Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I want to be found 42 times.

Well, we'd better make it 44 just for luck. :)

Sometime very early this morning, my mind awoke to a clap a thunder. It was the kind of awakening where your eyes don't open but your thoughts are suddenly alive, and you slowly smile because your body is asleep but your mind is awake. I heard this thunder, calling me like a dinosaur. And I smiled. And then went back to sleep.

It's an England sort of day today. This morning when I looked out the window the first thing I thought of was England. Wastwater. Tintern Abbey (ok, that's Wales, but still). The way the mist enveloped the top half of the moutains, the rain came gently down, but not for very long. How is was chilly, but not too cold.

Talking to Syd before 292 today she asked how I was, slightly concerned, because I've been quieter than usual lately. I guess I have been. I've been kind of lonely, but not necessarily in a bad way. That doesn't make sense. But it is.

But I do want to be found. 44 times. haha. No one will get that. But still. Ready or not, here you come!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hey, Roommate(s), Stop Eating my Food!

It's true. At least one of my roommates has been eating stuff that is mine.

A couple days ago, I finally bought more bread. I went to make toast and discovered that I was mostly out of spreadable butter, when I was almost certain I had half a container left. But I thought nothing of it, simply believing that I was crazy and had imagined things and had used more butter than I originally thought.

Real-life scenario #2: Today I go out to the kitchen to get breakfast. Honey-nut Cheerios. My family knows I never eat cereal--it's alright if you gulp it down before it gets all soggy. Anyway. LAST WEEK, I bought a box of my Honey-nut Cheerios. I couldn't eat an entire box of cereal in a week if I wanted to. And I don't. I've had maybe--MAYBE--3 bowls of cereal since I bought this. And lo and behold, this morning, there was hardly anything in my box. Probably about enough for 2 bowls. Yeah.

I'm not imagining things. Someone who is not me is eating my food. If you are breaking into my apartment and eating stuff, please let me know.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Heap of Happy

Today was one of those simple-pleasure days. You know the kind, where you’re happy, but you don’t know why. Where the sky is that bright, vivid, indescribable blue kindergartners always try to duplicate in their pictures they’ll take home to Mom because they know that THAT color is the real deal, but that no crayon can duplicate, not even sky blue, those Crayola fakers. And then there’s the sun, glowing so hot that you can’t look anywhere near it. It’s no longer a yellow circle, but a white aura of happy, and it beaming down on you just fills you with so much of that same happy that you can’t wipe the smile off your face and you feel so ridiculous because you really have no reason to smile, but at the same time you do—it’s all around you. And because you’re so happy, you can’t even read or sing, all you can do is smile and collapse in a heap of happy on the grass, the green prickly velvet, eyes closed, reflecting the joyous sunshine back at the real-sky-blue sky.

(P.S. This is the first paragraph of a little blurb I just put out there for Workshoping Wednesday in John Bennion's class tomorrow. I didn't have anything, so I wrote this, plus another pager and some. Just fyi. :D )

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Because procrastinating Deutsch homework is my most favorite least favorite thing to do, I figured if I'm going to facilitate that process, I should be at least updating my blog, since I haven't written a post in about a week. Update:

September 11: 8 years. I can't believe it's been that long. All day, the ROTC had someone guarding the flag. I spent more time just starting up at the soldiers from down in Periodicals in my usual spot by the windows than I did doing homework. I pondered on the events from 8 years ago, as I actually do quite often. And I felt proud to be an American. I may not approve of everything my country does and all my leaders do, but I love my country, and am so happy that I'm finally feeling connected to it again.

Classes: Floral design labs start next week. Professors are already talking about exams, which makes me feel a lot more behind than I really am. I've done surprisingly well on my Deutsch work, which makes me feel less crappy at Deutsch and gives me hope! :D 292 with Westover is simply a treat, and we just finished up Wordsworth, which was a treat. Reading Tintern Abbey after you've been there . . . it's as if I WAS Wordsworth, reminiscing on the events and how I've changed since then with him. Oh my, I love William Wordsworth. Now we're on to Coleridge. "Kubla Khan," which of course, brought back the memory of chanting it demonically with my study abroad family in the lobby of the ghetto hostel in Grasmere. :) Writing with John Bennion is awesome awesome awesome. It never ceases to be the highlight of my day. Only problem: tomorrow is writing groups, which means I have to bring a short writing piece to workshop in class. I have no idea what I'm going to bring in. I haven't felt much like writing in the past couple days. I need to go to the MOA and perhaps look at some art or go play a real piano in the HFAC to get inspiration. Or go spend lots of time out in nature instead of with Harold and Fred (aka the Library and my laptop). Oh, and D&C is wonderful. My professor is fabulous.

