Wednesday, September 18, 2002

I am finally feeling an urge to get this sorry thing off the ground again, the tingling at the back of my neck that says my thoughts and ideas ought to at least see the sun of the laundry line is at work. Goal: weekend re-initiation of some sort of bloggenpucky and accompanying visual interferance.

Hold me to it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

You'll find a photograph at the top of the page that came from our new camera. That's Jerusha, my little Tomgirl, with a discongruent barbie party-hat on her head. Couldn't let that one get away.
I spent the day yesterday cleaning sheds and writing on the processor, I got to water the lawn (well, actually about 1/3 of the lawn) and the garden with our allotment of two watering days a week. This drought is desiccating my little soul right into oblivion. What a summer of trials. I feel for those in places like Monticello who are having trouble with irrigation and culinary water, that has to be rough.
Yesterday was one of those days when the weight of leisure, present responsibility and need to prepare for future responsibility took turns pressing down upon my confused brain. Don't worry, I would need to write for another two hours to explain that statement, take it at whatever face value you apply to it. The point is that today my brain feels like a cotton ball. Gotta exercise the noodle.

Monday, July 15, 2002

Indeed, the camera came. What a blessing a camera is. Images and attendant feelings preserved like all-day suckers for you to pull out and lick every so often, whenever you feel like going back a little bit.

Unfortunately, the camera came after the big Maple Canyon trip with Marcus was over. I took a few shots with the old camera, but they are stuck in e-limbo since I spaced the transfer cable somewhere during the switchover to our new computer. They will appear at some point, the climbs were spectacular and Marcus gave me some really good coaching and flawless belaying. What a grand collection of rock and environments. On a 100 degree day, we climbed in 75 degree comfort in the company of ferns until at least one in the afternoon before moving on to another side canyon.

The weekend was strangely wearying, the kids keeping their amazing string of 10:00pm bedtimes up until Sunday eve. I hope this week brings with it some Balm of Gilead or something miraculous like that. We could use some good balm after the scorching sun of last week. Both literally and figuratively.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Jesse and I headed up to Provo in the cool of the morning to fetch some Health Food Store merchandise and Sam's Club bulkage as well as get his glasses fixed again. We had lots of fun, finding along the way a giant (six by four inch) rubbery toy squirting spider, a glow in the dark Frisbee and a fine creek swimming hole by the road on the way home. Each time I go up to get the foodstuffs we can't get 'round here I am amazed by how much more it costs to keep this family in food. The kids are growing up fast and I can't seem to keep up with the financial requirement for the purchase of the foodstuffs. Kids grow up Fast.

We found some snails, waterskeeters, butterflies, nymphs, damselflies, egg sacks, dryads (just kidding) and lots of beetles in the creek. Jesse was so happy to have a new habitat to explore all by himself. He loves bugs as much as any kid I've ever known.

Tomorrow the new camera should come. I'll incorporate a new gallery into the site with the resulting photos. Whewhoo!

Hope the rest of your day is swell.

Tuesday, July 9, 2002

Heat and Drought. Here in the high desert, there are no rain clouds, out here we is dry- immaculate. Name the pop-reference? Jim Morrison, American Prayer.

The current youngest in the house is getting the first tastes of his pending replacement as the youngest, having to reduce by small increments his dependence on Mom and get even more used to Dad. He has always liked me, but his preference has always been and will probably remain his Mom. Lo, things in a house full of children never achieve stasis, so we will continue to at least strive for balance.

'Til tomorrow or something...

Sunday, July 7, 2002

It’s the last day of the weekend, and this has been an interesting one for sure. Yesterday we headed into the abyss of truth and consequences, putting the edge on a hunch we have been nursing for a couple of weeks.

The pregnancy test read positive- we were stunned into the turmoil of silent acceptance. What might be, indeed were we balanced and at all secure in our situation ‘should’ be, a joyous occasion was a somber and frightening one. Drie and I are so stretched in all areas of life right now, especially in physical resource and parenting energy, the prospect of one more wee bern is absolutely terrifying. Yesterday was a day of dealing with some very close issues while completely ignoring others too powerful to fit into a tight schedule right this minute.

What else is up? Just a month of recoup, a July of ‘come what may’ optimism to prepare for the changes ahead. Changes in job, in family and whatever may come in the days ahead.

Thursday, July 4, 2002

A warm day here in my part of America, and I am glad to be here at home with my family. Holidays are Holy Days, and what is holier than the opportunity to be at home and grateful to have a family and enough money for pancakes and bacon for breakfast. The neigbors invited us over for a barbeque, so I got to cook the meat and eat some more blessed carnage. I do love to eat meat on Holidays. What's up with that? Perhaps it is comfort food to me.

I packed up and moved most of my personal belongings at the school yesterday. That was rough, it is the final blow; no going back now, the efforts of two years to build a program are all in boxes in the shed now. In some squishy and naiive part of my heart I still held out hope that someone would come to their senses and beg me to come back next year and continue the post I had cultivated and the space we had created. I think that has finally gone away.

Wonderful little consolation though, I happened upon an old '75 Honda CB200 with nine hundred original miles on it. I cleaned it all up yesterday, it is really sharp looking, the downside of this is the solid varnish inside the carbeurators from sitting for at least twentysix years sitting in a shed. Took them apart, gonna need some professional help so as I don't bust something. But it sure is neat, will be great when I'm done.

