Thursday, June 01, 2006


The end credits to my high school life.

"Sanctuary [Passion]"--Utada Hikaru, from Kingdom Hearts II (U.S. Version)

In you and I, there's a new land
Angels in flight [Wonkuoynahtnoicteceffaeromdeeni]*
A sanctuary
Where fears and lies melt away
Music means light [Wonkuoynahtnoicteceffaeromdeeni]
What's left of me...what's left of me now...

I watch you fast asleep
All I fear means nothing...

In you and I, there's a new land
Angels in flight [Wonkuoynahtnoicteceffaeromdeeni]
A sanctuary
Where fears and lies melt away
Music inside [Wonkuoynahtnoicteceffaeromdeeni]
What's left of me, what's left of me...

[Snwoddnaspuynamos]** My heart's a battleground [Snoitomeowt]***

You show me how to see that nothing is whole and nothing is broken...

In you and I, there's a new land
Angels in flight [Wonkuoynahtnoicteceffaeromdeeni]
A sanctuary
Where fears and lies melt away
Music will tie [Wonkuoynahtnoicteceffaeromdeeni]
What's left of me, what's left of me now.

...My lies....melt away...

Played in reverse:
*"I need more affection than you know"
**"So many ups and downs"
***"Two emotions"
****"I need two emotions"

"Hikari [Simple and Clean] (English Translation)"--Utada Hikaru, from Kingdom Hearts (Japanese Version)

No matter what the time, I'm always alone
Destiny forgotten--even though I keep going
Inside of the sudden light, I awaken in the middle of the night.

Quiety stand at the exit,
And shoot a light into the darkness.

Nowadays, promises
Just make me uneasy, I guess
(Is that why I'm so anxious?)
I just want to put my wishes into words
(But it shall be repressed)
I'll introduce you to my family
Surely it'll go well.

No matter when, we'll always be together
Because no matter what the time, I'll be by your side
You're the light that finds me in the middle of the night.

Enter a noisy street [When you turn my way]
And take off [Take it all the way]
The mask of destiny (of fate).

You're reading too far ahead--
Stop such meaningless things
Let's eat something delicious today
The future is so far ahead, I can't even understand it.

It isn't necessary to go right to the end
Just keep going--make it better
Because it's good to shoot one scene at a time
You're the light that reveals my scenario, my trust

Let's talk some more
About the tomorrow before our very eyes
Turn off the TV and watch only me alone.

No matter how often,
I can't stop believing I'll be next to you in times like those
You're the light that finds me in the middle of the night.

Let's talk some more about the tomorrow before our very eyes
Turn of the television and only look at me.
Let's talk some more about the tomorrow before our very eyes
Turn of the television and only look at me.

Quietly, stand in the exity-way
And in the pitch-black, take the light.


"Simple and Clean [Hikari]"--Utada Hikaru, from Kingdom Hearts (U.S. version)

You're giving me too many things
You're all I need
You smiled at me and said,
"Don't get me wrong, I love you
But does that mean I have to meet your father?
When we are older, you'll understand
What I meant when I said,
'No, I don't think life is quite that simple.' "

When you walk away, you don't hear me say,
"Please...don't go
Simple and clean is the way that you're making me feel tonight
It's hard to let it go."

The daily things [Like this and that and what is what]
That keep us all busy
Are confusing me
That's when you came to me and said,
"Don't get me wrong, I love you
But does that mean I have to walk on water?
When we are older, you'll understand
It's enough when I say so,
And maybe, some things are that simple."

Hold me
Whatever lies beyond this morning is a little later on
Regardless of warnings, the future doesn't scare me at all
Nothing's like before...

Lux Aeterna

"...a light to the world..."


"...will do much good..."


"...look to you for guidance..."

