Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Big stuff for 2011.

I have refused New Year’s Resolutions for the past years because I discovered I was a failure at them and so I stopped. No strings attached. Nobody really bugged me about it, actually. I still achieved stuff, but felt a lot lot better when I didn’t pressurize it by labeling it NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS.

This year I am brimming with them. Not the usual, either. No feelings of I-should-do-this-because-other-people-do-it. No obligations. Things I actually want to do, inherently. I am motivated by my own plain desire and nothing else—which is totally new. I'm going to share a couple big ones with you.

-Write every day. I gave myself like 8000 outs for this desire last semester. A big honking one with a neon sign was called musiceducationschool.Other ones crept up under various pseudonyms but it was all the same omnipresent umbrella covering the fear of not being good enough. If I wrote more it would mean I had to face more. It would mean I would want to share more but I might be afraid somebody wouldn’t get it and they’d think I was nuts.

A great part about this is that if it doesn’t happen with shining perfection I am not going to feel bad. I am only going to feel bad if I abandon it because of that fear.

-Give my will completely to God—changing my plans if necessary. I feel like this is incredibly important but my heart and mind are fuzzy about exactly why—probably because I can’t tell the future and my little self can’t perceive what God has in store for my life. Change what plans, precisely? If He would tell me that I could prepare myself…

This is a process I have to re-do a whole bunch of times in my life: demonstrate a willingness to give up my plans before I see what God is planning. Feel upset and confused when my plans actually do have to be changed. Discover what He had planned was way better. Thank profusely for not going through with my proposed plan. Determine to remember this feeling. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Being a human is frustrating more often than I’d like to admit.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mistaken

Making mistakes is a beautiful process. It allows a something new to come forth altogether, when otherwise it would have been boring, glossy perfection. Who wants double helpings of that?

Making mistakes means you know you’re human. You know you’re alive, and it’s all the sudden, sometimes, because you’re smacked between the eyes with it. Now, those eyes are forced to focused. Does a mistake mean you have to correct? Most often, yessir. It does. It means apologizing or getting down on your hands and knees to look for the thing you lost—friendship ties, or that coin…

Making mistakes is wonderful because someone else sees your vulnerabilities wide out and splayed, and you have to grapple with that. You have to turn it over in your hands and decide if you’re going to try to bury it or display it on a silver pedestel. Make that a gold pedestal. I thought I was a good speller. PSH.

Making mistakes means you have flesh, blood, guts—and that you use those things poorly at times. At times, you suck at something. You break your promise you mess up your cake you bake something disgusting you hurt someone’s feelings. Without these things you’d be a robot. And you’d still suck. Because you wouldn’t be able to feel anything and nobody wants double helpings of that, either.

Making mistakes happens in tandem with eating, drinking, making merry. You get carried away in how great you are at something and then you mess it up. I think it’s God’s way of reminding me, helloooo, you need Me.

……………………………………………………………………………………………

Lately my life has been magnificent. More magnificent than it has been in a long time—I keep waiting for the bomb to blow. Things can’t possibly continue like this, so blissful and fairytale ish; surely I’ve missed something…something I messed up a long time ago should come back to punch me in the face, right? Some problem has to bubble to the top very soon, because life is just too good to be true…

Walking on eggshells makes it hard to enjoy the scenery.

Then my Wise Voice pipes up. Don’t paralyze yourself with fear of the unknown. You already know that makes you only feel dumpy when you should just be relishing and enjoying the wonderment of your current state. Just go forward.

RUN FORWARD! Let the wind whip you in the face as you go,

because this is your time to laugh, dance, build up, to embrace, to speak.

 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

(Selections from Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8—one of the most comforting, poignant passages of scripture.)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hymn Singing

Leading the music in church is frustrating.

Half the people are not singing.

The other half are not watching you.

I think Christ often feels this way, offering the Atonement, guiding us with perfection—and we’re either not singing or not watching.

Some people don’t think singing the hymns is important. They don’t think uniting their voice with 300 other voices to sing praise to the God who made them is an essential part of their worship. “That’s why we don’t just have church alone in our house!” Mom exclaimed. “It’s a uniting experience.”

Not for the teenage boys who sit with arms crossed, it’s not. They are some of the ones who look at me. Defiance. It’s pointless for them. Pouting is pointless. Open your mouth! I want to make an announcement over the pulpit. Or, rather, a shoutment over the pulpit: God doesn’t care if you can’t sing a thing. He accepts our measly offerings all the time—awkward lessons taught, stumbling prayers uttered—from a pure heart, He accepts these. God doesn’t care if you are embarrassed or tired or (what are the excuses? I don’t even know); He cares that you love Him and that you’re sitting in that pew because darnit, you want to be better this week and you want to be closer to Him. So yeah, it makes total sense that He would exempt you from singing out to thank Him and commit yourself to be more like Him. It makes sense, He wouldn’t want that. He only wants perfect offerings.

If you understood, you would sing. It would not matter if you couldn’t hit a note. You would offer up that prayer. You would say amen to all the other people praying with you at the very same time. You would give a little of yourself and feel the swelling that comes from feeling that connection, like, Yeah. We all believe this together. We believe in the Christmas songs we’re singing, even if it’s December 26th. We believe in the Savior who atoned for us, who we will now remember with loving hearts and determination to do better. If you understood, you would feel that.

………………………………………………………………………

In your quiet moments, what do you admit to yourself about knowing God?
Or, do we give up our quiet moments to avoid knowing what we would admit?

Why are you afraid to let this thing be out in the open air—to write it down or say it out loud? If it became your truth, would you just have to do too many hard things? How long will we trap ourselves in the petty webs we weave—pride, grudges, refusing to let go?

We’re very good at hiding in the tangles.

cub scout, cub scout

The single-mindedness of kids continues to floor me. Brennon gets on these stints of obsession—it’s quite amazing, really.

Right now, it’s Cub Scouts; he eats, breathes, and drinks it.

Example#1: An inexplicable need to wear his entire scouting uniform every time he works on scouts. Which was daily, until…

Example#2: Mother had to mandate that he put the scout book away until after Christmas. Stop achieving, child.

Example#3: Telling his friend Ethan that he couldn’t play after school (3:00) because he had to get ready for pack meeting (6:00). Devout.

Example#4: The title of the scout master in the ward has been shortened to “Master.” This yields sentences like, “You did a great job on your talk, Master!” Et cetera.

The boys worry that he will be one of those nerds at scout camp with no friends, but I relish in his joys.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the nonstop sink.

I’ve had stuff and words swimming in my mind all day.

Today, I saw:

A boy with faded purple hair, like he wanted to get back blonde but ran out of bleach; a boy with one painted fingernail—one of those metallic-y light pearl colors, as if he thought he could get away with it; a boy in a suit pick of a glob of snow in his bare hands and rub it all over them; two girls with really cool watches (I’ve been in search!); an old friend who would have been happy to talk had she seen me, but for some reason I just walked by; a friend of Jared’s from home who looked and me and talked to me but didn’t really see me—didn’t recognize me, I guess; a girl who smelled like stale cheese and faded laundry; a boy who had a laugh like a vampire, or possibly a vampirical Santa Claus; and, three girls who washed their hands in the sink that wouldn’t stop running, but did nothing about it. I probably wouldn’t have done something about it, either, girls. Except that today is a stuff-and-words-swimming-around day, and this mindset makes me do weird things like feel obligated to fix the sink but undesirous (and I know that’s not a word, whatever.) to talk to a friend.

I didn’t really do anything miraculous about the nonstop sink—just told someone else to call a custodian.

We watched The Devil Wears Prada last night. You know the part where Andy answers her cell phone a million times instead of being with her dad, her friends, her boyfriend? Nate (boyfriend) says something to her: “The person whose phone calls you always take—that’s the relationship you’re in. I hope you two are very happy together.”

And it got me thinking, maybe I take stupid people’s calls too often. Like maybe Weird Sadness With No Name starts vibrating in my pocket and I interrupt my otherwise joyous existence to take the call. Or when Irritated For No Reason jingle jangles, I stop everything: SO SORRY! I HAVE TO GET THIS!

And WHY?

Last night I answered those calls, automatically, seamlessly, almost by accident, and decided to write. Something surfaced that I had no idea I was still problematizing (again, not a word! I KNOW!). I wrote a simple page about the crap and felt better. In trying to transfer those mysterious, wispy feelings to somewhere outside of my brain they were transformed, clarified, deepened—I got to the bottom of it. I got to write in clear words for only me to see. It felt good, like how you feel after you’ve thrown up when you’re terribly sick. Sorry to be gross.

