Monday, October 31, 2011

Beginnings and Endings

Dear Sentry,

Sometimes we must say goodbye. Sometimes we must allow what we have known to slip away from us. Push away from that shore of familiarity and drift into unknown and at times unsafe waters where there is no guide for you and no way of knowing what lies ahead. Sometimes you go it alone and sometimes you travel with others.

I have traveled with so many people along the way and lost so many people to the normal fluxes in time. Different places and different people call to each of us. Friends, so close and dear in the past, now are strangers to me. Their faces have familiarity but their eyes speak of experiences I cannot begin to know. For some there is hardness in their voice, of experiences bitter and cruel. For others there is relief and excitement as if those experiences have touched them in pleasant and positive ways. For others there is a distant tone as though they are lost somewhere, unable to return.

But in all, my friends have gone there separate ways. And now it is my time too.

I feel as though I have stayed in this town for as long as necessary. I feel as though I can at last say goodbye to a place that I never thought in all my childhood years I would ever live in. Utah was the last place on Earth I wanted to be in. But here I am, going on five years. The seasons I have seen, the people I have met, the things I have learned about the world and about myself.

Sentry, it is true that I will remain in Utah for a while longer. The place feels like...home. I feel as though I have found a place where I want to struggle in. These past five years have changed me. I am no longer as much the scared boy that was afraid of life and afraid of the future. I am no longer lost in some cocoon of self-loathing and self-disgust.

The journey is not beginning for me, Sentry. It began a long time ago in a different state. No, I have simply awakened to who I really am and have come to love myself. A new chapter is about to begin. One of my own design. One of my own making. I am saying goodbye to a place that has for so long given me the tools to forge and finally dismantle the chains of my own making.

I spoke with a friend of mine the other day and I agree with him, Sentry. We have stayed long enough in this valley. We have traveled for too long in this remote area of the world. Where we go next is, as always, up to us. We may travel down the road a little longer together or may go our separate ways. I know this path I am going on to some degree. I am attempting to figure out what I really want to do with my life. I am attempting to better understand this world I have come to find myself in.

This morning, this day, this night, is a time of reflection and of saying goodbye. Goodbye to what I have known for so long. It is time to set old things aside, box up old memories, and set out anew. Sentry, you have traveled with me for so long, why not continue with me for a bit longer? Our journey together isn't complete. Not nearly so.

Happy Halloween, Sentry.

Your friend,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Honesty and Glamour

Dear Sentry,

There was an article that I read earlier today that really touched me. Among the many things that I got from the article, there was a reminder to me that I need to be honest with myself. I cannot help but think back on certain things and wonder if I'm even close to being honest. I attend groups both at school and off campus that each have an implied idea of honesty within them. Each group suffers some kind of repression here in this Happy Valley.

What kind of honesty do we live in society, Sentry? What kind of honesty do we embrace when we are told by parents that in order to be hired by companies we must have a certain scrubbed clean appearance on our social media sites? What kind of honesty do we have when we are encouraged to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth except when it is damaging, embarrassing, or just ill-fitting?

Now, Sentry, honesty is such a strange thing, right? We have a call for more honesty from our government yet we run and hide from it when we realize just how gruesome, dark, and pathetic those truths are. We are embarrassed by the ramblings, idiocies, and foolishness that truth reveals about us. Our deepest, darkest secrets, if revealed, are nothing more than the hungering for the taboo, vain wanting of things in life, and awkward thoughts that we possess about ourselves and others. Honesty is a strange and often-times uncomfortable thing.

We - as individuals, groups, families, communities, societies, and civilizations - do not want honesty. What we want is a controlled form of life. The comfort of believing that our shallow stereotypes of life are consistent and all that there is. For if we were to strip ourselves of these insecurities and see how human we all were, life would cease to contain this thin veneer of feigned decency.

Honesty, Sentry, is to be carefully locked away while celebrating it.

So, how am I being honest with myself? Am I being honest with myself or have I turned away from the hard facts, embarrassing moments, and just oddities that have populated my life over the years? Have I made a squeaky clean version of me and blocked, then, my ability to handle and deal with life? Do I ignore reality and opt for the politically, religiously, or socially correct view of life? Life is not glamorous or glitzy or even bedazzled with cheep thrills and shallow entertainment.

The answer, unfortunately, Sentry, is that I have not been honest. What I have invested in our the cheap thrills in life, the empty promises of happiness and fulfillment. I could say that I do not understand suffering, and that would be correct, but I think I honestly just don't know what it means to care for someone that has lost everything and cannot seem to find their way back in life. I do not know what it's like to face such unfiltered hatred because of something you are or live or believe in. I do not know what it's like to walk a mile in their shoes or see through their eyes.

I wish to be more honest. I wish to see more of my life and the world around me as it is. I don't want to dress it up in frills or put a positive or negative spin on it. I don't want to take a "Gospel" perspective on it or add the shadings of politics to it that so often distorts our reality. I simply want to see it as it is. I want to approach this with a healthy, realistic approach. Nothing more. Nothing less. I imagine it would take time to get into the habit of doing so, but I want to attempt to do so, Sentry.

Your friend,

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Dear Sentry,

It's been a while since we've talked. I admit that I've been trying to get used to the new situation my life has been found in. Sentry, I admit that despite the problems that I'm facing, I feel freer than I've ever been. I feel it in the air, I see it in what I do and how I live, and I feel it in my very being. It's this sense that I finally am free to make or break my life. It's definitely an intoxicating feeling.

But that's not entirely the point of this letter to you. Yes, yes, life is good, right? And it is. And yes, yes, once more I have my troubles but when do I not, right? But have you ever felt a sense of joy in life at where you stand? Where all before you has begun to slip away as though it were as tangible as air? I feel a cleansing effect coming over my mind and in that, Sentry, I at last know that I can take on the toxic things in my life.

I've allowed so much anger, bitterness, and frustration to enter and stay in my life. Now I want to let them fall away from me. I've been waiting for this period of time to approach. The time when I can at last face what is negative and remove them from my life.

So, Sentry, what is negative or toxic for you? Do you ever find yourself waiting for the right moment to let something go? Or do you such accept that corrosive element in your soul and let it continue its work because you're tough enough to deal with it?

Anyway, that's just been on my mind as of late.

Your friend,

Some videos that I liked: