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Monday, December 17, 2012

Memory Storage

There's this Hawaiian supersitition that you can store memories into shells and other small objects, and that by looking into them you can see the memories that you stored there.  I really like this notion, as magical as it may seem, and I believe in it in some ways.
Every year at Christmas, we dig out the decorations from the depths of the garage and decorate the house.  And my favorite part is decorating the staircase.  Ever since I was 6 years old, decorating the staircase with garland and beads has been my responsibility.  Every year that i do this task, i remember all the houses i've lived in since i was 6.  The grey brick house in San Antonio, the two townhouses in Japan, and the red brick one in Maryland where my parents have been for the last ten years.  I remember all the Christmas's and all the times i had to untangle the beads and loop them around the bannister.  I love that job.
My second favorite part is decorating the tree.  My parents have accrued so many ornaments over the years that usually we can't fit them all on the tree!  But so many of them are so special.  There are the old hand-made ones that my mom made just after my parents got married.  There are the little teddy bears my mom always made for us when we were little.  There are the ones we got from when we lived in Hawaii.  There are all the glittery-bean-covered ones that me and my brothers made when we were in grade school (can public schools even make "christmas ornaments" anymore?  Is that too politically filled?) There are the ones made from popsicle sticks, or yarn, or clothes hangers, or paper.  There are the ones we got when we lived in Japan, ones we were given that are from Russia, ones that we got when we spent Christmas in Australia, and official White House ornaments that my dad got working at Bethesda Naval Base.  They are a treasure trove of memories, all packaged up and stored nicely in little bangles all hung on the Christmas tree.
You can take pictures and put them in scrap books or on Facebook, but sometimes the best memory storage is the kind that you only open once a year and put up for all to see.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Snow

I hate the snow.  Probably because I hate being cold, I extremely dislike winter, and crazy Utah drivers are even crazier when there's snow, ice, and even salt on the roads.  But there is one part of snow that I do enjoy.  The silence of it.

When you think about it, Spring is about mezzo forte, summer is about a fortissimo, and fall fades back to a mezzo forte or mezzo piano.  But winter?  Winter is piano.  And when that first snow falls, it's pianissimo.  There's just something about waking up in the morning, or looking out your window in the evening after it's been snowing for a long time.  My Dad calls it 'virgin snow.'  it's the snow that's piled up, covering everything and anything, with no tracks, no ice, and no dirt mixed in.  It's just a fresh blanket covering everything.  And for the first time in a long time, it's silent.
Even the sounds of cars driving past my street seem muffled.  Everything seems muffled under the thick blanket that built up after hours of precipitation.  And at night, even when there's a football game at the university, or even when cars are driving past, it all seems so quiet.  so peaceful.
At night, when there's enough cloud cover, the snow and the clouds both reflect the light of the city, and it seems brighter at midnight than it did at sunset.  that combined with the stillness of the cold air and the shushing power of fresh snow... it just seems to me a little bit magical.

It is a peaceful scene i am imagining.  After a long day of doing everything i do, bowing my head against the wind and the storm, suddenly the snowing stops and i can look up for the first time.  And i see a world made bright by something other than the sun, and a thick powdery blanket surrounds me.  No tracks, no mud, no slush.  just fresh snow on all sides.  instead of a crunch beneath my feet instead its more of a groan.  The sounds of the city, the street, and my life all become quiet.  and i am at peace.

but other than that i really hate snow.  It's annoying.  it's super cold. and i've been hit in the face really hard with a few too many snowballs to even find that an attractive notion.  I do like ice skating though. and i like the warm soups, fresh baked cookies, and hot chocolate that come with cold weather.  so long as i have a heater i guess i'll survive.  And i guess i'll put up with winter a little longer if i can have those small precious moments where the snow makes the world a little bit quieter and a lot more beautiful.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Who am I and Whom shall I be?

Let me just preface this in saying that I think motherhood is wonderful.  But I don't believe that it is the ONLY thing that a woman should aspire to be in her entire life.  I believe in being a mom.  I want to be a mom.  But i don't want that to be the only thing I am.  (this is NOT an announcement)
Let me also say that I wrote this because it is one of the many things that is tearing me apart right now.  The things in the poem are literally things that i have heard either in Church indirectly, or directly to my face from other members.  and it's driving me insane.  apparently ambition has no place in a married woman.  my time to discover who i am is after my children are in college.  or in high school at least.  but how can i teach my children properly if i do not know who i am?  if something happens to my husband, shouldn't i be prepared to work and support our family in a job that i will find fulfilling as well as beneficial?  Apparently not.  My duty as a faithful married mormon is to seek only children.  After all, Medicaid will pay for it.  all of this is causing me a great deal of confusion because if you hear something so frequently for so long, you start to believe it.

Who am I and Whom shall I be?

