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Showing posts from October, 2008
What is a life worth living if not for freedom and love and joy? The ability to choose one's own destiny and create a fulfilling reality is a dream we all desire. If my heart begs for love and my mind thirsts for knowledge, and if my body and soul wish to experience life as a beautiful gift, mustn't I feel obliged to feed these wholesome longings before succumbing to worldly ways?

Finding myself torn between submitting to the expectations in life that society demands from me, in contrast to turning away to further seek the deeper happiness I am beginning to grasp, continuing a fastidious search through experience is a most logical (if not acceptable) plan that I surely would regret if I delay for long.

At stake lies my happiness.

Possibilities abound and my interests are as many as the chances I have to expand on my meager knowledge. I can go almost anywhere and do almost anything, albeit with small funds and potentially very little support, and it is this understanding that push…

Drugs!

A few nights ago Brett and I sat outside on the front steps looking over Clinton Ave and guessed which houses harbored dealers. Our guesses were based on the frequent comings and goings of random people and the late night hours they seem to entertain. At the end of our conversation I thought to myself that I can't be positive they are selling... or buying.

Until tonight! We were sitting outside again tonight breathing in the crisp autumn air and noticed an idling white car across the street, the two women obviously waiting for something. I had seen them here before. Soon a dark minivan rolled up, a young man threw it in park and left it running, and hopped in the backseat of the car for a rather quick exchange. A few seconds later he emerged with a small wad of bills and walked back to his van nonchalantly, counting the cash. He jumped back in and drove away as quickly as he came! I laughed to myself-- apparently our street with run-down homes, a half-way house and plenty of broken…

Moving to Mexico.

Dear friends and family,

I will be home (Utah) on November 13. Wahoo!

Plans upon returning include: loving my family, gathering with friends, downsizing personal possessions, and (hopefully) interviewing for a few jobs that I have in mind in Southern Utah, Colorado & Arizona. Originally I had planned to return to school in the spring however I'm not quite ready for that kind of lifestyle change from restless wandering to steady commitment. Maybe fall semester.

Next summer (according to plans) I will be living in Mexico for 1-3 months, dependent upon the job I have during the spring, and working on an organic farm & sweat lodge while helping create traditional music instruments, eating vegetarian meals & learning Spanish.

Plans must be documented lest I forget the importance of goals. Please life, take me places that will build my body, mind & spirit.

Universally United.

For many years now I have disliked organized religion, or at least that was my belief. The rebellion from my Mormon upbringing began about 8 years ago and only in the past few did I reconcile some of my bitterness toward organized religion, specifically within the LDS faith. I've pondered what religion can do for me, the value of lessons learned in my classes, and considered how I can incorporate the positive experiences into my completely different life.

I am not Christian. I am not Muslim. Neither am I Buddhist nor Jewish. I choose not to define my religious standing mostly because I do not claim religion. As far as I know I am the only person within all of my extended family to feel this way and I have no desire to hide behind a facade. I am me. I am not a missionary of a lifestyle and asking others to change their ways is not my game. I do my best to respect all. I love others, and I love myself, and I strive for continued growth.

But I must admit that there is two major attribu…

FEMA 1768: Disastrous Disaster. Mold remediation at it's best.

FEMA 1768, the name and number of our group's deployment to Fond du Lac, WI on disaster relief, is forever burned into my mind with odd memories.

From Project: FEMA 1768, Disaster Relief

I abandoned a most amazing project in Cape Henlopen, DE to serve the immediate needs of my country in the mid-west where homes were in varying states of disrepair due to the June flooding. FEMA, the county, and the city all worked together to facilitate residents' removal of belongings from wet basements and ridding their properties of mold. Our job was to aid these residents under the direction of the organizations in the gutting of homes and mold remediation. That's the simple version.

As it turned out the county flood relief center had just come up and running as we arrived and was working to absorb the information given by a United Methodist relief group that began helping residents shortly after the nasty weather and ensuing flood. Care assessments, an analysis of need and mental well-be…

Patience is a virtue!

I am hoping to get my online life updated ASAP to fill in my family and friends. I have this sinking feeling that so many of the people I've left behind in my normal life are beginning to forget me as I have been terrible with keeping up communications and regularly letting people know where I'm at and what I'm doing.

Currently living in Bridgeport, CT, our team is building houses with Habitat for Humanity. So far I've learned how to put up wooden siding

From Project 4: Bridgeport, CT

and work on framing and studs inside the houses.

From Project 4: Bridgeport, CT

The work is meaningful, physically challenging and a great new experience. I'm learning many new skills! Today we continued preparing one of the housing sites for our upcoming blitz build, a 2 week event! Habitat for Humanity in Bridgeport has run into issues acquiring land and funds to build single-family dwellings (traditional homes) and are now doing more rehabilitation work. Next week, General Electric will…

Gypsy Bohemia

A house on 3rd street at the Village in Perry Point contains a white board, and on that board is a message to whomever enters the house:

Not all who wander are lost.

That quote is part of a greater message of J.R.R Tolkien. He writes:

All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.

Most applicable to my life, however, is that one line I found scribbled in a house occupied by 6 or 7 AmeriCorps members.

I've chosen this life, and a peculiar one it is. I doubt that my explanations will ever reveal the extent to which this experience has changed me-- opened my eyes, introduced me to new experiences, and challenged my beliefs.

For a summary, I left Utah the second week of January and since then have been stationed in no one place longer than…