Wednesday, May 11, 2011



The sun is rising on a field today
A sea of green bearing your thoughts away
On an eastbound autumn breeze
You sit deciding if it’s time to wait
Or if it’s time to see

Your heart is pounding as you watch the scene
Your breathing silent, words unraveling
Your heart can barely keep
You hear the words you’re wanting desperately
But still you can’t believe

And you feel now
That this might be that once
In your life now
And you can’t help but hope
That there’s some way
That this might be the day
That you’ll know

Back down on solid ground the time has come
With hope in hand you journey with the sun
To a land where dreams can live
Conquer the urge to turn, the urge to run
You’re steady as the drum

Facing the face of all you’ve come to want
Drifting in space for all you know, you’re caught
Somewhere between the sky
And the twinkling in her eye
You know it’s time to see

Baring your soul now you recite the words
You’ve thought so many times, but never heard
At last you set them free
They carry with them all your heart, your hope
You lay it on the line

And you feel now
That this could be that once
In your life now
And you can’t help but hope
That there’s some way
That this might be the day
That you’ll know…

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


It's amazing the way the flow of your life can change direction almost instantly upon meeting a person. I've experienced it more than a few times, and it isn't always a drastic change, but once in a while...

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and I recently moved into the boundaries of the Temple View singles ward. From the first Sunday I have attended I have met so many people who have reached out to me and lifted my spirit. It has been an amazing couple of months and I have gained many friendships I truly hope I will carry with me throughout my life. One friendship I have gained, however, has grown exponentially over a very short time and has become as strong as- if not stronger than- any friendship I have ever had.

Ashley, I want you to know what an incredible impact you have had on my life. As I've gotten to know you these past few weeks, I have been completely blown away by the person you are. I know that I've told you much of this, but I want you to hear it over and over again, because I want you to understand and know what a truly beautiful person you are. Every time I say "thank you", your response is "I didn't do anything.", but, what I never say is that I'm not thanking you for what you've done, I'm thanking you for being who you are. The life you live is a complete inspiration to me, and a constant reminder of how I should be living. The way you stare your constant trials in the face and choose instead to worry about what others are going through... I have never met someone who tries so hard to serve everyone they see in need. If you need a second witness of that, look at the fact that the relief society exists at all, that the priesthood brethren are assigned as home teachers. I honestly believe that if everyone had the mentality you have of constantly seeking for ways to lift people in need, there wouldn't be a need for any of it. There have been a few people I have met over the years who I will never forget because they radiated the light of Christ in all that they did. You, Ashley, are one of these people. You are a person who tries to live life with Charity every day. I know you are going to be internally, and possibly physically, shaking your head at everything I'm saying here, but I want you to stop it. Only one person on this planet was ever perfect.

One of my favorite scriptures is Jacob 3:1-2,
But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause...
O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.

These verses mention two prerequisites to feasting upon the love of God forever: Pure heart, and firm mind. I realized when I read this that this has nothing to do with mistakes you make, or sins you commit. "Can you see the difference between who you are and what you've done?" We are the pure in heart, because we seek Christ. We desire in our hearts to be like Him. You helped me to remember this.

Never give up on yourself Ashley. You are one of the most beautiful people I have met in this life, I mean it every time I say it, and I mean it with my whole heart. I hope you know I could not be happier with where you and I are at. We have gone through quite a bit in our short time knowing each other, but the result is a bond I don't ever want to be without. I promise you, I'm here to stay.

"I don't write songs like this because I want to, I write them because I need to."
This song, to me, has become entirely inadequate. It was written when I knew little about you, and little about how deeply and in what way I would feel for you. Regardless, here it is, my heart, one week after meeting you.


