March 16, 2000 – Thursday – 9:06 p.m.

The Ides of March are over, and something happened over the past couple of days.

In the Flesh began to change from the ministry I first thought it would be to something entirely different.  It is an original script about a character with a pornography addiction.  The director told me that my role and the lead female would never be intimate on stage, that my character had issues with intimacy, but he soon realized that wasn’t working.  He had the actress, who is about 15 years older than me, unbuttoning my shirt and kissing my chest, while I was on my back.  Now I’ve kissed girls on stage before, and I’ve been in my underwear on stage before, but I wasn’t with Marie then.  And I got involved with this production because I thought it would help those with a pornography addiction, like my father, but now I’m not so sure.

Marie and I have talked and prayed about it.  She is clearly uncomfortable with it.  If I wasn’t with Marie, I’d probably work through it, for that is the professional thing to do, but I need to put her first in this situation.  I spent two hours talking with James, the director, last night.  He finally said that it would be wrong for both of us if I continued to be a part of the production.

I’m not sure how to feel.  I used to love acting, but now I have a bad taste in my mouth towards it.  I just didn’t have any artistic control in that situation and felt I should quit, which I didn’t like doing.  I currently have so much artistic control through directing Dang! and being there for post-production.  I can minister more through directing and not just entertain.

I have applied for a Resident Director position at Virginia Wesleyan College for the next year.  I pray God gives it to me.

Marie is doing really well.  She says school isn’t great for her, but that I am.  We both see that God brought both of us here for each other.  I’m learning much in my field, but she says she is not.  She says I’m her only teacher and her only friend.

Since I’m not in the show anymore, I’ll be able to go with her to a wedding in Pennsylvania in April.  April is going to be a great month.  March is half over.  Only five weeks of classes remain.

Marie’s mom has given Marie her approval of me.  We are contemplating a summer or fall wedding in the year 2001.  I would like to ask her in September of this year and then get married in June.

Life is beautiful with Marie.  Jesus is good to me.  I now know that on the day Marie and I wed, these Books of Days will end.  We’ll begin a new one together.

These journals have always been about me and me alone.  When my life is joined with hers, I won’t be alone anymore.  I won’t be single, so these books should stop.

Curtis is getting married on Saturday.  Unbelievable!  He’s the first of us in fact.  I think I’m going to give him a call.

 

March 9, 2000 – Thursday – 5:15 p.m.

Oh how the weeks go by.

I’m here in my Virginia Beach apartment.  The weather is nice.  I’m listening to Rebecca St. James, and I just got finished looking at some old journals.

My! how I have changed!

I want my life to be made up of God, Marie, and film/theater.  In that order.

I once was a child, and I praise God for such days.  And I think I’m also thankful that I have such days written down.  My emotions definitely feel more stable at this age of 23.  Hopefully these pages will no longer contain fleeting crushes.

Marie is my one true special friend for all of time.  Tomorrow is our special friend day.  We will spend it at Munden Point Park again.  It’s down near the North Carolina state line.  The water we sit by flows into North Carolina.

Even though I love North Carolina, I like being in Virginia with Marie.  You know what they say, Virginia is for lovers.

I have applied for another job; this time with the Virginia Opera.  Hopefully something will become of it.

Pilate opens tonight.  This is not my most favorite show I’ve ever been a part of, but it is an original work, so that’s worth something in and of itself.  I’m the first person to ever play the character of Luke.

In the Flesh opens at the end of March.  That means I’ll have done three original, never-before-attempted roles while here at Regent.  I’m not sure if I’ll try to do any theater next year.  I’d like to spend the next year just working and writing.

Please have your way with me God.

May the summer move slowly.

Bless all my friends as they marry each other this summer.

And take care of sweet Marie.

March 4, 2000 – Saturday – 3:30 p.m.

Another week has passed since I’ve written.  It bothers me that time is flying by so quickly.  I don’t understand.

So much school work is becoming due so quickly, yet I always seem to be in rehearsals that aren’t effective nor fun.  I’m becoming extremely frustrated with my lack of free time for the aspects of my life that are really important to me.

Please help me God.

It is March 4th.  How did that happen?  I’m washing my clothes and trying to defrost some deer meat, so I can cook for Marie tonight.  The weather is getting warmer and I’m thankful for that.

This past Sunday Marie and I went to Munden Point Park with Lori and Ben and a guy named Brad from church.  It was a nice time.  I really like Lori and Ben.

Thursday night I called Marie’s parents without her knowing.  I also wrote them a letter.  I just wanted to keep in touch with them and let them know I want to be their friend.

Marie and I drove down to Wilmington, NC yesterday.  I interviewed Frank Capra, Jr., the president of Screen Gems Studios, for an essay assignment in my Business of Cinema class.  We also wanted to check out the area.  The only thing we liked about the area was downtown Wilmington itself.  The country around it was not beautiful at all when compared to the Virginia Beach area.

Right now my heart is leaning towards moving to Asheville, NC, but your will God.

Me had a nice drive back, and we stopped in Bath, NC.  What a beautiful little town!