Gotten back in touch with some splendid old friends lately. That is a great part of life. I am very grateful for this new black box under my desk.

Not much else going on. Happy Fourth.

Tuesday, July 2, 2002

Just visited Ryan MacEgan's page for the first time in way too long, found a picture of our family from last winter.

Monday, July 1, 2002

It’s Monday. A special day, the day we recover from Sunday. The Troops of Summer were back in force this morning, acting quite surprised that there are only two more days remaining in this summer school session. “Three (now two) days??? What then? How will we turn in our work?” Oh, nights of fire and five other jests! The mind of a High School Scholar is a mystery indeed. As if I haven’t been (each day, mind you) telling them that the end was soon in coming and to keep up with the workload to avoid a cram at the end. I have mentioned this week by name, “The Last Three Days Week.” It comes inevitably, every semester, every summer session. Perhaps I shall find the magic key of anti-procrastination some day.

Until then, I will put off re-wiring the house, remodeling the bathroom and finishing our upstairs bedroom.

Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. (Thus sayeth the preacher.)

Here's one in a line of interesting legislation to come out of Washington this year.

Read it and let it settle down to your toenails, then let me know what you think. (Twenty years in the pen for mucking about with or exploring a document/data device that contains your own bio-metric data and personal information? To me this is only a minor infraction of our rights compared to much bludgeoning of the Tenth Amendment and others with the rest of this far-reaching and intentionally ambiguous piece of proposed federal legislation.)

Read on about our lawmaker’s efforts if you'd like. Be involved.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Lo and behold, the anticipated upswing in activity predicted for this blog hasn't appeared yet. To tell the truth, I am pretty crispy. I can't get my brain to think in a straight line, or really in the same general area for longer than about ten minutes. i am a person of many weaknesses, and right now they are all demanding attention, or at least time to show off their talents at making me a stronger person through eventuality and endurance.

I have felt somehow weak and exposed ever since Tad's death. That vulnerability has lead to avoidance of issues and some pretty dodgy parenting on my part. Each day has been a lesson, and some of those lessons have yet to be examined.

It has been wonderful to be back in touch with some of my old friends, they have shown me some splendid examples of what can happen after ten years of little or no contact. Each has progressed and learned much of life, each has been generous with time and resources in time of grief and loss.

This is life, aye? Life, love and death. All three strenghten each other.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

We just got a new home machine... there will probably be another upsurge in posts as soon as I can get this week under control. Stay tuned!

Friday, June 14, 2002

I sat and watched the sunset yesterday after a day of much work and hassle. I was hoping to be able to see a little bit of the eclipse, but was not fortunate to be far enough west to see the solar show. It was a good experience, nevertheless.

I haven't really paid attention to the setting of the sun for years. I used to watch regularly, waiting with eager excitement when I was beset by troubles or just a hard day of work.

There was a time during high school when I would go up to a then incomplete section of road near what is now the LDS Temple in the foothills of Bountiful to watch the sun set over the Great Salt Lake. During the summer it would set into an expanse of water between Antelope Island and Stansbury Point. The air was regularly heavy with the pollution of too many cars and the refineries at work to fuel them, so the show was spectacular. I still remember those visions, the panoramas taking hold of and filling my memory like no other has ever really been able to since.

There was a time when Drie and I were in the bottom of a slot canyon near Monticello, Utah, caretaking a desert fruit orchard while the sellers and buyers were trying to come to agreeable terms. Our little Volvo broke down and was left to be violated by country mechanics with no ability to even pronounce it's name, leaving us without transportation for the eleven mile trip out of the canyon for at least three weeks.

The sun rose up to an hour and a half late and set two hours early between the walls of the little canyon, leaving us without much in the way of sunrises or sunsets, at least without the colors associated with distant horizons. We were usually too tired for any hikes out of the slot early in the morning or after the day's work was done, so we didn't see the sun rise or set in the traditional sense. It really wore on me, I felt the absence of those glorious and contemplative moments like one misses the taste of fresh peach after a long winter or the touch of a lover away across the ocean. I remember my first sunset in Blanding across the desert south of the Blue Mountains after that long drouth well, also.

Now I am here. Events speeding me up and snatching conciousness or bringing full stop and poingnant feeling depending upon events beyond my control. Right now I am a sunflower tracking the sun from horizon to horizon, looking for the answers I keep questioning, feeling their bite and salve like this is my first amen.

Probably not my last, though.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

There is a light that never goes out...
I got an unexpected call from the very honourable Geoff Haslam last night at about nine o'clock and was very happy to hear from him. A good and dear friend from the time of High School in Bountiful, Utah, he is living in Bountiful with his great wife and kids, making a living as a lawyer.
I was fair surprised to hear from him right then, and when asked how he was doing, he said that at other times, he had felt much better .
An original and unidentifiable dread leaped back into my chest as I asked what was going on. He said that Tad Clayton had died the night before of an apparent drug overdose. Presumed accidental, the whole thing was still sketchy, especially to us outside of the family.
Holy shine, when will we learn? What needs to happen before we figure out how to be human?
This world is full of beautiful people, radiant in their curiosity and wanting only what we all seek; a bit of acceptance, to be loved and to live in health. Some, though, are coerced into hiding their real selves by the world of appearance and social acceptability. The pain of dark actions and unasked-for wounds, covered up by thin, opaque shells of acceptable circumstance are what some have to bear. We all must wear masks, some wear and carry much more in order to keep appearances.
Some hide untold pain and confusion.
So many are lost, so very many taken from our midst.
Namaste, dear Tad.
Namaste, Clayton family.

