Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wandering Within The Details

Daydreams sometimes can be the best dreams. It is funny because usually they happen when you are trying to concentrate the hardest. Whether your focus is on a thought or a conversation, it is like your mind is walking along and then gets distracted all the sudden by some small important yet ironically insignificant detail. For instance, I was talking with a friend through Skype because we live far away and as we were talking and laughing over things, it was almost like watching her look down at her screen made me feel like I was there in the room with her. I began to feel as if she was looking down at me as I lay on the ground below her, listening. I could see her hair fall over the contours of her face and as I studied her face, I caught myself falling into her deep beautiful eyes. I smiled when I thought of what her perfectly formed lips must feel like. Slowly I left this place within the details, reluctantly returning back into to the real world. It is these moments where I am happy that I am alive, because this is exactly what living is all about. Having dreams and watching them unfold into a beautiful reality.

You Are A Block of Wood

Most people see each other as JUST people. JUST is a word without any magic. Do we live JUST another life? Am I JUST another person in JUST another place having JUST another day? Why can't we believe? There is more to life than living and more to life than seeing what we see.
Think of a familiar friend... old what's his name. He has that way about him even though he looks like everybody else, talks like everybody else, will live and die like everybody else, and though he may be short or tall, big or small, wide or thin, there is something to his mischievous grin... it's magic.

What do you see in the mirror? Do you see all the magic that is hidden inside of you. Watch the world around you, the miracle of life. All of creation... life in its simplest form is nothing more than magic. Now all you have to believe is that it's in you too. It's you and every day you can make miracles. You can bring the breath of life into everything and everyone that is around you. But first you must learn to let go. First, you must believe.

For a time, I had forgotten who I was and that little light inside everyone. It is there when you look into a child's eyes and catch that smile that is hidden just below the surface... it is our sparkle. Believe that anything is possible and you will see wonders beyond your imagination but it all starts when you believe. Tomorrow just might be the day you or I have been waiting for you so let's not miss it for the world. And in the words of Edward Magorium,

When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He's written "He dies." That's all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is "He dies." It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with "He dies." And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it's natural to be sad, but not because of the words "He dies." but because of the life we saw prior to the words.

I've lived all five of my acts, Mahoney, and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go. I'm only asking that you turn the page, continue reading... and let the next story begin. And if anyone asks what became of me, you relate my life in all its wonder, and end it with a simple and modest "He died."

Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Fall Colors

I think I could have been named Tom after watching The 500 Days of Summer. I am from back east, New Hampshire, but I go to school in Utah, where I can only ever be home in the Summer and never the season I love, which is Autumn. The colors are absolutely breathtaking and when you are in the middle of it, it just feels right. It is the season where you really just feel alive...

All the things I love happen during Autumn. It is just the beginning of hot cocoa season. You can
wear sweatshirts and hoodies all the time. It is cold enough that you have your arms around someone, even if it is yourself, just to keep warm. The sounds and smells and colors of nature swim around you like the currents in the sea. You can't help but dive into it ever time you step outside. There just isn't anything like a New England Autumn.

If only I could go and find someone other than endless Summers waiting to greet me when I came home. If home is where the heart is, the older I get the more I think I have lost my way. Still, something inside me knows the feeling, knows it will come back around. And as long as you keep watching, the leaves will always change.

The Four Loves

Need-love cries to God from our poverty; Gift-love longs to serve, or even to suffer for, God; Appreciative love says: ‘We give thanks to thee for thy great glory.’ Need-love says of a woman ‘I cannot live without her’; Gift-love longs to give her happiness, comfort, protection – if possible, wealth; Appreciative loves gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen her at all.

-C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What manner of man are you?

We all should if we don't already have a variety of outlets and one of mine happens to be books. I was working through a bunch of thing yesterday and I decided to take a quick break and so I broke open a book I just bought. I went to a used bookstore and picked up a couple of books by C.S. Lewis and one by John Steinbeck. I bought The Great Divorce, The Problem with Pain, Miracles, and a couple others, one of which was Of Mice and Men. So without warning I dove into Steinbeck's classic and was swallowed up in the mental imagery and beauty until the time passed away and I realized I had read the whole book, cover to cover. It was fantastic...

Steinbeck has a way with words where he can paint the situation and atmosphere for his characters so well that you feel like you are walking into with the characters themselves. But the amazing thing comes that when the characters do enter the scene, Steinbeck paints them with equal skill but as the dialogue begins and relationships develop between you and these characters, the setting fades away as it should. He gives you just enough to suck you in but only just enough so it doesn't become overflowed with unnecessary detail. Wonderful simplicity.

Everyone could connect with these characters. We have all met someone like them, whether it is woman starving for attention because her life is full of empty yesterdays and forgotten dream or the man as large and strong as an ox who wouldn't hurt a fly. The title itself is a wonderful symbol, seen throughout the book. The characters have different attributes of mice (naive to the dangers around them, weak or skittish personalities, or just trying to survive) or men (nobility and honor, the taking advantage of one another's weaknesses to assert dominance, or willingness to listen and ability to see past a person's appearance without passing judgments). The most beautiful portion of the story was the constant presence of death: the mice, the puppy, the old sheep dog, and finally Lennie himself. It was so poetic that the tool that killed the sheep dog who unknowingly and compassionately was lead to slaughter, took Lennie's life in a similar fashion.

