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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alice In Wonderland

Today my wife and I watched, for the first time, the new, Alice In Wonderland, movie. I loved the fantastical fantasy of it all. What magic, what imagination and what a story. I'll be honest I have never seen or even read the entire story before. So, aside from seeing pieces of it here and there, this was my first real introduction to it. I had been mentioning it to my wife for the last week that we watch this movie. So, when a friend of ours shared with us, a couple of nights ago, that she had watched it and really enjoyed it, that was all we needed. We rented the movie, lay back in our living room and enjoyed the metamorphosis from this reality to a whole new one. 

There were some points of personal interest within the story that I would like to make note of. These may, or may not, be rather precarious points. I do not know if these were noted by few or maybe noticed by all, however, I will state them none-the-less.

1. Am I odd that I saw more beauty in the Red Queen's fortress and was not attracted, what so ever, to that of the White Queens?
2. I was sorely disappointed that all the company in the Red Queens court had faked their so called "abnormalities". I enjoyed the character that they all carried, not knowing what to expect, I was upset at the lose of those traits.
3. I really liked the Red Queen. I found her funny and intriguing. She had much more character then that of the White Queen.
4. I really enjoyed the moment when opposing armies dropped their weapons, fed up with fighting and longing for peace.
5. The point that, just because your different then most doesn't mean your less then anyone else. In fact those of whom we deem as different or odd are often 'much more muchier' then we ever expected and ourselves will ever be. I'll admit, I often feel different and/or like the odd one, perhaps, like the hatter, even Mad. 
The Hatter asks Alice, 
"Have I gone mad?"
 To which Alice replies, 
"I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But, I'll tell you a secret, 
all the best people are." 
This is not meant to sound like bragging, however, it is an honest feeling that I have within myself.

6. I love what the Hatter said to Alice,

 "You're not the same as you were before You were much more..."muchier" You've lost your "muchness"."

One thing that I am most often afraid of is losing my muchness, if I haven't lost it already. In fact, the truth is, I don't even know what that muchness is.

What is muchness? Have we lost it? Can we lose it? If we have, then where might we find it? 
These questions are oddly familiar to me.

Overall, a great movie. I recommend a watch if you have not seen this already or even a re-watch.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: What We Do & Do Not Know

“There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.” 
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tonight is CALLED TO QUESTION: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: What We Do & Do Not Know. Our guest speaker is Anthony Siegrist. He is a friend of mine, professor at a local college and a great admirer of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Currently he is in the works of writing a book with others, on Dietrich, that contains some rather controversial content about this man and his life. Anthony will be presenting some of these very things tonight.

Over the last month I have made an assumption. The assumption?, that most people would know who this man was and the life and times of which he lived. I was wrong. It is not bad that they don't, but I live in a rather overtly religious town and I would have thought that Dietrich would have been a presence known here. So, for anyone who does not know and would like to know a little bit more, here it is....

4 February 1906 - 9 April 1945

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a theologian, martyr, a spiritual writer, a musician, a pastor, and an author of poetry and fiction. The integrity of his Christian faith and life, and the international appeal of his writings, have received broad recognition and admiration, all of which has led to a consensus that he is one of the theologians of his time whose theological reflections might lead future generations of Christians into creating a new more spiritual and responsible millennium. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian famous for his stand against Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. His beliefs and convictions ultimately cost him his life in a Nazi concentration camp. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of the most famous theologians and martyrs of the 20th century.

So with this information, it is my hopes that you will attend tonights event and partake in the authentic dialogue. Begins @ 7:30pm Saturday, Feb 25th, 2012 

“In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts…” 
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

See You There

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Just Another Turn In The Road!

I know of no greater demobilizer to mankind, no thief so surreptitiousness as to snatch away the dreams of the young and old, then that of the fear of failure. 
I feel as though this is something that we all already know, however, this is a reminder well worth relaying here, now and on many more occasions. 

"However early you get up, you cannot hasten the dawn."

It is never an easy thing to live through a failure. In fact, it is down right gruesome. It hurts, it's lonely and humiliating. Even though there may be others to surround us with comfort and support, we still feel alone in our failures. In fact it is, as it often is, not until a later point that we can even fully comprehend that others were even a presence. And yet, we continue on somewhere, somehow, someway we persevere.? Miraculously, we manage to proceed in our daily proceedings. 

"We must learn to recognize, to value, to prize all the endless attempts it takes to do what we want to do, but which, for us, is still undoable."
Joan Chittister

It is only through the experience of failure that we learn to deal with them. In order to grow we must fail. A fruit tree will not bare the fruit that it was meant to, unless it is pruned, cut down and thinned out.  Once this ravaging has occurred, then and only then will the tree fully produce fruit, two fold it's previous. Liken onto that of a fruit tree, so we also must be thinned out, cut down and have the extra and unnecessary growths removed from our lives. It hurts us as we look and feel vulnerable, but we are all, the better for it.  

Living this life is a risk, one that is bound to bare some failures. What could we really enjoy in this life if we never had those moments of hardships. Those moments that, in-turn, magnify the good. 
Life is a risk. One we can not have truly lived, if not for that of our failures.

"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again." 

- Joan Chittister


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Check Your Perspective At The Door: No Man Is Purely Evil, No Man Purely Good.