My finals are all through and I’m about to be extremely un-busy for the next few weeks. My crazed mind knows this is coming and is starting to throw a fit, curl up in a little ball, beg, no, no, please! I don’t want to face all my demons! It worked very well focusing only on music, which you would think is emotionally revealing and all but it’s easier to hide inside it than anything else.

It’s easier to hide than anything else.

And yet you have to emerge, purple hair or no, and decide if you’re going to really see people, or just notice their stale cheesy smell.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gospel Choir Backin Up Alex Boye. Yeha.

This weekend we got to sing backup for none other than Alex Boye at the half time show for the BYU basketball game. Here’s the youtube video:

 

Oh, what’s that? You want to join the gospel choir and wear these awesome robes? Yeah, okay. You can. Open rehearsals begin Wednesday JANUARY 5th and will be weekly from 6-7 pm. 3250 Wilkinson Student Center, BYU. Anyone is welcome!

Our next gig: the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in the WSC Ballroom. It’s gonna be amaaaazing!

Friday, December 10, 2010

geese and swans

Today is a big day.

I know because I had nightmares about it.

Nightmares that I wasn’t dressed right, I hadn’t warmed up, people were performing and scrambling and instruments that begin with vio scattered everywhere. Wood, with swirls, to let out sound.

But I don’t play the violin, really.

I have words to forget. an accompanist to get out of sync with. Ribs to collapse, words to make elisions from, (“NO! IT’S NOT SWANSNOW! IT’S SWANS NOW!) At this point, I don’t particularly care if more geese than swans now live or swansnow—sounds like that ice cream brand, which seems far better than sloshing nervous sludge around in my stomach for the next two hours. Also at this point I don’t particularly care if all the voice faculty thinks my Italian is awful or my vowels are too pure. I just want it to be over.

I just want it to be over.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Turkish Innards

I’m not a sickly person.

Here I sit, though, sniffly, throat-hurty, body-achy…and, sickly.

But I am not too sick to drive to sunny weather to be with my wonderous new family for THANKSGIVING.

(Would it be totally blasphemous beyond all reason to change up Thanksgiving dinner in my home when I’m grown up and have babies to feed it to? I would just like to include foods I am actually extremely thankful for. And the thought of cooking a raw turkey (with it’s pinkish grayish legs still attached and innards to remove) all by myself makes me want to upchuck.)

Ahem.

But I truly love Thanksgiving. What I love even more is non schoolwork. A full night of sleep or  a NAP! Food not cooked by me. A new family totally different from mine. Wow.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, life! I like you, despite your turkish innards.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Security of Stuff.

What if I didn’t sit nestled between my bookbag and purse and coat—because I didn’t have them? What if we didn’t have possessions at all, not for poverty but because we didn’t believe in them? Because we didn’t care for them? We didn’t care to lug wallets or coats around? Don’t get this wrong: I love words and music and have great desires to have them in my hands, hanging from my shoulders, dangling from my elbows.

But do you sometimes long to break free from the security of your stuff? Do you sometimes wish to be ripped away from your money, your major, your identifying clothes, just to see, peek, if there’s anything left? To prove that there is?

Can any of us stand alone? I heave a great sigh and wonder, what help do I need to get out of my nest of bag, purse, and coat? We fear that sweet love will flee our sides, leave our lips chapped and hearts thirsty for sharing, soul kind.

But really, can I afford to cradle myself in crap? Can I afford to hide behind my metallic curtains, scarf, earbuds, kitchen bar with papers strewn…?

When I am a Teacher.

I opened the bag to find, to my dismay, I had only bought yellow ones. Yellow, on a day when you feel like blue, is insulting and ghastly.

I’m going to be a music teacher. I don’t want to just teach my children. I want heaps and busloads of kids with freshly sharpened pencils and newly bought notebooks (be they yellow or blue), kids who know me only as Mrs. Schultz. Or perhaps I’ll let them call me Mama Schultz, or Madame.

I won’t decorate my room with the same old boring posters of sunsets and gag-me pseudo-inspiring phrases. No, in my room there will be shelves of books (on every topic) and music, fine art and truly inspiring things. Things, words, I mean, to help my pupils see that yes, yes, they, too, are human beings with things to contribute; ideas to bring to fruition; imaginations to let loose; art to create.

This isn’t about winning at festivals or going on tour or having fun together. This is about being an excellent musician, developing and working at a skill that will follow you around the rest of your life, begging to be released—it will only benefit and enrich your existence upon this earth. It’s about connecting with yourself—your body, your emotions, your inner life.

The more you learn about being a human being, the more you can teach others how to be better humans. Humans who are more emotionally intelligent, more compassionate, more connective and kind, more aware of some grandiose big picture of how everything links up. For this end, music is the vehicle I choose. I’m gonna get to it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I believe in God.

I called this blog freedom because i wanted it.
I think we all still have to struggle and fight for it at a lot of different points in life.
but the truth sets you free.
the truth is that God is real. The truth is that I love Him. The truth is that his words ring inside me and give me strength and I KNOW that they are true.
I've never been very into the whole sharing my religion via the blogosphere/facebook/whatever. at least not as blanket-statementy as, "I'm a Mormon, and you should be one too! Here's how to figure out how to get in on the goodness." nah. never for me. But I know stuff and I've always wanted to share it. I've wanted to share it in other ways, through example and talking with people who are my friends.
But strangers, I want you to know, too, that I love the Lord. I love Him and that drives me to serve him and believe him, to study His words and sing His praises and do the work I feel He has given me.

Why religion is such a foreign, hot-bubbling unpredictable topic now is so odd to me. People will think you slightly off. They will think you a little crazy, well-intentioned but whimsical at best. Writing about those tender beliefs has taken on this curtain of absolute severity and lashing out and biting back.

So, what I don't want this to be:
an argument/discussion.
a voicing of opinions, and "that is great that religion works for you."
a hard-hearted profession of my beliefs presented in a condescending way
a wishy-washy feel-good warm-fuzzies manifesto.

what I want it to be:
an explanation of the reason why I feel peace, happiness, and contentment in my daily life.
a declaration of what I simply know to be true, universally--not just for me or for the 13 million other members of my church, but for every person who has ever and will ever live on this earth.

I know that God lives. I know that He sent his son, Jesus Christ, to live and die for us and atone for, pay for, experience our sins and griefs and hurts and frustrations. I know that He knows all, and that we are His children. I know that He is literally our Father, and that He is mindful of us.

He is my joy. I know that all good things in my life come from Him, and that the things that are hard shape me for my best good and happiness. I know that I can pray and God will hear me and answer me.
These are not small words for me. These sentences come from me with a lifetime of thinking, exploring, asking, experimenting. I don't say that to try to convince. Many people search their whole lives for truth like I have found.
I just gotta tell you.
I know God is real.
I know He is my God.
I believe in a God who gives His children the best things; a God who has all power to make heaven and earth and ME, and worlds without number and the smallest opportunities for my growth; a God who knows my potential and helps me break the limitations I put on myself; a God who is aware of all of His children everywhere, all the time.

I believe in a God who loves His children and has given them guidelines to live by for their best happiness. Yes, these include things that are increasingly unpopular and old-fashioned; they include things that are sometimes hard or out of my way, but they are the best. Not just sometimes, or most of the time—EVERY time. That evidence is too overwhelming for me to ignore it.

I cannot ignore the God who made me, loved me into an incredible family, incredible opportunities, incredible satisfaction and purpose in this mortal world. I won’t turn my back on Him. I won’t deny Him. But even if I did, do you know?

He would still love me. He would still cradle me in His vast, tender arms and take care of me.

I believe in God, because He is real and I cannot pretend I don’t know it.

The truth is that God loved you into existence, too. The truth is that you are His child and you will be whether you believe in Him or ignore Him or even hate Him. The truth is: He will love you unconditionally. He will always take care of you. Those hard things in your life? They’re real, too. But His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches.

He is amazing—and He is waiting, with outstretched arms to whisper these truths to your heart as He has to mine.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Honest Tuesday

So this isn’t really lifeonthebeech anymore, is it?

I’m trying, folks.

I am changing.

Isn’t it always true? Why does it have to be hard and painful sometimes? Why do I want to just keep on complaining?

Honest: Music is all that’s on my mind. When I go to write, it’s all that comes. But I am awful at describing it. I just want to make you all listen! So that’s why I’ve been quiet.

More honest: That and a hundred hundred more reasons that are too personal.

Let it be, let it be.

More honest: I don’t have time or energy to write anything I’m remotely happy with. I complain pretty much every day.

But, some easy listening for you: OUR MARRIED BLOG. Yep. It’s (almost) like a normal married person blog. Like, here are pictures of what we do with little descriptions, the little goings on, fluff fluff fluff.

