Wednesday, December 23, 2009

the bottom of the cereal bowl

Ah, a fresh page.

A fresh page to say whatever I want about whatever topic I want and I can say it however long or short or BIG I want.

I took a drink of the milk left in my cereal bowl without thinking; I haven’t done this for a very long period.

It all started back when mom decided to read about a hundred nutrition books and found out that milk and dairy and meat were all offenders. I bought in at once, but never gave up cereal, because the alternative was oatmeal and I hate that pig slop. Once I scafed the offenders out of my diet I felt healthier and all the promises rang true and my life was marvelous.

But now, you know, slowly out of convenience, these have crept back in. On a smaller scale, but it still comes back, and before you know it

I’M DRINKING THE MILK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CEREAL BOWL.

Once you pop the fun don’t stop;

If we let ourselves go for even a moment, the fabric

u

   n

      r

        a

           v

           e

           l

           s

and all hell breaks loose. The buildup is slow, but then the dam breaks and the floodgates open.

It seems too late at this point.

But I start each day with a fresh bowl of cereal, a new piece of fabric and a new pair of gates. I always still have a choice.

This seems the theme of my lately life—choosing. It’s called control on my more cynical days, and the loathsome, romantic burden of deciding on my less pragmatic days. But I keep revolving around this inescapable, wonderful ability and responsibility to choose.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pieces

I don’t have the crutch of that little red wir-o bound book to type from today.

Today, I don’t have anything to copy to ON-LINE from my own handwriting and ink and paper that I bought for two-dollars-ninety-eight-cents [before tax].

I just have my bubbling thoughts inside my own little head to translate directly.

I don’t know why I never do this anymore. I guess I’ve just gotten used to the flow of my hand with ink on paper inside red, jotted quick in between classes, cross-leg-seated on a brown suede couch, or scribbling in the dark when I can’t fall asleep for a churly mind.

Now there are none of those things present. I’m pretty still. I’m pretty steady. I don’t have anything clawing my mind or my fingers; nothing anxious to be released.

So this is what I have to say today.

Peace of mind.

It’s worth it.

It’s nice to be streaming from this place of relative rest, just for a few hours or even days, if I get lucky. Just a few days to think slow, eat a lot of sugar cookies, type slow, savor things like fudge and Art Tatum and a beautiful pearl necklace from the love of my life.

It’s nice to have room in my brain for dreams; I remember them a lot lately.

Last night: Kaylie and I weren’t close friends, she was telling me stuff I felt like I should already know about where she’d been--Garrett was mandating I do something or other--my apartment was in the back room of Jamba Juice, but looked exactly the same--Faith was asking me questions about Jared and I had a million answers.

My subconscious still has a lotta stuff to sort through.

Mushball Brooke

 treeoflight

I am lucky.

Not in the winning prizes or cakewalks or having the stars align every time I want something way, but in the way that helps me remember that it is not luck at all, but rather, some Higher Being watchin out for me. I’m glad, too, that “some Higher Being” isn’t all He is to me. Plus lots of caring people, lots of access to great beauty, and lots of privilege of circumstance I did not one thing to merit.

Christmas has been different to me this year. The smallest things have made me tear up; I think this is directly proportionate to the permission I have given myself to become a sentimental mushball on account of jrad.

Allowing myself to become a mushball has enriched my life greatly, I should let you know. If you are considering allowing yourself to accept the same fate, I am strongly in favor. This is a promise to love it if you would like to call me, if someone is asking you why the heck you are crying, and are you menstruating, or whatever insensitive question they could possibly pop along your journey of letting yourself become a mushball.

Mushball Brooke is also directly proportionate to Newfound Writer Brooke (I just erased ‘Wannabe’ out of that sentence because I am a writer because I write. That’s it). I’ve let myself free on a lot of accounts this year. Free in harmless, real-meaning-of-freedom categories. Thank you, Universe, for letting me be lucky enough to have time and space and support to try these things out.

Anyway, as luck would have it, I have been a bawlbag all holiday season. I have lost more water sitting at choir concerts or the ward Christmas program or thinking about the Christmas story than probably during the rest of the year combined. I’ve never been one of those people who always had to carry around those little mini-packs of tissues. I am beginning to believe this would be a wise practice.

 

I feel like I’ve arrived, finally, this year.

I’ve been able to internalize things. I’ve been able to let my tender emotions be totally pricked at Chopin and Wordsworth and Angels We Have Heard On High. This pattern I’ve allowed through the latter part of 2009 has seemed to culminate during Christmas and I don’t think it will ever be the same for me again; in a delightful way.

I have let myself finally paint Mary vivid in my mind—how we’re a lot the same, probably. I’ve let myself see every kid as a heaven-sent gem, for REAL. I’ve opened my mind to thinking that the birth of the Savior meant, too, His death and suffering. I’ve allowed myself to mull over these thoughts with no iPod buds in my ears. I’ve contemplated in depth and written, streams of consciousness and very personal thoughts—the kind you want to write in itty bitty writing because you’re still a little scared of them. I’ve let myself be okay blabbing to my mom forever about feelings and mental processes instead of doing my homework right away. All this makes me a better thinker,

and, too,

a better feeler.

I never knew this would be the result of writing and internalizing and talking and contemplating while walking home in the freezing icy bluster, starving and exhausted.

I think we often have no stinking idea what the results of our “starts” will be. I think that is a wonderful thing about living.

Luck really has nothing to do with it. It’s a lot of people working behind the scenes, and somehow I end up getting to be the one riding the wave.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

17 of love

 

LOVE:

1. Going home for play time and Christmas treat baking.

2. Making weird noises on the couch while studying.

          2a. Trying to make Claire laugh

3. Snuggling and playing would you rather.

           3a. I would rather have a jingling anklet than balloons tied to my wrists, fly than breathe underwater, and (the hardest one of all) LISTEN to music than create it (if I had to choose).

4. Michael Jackson.

5. Christmas tree in our very own apartment

          5a. WITH PRESENTS!

6. Making grilled cheese for the boy I love.

7. Finishing up my music education class and having my professor tell me that I am wonderful.

8. Christmas cards

9. New socks

10. Time to read, FINALLY!

11. Several pink starbursts, thrown.

12. Taking pictures of my BROTHER GBEECH.

13. Smiling a big fat cheesy smile at myself after I brush my teeth—this is a habit.

14. Visiting teaching.

15. CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS

16. New Years with the hottest man alive.

17. Almost falling every time I walk due to shoes with no traction and the uncontrollable urge to travel by means of DANCING.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

the room of requirement

this life is a crazy little thing
that throws unordinary but BIG and crazy-to-only-you things
at you at seventy hundred miles an hour
and you cannot keep up with any of these things.
you are jelly that is spread really thin and you know this phenomenon, when jelly is trying to spread itself but IT ALWAYS CLUMPS UP ON ONE LITTLE PART OF THE BREAD.

there are requirements.
requirements to walk in the freezing, frigidly freeezing cold until your legs are numb.
but the moments right after your legs get numb and you stop for a stoplight or a patch of snow or black ice
you feel warm. you feel burning hot even, and although your legs can't feel a lot all you DO feel is warm.
but it's negative a million--you're really cold.

there are requirements.
requirements to get letters that add together to make numbers that determine your whole destiny and decide whether you'll get to translate your tears to a conducting pattern and eventually be the one up there telling your twohundredstudents what you feel about this thing you're about to do. numbers and letters and requirements and formulas decide what emotions you'll get to express and to how many people.
it all adds up right quick
and i feel in debt already.

