A Dreaming Orange

April 5, 2010

Let’s begin.

Filed under: Uncategorized — dreamingorange @ 4:04 pm

“I am one in six billion. I am a liar. I am a coward. I was born in sin. I am afraid. I am no one special.”

Hope…there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of hope going around these days. Youth seem to think they’re worthless, even followers of Christ feel just like one in six billion, as if they are nothing. But can you blame them?

In a world of unlimited connectivity, where Tokyo and St. John’s are in the same backyard, where the people have never been so together is it only me that feels so isolated? I mean you hear the horror stories of families that never speak except through screens, of relationships being built with text messages and great kids having no social ability but I think it goes a lot deeper than all that. I think that every youth has the world at their fingertips, and the world is telling them that they can’t reach it.

It’s postmodern disease. It’s a philosophy that nothing matters, nothing changes. It is not what Christ died to proclaim.

When Jesus stumbled up the dusty streets of Jerusalem, his body torn to shreds by Roman cruelty and his back bent beneath a heavy cross he must have thought of the people he was trying to save. I think that if he was focused on the pain or the struggle, on his blood dripping onto the hot dust he may have never finished it…for even Christ got disheartened; look at Gethsemane. No, it’s certain that we were at the forefront of his mind that day; clear in his actions to forgive a thief while nails tore against his soft flesh and he thirsted beneath the hot sun. But if all we are is liars and cowards, unable to change the world around us, unable to be special then the question begs to be asked:

why die for us?

Culture, the world, everything seems to call us worthless, tell us that there’s nothing we can affect, that we are just a stroke on the page of time…an accident of nature soon remedied by the earth’s endless spinning. But the blood that Jesus Christ bled that day, the cross that we should have carried, such beautiful love says something completely different.

Jesus wouldn’t die for worthless people, for people without a chance, for accidents. He wouldn’t go to such extreme lengths in order to save thieves who would always be thieves, sex addicts who would always be sex addicts, murderers who would always murder. He walked Calvary for us, that’s true…but not for who the world tells us that we are. He opened hands to sharp nails because he saw what we could be, because he knew that great things, the great beauty that we were created to attain. So when the world tells us that we are one in six billion, not special, worthless and powerless we need to remember that Christ thinks an awful lot of us. He sees the truth, what is deep inside, and what he saw led him to bleed on a Roman cross amidst criminals, amidst you and I. He sees the truth, and the truth is that we are special, that we have amazing potential, that the world as we know it is in our grasp. That we can change the direction of culture, that we can dry the tears of hungry children half a world away, that we can love those who hate us; he saw that we could, and died to show us how to begin.

Seems a little late to start, but I say to you that the seeds of love you plant today will bear fruit in eternity…but only if they’re planted beneath the shadow of the cross. So let’s start walking; it’s a long and hard way to Calvary; but he’s already there with his veins open, ready to water the soil of our potential.

A Dreaming Orange

March 1, 2010

Moon

Filed under: Uncategorized — dreamingorange @ 7:14 pm

Great film, I mean artistic and introspective film, comes along far too rarely these days. In a year where James Cameron catered to our eyes and forgot about our minds and Inglorious Basterds didn’t win best screenplay first time director Duncan Jones has given us Moon, and reminded an entire world of movie goers that art is not dead…not yet.

There’s something about first time directors, it seems to lead to either unreal success or bitter, bitter failure. I mean you have the great sucecess-like Citizen Kane or Reservoir Dogs-and the absolutely horrid-Critters 4 or Piranha 2. But Duncan Jones succeeds admirably with the best science fiction film since Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Moon is a movie about isolation, about human nature, identity and the dangers of advancing science. It’s a film that reminds us that we find ourselves only in opening our eyes and looking around, in going farther into the unknown than we’ve ever been before.

