Orange Media Network


Orange Media Network


Orange Media Network



A Poem by Ana Tracy & a Visual Feature by Natalie Nafsinger

Awareness by Natalie Nafsinger. Ink on Paper.



I am growing all the time
all the time, more of the time
the woman I want to be
in control consistently
doing right persistently
for longer periods punctuated less frequently
by stumbles or slips.

But while the high road reigns mostly
the low road exists
still; deep ruts, grooves gutted
into neuroplastic tissue
and the issue is,

the high road’s a bit of a tightrope
and even the best acrobat
is bound to grow tired after placing one foot


day after day,
after week.

Even the woman I am growing to be
is bound to lose balance once in a while
and land on the low road:
less glorious but wider, and wired
more thoroughly
into my neural circuitry.

When I fall I feel
from what suddenly seems to me an act,

from a part I play,
when what these patterns say
Is that the taker of the low road,
lover of long-term destructive/instantaneous easy –
that that girl, she’s the real me.

Ghosts of past selves
who died down in these ruts haunt me,
taunt me that I’m perpetually performing perfection,
the rest of the circus watching me tip-toe
up there above the dust and the crowds,
betting against my odds,
waiting for me to remember myself and give in,
get down.

But the dirt
doesn’t hold the same comfort
it once did.
It makes my skin itch
and clouds my veins,
but I no longer tolerate
it’s muddy, sluggish haze.

So I shake it off and I climb back up
to the high road once again,
and I pray and I hope
this time I’ll last a little longer on the rope.

I am growing all the time
but I do sometimes wish I could change
more than just myself:
that I could alter my high road
to be a little less impossibly
Even the better I get at my balancing act,
I do tire of being an acrobat.




Ana Tracy

Biography: I’m a biochemistry major who loves to write things other than lab reports. Cooking, writing, and exploring outdoors are my creative/recreational outlets. I think poetry is cool.

Artist Statement: I write mostly to document the maze that is my mind: there’s no better way to capture what goes on in my head than through poetry because like poetry, my brain doesn’t follow typical rules. That makes it more complicated to navigate the world sometimes, but it also gives me an interesting perspective. That’s what I hope to share through my art.


Natalie Nafsinger

Biography: Hi! I am a first-year Creative Writing student at OSU. I moved here from Boise, Idaho and have loved living in Corvallis. I absolutely love listening to music! I love to write poetry, draw, go to concerts, being outdoors, and go on walks. I started writing as a form of just working through my feelings and it has stuck. I’m hoping to explore more kinds of writing and art in my time here at OSU.

Artist Statement: I go about my writing and drawing in very different ways. Writing is my friend. I love being able to learn more about myself as I write, and I love developing my voice. When there’s just something heavy on my mind, I find having a space to spill those thoughts very cathartic. With my physical art, I tend to draw just what looks cool to me – loud colors and funky shapes. There may not be tons of intended meaning in my drawings, but I think art can be that too – just something awesome to look at.

Social Media: @nnafsinger on Instagram

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About the Contributor
Selene Lawrence
Selene Lawrence, Student Correspondent
Selene Lawrence (she/they) is PRISM’s Lead E-campus Volunteer and online student correspondent. She is an author, poet, musician, and visual and textile artist. Selene is pursuing a major of her own design: Traditional, Folkloric, and Popular Cultural Studies for Mass Media Communications with a writing minor. Above all else, she is a proud Ecampus student, and is working with PRISM to break down the barriers in online education to help students make the most of their college experience.

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