Fathers prophesy of a better day
peace and happiness, love and charity
and all can be obtained if we obey
the laws of God with perfect clarity

Bit i was raised with an idea of who
i should be, i could be, i would become
but now i see this image start to skew
for thoughts of whom we should be is not one

some will say that motherhood is best
and all will nod and say that this is true
and that children bring joy to mother's breast
and importance to everything you do

but if this is not what you desire
from even before your very first kiss
then your soul is evil and in Hell Fire
you shall burn eternal in selfishness

Others will shake their heads and say "not so!"
"Only seek children when the time is right!
Prepare for them like you prepare for snow
So in love and patience they may gain sight"

Cannot a mother work AND be at home?
Should she work only if not a mother?
Will my marriage always be set in stone?
Is there no chance to choose something other?

The problem is that I truly believe
that my ambition was given from God
But many around give me no reprieve
and do not cease to tell me this is fraud

i am torn between these two paths i see
there is the one i grew up believing
a worker and a mother i could be
to take on the world and go conquering

and there is one that i hear everyday
that all i need is a small change of heart
desire only children and i may
be free of subtle and fiery dart

"your selfishness is apparent" they say.
"You cannot have faith if you do not see
The doctrine of motherhood day to day
if you are blind, then faithless you must be."

Who am I; who am I; whom shall I be?
Who i am told, or whom i wish to see?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Talk for Sacrament Meeting


This is the Talk for Sacrament meeting I wrote when Scott and I spoke the other day.

A compass is a mathematical instrument for drawing perfect circles.  It consists of two legs, one upon which the weight of the hand rests, and one that arches around, marking the circle’s boundaries.  Have you ever tried to draw a tiny circle or a large one with this instrument?  If you have, you may notice that small circles are frustratingly difficult to draw, while large arcing circles are very easy. 
I apply this principle to my own life.  The wider my base of knowledge, the more experiences I gain, the more I explore to see the world and understand the wonderful things in it—the steadier my leg in the center.  Because of this, I seek to understand God’s messages and doctrinal truths that are found everywhere and anywhere.  Particularly in music.  You may expect to find spiritually uplifting messages in songs from the hymnbook, or songs performed by the Tabernacle Choir, or other LDS or Christian groups such as Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Bands.  Perhaps you expect to find messages of hope and faith in mellow country songs or beautiful ballads sung by famous voices.  But I am here to testify, that messages and truths can be found everywhere and anywhere.  And I know this because I’ve found them and felt them.  I’ve found spiritual messages in the Hunger Games—in Harry Potter—in Lord of the Rings—and yes, even in Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica.  I have felt messages of truth and hope emanating from popular culture and music—thought at first it was not apparent. 
The following song was written by a band named Thrice, which is classified as Post-Hard alternative rock.  Would you expect a message such as this to come from a song that features wailing guitars, gravely screaming vocals, and a heavy bass?

All you great men of power, 
You who boast of your feats, 
Politicians and entrepreneurs:
Can you safeguard your breath in the night while you sleep, 
Keep your heart beating steady and sure?
As you lie in your bed, 
Does the thought haunt your head, 
That your really rather small?
If there's one thing I know in this life, 
We are beggars all! 

All you champions of science, 
And rulers of men:
Can you summon the sun from it's sleep?
And does the earth seek your council on how fast to spin?
Can you shut up the gates of the deep?
And don't you know that all things, 
Hang as if by string o'er the darkness, 
Poised to fall?
If there's one thing I know in this life, 
We are beggars all! 

All you big-shots who swagger, 
And stride with conceit.
Did you devise how your frame would be formed?
If you'd be raised in a palace,
or live out on the streets, 
choose the place or the hour you'd be born?
Tell me what can you claim?
Not a thing! 
Not your name! 
Tell me if you can recall, 
Just one thing, not a gift, in this life?
Can you hear what's been said?
Can you see now that everything's graced?
After all, 
If there's one thing I know in this life, 
We are beggars all!

I read these lyrics a few years ago during an FHE lesson with my roommates.  They applauded my ability to find truths everywhere.  But later that night, when I was playing this very song on my laptop, they implored me to shut that noise off.  my heart sank.  I was so very sad.  They had stopped to listen when I was speaking, and accepted the message of the lyrics, but once the message was buried… they did not try to find the light hidden within it.  They did not stop to really listen. 
Is this what Christ thinks of us?  In a way, yes, we are beggars at the feet of God.  He has given us all.  We are not perfect, and when we are burdened with failure and with sins, we must beg for forgiveness—and it is granted to us.  On the other hand, sometimes we do not feel the burdens of sins and failure.  Perhaps we are burdened with success and public praise.  And when we feel ourselves guilty of this pride, how much harder it is to fall to our knees and become a beggar, ever seeking to hear the words of Christ.
But does Christ look upon us as poor beggars?  Perhaps this next song will give us another idea of how He might see us, how He might think of us.

The silence keeps it easy
keeps you safe for the moment.
As you're walking away
your foot steps get louder.
All you needed was time
But now time will destroy us.

It will all be over, and here we are
we're here inside this salted earth together.
You'll pierce my lungs
my limbs go numb
as my colors fade out.

You watch me bleed.
You watch me bleed.

I gave you everything to die with a smile
all you wanted was to live for a while
you took everything but it left you empty
you can't replace me, you can't.

It's almost over, and here we are
we're stuck inside this salted earth together.
You'll pierce my lungs
my limbs go numb
as my colors fade out.

