Monday, May 10, 2010

My London Adventure: Day 18

Into the abyss
I dive, headfirst
Reeling at the speed of light
Can't control it
I fall forever into the black hole that sucks
Me in
Matter, black matter
Closes in around me, surrounds me
Suffocating, I push and reel
And jerk, gasp for breath
And inhale
Smoke; matter.
I don't understand where I'm going
What's happening
I can't see anything
I'm dying in the awful pit
Suspended in a corner of the universe
Unseen by man
How will I survive this?
Maybe I won't.
Desperately I grope
And reach
A wall
I feel it, cold beneath my soft hands
Struggle, push, it does not budge
Somewhere I know there has to be a door
With a light behind its panes
There has to be.
Matter, black matter
Closes in around me, surrounds me
I don't understand what's happening
But somewhere I know
There has to be a door...

I just haven't found it yet.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My London Adventure: Days 16 & 17

Yesterday Sarah & I went to St. Paul's Cathedral, and it was absolutely spectacular. We were going to go earlier, but we missed our alarms & didn't get out till a few hours later than we anticipated. But it worked out extraordinarily well. We walked in right as a wedding was about to start! And of course, hopeless romantics that we are, Sarah & I had to stay & watch the whole thing. It was absolutely magical. We, random creepers (and when I say that I mean not only me and Sarah, but all of the rest of the crowd that was gathered) watched the bride walk in with her father & they went into the temple area which was roped off to the tourists. And Sarah & I kind of wandered off during the long speeches that we couldn't hear & we admired the splendid architecture, but we made sure we were back for the ring ceremony & vows & kiss. (:
It really was something out of a movie. Except it wasn't. It was real. And it made me so happy, you don't even know!
And I asked the stewardess how often people got married there & she replied that it was extremely rare. You have to be like noble blood or something to get that opportunity.
And after the magic dissipated, sarah & I climbed up to the very top of the dome & got great pictures of London. (:
That was yesterday's excitement.

And today I went with about 4 other people to the London North Branch for church. It took us two hours to get there, but the building was a super tiny phase 1 with cute rolling pews in the cultural hall. And I was enlisted to help with nursery for the upcoming weeks--I'm so excited! (:
But for this week I got to go to Sunday School & that was good. Even better though was Relief Society. (: For the first little bit I got distracted by this adorable little baby girl whose mother was sitting right behind me. And I played with her a little & she seemed fascinated by the little flashlight I got from Kew Gardens. I kept flicking it on & off, hoping she would see how to do it, but she never quite caught on. She was itty-bitty. (:
And then I started paying attention to the lesson, and it was brilliant! On the Holy Ghost. And this woman from South Africa bore her testimony of her conversion story & how she was from a Muslim family who completely disowned her after she decided to be baptized. But her faith and strength was so strong. She said, "I knew it was truth, so I left, and never looked back."
She really has a faith and patience & understanding that so many desire, but can't seem to grasp. It was beautiful, and I'm really not doing her justice. But take my word. She is beautiful. I love the little units. The people in them are so diverse and strong. Their faith is astounding and I feel their sincerity so profoundly when I'm with them, it's such a great example to me.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My London Adventure: Day 15

Kew Gardens today! (:
I Absolutely loved it in there! (: (: (:
It Almost rivals Central Park as my favorite place in the world. But Not quite. Actually there's a bit of a gap. But it's still wonderful, and there are greenhouses & fun trees & ponds & a cottage & two towers! (an asian looking one & Rapunzel's tower) & there were benches all over the place & in glades & little tree-gazebo things.
So pretty. And there were fish & all sorts of birds! (we profiled everyone we knew by them, until both of our camera batteries died & we couldn't take anymore pics. You'll see.)
And we ran into Sarah's brother Seth while we were there! Look at Sarah's pics when she gets them up, and you'll see what I'm talking about there as well.

Then I found a post office & sent postcards to Alice Lillywhite and my missionary in the Netherlands. (:
(finding post offices is much harder here than in America. They're not marked clearly & there are a lot fewer of them)

then Sarah & I came back & Youtubed "She's the Man" --Yet Another rendition of "Twelfth Night"
and then we went to a YSA dance here at the Hyde Park Chapel & we danced with cute British boys & it was way fun! (:

Well g'night all. ♥

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My London Adventure: Day 14

Today we went to Buckingham Palace & saw the changing of the guard! Chaos and befuddlement surrounded us as we snaked in through the crowd of cut-throat hyenas fighting for the last leg of meat--er I mean a picture of the red-breasted guys with foofy heads.
Anticipation mounted as we waited for the moment of the change. None of us knew what would happen, we just pressed and weaved, hoping to be in the right place at the right time. Idk what to say for the others, but that didn't happen for me. Somehow in the midst of the commotion I became separated from my group and left to fend for myself among the wild beasts! I thought of looking for my friends, but soon gave up that idea when I realized how impossible it would be to find them in the mess around me.
The actual change seemed to me just two parades of wicked awesome guard marching band madness. Seriously, the sound of their band was Superb! And they played not only the national anthem (Britain's), alma mater, and Entry of the Gladiators (jk on that last one), but a whole bunch of other really good music (memorized of course). and they played it all quite masterfully--except the lead trumpet cracked a few times, lol. They had a rockin' brass choir, but I especially loved when the woodwinds were featured! The piccolo was great too. (:
Halfway through i gave up on pictures and just let myself enjoy the music.