Monday, November 30, 2009

choosing

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
--Mary Oliver

i will do things that make me feel alive.
activities that remind me that i am a human,
living. that i breathe and eat and sleep, but that i'm more, too.
i'm more than an eating sleeping breathing thing.
i can think and believe and decide.
i can write things down and talk and sing with my voice.
i can smile and laugh until i throw up and i can paint and drive and spin around.
i can pick out gifts and dye my hair a weirdish color and take pictures.

i can start a gospel choir.
i can get into the music education program.
i can get married.
i can put my ctr ring on that finger often just to see what it feels like.
i can rip it right back off and determine NOT YET.
these things take work and planning and behind the scenes stuff.

but.
i can choose it if i want. i can choose.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dear LJ

Saturday, November 21, 2009

      It’s early in the morning—far earlier than my alarm is set to ring, but I knew this would happen. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep when this day finally arrived. (“I feel like it’s mine, too,” I told her.) It’s one of those days with such long anticipation you’re sure that time will break its own rules and this day won’t ever actually come.

This epic changing day—my best friend kneels across the altar from her sweetheart, and I trust the care of this incredible woman to this incredible man, forever.

I feel like a parent, giving her away; in the same breath, a little child who has lost her mother. I guess that paradox is just called Best Friends.

Alright, alright—she’s not dying. But after all the times of being there for her when she said goodbye to Lj, it is my time to say a kind of goodbye while they experience the most wonderful hello. This hello holds the surety of a time with no more goodbye—instead, eternal union, everlasting love. This is the real deal.

I’m beginning to understand the smallest portion of the reason why this thing called love is the center of our whole existence.

LJ, you take care of her. I love this woman. You have to know this. You have to know how heaven sent she was to little uprooted me, sophomore year of high school. You have to know the light and the joy she has brought to my life; you have to know the depth and the breadth of this thing we’ve built, in the same time as you were building your love with her. She has been my exemplar, my silver lining, my closest friend and confidant. She means the world to me. I have felt these years that she is my other half. (in a girl way.)

I know you feel this way about her too. It’s finally time for my love to take its proper place—but you have to know, you have to know this one thing: In this union today, my love for her is my love for you, too. You two knit together create something so uniquely beautiful, for which I am grateful to have seen.

Please take care of my best friend, LJ. I know you will. I love you both more than words can say.

Thank you for being a man equal to the task.

All my love,

Brooke

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cocaine Rain

I never thought I would like this type of music. ALT. ROCK.

I never thought I would want to give away my huge, passionate dream to be by some boy’s side.

I never thought I would fall in love now,

now when I need focus and reason and hard work more than ever in my life and I do not have them because when you’re in love your brain releases the same chemicals as when you are on cocaine.

birthdays come and the stakes get higher and higher

20 years old and not going anywhere but your arms

contriving every possible way to spend every possible moment there

i am ambitious i am a strong woman i am independent

but your voice

was the soundtrack of my summer

and your eyes

are the brightest of all the colors

don’t you know you’re unlike any other?

you’ll always be my thunder

so bring on the rain.

i think i can have both.

cocaine and music teacher fit together nicely, eh.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

fragile

I’m feeling weighty—death always does that to a living person.

You realize just how fragile life is, and that you’re ridiculous for fretting about your homework or your time or your absolutely disgusting fridge--because you’re still alive, breathing, able to do things and be places and experience the world and someone else is not.

The someone else you had a secret crush on at different points, the someone else who always intrigued you, the someone else who had a bull cut during the same time your older brother did—you’re older brother who is still here. Still living.

Family friends. We told our Dads’ mission stories together over the dinner table with peals of laughter—did your dad sometimes pray in Navajo as a surprise, too? You guys gave us that big clock up high in the living room for Christmas the other year.  We played Apples to Apples together once for FHE. We went trick-or-treating together when we were little, and I remember you being a pumpkin the year after somebody in our family. Even after all of us kids started growing up and apart and feeling awkward there has still been the connection—history, memories, and our parents.

 

Drug overdose.

I stopped in the middle of Brigham Square, on the phone with Dad. He’s having lunch with Garrett to tell him how much he loves him, that we kids mean more to him than anything in the world, because one of his best friends lost one of his.

Tears are pooling in my eyes—my heart breaks for his family, for love that cannot change choices, love that cannot force a family to un-break, for hard things impossible to explain and sympathy, gut-wrenching sympathy.

These things come every now and again and knock on the door of my life, to remind me how blessed I am

how fragile, too

how our lives do not work out the way we plan

but that someday, I feel, I will be taught, and I will understand.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Few, The Proud

Sigh.
Well, here you are, the lucky few.
You've made the cut--congratulations.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

[Pre]Maturity

The first day of snow
came prematurely.
Not like frosting, dusting the tips of your eyelashes for sweet flirty blinking and thawing inside by the soft glow of warm, holiday love.
Not like chestnuts roasting on an open fire, the frightful weather Michael and Frank croon sweetly about, or lightly fleckling the front driveway the day after Christmas so you can't drudge to any store for sales or exchanges
but instead have to spend the whole day with cocoa and cider and board games and baking and late-coming cards.
No,
it came today, sleeting and cold and it changed colors on the way down,

white—> gray—>  brown—> until it was just the color i know as wet.
two days before Halloween.
It came bearing no gifts, no sweet escape or play time or [snow]men or [snow] angels or sleds or pleasantly rosy cheeks.
It came swirling and menacing, threatening and gave red, bitten cheeks and cold, freezing cold---
The world was unprepared. No one's coat was thick enough, no one's gloves able to ward off the buzzing flakes—they may as well have had rocks in them, the flakes—they were so assaulting and insulting.
Maybe the sky got confused, and is as excited for Christmas as I am.
But like all things that come prematurely,
what should be beautiful and sweet is instead bothersome at best.
cold, biting,
bitterly disappointing,
and leaves one
completely empty.

 

 

p.s. I am still going private. This is your last and final chance to send me your email address : )

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Freedom.

 

I'm goin private.


I gotta explain.

I WANT all of you to read my words--it is oddly therapeutic to have some total strangers, barely acquaintances, and friends of friends or innocent google-rs reading them. To just feel like I’m getting STUFF out there. I have actually really enjoyed the fact that anyone can access my blog. I don’t find random readers creepy or odd, but rather very flattering.

 

However, there is a very small presence

of a very small one person

who has abused my openness.

I have to be rid of it,

completely.

 

I do not desire to live my life small, but rather to become big

and write with the whole world in my arms. (thanks, natalie goldberg)

To live open to everyone who wants. To give my words away to you, with no second thoughts, regrets.To hope that somehow, my words can help you

to feel something.

I do not desire to share my life behind the confines of a securely screwed-down computer screen,

for I itch for freedom more than anything else in this world.

But I suppose we all make choices that restrict our freedom, even if we do not realize it.

I’m still trying to pick up the pieces.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I just sat for a good five minutes pouting that I have to do this. to force your openness when I am so perfectly content with you being anonymously present. knowing  that some of you will be too shy and too non-committal to say Yes, I read.

I suppose I will have to let go of my therapy and my small, itty bitty influence in your life—wherever that brain that reads this sentence is living.

 

Readers give these words life.

I don’t want to let go of that.

So please, please, PLEASE, send me your email addresses and continue to read,

if you so desire,

whoever you may be.

Friday, October 9, 2009

scribbled

I LOVE JARED ANDREW SCHULTZ AND I NEED EVERYONE TO KNOW IT.
I AM NOT EVEN SORRY FOR THE SELF-INDULGENCE OR THE SLIGHT MIDDLE-SCHOOL LEVEL OF THIS DECLARATION,
because unlike my middle school loves scribbled all over my book covers this love is
REAL.


and I am happier than I have ever been.

I almost apologized that this post is probably going to come again and again in some form or another but no, no, no. I am not apologizing.



This man (and he is a MAN. which i love. a separate topic on which i could write a thesis) with his light eyes, his smile, his sensitivity, and his work ethic and his devotion to right things, is mine.