All of these, important and heavy themes rest on the shoulders of Sam Rockwell. And Sam Rockwell, being one of the only actors in the entire film, rises beyond the occasion and gives, in this writer’s humble opinion, the best performance of the year. The fact that Moon went unnoticed by the Academy and was nominated for no Oscars is outrageous. It is a brilliant film, and anyone who thinks that they know themselves will find their minds rocked by the questions and suggestions Moon presents. It’s a brilliant film, a rare jewel in cinema’s worst time in history. I’m not sure if art will survive in film, but movies like Moon remind me that art is not dead in cinema, not yet.

A Dreaming Orange

February 18, 2010

365 Beautiful Days

Filed under: Uncategorized — dreamingorange @ 3:42 pm

As an writer and a poet I believe that beauty is all around us, and that every day is another face that true beauty wears. Why then is it so often hard to write poetry or prose when I believe that my muse is not only constant, but in everything beautiful every day?

Perhaps it is because I am not looking hard enough, but simply waiting for inspiration to walk up and kiss me on the cheek. Perhaps inspiration is something I need to run to and instead of wasting valuable creative time waiting around I need to fight for my poetry, to wrestle it from the confusing arms of a fickle muse.

SO starting tomorrow I am going to write a poem every day for one year, and post what I feel are the best of them to this blog, titled with the number of the day I wrote it. I am going to write 365 poems to celebrate and prove my claim that as the earth revolves around the sun we experience

365 beautiful days.

A Dreaming Orange

February 4, 2010

R.I.P.

Filed under: Uncategorized — dreamingorange @ 10:12 pm

I have wrestled with writing this blog since January 27.  And to be honest…I still am unsure about what to say.

Start at the beginning I guess.

On January 27, 2010 J. D. Salinger died at 91 years old. And if you don’t know who J. D. Salinger is then you have no business reading my blog.

There’s so much I can say. I could talk about how The Catcher in the Rye affected the lives of millions of people, how he was one of the only writers to capture adolescence in all its messiness, honesty and pain. I could write for hours about the impressions the novel left on me, and quote and endless line of people who are hurt by his passing. The world has lost a great creative voice, I could write about the void left after his death. I could write about his reclusive nature and his battle against censorship; over his life’s tragedies and brilliant successes.

But I won’t. I don’t deserve to. Only Holden Caufield can say what an entire world of literary followers is feeling:

All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she’d fall off the goddamn horse, but I didn’t say anything or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it’s bad if you say anything to them.”

Thank you Mr. Salinger, for telling us all to reach for the ring. For telling us carousels always play the same songs. For telling us that we can’t put life in museums. For teaching us how to grow.

R.I.P.

A Dreaming Orange

January 16, 2010

Hunger

Filed under: Uncategorized — dreamingorange @ 4:03 pm

A great table of oak is standing in the middle of a hot, barren desert. A christian is sitting at the table, dying of hunger. On the table are the remains of a hundred meals, flawlessly prepared by the chefs of the world and the Christian had eaten every meal. Not even bones were left undevoured, as hunger had driven this sad man to eat everything, and yet he was still hungry. He hungered worse, it seemed, than he ever had; despite the food he had eaten…soaked in sin it had only served to tease his frail body. Half buried in the dirt, just a few feet away is the Word of God, pushed away and forgotten in the Christian’s fight for survival; thrown from the table in his hunger-fueled frenzy. He is dying.

Why doesn’t he eat?

A Dreaming Orange

January 14, 2010

Foreshadowing History

Filed under: Uncategorized — dreamingorange @ 7:05 pm

“Hey guys, I’ve got a great idea! You know how we’re all petrified of terrorism, which means that Airport security takes really, really, really, really long? Well, I’m white, a Newfoundlander and a proud Canadian; I’m not going to blow up any planes! I’m not even Muslim, so I think that we should take all the Muslims and give them their own special line, where the rights of innocent people will be trampled on! Yeah, that’s a great idea!”

That’s me, paraphrasing our illustrious mayor Randy Simms as I try to wrap my mind around his outrageous claims. On a recent trip Mr. Simms met the long, winding lines leading up to airport security checks. I understand and can even relate to his frustration, but can’t begin to imagine how he could bring himself to think that a separate line, one with much longer and more intrusive security examinations, for Muslims only is a good idea.

