April 21, 2000 – Friday – 8:05 a.m.

I’m in Metuchen, New Jersey again.  And my recent days have been a learning experience.  On the 15th Marie and I drove to Banner Elk.  We visited Tracey’s and Lindy’s first.  Everyone heard we were there and then almost suddenly their living room was full of nearly 20 dear friends wanting to see me.   That was a bit overwhelming for Marie since most of them were girls.  Sarah even showed up and hugged me tightly.

Saturday night we saw Hamlet on campus.  What a wonderful production!  It had one of the most ambitious sets I’ve ever seen on that stage.  On Sunday morning we went to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship, then to hike on Grandfather Mountain, then to visit Leslie and her family, and then to visit Heaton, then to visit Sharon and her girls, and it was just a huge day.  And when I say “we,” I don’t mean Marie and I, I mean everyone, all my dear friends.  Needless to say, Marie got placed aside a bit.  I tried to get her to join in on the fun, but she didn’t.

We talked that evening, and she cried.  She cried because she felt so lonely.  She felt there was this huge world that she had to compete with.  And the next three days passed in that same fashion.  One of those days we drove with Sharon down to Asheville, and we realized that this world of Lees-McRae had already been defined for me.  I knew this place without Marie.  It felt natural for me to cling to them while in this land, for I had no memory of ever clinging to Marie in these mountains.

Marie’s world is three family-members.

Mine is 25 friends.

I never realized how unique my college experience was until I saw it overwhelm another soul.

I still got to see everyone and get caught up.  Curtis and Megan came down.  It was so weird to see them married.  Dan was there for two days, then he left to go snorkeling in the Florida Keys.  Vince is leaving on the 8th of May for Bolivia.  Allen is marrying Jessica in June.  Abigail and Tracey’s band is doing wonderful in the area.  Ann-Marie is moving down to Florida after graduation to work in a repertory theater.  Charlie and Kate are getting married on June 24th.

It was the last time Dan, Allen, Vince, Curtis, and myself would be together for at least the next two years.  And who knows… maybe forever.

Marie and I learned much about ourselves during our five days in Banner Elk.  We left on Thursday to drive up here to New Jersey.  We took the Blue Ridge Parkway until Roanoke and looked at that city a bit.  Then we took the Skyline Drive to Front Royal.

The drive through Shenandoah was beautiful and misty.  Then we drove through parts of Pennsylvania that I’ve never seen before.  I came down with a horrible head cold during the drive, and so here I am super sick in New Jersey.  I think they want to take me to their family doctor.

March 27, 2000 – Monday – 8:15 a.m.

Okay.  This is been a busy month.  I’ve also been so crazily in love with Marie that I’ve hardly written in these pages.  Forgive me.

Marie listens to me, so there’s often no reason to vent my thoughts out into these pages anymore.  And here it is, nearing the end of March, and I see how much life will change.  Here’s what’s up!

I’m leaving the bookstore.  I have no reason why other than that I feel it is time to go.  I will work for four more days, two this week and two next week, and then I’m done.

I’m the still photographer for the 5-minute short film I wrote titled The Tape that Binds.  It’s got a $5,000 budget.

Next weekend I’m going with Marie to New Jersey.  Then, on Saturday, we are driving to Philadelphia for one of her friend’s wedding.

Next week Marie and I will go to Banner Elk to visit my friends and the mountains.  We’ll also drive up to New Jersey again for Easter.

A week after we get back, I will direct The Accuser, another 5-minute film with a $5,000 budget.  May will arrive shortly after that and classes will end.  Marie will go home for a few weeks and by the end of May, my soon-to-be-roomate Dan and I plan to help Theresa from the bookstore move back to New Mexico.  We’ll hopefully take a non-direct route and I’ll visit many states I’ve never been to before.

Her parents said they’ll pay to fly me back to Banner Elk, where I’ll be a groomsman in Allen and Jessica’s outdoor sunrise wedding.

Those are my plans through the 11th of June.

Hopefully I’ll get the production coordinator job at Regent, as well as the Resident Director job at Virginia Wesleyan, then I’ll concentrate fully on Dang!

Marie and I are doing well!  What an amazingly sweet love!

January 11, 2000 – Tuesday – 11:53 p.m.

My one and only full-blooded brother turns 25 in six days.  My how are lives are controlled by numbers.  But I feel they are important to God.  I want them to be important to me as well.

Marie and I have started a book together.  It is a journal, a collection, a piece of ourselves made with pen and paper.  No one is meant to read it but us.  Yet I wonder if it will be discovered one day.

Perhaps the truest art is the undiscovered art.  And I will know no other true art except my own.

I’ve learned that I’ve become very bored very quickly when I write about the unimportant things in my journal.  You know, just what I do and not who I am.  When I read back in my earlier books, all I see are my immaturities.  So Lord, help these times in my journal bring me closer to you and to myself.

Help me to spell out my soul.  Guide me in the discovery of what you have created inside me.  Lord, I fear I may not know who I am.  Erase the conceit.  Recreate me.  Join me to you first.  Then to Marie.

