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Showing posts from 2011
Our perceptions do not accurately reflect reality. If we saw what was really in the mirror we would see ourselves as much more beautiful, capable, and strong. My hope is to reflect vague pieces of truth about ourselves, our experiences, and the people we love. These thoughts will be reflected without mirrors so the true beauty of life can confidently stare back at us through the haze.

My Ignorance, My Bliss

Today I saw a movie. I was alone (as usual). Luckily, today is a Monday. On Monday’s  the cost of “taking advantage” of the day isn’t as high as a weekend or holiday. 

Much of my writing never becomes public, I often start writing just to sooth my brain. Here is an except from a Friday night, one when I learned something valuable. 

“I’m alone on a friday night. I have decided not to let the idea of doing something else ruin an already beautiful night. It’s like a day where you beat yourself up for not doing something outside to “take advantage” of the nice weather.  In feeling guilty you successfully ruin something that is already beautiful. I am simply grateful for this night with McKinley and I. I don’t need to feel guilty about what I could be doing.”

The moments that I am alone are the moments that I am most creative. The more time I spend with myself, deciding who I am, the less it matters what other people want me to be.

Thus, on this beautiful Monday night, I packed up my things an…

An encounter with an old friend

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Over a week ago I walked home from a movie by myself. I was lonely in a beautiful way. The journey from the theater to my house usually takes about 20 minutes. I took an hour. The path home leads me over a bridge that extends over a small river. A spot that is well hidden by commerce. By car it takes anywhere from 1-5 seconds to cross this bridge, depending on the weight of your foot. By bus it may be faster (probably only in Brazil). Motorcycles have an advantage in traffic. Bicycles can take as little as 4 seconds depending on who is pedaling. I, with an average-sized stride and an above-average walking speed took 25ish minutes to cross the bridge.  I stopped in the middle because even walking felt rushed.


This small river runs into a wilderness and winds itself away from human contact. The wilderness that faced me was beautiful, dark, and deep; the river slightly polluted. I focused on the darkness ahead of me. The street lights and passing cars behind me filled my mind with destin…

Seven Days

One more week of my life is over. This week doesn’t feel like it ended. It was a beginning. Seven days of meaningful interactions. Seven days full of beginnings.
Anything that we consider beautiful is rare. Each of my interactions was unique to the day, the time, the people, and the place. Each happened the perfect amount of times, once. If I were to try and relive any of these experiences they would start to lose value. They would lose their beauty. As a disclaimer, these summaries don’t capture the beauty of each experience. The beauty is in the details of each moment that I was able to spend with these different people. Memories are inaccurate but I’ll try and keep my recollections as real as possible. The lessons I learned hold true regardless of the accuracy of my memory. 
This week started with the appearance of Anna and JoAnna in our ward on Sunday. A mother and daughter from Virginia who spent two days here. The week started with Americans befriending Americans on a small island…

Pointless Ramble

It’s late, I’m still awake. I should be tired but my eyes won’t close. Is sleepy an emotion? When I feel other emotions, sleepy can’t get to me. Sleepy is weak. Love, nostalgia, sorrow, and joy (among others) are strong. I hold still and try to pull up a black screen. I can’t lose reception with the possible. Re-runs are running on all the other channels. My brain can’t shut down. 
It’s not a bad thing. Usually it’s a good thing to stay up just feeling. God speaks through emotions. 
I was wondering why I haven’t written lately. My inspiration was clouded by a busy mind. Worthwhile things, but busy nonetheless. I miss you keyboard. I miss you bright screen. I miss the spacebar under my thumb. I miss my thoughts coming out in sentences. Thoughts start to make sense with the quiet click of my keyboard. Unfortunately I have to hide a lot. Thoughts are very different in writing, they hide themselves.
I’m afraid that my writing is for me and not for you. But if you are one of the three people …

A Light in Darkness

I have never felt closer to God than I do now. It’s always when I am far from what is familiar that I feel close to Him. As I left Salt Lake City again and headed towards Brazil I left under different circumstances. I will only be here for six months. It’s just an extended vacation (with classes).
As I looked out my window over the plane’s wing I found a dark sky. The woman sitting to my side was also having a hard time sleeping. She was in her seventies, named Cristina. She was very friendly, a native Brazilian that travelled to the United States to be a catholic missionary. Similar circumstances to mine, I went to Brazil the first time as a missionary. We talked a little bit but I couldn’t fall asleep. I continued to look out the window to avoid her friendly, smiling gaze. It was somewhat awkward once she fell asleep facing me. 
This was a gift from God. My eyes locked onto the end of the wing. Looking out windows lets me appreciate the world. There was a lightning storm out my window…

Idaho and Back

I was privileged to drive about 7 hours with two of my favorite people last weekend. I attended my mission president’s homecoming in Rigby, Idaho. I was accompanied by my sweet mother and my mission companion David Hilton. These are some lessons I learned.