It’s so ridiculous! Now, I am a proud Newfoundlander and a solid fan of Canada; it’s a great place and I would never want any harm to come to this country or its people. I don’t support terrorism in any way…but I do support human rights. And I will speak out against racial profiling, the kind of perverse, extreme right-wing policies apparently supported by Mr. Randy Simms.

A nation is made up of individual people and in no way should the rights of the individual be endangered to relieve our troubled time’s paranoid fever.

It is a very steep, very icy slope that the world is slipping down, one painted with the colours of hysteria, panic, and fear. Today, it’s Muslims that should be put in some other security line and forced to endure inconvenience and (let’s be honest) persecution.  What will it be tomorrow? I wonder, is our fear of terrorism turning us into terrorists? A judgemental, pitiless and ignorant people driven by fear as to inflict it?

Tell me, Mr. Simms, how far are we away from six million Jews lying dead in the shadow of a Swastika?

I say just one good scare.

A Dreaming Orange

December 29, 2009

An Artist Contested

Filed under: Uncategorized — dreamingorange @ 8:38 pm

In 2007, Daniel Day-Lewis told us that he was an oilman, and that little boy with him was his son and partner, H.W. And an entire world of movie goers, sat on the edge of their seat…and believed him.

It was arguably the greatest performance ever put to film, as a recluse and mysterious actor did the best character work of our time and There Will Be Blood became a canvas for Daniel Day-Lewis to prove that he was an artist.

An artist working at the peak of their craft is something spectacular to behold, and Daniel Day-Lewis has sustained that peak from his My Left Foot to a greedy oil man. So when critics slammed his performance in Nine, I was distraught. He represents to me one of the last true artists working in modern film, a man who stayed true to himself and his art in an age where everyone and everything has sold out. Critics said he was done for, that all his mystique had vanished and I was sure that Daniel Day-Lewis had let himself go.

How wrong I was, and how wrong all of them were.

For something to be truly art it must divide people. And Daniel’s performance has divided nearly everyone, however I am left satisfied with his genius and would venture that Nine is one of his greatest performances. His subtlety and precision in every choice is flawless to the character, I wouldn’t have altered one frame.

True artists still exist, and that  gives this writer hope.

A Dreaming Orange.

December 22, 2009

Inspired to dirty hands

Filed under: Uncategorized — dreamingorange @ 4:13 pm

Housing the homeless, caring for AIDS patients, taking pregnant mothers off the streets; the Tommy Sexton Centre is doing some incredible things for the oft-hidden wounded of our society. They are out there on the front lines, where it’s messy and uncomfortable, pulling horrid, weak people from the gutters of our culture.

They also do things like needle exchanges, and give away copious amounts of free condoms and lube, to the poor who need them. This makes me, as a christian, uncomfortable. It’s not the healthy, Christ-is-breaking-you-out-of-your-shell kind of uncomfortable either, it’s like “would Jesus support this?” uncomfortable.

I mean sure, I agree that drug addicts will shoot up, whether they have clean needles or not, so a needle exchange program feels like a pretty good idea. But there’s a darker side  to it, a shadow that falls across the golden intentions of concerned people. It oddly feels like encouragement, as if the people at the Tommy Sexton Centre are saying “okay, you can shoot up, here’s the needles.”

Now I know it isn’t as black and white as all that, and their philosophy about needle use is probably truer than i allow myself to believe. For example, a female employee there, who I won’t name, told a frightening story of her own struggle with it. She spoke of a young, pregnant girl who came in for clean needles. How do you give her needles, knowing what she will do with them, knowing what she’ll do to herself…and her unborn child, with them?

It was a struggle for her, to do what her job demanded that she do. And it’s a struggle for me to even enter into that kind of decision making. So do I agree with everything the Tommy Sexton Centre, and other institutions like it, are doing for the hurt of my city? No, as a Christ follower I can’t. But as someone commissioned by Christ to do something for the wounded, how can I criticize them for what they do?

