18 January 2010

new weblog site

hello there!

after months, no wait, years of an unsteady and unfaithful relationship with this blog, it's time i move on.

i'm starting over again at www.ahundredvisionsandrevisions.wordpress.com.

hope you visit me there too!


16 December 2009

jess, i miss you.

Spencer, Iowa
September, 2009

14 January 2009

a dad and his daughter

i heart holland on ice.
i never knew winters were so lovely.

03 December 2008

the reason why i haven't been blogging...

idfa: international documentary film festival amsterdam

The largest documentary festival in the world with 200+ films being shown in 10 days! Over the last two years I've enjoyed watching films during this festival, so this year I decided to volunteer and took the position as Zaalwacht...It seemed like a great opportunity to get out of my normal circle of people, stretch myself in speaking Dutch, and have the opportunity to see the films for free!

I could seriously become addicted to watching documentaries. It is one of my, or perhaps even the most favorite genre of film. It combines so many elements that I LOVE! History, current events, social justice, culture, imagery...and most importantly: story-telling!!! And as documentary becomes increasingly experimented with and accessible to a wider range of audiences, they're also become more creatively and intelligently done.

Documentary is full of paradox: reality mixed with fiction, live shots with also some dramatization, and intimate portrayals of ugliness that exists in our world along with signs and glimmers of beauty and hope... Although I saw many heavy films highlighting current situations in Burma or North Korea or Liberia... I was not entirely saddened or depressed from watching these films. Instead I saw people coming together who were fighting for peace, justice, and freedom...choosing to love and forgive and work in unity together towards something better despite the horrible circumstances and oppressive regimes in which they live. I was reminded again and again of how privileged I am to live in such freedom: freedom to speak, (freedom to write anything on this blog, for one thing!!), freedom to vote (and for a democratic state!), freedom to live a healthy and good and full life, freedom to work... I could go on and on. We have it so good.

I was so inspired by these films and wish I could post about each one! Each film told someone's story and this is what fascinates me more than anything: Our love of story as human beings! We just can't get enough of it! We love hearing story after story...And film captures this so powerfully! Even more interesting was having the opportunity to hear from the filmmaker in first person, ask questions, and come to a deeper understanding of why they chose to portray these particular stories. Why would they dedicate 3-5 years (sometimes much more!) to telling this one story out of all the hundreds of stories to be told? It was so interesting for me to listen to these filmmakers share their vision behind the film, the inside information of how it personally impacted them and therefore they were compelled to turn it into a film.

I was also stretched on another level: putting all my study of the Dutch language into practical use. This is the first kind of 'professional' type position I've had speaking Dutch! It was awesome to be working almost entirely with a Dutch community of people (ironically at an international festival) because so much of my world is with internationals both whom I work and study with, so our common language is usually English. It was very reassuring to have my manager instructing me and giving directions in Dutch and then being able to immediately respond and know what I was supposed to be doing. (Although I had my doubts at times!)... It was a good learning experience!

For all these reasons it was well worth the time... but I'm now catching up both needing to get more sleep and doing normal everyday tasks like a big pile of laundry in my closet!

10 November 2008

hope is...

Hope is a such a precarious thing.

It depends on so much. It is birthed in expectation of something more. For something better. For something good. Hope requires risk. Hope requires effort. Hope often requires the experience of pain. Hope unfulfilled will leave you sick and heartbroken.

It is often conceived by the intangible imagination. It is the beginning, the very foundation and stuff that dreams are made of. And I'm afraid, it is one of the greatest of all things. For without hope, we die. Without hope we have no reason to live. Or at least life becomes meaningless, empty, dry.

I find hope in the small things. The meeting of eyes with a child who passes me by. A sweet smelling flower, although it's gone in the mere passing of hours. I find hope in a hand written letter from a far away place, and a dear friend as the sender. I find hope in a new song, telling the old expression of love, over and over again. I find hope in the rising and falling climax of a personal story. I find hope in a friend's forgiveness, when I've been stupid and blown it and can't seem to get it right.

But all these things are only glimpses of something much greater. Something that lasts, something that cannot and will not disappoint. When all else fails, when the things I've found hope in have long passed, have lost their wonder and faded into the background. When those dreams have been dashed and broken into pieces that won't repair... there is still something that will not let me down.

It's unfailing love. This is where Hope is Alive.

It's a love that gives when I cannot give back. And 'gives' is an understatement. It gives unto death and a horrible, ugly death at that. It's a love that is not dependent on me and what I do, it's a love that just is. It's waiting for me at all times. It only needs to be recognized. The Giver and Source of this love wants to be seen. This Giver will never disappoint. The Giver of hope beyond all hope is Jesus.

...Over the summer I was browsing the internet, or rather I was browsing the website of Compassion International... It didn't take long before I found the picture of child, whose name was written in the description as "Naomi from Kenya"...

You see for several years now I've wanted to go to Kenya...I've dreamed of doing some heroic thing. Maybe working with orphans. Maybe helping women start businesses through micro-loans. (These dreams are pregnant with hope and bringing hope to others!!) When I saw this picture of this 8-year-old darling with whom I share the same name, I was immediately bursting with love. Hope was in her eyes. I gave in (with not even a hint of reluctance...) and now we both share the hope of one day meeting each other. While I know I will probably fail her in some way... I at least hope to bring her more hope and point her in the direction of the Hope that is and always will be alive...

Hope lives!

09 November 2008

the world anew

Written on a wall in the Kröller-Müller Museum:

Edward’s journals frequently explored and tested a meditation he seldom allowed to reach print; if all the world were annihilated, he wrote...and a new world were freshly created, though it were to exist in every particular in the same manner as this world, it would not be the same. Therefore, because there is continuity, which is time, ‘it is certain with me that the world exists anew every moment; that the existence of things every moment ceases and is every moment renewed.’ The abiding assurance is that ‘we every moment see the same proof of a God as we should have seen if we had seen Him create the world at first.’

Perry Miller, Jonathan Edwards

...I find this fascinating. Just as the subject of a photograph can never be the same thing twice; You could take a picture in the exact same spot, but it will always be different. New lighting, new settings, new figures, new arrangements, new shapes and new movements...the renewal never ends. The creating never ceases.