melancholy with a dash of hope

everything is frozen today.

it's bright and super sunny, but there is a certain still all around though the roads still have signs of life.

i tried to make the hour and a half drive up to see a dear friend come home from her mission today, as well as other friends i haven't seen since i came back from my, well, mission of sorts last week.

it started out clear but as i drove (exceeding the speed limit by you know, a more than marginal amount...), the sky turned from blue to grey. the air went from clear to clouded. and soon i couldn't see more than 50 or 100 feet in front of me. i slowed my car and felt a small foreboding feeling, but i kept on.

soon though, i knew i'd have to turn back. it was ridiculous--i couldn't see a thing in front of me, and every road sign that appeared was a surprise until it was right in front of me. the sun, however, was a tiny but perfectly clear circle high above me. i wondered why it wasn't helping more with my vision. with a bit of a heavy heart, but one that was willing to listen to my head for once, i turned off the next exit and re-directed my route to head back where i'd come from.

i made it back right in time to catch my own ward's meeting. it felt good to be back and i couldn't have picked a better meeting to welcome me back to my utah home and church.

however, as i walked out of the building alone into the cool, fresh air, pulling my scarf tighter around my neck, small sense of sadness tugged at my heart a little. my eyebrows furrowed in slight confusion.

i missed.

that's what the feeling was, i think.
is, really.
it's a familiar feeling.
i missed them.
the kids.
the friends.
the people.
the place.
the lifestyle.
in mexico, of course.

i found myself wishing i'd have hugged the kids more often
(even though i did it quite a bit; it was one of my favorite things to receive from them)
because i really missed that.

but then it extended into other people i'm missing.
people who have quietly stepped out of my life for some reason or another;
i missed them.

i drove along, reflecting as i did.
turned on some album leaf, which is the closest to sunday music i had.
it was a good choice for my mood.
and the day did its best to reflect my feelings.


everything in my life is pretty straight forward right now.
sort of like that freeway.
just go straight, and go on for like 86 miles, and eventually i'm supposed to turn a couple times.
but sometimes that super thick fog comes up and it's hard to see past my own nose.
but i can't really turn around so i just have to remember to let the light lead, even when it feels dim.


i contemplated writing this on the way home because i felt the familiar urge to process these particular feelings today, but i knew words wouldn't do it this time. they haven't really. though i felt like i had to try, which is what i did above.

so there you have it.

the only solid thing that came to me regarding how to express my current feelings were the words i used for the title, and a vague image i had in my head. i'll draw it real quick (i'm curious to see what it looks like) and post that, too.


okay i drew it. i was going to work on it more, but i don't really want it to be more than this. and it looks a little sad. but i'm not.

well, i'm not sad per say, i'm just missing.
just a moment of melancholy, if you will, but with a dash of hope.


it was a blur

jeff tends to do these things at the end of each year. i don't but i'd like to. honestly, i started and never finished this one, so i took out all the unanswered questions. but here are the answers i already put down. 


What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before? 
designed album packaging for a favorite band, moved to mexico, became a teacher.

Did you keep your new years' resolutions? 
yes and no.

What are some of your resolutions for 2014?

What countries did you visit? 

What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 
the second sunday in august.  easily the saddest day of the year.

Did you suffer illness or injury? 
sho' did!

What did you want and get? 
a perfect escape

What were your favorite films of this year? 
big fish (i know i'm late to that party), frozen.

What were your favorite albums of this year? 
white flag, youthemism, amelie

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 
oh, that's right. i held a photobooth party. called it my swanky silver party and everyone dressed up all fancy-like, then we took pictures in a make-shift photo room in my downstairs.

What kept you sane? 
toward the end of the year, this book.

Who was the best new person (people) you met? 
my family in mexico.


despedidas rotos

it's been a while.

too long.

first of all, you should know that i'm writing to you from my little kitchen in mexico.

yes, mexico.
i moved here three months ago sort of on a whim, to teach kids english.

the thing is though, this is the last night i will sit in this kitchen and still claim it as "mine".

in 3.5 hours, at...3:30am, i will walk out of this apartment door and start my journey home.

yes, that place.
in the united states.
my "real" home.

the thing is, this place seems like another home.
i've felt this way before -- last time it was this strong was when i lived in new york.

leaving there was hard because i missed a lot of the culture, the art, the atmosphere, my independence, my sense of importance and purpose, the connections i was making in the art world. at least i think so.

leaving here is different.


usually, places are very important to me.
i tend to attach emotion to physical location, and i usually let myself do that as long as it doesn't get unhealthy.
new york was a lot of that for me.
and when i went back to visit, it was so wonderful to see so many familiar locations.

but here in my pachuca?
here it was all of that....plus people.
so many people.
so many people to love.
so many people i let myself love,
with the hope that someday they would know how much they mean to me.

so today when i walked out of the school, it didn't really bother me that i didn't get to say goodbye to the classrooms i've taught in for 3 months or see them one last time. it wasn't physical location this time.


i've made many friends here.
the missionaries, especially elder gomez and three of his companions in our time here,
the ward members, the faculty at the school, the director and his wife who were like our parents, and especially 47 specific people.

47 other smaller, shorter, clever, sensitive, funny, bright, charming, curious, playful, wonderful people.
all under the age of 9.

and those are the people, perhaps, who make me want to spend more time here in mexico. they're not even quite "people" yet. son niños.

los niños que robaron mi corazón.


today was our final performance with the school. we were asked to make our part of the program 30 minutes, and we filled it all with singing because what better way to show what they'd learned plus bring the Christmas spirit?

and then after....after. that was filled with gifts, hugs, tears, and good-byes.
lots of broken goodbyes.

me gustaría tener las palabras para expresar mis sentimientos cerca los niños, la gente y mi experiencia en méxico.

but i didn't have the right words. i don't even know if i would have the right words in english. i just pray that someday, these people will realize how much they mean to me.

para siempre Dios esté con vos hasta nos vemos otra vez.