Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The promised tribute to summer.

Summer is officially over. I'm taking 16 credits at school. I have a part-of-the-part-time job. I regularly put in 14 hour days. I take classes where the professor instructs us to "stare at the problem for awhile" in order to figure out the answer -- Calculus III not Magic Eye Books 101. Eat, sleep, repeat. Sometimes I don't even eat...sometimes I don't really sleep.

But today is not about that. No, today is about what once was. Summer.

Those lazy summer days. Hiking, reading, taking short affordable trips, complaining about the heat, going to outdoor concerts, rock climbing, watching Hulu for 6 hours a day...here are some picturesque highlights.

I went to Zion National Park and went canyoneering for the first time at Pine Creek. The water was cold, the rappels were exciting, and Baby Beluga has never been freestyled so well. I already mentioned The Flume outside of Lava Hot Springs. We went there the weekend of the 4th of July. There really is nothing like floating a river while shouting patriotic themes and trying to stand up through mild rapids.

I hiked up Brighton, Bells Canyon, and Lake Blanche. I bet you can't find me amidst all the wildflowers...or waterfall.
I went to Moab for a ward activity where I hiked Delicate Arch in flip-flops and jumped off a 15-ft. ledge into shallow water.I'm sure you've all heard of Island Park -- the place where all your dreams come true? Well I went twice. Details will be forthcoming. Rest assured that I got my picture with Mickey and rode It's A Small World at least 15 times.

Lastly I polished off the season with a trip back down to Zion to hike The Subway -- a 9 hour hike that turned into 13 hours (please promise me that if you ever go hiking you'll leave your two pairs of scissors, your machete, your poster of edible plants, and your combat boots behind). My friend invited me on her father's photo shoot not a pioneer trek. James Neeley everybody:More pictures of me everybody:So that's it. That's what I did these past 4 months. It may look like quite a bit but when the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo only takes you 3 weeks to read instead of 5 months, you can be sure that I actually had very little going on.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In the midst of an imbroglio.

So I wrote this awhile ago. I'm posting it now because 1) I haven't yet compiled my photographic tribute to summer and 2) I want to make sure I don't accidentally lose it. I realize that it's difficult to know what to say to someone's overly dramatic post so I forgive you ahead of time for not saying anything. We usually only know how to cry by ourselves. And now, I give you this...

For some reason this night was different. I didn’t exactly decide to drive, to catalog and file my life like neat index cards scribbled with blood. I merely continued going anyplace but home.

And I turned the music up.

I turned it up so loud I thought it could get inside me. That it would press up against me and swallow me whole. That maybe its rhythmic pulsing would replace that of my own heart, its manic celebration giving life to limbs too tired to care. With a feverish thirst, I wanted it to blast away my oppression like a melodic fire hose; each passing note latching onto a thought, unwanted partners in a dance. As if the strength of its sound could tear these demons from their breeding ground and banish them from eating my fleshy insides. I wanted to join in, to shout the words, to shatter the pretense of composure, but a soul so muted does not sing.

In the parking lot of a church, my traveling circus of untamed drums and roaring guitars came to a stop. Bleary and muddled, I sent bottled up hopes and confused queries into the voided dark. Piling up asking in vain attempts to get closer to myself, I doggedly searched remote corners of my heart for hinted feelings. Instead I got numb silence, stillness, nothing from the towering spires. Persistent doldrums of thought fell like the hammer of a metronome on my battle weary mind. Poised on a sloping ledge of wanting, I was prepared to do anything but choose. I’d vacillate. I’d sulk. I’d obsess. I’d wait. I would wait because whatever was right had aggravatingly never been made known. But this time I drove. And I turned the music up.