So, yeah. I’m letting it be.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Morning.

I woke up bouncy this morning.

I popped out of bed this morning. This morning, I took an invigorating shower with an amazing loofah. This morning, I wrote the word loofah because I like it so much.

This morning I observed by myself,  my first official music class. It felt really good to be there, official, this morning, and have the teacher say, “these guys sitting down here are BYU students—they’re going to be music teachers.”

After my eyes adjusted to the dark I felt happy about leaving the house at 7:05 am. I felt alright that I hadn’t totally finished my homework. I felt alright about taking two peaches but no sandwich (lately, a sudden LOATHING of sandwiches has come over me.) Our house is freshly painted and our bed has pillows on it.

DSC_0435I looked at my husband pulling his belt through the loops. “Dang, boy, you fine!!” And we did a little dance. Sometimes I resent the “my husband is so great I’m going to blah about it all the time” syndrome. But I’ve caught it, peeps. He is so good looking and so supportive (remember, we’re leaving the house at 7:05 am) and such an incredible leader of our home and he makes me a better person and cuddles me and cradles me and lets me fall asleep while he fills out my FAFSA. We’ve been learning about how Langer says humans have troves of knowledge—actual knowledge, not just feeling—that don’t even lend themselves to words. That’s how it is for me with my sweet husband. We have bunches of knowledge about, for, of each other—this wimpy paragraph? It doesn’t make you understand.

We all have what Langer calls an inner life. (I love her. I lover her.) The inner life is the stuff you were thinking as you walked to school today. Was it words? It could have been. Nevertheless, it was knowledge. And what do we have that teaches people to pay attention to their inner lives? School doesn’t do that. What do we give developing citizens (kids) that teaches them to be emotionally intelligent? Music. Experiences. Even this is beyond my verbal capacity to explain.

It’s cool to have someone say what I’ve felt my whole life about music. That it has inexplicable power over people because it addresses that inner life that other stuff doesn’t.

So, back to this morning: husband. belt loops. 7:05. He is amazing and now you know why I cannot describe it.

Okay, summary if you’ve been skimming: I suddenly hate sandwiches, my husband is hot, and I’m going to be a music teacher because of things I can’t describe and I accept that.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Brooke Schultz here.

Brooke Schultz here, just to say some words to you.

wedb Marriage. Awesome. Totes recommend it.

Honeymoon. Amazing. After cooking and steaming in the Puerta Vallarta sun for seven days, I felt completely unprepared to face fall in Utah. Goodbye beach, resort, incredible shower. Goodbye taxi drivers and rain storms. I will sincerely miss you mucho.

Condo. Messy. Neighbors. Smoky. Bed. Awesome. House. Home. We have an instrument nook; I have a multiplicity of cookbooks and no oven racks; I feel like all I want to do is be a prim housewife and cook and clean all day; what the heck. Maybe just for a couple of days, eh.

School. WOW. Trying as hard as I can to have a good attitude about my 2 credit class including 3 hours of class time and 9 hours of practice per week, my other 2 credit class 6 hrs of practice per week. Some days my attitude is better than others. I have a feeling there won’t be much blogging this semester.

I have never prayed so much in my life—that’s partly why I know this is the right major for me. It requires so, so much humility, strength, growth, energy—all of which I personally do not have enough of. So I pray a lot. Sometimes my prayers are just please, please, please. I think God understands.

Also: Women’s Chorus. Cool, huh? I’m excited. Some days I have to readjust my attitude about that, too—1 credit and 5 hours of class time per week. Plus performances every month. I figure, with all this practice and homework, I am going to be AMAZING at what I do, right? Right.

Gospel Choir. WANT IT. Time doesn’t really want me to have it so much, though. I really want to plug through and do it because it is my love. I will keep you posted.

Husband. Hot. Every time I see him I am just like “WHAT! THIS IS AWESOME!”

AND IT IS AWESOME. Our lives are awesome, people. No matter what, they are.

Last thing: be on the lookout for our married blog. heh. so like, when we have babies and stuff they can have their cutie little faces all over that thing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

buying the yogurt!

okay okay i have one minute.

one minute to tell you.

that this week is SO crazy.

i had a meltdown yesterday. i was crying and then i started laughing. and then these things combined to just create BROOKE ACTING LIKE A TWO YEAR OLD.

so jared laughed and i got upset. (but it was terribly, terribly funny. he is in for a lot more laughter of this sort.)

and then he was amazing, as usual.

and then, as usual, he comforted and soothed me and told me i am wonderful and WE HAVE THREE DAYS AND THEN WE’RE GOING TO BE MARRIED FOREVER.

and then we went and ate free frozen yogurt samples, and bought no frozen yogurt.

IN THREE DAYS, I’M BUYIN THE YOGURT.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

nine days of thinking.

I’ve been MIA. I’ve been anxiously engaged. (har, har.) I’m getting married in NINE FREAKING DAYS, let’s be real. I don’t have time to blabber all over the internet.

But today I need it.

Hello.

I am thinking about a hundred and fifteen hundred things. I’m thinking about our amazing condo that we are going to live in and it is going to be our house. I am thinking about the wonderful experience that I had last night going through the temple with so many people I love and care for so much. I’m thinking about maturity. I’m thinking about other people. I’m thinking about girls who are so obsessed with image that they spend their whole blogs and facebooks and lives cluttering their world and minds with pictures that prove that they matter because they are pretty or they dress well. I feel sad about that. Not because I am high and mighty and I have never thought the dreadful thought that maybe my only worth is in my body or my looks and I have to make those things perfect to be worthy of love. No, I just feel sad that they don’t have the perspective to realize, even in theory, that those things are not real. They are not lasting.

I work to be comfortable in my own skin, every day. Every day I wake up and make choices about how I will treat this body I have been given.

Lately, we’re friends. I’m going to work to keep it that way.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

brookejared_74b I’m thinking about change and leaving your family, and how your parents raise you up to be and think all of these things and still be your own person. How your parents cradle you and nurture you and how you still need your mom to hold you a lot a lot, even at 20 years old. I’m thinking about how the other weekend when I was perched on the edge of my couch waiting for my bridal shower, Father of the Bride was on and I cried like a little baby. I’m thinking about how God knows what we need and how He knows that marriage for Brooke Beecher at this exact time is the path of most growth and He has orchestrated it. I know that.

I’m thinking about teaching my babies so many important things—I’ve started a list. It includes things like, teach them about tact and honesty. Teach them; they are going to fall in love with something—a culture, instrument, plants or science or math. Teach them to nurture this love and not hide it for anything. I’m thinking about how teaching fits in with my life, as a mother, as a wife. How music fits in. I don’t know.

Marriage means a lot of stuff, especially for a girl. I’m just thinking about all of it—playing images and scenes in my mind, getting excited and being unsure in the same moment. It’s all good.

I’m thinking about Katie Harris and what an amazing missionary she is going to be in the TEMPLE SQUARE mission! I’m thinking about all my girls and how I love them, how we will always cherish each other no matter the stage of life we are experiencing.

I love God. He is real. This is what I know. He will take care of me. My life is not good because of luck, or because I have done one single thing to merit it turning out that way. It is good because He has given it to me. It is good because He knows me and knows what to place in my life for happiness.

In nine days, I won’t just enter into a marriage. I’m going to do the most important thing of my entire existence. I am going to enter the greatest practicum of Godhood, the refiner’s fire. I’m going to get to start facing life with my sweetheart in all it has to offer and bring, in love and safety.

The magnitude makes me cry with reverence, awe, wonder. We are going to take care of each other. I know I don’t even understand a sliver of what is to come, and I am grateful for the small glimpse I am given.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My brain is jigggggling

1. My brain is jiggling. Does this ever happen to anyone else? Serious—like when you get a twitch in your eye except it is inside my head, and very very odd.

2. OKAY. I’m a glee fan. FINE.

3. Being a glee fan has made me realize that not everyone gets chills when they listen to amazing music. Not that they don’t still enjoy it, but whoa. Didn’t know that. It’s part of the magic of music for me, the electricity it literally sends, the goosebumps it lends. HA! TOLD YOU MY BRAIN IS JIGGLING.

4. OKAY. Here are some engagement pictures. I know, I know.

5. less than a month. no home yet. it’s cool. i’ve got a DRESS. Which I ordered from China for very very ridiculously cheap and everyone told me not to and it is AMAZING. Would totes recommend it to anyone. also a kitchen table and maybe jared is going to build us a bed? yes please. bed please.