I itch for him to be MORE mine.
But I am content just to love him, LOVE LOVE LOVE like a little girl and like an 80 year old woman, all at once.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

mildew

sunday. 20. september. 2009.

moss green dress, coral belt, purple shoes, yellow earrings. blushed like crazy when ________________________________________!

didn’t expect that; not used to having incriminating things to fill in the blanks. nails cut too short, church too long—just a little. long enough for me to draw a flower in blue pen on my left thumbnail so mom thought i had a crushed finger. wanted to kiss the sparkling kitchen floors and the full, ample cupboards. delicious food and home, family, a thousand percent comfortable. me n gbeech jammed all the way back to ptown, christian rock and “ooohhh,” he said. “i’ve got the sickest gospel song for you.”

home to an empty, musty house. one day i think the mold will peel away the whole floor out from underneath us until there’s nothing left but a crumbly ball of green algae and potato bugs flailing—turned wrong side out, belly up.

the first day of fall

the first day of fall

is the last day that i kiss the sky

and i don’t know any more of the lyrics.

i always get that one mixed up with

your voice

was the soundtrack of my summer

and you’re unlike any other

(or something like that).

certain people are probly ashamed of me right now.

i see you over there, sky. didn’t rise up pink today—instead, a cold, slatey blue. it was frigid out. cold enough to saw my hands off when i was doing something as innocent as changing the song on my iPod. cold enough to drive me inside to class earlier than i have ever been there before. “Cold enough to wear a pea coat?” asked the girl in my Spanish class. Cold enough to wear a coonskin cap—I hope Marsha Lewis sports it tonight.

Cold enough that my fingers have been chilled all day and they are struggling and done.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Can’t you just picture it?

I wonder every single day why I was not born an ample, soulful, bright black woman, fit for singing all day long, and being effortlessly incredible, and having everything I touch turn to magic.

I’ll have to ask God that one first thing.

3887105363_cb246023d7

current idol: Kim Burrell. This woman has the gift.

Monday, September 14, 2009

ican'tdoenoughtoprove

fitting that it rained today.

Friday, September 11, 2009

the school of love

 

My humanities professor is a genius. She makes me think about the earth in a different way--I leave her classroom changed.

She is an endless well of shimmering knowledge. Scary looking, like Eezma, probably 60 or so--I quickly fell in love with her.

She told us about Thomas More's Utopia, how Utopia literally means "nowhere"--from the Greek; we can never achieve this perfection, only hope for such a bliss. Sentence after sentence of articulate brilliance streams from her mouth—she never stumbles.

She let me in on her personal life today, showing the class a picture of her parents in 1941. There was an audible gasp and how lovely they looked. She talked of Martin Luther: "Marriage," he said, "is the school of love."

Her parents: the first 30 years, hard and grueling. An ultimatum from her mother. Complete transformation from her father. The next 30 years, utopia. She cracks jokes but does not laugh at them herself--I am surprised she is willing to be so exposed and open when she is so tightly knit together, her bun and her suit and minimal jewelry. 

I remember the humanities does that to me, too, and maybe everyone if we do it right, because they attempt to teach us, simultaneously, our genius and our frailties—and then we realize we can't take ourselves too seriously.

 

I remembered that there is no ring on her left hand. I wonder about a vulnerability deeper than her father being angry with her as a child, so many years ago. I wonder, sheepishly,  if she cries alone at night, longing for this school of love she can quote so well; I wonder if she is fulfilled. She is so together I deem she must be...but I feel as though she has felt the sting of loneliness maybe more than most in this thriving metropolis of eternal companion hunting and gathering.

As she keeps being poised and never, ever saying the word "um", I wonder if she, in all her studies about being a human, has not had to brave that pain alone and a little deeper because this is what she knows.

She has done her job; I feel empathy and enlightenment about living and being a person, with hurt and joke-making and braving hard things and all that we come to know.

….

As I pass the people rushing on campus, I itch again to know their life stories. But lately I wonder about their pain, the times they were throwing-up sick and heartbroken with loss or the choice of another; when they were physically weak and exhausted; fitful from a nightmare or frazzled without a job, or visible love, or a dad. I want to grab hold of every person and hug tight when I think of this, that we all have cried and cried until we felt weak with headache and our noses ran out the tissue box.

Thinking of the tears of 33,000 people at once leaves me in awe of the weight of the suffering of the whole world, and my single heart stretches as I think of the One I love who bore the load willingly. As I come to know Him my eyes are open to the vast expanse of others--until my "we're all in this together" sense flames firing red and I want to get up and dance.

He has power infinite to lift the weight. He eases my aches every day--task enough to fill a lifetime. He does this, willingly, tenderly, for all of six point something billion anguished hearts and crying eyes--whether they know Him or care or don't.
When I think of this weight I cannot believe that one day I could be like Him.
I want to try.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

sweeping.

Here’s what I’ve learned about humans.

we can get used to anything.

Life without certain people, terrible smells,

bugs in your bathroom and not having a

shower curtain.

We are very good at this. But only to a

certain point,

after which all of the bugs and missing

people and the smells make a monstrous

pile that we set on fire with just a drop

of emotion.

They become a mountain of dry brush

that explodes,

and then gives way to ashes upon ashes—

but at least it’s a smaller pile now

more manageable.

This is the pile we sweep under that one

famous rug.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

confessions less severe than usher's. still shameful.

I don't read the newspaper.

But I get it.

Daily.

But I don't read it.

I paid some little boy eight precious dollars to receive a newspaper I don't even open.
I don't even read online news.
And I certainly, absolutely do not WATCH the news, like on TV. I feel that this makes me a bad citizen and that I need to repent and do better. I know this is shameful and terrible, but it is true. The closest I get to news: Freakonomics blog. I repeat: I am an ignorant nobody like all the politics experts feel so sorry for and are so angry at. I do not read news ever. It sits right under my nose and I do not, for all my love and adoration of reading, pick the thing up and read it.

And I am a typical human, making all breeds of excuses like I cannot read the newspaper because I don't drink coffee, and people who read the newspaper always read it while they drink coffee; or, I can't read the newspaper because the report is slanted and I want to get all sides of the story, so I should have to fly to Iraq and check it out for my own eyes; or, I can't watch the news because it is depressing and also far too loud and permeating every day of my life anyway and I don't believe in it. I think I have some issues to work out in the media department.

blah, blah, blah.
I feel like I'm rapping my fist on the computer screen shouting "HELLO? ANYBODY?"
I'm still deciding how I feel about this whole anyone-can-know-my-deepest-dreams-and-thoughts deal. Anyone. Even people I despise, or people I adore from afar, or people who don't know me at all or (WORSE!) people that know me vaguely SLASH very well.

So until I decide, you can read about how I don't read the newspaper.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

obsessed, a little.

This is how all of my children will learn the alphabet.

Perfect Lawn Man

Perfect Lawn Man lived a block around the corner from 5313 Marshall Avenue. He would sit on his porch to glare at all the kids on their way home from the bus stop, threatening us with those black eyes to do the unthinkable and step on his grass. We used to dare each other, double and triple dog—but we'd only ever venture a toe, at most, because he would yell if he saw or call your parents if he didn't and noticed in his post-after-school-crowd yard examination. This was the legend.

 

We attempted to work through our fears—elementary cognitive therapy, you know—by speculating as to why he cared so much. If he was just a grumpy oldish man who needed cookies, we guessed we could do some good for humankind, whip some up, and be romping free on his property the next day. But maybe, maybe he had a disease, and the weed whacker eased the symptoms. Or maybe his child got lost in a field of unkempt greenery and he vowed to balance the universe with an overly KEMPT patch of grass. Maybe he just didn't actually know what fun was, maybe he grew up with wild beasts and didn't know how to speak, so lawn mowing eased that frustration. or he was maybe brought up in an orphanage and never held, and never had any toys so he didn’t know about playing. It never occurred to us that he was probably OCD, and/or had a nasty set of ownership issues, or just plain hated kids and joy.

