Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Can you teach me how to Jimmer?

Even if you are not a BYU fan, you must agree that it has been one exciting ride watching the BYU men's basketball team move on to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament. I have a special love for college basketball (most likely conditioned from living in a house full of basketball fans). I remember sharing many a U of U basketball game with my Dad, a cold sprite, and a warm hot dog. I'm excited to add this season of BYU basketball into my most cherished memories of college basketball. Whatever happens in the game this week against Florida, I just want to shout out THANK YOU BYU FOR THE MOST ENJOYABLE SEASON YET!
I also must admit that I have had this song "Teach me how to Jimmer" stuck in my head everyday for the last week. It is quite addicting...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eyes of Astonishment

I find myself often gazing out my living room window while I'm eating breakfast, resting, studying, or simply pondering. You probably wouldn't deem this living area a "room with a view." In fact, the only thing outside the window is a very plain looking brown fence and some grass. While you would think this fence ugly and blocking my view, I find it actually enhancing my way of seeing. For one thing, It blocks out the distraction of the houses, street, and cars making a type of horizon line with its pickets. This focuses my attention to the scene above the fence; a scene I've grown to love; the black vein branches of trees spreading across the sky with tall mountains in the background.

 I've spent countless times admiring these branches, the movement of the sky, the clouds, and the snowy mountain facade. Sometimes I can't see the mountain at all because of mist, fog, or haze. Other times the mountain is bathed in the most glorious rosy pink light from the sunset to the west. The poet Derek Walcott once said, "the perpetual ideal is astonishment." I strive to see the everyday scenes of the world with new astonishment. Having the eyes of a curious child, or even a tourist in a new location, turns my old town into something new and astonishing. The trees outside my plain window become wonders of beauty.

"On such banalities has life been spent
 in brightness, and yet there are the days
when every street corner rounds itself into
a sunlit surprise, a painting or a phrase,
canoes drawn up by the market, the harbour's blue,
the barracks. So much to do still, all of it praise."
- Derek Walcott

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fresh Baked Deliciousness

I have the pleasure of living near a corner with both a Subway sandwich shop and a pizzeria. Every once in a while, in the morning as I'm crossing the street to head to campus, I'll get a whiff of fresh baked deliciousness. It hits me all of a sudden with this intoxicating smell of warmth and then disappears as I continue walking. Most of the time I can't tell if the scent comes from the pizza place or the Subway, but either way it smells good. It is a delectable way to start off my morning.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rise and Shout, a flash mob is out!

What a great time to be a Cougar!! Despite the difficult loss last Wednesday after hearing that one of our key players was suspended from the team for an Honor code violation, my BYU team came back yesterday and blew me away. With a 102-78 win over the Wyoming Cowboys, the Marriot center was full of energy and excitement. The "Jimmer Mania" continued with Jimmer Ferdette swishing shots no regular human being would consider possible and making drives to the basket through a crowd of four defenders (And 1!). Of course, the other players on the team like Emery and Collinsworth showed their skills as well.

However, my favorite part of the game was the Student Section's surprise flash mob dance!! Students have been arriving at the games hours early with some even camping out all week. So for the two hours before the game on Wednesday, and the two hours before the game yesterday, the student section has been practicing our choreographed dance. During a timeout with about 7 mins left in the game, we as the student section revealed our true spirit and gave our farewell gift to our incredible 2011 team. It was incredible to be part of such an awesome moment! Here is the film from YouTube (and yes, the audience gives us a standing ovation and Cosmo is crowd surfing). I love being a college student! GO BYU COUGARS! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

With Closed Eyes

Today was the first day I deemed warm enough to eat and study outside. The inviting bench on campus beckoned me to sit and bask in the warmth of the glorious sunshine. Wearing black pants and a black pea coat, I felt like a bread roll warmly baking in a black stove. As I sat there eating my yogurt and staring at my class notes, the sun's warmth caressed my face and neck. Before I knew it, I was closing my eyes and simply drinking in the warmth surrounding me. I had closed my eyes almost without thinking, and began to wonder why closing my eyes seemed so automatic. It couldn't be that the sun was just too bright. I began to think of all the situations where I find myself automatically closing my eyes like this.

I close my eyes like this every time I go to the hair salon. It's automatic for me as soon as the warm water splashes over my head and the hair dresser's fingers dig circular motions deep into my scalp. It's the same thing when my roommate comes up behind me and surprises me with a back and neck massage. I seem to succumb to the relaxation by closing my eyes. Maybe this is because I associate relaxation with sleeping, which I do with my eyes closed.

My eyelids close automatically when I take a deep whiff of plump roses. I'm sure I could smell flowers just as easily with my eyes open, but for some reason I still want to close them. When I taste something beyond the word "delicious", I accompany some inaudible sigh with closed eyes. In the midst of listening to a symphony, I find myself closing my eyes in hopes that I'll be able to interpret the music better. And from what I can gather, like most people, I close my eyes when I kiss. So maybe I choose to relinquish my sight in order to strengthen the other senses of smell, taste, sound, and touch.

Other moments I find myself with closed eyes include times where I send out the desires of my heart. When I'm praying to God, making wishes on stars and birthday cakes, thinking deeply trying to find that "light bulb" moment, and even when I'm really connecting with a song that I'm performing to my mirror and hairbrush microphone. Maybe I close my eyes when I am digging deep within myself.

I don't know all the psychological reasoning behind why my eyelids closed today, but I feel like I discovered a little bit more about myself as I pondered with closed eyes.