Come unto me.


to me


to me


SAVE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, May 14, 2006


Graduation Talk given on Sunday, May 14th (Mother's Day)


So, a couple of Sundays ago, I’m walking out the front doors over here, just MINDING my OWN business, right? And Brother Hill comes up to me with THE face—you know the one, the half-smile, half-smirk plastered on his face. He says, “Hey Marcus, you know the seniors have to give talks and OH! By the way, Mother’s Day is coming up!!!” Brother Newsom comes up and he’s like, “Can I shake your hand, John? That was the smoothest transition I’ve ever seen!” Yeah. Thanks, Bro H.

Well, here I am. After three years of going to Orem High, three years of pain, laughter, sorrow and joy, in the space of two seconds I’m asked to talk for ten minutes or so on what the whole shishkobob meant. And frankly, I can’t do that. The things that happened to me, the horrific, the incredible, the terrifying, the inspirational—all of it, simply cannot even be covered in a lifetime. But I have to do it, because it’s the cruel little joke that the Bishopric likes to play on us graduating seniors before we go out into the “real worl”. Juniors, you still have a chance to do something about this. Rebel! REBEL!!!

Okay. In order to do this ordeal in the easiest way possible, I have decided that I am going to use a song. A young man named Kris Roe wrote it, and it’s called “So Long, Astoria.” It’s a reference to the film Goonies, and it’s about growing up.

It starts out, “It was the first snow of the season…” This reminds me of my sophomore year, which can truly be defined as the “deer-in-the-headlights” phase. Because that’s what I was; sitting in my CNA class innocent as can be perusing through my books, which occasionally was the Book of Mormon, while I’m surrounded by seniors, seniors who were very anxious to break me in and give me education about “the real world”. This was at its peak during the winter. I don’t know if any of you remember the winter of 2003, but it was actually pretty hot. There was one week it snowed in my memory enough to say, “Honey, stop watching that game and grab the shovel, it’s a blizzard out there.” That week was the week of some concert or another at the school, and I was on the auditorium technician crew. I took the techie class instead of health my sophomore year, and as a result, I am taking health now as a senior. But in my defense, I want to say that anything I’ve learned from that health class, I already learned from being an Orem High techie. In between light ops and sound cues, they liked to talk about life, the universe, and…well, just about anything else. That week I got sick enough to stay home from school for the first time in years. My techie friends sent me home with CDs to listen to, which showed me a new world of music. Being introduced to all these things also introduced me to something else. That I was learning a lot of things about life that I was being forced to question…and my mother, whom I love with all my heart, was not there teaching them to me. For the first time, my mother was not there to protect me from “the real world.” It was also a learning experience for her, because suddenly I would have to stay at school for rehersals and things, and it was worrying to her. Now, nothing bad ever happened after school. But it was somewhat…sobering, to realize that sometimes I was not home until in the evening, or that I was off somewhere doing what every mother fearfully calls “who knows what.” For the first time.

The next line of the song goes, “Sometimes I still see myself in that lonesome bedroom, playing my guitar and singing songs of hope for a better future.” A few times in my sophomore and junior years, I was like that in the beginning. Then I met some of the most incredible people ever. People like Erica Crawley, and Cameron Ashby, or Jeff Smith. These were all great people, but…they were not my friends Kevin Mitchell, or Trevor Newsom, people in the ward. My parents had never met anyone named Ben Hansen or Lindsey Linge, which probably wasn’t very comforting. I had to resort to, “Well, her father is in the Stake Presidency”, or “Maybe you saw her at last night’s homemaking.” My mother would have to trust me to choose the right friends. Now, I call my mother “Mami” after Puerto Rican family tradition, but any teenager could say that I’m still calling her mommy. I was afraid my friends would make some joke about that, but they never have. In fact, they think it’s pretty interesting and different. I do, too.

The song continues, “We said that we would never fail them; we were really just like them; does rebellion ever make a difference?” This line seems to be a lot about something I believe is a battleground between teenagers and parents that has existed since the time of Adam and Eve and their sons and Cain and Abel. This battleground is called…GRADES. I remember throughout my years how time and time again, I said that I would do better THIS term. And as my parents will sadly relate to you, this term turned into next term, which turned into next term, which soon turned into next school year. And so the cycle went on. Sometimes teenagers are known to get in fights with their parents that end up in a temporary runaway from home episode. This actually happened to me. When my parents found me with a friend, the deer look came back. I was so afraid that they would skin me alive. But, they were very calm. My mother assured me that she still loved me no matter what and understood that I just got angry. She loved me just the same as before. And that was the night that I learned that rebellion really doesn’t ever make a difference.

