Friday, August 23, 2013

Throw Away Genius

Improv is teaching me a lot about life. For instance, the things I do or say don't matter after I've done or said them. It's become past action; it is of no benefit to beat myself up over how I could have done that better or responded differently to my fellow actor. I cannot fix it. The best I can do is acknowledge things could have been different and make a mental note for next time. To succeed in improv, to succeed in life, you have to pay attention to what's happening around you, you have to listen to your surroundings, and react as best you can in the minimal time you're allotted. No two situations will ever be the same. You can never fix what happens. The thing with scripted theatre is if I screw something up I can say "Next time," knowing that next time I have the ability to execute things in the effective way. Life and improv are unscripted. I can only count my losses and hope "next time" I'm more focused on what I need to do.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I wish I was worse at throwing boomerangs so you'd stop coming back.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I suppose the only logical answer is that I was born with an arsenal of voodoo dolls at my disposal, which I freely hand to any and all who will take them. To avoid misinterpretation, allow me to be frank: they are my voodoo dolls. They are of my image, bare my features, wound my being. This must be the case, otherwise these sporadic throbbing pains would cease to make sense.

**

I'm drafted to a pendulum, in constant motion, unable to control my velocity or direction. I go where the earth takes me, victim of the current of the times and the tilt of the atmosphere, spellbound by the force that holds you steady.

**

I'm weak. All this does is show me I'm weak. And that I'm going to have to keep putting up with all these kinds of things because how else will I ever get stronger?

And I hate that I can't say more than that. Hopefully I'll be able to say more this week. I don't know. Sorry for wasting your time.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I hardly even know what this means.

"Grab your shovel." She said.

"Why?"

"We're going to need them when the rocks get deep."

After the rain when the grass gets slick and I wonder briefly how it'll react with my shoes, we trope into the trees with the shovels from the shed out back, nothing dry but our persons, the construction of the shed lending to frequent leaking. It starts again, it all starts up again. The digging and the groaning and general wondering why it is she drags me here, why it is we do this.

But we do. She hops over a mud puddle and shrieks through the trees. 

We do it. We do it all again.

"Grace." I mutter when she gets on hands and knees. Those stains from last rain still etched upon her clothes back at the house. She flashes back a smile, having forsaken the shovel, thrusting her hands into the dirt. I can feel the grit under my fingernails by watching her, ghost memories flinting past my eyes like gnats. It happened here.

"Grace." I say louder, watching her back muscles strain as she fanatically scoops the mud. "Grace!"

I realize I'm clutching my shovel; I look at it for a moment, the evergreen of the damp woods blurring into silence for a moment. I start up the trail past her, leaving her to toil with what's already been done.

It takes her a moment to catch me, her eyes still widened with that near maniacal gleam, confusion etched under the mud scaling her face. 

"We've done that one before." 

She watches me, follows me, her gaze calmed but still misunderstanding. 

"We've what?"

"We've done that one before!" I find myself frustrated at her as she stops short and slumps down. She looks at me, at my shovel, and sighs.

"Mine's still back there." Grace points with an unenergetic hand into the trees. 

Our eyes hold space for a long time, then hers start to flint down the hill. 

"We've done that one before."

"Can I go get it?"

"We've done that one before."

We're overlapping each other in speech, her eyes darting back the direction we've come with each alternate beat of her heart. She inches towards it.

"Just let me go get it."

"We've done that before, Grace."

"I'm just going to get it."

I wait a few hours, the sun's breached through the canopy, warming my body, drying my mud crusted grass stained shoes. I grab the old shovel and make a few attempts in the dirt at the base of the tree. We never get much progress, not when the ground dries, and not when she stays far behind. I weave back down through the trees, passing her in her digging, unaware that I'm there or that I know. It'll rain again, and she'll drag me out, but we won't make it too far. We never do. She likes where we've been more than where we're going. 

Even if all that's there is just dirt. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What Dreams My Come

