Monday, January 28, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
"Tears are the silent language of grief." --Voltaire
- "happy birthday princess....you know i couldn't have asked for a better kid..you didn't come with instructions or directions, i was flying by the seat of my pants...thanks for being a # 1,top notch, the best of the best..enjoy life to the fullest, you only get one and when you fall always remember i will always be here to catch you....my baby can vote and buy me cigarettes now....i will make it up to you maybe you can teach me a thing or two about art places and stuff the next time we hit new york. well i guess i should go to work lots of love to you......one down one to go..."
Tear status: Humility
- The family I mentioned in my previous post--they were just outside of Salt Lake City when they slid on a patch of ice and rear-ended a pick-up. Nobody was injured. Both vehicles, however, are pretty much out of commission.
Tear status: Gratitude
- My best friend/sister, the daughter of my Dickensian-style benefactors, was not accepted to BYU Provo.
And I love my best friend/sister, do not misconstrue that fact when I tell you she's a royal pain in my posterior regions. I'm gonna miss her, but I will say this: I won't deny that some of these are happy tears. And boo to me if that makes me a bad person, I guess, because it's the truth.
Tear status: Relief, with due sorrow and self-reproach
I saw this recently at a Mormon Potluck--green jello with pineapple chunks in it--and I about lost my mind completely. In Biology, we learned that pineapples have a protein in them that forces jello to "denature" and lose it's shape. And yet, here sat this bowl of jello, fully intact. Mormondom has torn yet another hole in my universe with something I was told could never, ever happen. And after discussing the matter with my friends, we decided it was an undiscovered Priesthood miracle.
Tear status: Awe and Laughter
I used to think that tears were a sign of weakness. But now I see that, at least through my eyes, if I'm not cryin', I'm not livin'.
Friday, January 18, 2008
"The net growth in Utah among members of the Church is growing steadily,Church publications never cease to amaze me with their ability to connect with my life in ways so precise, so oddly specific, I'm left without a logical explanation.
approaching 1.8 million or 72 percent of the population according to end-of-year
2006 statistics." Utah Membership, LDS Newsroom
Our branch just lost something near and dear to us in the form of a wonderful family. They're currently on their way to the Salt Lake Valley, where their new life is waiting for them. And even though they only pulled away a few hours ago, the absence is already beginning to make its presence known.
This family was the first LDS family I ever met. Their two oldest sons worked with me in a martial arts summer camp the summer after I ended one of the hardest times of my life. I can honestly say that their friendship saved my life that summer. At a time when I was broken and lost, their family stepped in to show me where peace could be found. They stood by my side as I searched for that peace, and found the embrace of my Savior. They rejoiced with me at my baptism--the father was actually the one who baptized and confirmed me. His wife allowed me the honor of wearing her temple dress that day. Their children have been a remarkable inspiration to me, showing me the wonderful fruits of a gospel-centered family. I've shared in the love that reaches out to and kindles any heart that finds itself in their home, and it's a feeling I won't soon forget--a feeling I will seek for the rest of my life if I have to. Because of everything I've seen since I met them, I not only believe in miracles, I'm not afraid to seek them out; the confidence that has made all of the difference in my life.
It's almost hard to imagine what life in the Church will be like without them, their presence and influence has been so powerful, so crucial to building the foundation of my new life. And even though I understand that my spiritual maturity and their future requires them to leave, I know I will miss them terribly. I will miss them as if they were my own--because in so many ways, that's what they mean to me.
Our branch actually threw a huge potluck party to wish their family well last night. An evening of taking pictures, talking, laughing, and pretending things weren't going to change for just one more night. But since I don't believe in saying goodbye, I had no other options but to wish each of them the best for their journey and their new life--the same as they did for me all those years ago. It was no easy task (especially with my boyfriend) because I knew it would be half a year before I would see them again--if, my brain reminded me, I was ever to see them again in this life. But I couldn't think like that if I was going to remain tearless. And I'm glad to say, tearless I remained--even when my boyfriend stood waving to me as my ride returned me to the part of the world that is never quite as warm as his life is to me.
But as the scriptures have been teaching me for years, "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Psalm 30: 5) I checked my e-mail this morning, and gasped when I saw the message from "CES Admissions" sandwiched between my Daily Book of Mormon reading and my e-mail from Borders. Upon checking my application status, I discovered that I've been accepted for the Fall 2008-09 semester; meriting the spazziest dance of jubilee I've done in public lately.
I always swore I'd leave my hometown and reach for something more. I almost didn't make it because of some really attractive options I started to consider--the option my mother would still have me pursue. But in light of recent of events, I realize that we all have our journeys to make. And sometimes, you have to look past the sorrow of those who care about you to see your destination, the dream that can drive you 3,000 miles towards what you really want.
Like so many others before me I've heard the call to head west. And now that the sonorous desire echoes in my heart, I won't walk away.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Sitting in a cafeteria
With walls of white
Staring off into empty empty space
Thinking about Alma 24
Take my past
The sanguine stain
That always seems to taste
Of metal rain
And bury the sound
Of swords crashing
Bury it all
Beneathe more than just
A trained eye
And so I say to him
Who would believe in peace
If it weren't for the broken pieces
"In the Book of Mormon
There's a story
About a people
Who buried their swords
To keep from fighting"
I watch him laugh
A mixture of
And all the other isms
I used to wear like pretty polished prisms
And eventually he says,
"That sounds nice.
But wouldn't that just
Leave the violent people
With all the swords
And the non-violent people
At a disadvantage?"
And with sad eyes, I told him
"It's nice to dream sometimes."
And wouldn't you know it
There was a fight in school that day.
Two boys settling a little bit of nothing
With four fists and a busted eye
Blood spilling from a punctured eyeball,
I heard from the girl
Who came into my Calculus class
And tried to throw up
"A knife," she said
"He had a knife and ran from
He might have used it
Like that kid who stabbed
Some son of Adam
In the face with a boxcutter
(Was that last year,
or the year before?)
And I thought to myself
Wouldn't it be nice to bury it all
Than a trained eye
Taught not to see?
But with spilled blood in the hallway
It's hard to recall ways