Thursday, December 31, 2009

quiet.

Mother Theresa is quoted, speaking these profound words of truth that I believe all people can easily lose sight of. Sure she is talking about God, however these words ring true to anyone in any type of relationship. Lately I have been struggling with the discipline of silence.

Silence is a powerful skill that I have been trying to improve upon for the last year. More often then not I have something to say about everything. I am a very opinionated person, which used to be one of my favorite qualities about myself. Others tend to listen to those who have little to say. It is like a well placed curse word in a conversation.

Finishing college has, so far, been an interesting transition. I now have the time to practice silence in a way that suits me best. I have recently been taking the time to dig into books that I have been wanting to read, I have been able to think about my faith and philosophies on life, and I have been able to sit and enjoy a moment for everything that it is. I am happier.

I am more silent.

One other struggle that has been facing me lately is my constant need to escape from everything that creates noise. I cannot listen to loud music. I cannot watch loud movies. I cannot exist around loud people. I feel the need to escape from these situations and find refuge in silence or quiet conversation.

...more thoughts later. For now I am going to enjoy the company of a dear friend. In silence.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

bend.


I am sitting in a little tea shop in downtown Bend, Oregon with Rachael, Nick, and Wes and I am at peace. The place is called Townshend's Tea Company. There is alternative country music playing softly in the background and the quiet whispers of my fiancé and my best friends create bliss.
This trip has been a true blessing. I have just finished my course work at APU and though I feel anticipation for those in my life returning in the spring, I have begun my post-collegiate experience.

(A Townshend's employee just dropped a dish, momentarily disrupting my thoughts)

Tom Monson, a friend who we are staying with just walked in to the tea shop. What a blessing to have him in my life.

As the trip continues I will record more of our experiences.


Friday, December 18, 2009

big fish tattoo.

I have started the process of my full sleeve. Dave Hartman is doing all of the work at his new shop Big Fish Tattoo in Solana Beach, CA. His work is amazing and I am excited to go through the process. He has worked at a number of shops, most recently 454 Tattoo in Leucadia, CA. only a few miles from Big Fish Tattoo. The shop is very comfortable resembling a house and sitting on the 101 coast highway.

I highly recommend this shop to everybody looking to get tattooed in Southern California.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

burger.


This is it ladies and gentlemen. Chili's Southern Smokehouse Bacon Burger. I know what any burger connoisseur would say, "Chili's? Good Food? Yeah Right!". However I assure you this burger is worth all of the praise that I am about to give it.

Last night Rachael and I had planned a date. We were going to go to Venice Beach and do the usual thing: walk around do pretty much nothing until we got hungry, then spend way too much money on a mediocre chic hole in the wall.

We ended up going to Chili's of all places. We were tired and hungry and wanted to eat American. When we got there, there was a line of waiting young couples and families that went all the way to San Dimas. Luckily I knew the hostess and she reduced the wait time to about 30 minutes.

The waiter Jeff was awesome. He was a real pro. I'm pretty sure he only had one other table so his focus was mainly on us. He got us our drinks in no time: Rachael's Strawberry Lemonade and my Samuel Adams Winter Seasonal. Rachael ordered the Chicken Crispers and I settled for the bacon burger. I felt rushed.

When I got this thing I almost sent it back. The Bacon was SO thick you could barely see the hamburger patty. Any one that knows me knows that I am in fact a bacon connoisseur. The patty was 100% Beef Chuck which should only be cooked medium-rare. The burger came with the crispiest little fried onions on top. The barbeque sauce was the grand finale to this burger. It is called Shiner Bock Barbeque Sauce and is imported from the great American state of Texas.

I could write a book about this burger, but I won't. I suggest everyone go to Chili's and try this magnificent burger. Then maybe you'll write a book about it and I'll have the pleasure of reading it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

compassion.


