one world's end



how once i could

jump on the subway

and jump off the subway

at the end of the world

in just half an hour?


a crescent of sand

filling with crescents of waves

and crescents of winds

and crescents of dogs

and buoys dressed like dogs?


from the corner of university and 8th: the crack house

i discovered today while attending my new ward for the first time, that my house is called The Yellow House and/or The Crack House.

i'm honored.


let it be known, tho, that the true crack house is somewhere in south provo on 300 east or so.

my house isn't really the crack house. it's just a house full of different and delightful people. the neigbors downstairs are a hispanic couple with two children; the other couple is a young couple whom i've barely met--stay tuned; the basement couple just moved in and have been married about two weeks. the two couples across the hall smoke outside by the roadside at least three times a day, if not more. there's also a fair amount of pot smoking going on across the hall, but not as much as i thought when i first started moving in. (it hasn't tainted my closet and clothes as i had initially feared.

apparently and unfortunately their smoking is their defining characteristic. those at church whom i talked with always asked by way of clarification if this was "the house where the people are always smoking out front). "yes," i would say, adding, "They are very friendly and neighborly" (which they are) to steer the conversation away from criticism and concern that seems inevitably to arise when people find out where i live. i guess this is satisfying to me, since it seems i'm always consciously and subconsciously out to break down my own and others' false and superficial assumptions and conclusions about people and life.

strangely, a member of the RS presidency told me that if the apartment didn't work out, there were several women in the ward needing to sell their contracts. i semi-politely interrupted to say that this new apartment is kind of a dream and that i was really happy here. (for heaven's sake, i've only slept her 4 nights!) it's funny how people are either envious or concerned that i'm living alone, and living along in the Crack House!

this apartment is superior in so many ways to my boston apartment, which i feel lucky to find in provo. i love being on this busy corner where i can look out the window in any room and find interesting things to look at. it's comforting watching and listening to the traffic rushing by and looking at all the pedestrians. it's like my own little big-city-ish side of provo and makes me feel a little like i'm back in boston. but only a little.

i am definitely in a different stage of life than many people i will be associating with here. i'm sure nearly all of my ward are undergraduate students, and the average age of the student employees in book repair is probably 20 or 21. i'm surrounded by good people, and good environments tho. perhaps now this is my time of life to be more or a mentor instead of a "mentee" (as we called it as NBSS). we shall see.

i realized today that it has been clear back since living in Indiana that i've really felt like a full out contributing, invested member of a ward. four-and-half years ago! i'm trying hard to make that my goal in this new ward. to not let newness or difference or shyness or the familiarity of place and independent living keep me from working towards that goal. it is especially difficult with friends and family around, which provide support and friendship outside of the ward. this is something that made the bloomington experience unique. i depended so much more on the ward.

i'm curious how long i will be here. at the moment moving anywhere in the next year sounds like an abomination. but i think about two years down the road when my closest friends will move, and i feel a little anxious. while i'm ridiculously grateful for my new job and house, i don't plan on working at BYU for the rest of my life now. so even while i'm just getting settled for the first time in nearly eight months, i automatically wonder how long it will last.

the anxiety is slight, tho, compared to all the good things spread before me. i see the things i need to learn here and now. not all of them are exciting to me, but i can tell they're important. in boston i learned to work harder than i've ever worked before. i see now as i'm in a position where my success and happiness and progress in my work depends so heavily on my own self-motivation and initiative how learning to work that way is one of the most valuable skills i brought back with me.

so new house, new job, new neighbors, new ward, new friendships with old friends, let the new year begin!