August 4, 2000 – Friday – 11:45 a.m.

I’m sitting on a slanted picnic table in a park near the Library and Community Center of Sterling, Virginia.  I left at 7:30 this morning to drive up here, because someone associated with a sister company of Acoustic Works is going to train me on Dreamweaver.

My meeting isn’t until 1:00 p.m., but I left early just to spend some time alone in a new town.  Three kids are playing loudly on the playground near me.  I’m glad they are happy.

I received Dan and Abigail’s wedding invitation in the mail.  It makes me both happy and sad.  Only Vince and I have yet to get married, and he is in Bolivia.

After Dan and Abigail’s wedding, I wonder if I should stop visiting Banner Elk.  I can so easily get stuck in the past.  It may be better for me to not see that land for a while.

. . .

I’ve sat here in silence for a while now.  I fear I have a broken heart.  I feel Jeni, Sarah, Emily, and Marie have each broken it in their own slight way.  But most of all, I feel I have broken it as well.

An older woman just brought two little blonde girls down to the playground, but then she turned around and walked away after she saw three Black kids playing on it.  And now the two white girls are sad and asking a bunch of questions.  They don’t understand why they can’t play.

Such a sight makes me so thankful I grew up with Marcus, Danny, and Peter.  And that I even had a Black youth pastor for a while.

Life seems to get harder as I grow older.  As a child, I would have never noticed the subtle racism I just experienced.

Jesus, you are my savior.  Am I living fully in your salvation?  Am I accepting all your mercy and forgiveness?  All I want is you.

When it comes down to it, I just want that treehouse covered in snow with the Braveheart soundtrack in my ear.  I want you all around me like that.

Can I have that everyday?

I just realized this is my second time in Sterling, VA.  The first time was with Rachel’s mom when she brought me up to Chrysalis in 1997.  In fact, that was exactly three years ago, for I remember it was in early August.

Is there any love left in me?

It feels like I’m losing all my friends.  I can never have Banner Elk and Lees-McRae again, so I should stop looking and waiting for it.

Do you still have a plan for me God?

Thank you for the leaf that just floated down and sat next to me.  I want more quiet moments alone with you.

Please don’t send me a girl if she’ll only distract me from you, or if I’ll distract her from you as well.  Too many hearts have been bruised.  I want to give all of my heart to you.

October 15, 1996 – Tuesday – 3:50 p.m.

The trees are beautiful.

The sky is clear.

Ann-Marie let me borrow the novel of Braveheart.  I have begun to read it.  I’ve been thinking of her more and more each day.  I don’t know what it is about Ann-Marie.  At first, she doesn’t seem pretty, but then she looks at you, and her eyes are so clear.  Her smile seems awkward at first, but then it quickly turns erotic.  Her cheeks seem puffy, but then I find myself longing to touch them.  I’m not sure how I feel.  But she seems strong in her faith and I just ask that you continue to bless her Lord.

I just talked to my mother.  She is going through a rough time.  Kevin has gone nuts.  He won’t do anything she asks.  He totaled his car.  He runs up the phone bill.  He didn’t mow the grass when mom asked him to, so mom has kicked him out of the house.  He’s sponging off of people at school now.  I’m not even sure if he’s properly enrolled, I think the school kicked him out as well.  And mom told me that before he left, he hit her on the back.

I understand absolutely none of this.  What is his problem?  While we were at Sharon’s when he was up here visiting, he slapped me in the ear when I didn’t hear him ask me a question.  It was really embarrassing.

Oh God, why do I do so well, and my brother just falls apart?

I’m nothing special.

September 29, 1996 – Sunday – 8:30 a.m.

Yesterday, Kevin and I watched Braveheart while I covered duty for Derek.  We went out to Blowing Rock to have dinner that night.  It was just me, Kevin, Vince, and Curtis.

I went to rehearsal last night.  I got a lot accomplished, so it was good.  Allen and Ellen returned from the Billy Graham Crusade last night.  They got front row seats!  I was a little jealous.

I called Marta last night.  She is meeting me this morning to go to church.

God has been so good to me.  He lifts me higher and higher each day.

I long to love a woman.  To love her just a fraction of how much I love God would be a great victory in my life.  To simply learn to share my existence with someone else.  Can there be a greater challenge?

This morning while brushing my teeth in the bathroom, I thought of Abigail.  Then suddenly, the flickering fluorescent light above me popped into it’s full brightness.

I took it as a sign, but then immediately laughed out loud at myself.

