spirits that speak


The Lion, the Witch, and the Summary of my thoughts

yes, if you've been reading my other blog (see links on the right), you'll know by now that i saw the first (hopefully not the last) installment of the narnia films. now, i will try to keep this post short so that you all have time to read the next one below this, but there's some background that i want to add.

i can't remember exactly when i first read the book, but it was quite some time ago. i have have enjoyed the writing of c.s. lewis for as long as i can remember and i think it's very effective. he has a way of capturing the audience that his books are intended for and holding their attention in a very enduring way...even after they have put the book down and are doing something else.

i some ways i think the child within him was always very much alive and didn't get suffocated by adult concerns at any point, like it is with some of us. instead, because he is so in touch with that child and what inspires the boy inside him, the narnia series is a group of books that you could read again and again and, i think, always find hope and encouragement in it.

this is really how the movie made me feel. while i didn't "cry" during either the really sad or really happy scenes, i was very frequently "misty eyed" through the entire movie because it was moving. the images were very real and confronted you with the concept that there is more to life than just what we know in our own little world.

i think i will have to watch the movie often because i came out of the theater feeling something i haven't felt in a very long time: there is hope. no matter what the battle or obstacle we face, there is the very good possibility that we will overcome and that there is a very real person who is on our side and has the power to bring about the kinds of things that we can't.

*possible spoiler alert* (skip this paragraph if you have never read the book and intend on soon seeing the movie...which is a sequence of action that really isn't recommended anyway). there are times (like when the witch wanted to claim the life of edmund the traitor) where aslan intervenes and is capable of making an arrangement with the witch that no one else really could to save edmund's life. but there are also times when aslan is comfortable with letting the children deal with their side of things (like when peter faced the maugrim, captain of wolves, and he declared "peter will have to fend for himself, this is his battle"). while it may seem unfair, i think God does the same thing. there is value in us fighting some of our own battles, but there are times when we need to call for His help and he intervenes on our behalf. then there are also times when we will fight our battles with Him at our side (if we ask Him to be there), and defeat life's difficulties that way). okay...so i opened a can of worms here...much more could be said about this, points and counterpoints, but won't...and i'm comfortable with that.

so i had a very positive experience with the movie in general. the cast was fantastic. i particularly liked peter and lucy the most out of the 4 children, but they were all very good. perhaps they could have gotten a deeper voice for aslan (or electronically deepened liam neeson's voice), but i'm fine with that (unlike friends i have who took major issue with that aspect). i thought the villains were very effective as well. the child in me was actually kind of scared of the wolves and that little dwarf at the witch's side was a complete jerk.

the only out-standing complaint i had about the movie was that there is a very significant (not in length, but in weight) section of dialogue from mr. beaver that occured just after the children went to his house that was missing from the movie. it was about what kind of lion aslan is. a little bit of the description sneaks its way in at the end of the movie (almost as though they sensed some of us would object to the whole thing not being in there), but it's mostly missing

except for that, the movie is quite faithful to the books and even includes a lot of the spiritual things that lewis wrote about in a not-so-covert way. it will quickly make its way into my DVD collection when it comes out...and by then i will have seen it at least another time, if not two!

(so much for trying to keep this short, read the next one anyway...even if you have to do it later)

Johnny Cash, we hardly knew ye

i saw "walk the line" a few days ago. now, i am a big johnny cash fan (not as big as a friend of mine). so the movie was of a particular interest to me. i anticipated it for quite some time.

what i was anticipating was a movie where apparently the main actors sang all their own songs and were very good at emulating the people they were supposed to be. i was told, by media sources, to expect authenticity and any clips i saw of the movie left me very hopeful.

what i got was a movie where the main actors sang all their own songs and were very good at emulating the people they were supposed to be. i got authenticity and the hope i had during my anticipation of the movie was not disappointed.

the movie does leave one wanting for a portrayal of the rest of cash's life, but there was a section of his life that, from what i've read from cash's own words, was very well represented in this movie. i say "represented" not "exactly copied", because i'm sure there are some things that were embellished or concocted (at least a little).

what i left the movie with was the overwhelming sense that we need people in our lives who are on our side in order to bring balance and reason to us when we can't find those things ourselves. i also left the movie with the sense that we need to be ourselves and do things that we're good at in such a way that makes the most sense and is the way that is most natural for us. we can't force ourselves to do things in a way other than that, even if people tell us that other people aren't going to like it.

it's rare and valuable to find something that you're passionate about and be able to do it in the way that you feel it's best to do. but johnny cash did just that. when people told him that he shouldn't be singing what he does, he did it anyway. when people told him that dressing all in black is too depressing, he did it anyway. when people told him that he shouldn't play concerts for maximum security prisoners because, somehow, the crimes they committed earlier in life disqualified them from being part of general humanity and that they didn't deserve to be shown compassion and empathy, he did all of that. for that, he is and was a legend and has things to say that are, in some ways, more valuable than other musicians...christian or not.

but, perhaps more importantly, johnny cash was a historical icon who wasn't trying to be a historical icon. he was simply just trying to be himself and use the gifts that God gave him to make a positive and real contribution to society in general.

i wouldn't write this if it wasn't a recommendation to see "walk the line" (and a strong recommendation at that), but it's more of a recommendation to listen to the songs johnny cash recorded and read about his life and who he was, especially "cash" by johnny cash. it's worth every second.

joaquin phoenix for best actor, reese witherspoon for best actress.


coming next...

i really don't know if more than 2 people are reading this thing regularly, but for those who do...i thought i would let you know what's coming up:

my next 2 posts on this blog will be reflections on some movies that i've seen recently that i've found particularly inspirational and encouraging: the first installment of Narnia, and Walk the Line.

i am hoping these posts will be finished in the next couple of days, so stay tuned.


where it's at

as much as a i hate to admit it, cranky mom is right. i created this blog as a more introspective alternative to my other one. well, that was before i got fired from my last job.

after getting fired, my inspiration pretty much disappeared. and i'm not one to force inspiration. but, i could just post where i'm at currently. honestly i'm feeling completely depleted. i'm kind of lost in regard to what i should do with my occupation.

i was really happy to know what i wanted to do with the rest of my life when i was in the 9th grade. the plan all came together well. and every step worked out until i graduated from Bible College. that's where everything kind of stopped flowing properly.

i didn't get any of the jobs i applied for (or was even interviewed/considered for any of them). what i have reduced my life to is simply paying the bills. don't get me wrong. this is how many people live their lives (including my parents), and i don't think it's any less honorable than anything else. but it wasn't what i felt my calling was.

now i feel forced to think my calling has either changed or isn't what i thought it was. i have come to accept that, though. i am absolutely happy to think that my calling is different than what i thought it was. what still leaves a lack of satisfaction is not knowing what my calling is. am i a writer?

the problem is that my life feels incomplete. there seems to be a void and i believe strongly it's in the occupation department. i feel like there's something i should be doing that would make better use of the gifts and strengths God gave me...what that is is what i'm in the process of trying to understand.