You watch me bleed.
You watch me bleed.

It will all be over, and here we are
we'll die inside this salted earth together.
You'll pierce my lungs
my limbs go numb
as my colors fade out.

You watch me bleed.
You watch me bleed.
You watch me bleed.
You watch me bleed.

Watch me bleed.

Did you expect these words from a band called “Scary Kids Scaring Kids?” probably not.  I know I didn’t.  but the truths and messages of these lyrics strike me to the core.  We are here inside this salted earth together.  All of us.  Including Christ, for he was here long ago.  Christ perhaps didn’t die with a smile on his face, but he died with gladness in his heart, knowing that it was over.  It is enough.  His purpose, this glory under Heaven was fulfilled.  And all because, all WE wanted was to live for a while on this earth.  We can take everything.  We can take pride, money; power over other men… but it will leave us empty of the eternal perspective.  These things cannot replace faith, or love, or humility. These things cannot replace Christ in our hearts.
Is not Christ crucified every day?  Does He not pay, every day, for our sins and misdeeds?  Do we not watch Him bleed in our minds, each and every day, grateful for the opportunity He gave us to live—just for a while—and have the chance to return with glory and immortality and eternal lives?  As we take the sacrament each week, are we not reminded of His sacrifice?  That the soldiers whipped Him, placed a crown of thorns on His head, nailed Him to a cross, and pierced his side with a spear, and left Him hanging as His color faded and his soul returned to Heaven—to rest from the torment and agony of mortality. 

The Spirit of Christ dwells in each and every one of us, and I’m not just talking about the people in this room, or the people in our stake, or even just the people at BYU.  I’m talking about everyone.  Every child born in the darkest corners of the earth has the light of Christ in him.  And we, as faithful latter-day saints, must strive to always seek out that light.  Sometimes it is hidden, for some put their candle under a bushel, but it is there all the same.  It is easy to find the city upon the hill.  It is easy to find light and truth, hope and faith, in messages that are prepared, constructed, and synthesized to increase your faith… but it takes no effort.  It takes no work.  And I believe that the things most precious to us, are the things we struggle for—the things we work for.  Like a special secret—a whisper from Heavenly Father straight to you that no one else can hear. You can see things that no one else can see.  I am here today to bear witness that if ever you’re feeling lonely or forgotten.  If ever you’re feeling like the spirit is no where to be found… all you have to do is look or listen.  All you have to do is seek for the light in any corner and you will find it. 
I bear witness that Christ is our Savior.  Whether he thinks of me as a beggar at his feet, or a spectator of his crucifixion—personally I don’t really care.  Because in either scenario, He loves me.   Whether I am a beggar or an observer, He loves me, and He died for me just as He died for each and every one of you.  This is my solemn testimony, and I say these things in the name of our dear Savior, Jesus Christ.
Amen. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Personal Fable and Misery loves Company

So, those of you who have kept tabs on me in the last year know that it hasn't really been a good one for me.  To my shame, I've lost sight of myself, hope, and even my faith.  And I was really caught up in that cursed "Personal Fable." the idea that what is true for everyone else is not true for me.  In my case, that translated to no one else I know is depressed, only me--there must be something wrong with me.  No one else is having these problems, only me.  No one understands because they've never had to deal with something like this all at once or for this long, so no one can help me. But as I said, this is a fable... and it's taken me a while to realize that.  Probably because it takes a while to see anything when you're buried in depression.
What I mean is, in the last week, I've had the chance to catch up with some friends of mine.  They've both been married longer than I have, and both have one child.  However we're all about the same age, give or take a few years, and both of them are very dear to me.
These two women that are my friends I see as brave, faithful, strong women.  On the outside, their marriages seemed perfect.  But as I explained some of the problems I've been facing in the last year I came to find that they had nearly identical experiences.
I say nearly because each couple has their own specific issues--that's just how it is.  A Marriage is a marriage.  not a fairy tale... at least not yet (I believe it will be when we get to heaven).  It's hard work.  And it's painful.  And you can lose yourself to it and hate it, or you can use it and appreciate it.  But the same doubts, the same fears, the same problems, the same long nights filled with tears had affected these two dear friends just like it had me.  I can't tell you how incredibly comforting that was.  For so long i had thought that i was alone, only to find that there were people drowning silently all around me. All of us have our heads above water, thankfully, but that doesn't mean there weren't those moments where we went under.  And it got me thinking about the phrase misery loves company.  Perhaps that means more than 'miserable people make other people miserable because misery loves company.' perhaps it also means that misery is easier to endure with company.  perhaps misery can only destroy you when it has you alone, with no friends to help or give an encouraging word.
the most incredible moment i've had, though, was when i went to go see one of my friends and when i was getting ready to leave, she thanked me for coming to visit with her and for helping her feel 'like a normal person.' Maybe everyone needs help just like i do.  maybe company is the cure for misery.
honestly, i'm at the point now where i don't want to know why i've gone through this last year of nothing but trials and tribulation and struggling to understand.  I really don't even care about understanding the reason why anymore.  i'm just ready for it to be over.  i'm just ready to be done and to move on and maybe, just maybe, remember how to be 'like a normal person' again.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Hallelujah

