This Focused Moment was written to accompany a service at West Hill during which we were exploring the themes in Martin Scorcese’s Film The Wolf of Wall Street. The movie was disturbing and novelist H. M. Forester’s quote seems an apt introduction. The poem is below.
There is this thing called choice
that we value so highly.
Free will, some call it,
all our decisions
left to ourselves.
There is this thing called freedom
that… Continue Reading…
A Focused Moment written after watching the movie Captain Phillips and before reading anything more about it. The consideration of helplessness emerged as I wrote.
A world away
from wherever you are right now.
A world away
the right to say what you think,
or choose not to.
A world away
from enjoying the moment
and welcoming others into it.
A world away
from here, now,
you and me
and who we think we are.
The following was inspired by the movie Saving Mr. Banks in which the author of Mary Poppins reveals that the story is not about saving the children, but about saving their father. The film takes us back and forth between the challenges she faced as the daughter of an alcoholic father and the opposition with which she approaches the creation of the Disney blockbuster adaptation of her book.
Perhaps, though, it is more inspired by the conversations I’ve recently… Continue Reading…
So, I am called a bully by Charles McVety for suggesting Rob Ford, as mayor of the city hosting World Pride, should attend the festivities but Charles believes he is within the bounds of human sanity for demanding that it is appropriate to deny a woman access to birth control and then force her to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term!
You will hear me say that it is okay for a doctor to deny birth control if his or her… Continue Reading…
Without a doubt
there were things amiss.
The perfect world
wasn’t the way I’d imagined.
I doubt it was the way anyone had imagined.
But it had unfolded in this pristine way,
with such perfection in it,
that it shone
like a luminous
and perfectly formed pearl.
But I couldn’t find a place to be me,
with my faults,
the arrogant and dissonant ideas
that refused to be quieted.
There was, in fact,
no space for… Continue Reading…
The Culture Clash on the John Oakley Show this week raised the spectre Charles McVety has long been warning of: a sexual predator identifying as a trans woman using protocols in place to support trans people to access the women’s change room of a public swimming pool and make inappropriate advances on a woman undressing after her swim. Ken Gallinger responded to her letter to the Star. I thought his response was measured and insightful, but that didn’t stop Charles… Continue Reading…
Inspired by the movie Gravity
Chaos takes us
from what we knew
to what it is we soon will know
but have not yet achieved.
In the space between,
as we whirl and gyre –
first toward and then away
from what we think we know –
we trail the stars
as our future
comes into view.
May we welcome
this breathless space
and the openness… Continue Reading…
Faith Goldy and I seared the line between us on today’s Culture Clash as we looked at the weddings performed by Queen Latifa at the Grammy’s earlier this week. Tell me, do you think Satan was conjured by Katy Perry’s antics? Or do you think Satan is a figment of an overly dramatic imagination? Or perhaps of an overly inflated and self-important worldview?
Here’s the Clash! Enjoy the conversation!
… Continue Reading…
“Laws change. Social systems crumble. Universal truths are constant. It is a fact, it is a plain fact that what is true and right is true and right for all.”
Brad Pitt as Bass, in 12 Years a Slave.
The powerful 12 Years a Slave is the first movie we’re discussing at West Hill in this year’s Academy Award Series. As the Oscar season approaches, I try to guess – using the lists of several movie critics who… Continue Reading…
A controversy has erupted over the inclusion of the Christian song “Alone Yet Not Alone” among nominees for Best Song by the Oscar Nominating Committee. Central to the controversy is the fact that the movie (of the same name) is virtually unknown inviting all kinds of queries into how the song got into the short list at all. That may have less to do with its parentage – music by Bruce Broughton and lyrics by Dennis Spiegal – than with… Continue Reading…