The song goes on, “Last night, while everyone was sleeping, I drove through my old neighborhood, and resurrected memories from ashes……..” Last summer, while everyone was sleeping one night, I took a walk around the neighborhood, paused in front of the Latham’s house, which was then the Knapps, and started remembering how I played with Richard knapp and Andrew scalora in that street everyday as a kid. And it dawned on me how, this was it. This was really it. I was about to go into the “real world”, and it was the end of it all. I had always thought that when high school ended, a new life would be around the corner, and you had finished a previous way of life. Richard knapp actually came over on Friday night and we talked about this, and we both determined that I was dead wrong. Life won’t even start for me until after I walk through Orem High’s “O” on Graduation Day. The second I step through that O and they hand me my diploma, BAM. That’s it. They pull the plug on everything behind me, hit the power, and boot up the system. Everything begins. The futures I could have are inside a treasure chest ahead of me. And I am so very, very afraid of that. Richard called it the unknown factor. I’m afraid of losing all those friends and memories. I’m afraid of the future that suddenly stares me blank in the face, and although I’m no longer a sophomore, the “deer…” look still remains. The song goes, “Life is only as good as the memories we make, and I’m taking back what belongs to me//Polaroids//of classrooms unattened: these relics of remembrance! Are just like shipwrecks. Only, they’re gone faster than the smell after it rains. (Kris Roe is a poet, I swear he’s divinely inspired.) Now, I’ve never been on a roller coaster, but I can say without a doubt that Orem High has been the greatest ride of my life. And as I deal with the unknown factor and face a multitude of roads that lie before me, foreboding and beckoning…I realize that all this time, my mother…my mami, has always been much more fearful than me. I am her first child. She’s never done this before. It’s been a real roller coaster rider for her, too. But she has always been there. And has dealt with the unknown factor before.

And I know someone else who will be there too, always watching me. Heavenly Father will watch me as I step through the O, and when they hit the power button and turn on the “real world”, I’ve learned that he’s the first person I’ll see. With Christ, the Savior. They’ll be saying, here you are. After all this time, your time has come at last. Let’s go, and we’ll help you. Because, to quote John Mayer, there’s no such thing as “the real world”. Just a lie you’ve got to rise above. And if I have rough times in life, and come back to my Heavenly Father and my earthly mother with nothing to show for all my work, I still have them and my memories.

In closing, So Long, Orem High, So Long to my life. I finish the song. So long, Astoria. I found a map to buried treasure. Even if we come home empty-handed……we’ll still have…our stories. Of battlescars, pirate ships and wounded hearts, broken bones, and all the best of friendships. And when this hourglass has filtered out it’s finally grain of sand, I’ll raise my glass to the memories we had. This is my wish, and I say it in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, April 24, 2006

To Have a Passion

Omoidaseba haruka haruka
Mirai wa doko made mo kagayaiteta
Kirei na aozora no shita de
Bokura wa sukoshi dake obiete ita

Natsukashii iro ni mado go somaru

Mae wo muitereba
Mata aemasu ka
Mirai wa doko e demo tsudzuiteru 'n da
Ooki na kanban no shita de
Jidai no utsuroi wo mite itai na


Nido to aenu hito ni basho ni
Mado wo akeru

Omoidaseba haruka haruka
Mirai wa doko made mo kagayaiteta
Kirei na aozora no shita de
Bokura wa itsumademo nemutte ita

Zutto mae ni suki datta hito
Fuyu ni kodomo ga umareru sou da
Mukashi kara no kimari goto wo
Tama ni utagaitaku naru yo
Zutto wasurerarenakatta no
Nengajou wa shashin tsuki kana
Watashitachi ni dekinakatta koto wo
Totemo natsukashiku omou yo...

