Saturday, February 28, 2009


Today my friend’s computer was having issues.
“This program is not responding,” it said.
“Would you like to…

And I thought… “Welcome to the question of my whole life.”

I am scared about the immensity of what I am seeking.
The immensity of (the freedom, the divine understanding, the patience and the human connection) that I am seeking.

I need so much to feel, to feel everything. I need more than facebook and itunes. I need more than homework and cosmetic conversation. It is scary to need more than what regularly fills up a college-kid day.

“You ask things on day one that most people ask on day thirty. You skip so much of the beginning. You try to find this deep down BAM connection with everyone,” Sabrina says to me.

It’s true. Do I have to change that?
I need that. I seek that. I am that.
Am I even capable of changing that?

I choose to wait for response,
rather than end my inherent nature.

She says I don’t have to change it, but that it makes her scared for me—because that kind of intensity means dangerous vulnerability.
It means my core isn’t safe because I’m always showing it to people.
I can’t close myself up though—that would mean becoming colder, more hardened.
Even if I only closed-up a little, only to the same level of coldness that most people maintain… it would mean a step towards hardening, and I can’t walk in that direction.
To be safe would be counterintuitive,
because emotional immunity is the opposite of what I am seeking.
I am unlocked. It helps me feel alive.

"I want to work in revelations, not just spin silly tales for money. I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down."
--Jack Kerouac

Friday, February 27, 2009


Originally written around February 24th-- finalized on April 8th.

Provo: A Knowledge of Things as they Are.

I came here in 2006, and sat in a student sacrament meeting for the first time.
When I saw Provo, I saw ♥ and ☺. “Honor his priesthood,” they told me, as I sat with my new ward.

Trying to integrate felt like I was lying about who I was the week before.
No one knew that my father’s priesthood had been showcased from the pulpit last Sunday, as he said the closing prayer. I bowed my head toward folded bruised arms and told no one that the marks were from him.
When he ended, they said Amen.

I felt a shadow following me through this town, the shadow of a background layered with violence, frequent moving, too much yelling and not enough food. How could I go from outsider-to-belonging if I didn’t have such basic things in common with these kids?
Did I have to denounce my family in order to find my place here? I knew I was here to become something, but it was a tough balance.
How do I become myself without losing what I came from?

I know now, that the individual histories of Happy Valley run deeper than ♥ and ☺. Some of us have been neglected, abused, erased by those we knew before. All have a dark side to their story. So why are we Happy Valley? It is because we come to this place, and hide our faces. We latch onto the idea that perfection means a permanent smile, rather than a personal struggle. And with this, all trials become hidden secrets.

Why do we disown our darkness? To denounce sin in the name of personal progression is one thing, but what about the blackness that is not a result of our own agency? What about the memories that would cause our Mormon counterparts to gasp for air with disbelief? Who are these Mormon counterparts—these people that grew up in crystal castles of scripture? They are fiction. A self-imposed fiction.

A Sunday School teacher asks for personal experiences; we raise our hands. We speak of others that have fallen away, but rarely of our own conflicting doubts. We speak of difficult tests coming up, the stress of education, but rarely “I feel like my friends don’t know who I really am.”
Rarely “I moved out because I can’t forgive my father.”
Rarely “I am scared of the answer to my prayer.”

For now, Provo’s light often holds an air of falsity—it shines by denying the existence of darkness. Are we ashamed? When will we stop condemning the discussion of what is dark? Certainly the cause of this is not doctrine, but culture. Certainly this habit is not inclusive or accepting, but condemning of human nature.

Our light should come from a shelter we create for each other, a safe haven for honesty. Not a self-imposed fiction that we live perfectly, without the sincere, personal hardships that stretch us into our potential frames.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Titles are the hardest part.

I am sittin on this couch, laptop ontop of mylap. Again.

I have four different Word documents pulled up, each with clipped paragraphs of things I'm trying to find in my head. Four Beginnings. Words words words words. I leave them alone for now.

I used to live in a place called Glenwood. Between our apartments were hallways, and in my hallway, sat a typewriter-- abandoned. Can I take this? I can. I did. Writers should have typewriters of course. We've never gotten personal though, me and my typewriter. I wonder if it has given up on me.

My keyboard types double e's sometimes.
Emily once asked me what was symbolic about my use of thee.
"Oh. I just mean the," I said.
Funny how that happens, this friend wondering about my intention,with not a thing meant by it.
Its funny because all the time people are complaining about symbolism. The nagging question: "What if Nathaniel Hawthorne was just writing about a rose bush, and thats it?! How do you know its more than that..."
And then, I freak out inside.
Because, of course, Nathaniel Hawthorne was referring to my father and the way I had to rise up from the dry-soil foundation he was to me. Of course, duh. Then I stop freaking out. Because it doesn't matter if Nathaniel Hawthorne realized he was talking about my Dad, as long as I feel it.
(But thee? Nope, I just didn't proofread.)

Emily left for China today. I snuck a package to the MTC at 4 in the mornin on account of I know the security guard. "Dang," Brooklyn says. "We OWN this town."