BACK TO ENGAGEMENT PICTURES. wooooo.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

jolt

I was jolted awake from the very middle of an awful dream a few nights ago by my alarm. 5:34. At 5:33, I was doing important soul work about stuff that my subconscious apparently hasn’t resolved. I was about to confront the monster; it walked toward me. I braced myself. The alarm shook me out so harshly that I gasped as I shot up in bed.

Last night before I went to sleep I determined to finish the dream. What do I want to say? I wrote it all down. I wrote about bitterness, strong statements, naivete, taking advantage of other people.

Then I wrote about forgiveness.

It surprised me; I still need to forgive? I thought this was in the pile of “issues processed.” But here it comes back, floating in wet, misty black clouds behind turned backs and frustration.

Maybe some things we deal with in some form for our whole lives, and only the perfection of the Atonement resolves them to completion.

I slept the whole night and didn’t finish it. The monster didn’t show up in any of my subconscious streams.

Forgiveness.

We can forgive, but some things? We can’t ever forget. That’s what I mean by the Atonement resolving these things to completion—you can finally forget. And it’s a good thing, like how memories of pricking your finger on an oven wire rack remind you about oven mitts, in the future. Growth comes of it.

You still don’t ever forget.

pseudokids

there was a picture in the mass of moving this round that had no frame and just lots of blue electric tape on the back trying to be a makeshift holder.

julie newman gave that picture to us from her house a really, really long time ago. i remember the negotiation that wasn’t really like a negotiation. she showed it to us. they nonchalantly talked about like, fifty bucks, whatever. julie newman was always excited to see me and always called me things like dollface and honey, but in a way that was not like usual and condescending but so sweetly endearing. she gave me a hair clip with italy on the back and a bear that smelled like lavender when you put it in the microwave.

she came to the wedding and she said she was proud of me, but didn’t know if she had a right to be. OF COURSE YOU DO!! i tell her this and it comes from a place of reality. she has no idea how often i wear that hair clip.

she talks about how her sons are doing a different life route than my brothers, how they are marines and away from her. she says all this with smiles and faith. she has a blonde streak in the front and i love her for coming here to be with our family on this big day after so long away. it doesn’t matter how many months it’s been since she’s talked to my mom on the phone, how many years of height growth she’s missed from cameron and eric—she is in our lives and she has a right to feel proud of the good things we do. we are her pseudo-kids.

every grown up should have a pseudo-kid. someone else’s child they have a big hand in nurturing and loving and bringing up. a kid who came over every other day to get snacks out of your ample sweets cupboard, billowing with folds of plastic orange reeses wrappers and blue crinkles of chips ahoy. or a kid like i was to julie newman where we only visited her every so often, but i would just sit quietly and listen to her energy while she told mom about the latest. i never was big into playing as a child. i wanted to sit and listen to grown up talk more, i guess.

every kid should have a pseudo-parent, too. kids need lots of good adults who can also spoil their dinner, and give them presents their parents would never think of. hug them ridiculously tight and shower them with cheek smooches even if the boys squirm away.

i’m thinking lately about being a pseudo-parent. taking in the neighbor kids and kissing their cheeks raw. julie newman always kisses our cheeks. i liked that.

i liked that.

Friday, June 11, 2010

big numbers about lovin a boy i’m gonna marry.

Hey Jrad boy.
I love you.


I love you times a thousand.
I love you times the speed of light with a cherry on top.
I love you shouted a hundred times over the intercom of the biggest intercom in the world.
I love you enough to fill up that one 600 million dollar screen on that one football field.
I love you every breath you take SQUARED.
I love you with enough fervor to start a religion.
I love you plain and simple, like sharing a bowl of Raisin Bran.
I love you a kajillion laps around the Atlantic Ocean.
I love you the amount of seventy million times seven kernels of popcorn--POPPED. (That makes it bigger).
I love you NINE days a week. Take that, Paul McCartney.
I love you sung by multitude choirs of angels all day and all night for a ridiculously long period of time.
I love you up to the clouds and back down to the worms in the dirt and all the animals that live in between.
I love you as wide as the ocean and as high as the sky.
I love you the amount of dollars it takes to give every person in the world three thousand times the amount of dollars it takes to do Oprah's hair every day.
I love you as much as all the animals, vegetables, and minerals in the world. I imagine this is a lot.

It is a lot.

Some of these things I read and I’m like, how can that possibly be real? How can I possibly really feel that? But I totally do. Totally.

I can’t wait to marry you, fiancĂ©.

Friday, May 28, 2010

the engagement.

I’m ENGAGED!!!!

and here to tell you

the whole amazing

story

about this boy that I am head over heels madly

in love with. and also, I am going to be in love with him

for my whole entire lifetime,

OKAY?!

okay.

heybb   

There’s a ring on my finger. It means eternity. Real alive eternity with this person who is the most, the very most

incredible person I have ever known.

 

balboabJared Schultz? He’s magnetic. When you first meet him, you see those blue eyes and they melt you. You look inside his eyes and see such goodness, humility, and all the things your heart desperately wants to be. Then he will smile at you, with his perfectly formed teeth. That smile comes easy, stays long, doesn’t tire. He will ask you about yourself and put you at ease. He will be genuinely interested. You can tell that he cares about you. His heart is so big and good. He lets me be me, and plus better. The feelings we have shared

Jared boy, he is love. I get to be the recipient of a good chunk of that, and I am so, so…just grateful. These feelings for this person are the biggest and deepest I’ve ever had. 

Nothing is ever going to keep us apart. Not time, space,

or death.

 

 

I am the luckiest human. I get to marry him for all of time and all of ETERNITY on AUGUST 14th.

 

firstbPeople are really confused about love. Some cynics, some dreamy and blind sap-a-holics. And some of them think love just stops with you and your spouse, if you ever get that lucky. But I have news! My marriage is going to last for all of eternity. The love I have for Jared is going to be perpetuated and multiplied in our experiences together, and, too, in little Jareds running around! AH, what more good could I do for the world??!

My choice in this man is as perfect as I could ever dream. If I could have crafted him myself from the ground up, every feature and weakness and preference—I would have picked the exact nature of Jared Schultz. God is incredible, you guys. He has this amazing way of bringing the people most perfect for our growth into our lives and creating experiences to create these fiery feelings of adoration and appreciation for these people.

 

 

29761_616493786284_193302467_34832488_3710021_n

So, wanna hear the proposal story?

Garrett’s open house was the night before and the whole time? Jared and me being just ever so slightly pouty. Watching the gifts being opened with crossed arms. Every person who walks through our door is asking me: are you next? we heard there might be another wedding this summer. rumors. can i meet him? do i need to interview him? And I want to find some ring pop and throw it on my left hand and just tell everyone that I KNOW WE ARE GETTING MARRIED but we haven’t talked all the details so…

and I just have to keep smiling annoyingly and mysteriously.

Sunday. Is he gonna ask me? I am dropping hints like crazy. IMPATIENT. I’ve been waiting forever for this. But he’s casual, and like, hey, let’s go play piano. Okay. I’m trudging around talking to Kaylie and whining about how I just want to be engaged and balahaskjd whine whine. I come back into the room and he asks me to play a song. I start playing and after a while I realize a few of the keys are stopped.

Weird, I think in my mind.

Whoa, what do you think is happening?

This happens every so often, I tell him. Sometimes the keys just get stuck.

I pound down on the broken keys, with, um, great force. Jared lets out a little gasp.

Well, we should see what’s wrong in there!

Nah, it’s okay. It happens all the time.

No, really, you should come here.

He opens the piano, and inside is a ring box.

((seriously, my first thought: that’s weird that someone’s ring box is sitting in there!))

Next thing I know that ring box is open and it’s for ME!

He asked, and I said YES.

Now, we’re engaged.

cool, huh?

:) :) :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

SNEEZE

a million little posts with sentence fragments clutter up this space. snippets of conversation i overhear that i mean to expound upon, you know, profoundly or whatever. snipped off thoughts because there's no time to sit and stew and package it up tight and brightly.

writer's block of sorts,
where only a little gush comes out
like a giant sneeze
instead of a runny nose.

my brother got married this weekend and i wrote a measly paragraph about it.
a measly little snotty sneeze.
the rest i wrote about was deep deciding and delicate stuff. ME STUFF. i've got to get my life in a straight line so i can breathe and write about the huge events. not just the huge things.

mom's lungs were congested with crud all weekend
every boy coughed in the night.
i ran through music theory for hours and hours
and my alarm didn't go off this morning.


ACHOO.

and this is why my life is magnificence after all.

