Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Change Is Gonna Come

This past week has been something of a life-changer for me. Things have been so incredible lately. I'm living in a place that is so far removed from the everyday hustle of life and yet, I've felt more and more like a person that I used to be. A part of me that until recently was a void, has decided to bloom again -seemingly overnight. I feel so invigorated that I'm not sure the fibers of my being will be able to contain it.

How do you wake up and suddenly remember how good it feels to be alive? To have your heart race at a glance and a half smile. I'm remembering that it's okay for me not to be the coolest kid on the block. That I can  say something cheesy without having to apologize or feel self-conscious. Sometimes, people are put into your life to help you see the light of day again. Not that I was wallowing in depression, more like I didn't feel anything. Just a good reminder that I want to be a better person and that there are amazing people to help you when sometimes you didn't even realize that you were still broken.

Friday, June 1, 2012


3 months.

Not bad if you think about it, okay really. My blogging has been terrible as of late. So an update for those of you who may not know (but most likely don't care either). I took an internship in Capitol Reef National Park at the UVU run field station. So technically I'm an employee of the university, but live within the park boundaries. I live out away from most everything, it takes me about an hour's drive to get into a two where I can get cell service.

I haven't really had a Friday off work yet, so now that I'm all alone until Monday morning, I thought it would be a good time to sit down and record some thoughts.

It truly is lovely here.  I mean it. As a Utah native, I thought I knew what it was to live in the desert, but I was mistaken. An area that I once deemed dead and only admired for it's geologic beauty, I now see in a new light. It is amazing to me how fragile the plants and animals are here, and to be honest, that fragility gives them an extra measure of beauty. A new lease of life and a soft part in my heart. How truly special it is to be here. To wake up and feel the wind on my face, to see the endless blue sky that is so deep at times it seems purple. To experience the night sky like I never have before. Obviously the rocks, oh, the rocks. At times I can't help but think that the designs in the cliff faces were carved by giants long before man ever stepped foot into the world. Gentle creatures that took to time to make this place, for the betterment of those that they knew they would never know. But then I think about how awesome the geologic processes are that composed this vision of splendor and am in awe all over again.

It's not without it's challenges, but nothing worthwhile is.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It was a fine night.

It has been quite some time since my last post. A lot has happened, and I fully intend to give an update on my comings and goings. But not tonight. Tonight is about a burning desire to write that I've been lacking as of late. I believe it came from a lack of reading, I haven't been challenging myself. That was before I started reading real books again.

Lately, I've been having feelings of adventure budding up in my everyday life. Not that I'm actually going on adventures mind you, but more feelings of excitement of things to come. It feels a little like opening a new bottle of soda. A surge of energy comes rushing to the surface, changing my perspective- if even just for a moment, then dissipating into the atmosphere...

I just finished Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (hence the sentence fragments) :). I don't intend to spoil, but just so you know- I may unintentionally give something away. Also, I feel inadequate in even writing my feelings about such an amazing author, but whatever. I won't be using literary terms, and I don't plan on dissecting it.

Jake Barnes is the main character that is an expat living in Paris, writing at a newspaper. At this point, you're probably asking yourself, "Brandon, what does this have to do with love?" that is when I counter and say, "now." Jake has Brett- and by has, I mean is desperately in love with. FYI Brett is a woman named Lady Brett Ashley but he always calls her Brett.

To me, she represents the full spectrum of an unhealthy relationship. At times, she is sweet and loving and vulnerable. Especially when she is alone with Jake. She tells him of how wonderful their life would be together if they could just be together. But she is also cruel and thoughtless and selfish. She brings other men around him, asks him to help her seduce men, and is engaged to another man from the beginning (whilst going through a 2nd divorce I might add). The way that the author tells of Jake's mostly hidden pain is wonderfully done.

It got me to thinking about my own life. Mores specifically about my Brett. It's easy to read about Jake and think to yourself, "man, what an idiot!" but when I read about his pain (even though it wasn't brought up often) I thought, "man, I can totally relate." Sometimes we do stupid things for people we care too much about. Sometimes, we don't see how helping the one we love is self destructive behavior and ruins us for a long time. But I like to think that Jake figures it all out in the end. I know he'd be a better person if he did.

A chapter of my life is finally ending, and a new one just beginning. Some has to do with opportunities that are coming up soon (like I said, I'll write another post about them) but it also has a lot to do with realization of certain elements of my life that have been on hold for sometime.