Then we made our way to the Tricycle theatre to see the most bizarre rendition of Twelfth Night I've ever heard of. They sent pizza out through the audience & had us throw velcro balls at their heads & at one point my Professor jumped from the second-level balcony and started dancing with them on stage! & Viola had this ridiculous fetish with this pair of socks she shoved in her pants& grabbed them frequently & they rocked out to random music (the actors not the socks) very auspiciously (i don't actually know what that word means, but felt like it sounded good there--and just told me that's an incorrect use of that word, but I feel inclined to let it stay.)
Anyway, that wasn't even the half of it. the rest i think was that company's attempt at "theatre of cruelty," which attempt was embodied solely in the character of Malvolio. During his ridiculous speech he ripped off his shirt to reveal a very attractive beer gut and started headbanging raucously. That was disturbing enough, let me tell you. Let's see if you can imagine our response when he decided that ripping his shirt off wasn't enough and he went for his PANTS!
(No, darling, we don't wear pants in here. [that's what leggings are for!])
Thus he remained for the duration of the show--clad in yellow booty shorts and thigh-high golden socks.

After that smashing rendition of the show, Sarah & I found ourselves on Kilburn High Toad *cough* I mean Road--lol! And realized we were standing in the middle of one of London's many shopping districts! We found tons of cute stuff for way cheap, but vowed that we could look, but we wouldn't buy anything we weren't absolutely in Love with. Thus, Sarah walked away with nothing, and I walked away wearing a flowy green cardigan thing and Lime Green High Heels. YES! (:
And on the way out I found a way cute dress that was more expensive than I'd have liked it to be--but it wasn't outrageous And it matched my already acquired items so impeccably well that I simply couldn't leave without it!
(ps. I look lovely in green--and to think, I never even knew!)

So yes, Sarah and I came home quite pleased and we found a more traditional version of Twelfth Night on Youtube and decided to watch it together. And i tell you, that film was So well done! They played on So many intricate subtleties, and added details and symbolism--and the way they portrayed it really helped us understand even more thoroughly All that was going on. (it's the version where Bellatrix plays Olivia) So yeah, that was basically amazing. And the fool was soo cool in that one (:

Oh! And Falafel is The BEST stuff ever.

Yes. Another great day in London.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My London Adventure: Days 12 & 13

Why is life so splendidly delightful? And Heavenly Father so dear and wonderful?

Yesterday (Day 12: 4-5-10) was filled with anxiety over my paper, but nonetheless good. We saw the London Museum and the Banqueting House and both were fascinating and beautiful, in their own respects.

Today (Day 13: 5-5-10) my group performed the scene from All My Sons we've been working on, and I feel that it went very well! I enjoyed the script-arranging process immensely and I had a wonderful group to work with. It was good to perform too--even something as simple as that! It's been so long since I've performed for an audience & I'm missing it ridiculously a lot.

And after class I found that my charger had come in the mail, so I didn't have to barricade myself in the computer lab to write my paper after all! And I got that done & went to an organ recital especially for the Hyde Park LDS Relief Society (&friends) in London's Temple Church. The recital was brilliant--pipe organs and their music absolutely fascinate me. I don't know much about how they work or anything, but I love all the different sounds that they make! I realized as the organist was talking about the organ's history that the phrase "pulling out all the stops" probably came from organs. It makes sense at least.

Anyway, the church was beautiful, and the Temple Master's little talk on the history of the Knights Templar and the church was fascinating. I'm not sure if he's just like that, or if it was because he was in front of an LDS audience or what, but he seemed ridiculously nervous as he was talking up in front of us. But he was clever & funny & his presentation was very well done.

On the way home I took so many pictures of the quaint archways and rustic courtyards and architecture i passed. I had a strong desire to become a photographer & have a really good camera & know how to capture the images just right. But even though my camera was lame & some images turned out blurry I still had a good time! And it made the ones that turned out really well, even more special.

