The Cup Of Silence


Some Day We’ll Go All The Way
October 6, 2008, 2:20 am
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My heart is raw. My tears have been many. Music is a great healer. In proper drinking song fashion, Cubs fan Eddie Vedder put this little tune together. This song was very helpful today.

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Brought To You By God And Tim Taylor
September 8, 2008, 11:51 pm
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So it was cool and rainy on this Des Moines morning. Cool enough to wear the blue fleece I bought in northern California last summer, the night my brother Blake and I slept on the beach, drinking a bottle of Cabernet, and talking about girls.  I woke up this morning at 6:30 am. Unusual for me, seeing as how I am usually incapable of movement before 8:45. I didn’t have to be at work until 9:30, so the morning became an actual morning, not something to get through, to make it into the afternoon.

I jumped out of bed with unusual energy, and moved over to my computer. I checked email, and downloaded the morning edition of the BBC Global News podcast. After the iPod sync, I drove to the hotel I work for, and swam laps in the pool for a half hour or so. There is something about swimming. A type of fatigue comes about that no other exercise regiment can duplicate. It is almost relaxing. Peaceful.

I drove back home, listening to the rest of the global news podcast. There is still violence in Darfur, even though the Sudanese government says there isn’t. A member of the rebel army spoke with the BBC, pleading for help from the west. The UN reply was that they couldn’t be sure that the soldier’s story of 40,000 civilians being displaced within the past 24 hours was accurate, as the UN is unable to move their “observers” into the area. The reason? Its the rainy season. Too much rain.

The rain splashed against my windshield, as I pulled into my driveway.  I threw my wet swimming trunks into the dryer, and went to the kitchen to make some coffee. Coffee Ambassadors Guatemalan, fresh roasted three days prior. While cleaning my french press of the previous morning’s grounds, the smell of the wet coffee instantly brought me back to blue and gray mornings at Rob and Janet’s house in Sarajevo, making and sharing this very same coffee with those I love. Fresh bread from the “pekara” down the street. Maybe some eggs. The freshest milk of all time. Simeon running around. Rob typing on the laptop. The excitement and anticipation of discovering places I had read about in books. What shots I wanted to get that day. Food I wanted to eat. People I wanted to meet. Stories I wanted to hear.

These mornings also involved the place I call “my spot,” or “the spot.” I have one in just about every place I have visited or lived. I pick out a spot to go to. Usually in the morning. Usually a fairly private place. Always beautiful. The spot in Sarajevo was directly across the street from Rob and Janet’s neighbors. Between the spot and the house, there is tall mound of grassy earth, with a small graveyard on it.

At the top of the earth mound, a crooked grave in the shape of a cross sits, as the wind blows across the ridge.

Here is a foggy view from the spot.

The spot is where I would go in the mornings, just after breakfast and teeth-brushing, to think about why I was where I was that day. It was often cool on that ridge, looking out over the busy street leading commuters to and from Sarajevo. The taste of a morning Drina mixed with the flavor of my toothpaste. The connection I would feel on those mornings to the present day inhabitants of a city so full of pain. The many moments I didn’t want to relate to them at all. Green grass and yellow wildflowers.

In Des Moines, I have many spots.

After my shower, and a cup of coffee, I poured the rest of my french press into a large glass to take with me to work. The sun was now starting to show itself, peeking out from the gray sky, and lighting up the world with soft and cool yellows and oranges. Taking a sip of the coffee, with the wind blowing through my van, I recalled Sarajevo again, ridding a scooter to Baščaršija, to get a cup of coffee and some pictures. Passing by the billboards of a creepy looking man with a mustache and a top hat, promoting the local newspaper Oslobođenje. Passing “Zetra,” a structure from the 1984 Olympic Winter Games. Romas digging through the waste bins along the side of the road.

I pulled into my parking spot with a half hour to kill before work. I brought the book Fools Rush In to read, because I knew I would be early. I was at the part of the story where Bill Carter had just gotten back to Split after spending three weeks in besieged Sarajevo. He was swimming in the Adriatic, pitching his idea for a documentary about Sarajevo…

9:30. Time for work.

Heres to many more beautiful mornings.



Men From Up The Stairs :: By David Firth (2006)
September 1, 2008, 2:44 pm
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It doesn’t make sense, unless you are keen to all of the clues given. I will give you a hint: Pay attention to the phone.

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Split, In The Morning.
August 18, 2008, 9:15 pm
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This week is the home stretch for me finishing up my video from Sarajevo. While going through footage, I stumbled across this forgotten clip from my first morning in Split, Croatia. I shot this video three days before the bittersweet end of my trip to ex-Yugoslavia. I can tell you that I was emotionally drained by this time, and the short trip to Croatia was very welcomed on my part. This video also highlights my ability to have fantastic hair, first thing in the morning.

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homeSICK
July 4, 2008, 5:34 pm
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I’ve been impressed with the Bosnian artist Selja Kameric. check out her work by clicking her name in the previous sentence. Below is one of my favorite projects of hers. Its called “homeSICK.”

On her first night at camp, Sheila felt very homesick for her family.- Longman Dictionary of American English

homeSICK, work in progress, started in Graz 2001, Selja Kameric
Printed stickers, 14x14cm

Graz, Manciano, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Bern, San Marino, Milano, Berlin, Ravenna, Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, Leipzig, Vienna, Wolfsburg, Prishtina, Paris, Frankfurt am Miane, Tirana, Havana, Trinidad, Nicosia, Tokyo, Kyoto, Kitakyushu, New York, Malmo…

The arrow always points in the direction of Sarajevo.

* home-sick, feeling sad because you are away from your home: On her first night at camp,
Sheila felt very
homesick for her family.
– Longman Dictionary of American English



Last Lecture
May 5, 2008, 9:49 pm
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Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch, who is dying from pancreatic cancer, gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium.

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When Your Love Asks To Wait, Wait. It Implies Time’s Yearning Simplicity.
February 8, 2008, 8:56 pm
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cello-740737.jpg

Bach Cello Suites. Yo Yo Ma.  Winter sounds through my stereo. I am not bragging when I say that I have a great pair of stereo speakers, a bargain at an Iowa pawn shop about four years ago. I have promised them to Rob Mezger, if ever I should reach heaven before him (yes, we can consider this blog post a contract).  I know many people who love music, and I don’t claim that one of them loves it more than the other. These speakers go to Rob because he helps me to love music more. I have told him so.

Back to Bach. Cello suites. Beautiful. Full of sorrow and joy simultaneously; a yearning simplicity. With the help of these speakers, I can envision the rosin powder springing from the horse-hair bow, and landing on the bridge and strings, dancing with each note. It encompasses this listener, reminiscent of the snow outside in the drive way, and the warmth inside my room. I think this is why I like Bach in the winter months. Mozart and Beethoven are for the spring, summer, and fall. Bach for these cold times.

In winter’s grip, it is easy to love deeper. Some may call this loneliness. I think its love, or at least the emotional manifestation of such a misunderstood word. Throughout this cold season, I have heard God’s whispering voice say “Wait.” “Wait on Me here.” The deeper love still spreads, but with a more life-giving purpose.