 

But we had a secret love for him, the way all kids love trouble and challenges. It was no fun if he was downright mean for no good reason, with no mental illness or beast-parents to speak of. We loved the legend, the invented stories, the mystery. We loved the fear, too—because we could control it. And then, simultaneously, we wanted to give away our control. Maybe if we were ready to do that, we were ready to give away our fear, too. We wanted him to catch us tip-toeing on his manicured lawn. We—I mean all of us crazy humans—all want to be caught, really. That’s how we express our secret desires and stifled needs, how we tell each other the things we can’t form with our own mouths and tongues and lips.

 

We knew it was ridiculous that he cared about this green weed so much—we tried to prove it to him. If enough kids trampled his treasure, maybe he would realize how foolish he was being. But we humans and our treasure, we don’t readily let it go, no matter what useless junk it can be labeled by popular consent. There’s something noble about holding on to your treasure when people are telling you it’s the stupidest thing in the world, to give it up, get a life. Sometimes they are right. Sometimes they are jealous.

 

Perfect Lawn Man slowly gave away his dream, blade by blade. He let chunks of the middle go bad first, watching from his window as they faded to a parched yellow-white and the grass gradually gave away its dewy, flat green. The shape went next. The stuff seemed to have been tugged out like tufts of hair, and placed on top of other patches to prove that it still had a place; nobody believed. His lawn was still one of the best, even after he buried his love for it below the sinking, yellowing clumps. And then, somehow imperceptibly, (no one could tell me exactly it happened) Perfect Lawn Man moved away; it seemed his last act of shame, for selling his precious treasure away by popular consent to Neglect.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nutso-Emotional, or just passionate. Either way, HERE I COME.

My freshly painted enthusiasm seems to have gotten a little sticky with too-quick overuse, and I wanted to run away, again. There’s something about that ‘again’ that just makes it so prickly and defeating. Again. I have these fears often, Again admits. Like every-day often.

How do i sift through the compost of my ridiculously large fears of inadequacy when the precise problem is that i cannot do anything? i don’t have enough money to eat, let alone to sing. singing costs money, i bet you didn’t know. and then i have to, like, pay for an apartment on top of that. but i have to keep flowing into something better and greater and bigger than my own little voice…i tire of my own crutches.

i want to be the blind leading the seeing, the knowledgeable, teaching them about the sky the way blind people only seem to know—awareness, appreciation.

and it has to be instinctive, like typing without looking….all this without looking. blind. it is inside me, the instinct. i want spark it inside others, without pretense and with a whole truckload of emotion. i read that passion is defined as being highly emotional. Gosh, passion just sounds so much more sophisticated than blown out of proportion emotional.

it is these emotions, i’ve described, that lead me to do what i do. steve jobs says you gotta find what you love; he dropped out of college and was just as broke as i’m about to be, and then he became a bajillionare and then he got fired and started all over again, and he liked it. he says it’s all because he loves what he does. and he re-evaluates every day and decides how he wants to live his life, because he almost died one time from cancer. this dude has got to become a mormon, gosh, just read it.

and so i want to do what i love, with no delays. the enthusiasm is still sticky. I warn you, I’m still going to be afraid. I already know. But every day, I feel it stronger. i’m going to give up the padding of education and a bunch of study study reading reading practicing times seventy nine for years before i start. well, i mean, i still want that, that’s the goal. so the point is, i’m not going to wait.

this fall, i am starting a community gospel choir.

in provo. and i’m going to be the director. (eek.squeal!)

we’re going to sing gospel and soul music. (just fyi, soul is just the secular version of gospel.)

and you’re going to be in my choir.

yes, you. i do not care if you have never sung a note; singing is instinctive in all human beings. i can give you the love. remember those fears and the inadequacies? we must do the things we think we cannot.

i also do not care if you’ve never heard a lick of gospel. you’ll be converted. and we’ll shout amens together and clap our hands and smile and get uplifted and just you wait!! you’re gonna love it.

I’m probably going to knock on your door and harass you.

so, what i mean is, see you there.

Friday, August 7, 2009

900 pounds

SOOO here I am again, blogger, because I’m dripping with freakout-age today because my best friend is having probably the biggest day of her life thus far, as we speak. bigger, somehow, than the day she got into byu (we knew she would) or the day she moved out of our apartment (probably a lot bigger for me than for her) or even the day that HE left.

because now, today, HE is coming home. and they are in love and stuff. and i just keep talking about marriage and babies and things of that nature. but uh, she still hasn’t seen him quite yet so uh, we’ll keep the baby makin on the down low, of the entire internet. so secret.

she had this terribly horrid fear that she was going to wake up this morning weighing 900 pounds and not be able to move from her (obviously crushed) bed, much less fit through her doorway, butterball up the stairs, into her car, and onto a PLANE to deliver her to the arms of the love of her life (who would end up with the same fate as the bed if she weighed 900 pounds.)

she calls me, frantic. a disaster of hilarious proportions has arisen. so then she’s going to the gym, she can’t take this no mo. she’s ripped all the clothing from her closet to try to figure out what to wear. we are driving to her aid. this is HUGE.

she jumps around so giddy and dumps an armful of boxes and glass vials, her lifetime collection of perfume, in our laps. She needs to know which one to wear. OHHHH, we say—we feel the weight.

Brooke: “Do you have any more Kaylie Smell?….Wait, didn’t he say that he just likes the smell of your deodorant?”

She laughs, and her eyes crinkle and glitter as she recounts the story of the one time she DIDN’T wear perfume and he went nuts for her Dove fresh.

“HE’S ON THE PLANE!!!!” She flops her limbs a little bit, then launches into a hip jive that includes shouts of “WELCOME TO AMERRRRICUHHHH!” We are giggling, hugging in a circle, jumping on the grass and SHOUTING, SHOUTING.

sdfakjfdalfjkasklfjasdfWell wanna know what ,she didn’t wake up weighing 900 pounds, she’s on a plane, and he IS the love of her life.

And uh, BABIES.

hehhh.

She thinks jazz is crunchy

NYT2009012310301246C

THIS IS WHY I CAN’T WAIT TO LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY. 

(don’t experience it without the audio.)

So get this, he plays in subways AND Carnegie Hall. And he has the coolest mustache, and the prettiest, most deliciously accessible yet elegant way of talking about why he does what he does. And he brings people together, makes them forget themselves for a minute and listen. Gosh, he talks about music so beautifully. “You don’t make music—it comes through you.” 

I want that! To blink notes, breathe in blues, steep chords into my esophagus and sweat symphonies…(Well, that might be a little gross?)

Rique, I love you a little bit.

 

my title is in reference to a jazz concert that Boyfriend and I went to last night, at which the pianist remarked that jazz is “crunchy.” I guess we all just want music to be edible, to get it inside us somehow…she wants to crunch and munch on her jazz chords, and I want to sweat symphonies. delish.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

We all scream for…KENDRA.

This is what I do to Kendra while she is trying to eat ice cream. She plays along.

DSC_1904

DSC_1906

DSC_1907

DSC_1908

DSC_1910

DSC_1911

DSC_1913

DSC_1914

She tried to escape to the living room, but I sneakily followed her. There is no escape, Kendra darling. You should know this by now.

DSC_1926b

DSC_1928b DSC_1929b

DSC_1938

DSC_1939

DSC_1933

mmmmmmmmmm. forget ice cream. i scream for kendra.

A coffee shop on every corner

The sky swam with grayish clouds this morning and I missed the smell of coffee, walking along streets full of not 99% white people. There is a coffee shop on every corner, and the Mormon kids would go to Starbucks and get hot chocolate. But I loved that smell, and wished desperately that my name was Tully.

The hustle crowd, bustling to work—watching them, I longed to stop in the middle and let them swarm around me. I missed that salty, fishy smell from the Puget Sound and remembered how the view from Alki beach looked like the movies, how the sky looks so wide open and from the ferry you can see in panoramic and forwards and downwards and all directions, stretch of city and sea and it is beautiful.

