Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shutter Effect

Have you ever been looking into the night sky, or maybe someone's eyes, or down an inviting country lane, and suddenly get lost in its depth, its unpredictable serenity, sent out into the incredible and unimaginable future only to be captured back into the present before you comprehend the scene? I have.

At times I have this deep ache, a very real and lovely longing for intangible futures. I see things for a moment, like specters, dancing and calling me, showing me memories of things I have never seen, and though I also see that they are not in my near future, they are there somewhere, playing hide and seek in time. I think the ache is akin to that feeling you got at the center of your heart the first time you left home for a week, and you missed your room and your parents, and even your pesky, snotty, bratty, wonderful siblings. You were probably seven or eight, and it may have been some sort of camp with your church or school, and it was fun, but it wasn't home.

This next analogy only works if you have seen cameras other than the digital kind. When a film camera takes a picture, there is a shutter that opens for just a fraction of a second, and in that moment the image is captured on the film. You can even duplicate this type of effect yourself with your own eyes. Just close your eyes for a while and then open them and quickly close them again (this will work best if you are looking out a window where there is a lot of light and contrast) and the image will seem to linger for a couple heartbeats. The longing I speak of is kind of like this, I am just minding my business living life and then, in a brilliant and fleeting flash, I see the expanse of the universe, its image and emotion burned into the retina of my soul, and the ache, while intense for a moment, slowly fades and I am left to myself wondering.

I wonder at the feelings I get when this happens, the feeling that what I saw was home. It feels like that's where I belong, not here, not in the small struggles I face today, but there, where my heart is full and my experiences rich, and my family, not my current family only, my own family, is close and our bonds strong. How is it that I can be homesick for a home I don't yet have? Things stir in me that I don't understand, my heart feels broken for not being there in that glimpse of forever, feels weak and unsuited for the task, hungry for company. It's hard to explain. I need deeper words, or to be able to write with emotion as my text instead of these clumsy symbols. So inadequate are these tools sometimes. I feel I understand what God meant when He said He speaks according to our understanding, using the language of man's comprehension.

I feel that these glimpses into the eternities, into the mind and will of God, are for us encouragements to help us on our way, to show us that there is more, to keep us from sitting still, to make sure we still dream. The breath leaves us for a moment and our hearts expand in the attempt to fully embrace the scene, and the ache comes when we find that our hearts are not yet big enough, but are hungry to become so. And the vision fades, leaving us hopeful, longing.

I want it. I don't know exactly how to get there, but I know a few of the steps. I don't know what to do all the time and I make things harder sometimes. But for now, I will enjoy the journey, the company of friends, the lessons I learn, and the joys I gain.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

All Star

I can't believe how excited I am about my recent discovery. I'm pretty sure that if I had a million dollars, shameless amounts would be spent on Converse All Stars. I have always loved these shoes, and they have become quite the status symbol these days, but the reason for my rekindled interest is that you can build your own shoes by using the converse website. It's pretty easy: www.converse.com and then you just go to build your own.
I made a couple different designs myself:
Black and lime green

And my personal favorite: Waldo

I think this one would match my waldo outfit nicely.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I love when it rains. It rained today for like five minutes and looked like the world was going to end for all the water being dumped, but then it was over and moved on. I missed most of it because I looked out the window and saw dark clouds, looked away and then looked back out the window three minutes later and the rain was drowning everything it could get its hands on. Then the sun came out. I love when the sun comes out.

I had a good day. I went into Relief Society after church and one girl had made cookies, so I went up to her and asked, "May I please have a cookie?" to which she replied cordially, "Yes you may." I reached for one of the enticing morsels and right as I pick it up she says, "Oh you might like this one better," pointing to a different and equally appealing cookie. I couldn't really see any difference between the quality at first but I was primarily concerned that I had already handled one of the cookies and it might be rude of me to put it back in favor of the other. I expressed this reservation and graciously she said, "Looks like you'll have to have both and see which one you like better!" I could not have asked for more kindness, after all most of the women had only received one cookie, and here I was, an intruder, getting two! I felt very special. I like feeling special, and it's something we don't do for each other enough. I'm going to try to make others feel special more often because they deserve to get surprised. I don't really know anyone that detests feeling happy, and pleased about life/things/themselves. At least I don't associate with them.

Yesterday, speaking of surprises, I got off work and wanted to surprise a friend of mine, so I found an excuse to head that direction. Luckily for me I had forgotten my sunglasses at another friend's house in the area so I had the excuse, I just needed a surprise. Flowers are always great, especially if you're surprising a girl, which was my intention, so I stopped at a flower shop along the way and picked some up, all the while enjoying the excitement of being a surpriser. I got them into my car, turned on the AC, aimed the vents at the flowers, and drove toward my destination. I was a little torn, did I want her to be there? Hmm... if she's there that could be fun to see the look on her face, but it could also be fun to leave them there and let her come home to them. Well, either way would be fun so I went on my way rife with anticipation.

I parked and carried the flowers up to her house to find her father outside working on some projects. Prior to him looking up I wondered about the rather conspicuous bundle in my hand and whether I could make it look simple and natural, like I always carried flowers with me where ever I went. I don't know that I was successful, but he didn't seem bothered by their presence, and I asked if my intended recipient was at home. I strangely hoped for both answers. He told me that she was actually in southern Utah and wouldn't be home until Wednesday-ish.

Ever watch a pack of five year olds attack those dollar store bubbles? My bubble was among those not high enough off the ground to survive the onslaught. I was a little let down having talked to her the day before and not knowing that she was planning on being absent for several days and having my plans to surprise her, turn around and surprise me. So I left them with her dad, and he promised he would feed and water them so they would be alive when she got home.


