It’s funny - this little juggle we’re all doing right about now - of half heartedly trying to grow up while clinging desperately to the ties of youth. I look back on even a few months prior to now and I feel like my legs have grown a million miles taller but like the feet are still planted elsewhere, unwilling or simply scared to tip-toe into something new.
But we all need direction, and I haven’t got any. It could be divinity or laziness, so maybe I also need patience or motivation. It’s in these times of stillness that we’re afforded the great (yet daunting) opportunity to question our purpose in life and to ask ourselves what we’d do if money didn’t matter, or if our plans came with insurance policies. What kind of big jumps might I make?
I don’t know right now. And that scares the hell out of me. But there is something incredibly humbling about not knowing what to do when you’ve got the ambition but nothing to catapult it off of; about having to rely on your friends and family for the simplest of things like good advice and sanity in bad times. This is the challenge we all need to take to heart, because it doesn’t matter how much green grass you’ve got growing on your side of the fence or how many green papers have made their home inside your wallet; at the end of today and everyday afterward we’ve only got ourselves, our dreams and the perseverance that navigates us through both…not luck, and certainly not control.
& it’s okay, okay? we’re always conspiring against the things that deter us from our own perrogatives, but sometimes the little detours that become necessary in between plans and prospects are the very best. we’re entitled to ourselves - not the variables of the universe. let it roll.
brent goldsmith is the maroon-shirted fellow i met a few years back at one of the many shows we ended up working together. he was also the photographic lifeblood of currents magazine - and has since grown into someone far more versatile and multi-talented.
brent and i had an opportunity to reunite after (literally) years over coffee at williams a couple weeks ago, and the above photos were taken as i was rambling and laughing through chapters of my life.
it has been amazing to see him grow. mattewithborders.blogspot.com
one of the first things we did after the excitement of having just arrived in san diego settled and when the promise of long work days was upon us was take a quiz to see how educated we were on the LRA conflict. this was mortifying. but it was meant to humble us; to show us that we had much to learn and that none of us were above or below each other. from there we did little talking and plenty of listening as introductions were made, lines drawn and expectations vocalized. i think this was about the time that my anxiety set in. suddenly this endeavour was not just an adventure, but an incredible challenge that i wasn’t prepared for but would have to be.
we went home that night - 15 or 16 to a van - and for the nights following more and more stuffed with facts, figures and information…but more importantly we were leaving that office everyday less and less protected by the layers we’d built upon ourselves from the comforts of familiarity and home. this was a beautiful thing to see. this is where diversity dissapeared and where i believe our love for one another really began to thrive. and it felt good.
lauranne boyd, bethany sommers and i talked about god in our bedroom, often reading dedications in the morning. dale and i talked about creativity and freedom on the balcony in the sweltering nighttime while watching night windows twinkle on la mesa’s rolling hills. i had a lot of good conversations around that time because aside from working, we had nothing to do but get to know one another deeply and quickly. our physical relationships were sadly finite.
on the first or second weekend we were in sd we had a blessed saturday off and decided to drive the vans to pacific beach. i’ll never forget this day. it was the second time i had seen the ocean and yet the first time i had seen it like this: there was massive waves, surf boards and people on them, lifeguards, lookers and us. bethany and i strolled the shore under the pier and watched people dance on waves. later on a bunch of us ate lunch (avocados always included), browsed the pb shops and watched one of many stunning sunsets. aside from tablerock and the #1 highway between la and santa barbara, pb is my favourite place in california.
…i didn’t feel like any of this could possible be real. as all of these little moments were unfolding, so was i, and i was trying so desperately to cling to them and burn a retrievable imprint on my brain. i still mostly don’t feel like any of this was real…but when i concentrate, i can still hear the ocean, and i can still taste the salty hot air, and i miss it with all that i am. so it must have been. i thank god for that - for all that my eyes have seen.
"make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they’ll believe it.”