Charter for Compassion is an organization that is championed by Karen Armstrong (former nun, ambassador, theologian). The organization focuses on the action of religious people from all walks of faith and unfaith. She is reaching across religious and national boundaries to attempt to bring people together in the name of compassion and loving acts.


Affirm the charter and learn about the cause.

Thank you Sam Prince for everything you are and for the compassion you've shown me and everyone that knows you.


ghandi.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

john marcotte.

RESCUE MARRIAGE.

John's official website:

NPR Article about his efforts:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120969156

My new hero. John Marcotte. Husband and father of two is proposing a ban on divorce in the state of California to poke those in favor of Proposition 8. Genius!!!



slope.


I have embarked on this slippery slope of analyzing the biblical narrative. More accurately I should say biblical narratives. It is 9:04 in the morning and my Hebrew Prophets class is having a beautifully intense discussion on the prophetic book of Jonah.

Last night we were instructed to read the book of Jonah and 4 commentaries on it that are very intensive, encompassing very different perspectives. A conservative might ask, "what perspectives are to be had" for they were raised to think, "Jonah lived... he got swallowed by a whale... the whale spit him out... his story made the biblical canon, so the story is a factual/historical narrative." A liberal might say, "Great story... good message... I don't know about the whale thing... but the moral of the story holds truth."

Asking these questions is not new to me. I have been asking these questions about almost every biblical theme and narrative for the past 3 years now, and I am finally beginning to feel comfortable in my not knowing... or my faith. For a common church goer, even entertaining this question is intolerable.

My question is: Is the factual element to a story the only criteria in administering truth?

What if Jonah did not get swallowed by the whale? What if the story was allegorical and was purposed to relay a greater message; Love your neighbors.

In our culture we are used to truth in fiction. Going to movies and reading fictional books are two of American's favorite leisure activities because they assist us in entering an alternate reality that may be more eventful or entertaining. We are voyeurs.

Do I think that Jonah got swallowed by a large fish, lived in that fishes stomach for three days, was spit on the shores, and went to Nineveh to preach? Yes, and no.

I believe that the story holds truth with out being exactly historical. In this way I believe that the story is true. I do not think that Jonah was swallowed by a giant fish and lived for three days in the fishes belly. I think that this is a story that is parabolic to try to communicate a message more effectively.

This way of biblical interpretation is a slippery slope. Once one biblical narrative, be it Jonah and the Whale, Noah's Ark, Adam and Eve and the creation story, or all of the end times narratives, becomes allegorical, legendary, or parabolic, when can you discern which are historical and which are not. Is the virgin birth historical fact? Is the resurrection? Are the miracles? I do not know and I am not comfortable deciding.

What I do believe is that "truth" is different from "historical". A truthful message can shine through in fiction.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

band of horses.

I saw my favorite band last night. Amazing!

Rachael, Wes, Gagne, Bidwell, Laurel, and myself got tickets a little over a week ago for the Band of Horses show at Club Nokia, next to the Staples Center, in Los Angeles. Rachael and I were two of the first 40 people to try to get in the "pit" right in front of the stage, so we got wrist bands.

The show was amazing. Ben Bridwell came out wearing a cowboy hat, boots, and a western button-up. There set was perfect.

After the show I ran to the stage and got the set-list. We saw Soren and Allison Gerali there who had VIP wristbands. I gave Allison the set list to get signed by the band.

Hopefully I get it back.

They band said that they were in Los Angeles finishing their 3rd full length album entitled "Night Rainbow". They played a hand full of songs off this album and I cannot wait to hear it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

saturday.

Today turned my world view around. It was the best day I remember having in a really long time, and for a lot of reasons. My mind and body both feel completely rested. I don't feel that I have a thing in the world to worry about.

Last night, friday, Rachael and I went to dinner in downtown Claremont called Aruffo's. It is a cute little Italian restaurant that does Italian right. Here is the link to the restaurants reviews on Yelp.com: http://www.yelp.com/biz/aruffos-italian-cuisine-claremont

The dinner and wine was amazing and I don't think we have been as close as we are now; it feels as though the two of us just started dating.

