Tuesday, February 24, 2009

a heart left in san francisco

I went to the glorious city of San Francisco last week to apply (in person) for a French visa at the consulate there. The consulate was nothing too exciting, but the city was AMAZING! I was there for only a few short hours but the artistic ambiance and eclectic vibes that the city imparted left me unforgettably thrilled. Every corner, every sloping, curved street has stories engrained in them, something happening on them, marvelous secrets waiting to be discovered. The hills were dotted with houses of every color imaginable: lime green, peach, rose, electric blue - but they were not eyesores, no, they added to the vibrant character that radiated into every glance I took in; the whole city was candy for my eyes!

And the streets there - you could get marvelously and utterly lost! I so desire to become lost in that city (just not at night...). Try becoming lost in grided out, cookie-cutter, unmysterious Provo.

Oh, San Francisco. I feel instictively that we will rendezvous again.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

a recapitulation

yes, it is still snowing. ever snowing.

in fact, it seems as though all mingling hopes of seeing the sun anytime soon are being thoroughly dashed by this continual atmospheric effort! nonetheless, snow does make for some lovely photographic moments. ------------------------->

well, despite the february weather, this past week has been marvelous! a quick trip to Provo for a few days may have been full of monontonous grey skies, but the days spent there in the company of radiant friends and the university I love best brimmed my cup and restored my soul! The road trip back home with Kellyn and McLean was interesting, as well. McLean has never been this far south and had, consequently, never seen Las Vegas. It was enjoyable to experience his sheer excitement about a place that I have driven through countless times. We decided to eat at the In-n-Out (heavenly!) there and drive down the strip of Vegas instead of just speeding on through (which is what I always do) - now, I have never been the biggest fan of LV, but the strip at night was INCREDIBLE! Plus, I took a picture of the fake "Eiffel Tower" at the Paris hotel, and it may be just a sad replica but it still caused those inner butterflys to dance about. I can't imagine how glorious the real one is! Breathtaking, I am sure.
Fake, but still fabulous.

one piece in a very cool art exhibit at the MOA
by Dan Steinheilber.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

hope is the thing with feathers, indeed

A friend reminded me today of a poem, by thomas hardy, that I had forgotten but do especially love. It was perfect timing to re-read this certain poem because it has been most unsensationally bleak and dreary outside, and it has caused me a bit of mourning for seasons of warmth and life. Winter has always left me with the feeling of entrapment; I am stuck inside and thus I feel as if I am not progressing/becoming complacent because I am not running around with busyness (to me, busy = movement, moving forward, moving towards a goal, etc). I HATE those sentiments; they leave a sense of hopelessness in my soul. Ugh.
Nevertheless, this poem speaks of a thrush that sings out despite the settled, winter gloom that surrounds him and the poet. If the winged creature can sing and thus have something to hope in at such a time, then so can the poet, and so can I.

The Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

snapshots of innocence

found a box of old photographs from the early '90's in a forgotten cupboard today. i indulged myself in the nostalgia of my childhood and the early years of the family. the outfits, the hairstyles, the poses, the little bodies, the innocent expressions! they made mine a happy heart! what glorious years I have lived, and what simple, yet dear memories the years have abundantly bestowed upon me!

all i can say is thank goodness for tangible photographs that you can find in a box, hold up, laugh at, flip through and remember. none of that scrolling through the digital memory function on the camera, or clicking to the next one on picasa. this was a vraie experience. huzzah!

how i loved and still continue to love being a child; call me peter pan, but childhood, in my opinion, should never end - for certain joy comes to the one with a childlike perspective on life; to a child, everything is a miracle.

To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.
- Walt Whitman

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

poetic consolation

Billy Collins' poetic waxings below paint the picture of my present feelings about currently not being in Paris (as was planned) with my fellow study-abroadians, and the feelings of slight torment upon seeing all of their pictures at the Arc-de-Triomphe and Chartes and the Garnier Opera House and the like in my Facebook feed. . .
Waiting to enter the MTC is, well euphemistically, patience building.
Fill in the below references to Italy with all things Paris, France.


How agreeable it is not to be touring Italy this summer,

wandering her cities and ascending her torrid hilltowns.
How much better to cruise these local, familiar streets,
fully grasping the meaning of every roadsign and billboard
and all the sudden hand gestures of my compatriots.

There are no abbeys here, no crumbling frescoes or famous
domes and there is no need to memorize a succession
of kings or tour the dripping corners of a dungeon.
No need to stand around a sarcophagus, see Napoleon's
little bed on Elba, or view the bones of a saint under glass.

How much better to command the simple precinct of home
than be dwarfed by pillar, arch, and basilica.
Why hide my head in phrase books and wrinkled maps?
Why feed scenery into a hungry, one-eyes camera
eager to eat the world one monument at a time?

Instead of slouching in a café ignorant of the word for ice,
I will head down to the coffee shop and the waitress
known as Dot. I will slide into the flow of the morning
paper, all language barriers down,
rivers of idiom running freely, eggs over easy on the way.

And after breakfast, I will not have to find someone
willing to photograph me with my arm around the owner.
I will not puzzle over the bill or record in a journal
what I had to eat and how the sun came in the window.
It is enough to climb back into the car
as if it were the great car of English itself
and sounding my loud vernacular horn, speed off
down a road that will never lead to Rome, not even Bologna.

Billy Collins

read more about the witty, poet genius that is B. Collins here, and listen to this poem by Collins here or another great one here.