20 December 2013

That one time when marriage equality came to Utah.

I was on campus when I heard the news. I got down to my apartment in Sugarhouse to do some stuff with my dad and as soon as I could, I headed over to the Salt Lake County Justice Courts on State Street.

The lobby was full of reporters and celebrators, and even one special couple that was the very first to tie the knot.

Going up stairs was an absolute roar. The halls were packed with people, mostly couples waiting to see something amazing happen.

After working my way through the crowd, I got to the front to the marriage license bureau where some very happy couples were getting to the end of the line.

And within seconds of emerging the hallways erupted in cheers.

And at the end of the cheering? The mayor of Salt Lake City to marry them.

Couple after couple,

Wife after wife,

Husband after husband,

all beginning a brand new chapter of their lives.

People were running around everywhere. Reverends and ministers and justices of the peace hand their hands raised so that licensed couples could get married on the spot. People were scrambling to find enough pens to sign their marriage certificates.

And the crowd only got larger. And the feeling of absolute joy would not go away.

It really is a beautiful night to be in Salt Lake City, Utah.

18 December 2013

"Come March"

"Come March"

-A. Browne Sebright
Its usually around 10:00 p.m.
when the cold of reality
begins to nip at your toes.
Typically it starts
the first or second week of December
as one by one 
unresolved memories ice over.
It might not be very comforting 
to say or to hear 
that the cold of reality sets 
at a brisk 4 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit. 
At this temperature, a day too many 
can pass by without a phone call or message
--One extra bill comes in to break the 
bank-- And one broken car can bring 
you to tears.
Many find themselves faced with 
the cold reality at a bus stop. 
But a transfer later after one 
meaningless conversation too many, 
you find yourself just a few 
layers too thin. 
The cold is long and the pain is real.
I've only found a handful of things 
that temper and mitigate that 
kind of chill.
A dance. 
A song. 
A warm embrace.
Long showers and baths and phone calls 
from home. I hope of love.
Day after day you might 
find yourself trudging through 
thick unresolved memory. Many were 
cast aside from other people's front 
lawns and many more came from the 
shadow of a building that simply turned 
its back on the Sun.
Yet even in shadow can love be 
found and a smile made.
Come March and April 
the ice will melt away.
Friends will be had 
and tears dried.
But in the meantime, 
it never hurts to shovel your driveway 
and sort things out for yourself.
Even the cold of ice and snow 
can be beautiful too.

12 December 2013

A little thing called Inspiration

Come a full four months later, and I am just about done with my first semester of college. 

And boy, what a defining time of my life this has become.

The inspiration for this post (no pun intended) came at the end of my final Urban Ecology class. Of all my classes this semester, it has become my favorite. This last class period was no different. I decided about a month or so ago that instead of pursuing architecture as my career goal to go about becoming an Urban Planner. After city planning meetings, classes, in the field experience and finding what peaked my interest, I realized that instead of just becoming the architect for buildings, I wanted to become the architect of whole cities.

It's a little ambitious, but I think all along it is what my experiences have been pointing me to.

So if you are one of those beautiful Carolinians who still manages to keep up with my life despite my two year absence from that beautiful state, you'll remember my endless summer passion for playing in the creek near my house. But I didn't just wade or fish or sit and watch (although I did all of those things as well), I built and I created. I made canals, aqueducts, bridges, imaginary countries and peoples and cultures and damns and roads. I knew I had an affinity for Urban settings (you can see this a bit in my application essay to the University of Virginia) and moving to Salt Lake City only furthered that love for walking among city avenues.

Consequently, I've indulged myself more than ever in the work of designing cities and transit and urban settings. My Little Book of Thoughts has become absolutely full of them. 

But I've done a lot more than switch my major this first semester. I think now more than at any other point in my life I am really beginning to understand myself. I think it is a long process from April 8th of 2012 to now, when I realized for the first time the need to live an authentic life. Consequently, I really am a different person now. I think I am more open to new ideas, more humble in my interactions and more appreciative of the value of life.

I am a humanist deist. 
I am not LDS.

I am falling in love with life and with humanity. I am more optimistic than ever before and more content with knowing that more things than not are going to be out of my control. I am learning a worthy pattern about myself and understanding how my emotions operate.

I write a lot of poetry now. Like, a lot. That more than anything has become my most productive outlet for emotions and ideas.

I'm becoming more and more inspired, as each additional sunrise gives edge to greater understanding.

There is a poem I wrote yesterday that I think I'll post on here in a few hours. It's called, "Come March". I think it sums up quite a total of my feelings recently. 

As a last moment of thought, this is one of my favorite pictures that I've stumbled across this semester, this particular one from my architecture class. It is the Stahl House in Los Angeles, California. 

A perfect juxtaposition of the intimacy of human contact to the infinite possibility of life.

I really do mean this-- Thank you for reading and feeling what I have written.


A. Browne Sebright