As I contemplated leaving BYU after my 4 years there, I have thought about all of the good things that have happened, people I have met, and memories I have made.  I also considered the hard times I experienced – how I got through them and would like to forget them.  But I came to realize something: I don’t want to forget.  I don’t want to leave, but it’s not because I have fallen in love with the place.  It is because I fell in love. It is because I experienced heartbreak.  Because I fell into depression, got diagnosed with a chronic illness, formed bonds and friendships that I will cherish forever, and because I will be leaving a different person behind and becoming the new one I am now.

In thinking about this transitional time of life, I had a conversation with a roommate about how endings are not always a bad thing.  That conversation and the aforementioned  thoughts about leaving BYU inspired this piece.


Endings can be beautiful.  They can remind us of the good times, the bad times, and how; when woven together, it creates a beautiful tapestry of meaning.

When listening to a beautiful piece of music, we don’t want it to end – for fear that the feeling we have whilst listening will vanish at its close.  But it doesn’t.  The end simply reminds us of how beautiful it was.  Makes us long to hear it once more.  So often, not being able to satisfy that desire makes it all the more wonderful.  The fact that it was only played once.  That is beautiful.  And that end lets us relish in the awe that it leaves us with.  It lets us settle, and contemplate –  the happy notes, the sad notes; the good notes, the bad notes –  and piece it all together in our head, hearing the faint remnants of the beautiful melody that it created.  And carrying that with us as we move on and past it.

Endings can be beautiful.  They can remind us of the good times, the bad times, and how; when woven together, it created a beautiful tapestry of meaning.


Understanding Love

A letter to my mother.

Dear mom,

             I know I’ve written you lots of texts, letters, cards, e-mails, and had many conversations with you.  But this is a special one.  This is one we’ve never actually had.  One I’ve had in my head, but never shared.  You do that right?  You have conversations in your head?  I know I do.

A conversation:

When one is younger, a child, do they really understand love?  Without the same knowledge or experience as they will have when they grow older, only having the basics of recognizing and understanding emotions, do they really understand the depth of love?  Probably not.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t feel it.  Can’t know what it is – what it feels like.

When I was younger, I knew I loved you.  A young child who didn’t have much knowledge or experience yet in the world –  knew that she loved you.  I thought I knew what love was then.  Now that I’m older . . . do I understand love any better?  Well yes.  Do I understand it as fully and completely as I know I one day will?  Not yet.  I am still learning.  Learning from you.

I know I love you.  I know it because I know the feeling that I had when I stepped into the car after a long day at school.  I know it because I know how it felt when I came home to a kitchen with fresh-baked cookies on the table.  I know it because on a bright, hot stage, singing into a dark abyss of faceless strangers, I knew one of those faces was yours.  I know it because I know the feeling of being far from home, but feeling closer when I hear your voice.  I know it because, when I see you, I am home.  No matter where I am physically, I am home.

That’s what love is.  Feeling at home.  Yes, it is much more complex than that really.  More complex than a young child, which I still am, can truly comprehend.  Hard to understand, and ever more difficult to explain.  But in a swift word; that is what love is.





A Thousand Lifetimes

I have lived a thousand lifetimes in my head.

Within the confines of my mind, I have lived in various different worlds and experienced many different things.  I have married several different people, had children, taught school, started my own school, written books, become a politician, won awards, talked to people, argued with people.  I have died many deaths, and lived many lives.  A thousand lives.

I am no longer fit to have a brain overcast with these other lives.  I need it to rain.  To let at least a small part of these fictional worlds leak out to the real one.  To share these lifetimes, these stories I tell myself.  The stories no one else knows.

These stories may sometimes come as narratives.  They may come as poems, as lyrics.  Or they may come as letters, or conversations.  But they will come.  These stories, these lifetimes.

Let the rainstorm begin. . .