Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19

Things I've been grateful for the past, oh...three days or so:

strawberries $2.50 a box
sleeping on the couch
Darby O'Gill and the Little People
the sun
disappearing snow
field trips in D&C class
the Snow building
Katie's interpretive dancing
my guitar
KT Tunstall's "Throw me a Rope"
my iron
The Book of Jacob
the temple
my FHE family
a "hahaha" funeral banner
Writing Center seminar
cheese pizza

Some Poemage.

Today in seminar (a bi-weekly meeting for writing center assistants), Sis. Morgan shared this poem with us, and for some reason, it just really hit home. Roethke seems to name a lot of what I've been feeling the last little while in this beautiful piece. It reminds me 1) to cast my burdens at the Lord's feet and be patient in trials, and 2) to really enjoy life--to enjoy each moment God grants me. I am only given this present moment once. In another minute, it will be gone, and I will have missed it. I have to be awake--really awake--every minute of the day.

"The Waking," by Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Is it normal to not want to go back to a place you love?

The light was still on in the toy room, where I slept this past summer. I just lay on my mattress staring at the side of the shoebox. I was too tired to do anything else. Or maybe I was just comfortable looking at it like that. But finally, I propped myself on one elbow and flipped open the lid. I smiled up at myself. I was in a pink sequined dress, posing in third position with my hands on my hips. The next picture was the one of Kyle and me at the banquet breakfast POPS Choir went to our first morning in Disneyworld. Then a picture of me in my blonde wig and red and white polka-dotted dress, just before the closing night of Anything Goes. The fourth was one of my senior pictures—I am looking at the ground, the trees by the creek burning green behind me.

The day after I got home from Rexburg, I told Mom I needed to go to the bank to make a deposit. I climbed into our little gray Camry and as I drove away, I watched the dust rise up behind me in the rearview mirror. I made my way to the bank eventually, but first, I drove up the red brick main street to my high school. School had been released for summer break a week before, so I knew no one would be there, but I looked around and behind me anyway before parking under the single tree in the Manhattan High’s parking lot. This had been the meeting place before and after our choir concerts and musicals and ACT tests and rehearsals. Kyle walked me out to this Camry parked under this tree one morning after the show choir workshop POPS put on for the resident grade school kids.

I love Manhattan, especially in the summer. I love our family weed-pulling fiestas at 6:30 in the morning, when the air is in-between the coolness of evening and the sticky humidity of day. I love running on dirt roads that are familiar, out past the old stone schoolhouse and the Manuels' red barn. There's a distinct smell there; I don't really know how to describe it, and I don't know exactly where it comes from--maybe it's the pasture grass or the dew or the leftover rain water in the ditches on either side of the road. But it's a sweetish, familiar smell. I love hanging out at City Park or AJ's Pizza at sunset with high school friends. I love going to the 30-person singles branch on Sundays.

Sometimes, though, I don't love memories. They usually make today feel empty. And memories constitute much of my living time when I'm in Manhattan. It's hard to move forward there because the past is so prevalent for me in that town. My mind plays the "remember when" game as I drive to work or walk into Dillons grocery store or listen to bands play during Arts in the Park, and especially when I drive past that red-brick building at the top of the hill on Poyntz Avenue. Manhattan means high school for me, and as a junior in college, I just feel the need to move on from there for good. Someday, I'll need to move on from Rexburg for good too. Places like these cannot be permanent. It's all a part of moving forward, moving forward. They have their time slot, their soliloquy in this Play of Life if you will, but there's no going back. That would screw up the plot.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

summer fever.

The Kansas sky is usually yellowish-gray before a summer rainstorm. Even the cumulonimbus towering over the hill beside our house has a yellow hue. Everything seems quieter when the sky looks like that. There’s no wind. The finches stop arguing and watch the sky from their perch on the young tree in our front yard, and the neighbors’ cows wait in a corner of the field, just standing.

I stand too, my bare feet on a warm, flat rock rock on the path in front of our house that connects the porch and the roundabout. The air is humid and sweet in my nose as I breathe in.

It’s days like this when I miss yellow skies and quieting finches.