October 21, 2016

He blew his nose with a hankerchief drawn out from his left pocket.

And all I could wonder is whether or not hankerchiefs are sanitary?

Garnish

The etymology of the word "garnish":

Chapped Lips

Her lips were chapped.
Lavender hand cream proved a worthy substitute for Chapstick.
The blue ink on her ring finger was faded.
She had reached into her pocket yesterday to grab an uncapped pen only to draw it out to view the results from the ungarnished point.

It wasn't red.
It was blue.

October 19, 2016

Space

Do you know that the letters in the word "space" can be used to spell "escape"?

I came back to see the past post left blank.
So,

I left it.

I thought it would be an appropriate way to convene this new chapter in my life.
A lot has happened.

Do you know that the side you're standing on can reflect things about yourself that you never knew?

Left or right, that is.

Do you know that I've figured it out?

I have a better clue.
Well,
I think I do.

Blue likes the idea of those words.
Those words spoke feelings.
Those words spoke heart.

Do you know that the more the work is known, the more it loses its aura?

It's luring.

June 7, 2016

Design

So it was,
So it stayed.

God made man,
not to bend or break,
but to mold and refine,
to enliven, to create.

MY God was one, an associate.

So to Him, I crawl in agony.

DON'T LEAVE ME HERE TO DISINTEGRATE.

"Your heart, my dear
It's very clear:
It's broken,
You know not how to mend it.

I hear your cries,
your deepest sighs,
you're jealous and bitter,
My dearest youth, you know it!"
Alas, it's true.
My very youth,
It's stubborn, 
and it's hurting.

What's wronged me so?
How can I know?
To change my heart,
To change my soul,
How can I even know it?

"So CHANGE it, dear!
Don't wait for fear.
Or pride to come destroy it.
No one has wronged
your heartless song,
The melody's not broken!

Your heart is YOURS,
to mend, to mold.
Get on with it, 
don't blow it!"

Get on with it?
Get on with what?
My life: Is it what I'VE chosen?!

Which way? 
What time?
How so?
Why now?

Is it I who even knows it?!
"Ask, my dear.
Find out,
don't fear.

Whatever it is,
you name it.

Then anchor strong,
Go write YOUR song,
That's MY design.
Don't forfeit."

[NOT]

video

It's okay if you reach out to her.
It's okay if you fall in love.
It's okay if you never look back.
It's okay if you need slack.

It's okay if you never feel the same.
It's okay that I'm the one to blame.
It's okay for hearts to hurt.
It's okay that bridges burn.

It's okay.
It's okay.
It's okay.

But even though they say "It's okay,"

I don't want to be.

But if it's meant to be, let it be.

Cause catharsis is my heart beating out of my chest,
It's impulsive break.
It's needing to see your face.

It's pushing you away.

KUTV






June 6, 2016

Lake Blanche

"Lake Blanche Trail is a 6.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Salt Lake City, UT that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until October."

Hiking Lake Blanche was a really neat experience.  I wasn't really dressed for the hike, as you can see in the pictures below:

After our group drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon, we walked up to the trail head and began hiking mid-day (It was around 2 p.m, the HOTTEST time of the day).  Because there was barely any shade the whole time, I felt a lot of heat exhaustion most of the way up.  (THANK GOODNESS FOR WATER AND GRANOLA BARS!)

As we made the last turn to the lake, I couldn't have been more relieved/happy to see the cool lake! :) Blue clear water reflected the trees and mountains surrounding us, and we spent some time skipping rocks and dipping our feet in the freezing glacier water.  

Unfortunately, we didn't realize that there were actually THREE lakes total up there.  There were two that we missed because we didn't look past the brick wall that you see in the second picture, but we did enjoy watching the waterfall and passing a resting moose on our way back down!

I would definitely hike this trail again, but I probably would go early in the morning, wear lighter clothes, and maybe bring a swimsuit to jump in the water at the top.  Hiking in my chacos wasn't too bad.  I'd probably just wear my new Nike tennis shoes if I were to do a hike more than 5 miles like this one, but I didn't come out with any blisters, and they held up quite nicely.  :)

Here are some photos from the hike (Most were taken by Claire, my best friend from elementary school):







Grin

Have you ever uncontrollably grinned?

