Found standing amidst the remains of the fallen World Trade Center two days after the devastation on September 11, 2001 were these cross beams from one of the towers. The remarkable shape of these preserved beams did not go, nor has gone, unappreciated or undervalued.
In a remarkably depraved state of mind, atheists brought a law suit against the intentions to preserve this “World Trade Center Cross” in the national memorial for 9/11. That law suit was defeated and the “WTC Cross” has been faithfully included in our nation’s memorial, as it should be — even for those who are not Christian or hold no reverence for Christianity, the beams as they were found and in what shape they are make a remarkable statement as to the events of 9/11/01 which was a decidedly religious statement by Islamacists in antagonism of the United States as a Judeo-Christian nation.
May all who perished on that day and afterward from the ongoing effects of that terrible series of events rest in peace and may God comfort, continue to comfort, their survivors.
Read about the negation of including the WTC Cross in our nation’s memorial from this article, which I find well versed but utterly mind-boggling as to the writer’s obtuseness, as he calls the inclusion of the WTC Cross, an “attempt to Christianize 9/11″:
Site re-do is aaalmost finished with one major glitch yet unresolved: with a newly updated and modified site ‘theme,’ the commenting system is dysfunctional. Please stand by a little while longer: site visitor patience is greatly appreciated, functional problem is being addressed.
The solution to this glitch, as yet, isn’t apparent — that means I haven’t the foggiest notion of what has been done incorrectly that would render the comment-form and functionality kaput: all “settings” are at “go” and it’s still not engaging.
DISQUS commenting system was formerly installed (and functional) here; that’s been removed and the site, so far, won’t revert to recognizing it’s own commenting ability without DISQUS.
Perhaps, thanks be to Albert Einstein’s memory featured with this post, after I republished this post, *suddenly* the site commenting feature appeared!
There are no ghosts in this machine but some other form of special helps suddenly appeared. Whatever it was, from wherever and why, I’m grateful. After devoting hours today in the early morning predawn hours to combing over dozens of theme-files and lines-o-code therein and not finding anything irregular that would readily explain the absent-commenting-feature/s, publishing Einstein’s face seems to have provided the correcting solution. :)
The site is still in process of being reactivated — appearance, technical aspects, everything within my capabilities to remanage. This site’s been publishing over many years and it was way past time for both an extended break (since taken) and a freshening-up (underway).
Please continue to visit but there’s no rush. Happy Independence Day tomorrow.
This site has been active for over ten years — a few entries from among the older site contents since removed after insights changed but most of the site contents remain as-is despite changes in this writer’s perspectives — but as of this time, I need to continue the break I’ve taken from updating since intermittent posting throughout last year.
As expressed in the past, readers are quite appreciated by me so I hope that this fallow time of this site’s contents will not discourage readers from checking back in, say, a month or so, by which time I should make new content available. The site isn’t abandoned nor forgotten, I am just of the opinion that when one has too much on one’s mind — in this case, that refers to me — it’s best to be succinct about a parsed aspect of all that before taking to the internet and writing about a big combination of issues.
Having a friend who is in a Catholic religious order proves rewarding in more ways than one but it’s especially great to receive newsletters from such a friend, which I do.
The latest newsy-email I received inspired me and quite dramatically; I feel a need both personally and publicly — privately and professionally, private issues and Ye Olde Political ones — to orient perspectives and plans toward the future with a new sense of adventure.
I’ve also discovered the newest perspectives I want to base my next paintings on, which is a unique event for me because the concepts I explore on canvas with paint only emerge as themes that affect all the paintings done in the same period of time, and, I only develope these concepts, from what my history tells me about this process, every ten to twenty years or so, meaning, they are rare and refined and represent perspectives under exploration by me and once done, I tend to “go out to pasture” for years and don’t reapproach the paints and canvas until there’s a new reason to explore the media. Now there’s a new reason.
Involved in that, this latest emailed newsletter from my friend, my religious friend. It quite inspired me, and it follows here:
“Give up the familiar: Leave yourself and face the unknown.”
Mother Xavier Ross – Foundress, Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth
“Look forward to the good there is yet to be.”
1. Identify your sanctuary in transition – a shelter for tranquility, peace, prayer, memories.
2. Re-define your mission – find yourself. Who am I now? Identify the pieces of your puzzle; decide what parts of the puzzle you want to keep; what are my gifts now, what is important to me? Am I most comfortable around adults, children, or by myself?