Rachael spent the night and when we woke up in the morning I made a pot of coffee. While the coffee was still brewing me and Rachael went to YumYum's Doughnuts to get breakfast for the "mates". When we got back we woke up Tim and Ashley and cuddled up in their bed and talked.

Tim and I have become a lot closer lately. I don't know what happened to us... but it was really refreshing. This is when the day kicked off. 

Wes woke up and it was on like a WILDFIRE!!! The three of us guys cleaned most of the house. We turned on some good music and did some deep cleaning. There is something about cleaning that brings people together. I think it is because it feels like a new start. Over the past couple months a lot of dirt got built up in my life. It was today that I decided to put it behind me.

My parents came out around 6:30 p.m. and took me and Rachael to Bishimon Sushi Restaurant. We had an awesome conversation about marriage and what it means to have a healthy relationship. They are so wise. I am so glad they approve of Rachael. 

My mom once said to Rachael, "If I looked up Noah's perfect woman in the Dictionary, your face would show up." 


Thursday, November 5, 2009

marriage.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/05/us/05marriage.html?_r=1&ref=politics

I am taking a step away from myself and Rachael for a second. I'm telling you... I am trying to be so happy about what Rachael and I are going through, and I am. It breaks my heart however, when I read about situations like the one in the link above. Maine, a state that has seemingly always embraced the gay and lesbian communities, just voted to appeal their gay marriage law by a large margin.

I thought that the national perception of the gay marriage issue was progressing and becoming more inclusive. I don't understand why we are still fighting over this issue because to me it seams so black and white.

GAY PEOPLE WANT TO GET MARRIED. They want to enter into life-long relationships monogamous, yet we wont let it happen.

Why?

What about this issue is grey area?

Do people really think that the gay community is like the Church, setting out to evangelize and convert?

It saddens me and my heart goes out to the gay community. I want to say that "I support you, I love you, and keep your heads up and positive. Things will not this way forever. Things will slowly change. Continue being who you are, and people will eventually see clearly".

arc 4,5, & 6.

I have been rock climbing a lot lately. Last thursday I went with my friend Bailey because Keith was in class until 10 p.m. He is so good. I just like watching, especially his footwork and technique. I have twice the upper body strength that he does, but when your technique is like his, strength doesn't matter. He taught me quite a bit. When I first started climbing I could use my strength to solve the easy routes. Now that I am getting a little better, technique has to be learned. Last night Keith and I went out to the ARC and had a pretty rough session. We are both climbing at our limits and became frustrated fast.

We saw lines that, at a glance, we should be able to do. For whatever reason we were spent and were unable to solve many problems.

My hands are becoming like sand paper from all of the calluses. This is an exciting time however, because I can see improvement. I just need to break through my limit.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

exaggeration.


It is funny really. When I have nothing to write about but wedding venues, rock climbing, and rain I am very consistent. When I have some deep personal issues that could use exploration however, I tend to retreat inward. I do not know what it is. Maybe it is that I feel more comfortable in my unclarity.

The truth is that I am broken. The people that I feel closest to are in a state of mourning during a point in my life that should be celebrated and joyous.

People have been uplifting me lately for my decisions in the past week or so. I know that I have made the good decisions, but somehow I am left disturbed and uneasy. It is depressing to me how the good decision in a moment presents itself as a harmful and "not nice" decision.

More than anything else, for those of you who know me, I try to be a good friend. I love my friends so much and I try to do good upon them as correctly as I can. Presently I feel helpless, invaluable, and insufficient as a friend. This is a negative thought. It is exaggeration. I try to carry the burden of the people around me, hoping that there might be some way I could make it easier for them. I feel strong at this point in my life.

I have conquered negativity mostly and I am continually getting better at choosing the positive position in all aspects of life. Where is the positive in these recent events however?

