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]