3. Be gentle with yourself; “Lord, I have done the best I can with the resources that I have.” Give your worries to God so you can sleep; our resources aren’t the same now — they may get better; don’t torture yourself with regrets, fear or depression, it saps energy.
4. Love equals time, one of our best resources; letters, phone calls, e-mails spell love.
5. All our lives are about transition – change:
“Go confidently in the direction of your future — GOD is there!”
UPDATE 02/07/13: this post was reserved, unpublished, in my Drafts file last November 2012 but it’s worthy reading and so it’s being published at this time, February 2013.
At some point in every one of our lives, we are in need of concentrated medical care which usually and often means, we’re in contact with a hospital for a focused experience in treating or hoping to be treated what ails us. This article is written by a woman who is a registered nurse and was available — and able — to provide needed care to her loved one while the overall hospital process was inadequate to — and failed — her loved one and her. Not all of us are registered nurses or have one available to us and that dilemma is what the author of the following article emphasizes:
The importance of registered nurses in the process of following hospital patients through to outpatient care, from:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — and Christmas merriment is in the heart of the merry. The times are challenging for many of us yet this day assures us that the tough stuff is passing and there’s much more good “up there” with faith. Lights on a tree are a good illustration of God’s promises as with His love before those promises are fulfilled.
But I am not naive: suffering, pain, anger, betrayal, loneliness, poverty, illness…all these exist at this time for many on this Christmas as they do all the years-long, past and present. It’s a challenge of climbing higher than these depressing conditions and experiences: faith in a God who loves and provides can be a task when physical conditions prove otherwise. For some of us, though, despite such experiences, God’s love leads — faith, like those lights in a tree, shines on by some intractable and innate means and I call that miraculous.
Santa Claus came to town and he laughed because he knew he was mere messenger of very wonderful things already delivered and unsinkable: the birth of Jesus Christ, God’s gift that decided the match already and it was the good that won and still wins.
All I know is that God provides. Sometimes He says ‘no’ but He never ignores a faithful prayer and a good intention. But sometimes He says ‘yes’ and it’s usually through other people or ourselves when we participate in His generosity. And generosity isn’t defined by only the material, though, of course, material generosity is the most obvious and assisting in the tough times of others.
A few stories about acts of charity — people acting on God’s behalf among us:
…just a few stories among many. Christmas is a special time to rejoice by engaging in charity and increased charity, but giving happens all year ’round by some and they should always be praised for their charity in our ongoing prayers — they certainly are in mine.
Twentieth Century Fox reports that Life Of Pi opened with $47.7M worldwide gross from just 4 international day and date territories – Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, China – and the US/Canada market. Additionally, pic debuted on IMAX in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Total was $3M on 97 IMAX screens for a per screen average of $30+K. Domestic, the studio was thrilled its #5 fantasy adventure pic with Avatar-like 3D climbed a massive +24% from Wednesday to Thursday – up more than any other top film in the marketplace. Then it went up +97% Friday, prompting a studio exec to gush, “The good news keeps coming at you like a hungry Richard Parker!” It dropped -7% on Saturday. This PG pic received an ‘A-’ CinemaScore which is keeping it overperforming. Before it opened, the studio told me it would rejoice if director Ang Lee’s Oscar-buzzed pet project opened over $20M – and it accomplished that. But at a costly $120M because of all that CGI. Exit polling showed it playing to a broad cross-section of moviegoers: 54% male and 46% female, 23% under age 18 and 38% under 25. Subject matter was far and away the primary driver for interest. The first footage debuted at Cinemacon on April 26th after which Life Of Pi was the opening night film at the New York Film Festival. Now the studio has launched its Oscar campaign. I give Fox high marks for a compelling marketing campaign despite a hard-to-describe faith-based storyline. For weeks before the picture opened, Fox tried to tamp down box office expectations, telling me how Life Of Pi was “a truly unique film that studios get criticized for not taking risks to make anymore. And, like any unique original film, it takes time to seep into the broader cultural awareness. And we feel this is a steady, gradual release that will grow as acclaim comes in and word of mouth spreads. This was a bestselling book that no one thought could be made into a feature film. We took the creative risk and backed a top filmmaker’s vision to go on a journey previously thought unfilmable.” As for its faith-based campaign, Fox says it made the film for a worldwide spiritual audience. ”The thing that is different from traditional ‘faith’ campaigns is that we have reached out to all denominations of religious backgrounds – Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc – and these leaders and organizations have really taken to the film. They like the storyline that Pi as a teenager has a rabid curiosity about faith and the differences (and similarities) that impact him spiritually and allow him to survive by embracing it.” Of course, Fox is still all about the bucks and its marketing promotions included Life Of Pi ‘inspired by’ merchandise like Christmas ornaments and mango black teas.