It's common to find yourself laughing or smiling around others, especially when they seem to have a particular sense of humor.

But to uncontrollably grin when you're all alone:
When you're reading a letter, a note, something... meant for YOU.

(And this is PRECISELY where you'd find that person starting to grin.)

ISN'T THAT REALLY a notable sensation: One I never realized was so sweet until now.

It's notable not because you're grinning, but because you're smiling all on your own: Because you're genuinely, uncontrollably happy. Maybe it's because you've been remembered, because you feel connected, because you suddenly feel at peace.

But it doesn't matter how or why because you're breathing, and those moments make you happy.

June 5, 2016

June 4, 2016

Friend

Erika has become one of my best friends within the short time we've known each other, and things seem to just make sense when we talk. - And everything that we talk about seems to always remind me of him.

It's not like I'm trying only to remember him and everything we did together. It's just that he happens to be a big part of my life, my best friend, and someone I've learned to trust more than anyone I've ever known.

Moments of our conversation really caused me to remember how amazing and wonderful he was and is. - I just hope I don't lose something that so dearly holds my heart, and I have moments where I really really miss him.

Sometimes I experience an urge to call, to run and find him, and to just talk/tell him how much I want to share memories and reminisce, but I stop myself because I remember that things wouldn't change if I did. - We'd still be a secret, and I'd still never know.

But I do miss him.

That's ok, right??

So I express this to Erika, and she reassures me. - "Time will tell!" She says... And she's completely right! Time does tell, and it's OK to be taking time to figure things out. It doesn't mean that I didn't ever or don't still love him. It just means there are things we both need to find out for ourselves, and God will take care of the rest.

Think about it.

If I didn't meet Erika that night, I would have never found a best friend I KNOW I was supposed to meet. There's something about her that I feel so strongly connected to... Like finding a long-lost friend: the one you've always wanted and can go to without feeling pressured to be or do anything just to please them.

It just goes to show that God is in control, and He is aware of each of us. He knows what we need, who we need, and when we need all those things, and the biggest favor I can do for myself and for Him is to TRUST in that and keep praying.

So, here I am determined to be worthy of God's guidance. I hope you'd do that with me, and we'll rise together.

PS. KUTV was a good experience, but I'm pretty sure the sound guys didn't actually catch my part, and so I was going ham, but nothing was sounding. So, if you saw the broadcast, you'll know what I mean.

June 3, 2016

Moments gone by are moments closer to figuring out why things have always changed the way they have, and no one will ever understand me the way you understood me. 

Hearts change, and so will we. 
I went on a night run tonight up the canyon. 

It made me feel enlivened, happy, eager to live, learn, and love.

I am not my past, and I am not my future. 

I am my present, and this is change. 

May 21, 2016

You know, when you miss someone,

you do crazy things.

May 19, 2016

Does she miss him?

Does he miss her?

She misses him...


This

Why is it the first line of every entry the hardest to type?

I think I've written and erased multiple lines before finally settling for the one you see just above this one.

So here's the deal:

I want to be a very real person, and this blog sometimes doesn't accurately represent who I am on the regular.  - My blog has, more often than not, served as a sort of refuge: It's the place where I go when I'm in emotional distress or in a very mellow, contemplative, poetry-writing mood. - I write when I'm sad, angry, disappointed, heartbroken, etc.  Because of this, however, I may come off as being a very emotional, depressed, and disturbed person! 

---

Because I'm NOT always that emotional, I sometimes come back to read previous blog posts only to cringe or to feel extremely embarrassed at my posts.  These feelings regularly lead me to un-publish and draft the majority of my blog posts: The ones that are so personal and nostalgic for me.

Recently, I've met some people who have inspired me to be okay sharing these vulnerable moments with the general public.  - As scary as that IS, I have made a decision to re-publish and un-draft all posts that have ever been composed in those moments because I AM fragile, and my blog is ironically about demonstrating that fragility: Something that has been such a struggle for me.

