Friday, June 28, 2013

Forty-Two.

Tonight, I saw 42.


I loved it from the minute it started.

In the first two minutes this truth was uttered:
"Baseball was proof positive
that democracy was real."

And then for two hours,
I watched my love for baseball
play out on that screen,
my love for this land,
and for its heroes.

Now let me say,
I hate clapping at the end of movies.
Umm, hello.
The people who made the movie
aren't in the theater.
They can't hear you.

But tonight,
not only did I want to clap,
I wanted to stand up
and praise God in heaven
and applaud His children
one and all.

Because despite any and every wretched thing
ever done in this land,
there is still that firework that bursts overhead
and promises that life is still good,
and people are still good.

The bottom line is this:
See it.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Haughty.

You know how girls like guys
that are bad for them?

It happens to me too.

I have an unfortunate penchant
for guys who are

1. smart
2. cantankerous, and
3. haughty about how smart they are


(This is a picture of William Faulkner.
But it seemed to embody those points.)

Set someone like that in front of me,
and I'm sure to swoon.

I like trying to make them laugh.
When you manage,
it's a stamp of approval in the best way.
Like they're saying,
"Not only are you intelligent,
but you're _____ enough 
to break through my crusty exterior."

I'm not sure
what adjective
should go in that blank.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rodeos.

Things to love about rodeos:

The palomino broncos.


The cowboy names, like
Levi
and
Tate
and
Stockton.

And the bulls' names, like
Alamo
and
War Cry
and 
Tomcat.

The rodeo queens' sequins and fringe.


And the fact that
you're watching people compete
to see who is the best
at various farm tasks,
and loving it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Midsummer.

In pagan cultures,
magic is thought to be stronger
at midsummer.


And I believe it.

Each year,
I see more and more
how magical summer is.

...

This year,
I was determined to celebrate midsummer
and the summer solstice.

So I did.

Snow cones,
swing sets,
The Sandlot.

There are all sorts of pagan midsummer rituals
that I would have liked to do too.

Like jumping over bonfires
or dancing around a maypole
or casting wreaths of flowers into the river.

What I did was sleep with flowers under my pillow.

(It seemed easiest.)

Apparently,
when you sleep with flowers under your pillow
at midsummer,
you dream about your future spouse.

I guess you're supposed to have
at least seven different types of flowers.
All I had was a hollyhock
and some sort of weed that resembled a flower.
(Limited resources.)

At any rate,
I don't remember my dreams from that night,
but it was still fun.

...

Pagan comes from a Latin word
meaning rural or rustic.

I like the idea
of doing the same things
that centuries of simple folk did
to try to make sense of the world.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Sights of My Own Real Life.

I've been reading a lot more lately,
and riding public transportation.
Usually at the same time.

But sometimes on the bus,
I'll be reading Jane Eyre,
and my eyes flick up and catch upon something.

The mountains,
the sky.
A little girl staring off into the distance
as if deep in thought.

Today, it was an older woman with a pink walker
and a young man grasping tightly a metal lunchbox
that had Edward & Bella on it.

And in those moments,
I practically throw the book down,
and give myself over to looking.

Because there is something that whispers
This is real
and you don't want to miss it.
What is a made up story
to seeing the sights of my own real life?

The book will be there for me later,
but for now,
I want to appreciate
what is tangible
and fleeting.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pool party, baby.

When I was a kid,
I never really learned how to swim.

Over the years,
I got to the point where I could be in a pool
and not die.

But it's always been just that.
A fight for survival.
Really,
treading water feels like a constant state of
fight or flight.

And the whole going-underwater-thing
seems a bit overrated.
Humans were made to breathe.


But tonight!
I swam.
I flitted and floated.
I jumped off the diving board!
I learned to dive!
And I only belly flopped once.
I loved it.

Life is looking
a lot brighter
from here on out.

Level 37 achieved.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fancy Pants.

I bought some pants at DI.

They're basically this color:


I actually think they're really ugly,
and that's my favorite thing about them.

When did I become a hipster?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My daddy is my favorite pal.

This is my dad.


Childhood:

I jumped from the top of the stairs
into his arms
when he came home from work.

We went to the park,
and he pushed me on the swings, singing,
"Oh wind a blowin' all day long;
oh wind that sings so loud a song!"
We had a game:
how far could I kick off my shoes
when I was at the height of the swing's arc?
He was the meticulous record keeper of my feats. 

High school:

He made my lunch,
brought me trays of fruit to eat
while I spent an hour on my hair in the morning.

He drove me to seminary,
and taught me I couldn't be mean to people
just because I was tired
and it was early.

College:

He helped me file my own taxes.

Every time we spoke on the phone, 
he asked,
"What interesting things are you learning
in your classes?"

...

We sing together in the car.

We quote poems and favorite General Conference talks.

He gave me my love for
doo wop
folk music
& bald men.

He loves trains and rivers,
and he'll eat anything.

He's everything that being a dad should be.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Among the Public.

I have a hard time
when people ask me what my hobbies are.

I'm alive,
and I enjoy that.
Isn't that enough?

But lately I've realized
that one of my hobbies
is going to free public events.

Parades
Carnivals
Festivals
Museums
Concerts
Fairs
Etc.


I like to go and be among the people
and walk around,
looking at things
that I've never seen before
and will never see again.

You might could say it's boring,
but that's what makes it so enjoyable.

Today,
I went to the Orem Summerfest.

I walked around,
learned about bookbinding
from a kind, earnest man,
sat inside a helicopter,
ate a snowcone,
and rode the swing ride.

And that's what I like to do.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Brother.

This is Rider Strong,
better known as
Shawn Hunter from Boy Meets World.


And this is my brother Jeff.


To this day,
I always feel happy and nostalgic
when I see Rider Strong.

I'm never sure whether it's because 
he reminds me of my brother,
or because he just reminds me of himself.

And I can't remember whether I think he's handsome
in his own right,
or handsome because he looks like Jeff.

I grew up with one great brother
and one Shawn Hunter.

And it was wonderful.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Leveling Up.

It's such a good feeling
to do things that you never did as a teenager,
and probably never would have done,
and to like them.

Like go to an outdoor concert,

or ride rides at the water park,

or attempt a vault at a gymnastics gym,

or dance in front of people.

Truth is,
I try to use this picture
as much as possible.

It's not like those are big things.
But liking things you didn't know you could like
makes you more of a person,
you know?

There's more to you.

It's like leveling up.
By now, I'm at least Rachel Level 36, I think.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Silvery chords.

I believe
that when this big ole world is no more,
our souls and bodies will go on livin
forever.

And we'll have nothin but time.

Then we'll have the chance
to make everyone our friends,

to say all the nice things
that we were afraid to say here,
to think all the nice things
that we weren't kind enough to think of here.

...

Sometimes you love people on earth
and it don't make sense why you do.
So you don't tell 'em.

Me,
I'm gonna take all that lovin
and hold it in my heart
until the day comes
when there ain't no walls between any of us,

only silvery chords of sociality,
drawing us to one another.
The kind that make us say,
"Set down a while,
and we'll be the kind of friends
we was meant to be."

Monday, June 3, 2013

The throb of it.

I love words
because sometimes they themselves
are more beautiful 
than the thing they're describing.

Example.

There were none of the signs of spring
for which I used to watch in Virginia,
no budding woods or blooming gardens.

There was only--spring itself;
the throb of it,
the light restlessness,
the vital essence of it everywhere:
in the sky, in the swift clouds,
in the pale sunshine,
and in the warm, high wind.

Here comes the sun.

I just had my first fresh peach
of the summer.


Conclusion:
It's been a long, cold, lonely winter.
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