A needle exchange is an option. Opening up beds for cold people is an option. But doing nothing, is not an option, not if I am passionate about fulfilling the Great Commission and authentically serving Christ my leader.

So serve on Tommy Sexton Centre, do what you will, whether I agree or not. I have discovered in my musings that the answers to solving the pain of St. John’s Newfoundland are as lost to me as they have ever been, and so my lips are silenced in their criticism of  you and your choices.

May I be inspired to get my hands dirty.

A Dreaming Orange

December 17, 2009

A God planning the delights of his children

Filed under: Uncategorized — dreamingorange @ 2:06 am

God knows me pretty well. Ok, that might have been an understatement; let me try that a second time.

God knows me extraordinarily well. I mean, he knows all your run of the mill God stuff, like the number of hairs on my head and all that jazz.  But he also knows deeper things, things I think are reserved for my own, introspective eyes. But he sees them, he knows what I delight in and sees the things that make me happy, understands the unspeakable contentment I find in only two places.

I walked off the stage tonight, after a good low bow, from a Christmas Play put off by our school’s drama club. And in those moments, emerging from the ragged skin of a character much like a chick breaking the shell of an egg to observe the world as it turns, I was happy. Not just because the performance went well, though it did, and not just because I had one less thing on my plate, which I do, but simply because I felt deeply, inexplicably content. I feel that way I am on a stage, as if I’ve come home and time spent in reality is a unnessecary yet nearly constant vacation from where my mind actually is.

The second place I feel happy is in front of my type writer, vainly searching the faces of the keys in the pointless hope that I will find my complex thoughts reflected there in perfect clarity. And strangely, through the revealing fog of the steam curling from my black coffee, they are. It is only in writing I truly connect with myself, and I feel the formless breath of my imagination take shape.

God knows these places, the stage and the letters, the tears and the diction, are where I connect with my soul and find happiness. He gave them to me, and in light of that great gift I wonder how I could ever dream of not using them for him. It seems so impossible now, to even consider walking away from God and using such talent and joy for myself.

I mean sure, I sometimes wonder why God gave me delight in two things that can get me such little money, and barely a chance of a stable career. But then I smile, thinking about the perfect contentment I find in the theatre and on the page, and I can do nothing but thank my creator for giving me the capacity to experience such joy.

How incredible; a God planning the delights of his children.

A Dreaming Orange.

December 12, 2009

Thank You…

Filed under: Uncategorized — dreamingorange @ 4:54 am

In life it’s so easy to go astray, any christian without a grounding in the word and in time spent with Jesus will fall away, I guarantee it. I’ve seen it first hand, tasted of forbidden fruit and found myself starving.

It’s in the safest place in your life that you’re most liable to fall, it’s in moments of greatest promise that you are most ready to turn away. It’s so easy to become seduced by the wiles of this world and to look away from Jesus’s eyes and feel yourself sinking beneath the waves.

It’s strange, but there’s something so tempting about those roaring waters, as if some remnant of our sinful nature is positive that true happiness and satisfaction is hidden beneath the ocean. That for some reason we’ve been denied some great, extravagant life…we’re so eager to exchange the truth for lies, for a promise of happiness that our sinful mind has created.

And once you have no grounding, once your focus shifts from the cross and once you start down that lost path there is no hope, besides divine intervention. You make choices that you’ll spend a lifetime regretting and hurt the people closest to your heart. I hurt you.

But that’s what honesty costs, pain is the price the christian must pay to finally be real after a seeming lifetime behind masks. The wounds run deep, cutting relationships in two.

Or so one would think.

But no, there are those who believe in you, and have believed in you from the beginning. They are the ones who look at  you, hurt and shocked, and love you. They love with the love that bore Christ to Calvary, with the love that destroys the gates of hell and redeems lost, confused and frightened souls. They are the ones who pull us, the weak, back from the gaping jaws of hell and  teach us how to stand on our feet again.

They are the wise, and the loving.

Thank you.

A Dreaming Orange

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.