Jared: hey baby'
i love you
Sent at 2:40 PM on Monday
me: hey!
i love you right back, you know.
Sent at 2:41 PM on Monday
Jared: yeah, i know
and I love knowing that
Sent at 2:43 PM on Monday
me: :)
you make my life bright.
Sent at 2:44 PM on Monday
Jared: you do the same and you also make my future look bright
me: hah.
nice one.
do i get to see you soon, darling?
Jared: yeah, i'm working on something right now
me: okay.
you work on that thing
oh my gosh, i love you.
it hits me like a tidal wave like 2360 times a day
that is a lot of times per day, schultz.
Sent at 2:47 PM on Monday
Jared: and guess what, I'm totally okay with that
me: YEAH YOU BEST BE
Sent at 2:49 PM on Monday
Jared: well I've been thinking about you all day
me: my hands just flew to my cheeks in a big grin
you love me too, boyfrien?
Sent at 2:54 PM on Monday
Jared: sure do
me: i can't wait to see you, sweetheart.
i need your upliftment
and your beauty
Jared: you doing okay?
i want you to be happy so I will come right away
ff;lsdkjfa;sdlfja;lsdkjfa
me: yeah, yeah. just another blah music theory day
you can finish what you're working on!
Jared: nah, ill do it later
see you in like ten
Sent at 2:58 PM on Monday

Monday, May 10, 2010

I shower for leisure.

i picked off all my makeup SLASH cried it all off
woke up at 5 am.
not in that order.
i haven't blogged lately because i don't want this to be a pity party.
but i gotta describe.
rushes of chills every day tell me things are going to be fine like i always know they will be.
but i have no time to run for 20 or 30 minutes, let alone my hour soul-searching journeys.
showering has now become a leisure activity.
crying in front of a professor, especially one who wrote your textbook for your dictation class and also a hymn is a very embarrassing, frustrating experience that decided to send itself to me today.
another girl cried in sight singing and her face flushed red and humiliated the whole 50 minutes. I wanted to kick over my music stand and wrap her up in a big sweatshirt hug.
this deal is a little rough sometimes. allows for not a lick of humanity. (people who do well in the music school? they don't eat. they don't sleep. they don't have friends or boys they are in love with.)

but i'm telling kaylie, i feel so blessed! my life is so incredible for so many kazillions of reasons and these things pale in light of what they could be, in light of what they have been. of course i'll take these issues over high school time any any day.
tired of having to spend my time with all my own stuff. all my own homework, all my own food, all my own thoughts. want to reach out and do so much and soul search and jam and play and have not the time nor the energy.
can i just keep praying harder and pushing myself harder and not adjusting? or is Heaven telling me I need to cool down and I'm not willing to listen because I have my own agenda?
That's the million dollar humility question, isn't it?

a dove chocolate wrapper message.

dull throbs in the bottom of my pelvis and right side of my head remind me that i need to take care of myself.
i like this idea of taking care of myself far more than i like that self-improvement stuff that just ends up mashing me into infectious ground meat,
and just because i want to be a meatball?
no.
i am a steak. or maybe a whole chicken, alive and bach-bach-baching. i am something weird, something a whole lot of people can't and won't understand, because they are not paying attention. that's fine--there are so very many times when i don't pay attention, when i don't pause to GET someone else.

but i'm just done molding, shaping, nipping, tucking, primping, flumping around like a blob. God needs me to be big like i already am, and not a blob. i already am big and formed like He wanted.
i already am enough.
the challenge is not, actually, to push yourself to be MORE than you are.
just to be who you really are already.

that sounds a little like those cheesy sentences printed on the insides of Dove chocolate wrappers.
i've learned,though, that cheesy things lose their scoff factor when they find a reason to wiggle into your life and materialize in your heart and become your truth.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Faith on your hands

AK8573-001 A few days ago I was homeless for a few hours.

We packed up all my life in little boxes and filled the van with my bulletin boards and that one picture that has no frame and was once in my bedroom when i had a flowery bed. my books are thrown together with my blow dryer. i’m wearing nasty flip flops and a gross outfit that is called moving out outfit. my life is mostly up in the air but the remains are in a suitcase and take the form of shorts and floaty shirts.

the van is filled, and two girls desperate to sell their contracts are giving me awesome deals. i’m standing on the street by the van and we’re just going to pick right this minute where the contents of this car and my life for the next four months are going.

what a cool feeling. like you’re standing at that diverging point in the woods robert frost knows about. you, in your own small way. blinking into the sun having no idea where you’re going, and being totally free to decide.

but i can’t really revel in it too long because i have to make a decision, like the stuff is in the van and dad is waitin for the word, sweaty and ready to get back home, you know!

eenie meenie miny mo, it comes down to this. (mom’s suggestion. genius. YES!, I say. Eenie meenie miny mo always helps me know which option i really want anyway!)

MO! I land on the wrong one.

But these paths are looking pretty much the same amount of appealing and I feel like it doesn’t matter much anymore. I’ve already lost robert frost’s glittering mind, somewhere on the trek down university avenue. all i can think about is how dad is ready to go and i have to choose something hurry up choose your life.

Mom is amazing again and we pray together, she is supporting me and I am never going to give this woman up i tell you. I say the words of the right choice as soon as we say amen without even thinking, and i feel like i should tip my hat and stroll back inside the cramped van beside the floor lamp and have some epic music to play as i continue my journey.

we pop back in the car and i say out loud to these apartments, sorry, you didn’t get choosed. i think inside about having faith and developing it and how God is always helping me in these crazy things.

God helps us make decisions always that are important even if we feel silly for the way the end up happening. duh i should have known forever ago where i was living for spring. and i just wrote down random numbers from that gigantic board full of reduced prices and exclamation points. but He knows me, and I am making my efforts to know Him so help is near and always, i have decided, always,

I JUST WANT TO LIVE WITH FAITH ON MY HANDS.

I got out of bed and wrote this by light of my cell phone it was so important.

I just want to live with faith on my hands.

no blood and no glory and only faith and belief. it’s a beautiful armor and glitterier than robert frost.

Friday, April 16, 2010

i just sing to the people running around studying.

the books breathe out the reasons why
and why not
the weight is lifted for a while
and i feel those chills i love
i jump up and down, from note to note and sing to float
my eyes cram and squish down, makeup running in and out
i love, and leap,
and the ncmo-is-abuse poster is generating hate
i love, i love, and leap around
hug tight
but read articles and wonder life away
just LIVE
is my challenge of late.
when the uncertainties creep up like sinewy black bats
i shoof them away and spell out to myself
just LIVE!
when the analyzations make my mind cloudy and foggy and all things otherwise crappy
i just say, SUN, come on in,
I'm going to LIVE.

i'm going to california in four days. flying by the seat of my pants.
SMILEY FACE SUNSHINE BEACH BOYFRIEN FIVE YEARS OLD SLASSSH ADULT.
studying it out in your mind doesn't mean your life has to consist of hermitcrabbing.
soul searching with just a pen and paper.
there are times for this necessity, every day.

but your whole life needs to be full of vitality, so you've got to accept that and put down your notebook and run outside with your cutoffs
sit down in the grass while people are hurriedly studying for finals and their whole lives are on the line and you, you
SING.
gospel songs about how God is good and how He will take care of you.
If you just LIVE, He will be in it!
didn't you know this all along? don't be paralyzed. LIVE! sing out on that grass for all to hear. are you going to do that crazy high part? yeah, yeah you are.
your fear has gone, hasn't it?
and how did you do that?
you just DID it, instead of thinking about doing it and writing about doing it forever and ever.

Throw off your disgustingly heavy winter jacket and hop and skip around in your new sunshine.

explanation for a little minute.

other people blog about their husbands and their children, their new house and their sightseeing on their trips and their new job and their giveaways of their flowery headbands.
these are all very nice things.
but i personally in my own brain and life do not want to blog about them.
partially because i don't have them, but also partially because i feel like when i do my blog will still be about writing what's in my heart which usually never consists of anything logical like, here's a picture of us at the grocery store! here's a picture of what we ate for dinner! here's a million pictures of our wrinkly ugly bulldog and two lines of type and a million comments about how pretty i am! (okay, this is not included in the "these-are-all-very-nice-things" sentence.)

not that i don't enjoy reading this type. if i care about you, i very much love to stay informed about the ins and outs of your life and what you wore to macey's. serious.

but i'm not going to do that here. i'm going to let whatever comes out come out, whether it's in cryptic code prose whatever or lists or (occasional) full sentences.
my purpose is not to sell my awesome handmade products, or anyone else's. my purpose is not even to keep you updated on the happenings big or small of my life, although those present themselves within the needlework. my purpose is to express myself.
even if that's cliche or whatever you want to call it.

just so that you are knowing. k? cool.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nachitos?