Aozora no shita...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Another Season

Perfect. Just perfect.

"Treason"--Kutless, Sea of Faces, 2004

It all starts here with my disgrace
I give you my life, then I run in haste
In this false life, something needs to give.

Tell me a reason why this isn't treason
Tell me, tell me I'm wrong
I swear I'm back, but then it turns out it's only a season
So tell me, tell me I'm wrong.

With my two lips I will praise your name
Then I turn around and only curse and blame
I give in, strength is thin, adding to my shame.

Your blood it covered all my sin
You changed a traitor into kin
In this false life, something needs to give.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Advent Children

I have a riddle for you.

Is it possible that in order to subvert an important latter-day event or work, Satan attacks the father with homosexuality--an attack that the odds say is impossible for an LDS teenager to survive?

In the late 70's, Elder Boyd K. Packer published a pamphelet about "closet-case" gays in the Church.

A father with a son who turned gay wrote a letter to Elder Packer, criticizing him and the Church for his son's failure.

Reading the letter proved very disturbing.

"...You preach that homosexuality is not innate, but is a curable condition. Your fundamental proof: God wouldn't make a mistake like this. By preaching this, you set the impossible goal of 'cure' as the standard to which my son must hold himself responsible, as must his family and all other Church members. Until he chooses to do what he must to be "cured," he hasn't done enough. He will never have done enough. He will always come up failing in the most fundamental aspect of his entire existence as a child of his Heavenly Father. He is a pervert, an aberration, and an abomination. There is nothing left in this life or the next. How would you deal with this if you were him? Homosexuality is not a "condition" that can be "cured." My proof: I have yet to meet even one venerable grandfather with a fine posterity (or anyone else for that matter) who says he was once homosexual but was long ago cured - and my experience as a father observing my son from birth. "

And it's true. Have you ever met someone who is either a father or a grandfather who says that they were once gay but "got over it"? Can you imagine what that must be like? Not only must the person overcome these feelings in time to go on a mission, but must also overcome them to get married to a member of the opposite gender AND have children.

Odds are clearly against someone struggling with homosexual feelings. Most of these teenagers in the church resort to finally giving in and living in the gay community, abandon the Church, and/or commit suicide. It is simply near and next to impossible for someone who struggles with homosexuality to have any hope of getting married and having children.

That's the scariest part. Not having children.

What if Satan knew that? What if it's not just that he didn't want me to get married? What if it's that he doesn't want me to have children at ALL?

And what if I know why? What if I know who my children could be?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Living in Denial

Check out Duncan Bouwer's podcast "Are Gays Living in Denial?" at Duncan himself is an "ex-gay". Many people in the world deny the existence of such, but I believe...and hope...that they do exist. That there is such thing as an ex-gay. That it is possible to escape such misery.

Friday, January 13, 2006

No Day But Today

*Quotes from song "Finale B", from the musical Rent.

From now on, from this day forward, I will refuse to continue to live my life in fear of the darkness.
From now on, I will fight it to the death. This time...I will fight.

"There's only us, there's only this..."

I want to live a life without regrets.

"...Forget regret, or life is yours to miss..."

The time has come for me to stand up, take charge, and take control of my life.
Make the right choices.

"No other road, no other day but today..."

Do your part to save the scene, and stop going to shows.
Serve my family with all my heart.
My ohana.

I can't control
[Will I lose my dignity?]
My destiny
[Will someone care?]
I trust my soul
[Will I wake tomorrow]
My only goal
[From this]
Is just to be

A new day has come.

[Without You]
There's only now, there's only here
[The hand gropes, the ear hears]
Give in to love or live in fear
[The pulse beats, life goes on]
No other road, no other way
[But I'm gone, 'cause I die without you]
No day but today...
No day but today...
['Cause I die without you,
I die without you...]
No day but today.

Get busy living or get busy dying.