I wrote in my journal on the Tube-ride home, and at my stop decided I wasn't ready to go home yet, so I stayed on the Circle Line and looped around again just writing & thinking & pondering and people watching. It was quite pleasant. I love how life always works out. No matter what small inconveniences pop up, or hardships come our way, it always works out in the end. Heavenly Father takes care of us.
We have to beware of getting all wrapped up in those little inconveniences like chargers melting and papers looming and wallets getting stolen (my friend's did the first day here) etc, because, really none of it matters. And if we let it matter then we miss out on all sorts of delightful experiences & happy expressions.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My London Adventure: Day 11

Class. (really good--we discussed Macbeth & 12th Night, and in Roger's Andrea spoke to us on acting, Christian on directing, and a couple others talked on the language of design and dramaturgy--Loved it!)
And then I worked for a couple hours with my performing group for Roger's class. I think our thing will be pretty rockin' (:
Then Sarah & I explored around Hyde Park while trying to speak in British accents. It was pretty great.
And we went to Picadily Circus, which is basically like NYC's Times Square. It's pretty amazing. And we had dinner in a little cafe and I left her to study and went with a couple other friends to see 39 Steps--and it was "So Good." That's all we could say about it because it was simply that. Sooooo good.
The actors were amazing--four cast members played zillions of parts, it was quaint and just all-around entertaining. And not dumb humor either. Very witty, very clever--every single aspect about it.
And the three of us went to this little foreign sort of food place--i want to say Tai, but it definitely wasn't that--and I got a pastry while they got a small dish.
And it was just an all-around pleasant day! (:
And I do Not want to write my paper tomorrow. Lol, but what's new?
later gators.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My London Adventure: Day 10: Hyde Park Chapel Ward

Today we went to church and the kind people of the ward at Hyde Park Chapel accommodated both study abroad groups in their small chapel building. We probably tripled their usual attendance. It was a nice sacrament meeting, and then, for Sunday School the stake president came and talked to us about our study abroad experience and making the most of it from a spiritual perspective.
In Relief Society we were welcomed in and had a lesson on "The Blessings of the Temple" by a the RS president (who is German!). It was a good lesson, and then the testimonies afterwards were wonderful. There are a lot of strong members here, even the relatively new ones have to be strong. It's such a diverse place--there are so many different backgrounds and people to learn from!

Later in the evening we were fortunate enough to attend a YSA devotional with some area 70 members there. Sister Donaldson gave a really good talk on the Spirit and her husband (they both were from Liverpool and had British accents!) gave us a strong warning on the evils of pornography to our generation. He said some really good things which I wrote down on a blank page of my Shakespeare Comedy book (because i didn't bring my notebook).
A few quotes I wrote down:
"Perilous times Have come."
"Disciples of Jesus Christ have discipline."
"You need to learn the disciplines of morality now, on your side of marriage, so you can learn to be considerate of your companion once you get to my side of marriage."
"When you love somebody, there's no place for lust."
Elder and Sister Snow also gave a couple good talks.

As these people spoke to us and told us of their experiences today I felt a great outpouring of the spirit. In RS one woman told of her experiences in Kenya with people who, even if they saved up their whole lives, would never have enough money to attend the temple which was thousands of miles away. And in S.S. the stake president talked about the Filipino members/mothers who work menial jobs and send their money back to their children in the Philippines so they can get an education and have a better future. Like New York their were many converts from at least a dozen nationalities, but one thing we shared in common--our testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel.

I received another witness today of how precious the children of God are in all nations, lands and tongues. From a young age I have been blessed with a strong testimony of my Savior. I have been so blessed with many opportunities to learn and grow, and I want to be an instrument in helping them to grow as well. I want to share with them the joy I know. I want them to be strong. I want them to hold on to the gospel amidst trial and persecution. I love them. Even though I don't even know them, I love them, because I know they are my brothers and sisters. We are all children of God. We're all working together to build His kingdom, and we will succeed!

Hope. There is hope and purpose for us in this world.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My London Adventure: Days 8 & 9

Day 8: Friday 4-30-10: Little Sleep

So the night before yesterday I pulled an all-nighter trying to get my reading done and crashed around 5:30 and was woken up around 9 by Sarah, just in time for class, through which I completely was falling asleep the entire time. I came back and slept until 5 when Sarah & I went & bought PB&J makings and ran back to pack a dinner, and then ran to the tube to get to the show 11&12. It was good, but lack of sleep and other factors made the show hard for me to follow.

I slept very well last night however, and woke up around 10 on

Day 9: 5-1-10: Macbeth.