I cannot believe what I am feeling
One week deep and I've got every reason
To believe that I've found a greater purpose for my breathing
Suddenly I feel like I am seeing
All my faults and all that I could be
I'm terrified of what this means
Not that I am afraid to be
But knowing now that you might hold the key

Something awoke that first night that I saw you
Something spoke to me that deeply rang true
And for a moment I glimpsed the beauty that's within you
It was in the way that when you smiled your eyes shone
The way they seemed to pierce right down to my core
And as we talked into the night
My heart was quickly keeping time
To the rhythm of the music in your voice

You're beautiful in ways that you don't know
Your beauty lies in things that you don't show
But slowly I am seeing to your soul
Believe me girl I know it's unexpected
I found your heart with walls built to protect it
And like a fool I walked right in
With no regard for what had been
I'm sorry girl I wish I had respected
But you forgave
And we remain
So I will wait
And I will pray

For you to open
Your heart again
Hoping that when you do I'm there
And that I find a way to show you
The way you showed me the way

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm Heading Home

Yours will come back to you Asheli =)

"I'm Heading Home"

She was standing in the door frame with her head against the post
As he walked up to her one last time and pulled her body close
They had shared so many days of life lived full and without regret
And he prayed to God this night was not the last one they would get

As he looked into her eyes for what might be their very last
He could almost see the dreams he’d thought would surely come to pass
And a lifetime once so clear to see, had all but slipped away
And all he could do was turn and let a tear roll down his face

And walk away
He walked away

I’ll be coming home (I will come back home)
Though the days feel like forever now,
We will meet again (We will meet again)
I will find my way to you somehow
I will come back home

As he sat there on the train watching the trees rush from his sight
Thinking back on what his father said one night at his bedside
“Never lie or cheat or steal, never back down from a fight.
You must not give in to evil son, you stand up for what’s right.”

As the days turn into weeks and weeks turn slowly into months
He often wonders what he’s fighting for, this cost them all so much
He has lost so many brothers here, why is he still alive?
The only hope he has inside is someday he might see his bride

He closed his eyes
And held her close

I’ll be coming home (I will come back home)
Though the days feel like forever now,
We will meet again (We will meet again)
I will find my way to you somehow
I will come back home

Two years had nearly passed since she had seen her lover’s face
She had learned to deal with life without him, by God’s amazing grace
There was color in her world again and hope had found a place
She might once more gaze into her husband’s eyes

The letter was clean and folded as she opened it to read
Two lines were all she needed, those were all that she could see
“He fought for God and country, he’s a hero in this war
He fought with courage, died with honor, we’ll mourn him ever more.”

Enclosed she found a note, sun-baked, wearing at the crease
It had seen its share of sorrow, now it brought her to her knees
It was written by his hand, she knew it better than his voice
And as the tears rolled from her eyes and softly pattered on the floor

She read his words
His whisper heard

I’ll be coming home (I will come back home)
Though the days feel like forever now,
We will meet again (We will meet again)
I will find my way to you somehow
I will come back home

I’ll be coming home
Darling never give up hope in me
We will meet again
Please remember that I love you so
Love, I’m heading home.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Starting Today

I couldn't sleep last night. There are a few things I do at times like these:

1. Lie in bed staring at the wall/ceiling and try and figure out what it is that is keeping me awake
2. Put on peaceful or sad music and try to fall asleep (more often peaceful than sad)
3. Give up all hope of sleeping and get out of bed. In this case I more often than not end up going for a drive

This morning I ended up doing all three. After about 30 minutes of listening to the first 20 seconds of each of the songs on my iPod I decided I would rather be driving if I was going to be listening to music. So I did. I got in my car and started driving. At first I thought I wanted to drive to Flagstaff, but at precisely 2:30 AM when I hit the fork that would take me either north, to Flagstaff, or south, to Tucson, my wheel turned left taking me south. I thought it an odd choice at first, considering there was nothing I knew of to interest me on the road to Tucson, but then I figured, at least this way there was the possibility I would reach my destination before my brain started saying "yeah... you need to turn around."

