Friday, February 25, 2005

Teach them well - Part II

We are born into a situation. The German philosopher, Martin Heidegger, talks about "thrownness," about being "thrown" into the world. In the film, The Bourne Identity, (clearly the better film of the two) Jason Bourne awakens to find himself on a ship at sea. He was shot and can't remember anything about his past or his identity. There is a scene in the beginning of the film where Jason steps off of the ship and walks into a bustling port city. He does not know who he is or where he is going, only that he is equipped with a few clues and some extraordinary talents. He finds himself in a situation, a Story that is already in progress.

My daughter will "step off of the ship" five weeks from today. She will find herself caught up in a situation, a Story that is already in progress. She will be "thrown" into the world with a few clues about her identity and will acquire some extraordinary talents along the way. I am charged with providing her with more clues about her identity, and to teach her some of the skills she will need to understand and flourish in her situation.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Airport display

Busy day. I edited a thirty second spot to be shown in airports in Canada next week. Passengers can enjoy my selection of soothing canned corporate music as they hurry to catch their flights.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Teach them well - Part I

How do I teach my daughter to love God? Many of you know that I'm going to be a father soon. I've been struggling with this question for awhile, and don't have a clue where to begin. I know that my daughter will emmulate me, a scary prospect. It's true, I love God deeply but the fact is, I often muck things up. And I don't want my daughter to love God as I do: I want her to love Him better than I do.

I've been wandering through the kid's sections of bookstores, looking at the religious books. It's a bit frightening, really. Children's Bible stories with pictures of everyone smiling the same sticky-sweet smile. I mean, come on, when David was walking around town with Goliath's head in his hand, I think more of William Wallace than of Big Bird. Of course, I don't believe that my two-year-old daughter will cuddle up with me at night while I flip through a picture book of Braveheart. And so I have a dilemma. Do I buy the Bible picture books with all the sticky-sweet smiling prophets and lepers and warriors?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Dialogical theology

Moltmann believes that truth is to be found in dialogue rather than in assertive dogmatics and theological systems. I would add that for genuine dialogue to occur, trust must be present. Do we trust the other enough to discover truth? Are we trustworthy enough to reflect truth?

Monday, February 21, 2005


I outlined a feature film script over the weekend. Just for myself. That doesn't mean that this script will ever actually be written. I've outlined many such scripts. I just enjoy escaping into another world for a few hours. I listen to music to shape my scenes. For part of the script I was listening to Patrick Bruel, a French pop singer I discovered while in France.

At work, I'm editing a demo for our company, a never-ending project. We keep reshaping it, adding to it. I'm not sure it's getting better. I just finished a 30-minute documentary on the history of the corporation of one of our main clients. They had a showing in front of their employees and got a lot of good feedback. It was a fun project to edit, with about a hundred years of old photographs and films to work with. And now, the monday morning meeting.

Theology of Hope

I went to the Mall of America for lunch. It's only a few mintutes from our office and I enjoy spending the hour reading in the Barnes and Noble bookstore. (I forgot that today was a holiday; hordes of people.) I sat in the cafe, reading Moltmann's In the End--The Beginning: The Life of Hope, in which he states that the world is not moving toward an Ultimate Battle between good and evil. I wasn't able to read his final conclusions, but his assertions would require another paradigm shift from me. I'm getting a little tired of all these paradigm shifts. To have the mind of a child again.

Friday, February 18, 2005


I've written a lot of video scripts over the years. I got my first professional writing job in Colorado, writing science scripts for public school educational videos. I worked for a small production company where I also learned how to shoot and edit these programs. My boss and I became friends, and we would roam around the Rocky mountains in his truck, looking for shots of vascular plants or the changing aspen leaves, listening to Lyle Lovett and talking about his favorite author, William Faulkner.

I struggled to write those scripts. Piles of biology textbooks, hours of research at the library. Revision after revision. I wanted to write programs that would inspire, would make the audience weep. Not science videos for tenth-graders to fall asleep to in Miss Crump's biology class. It was tough.

Looking back, I really don't think much about the writing. Instead, I think of the time my boss and I ran down a dirt road high in the mountains, trying to get a shot of a hawk in a tree. I remember being offered a cappuccino by an orderly while filming a man being "violated" during a cryogenic prostate surgery. And I remember the "power lunches" my boss and I would take, where we would sit for hours and talk about life and God and Jasper Johns and video equipment.

I don't know if I'll ever write those scripts that will inspire people. But I do know that I was inspired while writing some rather dry science videos over a decade ago.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Six weeks until our first child "arrives." We're still choosing a name: Annie likes Chloe, and I prefer Silvi (shortened from Silviana). We've been calling her "Silvi-Chloe."

So many changes. Annie is spending the days getting our apartment ready, making trips to Goodwill with years of clutter. I'm scrambling to figure out how to make the checkbook balance at the end of the month. We bought another used Passat, which should last a few years. VW's are the best.

"Silvi-Chloe's" arrival is sparking new creativity. I've been meaning to write the Great American novel, direct my "Citizen Kane," and create a Cousteau-esque documentary for awhile. Thinking of having a daughter is giving me new ideas, helping me see things with a fresh perspective.

I once had a friend tell me that I should just create my "song" for one person. Don't try to compose a "song" that everyone will love, just one person. I think I'll write a song for my daughter.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Living Water

I love the way Nikos Kazantzakis writes with such passion. In The Fratracides he examines the constant battle to live in the midst of oppression. Greece is wracked by war, and the main character struggles to remain truely alive during the chaos around him.

How do we remain alive - completely alive - in the midst of the mundane? We, too, are at war, a war against losing our thirst for life. The desert often parches our lips, and we long for water. Like Father Yanaros in Kazantzakis' novel, we must struggle never to let go of the desire to be fully alive.

Christ says that if we drink of his water, our thirst will be quenched. Oh, if we could but grasp his cup with both hands and drink deeply.