Friday, May 31, 2002

Last day of school, last day of blogging until I get a new home machine or decide to go through with teaching a month of school. I have finally made it a habit to do this every day I can, and now it's gonna end for a while. Look for me in a week or so, in the mean time, let's hope cooler heads prevail in India-Pakistan, neh?

Thursday, May 30, 2002

One of the big problems/boons of this blogging thing is the huge number of incredibly talented and clear thinking writers available to those interested. I try to digest the media and the myriad bloggers out there and come to some sustainable self-evident opinions every day. Even while I do this, I see my own writing and attentions wavering this way and that. It is a constant struggle to stay on top.

Today is Tor's birthday! Three years old, fer crying out loud. Happy Birthday to Tor.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

What are we but wanderers in this earth, who is each but our sister or brother, each one a potential friend or an enemy? And how is each made so? By our own decision, our reaction to every perception. Some offerings may be more clear in their communication, but who but each of us is to decide how to respond?

What do you want from this day?

Who is your friend or brother?

And what your enemy?

I got here to my classroom and checked on the local news, and oh, what a great idea did I learn! Our great state, wherein an oft-referenced religious dyna-byte is "the glory of God is intelligence," the legislature is proposing a "slacker" student tax. We don't want people exploring the options this society has to offer, nor do we need people scribbling outside the lines of the established "liberal eduation" establishment. Bah.

I was going to write a poem, but that will have to wait for a while now. I am a bit more disgruntled after that. It isn't enough to cut funding and get rid of our program, I need to develop a far thicker skin than that.

I'll try again later...

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

It worked! This rarely-trammeled page of hum-drum oddities is officially searchable on Google. Somehow that lends me some sense of accomplishment. Now to define and rank that accomplishment...

Sometimes things just dissolve into a simple walk of faith, despite metaphysical circumstance to the contrary. When will I understand that which is ultimately the goal?

Yeah. What a weekend. Yardwork and discussions with my kids about everything from bugs to why streams meander back and forth. Two of my cousins wandered the streets of Spring City on Sunday evening until they found me on the porch of our friend's house. We had dinner there and adjourned to our own house for some conversation and relic sharing. It was good to see Brady and Josh. Good men from great families.

Jesse turned six on Saturday. He is a gracious son. Sure was happy to get a fishing pole, too.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

I registered the old vehement introspection with the open directory project yesterday. I don't foresee this humble scribble becoming something of note or import in the lives of others, but perhaps it will attract some I know or miss to get reaquainted with our family. Wouldn't that be nice.

The view from here is overcast and the wind has finally left us to regain our postures of relative perpendicularity to the earth. It has been nice to have rain and a brief return to cool temps, I hope the soil soaks and retains at least a week's worth of reserve.

There seems to be quite a bit of discussion going about regarding the situation between India and Pakistan on the blogger-net. I can't pretend to comment intelligently on the situation, but i know enough of Indian and Pakistani history and current affiars to know this is something to be wary of at the very least.

Probably won't be around tomorrow, do take care over the weekend.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

It snowed yesterday, clearing off just in time for the sun to go down and things to then get really cold. I think plenty of blossoms froze last night.

Just as the sun went down the sunlight glinted off of the beads of water on the grass in our pasture. It was splendid to watch the grass sway to and fro in the breeze, glittering like a pond. We have had a beautiful last couple of days.

Drie is reading the Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie. She says the language is fun and the characters well animated. I agree. Wonderful book for a long summer evening.

Today is cool and partly clooudy. The students are annoyed by the cool weather, though undeterred in their slacking off as the end of the year draws near. Things have gotten awefully quiet and awefully loud, depending upon the day and the period involved.

Ah, my life is fairly mundane.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Goodness. What an outstanding show. Peter Murphy's concert at Bricks on the west side of Salt Lake City was completely entertaining. It was performed at an oudoor venue with a capacity of around two thousand people. Marcus and I got there twenty minutes early and the line to enter was already stretched around the corner.

As we got in, we decided to head up to the railing/balcony above the main floor. A couple of nice people waved us over to a couple of seats night next to a barricade keeping people from the center stage lights fixed to the railing. The sweetest drop descended when security came up to remove the barricades and direct us to go to whatever seat we wanted. Marcus and I proceeded to center stage, about twenty feet from the microphone. What a seat.

Though the sound board operator was hopelessly deaf and technically challenged, setting up the amps facing the audience and consistantly setting the vocal levels under even the rhythm instrument, it was a fantastic concert. Peter Murphy is a consumate performer and a Mystic Poet, getting under the audience's skin despite a minimum of conversation with the audience other than in song and gesture. His lyrics are lucent, coming from a place impossible to describe other than in poem or transcendent verse.

His band was wonderful, playing instruments ranging from a truly incredible electrfied violin to turkish lute and a banjo played in a way I have never before heard. Absolutely delicious.