All I have to say is that I love Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. If you have never read it, you should. It helps us see how fragile yet beautiful mortality can be. It is a beautiful gift and many live life in such a way that it can lose its value by becoming lost in the repetition and monotony that society and its needs take upon our time. It only reinforced to me how important it is to have loyalty and trust, relationships based on love, and to live one's life in pursuit of a dream. Who are you? What are your dreams? Whether we eventually reach that dream or not, we at least live a life of purpose and though we may be shooting for something that lies beyond our reach, high among the heavens, we will at least land somewhere among the stars. Are you a mouse or a man?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is This A Good Time...?

Have you ever seen that music video by Flight of the Conchords where the two guys meet the same girl at the same time and are both interested in her? Well since recently, I keep meeting these fantastic women that I am seriously interested in, but when I go and talk to my friends about how things are going and they name off these amazing women that they have met, they happen to name off the very same women I was going to tell them about. Some guys have bad luck, others are unusually clumsy, but me... I have unusually bad timing with a strong sense of loyalty to my friends. So I have to let it run its course and whatever happens, happens. It will all work out in the end.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Looking Forward to the Sunrise

I realize that there are a few things in this world that make me really happy. I love seeing someone smile, and not just one of those weak I-am-so-exhausted-and-this-is-the-best-I-can-do smiles. There is something that is like a sunrise in the eyes that just causes someone's face to light up and every part of them beams with happiness. Grins aren't bad either. The mischievous ones almost seem to say "I see you looking at me. And ya, I know what you are thinking." But my favorite smiles are the ones that you catch in a glimpse or watch as they slowly bloom into existence on the face of a friend or even a complete stranger. Smiles are simply contagious. Laughing is contagious. Hugs are contagious. Everything that is absolutely wonderful in my biased and limited perspective on life takes two. I think this is why relationships with people are so important to me because I am happy when the people I surround myself are happy.

Still, this last week was a super long week for me. I swear that teachers honestly have the best of intentions for us but their uncanny ability to test us not just extensively on material but all at the same time... very frustrating. I swear it is like they all get together during their department meetings and discuss everything but the schedules of their syllabi. They love to discuss the content since that is always similar but the timing seems to follow that they get to the point where they are like, "Since we have gone over 8 chapters in the book, it is about time to check their understanding with this test. I figure that it is good timing because Jeff, over in the math department, he is doing that too." It just so happens that Jeff who is friends with Dan, also got his idea from Bob, who is collaborating with Robert, and you get the idea... regular course load that already is time consuming with the addition of a half dozen tests makes already busy weeks feel like you are taking a short vacation through Dante's Inferno.

When finally all of this was over, I decided it would be good to come up for air, relax a bit, and take time to recollect my thoughts. I do what I typically do and went for a walk. I feel like there is something that happens when the world sleeps that the night has this ability to soothe the emotions, relax the mind, and just open you up and allow you to see things from a better perspective. But I know it isn't good for us to be alone so I decided that I would stop by and visit a few friends I hadn't seen in a while on my way home. All I have to say is that it was a good decision. Laughter, smiles, hugs, and just honestly feelings of belonging and appreciation. These are people who love me and I love them because we really know each other and still love one another, faults and all. I hope that in the end, I will find someone who likes long walks, because life is one long roller coaster ride and I know it is just not as fun without someone else to enjoy it with. And in the words of a wise friend, "I have to go to bed, not just because I am tired, but because I know tomorrow is going to be better because it is going to be the start of a new day."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Music is what feelings sound like... (Part 3)

When I said it was a hundred percent up to her... well, for those of you who actually know me, know that I don't like to leave things like love up to chance. I am, in a complete understatement, proactive in this pursuit. I knew that I seriously ticked her off with what I had done and I knew how I felt about it, so I went ahead and told her what I told of you and apologized. She acted like nothing was wrong and almost looked shocked by what I told her. Still, she in turn apologized as well and I felt like I had at least found some closure if nothing else. Either way, her response for me was unclear. I figured that at least there was no harsh or unkind words in the end.

If there is one thing that I am though, like I said, it is proactive and persistent. I heard that her favorite band was coming into town yesterday and so I decided that I would make it special for her. Our family has traditions and one of them is that when you are invited or decide to go to a concert of someone that know, you bring them flowers and tell them what a great job they did. Nevertheless, I don't know the band and I barely have started listening to their music... they are excellent by the way. They are like a Christian alternative band meets Jack Johnson in style or format of music but I like their lyrics much better than Jack's. Sorry Jack... no disrespect.

Anyways, I thought about what I could do and I figured that without invitation, going to the concert would be a poor move, but I could try something else.I decided that I would contact the
band, and through a couple email conversations I asked if they would do me a favor and dedicate a song to a very special girl by name. I told them how I felt about her. I told them how much she loved their music, that she owned all of their albums that they had released so far, that her own lyrics and music are inspired by theirs, and just how excited she is for their concert. In the end, I think it all worked out and surprisingly, I don't even care if she ever finds out that it was me that helped orchestrate it, because this is what she said:

Got up on stage with [him]. Sang with [him]. Got pics with [him]. Smelled him. Hugged him. Got his sig. Talked music with him. Heaven. Utter Heaven.

I think no matter what, I won't want to let her go but it is time to move on. I did my job and made my mark. She doesn't talk to me anymore, but I think this is the signal that my part is in this play is over and I can bow out and find someone that hopefully will be as crazy about me as I am about her. Until then, I am sure more epic stories and epic failures are to follow.