Well, I didn't. About 50 miles out from Tucson I realized I'm not really in any position to be spending money on gas unnecessarily, so I started looking for a good point to turn around. Every exit I passed, however, just didn't seem to be good enough. Eventually I gave up caring and started enjoying the drive again. It was nice, really. The last time I had enjoyed a long drive with good music and few cares was driving Chalise Cole home to Utah. At this point I started missing a lot of the people I really care about or have had good friendships with, but have lost or let fade over time. Mostly it was Sally Romley, one of my closest friends during my... (I think) junior year of high school, back when I was totally stuck on Mallory Caldwell, Sally was totally stuck on Niels Rieck, and Mallory ended up dating some weirdo we all thought was gay. Jason something. Man what a fun time that was, back when choir was the reason I went to school. I got to thinking about her because the first time I ever drove down to UofA I ended up stopping in to see her. It didn't last long, and I don't even think it was very much fun, but it attached her to Tucson in my mind I guess. Same thing for Ashley Evans and Hang Ho, who I visited on a separate occasion.

When I arrived in Tucson I decided to check out the UofA campus for no reason in particular, so I exited with the "University of Arizona" sign. Basically the campus was so uninteresting I ended up driving around Tucson for 15 minutes and then getting back on the freeway heading north. On the way back I started thinking about the things I want to change in my life. The fact that I always end up on this subject could be the reason I most enjoy long drives alone with my thoughts. Today I thought about something I haven't spent much time pondering in quite a while, and that, is kindness. I remember walking with Sheri Sharp one night around the Mesa Temple, during one of my happier and more spiritually attuned times in my life, and expressing to her what one of my big focuses was at the time

People are starting to wake up around me, so I am going to finish this later. (Fingers crossed)

So basically I've been thinking a lot about what a very dear friend said to me a while back. It was something along the lines of, "When I was young, I tried to be ____ (can't remember), as I grew older, I started to emulate those who were rich. Now, in my old age, I hold my deepest respect and admiration for those who are kind." (loosely quoted).

Basically I feel like it is time to put off childish things. I spent so much of the past years of my life trying to be like my friends I thought were funny, or cool, for one reason or another, and so I emulated their funny sayings, their actions, everything I thought made them cool. I'm not saying I have spent my whole adulthood trying to fit in, quite the contrary to be honest, I simply thought that I wanted to be like them. When I look around now though, I see innocent jokes that drive wedges tearing friendships apart over time, and for what? For a laugh at someone else's expense... how much does that suck? A lot. It sucks a lot.

I've been the subject of those jokes more times than I can count, and I have learned over the years to laugh them off with everyone else, but why would that give me any right to make them myself? This isn't the main focus of my thinking but I'm pretty tired at the moment, (for reasons quite obvious) but here is the point I'm trying to make:

I would rather people see me as someone who is trustworthy, hardworking, kind, and selfless, than as someone who is funny and always good for a laugh. I am commiting here to change my focus, and to watch my words and actions, ensuring that nothing I do for myself is at the expense of someone around me if it can be helped.

Yesterday in church a young man stated in his talk one of the better analogies I have ever enjoyed enough to remember. "Eternal life is the same as Eternal service." He then proceeded with this example: How much of what the Savior did in creating the world, in his earthly ministry, in atoning for our sins, and how much of what he does now is for his own gain? Likewise, how much of what our Father in Heaven has done has been for his own personal gain? Everything each of them has done has been for us. "For behold this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." So, to be exalted and receive eternal life you must be prepared to spend however long all of this ends up being, in service.

Begin now. Serve those around you.

I am attaching to this post the lyrics to the song I have decided to give to my good friend Lennox Morey. He has undertaken to help a village of African people who are in dire need of the help of people who have the ability to do so. This song was written during my deployment to Djibouti, Africa at the request of a fellow Marine who was heading a humanitarian project there. He ended up not needing the song at all, and so I have decided to use it for the purpose for which it was written. I plan to include this in my first CD and to donate time, effort, and a percentage of any money I make to this cause and any other I find along the way that will surely aid those who are in dire need.

So, without further ado...

"Starting Today"

Look at these people
Why don’t they try?
Why aren’t they smiling?
Why do they cry?

