Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Cinema Wish List

Jamie and I can't seem to get our shit together enough to be able to watch any movies.  After our kids are in bed, he usually does work while I study.  In addition, our weekends are no longer about doing fun things as a couple.  This summer, some of that is about to change.  

This is going to be the summer of Netflix.  I am declaring this.  It is so.  I have compiled this list of movies I really want to watch with Jamie, even if we have to stay up until 1 a.m. to make it happen.  People need less sleep in the summer.  A few of these are favorites we want to re-view, and others are simply ones we have missed.  We are looking for more suggestions, if anybody thinks they can improve upon this list.  We need to up our culture factor, so independent or foreign film recommendations are most welcome.  Also, please comment if you have tricks for making your evenings with small children go more smoothly, or if you know of good ways to prioritize couple time (or culture time). 

Here's the list:

  1. Moonrise Kingdom
  2. Gummo
  3. Into the Wild
  4. Les 400 Coups (the 400 blows)
  5. Spirited Away
  6. Synecdoche, New York
  7. Kids
  8. Use Your Van
  9. A Clockwork Orange
  10. Labyrinth
  11. What's Eating Gilbert Grape
  12. Le Fabuleux Destin D'Amelie Poulain
  13. The Fountain
  14. The Secret of Kells
  15. Kicking and Screaming (Noah Baumbach)
  16. Men Who Stare at Goats
  17. The Butterfly Effect
  18. Let The Right One In
  19. Garden State
  20. The Weather Man
  21. The Importance of Being Earnest
  22. Deconstructing Harry

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Fulcrum of the Search Unknown

A fellow student in my clinical pastoral training class wrote a poem about the instructor and each of the students and presented them to us at our last class.  I won't reveal her name, but I will treasure what she wrote about me forever, because I think she was able to see each one of us at a precise moment of our lifetimes, capturing that image like a photograph with her words:

The Gift of Michelle; A Legacy of Love

 Somber strides through the dark mist
Spirited spiraling pirouettes in the pristine meadow

But not getting any nearer
The heart of the search unknown

Living life, growing children, enveloping love
Turning corners
Searching, unknown
Shedding what was, moving beyond
Wounds healed, scars remain
Hurt, anger, forgiveness
Can one forgive all?
Acceptance, moving on
Not getting any nearer
The heart of the search unknown

Moving towards destination unknown
The answer is clear; somewhere

You are not solely the book you write, things you do, titles you wear
You are here to share the God part of yourself & all that is you
The light reflected in your warm smile, thoughtful eyes, kind words
This is the fulcrum of the search unknown

I told her I will write a poem for her as well, and I look forward to having the time to sit down and meditate on her unique energy, her incisive wisdom and her serene presence.  Just today someone else described me as a "seeker."  That label makes sense given the nature of my multi-faith spiritual path.  However, my seeking does not come from a place of wanting or lacking in the experience of the Divine. In many ways I feel like the heart of my search has always been known to me.  My faith in the Divine has always been there, and if anything I strive to expand it as much as I can.  People say things like, "your God," or "our God," or "however you like to refer to the Divine," but I simply see the Divine as an all-powerful eternal Presence we cannot name or capture or understand from our limited perspectives.  By studying the awe inspiring multiplicity of the world's faith traditions and spiritual practices, I find more and more ways to connect to the Divine and to humanity. The Divine is expressed through the expansive Universe, through Earth, through wildlife, through plant life, and most importantly for us, through humanity.  We are the reflection of the Divine, inextricably connected to one another and to all of Creation.  A Christian pastor commented to me when I began my interfaith studies, "I commend people who are searching, but personally, I am no longer searching.  I found what I was seeking."  I responded, "I am never going to stop searching."  This does not mean there is no peace for me.  This means I am at peace with mystery, and I believe the "unknown" is in fact "unknowable" from a limited cultural vantage point; I agree with my poetess colleague that love is the fulcrum of the search unknown.