Favorite Things Friday

Friday, April 26, 2013

I've decided to start what I hope will be a tradition... posting about one of my favorite things every Friday. Good things are meant to be shared, so let the sharing begin!

As it is only two days before I fly to the UK, I'm feeling a little sentimental as I think about my family. Since I decided to come back to BYU immediately after I return, it will have been approximately 350, 633 minutes since my little sisters tugged on my shirt and asked me to have a sleepover with them. 350, 633 minutes since my little brothers and I read The Hobbit aloud to each other, each of us trying to make our Gollum voice creepier than the others.  350, 633 minutes since I had a picnic in our backyard teepee, or nuzzled my grizzly, graying poodle, Beau, or simply laid on my own trampoline while I listened to the sweet disharmony of grasshopper violins, hummingbird harps, and frog bassoons. My eyes will have blinked 5, 259, 495 times. My heart will have beaten 26, 297, 475 times. I will have lost 204, 535, 800 skin cells (that's about eight layers of skin). These facts are utterly useless, but they expose how jam-packed, how deliberate, how meaningful every moment is in our lives. Even when stationary, our lives are a blur.

Because I have my family on my mind, I can't help but think about the song my dad would sing to me and my older sister when we were little; he now sings it to my two younger sisters. It's the kind of song that makes you feel safe and warm and perfectly nestled in a bear-like father's hug. Enjoy the song, but be warned-- you may feel the sudden urge to go call your dad and tell him that you love him.

On Schoolmageddon and Schrödinger's Cat

Sunday, April 21, 2013

End of school-years always make me a little melancholy. Am I relieved that the grindstone will shortly be removed from my nose? Oh, absolutely. When examining the wall where you've progressively recorded your height over the years, marking the great, oblivious achievement of your own cell growth and regeneration, you never wish to return to that smaller world of your 3'7" self. But the reason why we even keep those reminders of how once we were less is the same reason why I want to snatch these last few precious days and just hold on to them for a little while. That short distance of two inches between two black lines on a blank, plaster wall signifies a year. And a year is just so much. This year was just so much.

You'd think that after two years at college, I'd finally "get it down" (whatever "it" is... still haven't figured it out...). But life is leveled to make you never feel like a pro. If you feel like a pro, you're probably doing something terribly wrong and will want to check up on that. That's kind of the beauty of proactive living, though. If you're progressing then you should never be bored.

A week from this moment, I will be on a rickety plane over the blue Atlantic, finally on my way to the land of lochs and haggis. All I can think about is that long walk from Edinburgh to London. I will pick up one hideously clunky, hiking boot-shod foot and place it in front of another, and do it again, and again, and keep doing it until I've lost count and all the steps blend together in a sea of bleak, heath-coated moors. I'll probably go mad.

If I don't, though, I hope some sort of transcendence happens. I hope that somewhere along the trail, at some point in those hundreds of miles, I'll find the chain that's been dangling in the dark and snap on that light bulb that's been gathering dust somewhere out in land of destiny. Destiny is probably the wrong word, though, because I'm a humanist... Prospect? Potential? Schrödinger's cat? All I know is that everything I used to be and will be and am are somehow rolled into one and instead of viewing myself as a series of timely marks, I'll finally see the eternalness of my being. "Am" is not linear. But being flat, second-by-second people, we have to add a "was" and a "will be" to wrap our mortal minds around it. Perhaps it's heretical to marry the principles of divine nature and quantum mechanics, but I'm hoping for a moment in the journey where I can stand in the middle and see both the future and the past, smudge those two inches marked on the wall (such a small measurement  for something so immeasurable), and feel the same cells I've always been split and multiply into something I've never been before. It's always been me. But it's never been this. 

Maybe it really will be just a hike across the United Kingdom. But nothing is ever just a space between two black lines on a plaster wall.
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