We left soon after that for our Shakespeare Walk. That was fun! We saw St. Paul's Cathedral and London Bridge and all sorts of things!
Then we had some time at Borough Market for lunch before Macbeth in Shakespeare's Globe!
It was an incredible performance!
Very bloody, Lady Macbeth & her husband's relationship was very sexual, lol (but not too explicit, so that was good). And the way the actress played her sort of disappointed me. She made her very human--weak. I guess I prefer the ruthless, authoritative, seductive, I'm-gonna-rip-your-guts-out-if-you don't-do-this, steal-the-stage kind of actress for her part. Which is exactly what this girl wasn't. But it's okay. It was still a brilliant performance. And all the murders and fights looked so real--and I love how they utilized all the space around them!
And sooo much Blood! It was everywhere, and looked extremely real.
Oh and probably my favorite bit--I and most of my friends watched this show as groundlings which means we got to stand in "the yard" for the entire duration of the show. But this was the BEST production of All productions to be a groundling for because we got to go to Hell!
Seriously! And not just any Hell, but the Lowest circle of Hell.
If you know anything about Dante's Inferno, you know that that is the bit where there are people completely frozen, except for their heads sticking out. And that's what we were in this show. There was this black membrane and we stood under it and poked our heads through to watch the epically amazing production of Macbeth.
Even more epic--it started raining and hailing during the final stand-off between Macbeth and Macduff! It was the perfect timing! and we all got drenched (this is like the Only theatre that that could even happen!) but it was so Worth it!
All epic scenes happen in the rain, and this was no exception. And as Macduff came up the stairs triumphantly calling out "Hail! Hail!" There was an added irony, because we all were at that moment being pelted and it was Grrrrr-eat!
And Malcolm gave his final victory speech in the pouring rain and his arms were outstretched and it was sooo fulfilling!
And the porter was hilarious. And the witches freaking creepy. They kept crawling in and out and around all of us who were in the Yard. I loved it! (But I admit I was paranoid! They stole some guy's wallet & pulled it out onstage and pointed at him & laughed evilly.)
Oh! & sarah got splashed with the porter's urine! he singled her out because she hid & he messed with her for a bit! That was great.

I really felt a connection with the actors in this production. We always talk about the actors and audience working together to create a mutual experience, but that's a rare success. But in this show I felt it! Between the actors constantly coming through the yard and the rest of the theatre, and the "hell membrane" and our "inside joke" and mutual experience we had with the rain and hail, and all of it, I really felt a part of the show rather than just a spectator.
I'm not sure if I would have felt that way if I'd been in the seats, but this really was the best theatre experience I've ever had as a spectator! It was insanely amazing.
And we were able to go to a talk-back session with Lady Macbeth and the Porter, which was cool. She was alright and some of the stuff she said was interesting, but I really loved the Porter! it was good to see him not ridiculously disgusting.

Anyway yes. That was my day. And soaking wet, Sarah & I found a Starbucks & got hot chocolate & cake! then, still being pelted on with rain & hail we made our way to the tube (in the process discovering that in London a subway is Not a train, but literally a "way" underneath a street. A sub-way. And so we finally found an Underground station and rode back home. And a couple of Brits asked us how to get to a certain stop. And we laughed.
Two Brits asked to American girls who've been in London a total of 4 days how to use Their Metro system.
And we actually were able to help them out! They would have gotten lost without us, lol.
That's right, we rock London, baby!

over and out.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My London Adventure: Days 5,6 & 7

Day 5: Tuesday 4-27-10

Today we went to the New York temple and it was sooo good. There were just the three of us (sarah, seth & me) in the baptistry & they had like 6 people in there treating us like kings and queens as we did about 10 baptisms each. And it was very beautiful. I'm glad we went.

Then we went back to central park and got caught in the rain! It was such a classic experience! and it took us forever to find the epic bridge we hid under--we were soaked by then, but it was still cool because this wicked saxophone player was jazzin' out & I threw some coins in his case. He was cool. Before we found the bridge we found this pretty trellis with plants on top of it, but it didn't offer up much protection from the rain, lol.
Then my camera started messin' w/ my head because it wouldn't switch out of internal memory. It was way sad. I figured it out later, but I didn't get anymore pics in central park. Except for one on my phone of this gorgeous little brooklet/mini waterfall. (;

Anyway we made our way out of central park and we got some lunch at the Shake Shack. It was expensive, but good. We ate it on the subway & again had barely a minute to spare in making it onto our train home! Those mad dashes are always so exciting! & we made every single one of them in NYC! (:

So we went back to Sarah's parents' house & finished packing and left around 5 for the airport. We got there 3 hours early, but it was really nice not to have to rush at all going through security & finding our gate & such. We had a nice dinner at Chili's (w/ cheesecake as a treat!) and then I talked to a couple people + my little bro BJ before my phone got cut off. That was a sad moment. Lol. But it's really a good thing it's made it so I'm not distracted from London & theatre & everything else. Being limited on what I can do with fb (b/c of my charger) is probably the same good blessing for now, even though it's terribly inconvenient.
But I think, sometimes, inconveniences are good for us. Life goes on and we can suck it up and deal. Enjoy it anyway.

So the flight was way good. Sarah & I slept a some, but it was hard. & That brings us to

Day 6: Wed. 4-28-10
Also known as yesterday.