 

I am taken back to Elephant Ears at the Puyallup Fair, samples of grilled corn and almonds at Bite of Seattle. I can only dip my leg in the fountain, cautiously, because my elbow is still busted from being a wannabe gymnast, jumping on the tramp.

I have just been CPR certified to make myself more marketable as a babysitter. Tara Low is coming with me to church and Girl’s Camp. I think all my brother’s friends are marriage material and spend most of my time contriving ways to see them and get them to like me. I even google it, before everyone googled absolutely everything. I am trying to force myself to cry outside the hypnotist show at the fair, because Ben is holding Kelli Harris who ruined everything and I am trying to be so sad that he will notice and take pity and break up with her and marry me…or at least take me on the Extreme Scream with him. I am so young, and my journal and my head are filled with nothing but boys.

 

I am boating at Lake Tapps, tagging along with my brother and the cool kids again. I am sleeping over at Courtny Jarman's, looking up at her ceiling that has clouds painted on it and coveting her hard wood floor. She’s a dancer. I love her and am surprised that she loves me, because I'm not as cool as she is. I am showing her my toe-touch, I am going to try out for cheerleading. I am wandering the halls of Riverside High, excited to be in Vocal Jazz sophomore year and not having a clue that I want to be a music teacher.

 

The summer is sweltering, I am draping my limbs on fans and eating healthy choice fudge bars with Natalie. I love her, and we talk about fashion and kids at school and beg our parents to drive us to Bellevue so we can go to Sephora and coat our arms in eye shadow and perfume—when I get in the car her dad is telling me that I smell very, uh, strongly, and we just giggle and giggle, back home to spend the night with crunch n munch and girl talk and Grease.

Then I am moving away. I am not wanting to leave. We have a going away party and I’m still killing myself to impress Isaac Lomeli and trying to start the boy shorts trend. I need more time for all of these things.

Natalie is there when we are about to drive away. We’ve had a rough few days, bursting into wet tears in between bites of peach yogurt after she gave me that immaculate scrapbook of the reasons she loves me, our memories together, the billions of photoshoots and movies we’ve made.

But we’re somber now, and we don’t cry. “It doesn’t feel real,” she says. I look down at my Old Navy flip flops and try to keep my hair from curling in the humidity. The sky is shining, blaring, no clouds. I need you, I tell her, hugging her long and tight. She looks at me a few times as we mumble our last goodbyes. Neither knows anything epic or movie-worthy to say. Then she turns slowly and walks down Nathan Avenue. My face is prickling in the heat as I walk toward the van, looking back again and again for her red curly hair or her freckles, but I can’t see her.

………………
The sky looks wide open, simmering with mixing clouds and splotches of blue. I scan the contents of this view that I have grown to love so closely, with mountains instead of trees and bikes and backpacks and shade shirts under tank tops. I love you both, I whisper. I look up to the sphere of melting gray and I let myself smile wide with the memory so pungent, the smell of youth and city life, Lakeland Hills and rain, and a coffee shop on every corner.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

hey there veronica

Although I highly doubt that wearing, meditating (??) or surrounding myself with “Veronica” will help me balance my life, this thing is pretty freakishly accurate.

Try it here, if you wanna.

Flash

Monday, August 3, 2009

universe needs some educashun

Enclave Parties Summer 09 074-pola01b   as luck would have it,
   leaving.
   as fate would dictate it,
   one week.
   as destiny that-i-can't-decide-if-i-believe-in would want it,
   probably forever.

     all these reunions and happy feel-good times are no longer  mine, because what the heck august came anyway, against my will. i want june chan back.

                               this sucks.

sux.
thx u r so kewl eye lurve u qt,
now if u could jus be n mi life id be so ha-p bc eye need u more than eye admit n eye am sa-p so sry but plz cant u jus rearrange the universe?

sometimes it doesn’t know what it’s doing so we hafta educate it.

it should go to college. the universe, i mean. it should go to the right college, with me, not in stupid cold small cave apartment place idaho, and do things how they’re supposed to be.

it ain’t posed ta be this way—tell stupidhead universe i said so.

Friday, July 31, 2009

More proof that I take myself far too seriously.

oh my. WARNING: I am ridiculously intense lately. My whole life plans are semi once again in shambles and so I feel every emotion to the upteenth degree, good or bad.

………

I’ve spent the better part of an hour now, eating carrots and grapes, discussing canning and cookbooks on beans (!!), reading “ten stupid things women do to mess up their lives”, and not coming back to this blog post. Shall I be ultra dramatic about  ohhhh, how my world is shattered, ohhhh, and I don’t feel like a whole person anymore, and explain that this is precisely the reason I am so intense, yet so paralyzed? I mull it over between tart bites.

Shall I explore the depth of the reasons why I am still overflowing, but now inexplicably, how I just want to shout everything and how I bawl every time I try to practice for voice lessons because it’s hard and I don’t know how to fix and because classical music makes me slightly sick so I have to spend half my time singing the way my soul feels to and the other half trying to do the opposite? I chomp on a carrot stick.

Shall I try to explain my Self, once more, to my dear, dear readers, some of whom know me well, some of whom I’ve never met? To YOU, I wish you’d kindly drop out of my life. To you, I wish you’d get back into it. To you, I wish you’d try to understand. To all of you, I don’t know whether I’d wish you’d read or skip, but I find I have less control every day so I guess whatever.

This baby carrot tastes funny. Shall I apologize profusely for my uneducated opinions, for my biases stemming from some unknown source, for my imperfections and my not-totally-grown-out blonde streak? I throw the empty bag away.

I thought I didn’t believe in any of that stuff. I thought I believed in being who I was, so strongly that I was willing to give up sleep and food and slice off years of my life to live it the way I want. I still am. But the who I am part seems suddenly chaotic beyond repair, strewn across miles of years and with the volume turned all the way up. Shouting, shouting into the braindead megaphone.

So, the point is, I’m intense, more than I’ve ever been.

I’m not really sure exactly why. I’ll let you know when I know, with more impassioned torrents of madness and chaos.

A terrifying, incoherent rant for your disagreeing pleasure

Found this rant from a while back and thought I’d share. I’ve been sucked back into the vortex since this point, so if you don’t agree, no need to worry because I’ve given in, too.

So, lately I’ve been attempting to unplug my life. I’ve gotten fed up with facebook and other things of the like, the dependence of seemingly everyone in the college realm on these things. Anyway, apparently my endeavors may be unfruitful after all: I, as an average American, view 400-600 ads per day.

Is it inescapable? Is it impossible to live a life without demoralizing, time-squandering media and relentless attempts to get me to buy, attempt, or simply believe? I’m not seeking hermitism here. I just want simplicity. Most of all I want reality. I’m through with airbrushed, Photoshopped, consumable people in magazines and on billboards. I’m done with exploitation of the entire human population, through every last element of popular culture.

But apparently this decision is not mine to make. I can’t simply throw up my hands and say “Enough!” and have every tv commercial pulled, every advertising guru unemployed. How can we reverse decades of permeation and infiltration of these hoards of unrealistic sleazeballs being chucked in our faces left and right? How can I force Americans to wake up and become alive again, when “waking up” is what we claim to be trying to do and when we have equated pleasure with “the good life” for so long? We’re trying to educate people, we’re trying to make them more open-minded. We’re going to offer courses in pornography and degrees in gay-lesbian studies so we can be aware. This isn’t life. It’s not reality.