President Monson: One of the things I love most about being at BYU is the fact that we have the wonderful opportunity to listen to the prophets speak just for us. This isn't a CES fireside broadcast around the world. This is the prophet of the church coming to the Marriot Center to speak to the students of BYU. Even so, I invite you all to look up the talk that our beloved President Monson gave today. It was HILARIOUS, for one, and, more importantly, very beautiful and spiritually uplifting.

Seasons: It's changing. It's been cooler lately. Yesterday during writing we had a beautiful thunderstorm that, while I wanted to be out in it, I was glad I was inside because I was wearing my Rocketdogs--aka NOT GOOD RAIN SHOES. But today when I'm prepared with my waterproof hiking shoes . . . nothing. Oh well. It's lovely outside. Not too hot, not too cold. A cloudy, stormy sky is perfectly contrasted with the bright green trees and grass. The colors are starting to change. The mountains are more rusty-colored. The trees are beginning to turn yellow. And everyonce in a while, a ray of sun will burst through the clouds illuminating the scene , bringing shadows to life and adding vibrance to the so-beautifully-dreary-and-almost-England-like cloudy day.

But hey! I need to be home by 6, because Amelia is probably coming by around then to drop me off stuff for my new calling--Relief Society instructor. Whoo! In other words, time to leave the library. Auf Wiedersehen, Freunde (well, I guess most of you are probably Fruendinnen...)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

From the first weeks in England--Freedom

Note: The first essay I wrote in England, so I probably wrote it over the first 2-3 weeks. I'm thinking about adding parts of the post I wrote a couple nights ago to this for my Creative Writing portfolio/Honors Thesis. :)

Four hobbits hiked up a mountain. Okay, so they weren’t really hobbits. And compared to other rocks we’d climb in the next few weeks, Arthur’s Seat isn’t really a mountain. But we were four friends journeying together at the back of our group of 30 up Arthur’s Seat. Barefoot. I’m not sure what it was—maybe the lack of the shoes and socks I had wanted to take off all day, maybe defying the social convention of needing footwear, maybe feeling close to the land, or losing my balance and becoming in-tune with my klutzy self. Although I’m unsure at what exactly caused it, I do know that something about my naked feet made me feel free.

When Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, I’m sure the last thing on his mind was a 19-year-old girl who would, over 200 years later, take off her shoes to scamper over rocks in Scotland. Yet he wrote about freedom. He wrote that all people have the inherent right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But what is freedom? To Jefferson, it was peace, safety, and no taxation without representation. To me freedom is living life and pursuing happiness as well. Yet that is still vague and inaccessible. Upon Arthur’s Seat, I realized I really have no idea what freedom consists of. My skin stood against the chilly, volcanic rocks, while my green hiking shoes dangled from the laces intertwined in my fingers, and the wind danced with my hair in a twisting attempt to escape its ponytail. I was closer to freedom than I had been in a long time, and my heart could taste it in the goosebumps on my arms. I knew then that I don’t know what freedom is—only that I want to find out, and I want to achieve it.

In class we talk about reading landscapes, so I try. I search the pages for freedom, clues to my quest. And I find it, although it’s not seen. Freedom comes with the wind, partially perhaps, but freedom is there. The wind flies wherever it wants, and I defy it halfway, my body staying firmly put, but my soul floating away, eloping with the breeze. The wind acts how it wants. It can be fierce or playful, destructive or safe, cold or warm. As it carries my heart, thoughts and song back to the heavens where they started, the wind reminds me of both my earthly and heavenly home and frees me.

I’m away from the wind now, wandering the National Gallery in Edinburgh. There’s a painting on the wall and we’re having a stare-down. Or we would be, but the painting is dead. In fact, it never lived. So I’m the only one staring, a confused grimace pointed towards “Still Life with Asparagus.” Asparagus. Really? The bloody limbs just sit there on a plate without emotion.