Yesterday I woke up around 8, right after they brought the breakfast trays around. I looked on the little tracking screen and saw that we were flying over Ireland! How freaking sweet was that? Well, I thought it was way cool & got really excited--like bouncing off my seat excited b/c I was 30,000 ft above the UK. And I watched us go over Wales and London and Sarah was still asleep, but I wanted her to be awake, but I didn't want to be the one responsible for waking her up, so that was a delicate situation, so I compromised by leaning over & whispering, "please wake up! please wake up! please wake up!" But not too loudly, because I knew she needed as much sleep as she could get, but I also needed someone to rejoice with me. Ohhhhh I'm silly. (:

So she eventually woke up, and laughed at me & we watched us circle London for 20 minutes (so we wouldn't get fined by Heathrow for being early) and then we landed!!! (:
And we navigated through customs like two ditzy American girls would & collected our baggage & figured out the ATM, so I was able to get some money out in pounds. (:
Then we met up with Ariel Mitchell & found the Heathrow Express & I took a picture of the "Mind the Gap" & exposed our American-ness. And we wandered around Paddington until we figured out we needed to go downstairs to get our tube passes and we did such--it was comical with all our luggage--and we took the tube to Glouchester Road and realized we didn't know how to get to our flat, so I hailed my first cab! That was exciting and the driver was way nice.
It cost us five pounds together, but we ended up collectively giving him at least 8 pounds because I didn't realize that in London they have coins worth two pounds. I know things now...(many valuable things, that I hadn't known before...) So yeah, he got a pretty nice tip from us. (:

And we made it into our flats and were greeted ever-so nicely by Roger and Lance (I love that name, Lance. It's so dashing.) and they helped us carry our 50 lb suitcases up the 5 flights of stairs. That was so good of them. And Sarah & I went with Ariel and Rachel to go grocery shopping.
And aside from the little coin blunder I haven't had much problem at all switching from American money to pounds in my head. (It helped that Wells Fargo transcribed my bank balance when I withdrew my money, so I knew how much I had in pounds). And jet lag hasn't been too much of an issue either. Of course I'm super tired, but my mind took to the time here like that. *snap*

So we got our groceries together (I'm glad we stayed away from packaged products and got real food--unlike the majority of the other girls in or flat.) and we're both realizing how spoiled we were on campus with our $30 weekly meal plans. Here we don't have that kind of money to spend & so we're paying much closer attention to the little things we buy & only getting the necessities. We're doing a pretty good job of being responsible, I think. (:

And we had our group meeting and toured around our little neighborhood where we'll be living and learning for the next few weeks and that was fun! But we were all so tired. And we had a lot of reading due today, so we still ended up staying up until at least 11. lol

And sleep was nice, although more would have been even nicer.

Day 7:Thursday, 4-29-10

Today we had our first classes and they were absolutely great!
The conversations and discussions we had about shakespeare, Macbeth & theatre in general just blew my mind! There are some incredibly bright people here, and I know I'm going to love interacting and learning with/from them for the 6 weeks I'm here. Six weeks seems so short!!! Before it seemed long, but now looking at the syllabi & realizing it's almost May--(like two days) I'm like ohmygoodness!
And it's so cool to sit here & chill in my flat w/ my homies & hear the doubledeckers and little tiny cars drive by on the wrong side of the road from out my living room window and then walk out of my door right into London!

I had my first real taste of it today--we got back from class & had lunch (mmm..potatoes!) and then a group of us went out to see Big Ben & West Minster Abbey. (yes BJ, I saw you! =P)
But yeah, Big Ben was sweet & West Minster was very cool. If I may say so, I do prefer the temple to worship in, but still I really did appreciate everything about it. I appreciated the reverence of it, as well allllll of the history contained within its walls. It made me realize how ignorant I am & so I went & got an audio tour, & that helped a little. I got to see Queen Elizabeth's tomb, as well as her rival Mary's and sooo many others. And just the fact that this building was built in the late AD 900s and is still standing in all its majesty is quite remarkable. It was very beautiful, and well worth the 12 pounds and 3 hours we spent there.

And I came back and had a Great experience reading All My Sons by Arthur Miller. It really is a great play if you ever get the chance to read/watch it. Highly recommended. (:

So, something I noticed in class today. Our classes are held in the London LDS Geneology Centre and for me it was really a new experience to talk about Macbeth in a room with several pictures of the Savior & Joseph Smith & such. It seemed kind of out of place at first. But as the discussion progressed and the Savior stayed where he was on the wall, I realized that He knows what I'm doing. And that it's okay. More than okay. It's good. It's right. And that I was able to feel the Spirit so strongly while talking about Macbeth stabbing Duncan & Banquo sort of opened my eyes to the fact that the Lord's eyes are open. They're on me, on all of us. And the choices we make in theatre (and in life) He sees, and it's up to us whether they glorify Him or not.

