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The End of Summer

Do you remember the best summer of your life?

I’m trying hard to remember mine. When I was 16 or 17, I probably could have told you… but now that I’m double those years… it’s hard to even know which summer was which: they all blur together.

There were elementary school summers where I went over to my friends house (who lived around the corner) almost every day and played video games, ate red vines, drank coke and went swimming in his pool. We lived off Kraft macaroni and cheese and Top Ramon. I would get pissed off when I lost at Mortal Kombat or Baseball Stars and go home angry, only to call my friend twenty minutes later and return for a game of backyard basketball (I usually lost that too).

There were summers in middle school and early high school when I went to camp in the mountains. Those were “coming of age” summers, full of crushes, overcoming fears of nature and the great outdoors, finding my faith and finding my voice.

Then there were summers in late high school and early college where I traveled to South America on missions trips with my church group.  My eyes began to open to the vastness of human experience and how secluded I was in my little suburban Southern Californian town. I found my heart, my soul, and my acceptance of those different than me.

There was the summer after graduating high school, when I went to Hawaii with two of my best friends for a week of “being free” from school, my parents, relationships, everything. Just us, the ocean, the beaches, and as many resort hotel pools and spas as we could sneak in. I think we nearly died multiple times on that trip, but I made it home alive although super reluctant to start college (Jr. College).

There was the summer of 2002, after my first year of college, where I traveled to Chile (one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on), and came home to my Grandma dying, and shortly after that, my lung collapsed spontaneously, which left a scar deeper than just a physical scar. It would leave me counting my breath for years and years to come, always fearful of the possible collapse of my body. That summer burns bright in my memories.

Then there was the summer of 2004, when I worked at a summer camp with three amazing friends. I learned so much about myself that summer, about who I wanted to be, who I was becoming, and who I definitely did NOT want to be. I remember late nights of philosophy and theology over a bowl of Lucky Charms. I remember reading Siddhartha, and a New Kind of Christian – both of which really opened up my mind on religion and spirituality. I got engaged that summer, and forever tied myself to my wife. It was, looking back on it, a monumental summer.

The mid 2000’s were spent working as a Youth Pastor, planning trips, summer camps, and weekly activities and youth groups. In 2008, I led my first mission trip to Peru with a group of high schoolers. It would be my last and final summer as a Youth Pastor.

That same summer, the summer of 2008 – my wife and I moved to Portland, Oregon with our oldest (and then, only) daughter.  The old Southern Californian summers were gone now. Replaced by a completely new meaning of summer. A respite from the rain. A few short months filled with sunshine before the clouds and showers came again. In Portland, summer became a time of relaxing, traveling, refreshing… and sweating.

In 2009, we bought a home and welcomed our second daughter.

In 2010, I started my freelance web development business.

In 2011, we moved to Santa Cruz.

In 2013, we moved back to Portland.

2014, 2015, now 2016. In the books. Those three years, much of the same. The girls take a trip down to Santa Cruz to visit my wife’s parents. We do some weekend trips to the coast, we play outside, we go to the park, we try and stay cool, we play, play, play.

For my daughters, it’s their elementary school year summers… and we’re back again. Everyday they asked if they could see if they could play with our neighbor friends.

And now it comes to an end. Another summer, in the books.  They seem a little more uneventful these days (for me). That’s what happens when you work full-time. Summer just becomes months where it’s warm outside but you can’t go out and play because you are stuck inside working. It’s a little different for me, with kids and a teacher wife, so there is that end of school year / beginning of summer and then the close of summer and the start of school again. But they begin to blend into one another.

I’m looking forward to the cooler months. That’s become a thing. At the end of each summer, I welcome the cooler air, the leaves changing color, the rain settling in, and the start of a long, cold, wet Autumn/Winter.  But that coldness, that wetness is what I am used to – and what I love. It gets hard towards the end, but the summer is just the right shortness. Enough to refresh, but just long enough where you start to look forward to the changing season.

And here I am, at the end of this post. I really though it would be more reflective and deep. I guess I am losing my insightfulness to old age (and parenting). Perhaps I am deeply depressed, a combination of things that has made me lose feeling… lose perspective (save for moments here and there). Perhaps time has become a blur and it is hard to pinpoint moments of clarity and “life changing” moments. Does life change happen after you turn 30?

 

 

jimkrill

The Last Year

2015.

Looking at the calendar of my life, I don’t think I ever thought anything of 2015. I would be 33.