Another still life. I think I’m drawn to them because they make me uncomfortable. I just don’t like still life paintings. This one is by Charour, it says, who always painted with great “stillness” in his works. Well, duh. Fed up with these dead geese and awkward vegetables and rustic table-settings, I yearn to turn back to Monet and impressionism. The fluid brushstrokes there give a fuzzy blur of emotion, beauty, and life. Only barely contained, impressionist images are free. And then another realization hits: I don’t like still live paintings because they’re exactly that—still. They’re simply paints on a canvas. The bloody asparagus are only bloody fingers, somehow trapped. Like me.

It’s hard to gain freedom when you don’t know what it is. It’s even harder when you don’t know who or what is holding you prisoner. Most of my chains are cast in iron fear. A fear of falling and intense physical pain is one. Another, a fear of waiting and anxiety, even if only for a split second. Usually when asked what I’m afraid of, I answer one of these, or nothing. But I hardly ever share my biggest fear, apparently not even with myself, since I didn’t realize how confined I was and am because of it. Links of fear of failure and emotional hurt and imperfection fuse into a chain and the huge black ball at the end is my fear of sharing my personal thoughts and emotions.

Usually people have no idea that that is me, that I am trapped in fear of sharing my soul. To my friends, I’m the giggly, crazy one who’s always hyper and good for entertainment. I’m the happy, gregarious optimist who enjoys people. And that IS me. But I’ve noticed that while I’m always open about events and people in my life, my feelings on such things hardly ever leave my mind.

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that a writer and musician would be scared of such a thing. Two areas where so much emotion and thought are required and I, out of fear, refuse to share mine. Yet somehow they’re an exception. My writing is for me; I merely convince myself that no one but I will read it, even if I know it to be a ridiculous lie. And music—well, music is both a mask and a release at once. I can express myself while hiding behind the music itself. Music is, in itself, freedom.

A gust of wind carries me away to a different time and place. I stand on a stage, bright lights in my eyes. 1300 seats are below me and every one of them is full. But I can’t see them. I know they’re there, but at this moment all that’s really there in Roper Auditorium is me, the stage, and the music. There’s more irony: what many people would find terrifying and confining is exactly what sets me free. The tumor on my back is benign, even helpful. It’s the battery pack for my headset mic, either clipped to my bra strap or duck taped to my back. Most would find it uncomfortably. Instead, I find it comforting. And then I start singing and dancing and I’m the happiest, most free person in the world.

I’m not sure what it is about music. How in the world should I know the answer to a question that’s been puzzling humankind for centuries? But in high school, music is what made me free. When you soar with the music you make, magic happens. Fear departs and you become who you want to be. And that I did. After every show teachers would come up to me, surprised that quiet, little Rachel from their classes could be so alive on stage. I’d just laugh. I just stopped commenting in class in 9th grade. I still sit there thinking, absorbing, yet keeping everything even remotely personal inside. But when I’d start to sing or play piano, everything pours out in a waterfall, a flood of Rachel.

Going barefoot is not a common occurance for me, at least not anywhere besides me house or apartment. What convinced me to climb Arthur’s Seat barefoot, I don’t know. But taking off those shoes was like stepping onto the stage in high school. Yet, unlike Jive, when the time came to put my shoes back on for the hike down, my cold, dirty feet relished the warmth and support of being tied up beneath the laces. And I guess there is danger with not wearing shoes sometimes. But that danger shouldn’t keep me from ever going barefoot again. I simply need to find the proper balance of playing it safe and being the “bold and gutsy” kind of girl a friend once saw me as. And maybe when I find that balance, freedom will come.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Ambigous Soul Mate, who falls in like with emotionally unavailable men. :)

This is my soul mate. Her name is Christine Louise Guymon, and she is beautiful in every single way. Plus, we're so very similar in so many ways. Which is why we are soul mates. When we talk, we simply understand each other. We connect with each other on almost every level you can connect with someone on. We have similar fears and worries and personalities and interests. We feel the same way. We're different enough to help each other and make things interesting, but so similar that almost no one can understand me like Christine does, and this is after only 9 months of knowing each other, but really only 4 months of really, really being close. We just immediately bonded. The other people who I consider my best friends have taken years to get to know me well, or at least a year or two of living with me all the time. But it was different, almost immediate and so sudden with Christine. And I love her for it.