I'm still trying to sort this theatre stuff out in my head. Yes, I've loved it in the past, but can I really commit myself to it for my entire lifetime? Is this what I want to do? I've had little conversion experiences before, but I still question this decision quite often. When I'm not immediately involved with a show or production I find myself asking, "Why am I here again?" but then I'm involved again and I'm like "Oh yeah, I do love this."
But I need to be more solidly converted if this is going to be my major. I need to have the passion burning in me All of the time. Not just some of the time, or else it won't work. And I know it. The random guy I met during Education week last August said it perfectly. He said, "The problem these days is that the teachers don't have passion. In order to be a great theatre teacher, you have to Love theatre." I think it's like that with all art.
And I realize that. And I also realize that if I can't love theatre all the time then I'm going to have to find something else to do with my life, because it'd be miserable, for me and the kids I teach.
But I feel myself being guided this way.
I'm not for sure yet. I talk like I am, but secretly I still look for other options that might fit, just in case. But between this experience in London, and my Workshop, and hopefully the CCT summer musical, and then my class this fall, I feel like when the time comes to make that final decision, I'll know whether or not this is right for me. And then I'll be sure.

So far I'm really loving it. And I think I will love it this whole time. But we'll see if what happens in London stays in London, or if this love is something that can really endure, for the rest of my life--for the rest of eternity.
Guess that's just how love works.

And in the meantime I'll enjoy every second of every day,
because that's what I was created for!
(2 Nephi 2:25)

Monday, April 26, 2010

My London Adventure: Day 4: Haircut!

So today Sarah's mom took us to get our hair cut & highlighted (: We both got red and blonde highlights--i love the red! (: Go check out our pics!
And I also got to venture into a ghetto Wal-mart. It was pretty crazy, & I was glad to be out of there. They made us show them our receipts on the way out it was that bad. Lol.
Oh and almond M&Ms are amazing.
Still no computer charger though. Sad day. (it's true, the sky was crying the whole time)

PS. We Leave for LONDON tomorrow!!!! (: (: (:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My London Adventure: Day 3: NYC Singles Ward

Sarah and I went with Joseph Olsen to the singles ward here in NY. It was very small, very diverse and I loved it. There was a really strong spirit there, and I loved the members who loved learning about the gospel. I felt a lot of true sincerity there and it was sort of refreshing.

Here's a haiku about Sarah's brother Seth:

Super fresh and fly
Till I take off through the sky,
Do dumb things and die

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My London Adventure: Day 2: NYC


Long Beach Train
Times Square!!!!!!!!
Mary Poppins Box Office--random chinese guy w/ camera
TKTS line; Phantom tickets
Toys R Us
Central Park--seriously, my favorite place in the world!!
A walk back to Times Square
The Phantom of the Opera!
Subway Fiasco
World Trade Center
Statue of Liberty--from afar, someday i'll climb it
NYC Pizza
Subway Conquered!
Planet Hollywood--scrumptious!
M&M World!!!--this made me almost as happy as Central Park
Hershey Store
Pics @ time square
Mad dash to the train station! We made it with less than a minute to spare. Heck Yes.

Lep Dan. (:

Friday, April 23, 2010

My London Adventure: Day 1

Sarah and I landed on Long Island and were able to watch the first inklings of the sunrise from the plane. We found Long Island against the ocean and it was beautiful to see the lights flickering from so high up. Seeing the land and water meet was breathtaking.

Streams of color
graze the edges of
the land.
Pinks and purples blend to blue
where light
meets water
meets earth
revolving; splashing
against the cool morning breeze.
I look upon the surface
and see
the works of God
and works of man
come together to create
the beautiful world
we live in.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lessons of the Lilly

So, I have a confession.
And it's not like last time...okay, it sort of is.
But I won't beat around the bush like last time. And Nutella, you'll just have to suck it up and deal with this fact, but the truth is...

I Love old people.
All old people, yes, but specifically a woman named Alice Lillywhite. I've been visiting her every Thursday this semester, and how my love for her has grown! Her birthday is next week and she will be 102 years old. Did you hear me?! A hundred and Two years old! She's beat a century by two years!

Her mind is sharp and she can see to read, hear with a hearing-aid, and she has her own teeth still. Every week I go and tell her about my life, and in turn she tells me about hers. It's a trade-off, but I think I've got the better deal, but she might disagree. I love to hear about what living through all the drama of the past century has been like, and then she's usually cheerful and happy to hear all the fun things I tell her I'm involved with.

But today she was sad.

She's been wanting to do stuff, like dance and walk and go places, and it makes her sad that she can't. Today was the first time I was with her where she's ever hinted she thinks about death.
I perceived that she's getting close to being ready to go.
And so I asked her about it.

This sparked an incredible conversation. We speculated what it would be like on the other side, what callings she'd like to do, what she'd like to learn. She didn't know much, I guessed it'd be a party up in heaven with all our family and awesome scripture people and stuff. She admitted she didn't know, but one thing she really is concerned about is her husband.

She iterated that she misses him and hopes he'll be the one to bring her home. I asked her if it hurt her to talk about her husband. She said most people think it does, so they don't bring him up. But she said it doesn't. She likes to talk about him. And so we did. I gathered that she loved him very much. I guess "loves" would be the proper tense.

I asked her then things that before I had been afraid to ask. I asked her what she's done in her life that she liked best; her favorite experiences. She said she's seen some beautiful places and heard beautiful music. She also mentioned childbirth in there somewhere. I cringed, she laughed.

It's interesting, the two of us together. One just setting out on the adventure of her life, the other nearing her journey's end; preparing for the next step.

Talking to her made me think about my life; my future; my present. Alice has had a good life. She had her hard spots, yes, but the Lord got her through it, and she still lives to tell the tale. She said to me, "You don't know what will happen. But you have to make the best of it, whatever it is."
She also told me that one of her biggest regrets is not enjoying the time she had with her husband while she had it. Or rather, not enjoying it more fully. She said she had it in her head that he would always be around, that their marriage would last forever (and technically it does--thank goodness for the temple). But then he died and left her to live 40 years without him. I told her when she sees him she should stick out her tongue saying, "I beat you! I won!" She shook her head and said with a twinge of regret, "No, I'd ask him why did he leave so soon?"

I admire her strength and her courage. I hope I can have the joy Alice has had,see the beautiful places, hear the beautiful music, experience the love and devotion she's known, and add my own special flavor to it all. I hope I can love someone as much as Alice loves her husband. I hope someone will love me just the same. I hope I can remember to make the best of whatever happens and enjoy the life I live, while I live it. So far I think I've been doing a pretty good job. (:

Life flies by fast. It seems like just yesterday I was kissing my brother goodbye as I left for college, but here I am, two semesters gone, headed for London, creating a theatre workshop, paying next year's rent.
The next few years are going to go just as fast. We won't remember details, but we will remember how we felt throughout our experiences. We will remember whether we lived la vie en rose, ou la vie c'est triste. Just like Alice we will remember the beautiful things we've seen and the great love we've felt.
And the joy that we've shared on the journey.

2 Nephi 2:25
Sandbox Souvenir
By: Amelia Rose

The gentle breeze whispers; stirs
The golden grains that gleam bright
Against the hard, red wood;
Paint faded and cracked
From long years of play and pleasure
Swirls and circles
Left untouched
Lie in tranquil stillness
Posed; a photograph of a memory.
Giggles, grins; gleeful delight
Can be heard; felt
Lingering in the air.
This is the place
Where castles are built; dreams born
Trenches are dug; battles waged
Letters are shaped; names spelled
Friends are made; children grown
The wind carries a strain of a song,
An echo from the past
A melody, a note,
A twinkle of the eye
As the sun bathes the tiny specks of earth
In its kindly light

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Feb 8, 2010

Cry of Heaven
By: Amelia Rose

Is there not one who will
Take up his cross?
Go the distance?
Fight the battle?
And not only this, but endure to the end?

Is there not one who will
Respect me?
Love me?
Hold me in his heart?
Feel the joy of eternal love
Swell within his soul?

Is there not one who will
Confide in me?
Trust me?
Give me his heart
That he might grow
In might, in spirit, in truth?

Is there not one who will
Hold his ground?
Bridle his passions?
Prove his devotion,
Just as I prove mine to him?

Is there not one who will
Worship in the holy temple?
Partake of the sacred ordinances?

Is there not one who will
Come unto me
And abide with me forever?

Is there not one believer among you all?


Welcome the Rain
(goldrich and heisler)

When I was a child I'd run and hide at the smallest hint of rain
A sliver of gray in the clouds, I'd be under a chair
The thunder would crash and the lightning would flash
And I'd cry at the sight of it all
Curled up in a ball, 'neath the wall of the curliest hair
And I'd stay there for hours, so afraid of the anger I saw in the sky
"Til my mother would come and dry up all the rain that I'd cry
She'd say...

Don't be afraid of the power of life
Open your eyes to its wonder
Just as your heart should be open to joy
So it must let in the thunder
Sun that you long for is hidden from view
And only the shadows remain
But that's when you see the true beauty of life--
When you learn how to welcome the rain

Time passes on, I'm no longer a child
And I've learned a thing or two
I have learned there a wounds that a mother
Cannot kiss away
And though I find I still like to hide,
I have learned that her lesson is true
That if pain comes with love, then the pain
Is a small price to pay;
We all put up umbrellas
To protect us from torrents of feelings that pour,
But Shouldn't We Remind Ourselves What Feelings Are For?! (crescendo)

Ohhh Don't be afraid of the power of life
Marvel as heavens reveal it
Untie the ribbon and open the gift
Thank stormy stars you can feel it!
Open your ears to the music of life
While there's time to repeat the refrain!
If you yearn to embrace all the passion in life,
You must learn how to welcome the Rain...!

...Bring on the Hurricanes, Let the winds blow
I'll match the winds Roar for Roar!
Life's not about being safe, staying dry
Life's about begging for Morrree!

Don't be afraid of the power of life
Open your eyes to it's wonder!
Just as your heart should be open to joy,
So it must let in the thunder!
That you long for
Is hidden from view
And only the shadows remain
But that's when you see the true beauty in life,
When you learn how to welcome the rain...

