Friday, November 12, 2010

Because I Am Taylor

The clothes I wore were never mine
Tattered, torn, over sized
Not for lack or want or need
Name brand isn't for someone like me
Because I am Taylor

The makeup I wore was a sun-kissed face
Dirt as concealer with tan lines for necklaces
Adorned by a colorful array of bruises
Pretty isn't for someone like me
Because I am Taylor

The company I kept was a worn out book
Rand, Rowling, Lewis, Card
Any world any time away from this place
Parties? Friends? Not for someone like me
Because I am Taylor

The respect I'd accept was whatever I could get
As welcome as a doormat
A favor, a gift or request of any kind
Something in return? Not for someone like me
Because I am Taylor

Time passes, lessons learned, I gain a broader view...

Still accompanied by a worn out book
And perhaps adorned with a bruise
Clothing comfortable but slightly over used
The difference now is what I choose

I can demand your respect and look pretty too
Confident, strong, honest, valiant, true
Virtue, hard work, passion, can-do
Accomplished, educated, love, worth, creativity
Courageous, independent, mature, beauty
All for someone like me
Because I am Taylor

Monday, September 14, 2009

Middle Class White Girl from a Rural Southern Town

My Cultural Diorama:

Growing up I have always had a passion for reading. That early desire has developed into an inner obsession with words. I have books about words and their origins, I have many journals that I write in, and I read constantly. I believe that the words we speak and write are keys to a greater understanding. Finding the right combination of words is like finding a key to the locked and untouched portions of our minds and intelligence. I daily feed this hunger to unlock the hidden combinations stored within me. As a child this affected how I got along with others. I always had a book with me and I always considered a book my best friend over human relations. I would read in movies, at parties, in classes, alone in my room. Words are a deeply rooted part of my culture. Another result of this is I carry with me an awesome assortment of pens in every color, just in case I need to properly express myself.

From a young age I was introduced to sports. I have played some sort of organized sport since I was 5 and I have continued playing through college. It wasn't until I received my patriarchal blessing that I was guided to take my health to another level. I was asked to create my own word of wisdom that goes above and beyond what has been revealed in Doctrine and Covenants section 89. I work at a nutrition store, I work out daily, my home is filled with vitamins and proteins, I educate myself on the function of the human body and proper nutrition, I try to push myself and stay active by signing up for local races. I live in an active culture that daily dictates what I eat, how often I eat, how to work out, etc...

My family and I were constantly on the move growing up. In one neighborhood I lived in 5 different houses. My parents were always looking for the better deal on housing or the next best thing. As a result I have a sense of restlessness. I have 5 transfers between 4 different collages (each in a different state, one out of the country). I cannot stay in one place too long. Luckily I had a wonderful high school Spanish teacher who helped me fall in love with the Latino culture. With her I had the opportunity to travel to Spain for a study abroad. Now I am bilingual and I have goals to fill up my passport with stamps. Combining two passions; I hope to travel the world and familiarize myself with all cultures and teach English along the way. This helps me satisfy my need to be on the move. Now I am taking classes to equip me with the tools I need in order to teach effectively. My view of life is a much broader one since I have learned to open my heart to the differences that make this world such a beautiful place and as a result I am unlimited to the places where I can travel.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


For over a year now my Grandma Burke has suffered from cancer and today I found out that she was put on hospice. Hospice is where they make you as comfortable as possible to ease the worldly pain of a weak and human body in its final moments of this probation.
Even though it is hard for me to acknowledge that my Grandmother will die (sooner rather than later), I do realize it. I wont make any long speeches about her life. 1) because writing anything that remotely resembles a eulogy while she is still alive would infuriate her! 2) because no blog could do her justice. 3) How can I describe a person in words who has served her church and family faithfully her whole life? She has already engraved in stone with her actions more than I could ever imprint in words in cyberspace.
What I can say is I love her and I have known love because of her.

David Cook wrote the song Permanent for his brother Adam Cook who was diagnosed with brain cancer. Adam eventually passed but he passed loved. When I hear this song I wonder if my Grandma ever felt alone in her pain. As much as I would like to say I am the Permanent person this song talks about I know that it is in fact my Savior Jesus Christ. I could pretend I have the power to take her pain away but realistically Christ is the only person who has descended below it all to allow us to ascend.

Is this the moment where I look you in the eye?
Forgive my broken promise that you'll never see me cry
And everything, it will surely change
Even if I tell you I won't go away today

Will you think that you're all alone
When no one's there to hold your hand?
When all you know seems so far away
And everything is temporary, rest your head
I'm permanent

I know she's living in hell every single day
And so I ask, oh God is there some way for me to take her place?
And when they say it's all touch and go
I wish I could make it go away but still you say

Will you think that you're all alone
When no one's there to hold your hand?
When all you know seems so far away
And everything is temporary, rest your head
I'm permanent, I'm permanent

Is this the moment where I look you in the eye?
Forgive my promise that you'll never see me cry

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I write to know Im not alone

I was asked recently to write a critical paper explaining why I write... a tough assignment but very enlightening! I have learned that I write simply to know I am not alone. Generally, I look for commonalities in the differences of people or a link in humanity to God that allows me to figure out this life and come to know myself more intimately. Specifically, I feel that writing is a form of creation and perhaps one day if I write enough I will finally discover the right combination of words that unlock all the mysteries of the universe...
Beyond all that though I write to preserve all things precious to me. This summer my grandma moved in with my family because she has early on-set Alzheimer's. It was our house in Georgia or the old-folk's home in Texas. She chose to be a lonestar but we made her come live with us anyway. I was in charge of taking care of her. If she could remember I think she would still feel begrudged to the fact her granddaughter had to care for her, however in our time together we grew very close. I found, through conversation, that we had more in common than I ever imagined we could have--to be honest I had never considered what she and I could share. I discovered her existence beyond crossword puzzles and watching Days of Our Lives on repeat (because she can't remember what happened when she watched it two hours before). After a few months it began to disturb me that so much history would be lost with this woman as her light gradually dims and flickers. So I began to write. Not only in an effort to preserve my Grandmother but to solidify in words on pages the human connection we have. As I get to know her over and over in my writing I find myself reflecting in the ink.
I have remembered certain days in my journal...
July 21, 2008
I spent the day with Grandma which isn't unusual; it was my attitude that was different today. Ever since GG came back to live with us it has officially been my unofficial duty to be her company, run her errands, and take her out when she feels so inclined. More often than not I am resentful of this burden...
August 12, 2008
I am disgusted now with my ingratitude at the opportunity to spend time with GG. Her life is scary. Everything she has ever known is in Texas and all that is left of that is stored in her memory--it would be easier for her to hold water with a slotted spoon... This morning I found her curled up in a ball on the couch crying. She told me her Labrador sized chihuahua, Molly, missed Texas and wanted to go home. I wasn't fooled by the ventriloquist act. I dragged her out of bed, got her showered and dressed and took her to the closest Chik-fil-a. After the first course of waffled fries I noticed her eyes wondering to the solitary old man a few tables away. She joked about needing a man, but as an equally old woman came and sat across from him GG's eyes filled with tears that carried no laughter down her topographic face. We spent a brief moment in silence then, "I wonder what Jack is doing right now?" As long as I can remember Grandma Judy and Grandpa Jack were never together, in fact he is on his third wife while G-ma still dwells in their shattered union. You would think that after 30 years of being divorced she would find someone, or at least be over it by now. I was surprised at the haunting pain lingering from all those decades before. "How can he just discard me like that?", "I will never let anyone hurt me like he did again." Who knew she could be so relate able? Seeing as I just blew through another relationship. Fear grips me. I don't want to end up like her...