In an Election year, I can't help but to think forward to the Coming of Christ.  I mean, really.  In an election where the campaigns are full of insulting each other, petty arguing, lies, and empty promises.  Not to mention that as a voter, I have to decide which candidate I agree with the most.  Not only that, but the issues I disagree on?  I have to choose which candidate i don't think is out to ruin our country (in my opinion anyway).  and it throws into sharp relief that which we are lacking.  Which is really good, honest, powerful, pure, and righteous government.  And we're not just missing that here in the USA, but everywhere.  Every country has extreme problems, because it is ruled by extremists, or just ruled by mortals.  We're not perfect.  not one of us.
Well, there is One.
I have the Hallelujah Chorus on my iTunes, and every time it comes on, i just get this really powerful feeling in my blood.  And there are very few things that make me feel that way.  Imagine when you're at the beach, and you're laying out in the sun with your arms outstretched, and you feel the sun warming your blood and circulating that incredible warmth throughout your body.  That's what i mean when i say a feeling in my blood.  and what is it that i feel? I fell warmth and comfort--I feel amazement and gratitude.  and most of all Joy.  You know why?  because that's what Hallelujah is.
Going back to this election year... wouldn't it be so much easier if we just had an omnipotent, God of all creation, all powerful, loving leader of the world? wouldn't that be so much better?  To be able to trust Him to always make the right decision, every time.  And you know what the best part is? It is going to happen.
"For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.  King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And He shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah!"
If you haven't listened to the Hallelujah chorus in a while... give it a listen.  And compare that song of praise and love and peace and gratitude to the feeling you're going to have in November... regardless of which candidate wins.

Monday, May 21, 2012

All play and no work? no thank you.

So apparently people actually read this thing, so i thought i'd update from my last rather depressing post and write something only lightly less down.  Mostly just an update on my life.
> Spending my mornings helping out at Olympic High school in the spanish dept.  need 40 + hours of observation to qualify for the masters in teaching program at UW.
> I'm actually doing the paperwork for UW since Scott and I finally decided that it would be beneficial to my mental health if we stayed here... pending acceptance to UW for him. (crossing fingers)
> Applied for jobs at the mall, and also a cut-up job at the shipyard.  cutting up a huge boat with torches? yes please.
> There are a handful of people in the ward now that actually know me by name and are actually taking time to know me (instead of "scott's wife" or "another Daly") which is WONDERFUL
> Scott and I are taking an AARL Ham radio class together. which i'm SO excited about. gonna make grandpa proud :D
> We want a dog. well i want a dog really bad and scott is ok with it. A pug. named Moose. or a schnauzer named Batman.  but we're open to suggestions on breeds.
> For the first time in a long time, feeling optimistic about the future.

And that basically wraps it up  nicely. got an A+ in my ASL class, got out of Provo ok. Spent an afternoon in boise on the way up. annnnd that's about it, really.

What i want to happen is this:
>get the job. Job at the mall or job at the shipyard i don't really care.  though the shipyard one pays a LOT better.
>Get into M.I.T program starting in March.
> Graduate 3 months before scott
>Scott graduates
> International trip (Jerusalem, or China, or Europe, etc.)
> get a job. real job this time.  career type job. hire on at a school. high school, middle school, or community college. don't really care. just a good job. that uses my masters degree.
> Live happily ever after. which is code for... we'll see where we are when we get that far.

So that's about it, i guess. Here's to hoping that the future is a hell of a lot better than the last 8 months have been.

