Mon, Jun. 19th, 2006, 12:05 am
The most incredible poem I've ever had the opportunity to read and listen to... a reminder of my amazing HOBY ambassador days.The Voice
By Jeff Campbell
I found a voice inside me that was a choice of who I want to be in life,
no longer confined by negativity.
I found a voice that makes melodies and rhythms blend harmoniously
in unison like the wind,
and the air and evaporates my mistakes
into past situations and frustrations
of conditions by conditioning I once had of myself.
This voice said go for self,
do for self.
you are who you are supposed to be.
Accept your mission and get started on this journey.
These words propelled me into a world where I could be the cause
instead of the effect of my reality.
I found a voice that said stand up and face this destiny.
Take this responsibility and use what is not for what can be possibility.
I found this voice and was afraid to believe,
what is this voice really saying to me?
This voice is telling me I can have anything,
this voice was telling me I was stopping me,
this voice said stop blaming society.
This voice must be crazy
I told this voice to shut up and go back to where you came from
cause frankly, I was quite comfortable living in my misery.
I could just give up and say what I want simply can not be.
But this voice just got louder and louder and louder and said don't be lazy.
This voice said, ironically, you invented me, tempted me,
you are the one that scripted me, in the dreams and passions of your own creativity,
you were the one who first told me I could be now you are dissin me?
Stop acting ridiculously and listen to me.
Your fear of failure is killing me,
I cant live unless you commit to me.
This voice flipped the script on me,
this voice confused me so I asked,
well what about my history, and this voice started laughing at me and said well,
presently it doesnt exist, there is just you and me.
Leave your past where it is supposed to be,
choose to live your life differently make that promise to me and I will remain constantly,
the voice of your self-fulfilling prophecy.
By the time they’re ready to graduate high school, most kids have learned a love-hate relationship with the places they grew up. Some only love, and some only hate, but that’s really how life always is. I grew up west of Denver, in a place where nobody really knew where we were. The people in the city would say the Mountains, the people in the mountains would say the City, and the weathermen on TV always called it the Foothills.
It’s no surprise. We were always 3,000 feet above the famous Denver air pollution, trapped inside the city. We were in a place where roads were never straight or flat, where my biology teacher brags about how we have the second oldest exposed rock in the world (three billion years old, he tells us). A place where flash flood warning signs snake alongside the road which follows the river downstream towards the Atlantic, thousands of miles away. A place where there were more tourists snaking through the hills in the summertime than locals, where out-of-state plates started to look familiar. I grew up in a place where there were more than just local prejudices—most people seemed to think there was nobody different at all. Besides, people east of here were snobs; people west of here were hippies. Who knew what lay just outside the limits of the county?
We grew up laughing at the kids that lived just downstream from us, the ones that lived inside the city and who got stuck in Saturday morning ski traffic and didn’t have the luck to grow up in a place like us. We’d go to that familiar strip of Colfax and drive too fast with the windows down and the music up and laugh the summer air. We’d wonder what it was like to live in the suburbs, to drink city mandated water, to go to a big Denver public school. To have a clean SUV for our moms to drive, because, after all, the only kind of car we knew was covered in dust. We called them rich kids, snobs; we laughed the cliques we’d never be a part of. We rejoiced in our homogeneity.
I went to a small public high school filled with white kids. We’d laugh about that sometimes, how white we were. It was never a matter of exposure for us; too often I can remember the only minorities that ever came to live in our county were ridiculed until they left. I remember reading once that it’s hard to be different in high school—some of the kids I knew had that experienced amplified. They weren’t just different… they were the only different ones. Instead of encouraging diversity, we blocked it out, pretended it didn’t exist. In a city with one of the highest rates of expanding Hispanic population, we had not a single one attending our school. I can distinctly remember the reports from the state about our school’s performance that always seemed to include a side note that said 99% White, Not Hispanic. It was funny—to read about the “melting pot” of America, but never to experience it. I grew up in a place where nobody wanted to experience it. It was a surreal experience, a thrill, to finally meet people that were not in the same Census categories that I was.
Where I grew up, the best feeling in the world was getting woken up at quarter of six in the morning to the sound of the phone ringing and a whispered conversation about a Snow Day. I’d look outside to see an expanse of untouched white, a feather bedspread across the forest, piling high on every surface. Like cartoons where three feet of snow would fall all at once, that’s how it seemed those mornings. For a few moments, the snow would be completely untouched, still completely frozen from the night before, and life would stand still. I could take a deep breath and fall back into my pillows to sleep the morning away. When I woke again, the snow would usually be melting off the pine branches and making tiny splatting noises against the ground and the windows. The sky would be so blue, so clear, it was impossible to imagine it had been any other color; impossible to imagine that in some other life clouds had existed. On those mornings, I could look out my bedroom window and see for miles and miles, an expanse of already-patchy white interrupted by the meandering dark gray turns of the highway.
My childhood is marked by mornings like these. I grew up in a place I’ll never forget, in a place I’ll always love—but for me, living here really is a love-hate relationship.
Mon, May. 8th, 2006, 08:18 pm
I wanna have the same last dream again
The one where I wake up and I'm alive
Just as the four walls close me within
My eyes are open up with pure sunlight
I'm the first to know
My dearest friends
Even if your hope has burned with time
Anything that is dead shall be re-grown
And your vicious pain, your warning sign
You will be fine
here we go, here I am
Life's waiting to begin
-The Adventure, Angels & Airwaves
Sun, Apr. 30th, 2006, 09:16 pm
A secret, hidden, quiet underneith the starlight, moonlight, headlights. A secret, lost in the nighttime, like it never really existed. Forgotten in the lights of real life. A single night, missed, gone forever, floating away on the breeze, never to be seen again. A mention of it brings back the memory of soft skin and a slight chill, awkward in conversation. Best to just forget.