It's good to be back.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Don't Worry Baby

It seems like the more relationships I go through, the less I understand them. It's amazing that we put ourselves into turmoil and the depths of depravity just to feel the thrill of being wanted. Or maybe it's the fear of being alone that drives us? I used to try and make relationships work for as long as possible not because I wanted to try and date a particular person anymore, but because I didn't want to hurt them. Now I try not to get involved in the first place because I don't want to get hurt and because I want to cause as little hurt to others as possible.

I know it's a bad way to look at something as powerful and potentially positive as love. I just can't change it. I used to always want to be with her. To hold her hand all day and just stare into her eyes. I used to consider myself a hopeless romantic but when she left she took the romantic part with her and left me with the hopeless.

I think it has effected my ability to connect with someone. I want to fix it, to throw caution to the wind, but perhaps that isn't the best way. Because more than just young love, I want something real and concrete. Who doesn't want to be the 70 year-old couple that walks down the street holding hands?

I guess I'll wait... hopefully not too long though.

ps- I keep listening to this song.


Tonight I spent a few minutes reading A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold and then went for a drive. I'm not sure why, but I ended up in a canyon near my place and it was one of the best decisions I've made all week.

The night was beautiful up there it was raining in the valley but there it was snowing lightly. I'm always amazed of just how much fresh snow changes things. It covers the world in such a way that no other natural phenomena can. All of the imperfections of the day to day are gone. A fresh sheet, a new slate. Even the tire marks were beginning to fade as I trudged on.

When I reached the end of the road, I was at a parking lot that is used for a small reservoir and also an unloading place for dirt bikes and the like. I pulled up to the edge where the snow had been piled up from plows and with my high beams, and tried to peer across the small body of water to the other side. I couldn't see anything. I turned off my car, unplugged my ipod, covered the annoying blinking lights, and sat. As one would expect, slowly my eyes adjusted to the light available. Then I remembered one of my favorite quotes from Edward Abbey that goes like this.

“There's another disadvantage to the use of the flashlight: like many other mechanical gadgets it tends to separate a man from the world around him. If I switch it on my eyes adapt to it and I can see only the small pool of light it makes in front of me; I am isolated. Leaving the flashlight in my pocket where it belongs, I remain a part of the environment I walk through and my vision though limited has no sharp or definite boundary.” 

It was nice to feel like I was closer to the natural world. (Keep in mind, I didn't actually get out of the car. I love nature, but it was freezing cold and snowing. Plus I have an irrational fear of cougars.)

So there I sat, with my car off letting the warmth radiate out of the car and into the night sky.And
I realized a few things. 1) I don't want my tracks to be covered up when I'm done here. I want to be remembered, and honestly I know that isn't weird but I've never before felt that in my own life with the clarity and very real possibility that it holds. When we leave here, our only contribution is through the lives of others. 2) I've felt like lately I've been turning my wheels and staying so busy but I am not making much progress. I need to better focus my activities while at the same time seeing the big picture. Turn off my proverbial flashlight as Abbey says. It was all very beautiful.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Thoughts

Over the weekend I had the chance to spend some time with great friends. We had a 'guys night' with some of my very best friends and it was so fun to see people that I hadn't had much interaction with in the past few months. Most of them are married so we rarely get an opportunity to all get together like we did. In honor of the occasion we ate sushi and watched a movie (side note: go see Chronicle, it's amazing) then after the movie, about half of the group needed to go home to their wives.

As I watched them walk away, a pang of sadness struck me as the thought came to me, "the chapter of my life with those wonderful people in it is over." I don't mean that I won't see them again. It's just that they aren't there like they once were, and I don't blame them. I wouldn't change it at all. I've seen their entire personality light up with the joy of sharing their lives with another person. I couldn't have picked better spouses for them myself. This probably sounds juvenile- because in a way it is.

I guess the main reason for my feelings that night was that I want that too. I want to be able to make excuses to leave 'guys night' early; for someone to go home to. Sure- I've had a lot of adventures, and I plan to continue that in the future. But who wants to go it alone? To experience the love of someone that makes you a better person is what I crave. I want to live my life for someone that knows without a shadow of doubt that they have my heart. Like a child nestled in layers of blankets on a cold winter's night; knowing that though the storm may be raging outside, you are safe and because of that, you can rest easy.

An amazing song: