March 5, 1998 – Thursday – 8:00 p.m.

Exactly two hours and two years ago, I wrote this poem in my journal:

Nature’s first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold

Her early leafs a flower

But only so an hour

Then leaf subsides to leaf

So Eden sank to grief

So dawn goes down today

Nothing gold can stay

After two years, that poem still remains true.  Both sad and hopeful.

I am reading A Sacred Flame, the book about Edgar Tufts and the history of Lees-McRae College.  It is a huge story, the story of this land, and God has allowed me to write a couple of paragraphs.

I’ve grown closer to Mason through directing him in Next.  It opens in two days.  I’ve learned so much directing this piece.  I feel so at home and so complete when I’m directing.

Sarah’s been a bit down.  It’s mainly due to her broken ankle, but some things have happened with her friends that have made her sad, but she isn’t telling me the details.  I’ve been waiting on her and helping her while her foot is out of service.

It’s been two years since I left to visit Arizona.  That means Brandon’s kid is almost two years old.

I received a wedding invitation the mail today, it was from Jeni.  She is marrying David.  I guess this means he isn’t gay anymore.

Who was I before Lees-McRae?

Shortly after I arrived, there was a special girl named Jeni, whom I said hello to.

And now there’s a special girl named Sarah, whom I’ll say goodbye to.

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February 6, 1998 – Friday – 11:50 p.m.

Today has been one heck of a day in the neighborhood.  My Directing II lab was crazy because Geana decided to just go wacko on me.  She has no sense of self worth and gets hurt by the smallest things.  I was just talking about my own desire to save sex for marriage and she just lost it.

Then, around 12:30 p.m., while I was checking my mail, I found a new Freshman named Elizabeth lying sick on a sofa.  I took her to the hospital and stayed with her for nearly three hours.  It turns out she has a urinary tract infection, but we had a nice time to get to know each other.  She’s amazing, but has much to learn; as do we all.

God has been using these people here to teach me so much.  Lindy and I have been calling each other brother and sister and we’ve had some amazing talks recently that last hours long.

Even Sarah and I seem to slowly be getting better.

And Emily and I have written poetry back and forth to each.  Weird huh?  My true Emily hasn’t written me in a while, and now I wonder if this Emily will also become a lifelong pen pal.

I just love being around women. Even when Geana looses it, I’m still learning something.  Sarah, Lindy, Elizabeth, Emily, such young and amazing women and they take the time to let me share my life, my heart, and my thoughts with them.

I firmly believe women are the greatest thing on this planet and they are keeping all of us sane.

December 12, 1997 – Friday – 6:30 p.m.

Here I am

Within a room somewhere

Breathing the icy mist

Floating beneath the moon

It fills my heart, mind, and hand

And moves this pen between my fingers

 

Here now is paper

Within a room somewhere

Inhaling the icy mist

Floating within my pen

It adds black to white and blue

And turns this paper into me

 

Here now is me

Within your hands somewhere

Exhaling the icy mist

Floating between our lips

It adds warmth to you and I

For you have changed winter

Into an eternal summer of love

December 4, 1997 – Thursday – 8:10 p.m.

I am changing.

I am growing.

Sarah and I exchanged a look this evening.  A look deeper than any touch we have exchanged thus far.  We’ve been writing poetry to each other.

I left her a voicemail today.  She said that some people have been asking her what is going on between us.  She thought some people might be bugging me as well.  So, I left her a message saying that I wasn’t being bothered.  I also said that my remaining time on this campus is short, but that if I could spend as much of that time with her as possible, that I would be forever grateful.  I find her wonderful and she makes my days here more wonderful.

December 3, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:00 a.m.

I stand in awe of you God.

I went for a walk yesterday.  I went to the treehouse, but the ladder was broken and I couldn’t get up to the top.  So, I continued to walk towards Wildcat Lake.  I stopped and talked with an elderly gentleman.  He told me some stories from his past and that brought everything into perspective.  I realize now that I don’t know anything at all.

When I arrived at Wildcat Lake, I discovered the swings had been taken down for the winter.  The lake was completely still, a perfect mirror, as was my soul.

Life is short.

Life is long.

Things come and go.

I wish I didn’t know these truths.

Sarah came over last night.  We are growing.  People call my room looking for her now.  She holds my hand in front of others now.  We talk.  We sit in silence.  I touch her soft face and run my fingers across her lips.  She is beautiful to me.  She tells me the funniest, most beautiful stories.  She is full of love.

When I’m with her, I forget the past, I forget the future, I forget the fact that I’m leaving after a single semester, and all I see is her, right in front of me.  She freezes time for me.

I think our friends have started talking about us.  Who knows what is being said.  But it matters not.  I don’t know what is going on between us, save for this one fact: when she is near, time grows in quality.

