Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Haunted Houses

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.

There are more guests at table than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapours dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.

Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.

These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star
An undiscovered planet in our sky.

And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night,—

So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O'er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thank you Heavenly Father for saving me from my own plans.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gray or Grey

Yesterday as I was driving to work, I was thinking about how much I love gray skies.  It seems, that the gray brings out the rest of the colors and really makes everything more beautiful.  As I thought about that, I realized that my life is full of gray.  I love sad music, books, and movies.  They make life and its experiences more beautiful, or at least my perception of them.  Just a thought.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Prayer for My Unborn Niece or Nephew by Ross Gay

Last week I sat with a coworker at lunch and talked about his life growing up in Liberia and Sierra Leone.  I mentioned that I had read Ishmeal Beah's book, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, to which he simply stated "war is a terrible thing".  It is weird that a kid my age is a true war surviver.  I cannot imagine what he saw and felt as a young boy in Sierra Leone and it awes me to see what a happy exuberant man he is now.   Anyways, this poem struck me as I read it this morning and I imagine it is because of my talks with my friend last week.  Enjoy!  

Today, November 28th, 2005, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
I am staring at my hands in the common pose
of the hungry and penitent. I am studying again
the emptiness of my clasped hands, wherein I see
my sister-in-law days from birthing
the small thing which will erase,
in some sense, the mystery of my father's departure;
their child will emerge with ten fingers,
and toes, howling, and his mother will hold
his gummy mouth to her breast and the stars
will hang above them and not one bomb
will be heard through that night. And my brother will stir,
waking with his wife the first few days, and he will run
his long fingers along the soft terrain of his child's skull
and not once will he cover the child's ears
or throw the two to the ground and cover them
from the blasts. And this child will gaze
into a night which is black and quiet.
She will pull herself up to her feet
standing like a buoy in wind-grooved waters,
falling, and rising again, never shaken
by an explosion. And her grandmother
will watch her stumble through a park or playground,
will watch her sail through the air on swings,
howling with joy, and never once
will she snatch her from the swing and run
for shelter because again, the bombs are falling.
The two will drink cocoa, the beautiful lines
in my mother's face growing deeper as she smiles
at the beautiful boy flipping the pages of a book
with pictures of dinosaurs, and no bomb
will blast glass into this child's face, leaving
the one eye useless. No bomb will loosen the roof,
crushing my mother while this child sees
plaster and wood and blood where once his Nana sat.
This child will not sit with his Nana, killed by a bomb,
for hours. I will never drive across two states
to help my brother bury my mother this way. To pray
and weep and beg this child to speak again.
She will go to school with other children,
and some of them will have more food than others,
and some will be the witnesses of great crimes,
and some will describe flavors with colors, and some
will have seizures, and some will read two grade
levels ahead, but none of them will tip their desks
and shield their faces, nor watch as their teacher
falls out of her shoes, clinging to the nearest child.
This child will bleed
and cry and curse his living parents
and slam doors and be hurt and hurt again. And she will feel
clover on her bare feet. Will swim in frigid waters.
Will climb trees and spy cardinal chicks blind
and peeping. And no bomb will kill this child's parents.
No bomb will kill this child's grandparents. No bomb
will kill this child's uncles. And no bomb will kill
this child, who will raise to his mouth
some small morsel of food of which there is more
while bombs fall from the sky like dust
brushed from the hands of a stupid god and children
whose parents named them will become dust
and their parents will drape themselves in black
and dream of the tiny mouths which once reared
to suckle or gasp at some bird sailing by
and their tears will make a mud which will heal nothing,
and today I will speak no word
except the name of that child whose absence
makes the hands of her parents shiver. A name
which had a meaning.

As will yours.

                    —for Mikayla Grace


This whole weekend was great!  I love living near the city and being able to participate in all the amazingness that it has to offer.  Friday I finished work early and joined some friends on a visit to "The Hog Wallow" for some pool and live music.  Saturday morning I woke early and biked, with a friend, to the farmers market, where our bicycles were valet parked.  We bought pao de cajo from a Brazilian woman, fresh fruit from a little girl, and Belgian waffles from, well of course, a Belgian.  So good.  Then today after church I took my scriptures, a blanket, and a couple other books and enjoyed some afternoon reading in a couple different parks, before heading to hear Elder L. Tom Perry speak at the University of Utah.  I didn't think to pull out the camera for most things unfortunately, but here are a couple pics.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

General Conference

Dare to be a Mormon; Dare to stand alone. Dare to have a purpose firm, And dare to make it known.