For those of you who know of the events I am referring to, I will tell you what the positive position is: (1) Life is not lost, and (2) Things are slowly, but surely, getting better.

Even recognizing this however, my heart and my stomach is constantly in knots. I have had trouble sleeping and when I wake up in the morning I feel tired and anxious. I have broken down and cried a lot lately in the most random of situations.

Where is my sanctuary?

My sanctuary has not been "The Bungalow" in a long time. I used to rush home, walk in the door, and smile as the weight of my days mystically lifted from my shoulders. Now I find excuse to spend my time elsewhere. I have been brainstorming about what the new "Bungalow" might be for me:
  • Rachael Lunghi
  • Nick Garcia
  • Kristin Hershman
  • Keith Savage
  • Arcadia Rock Climbing Gym
  • noahhershman.blogspot.com
  • Ryan Adams
I have been thinking about going to church again. Maybe it might make me feel good, or give me something each week. I used to think that people who went to church for this reason were out of line and selfish. Now I lean toward the philosophy of "whatever works" I guess. Whatever helps you get through. I could sit, listen, think, and hold Rachael's hand.

I miss my fiancé all the time. I always want to be with her. She is my best friend and she facilitates growth in me so well. She is a great listener and she provides me with deep comfort. Just the thought of sitting across from her silently and eating a meal in her presence gets me excited. I love driving with her. See... as I babble about her my thoughts float away from the tension in my household.

I guess I do have sanctuary.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

arc 3.

The third time Keith and I went to the ARC was a blast. I had my first pair of climbing shoes, and my chalk bag... I was ready to go. I repeated the routes that I had done before and I found one to work on next sunday. I almost have it!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

leo carrillo ranch.


Well... we have decided not to go with The Condor's Nest Ranch. The deposit was a ridiculous amount that we just refused to make. Rachael then went yesterday to a place in Palomar Mt. that she didn't seem to fond of.

For us, it is really important that the reception is as fun as possible. The place in Palomar Mt. required NO amplified music and an end time for the reception must be 9 o'clock P.M. Yeah... not going to work for us. We plan on really celebrating right.

Rachael was completely wrecked last night. She is so frustrated and very sad that things aren't simply falling into place. She has such high expectations for this special day and I know things are going to go above and beyond those expectations.

Right before we decided to stop talking about venues for the night, and sleep on our thoughts, we found a beautiful place in Carlsbad, CA. that meets all of our personal requirements.

1) It is in San Diego (a non-negotiable for my future mother-in-law)
2) Cheapest we've found
3) Beautiful
4) Party, Dance, Live Music

The place is called Leo Carrillo Ranch. Rachael is going to look at it on Saturday.

Monday, October 19, 2009

balloon boy.


A silver balloon sat in my backyard day and night for four years. I used to have dreams of floating through clouds, dodging stars. I would make friends with the people of the sky and snack on the moon.

There are people I see on T.V. who cry. The homes I see are built on sand and my daddy says we are bringing them freedom. I’ve heard they hate me.

I’m not sure what freedom is and I’m not sure why they hate me.

The balloon could take me to the land of the sand and I would say I’m sorry.

In my dreams I would bring a few of them back so that we could play and talk and listen and learn.

Tomorrow I will set sail on that silver balloon. As I float past the people of the sky I will say, “I cannot stay to snack on the moon. I need to make friends in the land of the sand.”

Sunday, October 18, 2009

arc 2.


I went rock climbing again today. It was my second time and I feel a lot more accomplished.

I did two routes today that I couldn't last week. I had thought about them this entire week; before I went to sleep, while I was sleeping, when I woke up, and all through out the day.

I got them today. We'll see what I can do next sunday!

home.


I've been gone all weekend. I worked on friday from 5:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. I then drove home, showered and left for desolate Temecula, CA. to help one of my Chef's with a catering event in a camp site.

