Tuesday, March 30, 2010


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.



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?


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?
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.

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


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



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.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


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

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.

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
never you mind.