So, here they are: The posts written in my most vulnerable moments filled with the most pungent of emotions.

I'll leave it up to you to make of it what you will - But let this serve as a reminder that we are all human in our fragility, and this is mine: 

May 17, 2016

Home

I'm here in the Denver airport waiting for the flight back home, and I honestly can't wait. 

I've always been pretty good at adapting to all kinds of environments, but the older I get, the more sensitive I have become. 

The first day was rough. We had red-eye flights all the way to Washington DC, rented a car, and spent the whole morning and early afternoon walking to and from various monuments and memorials. - On top of that, I had been pretty upset about things, and my mind was still in Utah.  By the afternoon, I had turned into a zombie and didn't realize how tired and grumpy I was until my sister accidentally closed the car window on my pinky! 

THAT was the turning point for me, and I immediately felt a surge of hot tears well up in my eyes. - It reminded me of the way little kids cry when they are so alarmed and exhausted that they just CRY, and they won't stop! - So there I was with the uncontrollable tears streaming down my face as I walked down the crowded streets of DC to our dinner destination where I finally calmed down. 

We got more sleep that night.

------

Sunday we ran went to church in Pennsylvania where My brother, sister-in-law, and I played the musical number for their sacrament meeting. After the meeting, we ran into my piano teacher's sister-in-law who was also visiting for her own son's graduation. Her son happened to be my brother's best friend all throughout medical school. - What a small world! 

That day, we attended graduation and spent the afternoon visiting with family. Then, Vicky, Joseph, and I left for New York City where we met up with Vicky's mission friends Natalie and Joel. We had the best late dinner and then headed back to Natalie's to catch up and spend the night. - Monday morning, Vicky and I woke up early for a run to Central Park. I got to take some photos and later met a stranger named Patricia: A 71 year old lady who had moved to NYC from the Bahamas.  

After sight seeing and getting some baked goods from a famous bakery, we headed back to Pennsylvania to meet up with the rest of our family. - Jeff and Kara brought us to Hershey's chocolate world and then we went to the park to play a game of croquet and tennis. The weather was much warmer that day, and we played in teams of two. - Joseph and I won the game of croquet, and that was pretty amazing becausewe started out losing (my fault) but ended up catching up and winning first. - Joseph's a pretty awesome teammate and set up all the shots for me. :) 

We ended the night with dinner at Benihana's. Even though it wasn't actually Sorren's birthday, we pretended it was to get free ice cream. (Shhh, don't tell.) Sorren was elated when the whole restaurant started singing Happy Birthday to him, and he was so hyper after eating the whole bowl by himself. 

After saying our good bye's, we drove back to DC and stayed the night at a hotel. This morning, we woke up at 4:45 to return the rental car and catch a flight to the Denver airport where we're currently waiting for our last flight home. 

Overall, the trip went pretty well. The best part was seeing family. The worst part was missing Utah and its mountains. - And after comparing the busy east-coast city life to that of my Utah home, I am convinced that I am and will always be a rural kind of person. 




May 6, 2016

Outstretch

This blog is like an outstretched arm:


A call made by a traveler just to be heard because in fact, she has fears of being forgotten.

But no one should ever feel abandoned.

So I'm stopping now.

Space

I walk crooked without you.

Something's tugging me towards those memories and moments unexplained. 

We decided it's always been an inner battle between you and you, and me and me. 

Fate. 

I said I believe in fate, and you didn't laugh. 
You never laugh because you believe in the same fate:

The one that is now the breaking point,
The one that robbed us and begs us to change because change is redemption,
Change is mercy, change is the only way for there to be an us because there was never truly an "us" about us. 

It was always me. Or it was always you. But there was never an us because let's be honest: I never let us be. 

So, 

This bitterness that consumes my flesh: It has no place longer to conjure in my heart, my soul. 

Flesh, you know, is an abstract fool. 

It cries and writhes because it's dark; yet, its opposite soul is light. Flesh screams and writhes because never will it have the ability or power that Soul holds. 

It's fake in its successes or claim to our hearts. It has nothing and lusts after everything. 

FLESH IS NOT US.

It never was.
It never can be.