- adolf hitler
these are some photos. some funny, some serious, but all communicating the truth of the above quote by their very existence and obvious necessity. i’m pro gay and i’m christian; my god’s love is inclusive - not exclusive.
things i would like to do this year and not forget about:
1. go tobogganing with an unlikely accomplice (ie. someone over the age of 10) 2. peer mentoring or some form of interaction with at-risk youth 3. go to california. for closure, for my best friend and mostly for the hell of it 4. learn to play guitar so i can ‘clear the shit from my throat’ 5. go to banff in the summertime to camp on tunnel mountain 6. learn how to do a tire change…maybe even an oil change 7. purchase a vehicle and drive the hell out of it 8. do something epic for each and every single one of my friends 9. tell my dad that i forgive him 10. repay 50% of my debt 11. actively pursue god 12. put into motion the writing project ideas that are floating around my head 13. seek out things that make me appreciate the city that i currently live in 14. reduce unnecessary spending 15. stop wishing unideal moments away & instead learn to wrestle & grow in them 16. build something. anything. 17. cook a truly badass meal 18. start a workout routine that doesn’t make me want to drown myself in tears 19. go on a real, no-strings-necessarily-attached date with a handsome fellow 20. journal
how did i not know that this finally happened? for those of you who aren’t aware, myself and the 59 other roadies i lived and worked alongside this passed fall set out to conquer this goal (among others): 250,000 signatures that would call upon the US Government to do three specific things.
1. arrest the frontrunner of the lord’s resistance army (lra), joseph kony, for his crimes against humanity 2. provide lifesaving aid to those who’ve been affected by this war & 3. commit to the restructuring and rehabilitation of the war torn regions in northern uganda
the signatures were to be handed off to either the vice president of the united states (joe biden) or the secretary of state (hilary clinton) in a public engagement to ensure accountability - something both offices were initially hesitant about until january 11th.
“The hand-off ceremony took place at 11am in the George Marshall Reception Room in the Suite of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In attendance were Under-Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero; Assistant Secretary of State Johnny Carson; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Deborah Graze; Ambassador At Large for War Crimes Issues Stephen Rapp; Special Advisor to the Vice President Yael Eisenstat; Ugandan Desk Officer James Liddle; and Special Advisor Nicole Goldin.
Assistant Secretary Johnny Carson opened the event by welcoming the participants and speaking about the U.S. Government’s policy to support the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) in the current effort to find and apprehend Joseph Kony. He then turned the floor over to Under-Secretary Otero who commended the young people of America for actively choosing to tell the world about the crimes of Joseph Kony and the LRA. She voiced the United States’ commitment to stopping Kony and assisting in the long-term recovery of the war-affected areas.
Jason then shared the story of why Invisible Children was founded in 2003 after he, Bobby, and Laren visited northern Uganda and observed, first hand, the plight of thousands of night commuters. Laren then spoke about Invisible Children’s role in the failed Juba peace process and how that experience informed our conviction that Kony is now the largest impediment to peace. Because of this, we now need to focus our efforts on apprehending him. Laren also reiterated our goal that President Obama be the first United States president to speak directly and publicly about Kony, the LRA, and the U.S. policy towards them. Laren then introduced Cathy Kaplan, a Schools for Schools trip winner from Highland Park High School. Cathy spoke passionately about her experience with IC at her high school and how it had empowered her and her fellow students. As an 18-year old, Cathy’s testimony was the most powerful moment in the ceremony. I concluded the ceremony by thanking the officials for their time and formally delivering the Arrest Warrant Petition Certificate. Under-Secretary Otero formally “accepted” the certificate along with photos that represented all 253,512 Arrest Warrant Petitions.
This event was the most publicized statement to date from a U.S. public official about Joseph Kony and the LRA. Yael Eisenstat from Vice President Biden’s office said that the video-request that Invisible Children sent to the vice president to ask for his presence at the meeting was the first of its kind that their office had ever received. She said that the VP’s entire staff watched the video and that Vice President Biden is engaged with the issue.”