Thu, Mar. 30th, 2006, 11:56 pm
missing photo of Rachel:
Sun, Mar. 26th, 2006, 05:41 pm
These are pictures that reminded me of their subjects, whom are all people in my life that I happened to have good photos of.
Sun, Mar. 19th, 2006, 03:44 pm
Painting sets is like magic. That's what I love about theatre and working backstage--you're working to create a world for someone else. You're working to make life on stage so inexplicably real that they forget who they are for a few hours. Painting sets is like magic to create that world. Dance or mellow or techno or emo music floats through the air as you paint, forgetting the world outside. You're confined to a room filled with paint fumes and sponges and you forget who you are, for just a few moments. Then you look up and there's black and blue and red and gray and beige running down your forearms to drip off your elbows and onto the floor, like confused bruises and a dribble of blood. You forget sometimes that this isn't your blood, it's the life of the buildings in front of you, the buildings you're creating from the top down. This, this is the magic.
Isn't it funny how the smallest parts of our lives change the most when they're gone or different? It is routine we live by, it is the parts of our lives we can count on to be true. Sometimes, things change or things go away that you never thought would--and you find yourself completely disoriented, no matter how small or insignificant that thing might seem.
The weight of your watch on the wrist you're used to. The weight of your fork as you eat dinner with your family. The feel of your sheets as you just climb into them at night. The water pressure. The taste of your toothpaste, the rhythm of your toothbrush. The feel of your best friends' knee pressing into yours as you sit closely to whisper gossip. The sound of your car's engine, the feel of the steering wheel, the smell after it rains.
These feelings, these inalienable feelings are what makes life complete. The things you never think to notice, the things your brain filters out because you can't handle the sensory overload. Yet... they change. Things change. Life changes and moves and becomes new and different. And when the weight of your fork changes, when something is not as you expect, sometimes... that change is the hardest.
Sun, Feb. 26th, 2006, 08:25 pm
An open sign buzzes its neon red and blue in the twilight. It hangs on the window of a broken down old building. No one knows what it used to be, but here it is in the middle of the desert--rotting, falling wood and cracked windows alone in a vast world of dust. The sun has set and still two old, dusty pickups are parked outside the building. A cold wind blows tendrils of sand around their tires as if to pull them North with the wind. It catches the ankles of a man with a tilted cowboy hat leaning against the building, smoking a cigarette. The wind pulls his smoke north too, perhaps in hopes to drag the man to better things.
He hasn't yet noticed the cold air. He's focused, looking out onto the horizon as if in another moment all together. His clear green eyes glaze and putting the cigarette to his lips becomes automatic.
The moment--so close and yet so long ago--is burned into his memory. A cold wind blew in the twilight of that night, too. Stars shone as if to mimic headlights on a long, straight desert highway in the dead of night. It was that night he had dragged the drunk outside; the night he had hit him, hard, on the head until he dropped to his knees; the night he had taken his pistol and given the man just what he deserved.
What he deserved, the man mused. He'd placed his hat to one side, gotten a shovel from underneath the sign buzzing open to the rattlesnakes and the tumbleweeds. He'd buried the man that night, next to the old wooden building with no one inside. Once he'd finished, he put his hat back on his head, stood on the grave, and smoked a cigarette.
This night, he remembered the shallow grave, as this cigarette burned down to the butt. He smirked at it slyly and then threw it to the ground where it was quickly covered by sand blown from the South. Suddenly, he noticed the cold wind and brought his hands together. He rubbed them, then blew on them so they might bring back some feeling.
After a few moments more of standing under the headlight stars, he back walked inside to ignore the shallow grave and instead focus on the buzzing of the open sign and his cigarettes.
Sun, Feb. 26th, 2006, 05:15 pm
A Love Story
Princess. A nameless girl, laying naked across white Egyptian cotton sheets spread in folds around her smooth, white body. Fans of wickedly black hair fanning around a heart shaped face, glossed lips, dark eyes. Dark eyes, smeared with eyeliner from tears or touching her face. Her mother always used to tell her not to touch her face—you’ll get pimples, your beautiful skin will be ruined. Don’t touch, never touch. She folds in on herself, hiding flawless skin. She’s bunched up the sheets, pushed them to the foot of her bed. She folds in on herself but makes no attempt to cover herself. She kicks at the sheets again, her white down comforter sprawls across a white, white rug underneath a white, white canopy. Princess. Wickedly dark hair fans around her heart shaped face, her tiny nose, her big dark eyes.
Pauper. Brown, mousy hair. Cut short, beard growing out, scruffy. Nameless, the boy down the street you always thought was cute but was never appropriate to bring home to your mother. Flannel shirts, tall socks, all those things you hate about men. Young, with something of a potbelly. A potbelly at that age, they used to say. He smiles a lot, with crooked yellow teeth from years of cigarettes and philosophy books. A tattoo from his former glory days, a day when he got drunk and stoned and couldn’t remember his own name. Now, nobody can remember his name. He never goes back home for supper, he never goes out for dinner. He never takes someone out on a date, all he does is watch porn.
--What do you want from life? he used to ask her.
She’d pause, smile at him weakly with perfectly glossed lips and say, --I guess I’ll never know.
--But what do you want out of this?
She’d pause again, look at him past white, Egyptian cotton sheets and discarded clothes. She’d stay quiet and he’d look at her with envy, with passion.
--I want a love story.