Saturday, January 15, 2011

Some More films

I'd like to see these movies as well. Almost seems like I need to learn new languages in order to appreciate new cinema. I'm up for it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Laws of Nature, Laws of Grace

Sometimes I jump to conclusions and predict that a movie watching experience will be transcendent, and that I will come to love the film in question beyond pretty much all others. Preposterous, correct? Well it didn't let me down with Wings of Desire (1987), or The Seventh Seal (1957). They are currently films 1 & 2 on "the list".

Not sure if this one will round out the top three, but Terrence Malick has a shot with The Tree of Life (2011).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Proud Son

I loved spending time with family this Christmas. We played games for days, had great conversations, and ate food! It was a special year, as it was the last one where my youngest brother is guaranteed to be around, what with his upcoming nuptials in the near future. I appreciated this time with family because we all seemed to be more intentional with each other. We made time to spend together, and really enjoyed that time (which isn't always the case in every family, including ours).

What was interesting about this Christmas was that I was able to talk with my family about the cross-cultural pieces I have been engaging and learning about on and off campus these past few months. I love my family, and think they are spectacular - though this didn't mean that there weren't conversations that needed to be had around how our family engaged matters of multi-ethnicity and multiculturalism. There were some seemingly innocuous jokes or comments that had made their home in our family over the years that, upon deeper reflection, have been gateways to disrespecting people who are different from us. We were often oblivious because, well, when you are in a place of power and privilege in any given place, it's difficult to see beyond yourself to others - to see how simple fun on one end is hurtful on another end.

So I ended up having some calm, though firm, conversations with my parents and siblings around how we engage other cultures and ethnicities as a family. It was difficult to bring up, but the fruits were worth it. I would say most of my family were keen to talk about it, and open to being shaped and changed for the sake of others. It was a true blessing, because I was afraid that by bringing up the topic, I would be derided as the 'holier-than-thou' member of the family. Not so! People were receptive and willing to explore this large issue. A new journey has begun for us.

So, here is why I am a proud son. A few days after these initial conversations, my Dad and I were out driving together, and decided to grab some food. I saw a sushi restaurant, and asked if Dad would be up for going. He said yes (note: when we go out to eat, it is usually Wendy's, Harvey's, Pizza Pizza, etc., so you can imagine how different this was). So I taught my Dad how to eat sushi and how to use chop sticks. He didn't fare too well at first, and admitted that he felt embarrassed not being able use the chop sticks properly. But he still tried, and said he would practice some more before heading out for sushi again. He liked something new and foreign to him, and is now going to make an effort to enjoy it even more.

This is huge. Change is a pretty massive thing to introduce to a family that has always done things certain ways. My family could have shut this door rather quickly, and brushed me off. But I knew that there was a willingness to explore things, to try something new. I struggle with change, but am growing into someone who tries, and takes interest in, new things. I think, and now know, that my family is growing in that same way too.

I am thankful to God for my family, and the way that following Jesus becomes not so much for our own salvation, but for our family's as well.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Being White - Being Aboriginal

I've been reading this somewhat interesting book entitled Being White recently, as I explore issues of race, culture, and identity, and what it really means to be white. So much of white identity and culture is assumed and rarely discussed beyond Stuff White People Like's assertion that because of my pigmentation, I inherently love Wes Anderson movies and moleskine journals. (Okay, yes, this is true). Because I am not content in this lacklustre understanding of self, I have been searching and exploring for more depth and meaning. This journey has brought this book into the forefront, and has challenged my view of self, others, displacement, and implicit/overt racism. While the book is definitely written from a Caucasian-American perspective, it dawned on me that issues of ethnicity wrestled with south of the border, often in unnoticed realms to the predominant culture, are quite lively and subversive here as well. A wall of dominoes began to fall for me as I did an exercise of identifying elements that were foundational in my upbringing. From something as simple as hockey.

My family was a hockey family.
We played hockey, followed hockey, watched hockey.
I learned to play hockey when I was seven.
I learned to play hockey when I was seven in a town called Oshweken.
Oshweken is the main city of the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve.
This is the largest aboriginal reserve in Canada.
I didn't know what Oshweken meant.
I didn't know what nations comprised the Six Nations.
I grew up in Brantford, beside the largest aboriginal reserve in Canada, learned how to play hockey there, and yet still didn't know anything about the peoples, nations, languages, cultures, beliefs.

So. I'm rectifying this.
I'm owning being a White-French-English-Canadian-Christian, and I'm getting to know my neighbours.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thee Christmas Mix Tape (2010)

Merry Christmas! If you listen carefully, you'll find Davey Von Stone as he journeys into the far reaches of outer space, with an angelic chorus, helping heal the mechanical heart of a lonely space drone. For real.

I love making Christmas music!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

This skin that I am in

There's a new look to the blog, to reflect the new direction of thought, contemplation, reflection, discovery, and musing. I am a caucasian male, born into this skin, this culture, this time, this identity, and I am attempting to make sense of the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural world that I have been blessed into. I have worn these clothes, listened to this music, appreciated these games, enjoyed these stories, and so on, without being able to fully identify what draws it all together. How would I name myself, if given the chance? What happens when you discover that multi-culturalism is not a culture, and living in a multilingual country means nothing if we don't know what the other person is saying to us?

This is what happens: You discover a place of identity crisis. A place with more questions than answers at this point.

And so, I am endeavouring to figure this thing out, with the aid of the Spirit that leads people into new lands, to new peoples, to new foods, with new languages. To confront and name the lies and unbelief that have been woven for centuries into my archetypal reference. To explore and believe that I was made like this on purpose - of this culture, of this colour - made in his image and likeness; in the image and likeness of God.

As were you.