Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ingmar Bergman Facts

Yesterday would have been Ingmar Bergman's 90th birthday.
On July 30th 2007, Bergman lost a life-long game of chess.
It is impossible to find any of Bergman's works anywhere in Brantford.
It is very, very difficult to find any of Bergman's works in Hamilton.

I've wanted to watch The Seventh Seal for years now, but alas, it seems easier to find this movie.
But Bill and Ted sure are awesome!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly

I'm in a notoriously franchised coffee shop right now doing some writing. I don't like franchised coffee shops at all, but I had to get out of the house to get some work done (my parents' house has become a black hole for all productivity recently). I escape the house by coming here, and I escape 'here' by putting my headphones on and listening to music. I also read a blog today about certain music which was also a nice little escape. But music, my friends, is much more than an escape.

I'm convinced that music has beautiful salvific properties. I cannot think of any other medium that has inspired so much self-reflection, been a catalyst for so much creativity, and been such a harbour in the tempest for me. Eliade believed that Christianity could not be a religion because it lacked continual theophanies (appearances of God to man) and has tried to regurgitate one theophany for the past two thousand years. I wonder whether he listened to music, because in the same way I am to see Jesus in the face of the passerby, I see the divine show up in musical expression. Music isn't God, but I definitely think it speaks to the existence of the transcendent.

The sheer beauty of albums like "með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust," "parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme," or "seven swans" can sometimes be overwhelming, and makes me wonder how people can divorce the divine from the experiential so easily.

Today, it was while listening to "in rainbows" for the first time in a couple of months, amidst the chatter of this coffee shop, that these thoughts were brought to the surface.

Also, on a side note, I finally was able to get work done on character/setting profiles and plot points for my 'faux-end-of-the-world-theophany-story' that's been kicking around for a while.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sanctity of Life

I've wrestled with whether or not I should write this blog for a while now. Mainly because I had this fear that people would misinterpret it, and therefore ostracize me from their communities. I hope that whoever reads this has eyes to see what I'm actually saying.

If I ever met Henry Morgentaler, I would shake his hand.

And while shaking his hand, I would apologize to him for the hatred and threats on his life that have been proclaimed in the name of a God I believe in - a God that does not desire harm against him.

Since the Order of Canada was bestowed upon Dr. Morgentaler, I have read of people returning their honours in protest. I've been invited to Facebook groups decrying both Morgentaler and the decision. There has been a media flurry of public outcry. As of this week, things have quieted down considerably, and yet this topic still lingers with me. This is because the Christian community that I was raised in was one where we would line city streets in protest of abortion, bombarding passing vehicles with "Abortion is Murder" placards. There was an energy amongst Christians back in 1988 that was infectious, and I remember as a little boy being in awe of the number of people who vocalized their opposition, as 4 kms of Brantford's busiest road was clogged with placards and chants one Sunday afternoon.

Today, as I continue to explore what it means to follow Jesus, I have to lament the amount of energy that was put into a protest like that when we seem unwilling to exert similar energies to a deeper range of injustices. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that people aren't silent, and thereby consenting to the ebb and flows of our society. But I haven't seen a similar protest against poverty or affluence. But I digress...

...only slightly. I don't want to talk about organizing new protests, but I want to speak into a new direction to focus the energies that followers of Jesus have. I don't think that anyone should publicly protest against issues like abortion unless they are willing to work towards viable alternatives (and I'm not just talking about adoption, this runs deeper). Are we willing to take in single, pregnant, mothers-to-be, and to provide for them? Are we willing to work towards the eradication of the shame of marginalized parenthood that makes so many desire abortions? Are we willing to clothe the naked and feed the poor? If we are male AND female, made in God's image, then are we willing to fight against the oppression of women within our patriarchal society - an oppressive force that makes the body seemingly the sole source through which freedom can be exercised? If we are not willing to do this, then why should anyone listen to us regarding this matter?

When I read about the kingdom of God, I see a language of freedom from oppression, not a language of shame or coercion, and most certainly not a vindictive language of violence. I hope I am not alone in thinking that it would be more productive to change the way we live our lives so as to bring change to our communities and our gendered relationships than to scream "murder!" at the top of our lungs. As one who believes in the sanctity of life, I choose to extend that to cover all aspects of life. As such, I live for a society in which gender does not necessitate oppression, and where the threat of death, hate, or harm is never uttered, even to our strongest opponents.

Let us bring justice into this world - a justice that invites all to revel in the sanctity of life from start to middle to finish.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Is somebody homesick?

The other day, on the drive back from Ottawa, I had a terrible feeling in my stomach. The last time I had felt that feeling was on the final day of my solo-backpacking trip across Canada four years ago. The last time I had felt it before that was in elementary school when I went to my first sleepovers and couldn't handle it. It was homesickness.

For the last two months I've been in a state of limbo. My belongings have moved with me back to Brantford, but I haven't felt able to settle in there. I still live out of the cardboard box that I packed my clothes in. The majority of my time has been spent in Hamilton doing IV work and finishing school. Each morning when I wake up, I lack the knowledge of where I'm going to wake up the next morning.

Will it be at my parent's house? Will it be on a friend's couch or futon? Will it be in a car en route to some destination? What city will I be in?

The nomadic life used to be an ideal for me, but now I'm craving a place to call home and to root myself in. I think I would be able to handle this transient lifestyle as long as I knew which place I could always return to. But as of now, I don't know of any place.

I know there are lessons to be learned through this period of upheaval, but to be honest, it has been difficult to admit the allusion in my story to a far older story of one who could find no place to rest his head. But I think I need to admit it now, and then go and see what happened in that earlier context.