A Little Like Lars; Only a Little

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I was talking with a freind tonight how blogs can be funny things, and how sometimes people can oscillate between unhelpful openess and unhelpful holding back from the sharing of thoughts that really may help or encourage someone else if only they were shared. This seems to be a perpetual conversation I have with both fans and foes of blogging. In fact, I think these oscillations in openess often come to find their place in the blog life cycle (yes, I believe there is such a thing, but that will have to wait for another post), until the blogger finds his or her voice and settles down to do what they find is most helpful for them and their readers. Do people really think in these terms about their blogs? Probably not, but I sometimes do, and from what I have seen these dynamics do play out in a sort of trial and error process for many bloggers.
With regard to this blog, I have been told in the somewhat distance past that one friend stopped reading it, because she thought it too personal and revealing. That may be one of the reasons that it now features pictures more often than not, but not the only one. I really like to take pictures!
Perhaps blog entries should have ratings, like the rating system for video games. For example the rating for the following entry might look something like this:
ESRB__TMI.png
In all seriousness, though, I really appreciated the movie Lars and the Real Girllargely because I could resonate with it on several levels. I could resonate with a movie about a dysfunctional man who buys a sex doll, you ask? Well, first of all, you should know that the role the sex part of the sex doll plays in the movie is very minimal and inconsequential. It is, indeed, a sex doll, but the setup is not generally exploited for cheap laughs, which would have only served to undermine the point and power of the parable of the movie. And, it is indeed a parable, an implausible, exaggerated story told to make a point, a sweet and moving point.
I did a recent Facebook status update saying that I have a cardigan very similar to Lars’, which I do, but which I also meant metaphorically. In some ways, though thank the Lord not in such extreme ways, I can relate to the concept that deep wounding and pain can have long lasting effects that stretch into the future or ambush us when least expected. In fact, I believe we all can relate to this, on one level or another. For some the wounds seem deeper, though, and their (our) ability to bounce back seems to be not as robust as that of others, for whatever reasons, which may or may not be ever understood.
In the beautiful little movie The Spitfire Grill, Percy Talbot says, ““You suppose if a wound goes real deep, the healing of it can hurt almost as bad as what caused it?” When I first heard that quote, I thought “Wow.” And, again, I think we can all relate, whether it be the healing of our emotional hurts or even the healing of our souls in discipleship as we recover from the self-inflicted wounds of sin. The cure may, indeed, need to be as painful as the wound caused by the sin, even if we do not bear the penalty for that sin ourselves if we are believers, as Eustace could well attest to as a result of his dedragoning.
Without giving out too many details, which would make the hypothetical rating I gave this blog post an accurate description, I also resonated with Lars and the Real Girl because Lars’ past did involve the death of a parent, the extreme sorrow of the remaining parent, and subsequent stunting of his ability to deal with life and relationships well, a stunting characterized sometimes by paralyzing fear.
Another thing that I really appreciated about the movie was that though the reactions and altruism of the townspeople toward Lars are implausible, the love of Lars’ sister-in-law for Lars and Lars deep concern for her, which he is unable to express, are not implausible. People can and do love one another like this. I loved how his sister-in-law deeply cared for him and loved him. I have received great care, too, from lovely sisters acquired through the marriage of my brothers 🙂
Nor is his relationship with his brother unrealistic. Perhaps the resolution that occurs, a confession of abandonment which is followed in very short order by forgiveness, is rather foreshortened compared to how the process generally works in real life, but brothers do talk with one another, come to understand one another, forgive one another, and learn to love one another better. And it is amazing to watch Lars’ brother grow as a man before our very eyes. That is another characteristic of many movies that I am drawn toward; they make me want to be a better man.
Needless to say, I highly recommend the movie. I apologize for the slight spoilers. I do not think they spoiled too, too much, however. Finally, finally a brief note on one of the endorsement on the cover of the DVD. Maxim magazine writes “A whimsical, funny, moving film!” First, though the latter two adjectives do apply and especially the last one, I do not think I would call the movie “whimsical” exactly. OK, maybe a scene or two, but that is it. On a broader level, I do not think that Maxim magazine should be allowed to use the word “whimsical,” in any case. It does not seem to be a word that fits well with the purposes and mindset of the magazine at large, a mindset which, sadly, I too fall into from time to time, a mindset which has nothing at all to do with the delightful, almost holy, quality of whimsy.
Oh, dang it! That last line might just have earned the rating.