Make Believing

Have you ever wondered about what happens to all of our discarded thoughts--the ones that are born in sin and abandoned for salvation? Or those beautiful ideas that never make it to fruition in this medium of life? Are they pushed to the other ninety percent of our brains do they raise each other and grow feral? Do we dream of them at night or do they have worlds where they are kings and rulers? Do they bear their own children? To think is to become, right?
Well we thought and they became... Our thoughts left alone, unguarded and untended have their own minds now. Our imaginations from childhood haven't stopped existing because we stopped believing. If we were to visit these places again after years of neglect we would see that time has passed there as well--some place familiar but not quite the same. There are those who know the way back, and those who can escape this reality and disappear into thoughts and imaginings-- that worm-holed world stored within us. We choose how to face our existence we also choose how to escape it...

Inner Turmoil

I call my father. My life is threatened! I am in a more precarious state then if a gun were kissing my gut! Over the phone I exclaim, "It's, worsethanthe, lasttime!"... " "... It seems the urgency of the situation is only recognized in the breath from my lips. The receiver picks up the anxious tones in my voice and rearranges them as they are transmitted so they don't seem as urgent because all I hear in response is indifference in the form of silence. My cheeks heat up and I begin to cry, the hushed tears help to calm me just a little. I wipe my eyes rubbing a little bit of salt in the wound. No one gets that I am sick and slowly dying with any moment being my last. finally my father's weary voice suggests, "maybe you just need to use the bathroom." " Oh, such merciless insensitivity!" I accuse him of in my mind; a click sounds and is resonated by an empty hum. He hung up. I take a moment to pity myself. After a few more centuries of writhing in pain I concede and decide to give it a try. I walk down the hall, bare feet plodding the floor. I open the bathroom door and assume the hover position. My butt cheeks quiver with the anticipation of sitting on a cold toilet seat; my cheeks are cooled, then... relief!


There is a place that I know, thousands of miles away, I go there often. During the day it is a golf course on the beach. Paradise. To the golfers it offers a hundred dollars a hole to forget your kids, your wife, and the black lacy panties that don't belong to her. Ah, but at night the moon reveals a different world. As twilight looms the ocean breaths, carrying away the stink of alcohol and shame. Here fear hangs like the opaque curtains of an agoraphobic; inside there is no immediate danger but with a flicker of a finger it lies just beyond... Still now, even the wind begins to bate her breath, respectfully, lest she tempts the air. This place, this vast emptiness of moonlit darkness acts as a rite of passage for me. I brave the night because I know what lies beyond the rough, just over the sand dunes and across the beach.
When I go there I feel like I am trespassing, my heart demands a safe passage as it beats like a tribal drum. My feet trample the manicured lawn, aware of the grass' plight I glance down at the serene ammophila as they individually and collectively reflect the moon. From their roots they stretch towards the sky demanding freedom but instead are left carrying the borrowed rays on their backs as a burden, branded as captives by their only means of hope (stupid, beautiful grass). A lifetime passes and I am forced to live it aware of every footstep, every breath, and every tiny individual hair on my body inching out to stand on end--waiting to know when the wind will have to breathe again stirring the fear (revealing goosebumps not as reactors to danger but as detectors of it). Alone. I am most aware of that vulnerable word.
Serenity, anyone who has crossed those dunes can confirm that here it is the sky that mirrors the ocean and not the other way around. Everything gleams and moves, everything that is except time, that remains only as a memory of the world I just left, a place ruled by the gentle persistence of tick tock. I wonder if I have discovered the fountain of youth. I sit alone, not bothered by the word now. I lean back and allow the waves to pilfer my worries till I am left naked and drained of all thought. The tide rises and I drown in rebirth.
Chaos calls to me from the peace and I must return. In the second passing I am at first unaware of the blackness and cross bravely. I am invisible and cannot at first see my tiny hairs now standing at attention telling me to run. I fail to make my peace offering to the night for safe passage and I begin to sprint--the way a child will dash up the darkened basement stairs convinced of being chased by a murderer--Oh, how easy it is to forget the calm... I go there often...