I’ve long been inspired by the reflections on Denny’s by this girl; in truth, I think of her every time I pass the establishment on the corner of University. She seems to own Denny’s, in a way. It’s her place, with her memories. No use trying to catch up. I feel tool-ish going there sometimes. And have I ever had a legit menu item, probably no, but.

But we wanted to get away from our people-filled apartments so late at night and in a debate about the limited options, we ended up below the bright red sign with the rain and the mostly empty parking lot.

A transvestite was our waiterperson.

This is real.

My, how confused we were! We were elbowing the laughter out of each other like a couple of middle school kids until we were sure this waiterpersonofunknowngender was out of earshot.

“Man or woman?”

“No idea. Seriously, there is no indication. A man? Trying. To. Be. A. Woman.”

“Your team!!”

hmpf.

This waiterperson had to come back 16 times before we knew what we wanted to order because of this necessary exploration of gender. This waiterperson should have been more patient and known that Denny’s folk are far too fascinating to be buried in the menu right off the bat; you have to have an experience first.

The hot chocolate and hilariously greasy nachitos appeared and we didn’t talk much, but people-watched. Kids came with their textbooks to study with Moons Over My Hammy; two girls snuggled too close; a couple of guys who weren’t talking to each other maybe just came because they have no wives, and were legitimately hungry; two women made us giggle when they swore and talked loud;

and then, us, sitting side by side, with our nachitos and whip cream-ed hot chocolate.

iloveaboy. he is not a transvestite. he does not swear. he does not snuggle too close to me. because that is impossible.

we talked late into the night as the rain fell down the car windows.

Friday, April 9, 2010

silence

"If we were not so single minded
about keeping our lives moving
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

makeshift journ

I’m feeling a whole lot of feedback from Heaven about my life. Can you tell that?

One time last week I dropped a Book of Mormon on a stranger’s doorstep while I was running. It was crazy and felt ridiculous at first but I felt to do it and so I did.

One time a few weeks ago I felt like it was really important to call up this boy that hasn’t been in my life for real since I was 17 and talk to him all important-like. I got in his car having no idea what to say. And I said mush for a long time before I figured out why I was there. We talked about HIS important stuff and it was one of those moments where you feel so validated by the whole world because the risk you took was helpful to someone else. I felt so hugely to bring him back into my sphere for one reason at first. It wasn’t the right reason. But I figured it out, and finally, FINALLY, I can fully let the particles of that part of my life fall in the right place.

It felt good to let it go.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Sandwiched between two date nights, I didn’t feel awk. I just ate my bad-breath imparting vegetable crackers and wrote in the failing light of the De Jong, ready to scribble down observations about conducting. Concerts like this make me feel stuffy and penguinesque when I’m not a part of them. Like I wanna run up and do something loud like bang on the piano and shout gibberish.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

MAN MY LIFE IS NUTS!

I’ve written variations on this phrase no less than 16 times per week in my makeshift journ.

I also write to myself in that place.

You create your own awesomeness. Raise your hand and be in charge of your life. Make it what you want. It’ll go.

Alma 26:16—“Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will praise God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.”

I’ll keep trying to express how amazing He is making my life.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Turn The Page

the thing i love most about every day is the sky.
i crane my neck and allow holes in my eyes to look at the sun, if it's peeking itself out.

i want to invite it to stay, even if it hurts.

the sky was all things i am today: gray cloudy, puffy cloudy, bright blue and clear---ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
and then there was the breathtaking part
that was in the west and the little mountains in that distance were snowy on top but i didn't mind because the shine was falling down on them and
it reminded me of highways on the way to california
in december

people who see me walking when i'm wrapped up in the sky think i am totally, totally weird. but maybe it makes them look up for a minute, and think, yeah, i guess that is cool.
oh, yeah, i guess that is cool.
i guess it is cool that we really, really care about each other. that we just wanna understand.
i forgot what it's like to talk on the phone but it feels good even if it's different.

and with the sky it feels like heaven is close, even if it's just a bunch of clouds.
"keep being open, but don't freak out if you feel like nothing is coming," i wrote to myself.
i give myself a lot of advice lately. we're all learning inside this one body together.

the sky had to drain itself out these past few days and i hated it. looking up at wispy stretches of gray nimbus clouds is not inspiring and i was upset.
but we all have to do our soul work, no matter how unglamorous.
even if i forget my so few school assignments. even if i want to pop away on a rainbow colored magic school bus.
i have to deal with drainage.

"don't get puffed up so you're impenetrable," i wrote to myself. "drain all that excess water out of you and let God fill you up."
it always comes around back to this same circle of things. we all have our own circle of things that need repeat processing, digesting, draining.
but the sky teaches me that's a good thing. it eventually has to rain.

.........……………………..
Brennon: "I just really want someone to snuggle with."
Me: "Well, me and mom will be available to snuggle soon."
B: "Nooo, like, at night while I'm going to sleep and stuff in my bed."
Mom: "Well, you'll have to wait until you're married for that."
B: "uggh, I KNOW. it's just such a long time! I can't wait for that."

Forecast: Wind. What will happen? Turn the page.
---> Blow, wind, blow!
Sometimes the wind is very light. This is called a breeze. Sometimes there is a strong wind. This is called a gust. Sometimes the wind is so strong that it lifts up houses! That kind of wind is called a tornado.
---> I will fly a kite. My hair will blow. I will watch the trees blow.

But don't worry, because this page, in the corner, says:

Forecast: Sun.

What will happen?

Turn the page.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Strawberries

Strawberries. Mom loved them so, and we would go to a patch and pick them fresh from nice old people whose lives were the land.
The drive to the small town with lots of fields and all kinds of people was enthralling. We listened to the radio and I looked out the window, past the fields--could I see for miles, yeah. It might be a little chilly when we first got there--just the remainder of spring transitioning to summer through the night, in dew.

Now I sit here, perched on concrete, facing the hill where no bikes are allowed. Jack is playing in my ears for the first time in a long time, and my legs are grateful to be bare. Concrete is cold through my coral shorts, but this is a time where it all feels like fresh water instead of sandpaper and sledgehammers.

Sometimes we loved going to pick strawberries. Sometimes it caught us completely off guard--they went into season in early June, and fresh dumped out of school we didn't always know what we wanted. Maybe we wanted to just sit in our pajamas and watch cartoons all day instead of havin an experience. But we didn’t really want that—you get that part, right?

There was an unwritten rule about how many you could eat on the spot; we all remembered the time toddler curly-headed Cameron had the runs for days after raspberry picking.

Now I sit here and squint up at sun. You know, all these things leave their residue in our lives in some way. A tangible way, I believe. Because when you see your mom with strawberries now, you think of the patch and those nice old people with leathery skin, how many of their strawberries you popped in your mouth to reward yourself for being out in the dirt and crouched down close, soiling your shorts and breaking a sweat.

Concrete chills my lower half. I pause the nostalgic tunes. It's time to put the pen down and go up the hill--I have someone to run into.

ALL CAPS

IT'S TIME TO WRITE IN ALL CAPS AND TALK ABOUT THE THINGS I LOVE.

1. BREAKFAST. It is sooooo delicious. Whatever it is. I love breakfast. This is going to probably shock my parents out of their skins, but I discovered: I am a morning person. Which brings me to #2...

2. RUNNING IN THE MORNING IN THE SUNSHINE WHEN IT'S JUST PEEKING UP OVER THE MOUNTAINS AND ALL IS RIGHT IN THE WORLD. I literally walked outside and started giggling. I even love my legs being so sore. I love getting sweaty and disgusting. I love going places. And I can go anywhere!!

3. THIS SONG. Never thought I would convert, but it's just good to bang your head and whip your hair around. you can do that too, if you want.

4. MY MOM. We talk about birth. We talk about Jared. We talk about salads. She listens a lot; I talk a lot. She tells me I am important and I believe her.

5. GENERAL CONFERENCE. This week is going by very slowly for more reasons than one.

6. LEARNIN ABOUT STUFF. I've been learning SO much, you guys. It's boggling my own self. Me and my journ and my stack of books and scriptures and music to listen to and mom to talk to--we have been learnin. God says, bust yourself open so you can be planted upon. I'm going to teach you things you didn't know you needed to learn, but you will look back and be so grateful.
Isn't that the way it always is in our lives?
YES.