Cheers

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Job

Have you ever thought about the phrase "curse God and die" ? i was thinking about that yesterday. probably because i was thinking about Job. All his friends were telling him to just "curse God and die." I was wondering if that meant curse God, and have a spiritual death, where the spirit withdraws from you, or if it meant curse God and commit suicide. that would be a literal death. and back then, losing faith was probably equivalent to dying anyway.
Honestly, i feel a lot like Job. If you read his story in the bible, you might be surprised to find out that he just doesn't take what God is putting him through. He complains, he mourns, he grieves, he sinks into depression, but he never curses God and dies. He went from being on top of the world to literally being nothing in the eyes of the world.
Job starts out having everything. He is a wealthy man, a righteous man, and a family man. Then suddenly, his oxen, sheep, camels, and sons are taken away in a matter of minutes. A great tragedy like that? you have to know it's God. and so he went into mourning and worshipped. I imagine at this point he was just having faith that it was part of a greater plan. It was God's will, after all. He had faith that there was a reason and that he would be blessed again. then, he is struck with boils. Nothing that will kill you--but having had a boil before--they're not comfortable. and back in those days it was leporous. he was shunned for 7 days of cleansing. and his friends mourned for him and his wife told him to curse God and die, but he didn't. Nevertheless, his grief was very great.
And then he raises up his voice and curses the day he was born. He wonders why he was ever born, why he ever lived, except to see this awful misery. He confesses his bitterness of soul, and how he would be glad to meet the grave. his greatest fears have been realized.
And then Eliphaz comes in. He, for lack of a better word, rebukes Job for mourning, for crumbling in his grief. He reminds Job of the good he's done. How Job has strengthened the weak of heart and soul, and helped the weakened hands, and now that the trouble is upon Job, he falls? His knees buckle? Is it too much for Job, but not too much for all the other weary souls? will he truly die without wisdom? He says that Man is born into Trouble, and that peace comes from seeking God. Honestly, if this Eliphaz hadn't come in? I think Job would have buckled. Eliphaz says what i think Job believed when the tragedy first struck: that this was part of a plan, a purpose. that God was chastening him for reasons they didn't understand.
Job responds that he wishes God would just destroy him. Put him out of his misery. He wonders what is the point of living anymore? His sons are dead, there will be no posterity. His wealth is gone, how will he provide for himself? his future is gone. There is nothing left for him. And then he turns to God. He asks why. Has he sinned? If so, what so grievous a sin could it have been to merit this severe of a punishment? He asks why he has to burden himself. Which almost sounds like he's asking where God is. Why has God put him at odds with Him? and if he has sinned, why won't He forgive him and take away his suffering?
And then Bildad steps in. He counsels Job on the anguish of faithlessness. Saying that those that "forget" God are cut down like herbs in the field. Their Hope dies long before they do. It is a miserable experience. and a miserable existence. He speaks of eternal consequences, which are so much more potent than temporal ones. He promises that if Job remains faithful, God will fill his mouth with laughter again.
In a way, Job agrees. A man cannot fight against God and win. Those who have hardened their hearts against the Almighty have not prospered. How can one reason with God? One cannot. Job is in despair. The things he says now are things that sound like he's lost his connection with God. The spirit has retreated from him. He says if he calls out to God, He doesn't hearken. "He breaketh me with a tempest, and multiplieth my wounds without cause." Job doesn't understand. He is being beaten, nearly to death, for something he doesn't understand. He is a righteous man, and up until now he still hasn't sinned. So where is God? Who is God? Will someone give Job a chance to plead with God?
Again, Job turns to God. Asking why does He despise the work of His own hands? Job says 'you know i'm innocent! Why are you punishing me?' more or less. You have clothed me, fed me, cared for me, blessed me. And yet now you curse me? "I am full of confusion" He wishes again that he had never been born and asks of the Lord why he was ever permitted to be born. He asks God to destroy him. to cease his days upon the Earth.
And then Zophar steps in. He says that God is punishing Job less than his iniquity deserves. Harsh. He says forget your misery and turn your face to God. If you are wicked, He will destroy you. And if you are righteous, you have nothing to fear. Only the wicked seek to give up the ghost.
Job comes back, pointing out that tabernacles of robbers aren't punished as severely has he has just been. his perspective is changing. He sees what appears to be the wicked prospering while he is a ruined man. it appears that God maketh man to stagger as a drunk. Job asks for silence, for no more counsel or rebuke from those around him. He says "do i put my flesh in my teeth, or my life in mine hand?" in other words, i'm not suicidal. i haven't fallen on my own sword. I have not yet sinned in my grief. He bears his testimony. He says he knows that even though God slays him, He will be his salvation. He knows the eternal consequences that occur from this life and the decisions we make. "Make me to know my transgressions and my sins." he's still looking for the answer. Has he done something wrong? "Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for thine enemy?" Job speaks of a tree. A flower that is cut down is dead, but if a tree is cut down and the roots are intact, there is hope that the tree may grow again. Job says he wishes to "hide" in the grave until all the iniquity of the world passes away. He speaks of resurrection. he believes that it is possible for a righteous man to live again after death. Is the flesh made to have pain and the soul made to mourn?
And then Eliphaz steps in again. Rebuking Job. Are you the first man to be born? Are you the first man to have trouble? Are you the first man that God has ever tried? A wicked man is trapped in darkness and seeks to fight with God. hypocrites and wicked men will be consumed with fire, while the righteous have their reward in life again.
job responds with ' you all suck at trying to comfort me.' He says 'if i were in your position and you in mine, i would rebuke you, as you have done, but i would also strengthen you. where is my strengthening?' "God hath also taken me by the neck, and shaken me to pieces." He wonders where are the righteous to plead for him, as he has plead for many in the past. Where is my hope?
by now, it seems, that all the others who have spoken to Job up to this point, believe that he has done something. That he is, in fact, wicked but only won't admit to it. Job begins to rebuke them, saying that there is none wise among them, and that they have reproached him ten times too many. It seems like they're trying to convince him that he's wicked. but he won't have it. Job knows that he's righteous. And so bears testimony that even though God has stripped him of everything, he still has faith in the Doctrine. He still has faith that he will live again, that the atonement works, and that he will see God face to face. Everyone has turned against him. His wife sees him as a stranger. His servants view him as an "alien." his friends have abandoned him, and his children were taken from him.