They did five encores, the last of which was done by Peter without the band while the crew was dismantling the stage after the lights came up. He came back out to tumnultuous applause and proceeded after a few instructions to the crew into a three minute a'cappella solo to top off the truly wonderful evening.

I loved every minute.

Oh yeah. My Toyota is still in the shop.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

I'll be off tomorrow and Monday. No web at home (due to a frazzled modem well past its useful life), so I probably won't be writing 'til Tuesday.

Peter Murphy concert and another Long Suburban Trip tomorrow. Ought to be fun. Petrol bill will be lots of tears this month...

This morning I saw the mirror in me,

against a mottled sky and forgiveness withheld.

A dream fossilized is as arteriosclerosis,

my son- Dear son,

create your mass and become as you pray

throbbing soul and shadow coursing with each sun's pass overhead;

beneath, below the telephone line take cover from rain,

(because what I want is what we need-)

escape from this jagged resource my only desire.

With each pass of that sun

skin stretches and doesn't quite return

cell walls have kept me here for so long, they tire too soon of their labour;

remain in our work

and so the shadow remains,

and shall remain as each truefriend passes

my cord of silver then mystify will

bringing with it the Sun.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

My Poplar tree has leafed out finally. I wonder if they are a late tree in general or if this grand old tree is just winding down and getting tired. It has to be around fifty feet tall and some of the branches look pretty bare and forelorn. I wonder who planted it.

I taught a wee clinic on the art and skill of bow and drill fire making yestereve. Some of the kids were really amazed and interested in figuring it out. It seemed the ones on a decent life path and who's parents spend lots of time with them were the ones who wanted to learn most. Very intriguing for an old teacher of at-risk youth.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

After a hiatus of a few days, I am back to the nosey-grindstone (reference: Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang).

I awoke at 3:30 am on Wednesday in order to be up in Logan for a job interview. By the time it was all over, at about 9:30am, I was too weary to hot-foot it down to Snowbird for the first day of the Troubled Youth Conference.

The other factor creating apathy toward the drive was that I was driving the Great Big Suburban. Grrrrr. What a waste of space and raw cumbustive power to drive alone. My Toyota is still in the shop. Still in the shop. I'll speak to that fiasco more in depth some other day.

I got to see Marcus and Dustin. Boy was that therapeutic. Marcus lost his job at a dotcom about six months ago, wasn't able to find anything in his field, and went back to school up at USU to get his master's. Another story for another entry. As for Dustin, he has been jacked around by USU for at least the last year and a half trying to graduate with his BA. That one is worth a few entries. A story calling for geurilla insurgency and revolution if they're at all justifiable anywhere.

It was great to see them. We always have a good time. I got to see Marcus for a only few minutes, he was slaving for wages in a low-skill manual labor job and couldn't spend time talking to anyone. Dustin and I went out for lunch and went up Smithfield canyon to shoot his .22, letting off some pent-up steam.

As I said, very therapeutic.

I spent the entire day up there in Logan, heading down to Kaysville to see Ryan around dinner time. We went to a little Mexican Taqueria for a bite and walked around Layton seeking a simple USB double female cable. HA! Nowhere to be found. We cussed alot, looked at many electronics we couldn't afford, and created another new religion. Oh, Ryan got recently laid-off from his teaching job as well. He was at a private career college teaching graphics and technology. What sort of a world is this?

All the afore-mentioned peolple are 'INFPs'. Figure that one out. Synchronicity?

I stayed at Ryan's for the night and headed for the Conference early. Snowbird is a very beautiful place. No matter what the season, no matter what the reason, it is a good place to be. To make a long story short, the conference was ok, not as good as the last couple of years, but it was worth it on the whole to be up at Snowbird. (If anyone has any questions about what would go on or be discussed at a "Troubled Youth Conference," please contact me about your curiousities.)

Heading home in the afternoon on Friday, I stopped and saw Susan, one of two INFPs I know who remain gainfully employed. She was doing splendid, veritably effervesing with beauty and potential. She works in a health food store as the "Supplement Manager." Working tremendously well with people and having a huge knowlege of physical health, it is a good stop on her way to what she wants to do with her life.

I made it home by around seven-thirty. Good to be home, so good to see my family. The cell phone is a boon, but it is no substitute.

The weekend was another couple of entries, Mother's day was nice though stressful, and yesterday I stayed home from work for a few good reasons. Nice and restful. Damn Toyota is still in the shop, though. Can't have perfection just yet.

Yes, and enough of this INFP business. I just like to link. Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, May 7, 2002

It really seems to me that this life we humans live is too short to do much good. I know the chances are this is my own personal dilema and perception coming of a serious deficiency in my learning curve, but I feel about ten years behind where I should be with five kids, an intelligent wife and a mortgage. If we only had another fifty years life expectancy (along with creating numerous other challenges) i think we could perhaps learn what we need to know from our wise elders, keep up with what we need to learn and pass on what we have to those coming after us. As it is now, I feel like i am just charting new waters with each day.

I am also what seems sometimes to be a lone INFP in Sanpete County, though. My view of things is probably terribly skewed. Damn idealists, anyway.

Monday, May 6, 2002

I slept yesterday afternoon from 3:00 pm until six. Those were some precious hours of sleep, although I was pummeled with REM the entire time. Sheesh, talk about escapist imagry.