The life I believe in doesn’t consist of this. It is filled with so much more! I dream of impossible things, of people helping each other and taking risks by going out on a limb to connect, not to gain some sort of sick control or pleasure. I believe, alright. In our ability to connect, to be exquisitely creative and wonderful without ulterior motives. Why don’t we channel our immeasurable capabilities to the common good?? Then it wouldn’t be whoever CEO trying to help out starving children in Africa to promote his company, he’d be doing it for them. And he could even do it for himself; he could do it for the challenge, for the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that can’t come any other way. You’re not going to fall into bed joyfully exhausted when you’ve spent all day researching how to make your audience addicted to your product so you can get more money to spend on your expensive bed.

Why don’t we get to believe in the common good anymore? We have to, instead, be swarmed by thousands of creepsters showing us evidence that we are clearly not inherently good, that the cycle is unbreakable and we can’t and don’t want to be, so why would we even begin to try? We should give up, give in, addict, get addicted, buy, sell, trade. It’s our souls, anyway.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

(in) FLATED.

AAAAAANNNNND!

BALLOONS, real ones. with this note attached:

 

We think you’re the greatest! Don’t let The Man crush your soul.

Love,

Your adoring family

Mom, Dad, Garrett, Cameron, Eric, & Brennon

Thanks, Mom. You know how to love me best of anyone in the history of ever.

Building up from seven inches high

from brooke beecher <brookebee@gmail.com>
to Paul Broomhead <paul_broomhead@byu.edu>,
Jean_Applonie@byu.edu

dateWed, Jul 22, 2009 at 3:15 PM
subjectThank you
mailed-bygmail.com

hide details Jul 22 (5 days ago) Reply

Dear Dr. Broomhead and Dr. Applonie,

I want to thank you both for taking the time to interview me today.
I was flabbergasted to learn that I missed the audition, albeit through miscommunication. I know you are both extremely busy, especially in this time, but I would like to see if there is any way I can schedule a live audition. I understand if this is not possible at this point, but I want to make sure I have exhausted all possible avenues before I give up and leave my acceptance to chance. I am also willing to gather the letter of recommendation, the aural skills test score, and any other materials needed if you are willing to accept those.

Again, thank you for your time today and for considering me for the program.
Sincerely,
Brooke Beecher

 

fromPaul Broomhead <paul_broomhead@byu.edu>
reply-toPaul Broomhead <paul_broomhead@byu.edu>

tobrooke beecher <brookebee@gmail.com>

dateMon, Jul 27, 2009 at 12:20 PM
subjectRe: Thank you
mailed-bybyu.edu

hide details 12:20 PM (21 hours ago) Reply

 

Brooke,

We have made our decisions regarding admission to the Music Ed Program and you were not one of the 5 who were selected at this time. I know this is not pleasant news to you. I’m writing you personally because I anticipate that you may think, “But I didn’t get to do the singing audition.” I wanted to personally assure you that the audition would not have made a difference. Indeed we were looking at you on a level field with the assumption that you would pass the audition—and still your qualifications did not quite get you in the top 5.

Brooke, I wrote the above for the sake of clarity and it came out sounding quite negative. So, now I want to tell you that we were actually quite impressed with you and believe you will succeed well—perhaps even in music education. You have many strengths that we recognize, and I would personally enjoy working with you some day.

All the best,

Dr. Broomhead

 

from brooke beecher <brookebee@gmail.com>
to Paul Broomhead <paul_broomhead@byu.edu>

date Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 1:54 PM
subject Re: Thank you
mailed-bygmail.com

hide details 1:54 PM (19 hours ago) Reply

 

Dr. Broomhead,

Thank you again for considering me and for writing personally. I appreciate your honesty and timely response.
I have learned much in this round of the application process, and look forward to this upcoming January for another shot. I would be interested in meeting with you soon to discuss how I can improve myself as a candidate, as well as exactly how I should go about the application this next time so I can eliminate any further miscommunication.
Please let me know when you will have time in the next few weeks to meet with me--and again, thank you for your help and consideration thus far.

Sincerely,
Brooke Beecher

 

………

No toil nor labor fear

but with joy

wend your way.

I feel seven inches high.

But I feel good, now.

Feeling good is a good spot from which to build from seven inches

high, a good space from which to fill pages. Not only are you spared

salty water smudges but a view of this thing through red, puffy

eyes and smeared makeup. I can polish now, I can accept, and I can

be serene.

Food still tastes like sawdust, and I am somehow not quite as much

of the same vivacious, bubbly girl so aware of her own heartbeat. I

am deflated Mylar, heaped-but still steady, ready to blow air

back in slow, refined pace. I can no longer afford a bulletin board

dream-this is an aspiration worthy of all the work I can muster out

of myself, all the oxygen I can blow into my balloon, for the picture on

my desktop to become my reality.

I would personally enjoy working with you some day, All the best, he signs.

You BEST be enjoyin, Dr. B, because I be workin my butt off.

……………….

The day after my interview, after being discouraged and wondering if I’d been wrong all along about this path being The One for me, I was reading and stumbled upon this accidentally.

"The dreamers are the saviors of the world. As the visible world is sustained by the invisible, so men, through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations, are nourished by the beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers. Humanity cannot forget its dreamers; it cannot let their ideals fade and die; it lives in them; it knows them as the realities which it shall one day see and know.

Composer, sculptor, painter, prophet, poet, sage—these are the makers of the after-world, the architects of heaven. The world is beautiful because they have lived. Without them, laboring humanity would perish.

Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts. For out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.”

James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

I have not been wrong all along.

‘Tis not so, all is right.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

midsentence

I am waking well before my alarm lately. Perhaps due to the turbo speed my dial of life is perpetually set to. Wake up. Shower. Sigh.

No pity here. Just truth, of things that have passed that I cannot change--be it to correct, alter, or eliminate. There is a drop of cherry juice on my white dress. My hair is unwashed. I missed the audition.

No pity. Truth. Reality. I feel anxious and then eased, not ever comfortable--just the measure of more or less tense. I babble all day long about this dream of mine and how I'm working toward it, and fill scripts with words I could have said to make the work move along.

I have fought and am still fighting. I have accepted that my life will never be one of rest. Seeds are planted in me that I have chosen to nurture. I have chosen this path for myself.

I cannot turn around. There is not a fork in my sight, not an option any longer for retreat to ease or quick fix, or even any other path of equal difficulty. My emotions fizz and bubble and surge me forward, hurling me at turbo speed down this path I have wanted, well before my alarm rings.

My fitful sleeping dreams are filled with men writing me off and labeling me arrogant in their minds, women with turquoise spectacles and bright red hair being polite and contradictory. I do not know how they feel about me really. Are they testing me? The harshness and the stark, seeming distaste just makes me cry.
Am I all alone in my dream, I wonder. My alive, awake dream. Why doesn't anyone believe in this stuff; it is just as real as going flat and forgetting words and miscommunication and lower-than-expected GPAs.

I tried hard not to regret. I made a list of blessings and smelled the air and looked at the majestic panoramic of the sky. I am so blessed, I remind myself through red eyes--just red from confusion, that's all.

There have been times of discouragement, but never of uncertainty, I wrote. Still true. There have been times of being unfair and snippy and of oversight, but never of failure, I should rephrase.
I didn't even think I would get this chance now. I didn't even think I'd be in the practice rooms of the HFAC imitating opera on my lunch breaks. I do not doubt the possibility that it is still going to happen now for me.
In the blank after GUT FEELING, I think she put a Y. I think he put a question mark. Perhaps that is too generous, perhaps me and my non-mold-fitting ways are too cocky to realize truth.

I have had frustration, not fear. I have had uncertainty in circumstance, but surety of outcome. I know what I have learned. And it is not to never trust anyone, or to fight people when it's your word against theirs. It is that I might never wake up to my alarm again. That I feel too much to be still in fitful dreams of



......

I left this post in midsentence, anxious to get home to bffls and boyfriends and pink plastic tablecloths for utensil-less spaghetti. I left my overspoken dream hovering in midsentence, cursor blinking, mascara smudged off. Days have passed--whatever pressing insight might have finished that sentence is lost in translation of all the discoveries and events and more FEELINGS...but not a minute goes by that I don't think about my stupid powerLESS heels, aural skills, smiling compliments of the best essays ever read punctured by after-questioning do-I-have-a-practical-side.