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A Little Like Lars; Only a Little

IMG_1044.JPG
I was talking with a freind tonight how blogs can be funny things, and how sometimes people can oscillate between unhelpful openess and unhelpful holding back from the sharing of thoughts that really may help or encourage someone else if only they were shared. This seems to be a perpetual conversation I have with both fans and foes of blogging. In fact, I think these oscillations in openess often come to find their place in the blog life cycle (yes, I believe there is such a thing, but that will have to wait for another post), until the blogger finds his or her voice and settles down to do what they find is most helpful for them and their readers. Do people really think in these terms about their blogs? Probably not, but I sometimes do, and from what I have seen these dynamics do play out in a sort of trial and error process for many bloggers.
With regard to this blog, I have been told in the somewhat distance past that one friend stopped reading it, because she thought it too personal and revealing. That may be one of the reasons that it now features pictures more often than not, but not the only one. I really like to take pictures!
Perhaps blog entries should have ratings, like the rating system for video games. For example the rating for the following entry might look something like this:
ESRB__TMI.png
In all seriousness, though, I really appreciated the movie Lars and the Real Girllargely because I could resonate with it on several levels. I could resonate with a movie about a dysfunctional man who buys a sex doll, you ask? Well, first of all, you should know that the role the sex part of the sex doll plays in the movie is very minimal and inconsequential. It is, indeed, a sex doll, but the setup is not generally exploited for cheap laughs, which would have only served to undermine the point and power of the parable of the movie. And, it is indeed a parable, an implausible, exaggerated story told to make a point, a sweet and moving point.
I did a recent Facebook status update saying that I have a cardigan very similar to Lars’, which I do, but which I also meant metaphorically. In some ways, though thank the Lord not in such extreme ways, I can relate to the concept that deep wounding and pain can have long lasting effects that stretch into the future or ambush us when least expected. In fact, I believe we all can relate to this, on one level or another. For some the wounds seem deeper, though, and their (our) ability to bounce back seems to be not as robust as that of others, for whatever reasons, which may or may not be ever understood.
In the beautiful little movie The Spitfire Grill, Percy Talbot says, ““You suppose if a wound goes real deep, the healing of it can hurt almost as bad as what caused it?” When I first heard that quote, I thought “Wow.” And, again, I think we can all relate, whether it be the healing of our emotional hurts or even the healing of our souls in discipleship as we recover from the self-inflicted wounds of sin. The cure may, indeed, need to be as painful as the wound caused by the sin, even if we do not bear the penalty for that sin ourselves if we are believers, as Eustace could well attest to as a result of his dedragoning.
Without giving out too many details, which would make the hypothetical rating I gave this blog post an accurate description, I also resonated with Lars and the Real Girl because Lars’ past did involve the death of a parent, the extreme sorrow of the remaining parent, and subsequent stunting of his ability to deal with life and relationships well, a stunting characterized sometimes by paralyzing fear.
Another thing that I really appreciated about the movie was that though the reactions and altruism of the townspeople toward Lars are implausible, the love of Lars’ sister-in-law for Lars and Lars deep concern for her, which he is unable to express, are not implausible. People can and do love one another like this. I loved how his sister-in-law deeply cared for him and loved him. I have received great care, too, from lovely sisters acquired through the marriage of my brothers 🙂
Nor is his relationship with his brother unrealistic. Perhaps the resolution that occurs, a confession of abandonment which is followed in very short order by forgiveness, is rather foreshortened compared to how the process generally works in real life, but brothers do talk with one another, come to understand one another, forgive one another, and learn to love one another better. And it is amazing to watch Lars’ brother grow as a man before our very eyes. That is another characteristic of many movies that I am drawn toward; they make me want to be a better man.
Needless to say, I highly recommend the movie. I apologize for the slight spoilers. I do not think they spoiled too, too much, however. Finally, finally a brief note on one of the endorsement on the cover of the DVD. Maxim magazine writes “A whimsical, funny, moving film!” First, though the latter two adjectives do apply and especially the last one, I do not think I would call the movie “whimsical” exactly. OK, maybe a scene or two, but that is it. On a broader level, I do not think that Maxim magazine should be allowed to use the word “whimsical,” in any case. It does not seem to be a word that fits well with the purposes and mindset of the magazine at large, a mindset which, sadly, I too fall into from time to time, a mindset which has nothing at all to do with the delightful, almost holy, quality of whimsy.
Oh, dang it! That last line might just have earned the rating.

I Went Outside Today and Saw This Strange Substance…

…It was all liquidy and shiny and beautiful, spilling and dripping all over the flowers and trees and leaves.
Oh, yeah, right. Sunshine!
As a self-confessed photographic apostle of finding beauty in gloominess, somethimes it is good just to remember the cleaness, the joy, and the lightness of sunshine.
So, here are a few shots. Ok, so about half of them still have a fair bit of chiarascuro about them. Still, no apologies, dappled sunlight is lovely for all of that contrast.
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Reepicheep is on His Way

It might not really be Prince Caspian 😉 but it looks pretty cool. Reeicheep here. The Prince is here (a rather silly accent, I’m afraid). Creatures, sets, more Reepicheep, more Caspian, and a Narnian raid on Miraz His Castle? Sigh. And in all this footage, at first hearing, I have not heard one piece of dialog which I recognized from the book 😦