Maybe it meant something because wasn’t Jesus 33 when he died? Or something… other than that, who cares. 33. You’re half old, half young, mostly in the middle. You’ve gone through your 20’s but you’re not quite “old” yet.

And so this year has passed quietly and I have not had many deep thoughts to post on here. I have not had the energy or the motivation to add photos, poems, thoughts… anything. Maybe I should blame Facebook and Instagram for that (since I post pictures on there). Maybe I’ve come to the realization that this blog is SOLELY for me and no one else, so if I don’t post anything for a year – so be it.

So why am I back?

Because this last year has not been a good year. This last year has been lonely and sad. 33 feels closer to death than ever. And 34 is around the corner. But rather than roll over and die, give into the inevitable and wait for time to eat away at my soul and my body, I need to try and find life again, to hold on until the final hour and be happy.

Happiness. I need to find happiness.

And I think it’s easy to “search” for happiness – you know – out there. In sports. In art. In music. In people. In adventures… and yes, there is happiness there.  But to really enjoy all those things, you have to already be happy. It’s a state of being; and I think it starts internally.

So I need to write more. For me. Publicly. Because, yeah, I hope someone will read this and care and respond and interact and help guide my internal thoughts – because we all have different experiences and I don’t want to be lost in mine.

So that’s it. That’s all for now. Just a quick blah blah blah to get started and to actually have posted something in 2015.

23 days until the end of 2015.

2016 is when I find my voice again. Right? Right.

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Lift a Sail

For RDK,

If a cold wind starts to rise,
I am ready now, I am ready now
With the last sail lifted high,
I am ready now, I am ready now

All the wreckage I left behind,
I burned the earth beneath my weary-weakened feet.
Feel my heart stop and lift my eyes,
I can’t choose when to love or who I am part of

If a cold wind starts to rise,
I am ready now, I am ready now
With the last sail lifted high,
I am ready now, I am ready now

I was so wrong and unaware,
I locked myself away, I thought that I’d be safe,
Then I realized I’d gone nowhere
Life is just too sweet to lie in this defeat

If a cold wind starts to rise,
I am ready now, I am ready now
With the last sail lifted high,
I am ready now, I am ready now

If a storm blows in on me,
I am ready now, I am ready now
When the waves come from underneath,
I am ready now, I am ready…

If a cold wind starts to rise,
I am ready now, I am ready now
With the last sail lifted high,
I am ready now, I am ready now

If a storm blows in on me,
I am ready now, I am ready now
When the waves come from underneath,
I am ready now, I am ready…

With the last sail lifted high,
I am ready now, I am ready now.

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Moments: sort of a review of the movie Boyhood.

This is me.

This is me in the car with my daughters.

I took this picture within the last week.

But I have no recollection of where we were going or where we had been. If not for this picture, I wouldn’t have known this happened. I don’t remember.

It’s just a snapshot.  A moment.

These moments happen everyday, and most of them – sadly – I do not remember.  It’s why I take so many pictures; because when you’re a parent of three kids you barely have the energy to take it all in.  It just happens.

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The shaking that will not break us.

Tonight started out as the perfect night.

Just before 5 we rode as a family to the airport to pick up Oma (Robin’s mom) and then went to Chipotle and sat outside on a blanket watching airplanes land.  The cool air of a summer storm (without the rain) was a brilliant respite to the recent heat wave which broke 100 degrees (F) with insane humidity.  The girls played and wrestled on the grass and for the first time in their short existence, it seemed like Amalea and Maya REALLY loved each other, their joy shared in their free for all frolicking on this beautiful August day.

When we got home there was a brief melt down by Maya, which is normal. But she soon calmed down and I was on my way for a night off from parenting duties to go play pick-up soccer in the park – something I haven’t done in a long time.

Normally I am nervous at meeting new people, but I felt a sense of calm and resolve knowing how much I needed this night off and to both exercise and do something I loved with new friendly faces.  And it was truly fun. I had a blast.

There was a moment where I looked up at the sunset sky, the wind blowing through the trees, full of their green summer foliage, the ambiance like a symphonic master piece and I marveled out loud: This is so wonderful. Those of you who seek to experience joy and pleasure every single day know nothing of the quality of joy one experiences when you have endured a period of pain or suffering, or simply existing. The last few months have been very stressful, culminating in a vacation that felt less like a vacation and more like a marathon. And then we returned to Portland to an epic heat wave that required us buying another fan to try and beat the heat. It lasted only a few days, but it felt like it nearly did us in: the straw that broke the camels back.

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