Life seems so wide open from here.  There are eight or nine weeks of classes left.  I have two huge papers to do for one class and just lab time for another.  For Dang!, I need to edit with Trey, as well as write up a prospectus and find some investors.  This little movie has cost me a great deal of money, which I don’t have.

I still have to finish Pilate and In the Flesh, two theater productions I’m in.  I never leave the stage in Pilate and I’m the lead in In the Flesh.  I have also recently been selected to direct The Accuser, a five-minute short film written by my buddy Chris.  We shoot that at the end of April, so our team is drowning in pre-production at the moment.

My job at the bookstore is getting less and less fun.  I just have so much to do outside of that place.

Then there is spring break with Marie.  The two of us will visit both Banner Elk and her hometown of Metuchen, NJ.

I just want the semester to be over, so I can become a working man and not have so much to do for school.  The school does have a Production Coordinator job opening up.  Maybe I’ll be good for that position?

May 15th…it should all be over by then.

February 14, 2000 – Monday – 1:28 p.m.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Marie and I spent yesterday afternoon with a young married couple (younger than us) named Lori and Ben from Avalon Hills.  They are wonderful.  That evening after church Marie and I spoke practically of marriage.  My insides were going crazy.

In a year and a half we are both leaving this place together.  Perhaps we’ll be married in New Jersey.  I would like that.

Marie can work off some of her school loans by working as a teacher in a teacher-shortage area like Arizona or Wyoming.  How exciting!

I’m ready for anything.

This is your life God!

. . .

I’ve just been sitting here thinking.  My insides are pondering.  I’ve worked myself into an awkward corner.  My entire life has pointed in the direction of being a storyteller, of working in theater and film.  Did I put that desire there in my heart, or did God?

I do not believe that I could have come this far if God did not do this.  How this is going to happen, I do not know.  Perhaps it is best if I don’t even really try and just let go.  I must do what the Lord said so long ago, just show up every day.  Of course, now, showing up means loving Marie.  And it means sharing life with someone.  I see now why God makes men single for a while.  He must prepare their hearts.

I don’t want to just direct movies and theater productions, I want to also be alive.  And it grows clearer and clearer with each passing day that I will only be alive for a very short while.  I want to be alive with Marie.

So, I made Dang! and that might be the only one.  I had some great acting moments on a few different stages and there may not be any more moments.  I just want to love God, love the woman I marry, love our children, and never let my heart grow cold.  I just want to breathe in this beautiful creation with every new day.

Take me Lord, wherever you want, I’ll go.

January 13, 2000 – Thursday – 6:00 p.m.

Marie and I walked the trials of Back Bay this afternoon.  There is such beauty in the flatness surrounding the water.

We are visiting parks in the northeastern areas of Virginia tomorrow.  We had decided this a while back, but I discovered through a newspaper that was accidentally placed under my door, that the new musical by the guys that wrote Les Miserables, Martin Guerre, was showing in Washington D.C. just farther north than where we planned to go. So, I got us two tickets and told her that I have a surprise for her.  She has no clue what we are doing.

We had a little Bible study and prayer time las night.  It was wonderful.  God is guiding us.

Our journal we are keeping together is the most beautiful thing in the world.  We exchange it back and forth every day.

Sweet Marie.

Oh God, your love is amazing!

December 15, 1999 – Wednesday – 9:31 p.m.

Clown of God has been over for a few days now, and total strangers are still complimenting me about it.  Classes are also over, which means I won’t have another course with Marie.  She grows in beauty and we grow in our special friendship.

I have a little Christmas tree up, so I’m doing my best to get in the spirit of Christmas.

Two of my scripts made it through the next stage of judging; one more stage to go.  I also was cast in two theater productions in the spring: Davis in In the Flesh and Luke in Pilate.  They both open in March.

Vince had to go home to get a root canal.  His car broke down, so he had to take a bus home.  He and Marie and I saw LaRue and Russ Taff in concert.

And, well, it seems as though life can’t be captured in these pages anymore.  I feel my journaling must change shape because I feel I don’t know its purpose, its style, or its reason.

Perhaps I feel that my emotions are stable and I no longer need to vomit them out onto a page in order to sort through my sense of self.  Or perhaps I just no longer have the time. Or perhaps I feel whoever eventually reads this will not care.  I wonder if I write so much of how I am out in screenplays that I no longer have anything left to say in these pages.  Maybe I just want to give all of me to Marie and not to these Books of Days.

Whatever the reason, I will continue to write.  Even if it all turns into abstraction, I will write.  For I must not second guess that the me I give to these pages is a gift to myself.  Whatever fleeting thought I jot down is all these pages are ever supposed to know.

 

May 11, 1999 – Tuesday – 1:15 p.m.

My four days in Banner Elk were wonderful.  Friday, after we picked up Kerstin in Johnson City, we ate at Applebees.  There we met our waitress Celina, whom we ended up praying with before we left.  We went hiking that afternoon with Jessica and Curtis’ new girlfriend Megan.  It was so beautiful out there on the back side of Grandfather Mountain.

Megan is so delightful.  We became instant friends just like how everyone became instant friends with Kerstin!

