Monday, November 30, 2009


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.

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,


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


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

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