Friday, February 26, 2010

Oh where oh where has Ben Johnson gone?

I feel now in ways like I haven’t in recent memory. I grasp to wrap my mind around the occurrences as of late. For a symbiotic relationship to end so suddenly, though warnings had been trickling down the fault line, is deep. Who would have imagined that the crack in the dirt would have opened so prematurely. Is this really the cessation of a mutual cooperative? Questions such as this still continue to perplex the sensitive-minded.


Imagine something that you love; a family member, a friend or a pet. Now imagine how you would feel when that thing you love takes a marked deviation from you; distancing itself with its unripe bite and not its cautious bark. Saturate that thought. Let it permeate the synapses…..linger…..culminate in mental fermentation. After you imagine that, you can begin grasping the occurrences as of late. Why do these things elicit deep ripples in the pond? A pond that supposedly cares about the organisms occupying it and its commitment to moving forward together. Were not the benefits habitual?

Enough questions, time for the facts. Straight up, this piece may challenge you. You may be disturbed to know that such a great person – in mine and other’s opinions is no longer here at Western. However, after the mental angst has settled, you will find a nugget of happiness buried deep within for a truly great man. A great man who has been minorly misunderstood, unappreciated by a few, and sadly shunned from a place he loves truly; but, a man that has a bright future ahead of him with new and wonderful opportunities.


I had decided to write this piece about a great friend of mine, Benjamin Johnson, but found it quite difficult to put my finger on a proper start, middle or end. I had initially wanted to express emotions, anger being prevalent amongst those, but found it difficult to watch what I may write. Instead, after debating internally, turning the idea up instead of down; right instead of left; I decided that an approach to the positive loveables about Ben-“jamin” would be a smile-on-your-face kind of way. Therefore the prose that flows shall be such – some peering into my psyche, some telling how it was.

You walk around Western’s campus with Ben and every few hundred feet there seems to be another jolly soul who knows him in one fashion or another. By chance, you meet a young student on campus and consequently find out that they were turned-on to Western because of something Ben Johnson said to them before their academic career here began. Now, to differentiate tall tales from truth, Ben is not responsible for every student on this campus. Not even close. But, what he is responsible for is a number of diverse students who like he, came to Western looking for something to love; something to be passionate about – even though they didn’t know what that was yet. If I had to assume, I’d attribute his popularity to his loveable characteristics. The way he will spend a few minutes with you chatting casually about your day or something that’s on your mind and how the elements of a caring listener become apparent in the engagement; before or after his signature greeting: the non-formal handshake.

Funnily enough, within my first few public outings with Ben, I found that we had great difficulty getting places on time. But, it wasn’t necessarily because Ben is untimely. When it counts, Ben is the guy you want in your corner – going extra rounds when needed. I’d attribute the lapse of time rather, to others stopping and saying hello to Ben and he conversely engaging to see how they are and how their day is going. It felt like just a month or so ago at City Market when I asked my other good friend Luke, ‘how does Ben know all the people that talk to him throughout the store?’ To which Luke’s response “Ben recruited them to come to Western.” I laughed a delightful laugh in disbelief if I do recall, and found myself amazed. To continually see students and people he knew after only a few times hanging around Ben blew away my perception of friendliness. I honestly will say I desired to have a friend who knew a lot of people; especially when reasons were as such. To find a person intertwined, even if for 30 seconds in your life mystifies my comprehension of the warm circumstances he brought to each conversation. Especially when the subconscious warmth is revealed in pouring back over the occurrences. Will we notice the lack of warmth in conversations with others; or will we find the ability to imitate what he exhibited. Who knows? Time will tell…


I look outside and think of how the snow coats things in beauty. I catch a fleeting cerebral glimpse of another season not so white and become aware of its allure in one form or another. How grace and good comes to cumulation when tranquility is in homeostasis. I look at my friend through memory’s eye and perceive how the seasons remind me of him. The way he finds internal beauty in others. His judgment not exceeding his physical distance from you. The way his smile imitates the sunshine and his facial expression the calm blue sky.

I acknowledge that it takes a marked ability to be non-judgmental the first few times you meet a person and start to get to know them. Meeting people is not easy, but yet it is – especially when you have a positive disposition like Ben. The affinity of being around him is similar to the moment a flower reaches full bloom; or when the moon comes from behind the clouds to bask you in its loving light. I cannot help but think of moments when everything seems right and liken it to being around him. I can say far beyond a reasonable doubt that I know a man worthy of the praises others admit of him. He embodies in many ways, what we should strive to be. While humans inherently make errors, the manner in which we control how they dictate our immediate future is what differentiates us. Ben’s way of living, his unrevealed goals, and the way in which he rides the ocean of life is to be happy. Despite the calamity or calm at hand. Much like the crux of a climb, Ben’s last essence is his invitation to others to be happy along with him in whatever he does.

Join us…..join your friends; your family…..join him. Seek to find the beauty in others and in the tainted magnetism of all that is around you. Weed out the seeds you loathe. Find the seeds to plant and choose ground that will prosper them. With love, nurturing, care and understanding your seed will bloom to be as Ben’s has. We will always miss the memories of Ben’s presence at Western, but celebrate his absence in the joy of his new life. Long live Benjamin Johnson. Long live what he lives.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Following up...

To clarify any wrongs that may have been assumed, I want to share a few positive notes with ya'll.