Our lawn looks like the first weeks of august during a drought. It's all dry around the edges and burnt patches are creeping toward the centre by the big Locust trees. Pathetic to be happening the first week of May, but this is the latest in a long line of short water years. I did turn the irrigation on for a while to get rid of the burnt patches under the tree. That is too much for me to take in May. The water will probably be turned off soon anyway. Gotta get those alfalfa crops in from the desert after all.

Friday, May 3, 2002

Everyone in the house is still down with this coughing-plague. Drie went to bed for a while at six-thirty, right after dinner. Everyone is really run down. Well, actually the kids are all fine and dandy until it is time for bed when they begin chorus o' cough action, sometimes narrowing to individual solos at times. That is why the parents are so dern tired, getting up and down all night attending to especially rough episodes in the nightly score. I can't sleep very well when the whole house is in an uproarious clatter from muscilaginous bronchials. How's that for onomatopoeia. It sounds and reads like the terrible noise in the night.
It's the Bush Scorecard of Evil!! What a fellow. Only time and the freedom of information act will tell.

Thursday, May 2, 2002

I'm looking at my friend, the Lombardy Poplar, out of my window. All the trees around it have budded though it remains bare. I will maintain hope.
Thor'sday. A perfect day for Depeche Mode. Especially something brooding and self-imposing like Never Let Me Down. I am even now subjecting my rap-addled students to a generous helping of eighties techno-glum, as I like to call it.

Part of the reason for this self indulgent spree: I got the official Dumping-Letter from the District yesterday. It was terribly impersonal, without formal or personal greeting, and I am still feeling a bit defeated by its redundant and insulting message.

I've a clever little brother. When he allots time for his little webpage he shows great ability and wit. Case in point. But most of the time other activities take presidence.

Drie and I watched the "Frontier House" feature on PBS over the last week. An interesting and fun show to watch. Flawed in its execution, its methods of selection of participants were geared toward drama and effect rather than probable success or ability to learn. For heaven's sake, I know plenty of people who could have done much better at the skills and mindsets necessary to succeed in that environment. But they are not our society's standard of true "twentyfirst century" people, and I reckon the real homesteaders were for the most part uninitiated in most of the skills needed to eke out a living from the frontier. Just like those chosen for this show. Eh. Who knows.

We especially felt for Mark Glenn at the end. Though not reflected in his profile at the website, he seemed a person made for the challenges of at least the ideal of the homestead lifestyle. His demeanor and comments toward the end of the experience and two months after made my heart ache. I understand how he felt and share many of his bad feelings toward our society.

Nate Brooks was outstanding throughout. Wonderful attitude and great talent. I hope he has a great life. What a man. I could learn a couple of things from him, I'm sure.

Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Do you think mechanics should charge $1400 to completely rebuild an engine, screw it up somehow so that a valve guide goes bad only a month later, then sit on it for a week or more even though the engine has a three-year warranty? Neither do I. I am getting annoyed. But what can I do about it? Absolutamente nada.

Sin embargo, I am left here in Sanpete trying to figure out a way to get back into school and support my family. Nothing back on any of my numerous lines left a-bobbing in the river of life yet.

Culturally, the only thing I can offer you is this creation by a gent named Jogchem Niemandsverdriet. It is a pretty apt metaphor for where I am in my little world right now. I need to believe it is all worth it, at least.

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

I revised my resumé yesterday and sent it to the referral service to be attatched to my file. I hope I made a good decision in signing on to this service.

The whole family is still sick. Nasty cough and lungs of liquid lead. Though it seems to be on the improvement, it is really hard to get any sleep for Drie and I.

At least for the last few days we have awakened to a world bathed in sunlight and genuine warmth, even at 6:30am. It is good that spring is here. I hope everything goes well this spring and summer. This fall is endless with potential and possibilities, sort of like in O.S. Card's Alvin Maker series, when the torch-girl Peggy sees some futures as chaotic and undetermined. Life is only an illusion according to our perceptions. Could be great, could be completely unbearable, dependent upon my decisions and what dreams and blessings may come.

Sometimes I get really excited, but right now I just feel sick.


Thursday, April 25, 2002

In some pastures around Sanpete, there is a particularly hearty grass growing anew. It grows in isolated clumps among the rest of the grasses. If left alone by hungry livestock, it will grow six inches long and more and stay green all summer. In some pastures where no animals have grazed for a while, it grows roughly as big as a tire and in patches only two feet apart, more or less. It's greener and more prolific than the rest of the grass. I call it 'buffalo grass,' and like to watch it grow through the spring and summer here and there.

Last year the kids cut our few wee patches down to feed to the horses next door. It was fun for all, except me, who felt like a friend had been shorn of her lovely tresses and left to cry. Sentimental attachment to an unidentified species of grass. I must truly be a city-slicker at heart.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

It's looking like another of my sudden bursts of blog entries, folks. And who can blame my besieged mind for this fuselage of thought, if not eloquence?

There have been many lay-offs and a dearth of employment for quite a few in my circle of friends and family in the last few months. Quite a few hurt feelings and moments of doubt going around. It's happened to me before, and it has always set me thinking and introspecting. This one seems to have struck quite deeply at my personal worth and hope for our world.