NOW IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO WRITE IN ALL CAPS ABOUT THE THINGS YOU LOVE.
GO.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wimpy Paper

it's very important for me to be wild
to be able to be wild.
i mentor a girl in middle school, here in provo.
the people like to title the girls we hang out with "at-risk."
but aren't we all at risk, people?
anyway.
we do journal writing together every week, ten minutes. i say, don't think. just go. write about whatever you want. vomit in ink.
she looks at me and shifts uncomfortably. bites her lip.

the other week she proudly presented me with a list of topics to write about.
"you can add topics, too," she says. "just nothing about the future."
i look in her big eyes and i wonder where the fear keeps on coming from. she is opening to me more, when we can just talk alone. she enjoys simple things, like good music and painting her nails. i forgot how much i had in common with fourteen year olds.

i try to tell her to just keep her pen moving, even if she wants to write blah blah blah, just keep the hand going.
she looks up and shifts uncomfortably. a spurt of a little laugh to ease the tension.
in our ten minutes she usually gets out about a half a page--she is thinkin.

my pages have scribbles and things scrawled big
pigs and penguins and flying and free.
i wish someone would have opened this world to me when i was fourteen. let me have a space to do whatever i wanted with no rules and my own big decisions.
it's important for me to allow myself to be wild, even
if it is just on a piece of wimpy paper.

soul tickling

The pandora radio station: traditional gospel.
I can hardly sit still in the no-shh zone.

I just keep coming back to we are all human beings.
we are all part of it, with or without eyes or limbs or with or without even caring to be part of it.

you cannot escape your importance. i want to teach everyone that their life is really, really, important, i wrote the other day.
that's why i want to teach.

our lives are so uniquely our own it blows my mind.
who am i? am i the gospel music i love, my moldy apartment with the ceiling caved in, my middle-class family born of so much love, my intense religion, or my crumbling black flats with ruffles on the toes?
our lives are so uniquely our own, do you know?
even though there are probably a couple hundred people in this library at this point, none of them have ever been wearing these coral shorts sitting in this seat. none of them have sore legs from running forever today exactly where i ran, down 500 west and back round university avenue, and none of them have a boy on facebook looking over at them typing away on this blog.

we are our own.
but then! in the same moment, you've got to raise your hand as part of the human family and be connected.
"just keep an open heart," the sunday school teacher keeps saying. "open your heart." i write it down every time.

why do people like motivational speakers? they get us out of ourselves and make us feel those warm fuzzies tickling our souls, to say, hey, yes, those thoughts you've been thinking about how we should all care about each other, those are right. that's how it's supposed to be.
and then you get to do whatever that means for you.
what does it mean for you?
does it mean you run around campus with your iPod blaring jazzy piano and you skip around and smile as you try to take off your jacket to bask in the sunshiney deliciousness and then one bud falls out of one ear and you just laugh, out loud, for everyone to hear? does it mean you shout big and loud because that's what you feel to do in that moment? does it mean you just wave at everyone you pass? does it mean you make a brave phone call you were scared to dial?
please, do it.
whatever it means, just do it.
put down your freakin chemistry book.
close your facebook tab.
be a person.

Monday, March 22, 2010

the water and the sand

No, this is important. I've got to speak.
I've got to say it hurts. I've got to say it's okay that it hurts. And things I've never ever before felt or experienced are hitting me in the face. Sometimes in a good way, like fresh water. Sometimes like sandpaper, or a sledgehammer. But it's important, because both of those change me.

Change.
The spring time is making me feel the change more. But it's also nostalgic, and I remember so fondly what I was up to last spring time. The sun rises up, I run, run, run, run. Electric blue shorts for today. To all nostalgic places, as if I'll run smack dab into the missing piece inside one of those memories and be ready and different and change. I will be change. My legs are asking me where we're going. I don't know, I tell them. We're going to be change. We can't stay here long.

1. I listen to the same music I listened to all through Disneyworld. Air conditioning shoofing over us as we find the condo, safe from the humidity. i think in time with Warwick Avenue in the backseat.
2.The sun blasts through the trees and up through the pavement and I was walking to work, wearing the same perfume, newly cutoff nice pants to be thready shorts, and wet curly hair.
1. The waves roll in and out, it's sticky and salty and sandy. I'm ready to go back to Enclave 304. Itchy for someone. Garrett is home.
He's not getting married yet, no, it's only been a week.

Sometimes it's like my eyes don't recognize me. Sometimes it's like I'm not really moving my body, and I just end up places without actually walking there. Sometimes it's like I'm writing the same two sentences over and over again, but they are the complete opposite of each other. Sometimes it's like I'm fresh out of a dryer womb, where I was so warm but so curled up; being slopped out I'm awkward and cold and don't know how to use my limbs.

Now is my time to run, I keep thinking. Lots of parts of me have no freakin idea how. My muscles are weak from lack of use and they don't even know where to go.
But all of these things are just important.

That's what I have to say. It's just all important. I'm growing and learning so much stuff--however anguishing the accompaniment of this chunk of my life.

Yesterday church made me giggly again for the first time in so, so long. I whooped and could hardly sit still during the closing prayer for glee, and it felt good to be jubilant about the gospel even when my life is turned inside out and the guts are being whipped around in the tornado. It's a good thing I've long since accepted my calling in life as an emotional nut job--I don't even notice people being weirded out by me feelin the Spirit with jubilation and laughing instead of tear drops sometimes. It felt good to be in the sunshine, walking and talking out loud to myself and God. I tell Him everything all the time now. This is important.

Do you get it? It's just all important. This time is important. I've got to stretch so wide it busts me open so I can be fertile for seeds to be planted. I've got to blast myself open over again each day instead of trying to crap my way through a temporarily easier road to avoid pain because when I'm blasted open is when I'm listening most closely. It's when I can hear most clearly.
I'm being slapped in the face with sledgehammer, sandpaper, and fresh water and being told to PAY ATTENTION.
I'm gonna do it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Plunge.

CHILLS like crazy: "O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel!"
--2 Nephi 9:19.

 

His mercy has kept me alive.
I come to Him as a sniffling child with nothing really to offer, just needin, and He is so quick to scoop me up into His ever loving arms. Knowing His nature comforts me. It comforts me to know that He is all powerful, all knowing, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Literally and figuratively all that I need and want.
He is in every crack and crevice of my life that I will allow Him to enter into. He asks of me: perfect faith. Whole submission of my intentions, timetable, my life; a complete willingness, and belief that because all flesh is in His hand and the world is His that He will cradle me, mold me, and craft me into an instrument of His greatest joy. I would be crazy to want anything other than this.

He has painted my life such a vibrant color already! He has accessorized my existence with the most exquisite, meaningful elements with so much depth and inherent loveliness. He has filled my life with beauty, with things to send my heart reeling and my mind pondering. He has given me a special spirit sensitive to these things. I will never slice this piece out of my life any more than I will slice a piece of myself out of my soul.

I can't even describe this feeling. It's impossible. I see all these really specific elements in my head that feel weird to even write as part of The Vision called What I Want.

But the maroon curtain is liftin and God is sayin okay, you take a look. What about this piece? What about gospel music, education, New Orleans Jazz and all that feelin' it bubblin over excitement? New York City? And I shout out YES! YES!
He gives voice to what I had no idea I wanted to say. He gives vision to elements I didn't know I wanted.
And I'm feelin that that sentence is absolutely appylin to what I'm goin through now.

Gosh, He loves me. This is what the Spirit feels like: enlightenment. joy. peace. catchin a glimpse of The Vision.

He blesses me so abundantly. Especially, I think, when whatever He's givin me doesn't look like a blessing at all. It looks like a heap of dirt to my poor eyesight and I just say, what? I didn't order this! But I can't see, can't see that it's really the food my soul is starving for, the food I need so desperately to live. My challenge is to take the first bite, and then another, and another, until I slide the platter away and discover to my amazement that I am so completely, totally FULL.

Sometimes this process takes a really, really long time. I know it'll take that for me. But you know, I catch the glimpses, and I keep askin. I keep praying and learning.
I feel in the depths of humility; and simultaneously like I'm staring up with wide eyes at an expansive sky of my potential, how much God loves me and the evidence of His hand working in my small life. He spares me so much heartache and guides me by the hand in those times when I need heartache to grow. He is a perfect, just God who never gives more than I can bear and has orchestrated an incredible path of the maximum growth and good from my experiences.

All this will never cease to amaze me and bring me to my knees in awe and overwhelmed gratitude. I think one day He will help me understand all the way like I want to.

I love Him. I trust Him.

 

Every day I'm pluggin my nose and diving in all over again.
I wake up and take the plunge.

