Friday, July 24, 2009

When pioneers moved to the West...

I come from a very reputable pioneer line. I am aware that this mean absolutely nothing to anyone unless you are from Utah. Still it means something and so I'm posting about it. My several greats grandfather was a man by the name of Stillman Pond. (A great pioneer name, isn't it)? Stillman joined the LDS church and was called to move his family in the great trek west. Being the faithful man he was, Stillman answered the call. He left his comfortable home in September 1846 and started across the plains to Utah. He spent the winter in Winter Quarters before completing the trek. At Winter Quarters and on the plains, Stillman lost his wife and nine of his children. Despite such tragedy he completed his journey and became a key settler of the Cache Valley. His story is a part of church and family lore. We were told it often as children and it never really mattered that much. I was thinking of him today though and how he continued even with such tremendous loss. It is a story I appreciate more as an adult.

Personally, if I had been a pioneer, I would have probably gotten to Wyoming and said, "You're joking, right?" I can see myself sitting next to a sagebrush and refusing to go on. I'm just that stubborn. I can also see myself continuing to walk in spite of the long spanse of nothing towards the promise of a promised land. The paradox between the two seems wide, but chances are the stubborn streak that would make refuse to continue would also be the reason I would carry on. I have serious issues with failing. I would want to sit down. I would continue to walk.

I like to think I got some of that stubborn determination from my ancestors. Maybe old Stillman carried on simply because he had too. I am sure he wanted to sit by the sagebrush and quit. Maybe he moved forward only because his stubborn streak wouldn't let him stop. I think faith is like that sometimes--continuing to walk into the unknown because we have too; because there is something inside of us that won't let us quit. Much of my life has been spent walking into the unknown and I don't suppose my experience is unique. I keep walking because their is something inside me that won't let me sit down in the sand. I am propelled by the promise of something more; some part of my life and myself I haven't seen yet or haven't become. I wonder what life still has in store for me and I keep walking just so I can find out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pessimisms aside...

I realize my post yesterday was a little on the down and outs. Actually, I have noticed it as an unintended theme through several posts. Anyone reading my blog would think I am unhappy. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am happier now than I have ever been. Honestly, I am. I am also the busiest, stressiest, and stretchediest I've ever been, but that does not diminish my quiet sense of contentment. So today, my post is to celebrate my great life. I embrace it all...busy schedules and mountains of school work aside. :)

My list of reasons I am happy today:

It is Tuesday, which randomly happens to be my favorite day of the week. No particular reason, I am just fond of Tuesdays.

My chai was perfectly brewed this morning by the curly haired latte boy. (I must be honest and say I have a little bit of a crush on him). Have you heard the song by Kristen Chenoweth about Taylor the Latte Boy? It is hilarious. Look it up on youtube. I also randomly have a thing for curly haired boys.

I get to work next to best friend, which is usually really awesome even though she constantly talks about how skinny she is and sometimes says things that are not funny. (She also has a bum leg, but we don't really talk about that...)

I am in graduate school, which has been a goal for me since I was a little girl. Soon I will make everyone call me Master just because I can.

As a result of graduate school I am moving towards a career that I have wanted for a long time. Teaching is my calling, which reeks of religious overtones, but is true none the less. Only others who feel they have been "called" to teach would understand. It is almost other worldly, which is why we accept our fates despite large class sizes and low annual pay rates. I can't wait!!!

I have the gift of words, the gift of music, the gift of creativity. These gifts make my life rich and beautiful. I am grateful.

I have a mass of wonderful friends who are truly talented and inspiring.

I have very long eyelashes.

I have really nice hair that usually behaves when I care to pay attention to it.

I live in a state of sparse beauty. Today the sun is shining and it is blissfully warm.

I can read in pictures.

My toenails are painted with A Ruby for Rudolph nail polish, which actually looks like I am wearing a ruby slipper on each toe. That in and of itself is a reason to be happy.

Is that enough for today? The list could go on, but I should really be getting on to other things. I am grateful for today, for friends, for life. With all its hills and drudgery, it is still a beautiful world. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back from the nothing...

Do you ever feel like there just isn't enough time? I know I am given the same amount of time as everyone else, but sometimes it really feels like I need a few more hours every day. Two would peachy, three would be keen, and four? Well four would be just about perfect. With just four extra hours a day, I could get a full eight hours of sleep every night. This would feel like bliss considering the four to six I am getting lately. Four extra hours a day would give me an hour to walk or participate in the exercise of my choice. It would let me play the guitar for an hour and my rock star dreams would be closer than ever. It would allow me to substitute an entire movie or 2.5 episodes of Supernatural or Friday Night Lights for exercise and guitar practice. It would let me sit and have a meal instead of eating an apple or PB&J in may car while traveling from here to there to everywhere. It would let me get a full forty hours of work in without feeling like I might die in the process. It would let me sit, and breathe, and think, and read a book that has absolutely nothing to with education. Don't those things sound wonderful? Okay, I'll take four extra hours. Where do I sign up?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A little stack of squares...

I have a love of office supplies. Little things like colored push pins and freshly sharpened pencils make me exceedingly happy. There is just something about the smell of toner ink; the feel of a full and perfect ream of paper ripped from its wrapper. I like to visit office supply stores and buy nothing. I have a larger than the average girl's collection of paper, pens, markers, and glue. Just seeing these things gives me quiet joy.

Today, I opened my desk drawer to find an entire, brand new, unopened package of colored post-it notes. (This was a present from my lovely friend Jess who is charge of office supply ordering--she is so lucky)! When it comes to office supplies post-it notes are the creme de la creme. What could be better than little pads of paper already equipped with a strip of adhesive? They are ready and willing participants for random rantings, important information, daily doodles, notes to friends. They are a catalog for daily thoughts of genius. They make surprisingly accurate paper airplanes.

I know I shouldn't be so happy about something so small. Most people would say, "Post-its? Are you kidding?" To them I answer, "You obviously don't understand the love of office supplies." I also think finding a smile in something as insignificant as adhesive backed paper is a reflection of character. It shows an awareness of the little things that make up a life. It represents the choices we make everyday. For me, I choose to be happy. I choose to find too much joy in the world's small gifts. I choose to smile at things as unimportant as a little stack of squares.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Something Rich...


Living in the earth-deposits of our history

Today a backhoe divulged out of a crumbling flank of earth
one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year old
cure for fever or melancholy a tonic
for living on this earth in the winters of this climate.

Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years by the element
she had purified
It seems she denied to the end
the source of the cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
till she could no longer hold a test tube or a pencil

She died a famous woman denying her wounds
her wounds came from the same source as her power.