Friday, March 25, 2011

Sappy workout music.

When I run, I don’t pick pump-you-up music. I select the sappiest, most orchestrated inspirational nostalgic music on my ‘pod; because, to me, running has become this crazy yogic body-mind-soul thing that has to be an experience.

It started evolving that way when running was essential to my functioning about this time last year when I was broken up with Jared who I am now married to.

I would run creepily in his parking lot every single day and listen to the same John Mayer song. Over and over, for as long as I would run. Every day I would ask God if I could please just take back this thing I had done and knock on his door and beg him to take me back, sweaty and red-faced and nose-dripping in my electric blue shorts. And every day, God would gently let me know to please not do that.

After this, I would  come home and whip out my scrips and journ and read and ponder and write my life with pens I had spent far too long picking out at the bookstore. I filled up two or three journals that month.

I wrote in my journal the day we went to the Festival of Colors together. He had tried so desperately to get people to come with us and they all backed out. We were going alone. I wrote about how I was excited and afraid and I just didn’t know what was going to happen but I felt so good but I really hoped I wouldn’t do something impulsive and terrible that I wouldn’t be able to back up like kiss him.

Which is precisely what I did.

See, now it’s hard to remember all the detailing, but I had all these reservations about wanting to spend eternity with this man. On this day, the Festival day—I still wasn’t sure. I still had a lot of journal pages filled up with question marks and affirmations all rolled up in one giant mothball. I desperately didn’t want to show my longing and feeling for him without being able to stand up for permanent and say YES I AM COMMITTED NOW.

But before the kissing business happened,

I got into the car I’d gotten into at least a million times before—red mazda which I still wouldn’t recognize except on account of the orange coconut car freshener on the mirror. Back then, it was peachypeach. I slid into the passenger seat and back into the life of Jared Schultz and as I watched him eat his peanut butter and banana sandwich it felt so wrong not to be holding his hand.

I sat on mine to constrain myself.

We were so distracted that instead of going to Spanish Fork we went to Springville, and ended up at a very lovely garage sale at which point Jared bought several Navajo pictures with cheap goldy frames for $.25 and a Michael Jackson holographic card thing and injured himself on a pogo stick contraption.  I just felt awkward and antsy and clammy but giddy all rolled up in another giant mothball.

So when we were sitting in the car waiting to go to this chalk-throwing fest, I thought that kissing him would be the last thing I’d do. I thought sitting on my hands was working very nicely. And then we told each other honestly that we were just so dang glad to be together again. His blue eyes melted my mothball into a puddle and I got all weak in the knees for serious.

(ALRIGHT. It’s all very sappy and soggy. You love it.)

And my face flushed with seven different kinds of heat and before my brain knew it I just kissed him. He held me and it felt so good. Have you had holding like this? The kind that makes you feel contained in a wonderful bubble of nothing but validation and happiness? It still feels that way when this man hugs me.


Last night he held me in bed and said, “I can’t believe we’re married!”

I say this sentence at least every other day. There is no way I could ever convince myself that God does not work miracles. The evidence just sits right in front of my face every single day! Sometimes, even, this evidence kisses me. And, do you know? It feels just as fabulous as it did that day in March last year.

I’m gonna keep my sappy workout music.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Is the world just falling down around my ankles or what?

While people in Japan are suffering on the tailwinds of a tsunami and on the brink of a nuclear crisis, the kid in my adolescent development class was praying for the basketball team to play well in their first March Madness game.

I didn’t say amen.

I wish it was that simple to show my non-support for all the other things that are exploding in the world.

While Women’s Services is providing incredible events like ones with Alex Boye that bring tears to your eyes and change your life, the BYU homepage sports this newsworthy bit: “Vote for Your Favorite Jimmer Signs”—which is great news, because we don’t have enough people running around campus wearing his T-shirt or his jersey or his face.

No complaints about basketball. No complaints about Jimmer. No complaints that we rally around great talent and great fun.

Just a complaint that we do it at the expense of greater things.

Did you see the Daily Universe front page all about planning your wedding? Have you seen the insane amount of blogs that have thousands of followers for no reason other than that they post other people’s pretty pictures full of anorexic models draped in .2 oz of fabric? Have you been irked by the number of things/groups/companies/people trying to get you to “like” them on facebook?

Have you been annoyed at the amount of time-wasting crap for which we pay hundreds of dollars to spend our precious mortal probation in isolation?

Me too.

No complaints about weddings, pretty pictures, blogs, or technology. Just an aching for depth.

For reading real books, not electronic ones. I don’t care how lightweight it is.

For spending real time with your loved ones, not something with an ‘i’ in front of it.

For good old fashioned fun without a TV.

Without Jimmer.

For bodies that run and bike and camp and vacation and canoe!

Without a couch.

For soulful singing that’s going to happen behind Dance Ensemble tonight and tomorrow night, if you want to come hear me. I’ve got something to say.

Friday, March 4, 2011


On Thursday nights we stay with my Grandpa. We drive over in our pajamas and pillows and sweatpants, and there he is on the couch with the TV blaring, wearing no pants (He hates wearing pants, and when you’re 93 you can do whatever you want about pants. Finally.)

We say hello and he always calls me Brooke Darling. We help him to his walker. Then we fill up two liter pop bottles with hot water to go in Grandpa’s bed. He’s had hot bottles in his bed for as long as I can remember—even on the one night in the summer when I was nine and my family spent the night and the house was so boiling hot we all woke up and put cold, wet rags on our foreheads. Grandpa and Grandma snoozed away with the covers pulled up to their chins and the hot bottles cozying up their legs.

After the hot bottles are done we sleep while Grandpa sleeps, with a little camera by our bed so we can see if he needs anything. He doesn’t, usually. I think he just likes knowing we’re there. We listen to him talk in his sleep, occasionally snore. Then, we wake up and go to our regular lives.

Ever since my grandma died he’s been gathering the house into boxes. The old books, blueprints, model airplanes, and a bunch of one-of-a-kind things, like the chair massage pad, his American flag robe, and his collection of baseball hats. Probably he would call them caps?

My Grandpa loves the city of Kanab. He aches to live there. So he’s going to. For two months at least, and then, who knows.

It feels very sad to see all the boxes. It feels so arbitrary and cold—my grandparents and all their stuff breathed life into that house. Grandma’s chair by the bay window is gone. Grandpa’s plans to save the political universe are stashed away.

Unknowingly, we compass ourselves around things that seem very permanent, like our families and how they act. Like where our grandparents live and the things we will see when we visit. Like the family reunions that happen once every three years. Like the way the sun is supposed to rise in the morning.

The boxes just make me feel like the proverbial rug of stability is yanking itself out from under me.