*This post in no way justifies the dismal and wicked things that were committed under the ruling and/or orders of these and other men. It is an offering for us to, at least, check our own personal perspectives and come at these characters as fellow humans rather then purely figures of our educational, governmental and societal systems and biases.*
When recalling the tyrants of the past and looking upon those of the present, it is easy for us to immediately define them as evil, wicked men who have, perhaps, even lost their souls. While their is no doubt that these men have committed terrible atrocities, it is vital to remember that outside of their hate these men also loved as well. I feel a vital importance, in that, caution must be taken when scrutinizing these characters. In our observing, we tend to compliment the observed by referring to them in such a way that they become risen above man to god-like status. We lose focus of what and who they really were... human just like you and I. Perhaps, this is why we do it, for fear that we too have the potential to be as such.

We all love no matter who we are, or what we do. We may, perhaps, be the wickedest person alive, but that means not, that we do not love. Wether it be another person, possessions and/or just plainly our own selves.

I came across an article on C.N.N. today that described a few love letters from famous tyrants of our past to their beloveds. I feel that these letters help to give us an insight into the minds and hearts of these characters, one that might not otherwise be noted. 

First off the great Joseph Stalin, Soviet leader, writes to his Nadya Stalin, who's family had previously sheltered Joseph Stalin after one of his escapes from Siberian exile during 1911, and the two reconnected later when she worked as a clerk in Vladimir Lenin's office. Their romance began when she was a teenager. When they married in 1919, he was 41. They had a boy, Vasily, and a girl, Svetlana.
He wrote to his wife, using his pet name for her, while she was away having her headaches treated in Germany.

"I miss you so much Tatochka. ... I'm as lonely as a horned owl."

In June 1930, Stalin was busy revamping the Soviet Union's economy, which led to millions of people being deported and exiled and a catastrophic famine. His plans would later lead to the slaughter of millions.

Then, the great French Commander Napoleon Bonaparte of the later 1700's. 

In typical stereotype fashion this frenchman was most likely the more romantic of tyrants. He was passionate, vibrant and descriptive. Not only in his relation with his wife but with that of his soldiers, armies and fellow countrymen. 

Napoleon wrote often to his wife, sometimes more then once a day, portraying a very emotional and sensitive man. 

"I have your letters of the 16th and 21st. There are many days when you don't write. What do you do, then? No, my darling, I am not jealous, but sometimes worried. Come soon; I warn you, if you delay, you will find me ill. Fatigue and your absence are too much."

No doubt this Frenchman was a sensual man all the while exhibiting this in some of the letters to his wife,

"But you are coming, aren't you? You are going to be here beside me, in my arms, on my breast, on my mouth? Take wing and come, come! A kiss on your heart, and one much lower down, much lower!"


"I am going to bed with my heart full of your adorable image. ... I cannot wait to give you proofs of my ardent love," he writes in November 1796. "... How happy I would be if I could assist you at your undressing, the little firm white breast, the adorable face, the hair tied up in a scarf a la creole. You know that I will never forget the little visits, you know, the little black forest. ... I kiss it a thousand times and wait impatiently for the moment I will be in it. To live within Josephine is to live in the Elysian fields. Kisses on your mouth, your eyes, your breast, everywhere, everywhere."

Wow! Is it just me or is it getting hot in here? 

Sadly, as it is in most cases, tragedy befalls all... the conquerer and the conquered. Life plays no favourites, nor does Death. All things must come to an end. It was in and during his exile when Napoleon discovered through the reading of the local newspaper that the love of his life had died from a common cold. A dismal way to discover the death of your love.

These are just a few of the examples of historical figures that committed many atrocities and yet still held, within their lives, love that ran deep and was enveloped in passion. 

When I read these, I can not help but somehow be sitting within the individual, experiencing their hopes and dreams, passions and fears, successes and failures.  This type of reflection on any individual is a healthy and positive practice. It does not negate the wrongs one commits, but rather diminishes the potential, of examined, from becoming more and/or less then what they truly are. Practicing the presence of the other.

Let us not forget that it is not only our friends and families that love, weep, laugh and take joy in the beauty of the sunrise and sunset, but also our enemies. Those of whom we are so quick to claim we are nothing alike, yet all the while being closer in similarity then we ourselves can even comprehend. 

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” 


Song: Nothing Else Matters- Metallica

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reflecting On: Love and Romance

*This post may be more descriptive then you would like to be made aware of, so proceed with caution...

Love and Romance come hand in hand in a marriage. There can be no separation of the two as they can not exist one without the other. One may be more apparent at times then the other. but where one lies the other does also. As we all know, these are not always easy things to practice, and even harder things to witness, especially, when we are not participants in it.

I love my wife deeply and can not imagine my life without her. She moves me in ways that no other can. I know that I may not be the most expressive in romantic forms and for this I apologize. I do try and I will try. You are worth it all. 

It is during this time of year that we all reflect, a little more intently, on Love, Sex and Chocolate. All great things. Especially in that order. Mmmmm! 

We have lots of memories don't we my dear.... 

 Do you remember when we had a romantic candlelit picnic in the Rodeo grounds sound-booth? Or the Valentines treasure-hunt that you organized for the us and the Clows, that ended up in the city? All the back road make-out sessions in our numerous vehicles throughout the years(We still have to inaugurate the van, at least, now that it's ours!!)? The little in home spa retreats that were always lit up with white lights and beautiful candles? Those Aero bars!? Sleepovers in the living room? Dates to the city, aunty Karens house, our favourite restaurant, Moxies? How about Westbank, Peachland, Kelowna, Tawasin and Victoria? The room of my teens? Cullicut Center, pools, beaches, change rooms and many other places along the way!?

All that to say, we have a lot of memories, you and I. I am lost in you and have my heart and soul in it. This may be scary at times but what would life be without a little risk. 

Love you Lots My Gorgeous Valentine!!
Happy Valentines Day!!