Okay, I just backspaced the start of a torrent of smart aleck comments. Backspace again. Blinking cursor again.
Starting and stopping, again--stopping, for now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Power heels, comma, BOP

My power shoes are a little squeaky and I wonder absently if "Dr. B" will notice that I wore them the last time we met. He won't.

I've had nothing but happiness and strength today--the butterflies that choked my words and stifled my courage last night have laid down to let me fly in their place today.
I'll accept that they'll come back on the walk up four flights of stairs, power shoes clicking away. I'll pause outside the office, take a deep breath, smooth my skirt. My mind will be clear but not blank, still buzzing. I'll remember mom's voicemail and Garrett's text and Claire's reassuring shouts this morning. (Who knew shouts could be reassuring? We yell everything lately. It makes all things we say BETTER. SEE?!)

After the rating scales of teaching personality and musicality/background, there is a space for "GUT FEELING."

"YES! YES! YESSSS!!" I SHOUTED into the empty office this morning.

Gut feeling.

......

In other news, Jared Schultz.

He is continuously, incessantly, literally always bopping around in my brain matter.
((a note to the Scattergories Authority: "bop" absolutely IS a legitimate way to travel--please see above example.))

And I can't stop the boppage, although I do not know why I would want to, considering the silly grin said boppage plasters on my face as I float around all day. I don't let you in on this ridiculousness usually, because usually, when people talk about this stuff, I find it ultra lame and boring and ultra all-the-same.
But JARED SCHULTZ, ahhhhh!! I am a very huge fan of exceptions when this creature is involved. I am the person I never planned on being, and somehow I am perfectly okay with it. Except for the times when I shout at him that he's ruining all my plans and why does he have to be so wonderful. He shrugs and says sorry, which makes me fall into a fit of giggles and I am okay with being Giggly Girl oogling at Boyfriend once again.

"hey girlfriend. you're like the soy sauce to my sushi." YEAH I am.

iiiiiiiii liiiiiiiiiike hiiiiiiiim.

note: i still do not understand/adore the other members of the male class. you are still on probation with me for a little while longer. purely informational.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

tumbleweed

I despise the word ‘network’ as a

verb.

Since when did people become

something to procedure as computers.

With computers.

I love this font.

I despise flakes and flecks and specks of things getting on my white shorts.

I love/despise BYU magazine:; love for all the

inspiring things people do, despise for the ridiculous

things people can accomplish and why the heck

haven’t I done such things, I am older than the girl

from Finland who moved out at 14 to live on her

own to be closer to her violin teacher so she could win bajillions of awards and prizes. ALSO, what

is this about some girl getting ORCA grants for her

research about steak browning?? Despise on this one.

I love running in the morning in summer alongside a

couple of the best creatures ever created.

……

I despise things that smell bad: today, the office

of computer dudes next door.

My life is uncomplicated, really.

Monday, July 20, 2009

An explanation of jubilee


this is kendra. she is practically perfect.


"You look happy," Bishop said to me yesterday, after we talked about the temple and he signed a new recommend for me. I love this man.

"I am." My response was automatic, but real.

"It's a good feeling." We smile kind of knowingly at each other, and all I can do is nod.

The best feeling, my constant glee.
So I need you to know that it is possible. It isn't too much to handle. I still feel everything else. Just in this frame of incessant joy that does not go away, because it is in direct proportion to how close I let myself get to the author of all happiness.
He is as real as these feelings. Nothing will make me stop knowing that; I will not apologize for that.
I will not try to paint a picture of my life as perfection--I think you already know about the non-perfection too much to gloss it over enough, anyway.
This joy of mine is not based on ignorance, but instead on new understanding.

Happiness does not arrive, but evolves and changes with us; it is not dependent on our circumstance, but on the state of our insides.

And we read these ideas and skim these how-to books and don't believe any of it, because that's not real life; it's a scam. Those fairytale feel-good movies just suck our money and our time, because we know how it really is. We live our lives in it. In the muck and the grime and the grit and the logistics of the world that is a couple parts good but overwhelmingly more parts awful. To be dealt with and hid from and endured.

No. We choose. We chose to be here. We choose how we become while we're here. We choose where we're going.

"They themselves are makers of themselves, by virtue of the thoughts they choose and encourage; that mind is the master-weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness."

-James Allen, As A Man Thinketh ((MACY! I am ADORING this book!!))

No, no no: read that quote again.
Think about it again.

This is what makes reality. I choose to be close to the God I love, who loves me when I am undeserving; I choose to be close to the God who "knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand [was I] created from the beginning." (Alma 18: 32)
In turn, I choose to be happy.

Because I know Him, I know my life isn't some pointless array of random acts that have no lasting effect, that I will be together forever with those I love and that my life will mean something, even after it is over.
Knowing this, I can wake up smiling.

This is who I am. This is who I am discovering I can be. And this is how my life course will run.
I will not apologize for that.

Friday, July 17, 2009

the reason why i have been a nutcase for a while now

Portfolio: check.
sigh.
this thing has been sucking all my time and vitality, in a mostly good but really suction-sucking way, for a while now. I can't believe it's done.
I pause to look at it sitting next to me, with sewn pockets for dvds and four rings binding the top--what IS this thing. my whole life, basically. trying to convince paul broomhead that my life course should be allowed to run the way i want.

but i already know he is going to leap for joy when he sees this thing of beauty and wonder. he is going to not just pat me on the back, but, perhaps, take me in a full bear hug because he is so refreshed by my creativity and charm and he will say, "gosh, brooke, i don't even think you NEED to go through the program. here is a diploma, and you can go teach at ron clark and bell and ride off into the sunset of blissful happiness. go ahead, congratulations."

the weight of trying to make my biggest dreams in the world happen in a few short weeks has been...crushing. crushing like pressed flowers, when you get something concentrated and new and beautiful...


SO ANYWAY. I'm done. And you can read my first essay today, if you want. They told me analyze your motivation to teach, tell us when you decided to teach, and hey, how committed are you to this career. Pmff. I wanted to refer them to this blog like seventeen times. I will probably post the second one as well, but for now, here is the first. quite fitting that my 100th post is about being a music teacher.



HERE IT IS!!

I love soul music. I can be found rolling out of bed to Aretha Franklin wailing “Respect,” blow drying my hair to her gospel croons of “Can I get a witness?”, and dancing all over campus to “What a Friend We Have In Jesus” with my hand as a microphone. I’ve always been adamant that music isn’t music without soul; without feeling. It is this element that has molded my own soul, and planted in me the desire to have a hand in sculpting others.

I want to shape souls, human ones; through my own passion, my feeling, my music. There is no more direct avenue to this end than teaching music in public school.

Public school music gave me a great experience. I felt the mysterious magic of music and knew I wanted it all my life, and choir was enjoyable and enlarging. But I never pictured myself ending up as a public school music teacher until I was at a choir concert after my first year of college, with a lot of experiences to fuel the musical fire but no major to claim. I had tentatively decided to major in music, but there were still doubts—especially about teaching—that ate my deep desire and digested it to disdain. The fear that paralyzed me: what did I have to offer students more than someone else?

But as I sat there at that choir concert after a year of constant struggle to figure out who I wanted to be and how my dreams fit in with reality, something happened. I sat there with my mouth unhinged, paralyzed, and the chills would not stop. It was then that I first said to myself, “this is what you’ve got to do. Nothing else is going to cut it—you have felt the joy and wonder of music all your life, but you’ve tasted this feeling now, this feeling that is somehow different. You are a teacher, and you are enough. You will bring things to the table that nobody else in the world can, and those are your passion, your deep spiritual connection to this medium, your vision and devotion--these feelings you have right now. And there is no turning back. Your heart has been given away to this—you’ve got to be a music teacher, and that’s that.”