I had an interesting dream last night. Perhaps it was a result of eating french toast with strawberries at 11:00 at night, or driving around with the cool kids singing classic rock until 1 AM, or finally telling myself to finish Jacob 5 because that chapter's crazy long. This is the dream. The Improvables at I were doing cool things on a stage. I was in the tech booth. It was kind of like a tech day where we were checking cues and that jazz, which we never have so... Dream jumped from there to a small town where we were making a movie (we being the fact that I was with other people, not necessarily the Improvables). There was an undercurrent that something horrifically wrong was going to happen, and perhaps it was here that the guy from wardrobe noticed one actress being abused by her "son," and went over to subtley help out under the rouse he was fixing her shirt. They pummeled him. Then there was stuff about driving the freeway. Art imitates life. I'm back with the Improvables at Centerpoint Legacy Theatre, only it doesn't look like the theatre at all but dream logic makes it so. Paco says we have to wrap things up and get out now, because that something horrific is pretty much about to happen. We all groan, cuz we'd been having a jolly waxy ole' time, and I grab the garage-door opener so that just in case the zombie apocalypse goes down I can use it to get into the theatre quick and easy and fortify myself thus. A time jump later, and the Improvables and I are fortified in the theatre against the zombie apocalypse, and we're sitting at a table and a waitress is taking our orders. My best friend Erin is with us, rehearsing for a part that requires her to get slopping drunk. So she does. And she is quite the hoot. I later reenact her sloppiness to which the people laugh. I suppose it's noteworthy to say that shortly after this I took a shower and washed my hair with my Jack Daniels shampoo. I promise I don't know why my brain included this. Dream jump back to the small town. Now the weird part. It's not a movie anymore, this is real life and the world is basically ending. And for some reason instead of just dying with the explosion of the world, or whatever it is that'll happen, we're committing some cult suicide. But it needed to happen, sort of like the Abraham sacrificing his son bit. It's something we had to do. So my family went first, though in dream mode I'm the oldest with like three younger siblings under age seven. Basically, we were laying on a large pan (like the ones used at the bakery) and then other's pans were being stacked on top of us. So my "siblings" crossed the lava pit of coals on foot and laid on their pan. The next person, also young children, laid their pan on top of them and then got on. And so on and so on until it was my turn. I'm not a child, so only my pelvis and torso really fit in the pan, my limbs sticking out along with my shoulders and head. There was a brief pause as to who was next; my family had gone. Some photo appeared revealing it to be the family of my dear friend Lexi. I was already being squished a bit, and I knew it was over. My organs were being flattened, I was being suffocated, this is it. And I suddenly saw my ambitions for life. I saw the marriage ceremony I'd never get to have, and how that's one thing I'd always aspired for: getting married. Then I thought of who I must have been in the premortal existence, wanting to come to this Earth. Was that an ambition then? To be married in the physical mortal confines of this life? And then I was grateful for all the good I'd done, all the trying and striving to follow Christ. And the necessity to die was retracted. We all uncovered the pans as fast as we could, but my being in a state of shock couldn't be calm long enough to see if my younger siblings were breathing. I rued having them go first, how it had to be so. I could have gone first. But then I started to think about the story arch of a girl of 20 surviving her younger siblings in a tragedy and how that would play out for post-traumatic stress disorder, and I cognated myself into waking up. All of it was....something. Obviously. And I wanted to blog it though I'm not sure why. I feel like perhaps it was the final message; the fact that honestly, at your final moments, you can't deny God. I couldn't not think of things of a spiritual context. I tried. And in the dream, as my conscious mind was starting to stir, I remembered that talk by Holland about the Book of Mormon, where he says something to the effect that Hyrum and Joseph Smith would not be quoting and finding comfort in a book they'd created as a sham moments before meeting the God that created them. And in addition to this, I think the dream served to wake me up. Pun unintended. I'm not where I was last year, completely ignoring things of a spiritual sense, but it served as a reminder of what is of importance here. No, I don't need to cut myself off from the world and spend my time studying the scriptures. But... Just remember that the time will come when you're being crushed by the weight of death, and the only thing ahead of you is your reunion with God, and all behind you is time wasted or used to benefit or condemn you in the realm you're fast approaching. And you had best hope you lived it well.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday thoughts