We are Soul. 

Soul: 
Soul is forgiveness: the light that turns fools into angels,
Abolishing all fear, 
Taking back virtue,
Reconciling all sense and sanity. 


You know, 

There are spaces in our hearts that exist primarily to hold those dearest to us. 

It's the kind that glows no matter the storm, remaining, hoping, waiting...

It's the kind we're afraid to approach for fear of hurting or feeling the pangs only felt by loss and deception - Yet, we cling to such because of the very source that fuels the fire. 

Yet fire untamed cannot refine gold. 

So, we must face that space: the one that claims our soul and wreaks of burning flesh. 

Because that space will heal, and healing is what will bring you and me to us. 


May 3, 2016

She said, "work on the things you have in your control."

God blesses those who do their part.
Who'll be there to bring you flowers?
Rain or shine?

So leave it to the stars

We'll find a way.


We always do.
I'm not coping very well.

May 2, 2016

G N

Miss you

Wake

When the light comes in.

When its rays and shadows lie on your face, a moment captured in a picture

Yeah, you know the one.


THAT is my peace.


May 1, 2016

Sun

Will you call when the time is right?

When the storm has settled and the rains cease to fall?

They keep telling me the time isn't right, but all I hear is your voice. All I can see is your kind eyes.


Breathe.


This was one of those nights: Those sleepless nights -- Ones filled with angry tears, pleading prayers -- One of those nights meant for frantic writing, late-night typing, and lovers votes.


I once read about a man who only wrote when his heart bled, when it was no longer pumping the same red blood.  It never seemed to work any other way.

Why is it during the weakest, most enraging of moments that the strongest speeches and the loveliest art produced?  Perhaps it's only to make us work harder, to become stronger, to remind us of our own strength, our capacity to never stop.

That man's blood wasn't red.

No.

It had turned icy cold for the night - reminiscent of that blue blood that would stench so of nostalgic rage.

BREATHE.

*silence

And then,

BREATHE!

PLEASE breathe.

...

 I WANT you to breathe.

I want to breathe, he said.

He wanted the whole world to breathe.  
He hated the chains of his past, his birth... that seemed to mercilessly bind him!

He despised the circumstances of his inheritance, his misfortune, his luck.
What he wanted would seemingly always slip out of his hands!

She had become dear - extremely dear - SO dear that he could read her even when she did not speak... for she didn't like to speak when her blood was blue... but the beautiful thing about all the unfortunate events was that she completely understood him. 

Perhaps he did not know it at first, but he soon realized that maybe she DID weep at night, and maybe she DID care because there was truth... You know, the truth that remains no matter what you do to it... The truth that remains the same forever and ever.  She understood him, and that IS the truth.


The man seemed to always know what to say.  He was used to reassuring her, for he had done it for months and months:

So, do you know what he always said in response?

It was this:

OF COURSE you will.  There will be a time.  Take heart.  Take care.  You're beautiful, and beautiful things always grow.

Such was the calm that this blue-eyed man brought to her anxious heart, for he only wanted the best to soothe her frequently distressed soul.

How could she repay him?!  How could she let him know when her tongue refused to move, her mouth afraid to open?

want you to feel so pungently how I feel - for your heart to be filled with so much empathy and understanding that it bursts at the seams!!! - WITHOUT breaking, she said.

I want you to close your eyes and know how my heart breaks 10000x's the amount of tears streaming down my tired face on any one of those nights!

No! 

I want so many things, but time does not permit, and I'm ice blue...


So, gently taking her hand, he fondly looked down and planted a kiss, and that's all she needed for she was tired, and that was all she needed to sleep.

March 1, 2016

This week, I read Jeffery R. Holland's talk, "Bourne Upon Eagles' Wings". Even 20 years before he was made an apostle, he was already a remarkable speaker. In it he tells of his experience at the Utah State Penitentiary, where a group of inmates gathered to celebrate their graduation from an LDS-sponsored Bible study. Elder Holland goes on to talk about the impressions he received from attending that commencement, but my favorite part came from an inmate. I will quote him here:

"For that person striving to live righteously, this mortal existence is a testing time indeed. The faithful are plagued with the temptations of a world that appears to have lost itself in a snarled maze of ambiguity, mendacity, and threatening uncertainty. The challenge to live in the world but not of the world is a monumental one, indeed.

