Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I've already broken all my unwritten goals for this year, on purpose so that they won't be hanging over me. It's so annoying, this propensity to set goals for oneself on birthdays and on the eve of new years. Who likes to hang out with goal setters? Do goal setters ever "hang out" anyway?
I say, throw your stone as far as you can, then go and pick it up and throw it again. Pick a mountain top that's calling to you and start walking. And make sure to stop in all the villages along the way.
(P.S. If you are a surgeon or fighter pilot, please disregard this advice. Please, set goals. Thank you.)
"How come Republicans and Democrats out here don't schmooze with each other?" Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif., asked in a speech Monday at the National Press Club in Washington. The journalists in the audience had plenty of questions for the action-star-turned-politician, too.
New York Times syndicated columnist Thomas Friedman spoke about his ideas on green politics, as well as the war in Iraq, at an event last week in Minneapolis.
In a four-and-a-half-hour special, News War, FRONTLINE examines the political, cultural, legal, and economic forces challenging the news media today and how the press has reacted in turn. Through interviews with key figures in the print and electronic media over the past four decades -- and with unequaled, behind-the-scenes access to some of today's most important news organizations, FRONTLINE traces the recent history of American journalism, from the Nixon administration's attacks on the media to the post-Watergate popularity of the press, to the new challenges presented by the war on terror and other global forces now changing -- and challenging -- the role of the press in our society.
Monday, February 26, 2007
And, to quote the famous poet, Forrest Gump, "that's all I have to say about that."
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
It is a good thing, this documentary group. I believe that it is affecting some of the attendees, and that they will be better people because of it. That said, it has always been a dream of mine to host a film group in a more intimate setting, addressing the Big Questions as well as matters of the heart. One idea is to present four films by one of my favorite directors, Nanni Moretti. His films are small stories that are largely autobiographical snapshots of his life and thoughts. I would present these four films, in this order: Caro Diario, Palombella Rossa, Aprile, and The Son's Room. I may go into more detail about this a little later.
There are another three films which I think make an incredible trilogy: Lost in Translation, The Girl in the Cafe and My First Mister. They each share a common thread: Two people (an older man and a younger woman) find friendship in the midst of deep, undefined loneliness. These three films, placed side-by-side, are powerful and possess the ability to turn anger (often at the root of loneliness) into sadness. And it is in sadness that we are finally true.
Perhaps one day...
Monday, February 19, 2007
That's a famous quote from the late Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of my spiritual mentors. His book, God in Search of Man, helped me to better understand the difference between knowing and kneeling. Last night I started his work on The Prophets, and already I can't wait to find more time to spend with it. If you haven't read him, I highly recommend his earthy and "lived" perspective on life with God.
"The Greeks learned in order to comprehend. The Hebrews learned in order to revere. The modern man learns in order to use."
"God is not a hypothesis derived from logical assumptions... He is not something to be sought in the darkness with the light of reason. He is the light."
Friday, February 16, 2007
I think it is a good piece of advice for life as well. Unfortunately, the water in the pool is often a bit murky, and so the stone often falls from sight and comes to rest in obscurity. We must have faith that the stone is there, waiting to be found. And dive.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Over lunch, I spent an hour in Andre Dubus' world of short stories. (The father, not the son known for The House of Sand and Fog.) I spend at least a few lunch breaks a week at the chain bookstore down the street, wandering the aisles until something calls out to me. Dubus was a Catholic and one of the best American short story writers of the last century. The two stories I read over the bad cup of coffee pulled something within taut - kind of like tuning a guitar until the chord sings its proper note. These are the best kind of stories. Ones that remind us - "retune" us - to see the world as it actually is, not how we hope it to be.
I'll have to sit with my novel a bit more. It needs some tuning.
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.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Friday, February 09, 2007
Neville, Ronaldo and Rooney. Saturday morning 9:00. You know where I'll be.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
May the Almighty God have mercy on you, and forgiving your sins, bring you to life everlasting. Amen.
May the Almighty and Merciful God grant you pardon, absolution, and remission of your sins.
Recite 283 Hail Marys and 15 Our Fathers.
Consider the implications of what you have done. You must take all steps possible to undo what has been done, and make right what you have done wrong.
You should fast for 9 days. If this is too much to do at once due to the length of the fast, or infirmity, it is acceptable to break a fast into smaller sections. If you are unsure how long it is safe to fast for, consult a doctor.
If your sin also broke the law of the land in which you live, you must confess to the authorities.
I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
May the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the Saints, what good you have done or what evil you have suffered be to you for the remission of your sins, growth in grace and the reward of everlasting life. Amen.
I also have a mirror website over at narrowridge.zaadz.com, where I've started a discussion group; it calls back my days at Antioch University. They are a unique, and fun, crowd at Zaadz.
Of course there's Youtube for a few wasted hours. I also joined Revver, where you can actually make some money with your videos. (I haven't uploaded any yet) And then there's Digg, another community that votes of favorite sites and information.
These days I've been researching Eastern Orthodoxy as well as doing a little work on my Narrow Ridge website. (which I hope to update soon)