If you yearn to embrace all the passion in life...
You must learn
How to welcome

The Rain.


If Only…
[for you. As always…]

If only I could love you
And hold you in my heart
Without the pang of sorrow
That keeps us both apart

If only I could see you;
Those eyes that pierce me though;
Which make me shiver with delight,
Connecting me to you

If only I could hear you
Be near you, and endear you;
Listen to your precious voice
While we laugh, tease and rejoice

If only I could hold you
And in your warm embrace,
Feel the love that radiates
From body, hands, and face

If only I could know you;
Understand your soul
If only you could let me in
And together be one whole

If only you would let me love you
And love me in return;
Walk with me in all life’s struggles
As we live and laugh and learn

If only I could touch you;
Could soften your dark heart
Give to you, what you bring me;
Glad peace I would impart

Amelia Rose

[secrets; but not like you think]

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's dreary today...I don't think it's her fault though...

Here Comes the Sun…du-n doo doo
By: Amelia Rose

Watching the sun
Carry itself
Over the horizon,
Through the clouds,
Amid the sky…
Day in and day out,
I wonder how she does it.
How does she bring herself to rise
Every single day
And shine with such brightness and glory
Ever so consistently? In such a pattern
That not one, but all may have complete confidence
In her return?
She illuminates the world--
How does she make that tedious climb—
Joyfully, happily—oh so sunnily?
It can’t be an easy one…
To make alone.
Déjà Vu
Amelia Rose

Three years had passed since the lady’s artistic talents had captivated the most influential Madame LaReine. With her help the lady had traveled the globe--London to Bangkok to the infamous New York City and everything in between. She had thought that the unique Asian architecture had impressed and influenced her art, but upon viewing the industrialization of the flourishing young America, her whole style and perspective had changed. Her paintings had become much darker of late; so much so that many people criticized her new art, but she declared that they did not see what she saw as she painted. Out of the darkness she found l’espere. From the gloom and grime of inner-city factories she saw la liberté. She had travelled from the mountains, across the plains and through the forests of the Ohio Valley and had, in the untamed wilderness found la gloire de Dieu.
Thirty-six months, twenty-five thousand miles, five score paintings, and two hundred sketches later the lady returned home to her small town in ---shire. She had done everything, seen every place, met every prominent person in every prominent circle. She was world-renown and celebrated on every continent.
The stars twinkled high in the sky as her beloved sisters ran out to greet her return from her great journey. They bombarded her with questions filled with admiration and wonder. She could hardly keep her mind focused on them, however, as she made her way into the masion. Déjà vu had brought back forcefully a recollection of a beautiful evening just like this over four years ago.
She answered her sisters’ curiosity as best she could, and returned it with a bit of her own—Where was the eldest? Why did she not greet me at the door?—Oh, she has been very lately married!—Magnifique! To whom?!—The clergyman of the parish two towns over—That is good to hear.—Yes sister! And I am engaged to be married as well!—I’m so glad for it. Now if you don’t mind I really am quite tired and think I shall retire now.—Oh dear, how dreadful of us to keep you awake so long. Goodnight dear sister. We have missed you so!
And with that the lady made her way out of the parlour. On her way to sa chambre, a light illuminating a small hallway caught her attention. It seemed very out of place for a candle to burn here at this time of night. The light came from her old drawing studio, just as bare as she had left it, with one exception. The face of an old friend greeted her as she stepped from shadows into the light.
“Ma fille! Elle est retourné! Tout n’est pas perdu!” She watched amazed as the parrot unlocked the cage with his beak, escaping and soaring through the room until he alighted upon her shoulder. “Ahh, and where did you learn to do that mon petit ami?” He squawked and uttered something unintelligible then swooped around the room once more. “What are you doing?” As she laughed, she noticed how old his feathers were looking, how cumbered he seemed to be as he flew around the room.
How old was this old friend? He had been around for as long as she could remember and perhaps her parents had him before then. She remembered when, as a child, she would thrill to see him soar around the rooms. Then, as she grew into a young woman he became quite the nuisance, always pestering, squawking, disrupting her learning and societal interactions. As she grew into a woman, though, he became the dearest friend she had ever had. He would listen to all her hopes, worries, fears and triumphs, and never say a cross or bitter word. He would let her stroke him as tears splashed his bright feathers whenever she was overwhelmed by the world’s expectations or cruel intentions. And yet, never once did he complain. Never once did he betray her secret confidences.
How old did parrots live? She did not know. But a new project was forming in her mind, to be dedicated for her friend. She would draw him as she remembered him; young, bright, vibrant; following she would draw a series of portraits painting him in the light she remembered him by to the present way he looked. Love would caress every brush stroke; admiration every tint. In two weeks time the world would have a very beautiful series of pristine and colorful parrots overflowing with beauty and detail.
She pondered on the title very briefly before stumbling upon the answer:
Titre: Passer par la centre-vie.
Par: La femme
Pour: Vous, comme toujours