Our second estate is indeed a probationary state. The choices we are called upon to make every day of our lives call forth the exercise of our agency. That we fail so frequently to think and do that which is right is not evidence against the practicality of righteous living. We do not falter and stumble in the path of righteousness simply because we do nothing else, but because too often we lose the vision of our relationship with God. The incessant din and cackling ado of this turbulent life drown out the message which asserts that, as man is, God once was and that, as God is, man may become.

If we will not dance to the music of materialism and hedonism but will remain attuned to the voice of godly reason, we will be led to the green pastures of respite and the still waters of spiritual refreshment. All the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune this world can hurl against us are as nothing when compared to the rewards for steadfastness and faithfulness. It would behoove us all to fix our sights more consistently upon the things which are everlasting and eternal. This world is not our home.


Those are lines from the valedictory address at the Utah state prison, May 23, 1974, given by inmate John McRell, who is about fifty years of age and has been behind bars for more than half of those years."

That is all of us. We are imprisoned by this world, and our only hope of escape is through knowledge; knowledge that Christ is our merciful Savior, that God is our just Father, and that through our diligence, we can return to both of them. I know that to be true through the witness of the Holy Ghost. You can know the same thing, too.

February 25, 2016

Mad Lover

"It's an El Nino year," she said.


An El Nino year?

"Yes.  An El Nino Year."

... So lots of rain, and - and -

"And what?"

Well, you know.
(Now listen to this.)


Sorrows instilled in every cell.

They who mope - heads hanging,

To high heads and brilliant rays that beam in giddy laughter

Have you forgotten?


"Oh, the rain.  You mean the tears..."

Right.

You know I can't bear to see you suffer.


"You're so happy, though!  Why are you so happy?!"

...

You know, they say the happiest people are those who understand the deepest sorrows.