Tonight she took me out to frozen yogurt and then we drove around Provo, all around, and not because we got lost like usual, but instead because we wanted to talk. We drove up to the temple and parked there for a while and then drove to my apartment and sat in the Y Lot talking for a while. We talked about boys (of course, it's Christine, haha) and writing and personal essays and our fears and our issues and England and life and God and the gospel. I helped her, she helped me. And I just felt such an overwhelming love for this girl, like I do everytime I'm around her. So I figured I'd tell the rest of the world how wonderful she is.

Oh hey, just something I spewed out of my brain and fingers at 2 a.m because I analyze myself and am insecure about all my irrational, emotional fears

Lafou, I'm afraid I've been thinking.

A dangerous pastime...

...I know.

And yet--there's the problem, what makes thinking dangerous. The fear. "I'm afraid." Fear paralyzes me, and too often I find myself unable to move.

So many fears: fear of failure, fear of personal disclosure, fear of imperfection, fear of not measuring up, fear of being stuck in a rut, of falling, of pain, of facing myself, of letting go, of not being able to overcome the things I know I need to.

Basically, I'm just scared to death. Scared that people will know who I really am, and yet at the same time that no one ever will. Scared that I won't try, but that no matter how many times I do, I still won't measure up. Scared to grow up and become independent, but too stubborn and scared to be anything but a successful, independent adult. And then again, scared that there's no possible way I can be that.

I don't think many people see this part of me. Janet always called me confident. Christian said in Loch Lomond that I seemed like a "bold and gutsy kinda girl." Christine, my soul mate, who in just a couple short weeks, came to know me as much as anyone else in my whole life (and probably more than myself), told me that she thinks I'm "incredibly strong and courageous." And yet I'm always afraid, afraid of myself and my fears and failure and so many other stupid, STUPID things. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm a fraidy-cat. A paralyzed, stupid fraidy-cat who lets her fears get the best of her.

There are so many reasons I shouldn't be. I don't doubt. I have faith. I know I do. So, I shouldn't fear, right? I know God helps me through and that He's on my side. I don't want to be afraid. But my fears are always there. It takes all I can to work through them, force past them. Is that what courage is? Fighting the battle against your fears and always barely eking out a battle victory, but always losing the war.

I remember Max Hall's eyes as he started that drive in the Oklahoma game yesterday. There was a lot of fear. I could see it, recognize it, because I've felt it--felt the same fear behind my own eyes. Still, he pushed forward, converted on big plays, and in the end, his eyes wore an everlasting smile. In the end, he'll go down in history for defeating the fear and doing his part to win one of the most important and memorable victories in school and conference history.

But when my fears step up to the plate, I seem to turn out more like the 2nd-string OU QB: insecure, unstable, unprepared (even if I'm really very much prepared). Always falling short, that fear never leaving my eyes, because, no matter how much I try to fight through it, I always seem to be rejoicing in someone else's victory and never my own.

I want to be courageous. Not necessarily be completely free of fear, but at least not be paralyzed anymore. At least knock them unconcious for a while. At least just feel like I did on top of Arthur's Seat, so free of fear and cares and woes and everything--true freedom--that freedom of Arthur's Seat for one minute in real life.

K. Rambling again. I wanted to write. So I did. At least that's one thing I'm not afraid to do. Write. Oh wait. Never mind. I sometimes am. And am always afraid for people to read it. Curses. Curses curses curses. And, if you don't count my irrational fear of falling and (sometimes) physical pain, all my fears are emotional. Personal Disclosure. Emotional pain. Abandonment. Failure. Letting others down. Letting myself down. Letting God down. I could face Millificent's Dragon Alter-Ego in Sleeping Beauty, but never get up enough courage to kiss the princess (of course, prince, in my case).

So. Question of my life right now: What is courage? How do I become confident, courageous, bold, gutsy, fearless? (That reminds me of the Taylor Swift song) Why do the things that take those qualities never get any easier, no matter how many times you do them?

Thursday, September 3, 2009


In my floral design class, there is a boy named Gary. I don't know how old he is, or his last name, nor have I ever met him in person. But I do know where he's from.

He's from London.

He had a question for our professor earlier today so he talked to her, and then she pointed him out in class because she thought his question was good, and she wanted everyone to hear his accent. Then he kept asking questions and making comments, so I got to hear this lovely British accent probably about 5 times over the course of an hour and a half.

Sigh. It made me incredibly happy and incredibly England-sick. :)