Zophar speaks again, saying that the success/triumph of the wicked is a small moment. but "God shall cast them out." He describes the punishments prophesied to happen to the wicked. which is basically describing Job's situation, and claims that that is simply how God deals with the wicked. Job replies that they are falsely comforting him by feeding him falsehoods. he is not wicked. and he knows it. And then Eliphaz comes in and accuses Job of sins and exhorts him to repent. He says the righteous will laugh the wicked to scorn. Job wonders where God is. He wishes that he could find Him, if only to understand why this is happening. He goes forward and backward and all around, but cannot find God. is Job so very wicked that he cannot perceive God? Bildad says that man is a worm. nothing more. born into dust, eating dust, and dying in dust. How can man ever be clean before God? It is not a fair system, given what man is. Job again asserts that he is righteous, and as spotless before God as a man can be. it is interesting to me that, though Job is suffering more than he can bear, he ends up teaching these critics about the Gospel. He testifies of the greatness of God, of the power of God unto salvation, and that the blessings of the righteous outweigh any blessings seen on the Earth. Where is wisdom? It cannot be found except in God. Wisdom can't be bought. Wisdom and understanding help you cast out wickedness and evil. Job recalls his righteousness. He recalls the blessings he received for clothing the naked, aiding the blind, carrying the lame, feeding the hungry. he recalls the prosperity and respect he once had as a man of means as well as a man of righteousness. he felt as a king among them, yet a king that was ever aiding the poor and needy. and now? Now they laugh him to scorn, they spit upon him, they abhor him, even as they do the dust under their feet. Job is truly a fallen man. He cries unto God, and God hears him not. "Thou art become cruel unto me." Did i not have righteous desires? Was i not obedient in thy laws? Was i not a righteous man, according to thy commandments? He wishes his heart to be weighed against God's laws. If he has been wicked, then he will accept the punishments. If he his not wicked, he seeks for understanding and for comfort in his grief.
Elihu stands up and speaks now, offering Job the perspective that in his grief, he is putting himself against God. He testifies that God ransoms those that are cast into the pit. as a young man, Elihu offers to teach Job wisdom. wickedness harms other men while righteousness helps them. Man is nothing in comparison with God, and yet God created us, and hears our prayers.
And then, at long last, God appears. He speaks to Job. He chastises him, speaking of the greatness and power of God over the whole Earth. man is nothing, and so why so grievous? God asks Job "Will you condemn me?" Whoa. I would not want to be asked that question. Do you blame me? Do you despise me? When i am so great and you are so not, will you detest me? Job is not filled with indignation. It is his grief that afflicts him. He is humble before the Lord, and so the Lord teaches him.
And then Job finally gets his wish. He understands the greatness of God, the power of the Earth and all the creatures thereon. He Humbles himself and repents in "dust and ashes" before the Lord, in the presence of the Lord, for his grief and for his despair. The Lord accepts Job, rebukes the three that had condemned him and instructs them to make sacrifices and have Job pray for them. And the Lord blesses Job. with twice that he had before. His fortune is rebuilt, he continues in righteousness, and he has more kids. And Job lived 140 years and saw his great-great-grandchildren. and he lived his life full to the end of his days.
On the off chance that you're still reading this, i guess i'll let you know why i've been feeling like Job. A year ago, i was on top of the world. I had enough money to pay for my own study abroad which was so much fun. I was helping share the Gospel, i was doing well in school, i was making friends and helping people and i was successful. I had a paper being published in Linguistics, i had been accepted to my dream school where i was going to get my masters degree and have an amazing job and be fulfilled. and it was all going to happen. i was on the road to success. i was on top of the world. And then, i decided to get married. which is a righteous desire. i got married, in the temple, obeying all covenants and laws to which i was aware. and then, like Job it seems, it all came tumbling down. I have no children to lose, but my friends were lost. most of them don't speak to me anymore for reasons i don't understand. they abandoned me. i couldn't get a job, found myself idle, and sought help, knowing that idleness is not righteous. i prayed, went to church, continued all the things that i knew i was commanded to do, and yet i suddenly realized that my life had gone. I was suddenly worthless. My future corrupted, i had no job, no means of supporting myself, i felt like if i spent so much as a dollar for myself, i was stealing from my husband, who was the one doing all the work. i had no purpose. i had a degree, but no one would hire me. i had great knowledge, but none that was worthy of a fulfilling role. my dad told me if i was sad it was my own fault and i just needed to get over it. my mom kept trying to tell me to write, though she has yet to read anything i've sent her in hopes that she'll actually support me in that. she also rebukes me everytime i seek comfort from her. they are my Eliphaz, Bildar, and Zophar. my marriage is poisoned, since Scott feels guilty everytime i cry and he realizes that i am not the girl i was when we were dating, much less when we were married. As for the sickness? I wish i had boils. they at least can go away and never really return. instead, my heart just isn't working correctly. Nothing lethal, nothing concerning. except when i'm sitting on the couch and my pulse suddenly jumps to 140 and stays that way for about ten minutes. my grief for the loss of my own life, my own dreams, my personality, really, keeps me from others. they don't want to be around me. i'm a drag. I also have not been able to feel the spirit in a long time. I ask God where are you? and He doesn't answer. I ask why? i don't understand? what did i do? show me my iniquity and i will repent! And yet He is silent. Even now, having read all 42 chapters of Job, the spirit is not with me.
Where is my Elihu?
If i can find him, then the lord will come again. I will have a chance to repent and be blessed again. but as for now, i feel beetrayed. I fell that God has tricked me, nurturing me and raising me in righteousness only to take away everything that has come to define me. i am dust. Where is my Elihu? Where is he that has wisdom, that will comfort me as well as rebuke my sadness? Why has God tricked me? Where has He gone? Why did he trick me and then leave? I feel like Job. alone. weary. seeking for the grave for relief from the suffering. Still having faith in the Doctrine, but crying out because i cannot find my Father. I feel like Job. And yet i'm barely holding onto the hope that my roots are intact, that my tree will flower again. in many ways, i don't believe it will. but i am mortal. And so i'm hoping, with my last shred of hope, that God will prove me wrong. and that He will give me a chance to be happy. and if not happy, then content. and if not even that, then i pray for destruction, because i cannot endure.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012

