nice job

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