~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Haunted ... and An Antidote

A few days ago, I watched a movie that has continued to haunt me. This happens sometimes, as I'm sure it does for everyone; a movie touches us in an unexpected manner that is fathoms-deep. And, curiously, it's hard to uncover exactly why this particular one has done it … the topic is not unfamiliar in our war-torn world, and yet it goes inside and shifts something.

Usually, after this happens to me, I never watch the movie again even if I consider it was extremely well-done. I just can't go "there" again. Three movies that have done that to me in the past are: Where the Red Fern Grows, Gorillas in the Mist (with Sigourney Weaver), and Instinct (with Anthony Hopkins). Interestingly, though no big surprise, these three involved animal situations, a major trigger for me. And, therefore, even more confounding was my reaction to the latest movie to be placed into this "haunting" category.

The recent movie was In the Valley of Elah (with Tommy Lee Jones). I was drawn to the movie not because of the plot, per se, though it intrigued me, but rather because I enjoy Jones' acting and the supporting cast was excellent. However, this movie did not go the way I expected, and I found myself deeply disturbed. I don't want to give anything away, so I won't share details. I do highly recommend this film -- to watch once.

Like most trailers, this one highlights the "action" … but there is tremendous slow nuance in this film, every scene strips away at what we might think this story is about. 

So, after a day of being haunted by the movie (if you watch it, perhaps you will understand what I mean), I decided I needed an antidote. I found what I was looking for in the simple, sweet voice, music and lyrics of Carrie Newcomer. Every song brought me home, safe, optimistic, and inspired new faith in living a good life is the gift each of us has to offer -- this is our gift to counteract the horrors in the world. 

I'm a brand new fan of this artist, and adore every song I've listened to thus far. I can recommend Kindred Spirits: A Collection as well as her latest album A Permeable Life.

I found her through OnBeing when she was being interviewed by Krista Tippett. And it's not only her music. Listen to her recitation of one of her poems:

May your day be blessed with knowledge of the Whole of our World, the sadness and the joy, and the tremendous opportunity for grace within each of us.

Friday, December 12, 2014

I Got High

Windy Point Vista
I got high on Wednesday!

Okay, I got 5,000 feet higher on Wednesday.

Fine, if you want specifics, my husband and I drove the S-curve road up nearby Mt. Lemmon on Wednesday to go hiking -- the Bigelow Trail was at an elevation about 5,000 feet higher than where Tucson is in the valley.

I was thrilled to be walking -- and sitting -- beneath huge, old Ponderosa Pines!

I brought along Widget's carrier in case he got tired, but he was quite the trooper, sniffing and usually leading the way.

Phoenix the Corgi was with us as well, but was hanging back with my husband.

Before heading back down to Tucson, we stopped for pizza and a snack at the Cookie Cabin in Summerhaven. YUM!

The drive to the Bigelow and Butterfly trails is about an hour and a half from our home, but the trip was well worth the reward. I definitely need to do it more often.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Four Questions

While listening to an interview on one of my favorite podcasts -- OnBeing with Krista Tippett -- four questions mentioned in an interview with Seth Godin immediately aligned with the concept of writing for audience, and how we go about doing that. Narrowing my focus to a particular audience when I'm writing can be grueling, which is why this resonated. Maybe these four questions will give someone else direction or support or a new way into viewing their audience (Godin's prospective customer) as well, so here is the excerpt:

Who is your next customer? You mean that conceptually. Their outlook, hopes, dreams, needs and wants. What is the story he told about himself before he met you? How do you encounter him in a way that he trusts the story you want to tell him about what you have to offer? What changes are you trying to make in him, his life, his story? And then you wrote, start with this before you spend time on tactics, technology, scalability.

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