I see a people
Who’d die for a chance
Praying that someone
Will reach out their hand

I will be someone
Starting today
I know there’s something
I’ll find a way

A way to bring someone
Closer to peace
Closer to being
Who they want to be


I will raise my voice
I will take a stand
Lift someone up
Reach out a hand
That’s why I’m here
That’s why I am
Pray, give me strength
Strength now to stand

I have been given,
All of my days
My life has been so blessed
In so many ways

I have a chance now
To repay my due
It’s my time to give now
It’s my time to do

Now look at these people
There’s hope in their eyes
Some of them smiling
Some of them cry

We’ve given something
So simple to give
Taken people just living
And helped them to live!


I will raise my voice
I will take a stand
Lift someone up
Reach out a hand
That’s why I’m here
That’s why I am
Pray, give me strength
Strength now to stand

Pray, give me strength
Strength now to stand
Starting today I am a man.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Alive in You

I keep reading through blogs written by my dad and my friends and thinking to myself, "they all have things to say that people might actually want to hear... what do I have like that?" and then I can't think of anything.

So after weeks of deliberation with... myself... I've finally brought myself to agree with a quote from a movie some of you may know, and it is this- "People's Punisher is not about being read, it's about being written."

So I will write! I've created this blog to write about things related to my music and the experiences which led to the songs I've written. I think it'll be cool to have them documented for myself, but I think it'll be even more cool to share them with anyone who wants to know how and why my music comes to me the way it does.

So big news for me! Yesterday I finished writing and recording my first song since I returned home from Africa 4 months ago. This one makes number 12 I believe. My favorite part about it is listening to the difference between this one and recordings of my previous songs. I think that part is always my favorite. I always feel like I have improved a lot since the last time, which is a great feeling. With this song I had a lot of fun with the vocals, but I admit I have never had as much trouble creating the music or the lyrics as I had with this song. Someone told me that with art, it seems like the creations that give you the most trouble and are the most difficult always turn out the best. I'm not sure I agree with that, it would seem like the pieces that flow smoothly and come straight from the soul would be the best... Either way I enjoy this song greatly.

Someone else told me recently that the best songs are always about a girl. Well, this one is no different. This marks the fourth song I have written specifically to/for this same girl, but this one takes on quite a different approach. Although it is upbeat, the feelings that inspired it were not so happy... I wrote this song to attempt to release all the emotions and sadness I have been feeling over her and to try to move on. I do not lie to her when I tell her that more than anything I want to be able to be friends with her. I really am working to get to this point, but I know that more than anything else it will take time. Well, Emily, maybe this is the last song I will write for you. I will miss wrapping my arms around you for a long long time.

"Alive in You"

You were like the sunshine upon my face
On a chilly winter day
Spreading warmth from the edge of my lips
To the ends of my fingertips

And with a flash of your smile
The stars would collide and
I can't deny that I
Would have lived to see that smile again
And have the corners curl just for me

We used to lie for hours where nobody would find
Just holding onto each other, keeping safe and warm
Oh remember how it used to be
Wrapped up together baby you and me

But I guess I should have known that nothing perfect can last
And now even though a bit of time has passed
I can still feel all of the things I knew
All of the memories made alive in you

I feel like I'm standing in a line
Waiting for a chance to catch the slightest glimpse of you
To see if you would see me too
Like every other boy wants you to do

And I swear that every time I close my
Eyes I'm praying for the
Day you'll come around and see
That we were perfect baby you and me...

I been for sitting here for days now, just thinking this through
And wondering what have I got to do
Because I know there's got to be some way
For me to get the message up to you

That I just don't know what to do without you here in my life
Shouted it about a thousand times
But every time it seems to echo back
From the endless emptiness I can't break past

I feel like I'm standing in a line
Waiting for a chance to catch the slightest glimpse of you
To see if you would see me too
Like every other boy wants you to do

And I swear that every time I close my
Eyes I'm praying for the
Day you'll come around and see
That we were perfect baby you and me...

'Cause I just don't know what to do without you here in my life...
'Cause we were perfect baby you and me