I didn't write in my journal for a year. I'm thankful, now, because I really wasn't in a place that I'd like the generations to find themselves reading about. My head just wasn't screwed on right. I started writing last November, when I had my 'coming to Christ' moment. My green Mickey Mouse journal goes from June 2011 to June 2012, the only entry I wrote during my 'dark period.' Then it kicks up in November. At this same time I began reading the Book of Mormon because, well, as the kind diligent Mormon I am, I never have. A few verses in a stumbled upon a verse I very much adored. You have to know me, if you don't by now: I love words. Words, words, words are of highest priority. I love music for the words, I love writing for the words, I love humor for the words. They're my kinfolk and confidants. "And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge." -1 Nephi 1:3 More than that, I only know what I know. And as I said in that short musing that got published in Weber State's undergrad book Metaphor (paraphrased because I'm lazy): Words are the only means I have to communicate visually to the outside world what I see in my head. I wrote the above verse in the front of my journal. It just...it fit, you know? I know that the record which I make is true, and I make it with my own hand, according to my knowledge. Nephi later says he doesn't know everything, but he knows enough. All I have to give is all I have. It's not everything; it's enough. I filled that journal quite quickly, and started a new one February. I find it funny that three years span the first half of my Mickey Mouse journal, and three months fill the second. I randomly opened the Book of Mormon one night, and found another verse to put at the forefront of this new journal, and it's this one that inclined me to type this blog post: "Now in this thing we do rejoice; and we labor diligently to engraven these words upon plates, hoping that our beloved brethren and our children will receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy and not with sorrow, neither with contempt, concerning their first parents. "For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory..." -Jacob 4:3-4 I want it to be that way with everything. With who I am, with what I saw, with what I write, with what I emit. That they may know that I know of Christ, and have a hope of his glory. Maybe it's powerful to me because it explicitly speaks about writing. maybe it's one of those things that don't connect with everyone the same way, but I just knew I felt something just now, and that I had twenty minutes until church started so why not share it. I want to live my life with the gospel on my sleeve as openly as my heart is. I'm so constantly in a state of readiness to hand my heart over; I should be the same with my testimony.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Just because you learn to breathe underwater doesn't mean you ever shake the fear of being drowned.

"You really are a completely different person." "Me?" My voice sounded more confused than I was. Mostly I'd just misheard. "I don't mean like... You've just changed a lot. It goes back to what I said earlier: you hold yourself with more confidence than I've ever seen you with. You know who you are, and everyone else can take it or not." I'm amazed at these moments of brutal clarity. How, somehow, all the fog that garnishes my mind spaces sifts away in unison and for a moment I see something I've assumed was there, but was merely riding on faith as to its existence. I'm amazed at how it seems the most blatant and life-specific of these moments happen when I spend the day with a married friend, and the evening with her and her husband. For some reason I respond well to the visual that is my friends--my age--interacting with their eternal companions. And, something I just realized, the two instances I've visited these two married friends have been just barely past the half year mark. I'm comfortable in these circumstances; I'm comfortable as the third wheel to a married couple I have no history with as a unit. My backstory with the wives stretches far and beyond, but until these moments as guest in their homes I've never in depth interacted with the husband. This isn't a rambling musing. There's a point here somewhere. It's like today, I realized how firmly settled in myself I've become. I still have brutally awkward moments, I still doubt myself or feel bad that I'm pudgy as I grab another cookie with the fullest intent to eat it, but this woman I've become is someone I'm satisfied with. I'm not ashamed of her. I don't want to hide her under the bed until I'm sure this new acquaintance will appreciate her in full. When I want to laugh I laugh. If it's loud and obnoxious so be it; I'm enjoying myself. This is how I sound when I laugh. If I want to reference a Jason Mraz funfact I will. There is eight years of knowledge in this brain of mine, and until some other charming young man fancies me enough to share his entire life with me I'm going to keep making my knowledge useful. I felt like the friend who's opted to skip the whole marriage/family/dating thing and live as a bachelorette apartment-hopping in upper New York, content with every minor aspect of my life. And this isn't to say I've decided I don't what the whole marriage/family/dating thing; it's that I've wanted for so long to love someone else that I didn't realize I was coming to love myself. That I needed to love myself. That I hadn't before. Like when I was a kid and it was late one night after Fourth of July fireworks and I was running into the house before the long drive home and tripped on a sprinkler head, falling on the sidewalk. It wasn't until I got into the house and noticed the scrape on my knee that the scrape began to sting. I didn't know about my problem until I got a chance to look at it. I didn't see it until today when the fog cleared. I didn't realize how little faith I had for myself. How much I held myself back. I always knew that was an issue; I've never fully 100% dedicated myself to a performance. I always felt like I wasn't good enough to be amazing, so instead of trying and proving myself wrong I settled for decent. But something's clicked. Something's made sense that I, for the longest time, wanted to understand but couldn't wrap my head around. I know I'm pretty, comical, attractive, unique, talented, spiritual, creative, confident, humorous, verbose. I know what I'm doing. I know where I am, and I'm happy with all of it. I'm content to be standing where I'm standing, even when it seems like so much around me is moving and I'm stuck in a rut. And above all else, I know what I want. I know he's coming, and that he's coming soon. However long it takes him doesn't matter. I wouldn't dare cut out any of the intricacies the Lord has crafted for my life. I wouldn't ask him to appear now if it meant losing some beautiful moment down the line. He'll be worth all these dead end streets. He'll be worth waiting for. So I'm back to square one: waiting. Only now I'm reestablished, refortified, rejuvenated, and ready. I'm stuck with me for forever, and I've finally come to love her. It won't be hard to love someone else.