1. People are important. I’m usually lazy about keeping in touch with people I don’t often see. A weekend in Idaho forced me to break that trend. I need to be better, people don’t know I care unless I let them know.


2.  Memories are bad. The mechanism that records and recalls our experiences that we refer to as our “memory” isn’t constantly improved and updated. It’s actually quite the opposite.  With time it wears out. There is something wrong with this function of my body. It’s not a medical problem, it’s a problem that is universal. If it’s universal I guess it isn’t really a problem so much as a norm. It’s a normal, bodily malfunction. It seems to forget things that were once important.

3. Good memories can last. So many memories f…

Father, Mother

Every year I’m not sure what else to say. The card may be different but the message is always the same. I love you. Thank you. Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays, this message needs to be repeated because your love for me is repeated every day. I love you. Thank you.

I haven’t always appreciated you like I should. In fact I still don’t. 

That’s the best part about unconditional love. There is no expected retribution. Maybe I receive your love conditionally at times but I know it is given openly regardless of my behavior. Thank you.I love you. 

I am lucky to have parents that are experts in the field. They have over thirty years of experience, they know the tricks of the trade. Their parenting reflects what they are best at. Loving.

Letting me wake them up and sleep between them after a bad dream.

Patiently teaching me the same lessons even after I ignore their guidance.

They always have been okay with what I do and what I want to be.

They encourage me to dream big.

They find opportunities …

Capitalist Lovers

I wrote this for the New York Times college essay contest. The subject was "modern love." Like old people say about soda, cars, or anything else from "their day," "they just don't make 'em like they used to."
I am a commodity, a capitalist lover. On the market’s shelves I fight for a location near eye-level. I try my best to stand out as one worthy of being taken through the check-out line. 

This market is a free-for-all where the product is also the buyer. Capitalist lovers shop around to make an exchange––me for you. Lovers also spend time on the shelf, waiting. The longer they wait, the lower their price. My value changes each time someone picks me up, compares the costs, and puts me back on the shelf.

I am a twenty-two-year-old virgin, but if you ask me if I’ve ever loved, I will say yes. My time in the market has been profitable, though I’ve made love out of different materials than most.

Driven towards efficiency the invisible hand guides people…

Don't Close Your Blinds

It comforts me to close the blinds. I am now in the library on a bright Saturday morning.

It looks like spring, though it feels like winter. As I took a walked outside across campus, a cold wind penetrated my thin sweater. It felt hopeful with most of the snow melted. That refreshing air of change. My hope for change is very premature, since it’s still January. When I arrived in the library I chose the brightest desk, right next to a window. The sunlight was so bright my computer lost a short battle with the sun to decide who was brighter. After breaking a sweat through the insulated window, inside a heated room protected from the cold wind, I closed the blinds. My eyes adjusted, my computer became visible, and little bits of light broke through the cracks in the blinds. My body relaxed and I began to work.

I couldn’t do it. Homework seemed so small compared to what I had just been through. The moment was too beautiful not to share. Bright sunlight and cold, fresh air. Loud music vibrat…

One More Revolution

The Earth takes 365 1/4 days to circle around the Sun. This motion is called a revolution, yes it is a much less exciting, intense form of revolution. No guns, no death, no tyranny, no overthrow, no victory, just gravity. We aren’t really aware of it, though it is probably much more significant than any earthly revolution. A giant mass of matter traveling through space with all of us stuck to its surface.

This new years revolution is typically eventful (depending on the person I suppose). We celebrate the Earth’s accomplishment. Fireworks, parties, cheers, fun. As the Earth travels around the sun at about 30 kilometers per second we go right along with it. All 6 billion, 800 million and something of us experienced a revolution, together. What isn’t worth celebrating about that. We are still alive. We aren’t extinct. We have hope in the fact that all of us are celebrating together, if only at midnight. We are all stuck to this place as it spins around the Sun.

Though we celebrate for E…