Recreate us together.

Everything good has its time and place.

Days with Dan, Allen, Vince, and Curtis in McAllister are no more.

Days with Marie are just beginning.

Spend time with me Lord.

December 18, 1999 – Saturday – 1:20 p.m.

David just gave me a present from the youth group.  It is a journal with an bald eagle on it.  Yet Marie and I have talked about looking for a church to attend together.  She said she doesn’t feel right about co-teaching with me at Parkway now.  Guide us Lord.

It is a week until Christmas.  Last year our show at Parkway opened.  This year I’m looking forward to giving Marie her Christmas present.

Vince leaves on Wednesday, Marie’s parents pass through on Thursday, I head to Maryland on Friday, and I will return here on Sunday.

I talked with Allen yesterday.  I believe he and Jessica will get married on June 10th at sunrise.  He wants me to be in the wedding.  What an amazing thing!  I pray Marie is there with me.

Curtis will marry Megan in April.

Marie said she would like to go with me.

 

October 17, 1999 – Sunday – 8:57 a.m.

I’ve been 23 for two months already.  I’ve spent different parts of the last three days over at Zap Studios doing some directing projects.  Yesterday I spoke at the Baptist convention about Christianity and filmmaking.  I met three people who attend and work at a church that meets in a movie theater and use a lot of videos in their services.  I’m going to attend there this morning, Trey, who will play David in Dang!, is going to come with me.

I saw Three Kings and Fight Club over the weekend, two interesting films.  What weird, cynical, post modern days we live in.  Something is happening.

I’ve been reflecting back to that full moon night with Dan and Allen on the backside of Grandfather Mountain.  What was I then?  19?

I need to get away from these flat, overly-paved suburbs.

August 4, 1999 – Wednesday – 8:15 a.m.

Yesterday was Lindy’s birthday.  We took her out to eat and to see Runaway Bride.  It was a fantastic time.  She’s 22.  We are only the same age together for two weeks every year.

I got to see Jeni last night.  We talked and caught up.  She is so busy with work and with marriage that she realize her relationship with the Lord feels very distant.  Again, it made me thankful that God was the only one on my heart at the moment.

In a little while I will leave from here and head north.  The Lord is my shepherd.  He is my guide.  My goal is to simply go away with him and see is creation.

Deep Creek last weekend brought bittersweet feelings.  I think I would like to go much less often and keep it a part of my childhood.  I did stand on my ledge and it was wonderful to pray there.

Talking to everyone about marriage is crazy.  Allen and Jessica really feel right for each other.  I’m excited for them.  Of course Dan and Abigail will probably get married next year as well.

God is keeping me young at this stage of life.  So, I leave my old college town now and prepare for the road ahead.  I am in your hands Father.  Protect me, guide me, love me.

 

August 2, 1999 – Monday – 11:00 a.m.

Much has happened in the past several days.  I am in Banner Elk, NC.  My last day on the film shoot was Friday, so Friday night I drove to Siler City, NC.  I spent the night with Peter at the Motor Lodge.  He was there with his girl Shivani and we stayed up until two in the morning, just talking.  I left early Saturday morning and went to Sylva and met up with my grandparents.  We all went to Deep Creek for the family reunion.  Everyone was there except for Nar, Kevin, and Patty.

I left Bryson City that night and drove up here to Banner Elk.  I went to Lees-McRae, but couldn’t find a soul.  I did finally find Jessi and learned that Sarah was in a show that night.  I only got to see her for about ten minutes.  Then I found out that Allen and Jessica had just returned from their road trip to Colorado, so I spent the night at Allen’s, as did Jessica.  They are getting married next summer.

We went to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship yesterday morning and there I saw Lindy and Tracey and Ashley and tons of others.  Dan was still in town saying goodbye to Abigail, who is going to Austria.  We all just freaked out when we saw each other!  We all went out to lunch, hung out all afternoon, then went out to dinner.  Everyone is working this morning, so I’m riding with Sharon to Asheville and back later today.  Vince is away on a cruise.  I miss him.

But here I am on a flat rock off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I came here early this morning with Curtis and we took some amazing pictures.

Time to go meet Sharon.

. . .

It’s now 8:20 p.m. on the same day.

Sharon and Hannah and I drove to Asheville, she just had to get an Allergy shot, so I rode along so we could chat.  While down there we went to go see Runaway Bride; a perfect movie.  I don’t know if I’ve ever left a movie theater so happy before; there is such wisdom in that film.

Sharon and I had wonderful talks all day about life and love and Jesus and forgiveness.  Oh how I love and adore that woman.  I told her about Mary and she caught me up on Laura.

Runaway Bride taught me so much and I’m so thankful that I’m single right now.  After tomorrow, which is Lindy’s birthday, I’m going to get in the car and just drive.  I’m just going to keep driving and stay in weird places and be with my Jesus.  We are going on a honeymoon, if you will.