So. the news is out! Scott is trying to transfer to the University of Washington and we're moving to Seattle in April! yay! moving moving. as in never coming back to utah. ever. which is something i've wanted to do basically since i started at BYU. why do you think i graduated so quickly?

Anyway, it's mostly since i've basically been miserable since October. No job. No school. pretty much literally nothing to do. Sure i did some projects to keep me busy... but one can only crochet so much before you become arthritic. and i'd rather retain the use of my fingers thanks.
i've also been writing alot, which is a blessing. writing is a funny thing. i need people to read, but they never do. i guess they're just too busy. maybe i should just find an editor... hm. anyways...
but this semester will be better at least since i have an ASL class on tu/th nights. it's pretty cool so far and we've only had the one class.
when you sit at home doing nothing more intellectual than reading books for entertainment... you kind of start to feel stupid. watching a lot of tv and movies also helps in that feeling. but what was so great about the first class of ASL was that my linguist instincts kicked in right away. This is not my first rodeo. ASL will be language #6 if you count English and #5 if you don't. I know what to look for. I caught on to exactly what was going on pretty much immediately. grammar is going to be easy, and vocabulary should be actually fun. I've never learned any sort of gestulative language before. but after tones in chinese, it should be no problem. i felt actually intelligent for the first time in months. and a little cocky. i'll admit that.

anyway so that is the latest and greatest. i'm auditioning for a play, we'll see if i can actually do it though since i have the night class. it'll be fun though and i'm auditioning with a friend of mine. so at least it'll be interesting :D
my birthday is coming up and as usual i refuse to think about New Years Resolutions until my birthday. that is when my year begins. last birthday, i got Scott as my boyfriend. this year he's my husband. yay! he's been bragging about how wonderful his gift is to me and of course he won't tell me what it is. we've been playing a guessing game for the last couple of days just because it's fun. and of course i think of the most random things like:
-Quiddich robes
-A turtle named 'Goose'
-a teapot
-a postage stamp
-Tickets to a Paramore concert
-permission to dye my hair and/or shave my head.
scott didn't like that last one at all. but it's just funny. we decided that if we get a dog, we will name him 'Batman' and then we have to get another one and name it 'Goose.' don't ask. just assume that it's funny and laugh along with me. ready? hahahahahahahaha. ok. you can stop now.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Homeless

Home.

What do you think of when you hear that word? Do you think of mom or grandma's homemade cookies and hot chocolate? Do you think of curled up in blankets by the fire? Or maybe long summers having water fights in the backyard and lemonade stands that only last one afternoon. Your old bedroom that mom was always telling you to clean or your secret stash of ten-month-old halloween candy under the bed. Maybe not. Maybe you think of something more current. Maybe you think of your husband or wife kissing you hello as you walk in the door. Maybe dogs barking or cats rubbing through your legs. You might even think of your children, at whatever age, telling you about their day. That old painting on the wall or the piano keys that don't sound or the stain in the carpet from one night long ago. These images are all with fondness--for in every person there is always a desire to return home.
If home is a place, a house, a town; then i am and always have been homeless. I grew up a military brat. We've lived many places, had many houses, and seen many things. The first house i can remember was when we lived in Hawai'i. I was two. I don't really even remember much, though we lived in that house until i was six. I remember it being blue and white, three blocks from my school, or at least three crosswalks from my school, and not much farther to the beach. i remember our striped 80's couch and my dresser. i remember that we only had 3 stairs that were outside because it was a one floor house. but more than that i don't really remember.
our next house was in Texas and i remember it much better. It was grey and red brick. we had a large flower bed in the front and three trees in the backyard. I used to dig up blue bonnets and try to plant them in the backyard, but they always died after a few days. I remember that that was the first house we ever got to paint in. It wasn't much. mom got stencils and made pretty bouquets along the top of one wall in my room. She did them in the family room too, though those were more ornate. We also pained our bathroom. For the kids anyway. From about as tall as i was down, was blue. along the bottom was sand and coral and a few fish along the walls here and there. I remember maybe two of them were like stickers and we put one just above the back of the toilet. i don't know why i remember that, but i do. I remember our kitchen in that house, and when we put real tile on the floors. it was beautiful. i remember our dogs playing in the backyard. I remember roller blading and learning to ride a bike on Jade Spring road where we lived. I remember a lot of things about that house, that neighborhood, my friends, and my school. But i was 9 when we moved away.
We didn't have a proper house next. We had a townhouse in Japan. We were in 6E and then had to move two doors down to 6C when the rennovations needed to be made. There was espestous in the walls, the buildings were so old. I remember that there was a string hanging down to turn off the overhead light in my room, and on the end of that string was a glow-in-the-dark bead so i could find it when it was dark. I remember most things about that townhouse. I remember how nice the rennovated one was compared to the original. The kitchen cabinets weren't puke green anymore. That kitchen was so small... it amazes me now how my mom could've made us dinner in there. Only two people could fit. But i remember that townhouse. My initials are in the cement on the sidewalk leading up to the door of 6C. I put them there before we moved into it when it was wet. I remember the screen door, the three tiny parks that were so near our house. I remember my room, my bike, my piano teacher's house, my school that was painted bright blue, though our classrooms were in portables across the playground. I remember our dining room, our furniture, the computer room right up front. I remember climbing on the trashcans to get on top of the storage sheds in front of our house and the brightly colored banana spiders that were poisonous. but though i remember so much about that townhouse, out of all the homes of my childhood, it never really felt like home. It was temporary. We were strangers in a foreign land. The base we lived on was so small that there were no traffic lights. Only stop signs. you could literally walk everywhere and we often did. And then when i was twelve, we moved again.
We moved to Maryland where i faced most of the challenges i have met in my short life. Our house there i remember perfectly, as it is the house in which my parents currently reside. It is a red brick faced house with a three bay garage and a flowerbed out front. The backyard has a deck and is a rather steep hill. we don't play in it much. It was in this house that i realized that we weren't moving again. that friends weren't just people who put up with you for three years and then never spoke to you again, but people who cared for you. It was in this house that i finally got to paint my room green and have furniture all my own. Although i didn't mind having the old buffet as my dresser. I thought the cigarette burns on the ends were sort of funny--it gave the piece character. it was in this house that both of our dogs finished their lives. It was in this house that i truly learned how to cook, to write, and to play Tuba. It was in this house that i came to terms with a lot of things. It wasn't the place that i wanted to be my first and only home--but in a way it was.
Five years I passed in that house before i set off for Idaho to go to college. I lived with my grandma in her house. i was reminded of what i had felt my entire life. I was living somewhere, but it was temporary. i was a visitor, not a permanent resident. At least the bathrooms and kitchen weren't carpeted anymore in that house.
And then i transferred schools and lived in an apartment for the first time. this was really my first opportunity at living on my own. there were no grandparents or parents watching over my shoulder. It was a mostly pleasant experience, though roommates are hard to handle sometimes. i went back to maryland for the summer and when i returned i stayed in the same building, though moved two doors down into S203.
that first year in S203 was amazing. We all got along so well that it seemed like the closest to a home as we could make it. I don't remember any fights, any passive aggressive feats, nor any real problems. I remembered the decorations we put up for christmas and the miniscule amount of space we had. Not home. But close enough.
The next summer i spent in Florida working for Disney. That apartment was so much nicer than the one i had back in utah. But it wasn't home either. We couldn't put up decorations or damage the extremely white walls. but it was more than enough for the 4 months we spent there. but definitely a temporary living situation.
I spent the next two semesters and one term in the same apartment i had lived the year before. there were problems now, as there always are no matter the circumstance. it wasn't my home, the second floor of Campus Plaza, but it was my turf. I knew the ins and outs, i knew what to expect, and i knew a lot of people that still lived there. I was comfortable there even when things got nasty.
And then summer came and i spent it in Ecuador. How i loved those two months in the jungle. Life was so much simpler there. I could clear my head. I felt really and truly happy and free for the first time since i could remember. I was leading my life and i was leading it well. Our rooms there were basically three walls, a roof, and a screen to keep out the bugs. But it was definitely enough to keep us comfortable. We passed long hours playing card games and watching movies on laptops along with doing our research. I was not truly ever inside while we were at the field school. it was nice to be so close to such an amazing land.
and then i returned to the US and ten days later i was married. everything was going to be temporary, as far as living arrangements went, for a while. We got to our first apartment, which we thought was great at first but slowly grew to despise. Spiders were easily dealt with, but then the mice came.
we had a great opportunity come our way, though. My brother and his wife lived in a townhouse not far from us. it was a townhouse with a full apartment upstairs and downstairs. my brother and his wife moved upstairs when their neighbors moved out and we moved in downstairs. it was so much nicer! It was during this move that we realized how little we really had. it took us 6 hours to get everything into our new apartment and have it all organized and put away. it is in this apartment that i am writing this post.
and so you see, i have never truly had a home, if a home is a stationary place. I am homeless because i have been so transient rather than static. But i would not change my experiences for the world. Because home has come to mean something far deeper than a house or an apartment. To me, home is people. Home is people that i love. Over Christmas break, home was my family and friends back east. During new years home was sitting and watching a movie with my inlaws. I do not ever leave home behind because i carry it with me everywhere i go.

So long as i have those i love most in my heart, i am always home.