Of Doors and Mountains

Of Doors and Mountains

A prose poem

Whenever I leave a place, I write a eulogy to the place. This eulogy is of words poetic and visions imagined, hopes lost and dreams realized, doors opened and mountains climbed.

To Utah, I offer gratitude. My forming years were here, where, beneath the shadows of mountain majesty, I discovered who I was and what I wanted to give to the world. Utah has been a place of hardest challenges and strongest allies, a time of exploration and self-discovery in a place cradled between stalwart sentries.

I speak of hopes and dreams because I have legion. Some shifted, some morphed; others died, and many more perished. Some lived, some survived, some were realized. Hopes have been lost, while other dreams have been lived. I sorrow for the loss, but I rejoice in the gains—the twisted path of life is lit by the inner flame of dreams driven by hope.

To BYU, that great monolith in the middle of a small town that took up most of my time in Utah, I offer hope. I hope for a better future inside its hallowed walls. I hope for a greater sense of purpose within a place that I see as sacred for what I learned and what transpired within me while there. If a gay man can enjoy so much a place that stifles the soul, then there is hope.

I speak of doors and mountains because they represent my time in Utah: passageways and climbs. Of doors, I remember brown, red, green, and white. Brown doors led to greater knowledge; a red door led to family; a green door to discovery; and a white door toward home. Each door opened and each door closed; but each door remembered. Of mountains, I remember craggy and steep, harsh and beautiful, cloudy and clear. Each climb and each descent; but each experienced.

To you, I offer thanks. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have survived my time in Utah. If it weren’t for you, I would have lost who I was; instead, I discovered who I am. I live by a solemn promise I made to myself years ago: to affect each life I come in contact with just as much as my life is affected by each life I interact with. I hope that showed through.