A friend of mine wrote on her facebook page that she needed something to do. I needed something to do too so I asked if she wanted to go get a frosty with me and that it would be a half hour commitment. I don't like usurping people when they just feel like doing a little bit of something. It's pretty fun to just do stuff out of nowhere. It was good for me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Remember biology in school? Ever seen a bug's clear, discarded shell? Seen a snake shed it's skin? All signs of growth. Creepy, disturbing signs of growth. Spiders, like other exoskeleton types, (of course excluding snakes, they are vertebrates) are limited in size by their exteriors, trapped, as it were, inside themselves. They get bigger inside than their outsides will allow and something has to give or they will suffer, and really, who likes to suffer? Not me.

Could have fooled you, eh? Yeah, could have fooled me too. I say I don't like to suffer, but I always seem to stop myself from doing what I really want to, so I get all cramped up and start wishing things were different. I don't make sense to myself at times, I doubt I make a lot of sense to others, but if you have any really great observations you feel would be helpful feel free to share them with me. I'd appreciate it.

Ever read "The Dawn Treader" by C.S. Lewis? Eustace Scrubb is a brat and he gets turned into a dragon, and learns things. Then he wants to be in his own body, but the only way to do that, Aslan says, is to tear off the exterior. Eustace tries a few times but even though it hurts and he's using his dragon claws and tearing as hard as he can, it's not enough. Aslan has to use his "king of beasts" claws, and trust me, they're huge, sharp, and cut very deep. The pain was excrutiating, but finally Eustace was once again himself, albeit sore and humbled.

I wonder if spiders experience pain. If so, I wonder if breaking open their bodies hurts, or if it is a relief to finally get out of the constricting, too small body. However, I don't know that there have ever been any successful interviews of any spiders on this subject, so we may never know. Even if it does hurt to rip off their very own body they do it so they can grow and become better. I feel a little trapped in myself right now, I've been trying to get out for a while, but only recently have I felt that panicky claustrophobic urge to rip myself out of me and grow. The scary thing about taking off my calloused, worn exterior is that I become extremely vulnerable. Just like the butterfly newly escaped from the cocoon, I'm helpless until I can fill my wings with strength. The spider, once freed from it's old carapace, is free to grow but can become more agitated due to its vulnerability. Attitude can be polarized with higher aggression when threatened, in order to feign invulnerability, and an increased timidness until the new outer shell is fully hardened.

The problem is I don't want to get all calloused and hardened. I hate getting hurt, and it has happened a few times more than I want to remember, but I feel like I really need to break out of my shell. I hope you realize the meaning behind that phrase now.

I plan on living my life, not just hoping for life. This is going to suck. It's going to be awesome. I can't wait to see what happens, and I'm a little scared. I'm moving forward, trying new things, trying old things I just haven't done in a while, working on projects, registering for classes, and daring myself to do better.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Overthinking 101

So I love telling stories, I love thinking. A lot. I think that for a long time I loved thinking and figuring stuff out so much that I forgot that it's kind of important to live for real.

People have been telling me that I should have a blog.

Blog, that's a funny sort of word, it sounds like bog. Sometimes I get bogged down with my brain trying to give meaning to everything. Ugh.

I have thought about it before and have wondered if maybe it would be fun, or at least therapeutic to write out my thoughts and experiences.

I'm somewhat of a perfectionist. Therefore I have a hard time doing stuff if I am not sure that I can do it right. Thus I fail to do a lot of things. Perfectionism is a disease, like anorexia. It's hard to tell at first that it is a hindrance to life and happiness but it's just so darn easy to keep up once you've started, and the longer you keep it up, the more you think it's helping. Same thing with overthinking. I think it's sort of an excuse for not having confidence to actually deal with life. Instead you just try to think of everything that could possibly happen and most of it ends up being bad so you don't do anything for fear of not getting the one or two things you hope for. Being a ninja you'd think there would be no problem for me to get out and go to town on stuff and fear nothing, that's where I don't make sense.

A few of my closest friends, yes ninjas have friends, have grown to understand me enough to know that I am unlike most people. I think that's intriguing to some. They meet me and are like, "Hmm, just some person." and then after a half hour their eyebrows are kind of fighting eachother and then try to grab their hairline and their brains are trying to find a definition for me, and it doesn't work right away, so to cope they find an opportunity at some point to let me know I'm weird. Thanks, I know.

I have a really big, squishy, deep heart, and that sucks sometimes. Especially when you combine that with my paralyzing perfectionism and overanalyzing nature. Ninjas are sensitive, caring, compassionate, intuitive, shy people. Of course they mask that by killing stuff and being awesome. The qualities they have in public are not pretend, they are definitely qualities they possess, but there are many deep set things no one sees. The main problem for ninjas is that there are very few psychologists who are not afraid of getting cut in half, or who are awesome enough to actually help. So we ninjas are left to ourselves to figure out our issues. Don't worry though, I have made great strides recently.

I realize I am very tired of not living, and watching my happiness walk away down the beach without me. I am sick of looking opportunities in the eyes and fearing irrational things. I want to be who I am deep inside me somewhere. That guy that isn't afraid. What would I do if i wasn't afraid? I bet I would more often skin my knees, and shed tears from failure, but I bet I would succeed more.

What I am most afraid of now is that I have waited too long to fix myself and that some opportunities have forever sunk behind the horizon. I fear that maybe I am giving it my all when whatever it could have been is not all there. I feel like my life is currently a romantic comedy or maybe a comedic romance.

Or maybe just a comedy.

Let's hope it doesn't become a tragedy.

I am pretty sure my thoughts can be found in a couple songs: 'I'm yours' by Jason Mraz and 'Save' by The Rocket Summer.

Oh, and '1, 2, 3, 4' by Plain White T's is also a good one.