Jonathan Brimhall is here.
I'm goin to pick up my friend Dave from the store. Poor Dave, it's snowing and he doesn't have a car.
"How 'bout you pick
me up on Friday?" Jonathan says.
He is always like this. It makes me fiesty and mean-- he says this is because I am crazy for him.
He says there is obviously unresolved tension between us.

I am shocked by the fearlessness with which he hits on me.
I tell him this.

He responds in Danish, and informs me,
that I would blush at the translation.

How should I react to this? How?

Rapid windshield wipers give me anxiety.

I am listening to Dave Matthews because he is quiet and blurrrambling in my ears... just enough for my thoughts to calm and align, but not enough to change their origins. The best part about Dave Matthews is that you haven't heard all of his songs. No matter how long you listen, there is always another version he sang one time in Oregon, altered by rhythmatic genius or drunken stammor, that was never sang again. I don't care how many bumper-sticker album-covers you have in his honor. You don't really know him.

The word potent is annoying.

There is a shirt in my closet-- its kinda pink... a little orangey. I don't like pink, but I never get rid of this one shirt, and I'll tell you why. Some days, this shirt feels right. And on those days, no other shirt works for me. Not really. This odd phenomenon comes around every few months. Today was one of those days. I wore a little headband and baggy jeans. Hello, I am five.

The texture of a fig newton trips me out.

My Mom told me I was birthed mid-conversation. Yep, I just don't stop. I don't. I was most likely befriending the amniotic fluid. It never asked me to stop. One time, my Mom did. "But I just have so much to say!" I told her.
Story of my life. I should be studying, but I can't until I get all this out.
And what did it mean?

Tonight, these words were from the surface.

Remember the four beginnings? I'm digging for the rest of their voices. I can't find them though, unless I take off the top layers of my mind. Then, when we align, each core shows its face. Fore cores. Words words words words.

"Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not."
Isaiah 6:9

Friday, February 13, 2009

These past few days,

I have been inspired.
I have been renewed.
I have been invited.

I see hope.
I see summer.
I see who I am.

I groove. I rejoove.
I still don't know how to flirt.
I should be honest about that.

I feel myself being pulled in so many directions, and still I am thankful. Stretch me. Take me. This is what I need.

I want to work in revelations, not just spin silly tales for money. I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down."
--Jack Kerouac, My shoulda-been lover.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

prospect, chance, likelihood, probablility, possibility...

"Is February just a really lame month? I feel like everyone I know, including myself, is not having the best month so far, and it makes me sad. I just want things to be perfect for everyone..."

"(So far, it has hurt my heart.) But I'm gonna say no-- because i have hope for the future of my February, and I refuse to give that up."

Before I go to bed, I need to say good things about life. No one is awake-- so I will say them to the anonymous readers of my blog. Hello.

* I am thankful for the unity of the women I live with. A few weeks ago, one of us started crying. "I've talked about this to multiple people," she said. "...and I haven't cried at all. I don't know why I'm crying right now."

"Because you can," Melissa said.

This weekend I did the same with them, and I know that it is because here, I can. We are constantly reaching for each other. Tonight, we got a new fish. Then, we came home and ate a pineapple together.

* I am grateful for my job. I'm not sure why it is perfect for this period in my life, but I often get the feeling that it is.

* I am relieved for the knowledge I am gaining this semester. It fills me up, inspires me, frees me. Regardless, I cannot sink this far into studying anymore. I NEED PEOPLE in my life. I always thought that, but I never proved it to myself until the past few weeks. It is so good for me, to now understand this in a concrete way.

* I am convinced that age is mostly irrelevant.

* I am also convinced that everyone would benefit from writing letters to someone. Why don't we write letters anymore?

* I love the mountains. They never fail me. I am home in this town. I'm not sure how that happened, but it did. I think it is possible to have more than one home.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Some days, in my calm and happy life here, I am disappointed. I am bored. Having recognized this, I now fear that I long for opposition. Because all areas of my life that I am most proud of, all of my defining moments, include some kind of force against me. That is how I have discovered myself, by rising above. I find solace in fighting back. How can I be revolutionary if there is nothing to revolt against? No secret father. No boy that failed me. No serious lack of money. No empty pantry. No loneliness. I look at this kind of life and wonder, “What do I do now?” I was so accustomed to the fast pace, the consistent dull-ache of battle. And now, where am I? My peace feels less real, less potent, less deserved if I am not convinced that I fought for it and won it myself.

* * * * * * *

(Another thought.)

Maybe today, my opposition is less obvious, less tyrannical. Today, the villain is mediocrity. Sneaky, he threatens to creep into all aspects of me. I find him splattered onto my schooling, my spirituality, my spending, my humility… I am not invincible.
Look at me:
He infiltrates my resolve and I can only say “I am bored.”

It is on these thoughtless days that I lose the fight.

* * * * * * *
I am not ungrateful for the easiness of the way, only confused.
When did I wake up from the war? Or am I dreaming now?
Sometimes the question comes back:
How do I let this feel normal without dismissing the fact of who I was before?