Monday, September 21, 2009


"We wake and find ourselves on a stair; there are stairs below us, which we seem to have ascended, and there are stairs above us, many a one, which go upward and out of sight.... Sleep lingers all our lifetime about our eyes, as night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir-tree. All things swim and glitter. Our life is not so much threatened as our perception." Emerson.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

White Personality

Speaking of other things I like: I present "History sticks to our feet" by Modest Mouse of their newest ep "No one's first and you're next." Think of it in terms of what I said about nostalgia.
At the movies
eyes iced over
Walking sideways, through the gutters
And you realize that the floor sticks to your feet like history
Don't you look at me like life don't hold you any mystery
Bag of splinters boiling over, on your back expose your belly
Optimism doesn't change the facts, just what you're gonna see

Like it was stated that we're walking salt and coal
Plants solidify sunshine; how this started, I don't know
Causing feet and entire chain shoe stores
The sun's diary pulled up from deep canary holes
And when we read it, our skin, it becomes warm

At the movies, eyes iced over
Walking sideways, through the gutters
And you realize that the floor sticks to your feet, your history
I'm gonna slap that look off your face like life don't hold you no mystery
All those red marks on our shoulders
Self back patting, homemade trophies
Well the past only exists as tiny bricks we burn to release all its memories
I've had enough with rolling boulders, I want more moss on me

Clocks to splinters but time goes forward
And when them tree drop leaves your feet collect their memories
I guess all us snakes find our tails pretty damn tasty!!

I heard you mention we're walking salt and coal
Plants solidify sunshine; how this started, I don't know
Causing feet and entire chain shoe stores
The sun's diary pulled up from deep canary holes
And when we read it, our skin, it becomes warm

At the movies, eyes iced over
Walking sideways, through the gutters
And you realize that the floor sticks to your feet, your history
I'm gonna knock that look off your face like life don't hold you no mystery

Kate Towers.

Has some gorgeous new pictures up on her website. If I ever get married want her to make my wedding dress. I love the pleats and I think I may incorporate them into a dress I am trying to finish this semester. And these photos make me miss Oregon so much!

The Future of Nostalgia

This afternoon I knocked a glass bowl off the counter and the glass exploded into every corner of the kitchen. It was the last straw. Or maybe that came a couple moments later when i burned my arm on the oven rack. Either way I was fed up with myself.

I feel as if I am doing nothing and yet so many of the things I want to be doing

And at the same time I'm not really sure I now what it is I really want.

Now that I'm in a poetry class I seem unable to produce any.

Friday night I went out with Yoko and when we finally came back to my apartment we sat and talked a while and the conversation turned to her mission. Her advice and description of her experience was so honest and stripped of the nostalgic feeling I'm sure she has about her mission; I really appreciated it.

I've been thinking a lot about an article we read for class by Svetlana Boym about the future of nostalgia. We read it because we are reading Philip Roth's book "Plot Against America" next, plus we are reading a lot of books that look back on events. Boym says that there are two kinds of nostalgia: reflective and restorative. I think we all probably consist of a mixture of both, but restorative nostalgia is the kind that in excess creates nationalism and conspiracy theories. It is when people feel that what they had in the past is better and want to go back to it. "Restorative puts emphasis on nostos and proposes to rebuild he lost home and patch up the memory gaps. Reflective nostalgia dwells in agia, in longing and loss, the imperfect process of remembrance." Restorative creates a paradox in the fact that it often irrationally places the past in a higher place than the presence without discrimination. Also there is the fact that as much as we try to create the past in the present we can never go "home." Reflective nostalgia looks back on history and loves it, but doesn't want to go back. Tolstoy would like that, in his writing he professes to believe that we should live by our intuition (or I might say the HG) and live in the moment; a moment informed by he past and aware of the future but living in that moment just the same.

I've never had someone really close to me die, but I have had a couple moments (two to be really specific) where I felt so devastated by someones death that it was like I knew them. One of them happened today. I was babysitting for Baby S when his Mom and I got talking about medicine and she said that her mother was finally going in after denying that she was in pain for so long. The week I came back two weeks later I saw her right after she found out her mom was dying. The rest of the summer went by pretty normal, but there were moments when I could see and feel some of the wild worry she was dealing with. Being with her the whole summer and seeing how she thought about it everyday I could tell how much she loved her mother. And even though I never met her I know that she must have been great. Today I found out that she died yesterday and I feel so devastated for her family. I know I was sent into her family's life for a reason just as they were to mine. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

To Draw Closer to God

I am reading this book by Henry B. Eyring and I love it so far. I especially love this passage I read last night.

"There is a danger in deciding who your favorite prophet is, just as there is in having a favorite living General Authority or a favorite bishop of your ward or a favorite visiting teacher. The danger is that you may not listen to the most important messenger to you, who is always the one God sends you now." (Emphasis added).

Sometimes it is really easy to dismiss those around us because we don't connect or approve of them on a personal/personality level. But when we ignore people because we don't find them particularly interesting or well spoken we are missing out on the messages the lord is trying to send us. Even the simplest person can convey the message we need to hear now. I think one of the things I have the strongest testimony of is that we are sent the people we need in our lives constantly to help us in some way. I am feeling inspired to do some big things this weekend and I have lots more to blog about, but few hours until I need to be awake again. Today was a very good day.

I can't figure out to embed videos so I am going to rely on the power of the hyper-link.

I know this video has gone around a lot, but I can't watch it enough.

And I watched this movie with my friend today and absolutely loved it. Great Band. Great Film. And Favorite song of the moment. It's my mantra.

Lastly, this video made me want to get out and serve a mission or at least serve someone.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Someday I want to stop and check out the Pendleton Wool mill. I love the beautiful colors and patters of Pendleton wool, but was never able to appreciate it because of the dowdy styles. The Pendleton store definitely caters to an older crowd, which is why I think it's so great that they are collaborating with opening ceremony to create a younger look. I want all of these pieces!

including the Doc Marten heeled boots!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This is a song for those who can't get out of bed.

On Tuesday instead of holding class we were supposed to attend a poetry ready by the famous Australian/Brit poet: Kevin Hart. I thought the reading started at 9am instead of 930 so I was there over a half hour early. I was the first on there and chose a prime spot in the last row in the back left corner. When the poet finally arrived he remarked on how wonderful it must be to walk to class in the morning in the wake of the mountains. He's right. We may not have ivy covered halls, or much green at all, but the mountains are always the picture of hope for me while I am in Utah. I think that is going to be the topic of my essay for the Brimhall contest. More on that to come.

Then tonight I was sitting on the couch, doing some reading for my poetry class when a paper airplane sailed through the room and onto my lap. I picked it up and saw it was a folded up ad from a magazine. I tossed it to the side and continued reading.

Five minutes later another plane lands on my lap. This one is made out of lined paper and says "The USS Poetry" and "To KRISTY Harris" on the outside. On the inside it says

You are so beautiful, Kristy
You are so pretty... like a bee!
Can't you see?

I throw this opened plane on the floor next to the couch and plough ahead in the reading. Another five minutes pass, and another plane lands on my lap. This one says "To: Kersten. From: Everyone but Cami" on the outside. On the inside it says

Roses are red,
violets eat glue
I like red robbins,
but not as much as chu!

I shake my head and turn back to the poem at hand, but am again interupted. This time by a wadded up ball of paper that says "Open me Fool!!" On the inside it says "Wanna watch a movie??"

We are sitting on the couch twenty minutes later, waiting for one of our roommates to come out, "I know," I say "How about I read aloud one of the poems I need to read for class. All aboard the USSR Poetry!"

In other news, this is the picture I had put in the ward directory (and I has to fight for it.):

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Trapeze Act Was Never Meant to Last.

Please borrow this collection of poems from me.

A Chance For The Soul

by Carl Dennis

Am I leading the life that my soul,
Mortal or not, wants me to lead is a question
That seems at least as meaningful as the question
Am I leading the life I want to live,
Given the vagueness of the pronoun "I,"
The number of things it wants at any moment.

Fictive or not, the soul asks for a few things only,
If not just one. So life would be clearer
If it weren't so silent, inaudible
Even here in the yard an hour past sundown
When the pair of cardinals and crowd of starlings
Have settled down for the nigh in the poplars.

Have I planted the seed of my talent in fertile soil?
Have I watered and trimmed the sapling?
Do birds nest in my canopy? Do I throw a shade
Others might find inviting? These are some handy metaphors
The soul is free to use if it finds itself
Unwilling to speak directly for reasons beyond me,
Assuming it's eager to be of service.

Now the moon, rising above the branches,
Offers itself to my soul as double,
Its scarred face an image of the disappointment
I'm ready to say I've caused if the soul
Names the particulars and suggests amendments.

So fine are the threads that the moon
Uses to tug at the ocean that Galileo himself
Couldn't imagine them. He tried to explain the tides
By the earth's momentum as yesterday
I tried to explain my early waking
Three hours before dawn by street noise.

Now I'm ready to posit a tug
Or nudge from the soul. Some insight
Too important to be put off till morning
Might have been mine if I'd opened myself
To the occasion as now I do.

Here's a chance for the soul to fit its truth
To a world of yards, moons, poplars, and starlings,
To resist the fear that to talk my language
Means to be shoehorned into my perspective
Till it thinks as I do, narrowly.

"Be brave, soul," I want to say to encourage it.
"Your student, however slow, is willing,
The only student you'll ever have."