She gave me a poem.  She didn’t write it.  It was something she found in a book, but she said it described us perfectly:

“A friend.

What is a friend?  I’ll tell you.

It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.

Your soul can go naked with him.

He seems to ask you to put on nothing, only be what you really are.

When you are with him, you do not have to be on your guard.

You can say what you think, so long as it is genuinely you.

He understands those contradictions in your nature that cause others to misjudge you.

With him you breathe freely, you can avow your little vanities and envies and absurdities, and in opening up to him they are dissolved on a white ocean of his loyalty.

He understands.  You can weep with him, laugh with him, pray with him, and through and underneath it all, he sees, knows, and loves you.

A friend, I repeat, is one with whom you dare to be yourself.”

Author Unknown

She is a gift from God.

August 3, 1997 – Sunday – 11:30 p.m.

I sit in Rachel’s house in Sterling, VA.  Chrysalis is over.

P.C. was my roommate for the weekend and he kinda reminded me of Vince.  A wonderful person with a wonderful life ahead of him.  He has a problem with his left arm.  A part of his upper bone is hollow and he has gone through several surgeries to fix it and has a huge scar because of it.  They’ve had to take bone out of his leg to try and fix it and because of this he can’t join the Navy like he’s always wanted to.  This was a hard time for him in his life, but he met a girl on the Internet named Lisa.  They began to email each other.  Then they wrote to each other.  Then they called each other.  And then they visited each other.  She’s in Iowa and he’s in Virginia.  They are now boyfriend and girlfriend and they will start school together out in Boulder, Colorado.  They’ll be freshman together.  After he showed me her picture, I was amazed.  She was so beautiful.  I didn’t know girls that pretty talked on computers.

Sean, always seated in a wheelchair, was never seen without a smile on his face.  Kay is soon to donate a kidney to her brother.  Colleen, a beautiful 25-year-old, who lost her little brother to a rare disease when she was 15.  Then she bore her own son as teenager, but then the father left them both.  She said the death of her brother tore her from God, but the eyes of her baby brought her back to him.

After hearing her talk of her brother, I wrote her a poem:

I said hello

I say goodbye

I saw you live

And now you die

But death is life

And life is love

Love is God

Eternal from above

So I’ll see you soon

There’s no need to cry

I too am changing

And to you I’ll fly

I found out later that the poem made her cry.  When I said goodbye to her today, she hugged me so tight.  Her lips said nothing, but her eyes shouted a desperate “thank you.”

And there was Vanny, who tried to commit suicide twice before, but now only smiles as bright as the sun.

And that was just a few.  There were so many stories full of death and tragedy.  But I don’t have those stories.  My tragedies are Bs on papers and mixed emotions.  I still have my family, my virginity, my sanity, my life, my legs, my health.

But there is one tragic story in my life.  I discovered this weekend that I am capable of so much more love.  I’ve been keeping it inside and only sharing it with a select few.  Now it’s time to give it to the world.

I spoke up at the gathering and told the group that each one of them was beautiful and I thanked God for allowing me to add their eyes and names to my collection.  Some came to me and said I seemed very Christlike.  They said they saw Jesus in me.  If so, then perhaps I am beginning to live a Christian life.

Rachel told me that others told her I seemed very creative.  People are so good to me.  God is so good to me.  So, here I am God.  I’m ready.  I don’t know everything, but I know you.

Here I am.

I’ve shown up.

 

June 10, 1997 – Tuesday – 12:45 a.m.

A new Tuesday.

Forty-five minutes have already vanished.

What to write?  What to remember?

I spent time with Samarah today.  She told me of her only guy friend Lee.  She said he bought her 100 white roses one time and never asked for anything in return.  She said he was the only guy that loved her for her and never tried to sleep with her.  I wondered then why she referred to him in past tense.  Finally she said he was killed by a drunk driver two years ago.

What am I doing?

I received a letter from Rachel today, simply thanking me for my visible walk with the Lord.

I used to be full of so many words, but now I’m speechless.

Sheltered from pain

Full of thought

I have lived among roses

Someone else chopped off the thorns.

Wrinkles from my smile

Proof of my constant grin

I glide down the curly hair of joy

Into the lap of loved ones.

My sorrow is not worth noting

My pain should not be considered

Others hurt worse than me

And I can’t take their pain.

I reach for the moon

Others only reach for their mirror

I live in grace

Others in the emptiness of their reflection.

Why me?

Why was I chosen?

Shirley someone else…

Yet me!

I am nothing

I am no better

I simply grew up in the truth

Others grew up in lies.

I’m seen as odd

But this faith is so normal

My sword is of live-giving pages

Theirs if of venom-dipped words.

The clock away is ticking

The water faucet is dripping

Each second is clicking

And I still have my grin.

Will others find that smile

And live in the eternal while

The sun has gone down today

Will come again tomorrow to stay

At least for a little while.