I teach at-risk and troubled youth, those called nowadays "fragile; emotionally, socially or scholastically." Really, those who have a need for some special or personal attention in school. My program is off to the north of the main high school, and in attention and funding, has always been somewhat figuratively off to the north of the main school.

I've been very attentive and what I hope has been helpful to the students, the administration and faculty of the high school. Though being naturally introspective and less than gregarious or perfectly confident in my social deportment, I have not been the most energetic or outgoing teacher in the school.

This is the rub. When one is released from employment, especially one that is seen as a labour of love or service, the released individual feels a personal responsibility, and indeed, fault for the lack of need for the services of that individual. I am haunted by regrets regarding my style of teaching and what I have felt for a while is a lack of inventiveness or energy for the sort of go-get-em activities which might have engendered more visibility or pizazz for our little program. But I have to remember the old "you can only do what you can do" concept. But I feel the pangs of real or irrational regret, nevertheless.

I feel very tired and inconsequential right now.

And there are no jobs here in Sanpete.

But we have always been taken care of, in spite of my shortcomings and weaknesses in the ways of the world, so we will go on with that continued faith.

Our world has been pretty shaken up, and looks to continue so for the foreseeable future. Wish us hope and the blessings that need come.

Monday, April 22, 2002

Good morning, folks. You witnessed history in the making last Thursday. As you could see, I got "workforce reduction-ed." Our little school district has a budget shortfall of around $425,000, so some things have to be done away with. We have a less-than-desireable population and a less than normal attendance and class numbers, so the Transitional Learning Centre got the axe. I reckon it's somwhat logical and pretty predicable, but i was reassured by so many for so long that all was well. No big deal, my situation is much better than some in this economy.

We are looking into moving to Logan to work on Master's Degrees and hope we can sell our house here in Spring City and buy one up in Logan. It sounds like a big longshot, but maybe with a bit of blessing and this reasonably good lead time on the whole shebang we can make it good.

What a life this is. Something to be examined at any rate.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

The weather here has turned wintery again. Announcing itself with sixty mph winds from the south, this round of snow storms has been both blessing and bother. Lots of roofs were blown off or at least damaged, and as the wind died down, so began the precipitaion. There are a few leaky roofs around the valley for sure.

My parents came to town for a couple of days and played wih the kids, spoiling them terribly and completely. The kids drew pictures and read stories to their grandparents, loving every minute of time with adults other than their own parents.

As this bit of snow melts off and goes down stream toward Delta and the alfalfa fields, i dream of the summer and the new

ah, screw it. The superintendent just came by. He told me i don't have a job next year. Shit.

Tuesday, April 9, 2002

The grass around the valley is tender and green in places that went unwatered during the late summer drought but is still brown and rough where it was watered up to the end of the season. Metaphors, anyone?

this afternoon the sky is somewhat overcast and it's cooler than it has been for the last little while. It's been a beautiful spring to go with that long, cold winter we had here in Sanpete. My students had a rough time last week with the spring fever and transition, roughhousing and getting generally loud. Now they're dazey with the transition to daylight savings time. I think we all miss that wee hour. Now if they'd wake up just a little bit, perhaps we could end the school year with some credit earned...

Friday, April 5, 2002

Eahhh, what the heck. Might as well write something down. Today is parent-teacher conference day here at North Sanpete High. I've had one parent so far, the rest of the day has been pretty quiet.

I don't feel like i am doing all i can do to make this a beter world. Just not enough energy, not enough time. I am at one of those times where i feel like there is something that has to change pretty quick in my outlook and daily life. I've got to find a new outlet and input to keep my body coursing through the cycles of day and night.

The world is so different nowadays. There is much to distract attention away from what affects the soul from the standpoint of the family and community while there is much from the press that reflects the huge amount of human drama that comes from all parts of the globe. Sort of a push-pull tug of war going on with the emotions. What is the result. I guess you could ask me some other day, when i have enough energy to plumb that depth. There is something there, i know it.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Spring: Day Two. The sun is out and the jet contrails streak across the sky like banners of celebration, the mountains shine in their shrouds of unbroken snow and i feel the warmth like caramel syrup on my favorite ice cream. Not long from now the crocus will break and bloom, and i will feel like drinking coffee with friends at an outdoor table.

Speedometers are odd things. The 'runner is all fixed and running like unto a fine top, but the speedometer is still making grumbling sounds at me. Rotten thing. We put in a new cable ($65) and another used speedometer ($50) and it is still un-silent. i'm gonna just have to get used to it for a while, i'm sure the solution will come in time. Patience with annoying noises is something i have had trouble develping up to now, wish me luck and sanity.

My friend Marcus has just put up a new site for his good wife Melinda as an advertisment for a business they have been doing on a small scale for quite a while. They buy quality used furniture to recondition and paint with colorful and original schemes and sell it at affordable prices. Their work is really fun and quite beautiful. Check out their site! (It's under construction right now, of course)

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Sorry if you have come to this site and encountered the presence of three identical entries. i am trying to get rid of at least two...

cut and paste was so much easier with paper and mucilage.

have a good first day of spring!

prescience and news from afar,

the hinterland of the human mind creates a place within

some space-

yours and mine and theirs and ours is

ours and if we could turn down that rumbling

covering those beautiful voices i might remember to

ignore those that put dark brown drip stains on my four white cups.

so i look to the spring and cherish the amnesia of this dark and

buried winter

in a cave

and i'm sure as you're sure

that had we time and a place within some

space, the coming spring might


and as the primrose isn't on our level concious

of its influence on my dreams

(or of its own saturated beauty?)

this season will beget a song

that can't be covered by even the most

grumbling grey noise rumbling in this heart

in this cave;

do you hear it? do you know it?

