Monday, January 24, 2011


"This subterranean fire has its altar in each man's breast, for in the coldest day, and on the bleakest hill, the traveller cherishes a warmer fire within the folds of his cloak than is kindled on any hearth. A healthy man, indeed, is the complement of the seasons, and in winter, summer is in his heart. There is the south. Thither have all birds and insects migrated, and around the warm springs in his breast are gathered the robin and the lark.

"In winter we lead a more inward life. Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts, whose windows and doors are half concealed, but from whose chimneys the smoke cheerfully ascends. The imprisoning drifts increase the sense of comfort which the house affords, and in the coldest days we are content to sit over the hearth and see the sky through the chimney top, enjoying the quiet and serene life that may be had in a warm corner by the chimney side."
-Thoreau, A Winter Walk

"My definition [of a philosopher] is of a man up in a balloon, with his family and friends holding the ropes which confine him to earth and trying to haul him down." -Louisa May Alcott

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Hope They Call Him on Another Mission

"Basically, I am grateful to be home. I am really grateful to God for blessing me. I am grateful for a good family. I don't think it will matter which transition we are asked to endure, if we meet them with a grateful heart, we will ever see the positive and the negative will drift away with prayerful hearts."

I wrote that a few weeks after coming home from my mission in my first blog entry. I've been thinking about missions a lot lately--my own, the missions that people will be departing to, and, if you know anything about my current predicament, the mission from which a certain person will soon be returning.

I decided to get involved with a girl who has a missionary returning home soon. It sounds enough like a common Mormon occurrence. I feel kind of like Penelope's suitors in the house of Odysseus. Know the story? Odysseus goes on a long journey to the ends of the known world after the Trojan war, is held captive a few different times and after 10 long years returns home to find his house filled with mischievous men trying to court his wife. I might as well be a mischievous man! Oh and do you remember what happens to Penelope's suitors? After failing to string the bow of Odysseus, the man (Odysseus) himself walks up to the bow, strings it with his demi-god strength, and slays methodically each suitor that defiled his house. *Slays methodically*.

So, with this metaphor for my life in mind, we return to the story. I returned home from a mission about 19 months ago to a fresh and stinging 'Dear John' phone call. I, the Odysseus of two years ago, obviously couldn't string the bow and slay the suitor. I guess I just feel hypocritical if I change roles so starkly.

"Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of another person, hypocrisy begins." -Emerson

Whatever happens, an impacting transition is playing out slowly. I am reminded how hard and taxing emotion-filled relationships can be. But this whole situation has reminded me the power that comes in gratitude. Regardless of what we are asked to endure in life, be it rejection or hard decisions, if we meet it with a grateful heart, the negative will fade away and we will be left basking in the positive with prayerful hearts.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shakespeare vs. Condoleezza

Well, do not swear: although I joy in thee,
I have no joy of this contract to-night:
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
Ere one can say 'It lightens.' Sweet, good night!
This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest
Come to thy heart as that within my breast!

O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?

What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?

The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine!

I gave thee mine before thou didst request it:
And yet I would it were to give again.

Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?

But to be frank, and give it thee again.
And yet I wish but for the thing I have:
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

I arrived this morning at the Marriott Center for a forum by Dr. Condoleezza Rice around 9:15am and took a seat close to the front. I read about amino acids until 10:55am (5 minutes before the forum was to begin) before I stood up, took my effects and left the building. I decided that reading Romeo and Juliet, Act II Scene II was much more important. Don't ask. If you haven't read, pondered, enjoyed, or been moved by Shakespeare lately, I suggest you put aside the Facebook updating, meal planning, biology studying, or forum attending and pick an Act and Scene. <--A Link to his works. "Go to your bosom: knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know." You may find a little refreshment in the connection.

I learned recently that people don't really like my blog unless it is filled with little absurdities or oddities and anecdotes about peculiar incidences that tend to happen upon me frequently. I apologize that such stories have been in scarcity lately. I will continue to place myself in awkward, dismayed situations and see what comes of it.