First off, I apologize if the last post sounded harsh. It came from within and sometimes the fire is intense on the inside; deep down. I do take passion in what I do, or at least I try. Having felt the waters, so to speak, I sensed dissension amongst the followers. I just wanted to address that up front. I say things all in love and if you don't know me yet, sometimes I say things without thinking thoroughly, but I mean well. Though, I did read over that last post numerous times before I published it, I was not going to change or deviate to satisfy disgruntlement.

Moving on...

For those that didn't know yet, I did not get into graduate school. Out of the 3 I've applied to, I was rejected by 2-Penn State and Colorado State (my first choice). Appalachian State remains in the cards, but I'm less and less impressed with school right now at this point. I'm trying to seek out jobs since my position at the college ends May 7th. I'd like to stay here in the valley but if indeed I have to move, I will. My sister Amy has been providing guidance and ideas for places to apply. I am grateful for her help. This post is starting to sound like posts of old...No worries though.

Other than the aforementioned, things go well. As I've said in times past, patience is the only real thing I can be assured in right now. My friends, family, and girlfriend remain as real and desired as ever. I appreciate any of you that have been thinking of me. The future holds unknowns. I look forward to them. Thanks again.

In Love,


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

An Interesting Style to Grasp

A quick back story before you read: I have had various remarks from various individuals about the validity of my writing. Is it really Alan? Is he really writing as he is? If so, where has it all come from? Well, I do say, please read on and find out. However, leave your sensitivities and opinions here at this point and pick them up afterwards, lest you be offended. You've been kindly warned. "Oh my, is he really going to say something hurtful to me?" No, I'm just going to be open and speak honestly. No person, specific event, or otherwise is mentioned. This is me speaking about my writing and my style so perhaps you all can better understand my thought processes. Good luck and feel free to respond if something does bother you. I don't read minds. Thank you and without further adieu, the piece:

Without readers my blog would be just like a personal diary; and in many ways it is. However, the blog was started as a way for me to confer to those not around me on a daily basis my life out in Colorado. Granted many writings as of recent have been about random events, both past and present, real and imagined; but for me it's a natural progression. For me to continue to write in cut and dry ways, stating I did x, y, and z no longer appeals to me as a "writer."

I've enjoyed writing creatively as much as I've enjoyed drawing creatively; about the last 5 years or so. For those of you that have seen my tattoo work, part of it is an original drawing by me. I have found other mediums for expressing creatively now that I am not around musical instruments as much. Because I don't talk about drawing or about creative writing as an interest or hobby it may be hard for some to see where I'm coming from. I used to write in plain sentences about what I was doing out in Colorado, much like a report would read. While that is very enjoyable for many of you I'm sure, the times have changed. I cannot say I am changing nor maturing, but I like to think I am; perhaps in ways barely measurable. Perhaps in ways not all and even retrograding. It's all something I have to figure out for myself though. I have a desire to express my thoughts and feelings creatively and openly. I feel I have a lot from the past to talk about and in many ways writing perspectively for me is a way to enjoy writing. If you don't enjoy something, why do it? Well, some would argue how they don't enjoy cutting the grass or grooming themselves, and I would say yes, that is true...there is always a counter-point to every statement. For me, writing in a creative, almost out-of-body&mind manner, is a way for me to express myself as well as brand my writing as different than the next guy. If we all expressed in the same manner or wore the same clothes, what a boring place we'd live in. Living in America has it's definite privileges. I am happy to exploit those. Hence why I just said that.

Variety is the spice of life, and expressing one's self in a passionate yet honest aspect is the style I'm conveying; interesting and confusing nonetheless. If I have offended people; mislead them with confusing metaphors; talked above or below them, then I apologize. One thing we all should strive to understand is that this blog is mine; and not that I'm selfishly imploring your views, but they are voluntary. No one is forcing viewership. I appreciate the readers I have. If you were to not read my blog anymore I'd be saddened, but chances are I wouldn't even know. I'm not out to impress anyone and I hope to not be unimpressive to those sensitive to issues I discuss; but I can't screen every thought without disassembling the piece of writing and giving it a bipolar purpose. This is really a continual development of Alan as he matures and figures out life, and you all have the privilege, or horror of reading about it; even if it's not specifically about me.

If it seems I am not genuine in my thoughts, or that they seem not me, I don't know what to tell you. I assure you my writing is me through and through and that no one or no substance is inundating the material you read. I am still at a crossroads in life and perhaps one crossroad leads to another. For this I apologize. I can't foresee what I will write about. I sit down, I write, I move on with life. Sometimes my ramblings make sense; sometimes my sense is ramblings; that's how it is. Often times, the cereal in the cereal box doesn't look like what it did on the outside picture. Same goes for me. I don't know how to be any more clear. Again, I apologize if you originally signed on to read about what I was doing in Colorado. I can say you will catch elements of my life here and there, but for me to continually stretch on and on about my doings goes against my character; whether that's a new or old character I couldn't tell you. I'm telling it how it and now.

Thanks for reading and if you go your own direction, I'm sorry to see you go; but it's inherent that dissatisfaction occurs everyday. Life is dynamic...hope you'll deal.

In love, genuineness, care, and respect,


Monday, February 1, 2010

The Day CSU Said No

"If there were no rewards to reap,
No loving embrace to see me through
This tedious path I've chosen here,
I certainly would've walked away by now.
Gonna wait it out."