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

We went to my wife's Grandad's funeral yesterday. Earl Sistrunk, known to our generation as 'Papa,' was born in Mississippi in 1917 and died in Salt Lake City just last Friday.

He was quite a man, his ilk grows rarer by the day now. He served in Coast Guard previous to WWII and served in the Merchant Marine during the War, the Korean War and Vietnam. Earl specialized in ocean-going steam ships of every power as first and second engineer. Rough work, hot and noisy, with long hours. During the War he saw many sister ships sunk as his steamed on, sure that his was next.

His favorite work, though, was being a father to a couple of very good children, one of whom is mother to my beloved Diedre.

Not a bad run, if you ask me.

Vaya con Dios, suene con los angeles, Papa.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

i have been attempting some feeble "informed" writing these days. Nothing has merited posting as yet. My brain isn't retaining and retrieving facts and figures as well as it did when i was in school or less encumbered by child-care cares. I think that as i focus on this more it will start flowing, and i look forward to developing more desire to read and research. This is what i am thinking about right now.

It's a grey day here in Sanpete. Overcast and still, all is silent and waiting for the gales to rend moisture from the northern sky. Even the mud is stuck between frozen and oozy muck, the valley waits for something to start.

What's it like where you be?

Monday, March 11, 2002

A brief note of introduction and a bit of explanation: I, Adam Burningham, am a brother to the proprietor and scrivner of the "outside" website you were probably at previous to this blog. RyanDavid is a good man and an outstanding brother and has generously hosted my little family blog, linking to it from his own schnazzy site.

I am a father of five, an husband to one and make a living as an educator focusing on alternative and 'at-risk' students. I have dabbled in writing and poetry since i was building forts in elementary school oak thickets and now dabble with writing here in Spring City, Utah.

This little site is a basic and everyday blog. I write what comes to mind, occaisonally in poetic form, interspersing family news and homily into the mix to keep it cute. I have always wanted to be cute, so i do the next best thing and describe my kids and their exploits every so often. They are cute.

As everyone seems to say nowadays, this wee site will change and i hope to see it through a process of evolution toward a more inclusive and media-intensive experience. i love beauty and the pursuit of awareness, look for these to hopefuly crop up every so often at this address.

Write me anytime with observations or questions.

Communication is life, compadres.

Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Almost a full month later, i reappear as if magically. I bought a 4runner and had to take it in for an engine rebuild six days later. It is not yet ready after three weeks. Argh.

I had my thirty-third birthday as well. Diedre made me a sourdough chocolate cake. Man, it was cake-choco. Beautiful.

Oh yeah, kudos times at least five to my brother Ryandavid, who is now hosting my site on some of his extra bandwidth. Who could ask for a better webmaster?

Thursday, February 7, 2002

On my desk here at school is a big calender tablet. I use it quite often to make little diagrams and drawings to explain a concept or answer a question my students ask. The other day one asked about how model rockets work, and i made a quick sketch- complete with motor, ejection wad and parachute. I do the same thing with all my little diagrams, make a quick draft, once over and hope it is clear enough to explain what needs explaining. But then the drawing remains on my desk for a time. I go back to it during the downtime, adding detail and making improvement. Before long, it is something i feel some bit of appreciation or pride in. But it usually has outlasted any real usefulness. The student has moved on, the diagram is yesterday's sip in the desert, and he or she is not in that need anymore. I appreciate my little expression, though, and it remains, catching snippets of my attention until March makes the page completely obsolete.

I love being able to explain things. I like being able to improve something that makes some sense into something that makes more and looks nice. I reckon this is pretty much the motto and ethos of the teacher in some respects. Especially we silly English teachers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2002

Brad came over last night, he had lots of stories of his shift out with the adventure-based youth program. Tales of staff comunication and moments of enlightenment on the part of the kids in the program. There were some cold nights and nick-of-time bow drill fires. Brought back some memories to both Drie and i.

The kids were at their best in behaviour swings yesterday. One minute helping out with chores like busy little beneficient gnomes, and the next as destructive and greedy gremlins. Hyrum has a couple of new molars busting through, it is both heartbreaking and heartwarming to see him sticking two fingers in his mouth to massage his own gums and half-grin for a minute afterwards.

The sun is out this morning, the sky is beautiful and clear. This is the view from our little spot in the world.

Tuesday, February 5, 2002

eucharistic memory

as in a landscape, lost to eyes unused to being found

travelling a wide, moist and blackened road;

beneath, the soil and stones lay with restless


on either side grow a few trees and a few purveyors

of luxury

though they have never been lost, neither the

shopkeeps or the accidental trees.

do not seek aid of those stores, wandering pilgrim,

in time will come death or

new life

warm, clean rain will fall on those verdant trees

and that soil underfoot or

all around

will continue to cleave unto all,

that rain will be

our benediction,

euchari, euchari. benedictum sunt canticum

Individual concerns and hopes are so much subject to moment-by-moment perspective.