An Evening with Scriabin

MOSCOW, March 15, 1914 – No. 11 Vakhatangov Street was the home of my dear friend Elena Scriabin.  The yellow and white mansion cried tears of wisped rain, making it difficult to see past its clouded panes, yet I knew without a doubt that little Elena would be watching for me.  With his hand grasping my shivering hands, I could feel father’s arm lifting me through the slushy dirt as we walked briskly down that familiar street. 
Elena had begged her father to let me come to tonight’s eventful evening.  Her father Alexander Scriabin was, “the most eccentric man alive”; well, that’s what the grown-ups said anyway.  I didn’t know what the word “eccentric” meant, but by the way they used it, “eccentric” didn’t exactly sound very pleasant; regardless, I was very eager to see Elena, and I was sure “eccentric” was the last thing to describe Elena.  When the Scriabin’s moved into their two-story mansion two years ago, Elena and I met during a neighborhood event and had been inseparable ever since.   
As we neared the mansion’s yellow glow, I heard my dear friend squeal as she trotted out to meet me.  “Now,” said my father holding me back with a firm grasp, “remember what mother said about behaving.  I’ll be back to walk you home at ten.” 
“Yes, Papa.  I’ll remember! I’ll remember,” I readily assured him as I tightly hugged my cherished friend.  It was only six o’clock, and I was certain we were in for an eventful night.  As I said good-bye, father stooped down for a quick kiss and then continued briskly walking the short two blocks back home.  Father never stayed too long when accompanied me to Elena’s home.  He wasn’t a big fan of Elena’s father, Alexander Scriabin, and I never quite understood why.  Perhaps it was the sore on Mr. Scriabin’s upper lip.  In fact, Mr. Scriabin’s frail figure was just over five feet tall -That never exactly fit my description of a despicable man at all, but then again, Elena and I were only thirteen, and I still didn’t know what the word “eccentric” meant. 
With our arms tightly linked together, we finally rushed to Elena’s door and triumphantly arrived in front of her waiting step-mother, Mr. Scriabin’s second wife Tatiana Schloezer who gently hung my woolen overcoat and scarf on their wooden rack.
“Thank you,” I politely said.  She graciously nodded, patted me on the head, and walked back towards the dining hall where I could hear a muffled hum. 
Un-accustomed to my formal attire, Elena mockingly sneered at me, shrugged, and smilingly said, “I’m just glad you could make it!”
“Mother insisted I wear my Sunday best.  It’s not my fault,” I retorted. “So, what’s the big surprise?” I asked Elena as I flattened out my navy blue jumper.
 Then, leaning over with my ear cupped in her small porcelain hands, Elena whispered, “Today, we have a special guest!” There was a slight pause of anticipation as she commanded my undivided attention; then she continued, “He’s a Russian-born American!” 
“And so?” I curiously wondered – I had never met a Russian-born American. “What’s his name?”
“Vladimir Horowitz!” Elena exclaimed his name as if she had won a new doll.   
“Shh!!”  My hand covered Elena’s mouth.  “They’re just in the other room,” I said while I wistfully listened for an American accent from the back room. “I want to hear his accent,” I said.
Muffled sounds came from Elena’s mouth as she struggled free from my grip.  “He’s not FROM America, silly!!” She exclaimed. “He was born in Kiev. His parents are American.”
“Well, can we take a peek?” I curiously inquired.  Formal evenings like tonight usually meant sneaking quietly around the company of Mr. Scriabin’s guests.  Elena’s father didn’t like the idea of us children interrupting their deep discussions about what Elena called theosophy.  She said her father was obsessed with this theosophy: the believe of various philosophies that professes one can know God through spiritual ecstasy, direct instruction or a special virtual relationship with Him.  I had often wondered how Mr. Scriabin balanced his two passions: Music and philosophy.
On previous occassions, Elena and I had learned much about her father’s musical inspirations from listening in on all their dinner conversation.  Perhaps we could learn much more about this Vladimir Horowitz if we listened in on their conversation!
As I prepared to tip-toe down towards the dining hall, Elena grabbed a hold of my tightly braided hair and said, “Wait!”
“Ouch!” I whimpered, trying to stay quiet. “Let go!”
“Oh, sorry,” Elena said as she loosened her grasp, “I just got so excited.  It’s just that tonight is different, my friend! Father said we don’t need to sneak around this time!  We are going to sit at the table!”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!  Mr. Scriabin never invited us to dine with their guests of honor! 
“Just get a hold of yourself,” Elena said as we headed down that familiar green-lighted hall and into the dining room.
“There they are!” Exclaimed Mr. Scriabin himself.  He was sitting in the wooden armchair at the end of the dining table with his back to the window.  I fidgeted around nervously and glanced up at the ancient Egyptian-themed embroidery hanging on the diamond-patterned walls. 
“What delightful children,” another familiar voice remarked.  It was none other than Mr. Scriabin’s childhood friend and peer Sergei Rachmaninoff.  “We must introduce our new friend tonight!”
Confused as to why such prominent musicians and well-known figures would want us to meet such important company perplexed, I hung my head bashfully down as I was seated next to Elena. 
“Look up!” Elena whispered.
White from gripping the end of my seat, I slowly veered my gaze from my white knuckles to the porcelain dishes and finally to the guest of honor, seated right across from me!
It took every ounce of energy to keep my jaw from dropping. I couldn’t believe it.  Vladimir Horowitz was just a boy – a young boy – and he had come with his mother.  There were a total of seven sitting around the table: Vladimir Scriabin, Tatiana Schloezer, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vladimir Horowitz, Mrs. Horowtiz, Elena Scriabin, and me. 
 After we were all acquainted sat down I soon learned He looked younger than me!  Tonight, he had come with his mother, who

With weather hovering around zero degrees Celsius, even Russia’s capital city shuddered in all its brilliance. 

“I am the apotheosis of world creation.  I am the aim of aims, the end of ends.” 


January 2, 2016

Minimal 1


Instrumental music for a charity art show ft. Caleb Darger, Jenessa Smith, and yours truly:

https://soundcloud.com/verina-chen-72134685/minimal-1

There will be more posted soon.