I got to the camp around 5:00 p.m. after hitting stop-and-go traffic on the 91 freeway (screw that freeway. I would rather spend the rest of my life driving north on the 5). When I got there I hit the ground running and began cooking the teriyaki chicken bowls that we would be selling. Sales were horrible and we finished cleaning up and winding down around 11:15 p.m.

Sleep was okay, but the thing about tent camping is that if the sun decides to wake up at 7:00 in the morning, it is waking your ass up too.

Breakfast was horrible and cooking teriyaki bowls started at noon.

Temecula doesn't like the cold, so I was sweating all day in front of a hot stove. 11:00 p.m. rolled around and I still had to drive an hour and a half to Glendora so that I could see my beautiful fiancé.

I was woken up again at 7 in the morning and I feel very sleep deprived. I drove home feeling dirty and gross from camping and drank the coffee that kept me alive last night. As I walked in my house I felt a feeling that I hadn't felt in a long time. I didn't care that the house smelled like stale beer, cat food, and sweaty man. I didn't care that 100 coffee mugs and water bottles lined the kitchen counter either. I felt like I was home.

I love my home.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

condor's nest ranch.



Yesterday, Rachael and I went to The Condor's Nest Ranch, which is a wedding venue in Pala, California. The web-site just didn't do it justice. The house is absolutely beautiful, designed in a very country-western theme. Bob, the man that owns the house and ranch is a retired motorcycle racer who continues to make a ridiculous amount of money by renting out The Condor's Nest Ranch.

So I believe this is were we are going to have our wedding and wedding reception (if you would like to check it out go to http://www.thecondorsnestranch.com/).

I saw Rachael's face light up like I have never before. There was something magical that sparked inside of her. I'm sure it was some of that "girly" fantasy wedding thing, but she was also piercing me with her big green/yellow eyes. She was looking at me, and telling me through her glares, that she was 150% sure that I was her "ONE".

All that to say, be prepared for an outrageously fun time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

amen.

Just as I predicted the asphalt was wet when I woke up. It is so beautiful outside. I hope it is like this for a while.

rain. rain. rain.

Monday, October 12, 2009

rain.


I was sitting on the corner of campus today on my break from work when I felt the faintest drizzle. I could have sworn right then and there my heart exploded. It wasn't from sadness, like most southern Californians, but from complete joy. It hasn't rained since June and I am ready for the first of the year... hopefully it will be tonight so that I can wake up in the morning and have a cup of coffee on my porch and smell that beautiful smell of wet assphalt.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

life.


I am sitting next to my new fiancé wondering what are lives will become. I'm not scared, because I know everything will be okay. I am just anticipating so many little things such as brushing my teeth next to her every night and morning.

We are very different from each other, but we work together so well. She likes to talk a lot and ask a lot of detailed questions while I am more simple and expect details to be emplied. She feels like she has to entertain everybody and I hide in the back of the room with a close friend for an intellectual conversation or to simply "shoot the shit".

Rachael's God is so big and he provides her so much comfort. She just "is". At this point in my life God's overwhelming size provides me with thousands of deep questions, though I don't doubt Him as much anymore. I'm learning to exist in his presence, and allow Rachael to re-teach me things I used to believe in.

My love and commitment has never been stronger than it has been the last few months. I do not believe in "the one". I don't believe that God has created me specifically for one person. I believe that Rachael and I work very well together. I did not ask her to be my wife because of some "calling", but because we know how to get through the muck and reach the other side stronger and as better people.

I don't know the details of our future. I am just going along for the ride. I am ready to embark on this journey and I desire to soak in every moment along the way.

arc.


Today I went to the Arcadia Rock Climbing gym with my friend Keith. I'm hooked. Rock Climbing is such a therapeutic experience. The entire time I was thinking about nothing else but climbing. The people there were very helpful once they found out that it was my first time. I feel like I did pretty well and I am planning on going weekly.

What a great new hobby. I suggest that everyone try it.

engaged.


Crazy huh? I'm engaged finally to Rachael. It has been almost 3 years now and I feel like we have just begun our journey.