Besides spiritualists, the overall marketing focused on book lovers and film lovers. Written by David Magee based upon Yann Martel’s novel which has sold more than 9 million copies, pic was produced by Gil Netter, David Womark, and Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) who spent 4 years trying to get the project to the screen while the book was in development for 10 years. But it probably needed to wait because that’s some CGI Bengal tiger! (Out of more than 165 shots of Richard Parker, only 24 were of real tigers.) Unlike most Hollywood movies these days, Lee worked with only the one screenwriter, Magee, the entire time in development. He shot the films in 3 countries – India, Taiwan and Canada — with the multinational cast Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Rafe Spall, and Gérard Depardieu. Suraj became the focus of the media campaign because of his backstory: he beat out 3,000 kids for the part and only attended the Delhi auditions because his brother was trying for the role and promised him a Subway sandwich if he came along. Suraj did not know how to swim when cast and had to learn along with perform all his own stunts.
Not to diminish attention or praise from the film’s technical, directorial or production achievements, the film represents an exceptional achievement by the screenwriter, David Magee. Though, granted, Magee adapted the material from an original novel — the story, characters, concept of the tale all-told are from someone else’s imagination — Magee accomplished quite a feat in adapting this literature to the material from whence a film could be made.
Filmmaking is more like mathematics than is generally understood: there has to be a formula from which the discussion about the formula — and toward which the objective of understanding it — occurs. Thus, a screenplay. Without a screenplay, you’re filming “random numbers” in a mathematical sense, or speaking about them, in a psychological sense, in disconnected, random bursts of information which may be captured in film, but it’s not a recognizable formula in a literary sense until there’s a script that sets a story down such that it can be studied toward further filmed development, explored, discussed (acting, for example, is an exercise in “discussing,” in a conceptual sense, the material at hand) and comprehended both individually and communally.
Those butchery-chop-chop-sake films made by the people who gush-out a script, a screenplay, on a weekend over beer and the beach in Mexico — with lime and company — are the equivalent of fifth grade math. Not to degrade what they accomplish in that method but they’re offering numbers that work regardless of how they’re strung together, mostly because their “sense” is one of randomness, of not following any formula; thus, the audience isn’t asked to learn one: it’s fun, like drinking beer at a beach in Mexico with lime and company. It’s called “shock and awe”.
But it’s the literary tales — stories, literature, characters in those “formulas” that are understood by following a communicable process — that present both real challenge and real reward if learned. If mastered, accomplished, like adapting this book, THE LIFE OF PI, to the screen as David Magee has done, these literary accomplishments are then explorable visually by both filmmaker and audience later.
The original material, the original literature by Yann Martel, is not easily, if at all, material that translates to the visual story-telling of film, it can’t be randomly accomplished, except, perhaps, as brief parody of it that also doesn’t require technical skill such as a feature film (or most films overall) require. Even acquiring the equipment and basic staff required to produce a film is no simple task to accomplish and that’s before any content for the film has been made. Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity looks and sounds simple when it’s presented — “E=MC squared” — but then consider what was involved to make it happen: not a simple, easy accomplishment. Presenting things as “solved” and resolved (in concluding terms, like what an audience views and hears in a feature film) is what the success of discovery is about but it involves a lot of whiteboards, so to speak, and a lot of typing of all those “numbers” involved up to a point of balance.
But back to the point of this post: the screenplay written by David Magee adapted from literature written (and conceived in the original) by author Yann Martel. So much of this achievement of this film, THE LIFE OF PI, is from the screenplay — the formula — discovered by David Magee. As stated already, the literature isn’t one from which a film could literally be made, as in, no clear route (or formula) that a filmmaker could follow to explain the story (or concept) involved, if any route at all. So Magee created a unique formula, or “proof” if you will, in interaction with — or as derivative of — Martel’s literature.
Thus, the importance of the how-and-why Magee discovered to tell this tale, how it was he explained the literature involved to those who wanted to understand and explain it by film afterward.
So much of discovery of these pathways to understanding are accomplished by individuals by way of isolated circumstances — time to ruminate and ponder, just like Einstein experienced, privacy in situation and enough time — whatever it takes — adequate enough to come to a point uniquely. I like how Magee refers to himself as “a hermit”. It’s how the rumination is possible, it’s where the intuitive is given time and possibility to define into the technical, or, into an application of the idea.