 

His mercy has kept me alive.

inkly thoughts

that pen i bought that was thick ran out of ink already.
it got plum tuckered out, too.
it got tired of writing the same words over and over, like, it's going to be okay, your life will be good and full of joy you will be led to a path of joy all things will work together for your good you can be happy now you are strong and big

it's okay. i don't need you to say anything back if you don't know what the heck i talk about any time here. that is alright. i just need you to listen. is that okay?
i'm practicing being brave and listening to all of the insides of me.
i'm practicing just acting when those inklings come. not waiting like, hey, is that You? i just do it. i just turn off my iPod for the last half of my run because i thought it might be good to listen. the next day i run all iPod-less and hear the thump of my heavy footsteps and my labored breathing. things get ugly. i am so ugly when i run. my nose gets snotty. my eyes get watery and bawly. my face gets read and drippy and sweaty. and maybe i didn't feel anything huge or mondo because i'm iPodless but i responded, and i'm practicing that being the important part.

but that pen gave me pages and pages of quoted stuff with exclamation points that meant my heart was leaping all around in its cage, even if i sat there studying and thinking and pondering so long that my butt fell asleep. (has that ever happened to you? it is very odd.)
pages and pages like HEY, what about this? I want to think about THIS more. It means a lot to me. it means a lot of soul work.

i have a lot of opportunities. to brush my teeth bloody, organize my desk, do the dishes a hundred times. lay things down and get lots of sleep. slosh around. i'm trying to practice being nice to myself and not beating myself up about feeling certain ways, like a bag of bricks or oozy tar.
but it's all okay.

Monday, March 15, 2010

drumroll.

I GOT IN!!

You are now reading the blog of the newestly accepted SECONDARY CHORAL MUSIC EDUCATION MAJOR AT BYU!
Yeah. that's right.
OH MY GOSH, I cannot even describe my glee and joy and incredible feelings of general awesomeness in print.
Thank you all for your support, for believing in me, and for celebrating with me!

I know this is a huge blessing from Heaven--God knows what we need, people. He knows it so much better than we will ever know it. He gives us exactly what that is. I am so grateful to know that He is real, that He is loving and merciful, and that the hard things of life eventually work together for our good.
ASDFKASDJFLASDFJASDFJalsfjdal;skfjd;alfja;lsfjkasd;lfjk;sldfjk;sldfjka;sdlfjk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

bytheway.

by the way,
the interview and the audition and the crazy crazy portfolio went well. they functioned long enough to make it into their hands and i hope their hearts and their blood and souls enough, at least, to PICK ME.
AND one of the adjudicators mentioned me by name to my voice teacher! WOOP WOOP!
a snoopy boy next to me reads over my shoulder. hey, dude. that's right. i'm applying to something hard. i'm a big person or whatever.

i find out in a couple weeks.

never you mind

It's an attempt to solve the complex emotional DEALIOS inside with washing the dishes.
The soap bleeds over my fingers and I wipe every surface, sweep, trash, a little rearranging of the paintbrushes-and-fake-flowers in vase.
I purse my lips and even scrub out the trash can.
Slap the magnet on the dishwasher
CLEAN
no
DIRTY
((empty))

it's all there in the kitchen.
so she says she doesn't want this anymore, been thinking, and i don't think i'm gonna go to LA anymore.
i remember all of it.
CLEAN
no
DIRTY

actually, empty.
i chose to put all the dishes back in the cupboard. never very neatly--and i always stuff my clothes in my drawers. i cannot remember the last time i folded.
but i remember all of IT. Steer clear of burnup in your atmosphere. Because I'd die if...
So I don't think I'm gonna go to LA anymore.
Sing it, John.
Me and you.
You fit nicely inside the silver box that holds the time and has 3/4 battery, 2403 songs, or whatever. pictures too. the oldest, grossest, grayest-used-to-be-white headphones still crawl out.

"i just never got around to it." i hate logistics.

The streetlights say nevermind, nevermind, and the canyon lines say nevermind,
and the sunset says we see this all the time
nevermind,
never you mind.

Monday, February 22, 2010

power heels volume 2

my pointy patent heels are strewn on the plasticky mat thing and i FREAK out about the last time i came here to write about this particular subject because it did not go well.
i just ate an apple the size of my face.
which was a poor decision because i forgot that apples make me burp and then what the heck what if i burp while i'm singing se tu m'ami or something? or while i'm introducing myself? hi, i'm brooke, and you rejected me last time, so this time i will belch for you.
pleasant.

and i keep wondering if my tights are restricting the proper flow of air to my lower costals. and i hate not knowing how to spell costals. well whatever.

but not nervous, just anxious.

you know when you have lots of pressure on you, like this five minutes will determine your whole destiny? yeah. well. i don't know if you've ever experienced that before, but how could you NOT be wondering about every little detail and what if your cardigan sleeves are too short for proper hand expression?
five minutes, that's all you get. and it has to be perfection.
but you can't stop being a human for that space of time, so, you could actually screw it all up.
but then you take a deep breath and remember mom talking about the olympics, and how the gold medalist wasn't nervous because his coach just told him to do his job.
just do your job.
sing with love, she said.
i love HER.

maybe some more deep breathing will help my body understand how huge that apple was. sorry, stomach. you have to calm down for this.
after 2:47 pm when you walk out of that room you can start freaking out, intestines. you can say what the heck was that massive green thing you put inside me? or you can say, brooke, you do not know anything why did you put tights over the top of me? or you can say, i hate you. full reign and permission, but please, please, just hold off?

there's a lot of pleading that goes into these five minutes. seven months worth.
but my personal morning devo was about FAITH today.
and here i am.
and here i go.

" after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, i would ask if all is done? behold, i say unto you nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in Him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save." --3 Nephi 31:19

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Candyfreak

I love candy.

I love it!

Just ask Jared. I am constantly yelping out “I want CAAAAAAAANDY!”, asking him if he has any candy, or does he want to go get me some candy, or can we go on a trip to buy some candy at the store.

For some reason being with him fills me with an inexplicable desire to just eat candy. Go figure.

Note: this obsession with candy is about CHOCOLATE candy only. No nasty mints or air heads or nerds or whatever fake crap you want to throw in my face. Such junk should not even classify as candy. Okay. you may proceed.

I especially love mini candy. I have a thing against actual candy BARS—probably because my female mind has been trained to stay away from them at all cost. Empty calories and sugar and processed, ick!

But brightly wrapped, mini, FUN SIZE, melty, now that is a shimmering beacon of LOVE. I love candy.

So when I found out there was a memoir about candy, I was very happy and inspired and I felt like fluffy nougat inside, because someone was talking about something I love.

Just read this quote.

            “And if it seems, at times, that I am playing off my obsession with candy as something frivolous/heartwarming, this is, like most of our routines, just a way of obscuring its darker associations.”

               -Steve Almond, Candyfreak; A Journey Through The Chocolate Underbelly of America

 

Wow. Once I can afford rent I want to buy that book.

But! Maybe I will just buy candy.

This is It.

This application, this calling in life, this is my chance to be Michael Jackson.
He just says how he wants it to be—he has that inexplicable crystal clear vision. And this is his whole LIFE. This is what he comes home to at night—what he eats, breathes and sleeps. The Vision.
This is it.
Wow, sweet that I get to be MJ, huh.
And he loves it. He worships it. For the fans, for the sake of creating something incredible. To change people. To be wonderful.

ttap_music_15

Music is the constant surging power in my life, the driving force that pushes me or helps me be still or makes me dance or sing. But it is always the HEIGHT, the breadth and depth of every element of my life. For some, music is an added adornment, for special occasions—like powdered sugar. But for me, no. It is the lifeblood. This is it.

Music always gives back. It gives me everything, absolutely everything I need, and it's inside my own self—bubbling up through my blood, surging in the membranes of my cells, rattling my bones and flooding out through every pore, the little hairs on the back of my neck and my ear lobes and kneecaps and pinky toenails.

It is all inside me, and then, when I let it go, it is all around me. The sparks encase me in a bubble of the fountain of everything wonderful. It is so dynamic and vibrant and living; I feel I can for sure reach out and touch. I grab hold and we fly away...

 

Every time I walk into a room to play the piano and sing, I quote Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans: "Mmm, this is mah sanctuary," he says.

I say those words out loud, so they can bounce back and reverberate in me. I sit down and feel literal chills coursing through me—every time.

These things are the most real and resonant to my heart. I really know them. I really feel them. I'm kind of amazed by that.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It’s called AGHHHHHGGH.

My life is an explosion.

It is a huge, big, fat, combustible mass of music education and a boyfriend and fireworks and stress and rent checks.

It makes me want to plop down really hard every time I sit and be like, “Agggggghhhh.” AGHHHHH. AGHHHHHHHHGHGGG.

It makes me want to collapse my insides, fold them down like an accordion and put my head in my hands and say “UGHHHHHH.” UGGGGHHHHGGGGH.

 

BANG.

…………..!!?!!????explode.

I will stop this complaint as is, to spare you the melodrama.