Ahh, here I go again.

March 25, 1996 – Monday – 2:40 p.m.

The college and career class went bowling yesterday.  I had a lot of fun, but last night was even better.  We had our first rehearsal for a skit we are doing for Easter Sunday.  I feel so at home when I am directing.  Such a peace flows over me.

I gave a speech this morning that went really well.  Then, in Acting II, Dr. D. mentioned my Sentry character in Antigone and spoke about how well I did concerning the character’s objectives.  I also read some positive reviews of Bearclaw.

It appears others adore my work.  It’s happening.  I am becoming me.

The Oscars come on tonight.  I hope Braveheart wins Best Picture!

Thank you Lord for the gift of life.  Please give me a peaceful sleep.

March 2, 1996 – Saturday – 10:00 a.m.

All of us went to see Braveheart last night.  Vince and I sat on the front row.  It had been nearly nine months since I last saw it.  Such an amazing film.  It is so much like life.  You try to find peace and quiet, but it is taken away.

It amazed me how Murron looked at Wallace.  I can’t ever remember a woman looking at me in that way.  How happy they could have been.  But, they killed her.  And for her, he led his country to freedom.  He fought his way through the trials and the hard times.  He believed and had faith in other people, yet they let him down and betrayed him.

In my life, I see that happening.  Although other Christians are all around me, I sometimes feel as if I’m doing this all on my own.

Vince and I talked in my room last night after the movie.  He felt really moved.  Originally he had planned to go to Florida with Charlie, Kate, and Allen, but now he feels as if he should go home.

I sometimes forget that these people had lives before they came to Lees-McRae.

We talked about a lot of different things last night.  It seemed to stretch on forever.  We played Counting Crows’ August and Everything After and I began to talk about Emily.  I told him about the abandoned streets of Crestview on that warm summer evening, over half a year ago, when all my hopes and dreams were within an arm’s reach, but at the same time, they were slipping away beyond my grasp.

I don’t think I fought for Emily.

I’m not sure if I fight for anything at all.

No one has completely betrayed me, I suppose.

They have just left.

Or I have left.

Wallace had friends.  They loved him dearly.  And they wanted him to say “mercy,” but he didn’t.  He would not numb his pain.  He believed.  He truly believed.  His heart, soul, and spirit were insanely brave.

Every man dies, not every man really lives.

I don’t simply want to die.  I want to live.  I want to make a difference.  Have I done enough to change this world?  Are Jenna, Tenielle, Jonathan, Vince, Dan, Curtis, and Allen, are they enough?

And in the end, whose face will I see as I am dying?  Whose smile will comfort me?  This body I live in has already begun to break down; I’m writing this with a broken finger.

Although I technically know that I am not alone, I often feel alone in my thoughts.  I truly doubt if others see the world the way I do.  I wonder if the beauty that I’m surrounded by will last past college.  I wonder if others walk around and wonder the same thing.  Are others as painfully aware of how fleeting all of this is?  Do the people I see on this campus go to their rooms to think about me, and how much they enjoy my company, and does the fact that I might not always be within walking distance make them sad?

In a week’s time, I will be on my first plane flight since my parents returned to America from Germany when I was 6-years-old.  Arizona seems so far away and so big, yet my own brother was born there.

After this semester, there remains a summer and two more years.  I know that life will not stop, but I often wish it would.  Just so I could stare all of these people in the eye, and tell them that I’d gladly die for them, so that they might truly know Jesus.

But I also think that might be the easy way out.  The only way to truly lose my life, is to live it.

I believe in Jesus.

I trust him.

He will not betray me.

Nor I him.

March 1, 1996 – Friday – 5:30 p.m.

I’m so mad right now.  We went to court today for our trespassing incident.  After waiting for eight hours we finally got our sentence.  We had to pay $160 and each do 20 hours of community service.

But I just read in the paper that Braveheart is at the dollar theater.  I’m going to go forget about life and money for three hours.

May 26, 1995 – Friday – 10:45 p.m.

Work has been rough these past two days.  But on Thursday Mike and I were able to get away and go see Braveheart!  And tonight Danny and Peter and I went to see Johnny Mnemonic.  

Braveheart was wonderful!  “Every man dies, not every man really lives.”

AMAZING!!

Johnny Mnemonic was just plain stupid.

There is a church fellowship Sunday.  I’m looking forward to it.

Time to sleep.  Hopefully I won’t dream about Scots with blue faces crushing my brains.

Bring me peace Lord!