When i wrote yesterday's entry, i felt inspired and really needed to get it out of my system.

I then spent much of my downtime perusing haute-blogs with ooozing originality or enlightened social or political commentary. My previous feelings of high purpose and supreme eloquence were pretty hacked up by the end of the day. It seemed the treble grumblings of a backwater quasi-mormon don't amount to a hill of beans in a world immersed in its own meaningful quests, intimate social circles, and individual profundity.

Not to say i don't still feel the same way about yesterday's blog. As Diedre said, i do have my own voice.

And continue to crow down the stately walls of Babylon i will.

Monday, February 4, 2002

Dern capitol A thingies. Please ignore them.

Warning: An Impassioned Attempt at Making Sense of Things follows.

I taught a lesson yesterday in my LDS Elder's Quorum, the mormon equivalent to Sunday Men's Bible study. I as again amazed by the wide divergence in the belief system held by we "mormons."

My lesson was entitled "Visions, Faith and Decision." The LDS Faith started back in the tumultuous early nineteenth century in a heady burst of idealistic and religious fervour with a very unique cosmology to match. It has gradually funneled down to a more narrow and manageable diametre in the present day, struggling to achieve the status of a socially "acceptable" mainstream religion.

I don't really know why i am fixated on the metaphysical and the nature of the divine, it seems to set me thinking in a way completely incongruous with the rest of the world. Though the lesson went quite well and everyone seemed to enjoy the relatively lively dicussion on the topics, it went in a totally different direction than i had intended. I had envisioned a debate on the nature of the ancient, early mormon and modern LDS prophets, or leaders of the church. I wanted to discuss the nature of visions, prophesy and the common member's relationship with the varied mormon views on God and his relationship with us as a people and as individuals. No one wanted to touch that, for sure (who could blame them, really.) Too damn weird. Nevertheless, there is a history of seeming "high weirdness" in our tradition, like it or not.

I think there is a problem in the church. Yeah, really. I apologize for rolling out a very old and rickety draft horse of contention, but the differences between the church of today and that of the early days are very, very dramatic. The ways employed to deal with these differences only serve to thinly mask problems and magnify them in some people's lives. The church and really, we in the church as a collective, have tried to make differences, peculiarities and scandals disappear or diminish in policy or relative importance. A problem with this is the relatively short history of the church; these peculiarities and problems, these "wrinkles" don't have enough contextual history to really fade into the background for the collective consciousness of the membership or the interested public at large.

The LDS church has a tendency to produce a great number of "splinter groups," "apostate" former members and truly hostile non-affiliates. The issue that has the most urgency to me at this time is the plight of the great number of members and former members who are deeply dissatisfied with the church for one reason or another but still believe in the basic core or the church's theology.

The church itself is a loosely bound collection of varying beliefs and individual cosmologies, much like other churches. The history of the church and the way we have handled our codified cosmological, theological and political differences with the rest of the world has engendered an atmosphere of tendency toward apparent inconsistency and conflict. The natural variation of individual beliefs coupled with this intense inner conflict in the church's history, cosmology and policy is ground fertile for schism and division, both individual and for groups of like-minded individuals.

Anyway, just a rough rant from the heart at this point. Take it for what it is.

Have a nice day!

Friday, January 25, 2002

Sometimes the blue in the sky is a perfect cue for the sort of memories usually brought on by the smells of rain, incense and certain perfumes. Perhaps it is the hue of the sky or the patterns and consistency of the clouds, but the feeling appears like warm coffee at the center of my heart, a sensation that brings warmth as well as a conscious flavor to heighten my thoughts and sensations. Today’s sky is just like that.

There was a day when the snow was sparse and crusty in early March, and even the mountains were enjoying a thaw in the pre-equinox increasing abundance of sunshine. The oak, chokecherry and the creek were swelling; the trees their buds and the creek its contents in what seemed an increase in all beauty I was longing for.

This is what is being brought my mind by today’s sky here in Sanpete County, Utah. Memories of increase and abundance in the mid-winter of late January.

I watch the Lombardy Poplar outside my window with premature expectancy, as if at any minute it will burst out in new color, new ways of catching life from the light all around it. But that light brings little warmth today. That tree has been patient for many years of winters. I can wait too. I will wait.

Thursday, January 24, 2002

dammit, i don't HAVE to eat it all.
aaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggghhhhhh. another half-hour long entry up in smoke because of a friggin' auto logout or something. i will learn to copy to clipboard before i push the post&up-in-smoke button one of these days. I'll try again when i spaz down from this bitter pill of electronic dissappointment.

Friday, January 11, 2002

'Tis a new year now, a January of hope and the winged viscera of secret dreams. We took a trip down to the Burningham's home in Arizona, bringing back plenty of citrus and enough sunshine in the soul last hopefully through to April. Though it took us a while to get down there (breakdowns and do-it-yourself repairs being the main delays) we had a marvelous time getting on everyones nerves and testing much patience. Not many can take the constant onslaught of five under the age of seven, and we thank those who try.
I am as of right now attempting to get things to work in the bright technological light of windows xp, and as soon as I get the camera software to work, I will post a few new photos for the feast.
Keep up the good work, all. 'Tis an odd sort of cracky world out there.