It hit me then, that teaching music was all I had ever actually wanted to do and I had been fighting it because I was afraid. Afraid of the failure; of the success, too. I tried not to be a music geek—talking about music all the time and thinking about music all the time and being like, "Music is my life blah blah” all the time—but, I had to confess: I was a music geek. To the core. Music is such an incredibly basic part of my makeup, like water and oxygen; it is intertwined and woven and stitched in me so deeply that it can't be separated from the intangible qualities of Brooke Beecher and I've got to shout about it!!

So teaching gives me a podium from which to shout; not a podium for preaching or my own accolade, but one that gives a standing point from which to see change in people over time. As a ward choir director while still in high school, I got a first glimpse of the change I could facilitate. Under my direction, choir members learned music as something that made them better people, as an avenue for finding Christ. I saw their faces light up as they grasped the concepts, and I heard them sing differently with faces newly alight. I got to see faces light up again as a Relief Society teacher; we discussed the gospel, we “[understood] one another, and both [were] edified and rejoice[d] together” (D&C 50:22). I began to see the parallels between teaching the gospel and teaching music, experiencing the same edifying and rejoicing—these added drops to the bucket of my desire to teach music.

The tipping point came when I was given a rowdy six-year-old Primary class. Under my tutelage, I watched them go from flying limbs and all manner of screaming, wailing, and whining to arms folded and minds affixed. I sat back in awe, realizing that the expectations and love that had come naturally to me, coupled with hard work, had actually facilitated change. The outcome left me in awe because the process was almost imperceptible, changing from moment to moment—a process alive to me in a way no other endeavor ever has been. I began to realize the greatest joy I found was in setting high expectations for these children, and being the person who saw their potential and pushed them with love and patience. It was this experience that was the epiphany for the niche I have discovered as a music teacher in inner city schools. The lack of discipline and stimulation from the arts found in these schools touches a deep desire inside of me to love people in a way that helps them see the world in a new light; this light is the joy and capacity of music to lift the human spirit and take us to greater heights—not just as musicians—but as human beings.

And so you see, I’m not just a singer; I am a teacher. The seeds of both are planted in me, to work together and bring forth something uniquely me—to make some girl from a small town in Utah into a teacher in urban schools, who molds souls and minds. This process, however difficult, is the path most congruent with my life goals: to change people for the better and to guide others in their spiritual and emotional journeys to find themselves and Christ. Because I have found Christ so beautifully through music, it is the lens through which I can help others see Him with the most clarity. Music fills me. It fills me to overflowing, so that I have to share it; body and spirit, music is magic. I want to be an instrument of that magic in another’s life.

I want to shape souls, human ones—with my soul. This can be done most directly through the medium of music that has shaped my soul so poignantly. My vision of being a music teacher who does this is too clear to be clouded by doubt any longer; I am fiercely committed to making this vision reality.
“Can I get a witness?”

The Seed (Part 2)

remember my seed exam? my marriage that i have loved and nurtured so faithfully? the seed i wrapped in saran wrap and a kitchen towel to keep it warm, and put under the table lamp every single day to watch it sprout? these have been the results.







well, i should be honest and tell you it's dead now. but it was a good run, seed. i loved you a lot. i still love you, dead as you are. i will forever remember you this way, with leaves and pretty purple blossoms.
good thing this isn't a type of things to come in the marriage department, riiiiggght!

Monday, July 13, 2009

bonkers.nuts.psycho.crazy.insane.ridiculous. above and beyond and around and under all those things.



i know they have to accept me when i am doing things like this. they have no other choice.
but seriously.


i felt like this ^^^^^

this weekend was NUTS, i tell you. in wonderful ways and ways i'd rather not return to and ways i was completely not expecting and in ways i am totally unsure how to feel about and all very exhausting, but very magnificent.

and then i felt like this, five seconds later.

Friday, July 10, 2009

hobo

Yesterday's list:

1. felt like a hobo because i snagged like, six, perhaps seven, packets of saltines from L&T...and then at them noisily and messily in my oh-so-sophisticated meeting with intelliworks.

a. the brown of my shoes matched the brown of the table leg exactly, which made me feel a little bad because they were church tables from probably the seventies.

I met a man named Brooks which always weirds me out and I knew he was the presentation guy when I saw him outside my office way before the meeting, because he was dressed well and looked like corporate America.
Shawn O'Neal kept looking over at me quizzically, as if to ask what the heck I was doing there. Old men looked at my curled hair and wanted to ask, "you in the right room, honey?"
I am young. I am too young to wear powersuits and attend meetings and pay attention to them for two hours and twelve minutes. I am 19. They think I do not know anything, although I am the student they are trying to serve and reach and market and sell with this fancy software package. I am young, and I hate corporate America. I hate the overcomplication of absolutely EVERYthing, how the presenters are always magnetic but inaccessible. How people expect to be lied to a little bit.

People are leaving the meeting, but I stay, smacking my brown shoe against the brown of the table leg, to show Shawn I am credible and have a brain.

2. I felt like wonderful because we went to the temple and I needed it, and Macy was there and I loved it. After waiting for something, anything, I read about how there will be the most magnificent music in heaven and lost it--well, losing it in that way that makes you feel so inexplicably found.

3. I felt like wonderful again sitting in a restaurant with delicious food and my four best friends in the whole of the universe and thought over and over again how blessed I am to have found them, how rare it is and how much I've learned from each of them. How I think about that all the time but realize it anew in moments like those. I couldn't stop grinning as we discussed how our husbands will be best friends and we'll all live next door and our kids will play together and perhaps my children and Claire's will learn to play video games at Katie and Kaylie's...

4. I felt grateful for people like Macy Sorensen. I felt grateful to and for Macy Sorensen. Macy who is so giving, so humble and magnificent and ready to learn, so interested in my life and me and LOVING. I was grateful for her tears and her presence and her spirit is always able to speak so deeply to mine.

5. I felt tense, then reassured.

6. I felt content and exhausted and happy.

7. I feel that way now. Waking up happy is on my favorite things in the world list.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

clueless

WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW WHAT I REALLY DESPISE AT THIS MOMENT?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR WHY I AM WRITING IN ALL CAPS ALL ANGRY LIKE?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN AN ONSLAUGHT OF POSSIBLY INNACURATE BUT MORE LIKELY REAL OCCURENCES THAT MAY OR MAY NOT TERRIBLY OFFEND YOU?

THIS IS WHO I REALLY DO NOT CARE FOR RIGHT NOW.

males.
yes, you: all of you. you do not understand how to live sometimes. you do not get the natural flow of the way life is supposed to work.
especially in your relations with females.
you are insensitive and selfish sometimes, and don't pick up on the obvious, obvious, obvious. you are rough and falsely intimate when you claim to be gentle and real, and i am sorry that i am making all these sweeping generalizations but they are sometimes true and i am not quite sure how you at times fail miserably to realize this. you only talk about blowing things up or fighting people down or trite things of the like and let me guess your true passion in life is sports? i try to be patient with you, but i know you are brilliant, and you seem to be wasting it on stupid crap that does not matter one lick so let's talk about your that instead of hot girls or cars. sometimes i am sick with you, you make me feel to vomit because you are so clueless and so unaware and seems you do not care about people but only what they can be consumed for, how they can serve your purposes.

so unless you are related to me or your name is jared schultz please do not come near me. i guess also i should mention if your name is jared schultz and you are my boyfriend. probably there are more jared schultzes in the world guilty of these hideous offenses that my jaredschultz is not.
back to all you other males that are wrong-doers: i said do not come near me, and i mean do not come near me at least until i admit my wrongness in faulting all of you for things only a few are guilty of, but for now i am frustrated and you get to hear about it that is all thank you.