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 25, 2000 – Saturday – 10:00 a.m.

Spring has begun.  Curtis is married.  I didn’t get to go.  Pilate is over.

Last Friday Marie and I went to the Virginia Marine Science Museum, and yesterday we went to Yorktown.  I just adore our Friday trips together.

I talked with Dan and Vince over the weekend, as well as Lindy.  Evidently, the wedding was great.  A single month of classes remain.  I’ve got a great deal of work to do.

And I love Marie!

February 26, 2000 – Saturday – 10:14 a.m.

Life has recently been spent in rehearsal, class, work, and with Marie.  We had our most favorite special “friend day” yesterday on a little peer out at Munden Point Park.  It is a perfect place of reflecting light, green trees, and blue sky.  We were barefoot little kids playing in life-giving water and spitting on mosquitoes.  A perfect day, an eternal instant, we wanted to spend our entire lives there.

Sarah emailed me this past week.  I emailed her back and let her know that I did not want to continue to keep in touch, that it was not fair to Marie.

I spoke with Tracey this morning.  Charlie was punched in the face and knocked out cold by a resident.  He felt the school didn’t support him, so he quit his Residence Life job and left Lees-McRae.  He’s staying with his parents, but they don’t want him there.  Kate moved down to Franklin, NC with her parents who recently moved there.

Dan is back in Colorado.

Tracey and Abigail’s Seven Strangers band is making a demo tape.  Everything is supposedly going really well for that little band.

Vince and Natalie have spent the past two weeks in New York with Vince’s dad.

And Lindy is trying to get certified in aerobics.

The Regent community, or rather our small group of Communication School acquaintances, are beginning to put two and two together when it comes to Marie and I.  Many guys have asked Marie if she is seeing someone because she has this “certain glow.”

She tells them yes.

I think it is funny.

I applied for an office manager job for a children’s theater company in Norfolk.  I pray God blesses me with it.

Children are playing outside my window now.  It’s very clear that March begins in four days.  The sounds are in the air.

I apologized to Marie last night for kissing Jeni and Sarah.  I told her I wished I had waited for her alone.  I regret the words and phrases I have written in past journals about other girls, thinking and believing I wanted to spend my life with them, thinking and believing I loved them so deeply.

Forgive me God.  I wish I could erase those pages from my journal.

I love you Jesus.  Thank you for this redemption.  I place my past and my sin before you.  You are holy and beautiful.

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.

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.

October 13, 1999 – Wednesday – 4:00 p.m.

I had my television debut yesterday.  The reenactment I did for The 700 Club aired.  Most of all my old Lees-McRae friends saw it.  It wasn’t supposed to be funny, but it was funny to us.

We are nearing the middle of October and that is insane to me.  I feel behind, but I know all the work will take care of itself.  There are basically just two months of school left.

I’m not sure what will happen in May.  Part of me feels like I’ll graduate, but the other half tells me I’ll stick around here longer to finish up Dang!.  I’d love to stick around, but I’m also eager to find out what else God has in store for me.

I spoke with Dan.  He is in Colorado and in the new year, he’ll be going on a skiing missions trip to Alaska.  God is blessing him so much.  I miss my buddy!

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.