We saw Sunny that night in Boone with Abigail, Dan, Grayson, Josh, his dad, and I think that’s about it.

Sarah had a lead in the show and did so well; she looked absolutely beautiful.  I ran up to her after the show and embraced her so tightly.  I spent time with her on graduation Sunday as well.  Our relationship has been healed.  Love has intervened.  Time has surrounded us.  We are great now!

I took Kerstin back Saturday morning.  It was so lovely to see her outside of Regent.  She so beautiful and so much fun!

On Saturday I hung out with everybody I could.  That night I slept in Lindy’s room.  We just talked and talked until we drifted off to sleep.

Church seemed the same as always at Heaton.  It was great, but no longer for me.  All the kids have grown up.  It was weird being there.

And then graduation came.  What a wondrous day.  Tons of hugs.  Tons of pictures.  Tons of smiles.  I loved seeing Ashley, I forgot how much she makes me laugh.  A perfect day…and I had to drive away from it all at 4:30 p.m.

I don’t think any of us realized what truly took place on that day.  Dan, Vince, Jaime, Tracey, Lindy, Allen, and Curtis graduated.  Justin is transferring.  Abigail, Jessica, Anne-Marie, Ashley, and Josh remain.  What will become of our futures?

As I drove back seven hours toward the east coast, I found comfort in my home here.  Voicemail messages from Kimberly greeted me when I arrived.  David took me out to eat.  I was only gone four days, but I was missed.  Now summer classes have begun.  I have homework to do.

It’s already May 11th

Hmmm.

Must mean I’m having fun.

May 7, 1999 – Friday – 8:02 a.m.

I am now at Sharon’s home in Newland, NC.

Wednesday night was the opening night of the Regent University Film Festival.  The films were actually pretty good, especially The Window, which I bought a copy of.

On Tuesday I took Kerstin to the airport.  She is going to Johnson City, TN, so we decided to meet up while I’m here in the mountains.

I’m going backwards now…on Monday night the Lord really ministered to me at my home group about my relationship with my dad.  Then Wednesday night after the film festival I left for Banner Elk.  I left at one in the morning, drove through the whole night, and arrived at 7:30 in the morning.  I woke everybody up and basically just visited with everyone the whole day.  Everybody is doing great!  I came over to Sharon’s after lunch.  When little Hannah arrived home from school, we just swing danced the whole afternoon together.  Then most of the gang came over here last night and we just hung out the whole time.

It’s so great to be here.  Sharon is the best.  Hannah and Laura are the greatest girls on the planet right now.  This feels more like home than any place I know.  This is where I am from.

Vince and Curtis are on their way over here right now.  They are going with me to pick up Kerstin.  Then tonight we are going to see Sunny at Blue Ridge Community Theater.  Sarah has one of the leads in that show.

Thank you God for these few days here.  I love you.

April 28, 1999 – Wednesday – 11:15 p.m.

I decided this afternoon to spend $65.50 and spontaneously go see The Phantom of the Opera in downtown Norfolk.  I had an excellent seat, and I saw the world’s most perfect musical three and a half years after I saw it for the first time in the exact same place.

During those days, my thoughts endlessly dwelt on Laura; a beautiful girl whom I’ll see again in another week.  But I hear her love rests on a young man named David now.

Last night I spent some quality conversation with a girl named Cindy.  I also chatted a bit with Chris.  It was really nice to talk to other students.

I’m afraid I’m losing my romantic soul.  I’m afraid I’m losing my childhood dreams and wishes.  I only wish…oh…look, it’s nearly the 30th of April.

Remember the 30th of April?

Oh how life wants to live.  May my passion never grow dim.

Will a girl ever know me?

Can I ever tell her all these things I write in these books?

Someone must be looking for me.

I give all of this to you God.  Take care of her.

Hide your face so the world will never find you.

April 25, 1999 – Sunday – 11:05 p.m.

It feels much later into that night than it actually is.  Winter has definitely passed.  It is curious how the sun rises and sets and many do not seem to notice.  In eleven days I revisit Lees-McRae again.  It will be a blessing to lay my eyes on that land and its people again.  Thank you for this opportunity Lord.

In one week and one day my first year of graduate school will be no more.  Ice-skating was really wonderful last night.  We were there for about three hours until I took the time to soak in everything around me.  I am surrounded by treasures in these young people.  Each are so beautiful.  And it seems now as if a part of me is forever trapped in that ice rink.  God, for some reason, seems to be keeping me young.  Everyone tells me I look like a high-schooler and I hang around a bunch of high-schoolers.  Why is he doing this?  I know not.  And life should always be as such… not knowing.  What a beautiful thing.

My personal internal passion for cinema and theater and art is growing and expanding.  It feels as though I will die if I cannot do this.  I will starve.  It is how I worship, how I love, how I communicate.  It says in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God will complete the work he has begun in me.  He will finish my story.  He is the author and perfecto of my faith.  Do this sweet thing Jesus.  I give you my broken soul.  You are my life.

I pray you find pleasure in me.

I love you so.

It’s hard to stop writing.  I want nothing but to talk with you forever.