Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Hiatus. This word has such a hold over me, a strange, toxic stranglehold that rears its ugly head at the worst of moments. In some ways, I love it. The ability to just up and leave and to take a break from life itself it seems is a glorious thing indeed. If only it were true. I've realized that this lure is nothing more than a cleverly designed lie.

You see, a hiatus is much different from a vacation. A vacation is something that we all should have once in a while that is intended to provide us with a much needed break with the understanding that you should and will return back to work as soon as this lovely break is over. A hiatus on the other hand is far more sinister. While posing as a vacation of sorts nothing could be further from the truth. A hiatus is nothing more than an phony escape hatch. Let me repeat- a hiatus is nothing more than an phony escape hatch.

Recently, I've done my best to take a hiatus from my life. Assuming you've kept reading up until this point, I'm sure you can imagine how that must have worked out for me. I even had a vacation but I'm sorry to say that while I enjoyed seeing loved ones, I returned feeling like I needed a vacation more than ever before. Not until yesterday did I realize that when I feel the need to escape or get away from it all, what I'm really looking for is a sabbath.

Sabbath means "to cease, rest" in Hebrew. It's not the typical sleep, don't do any of your work or anything else kind of deal, rather, it's taking time out of your craziness to step into God's holiness and essentially recharge with the One who makes the Energizer bunny look like a major chump. After weeks of trying to find ways to escape from it all and recharge myself I finally found what I was looking for while on a plane and all I had to do was to open up my Bible and myself and let God in. He took care of the rest.

Monday, November 2, 2009

From Scratch

I'm lost right now, not in the "which way is North?" or "where is my car in this infernal lot?" but more in the "oh crap, my life has not panned out as I planned." Waking up and realizing that there is a part of you, and you don't know exactly how big that part is, that you don't recognize, and even harder to explain, is potentially antithetical to who you thought you were. I don't know what I should be doing- what do you do when everything that you thought you wanted turns out to not even come close to fulfilling all your wildest dreams? Do you stick with it hoping that after a rough start, everything will indeed right itself and life will resume as planned and expected? Or do you begin to look deeper and ask some really sticky questions that you may not like the answers to? 

I'm currently embarking on a journey that will have me doing both of these things- continuing along the path I'm on and along the way, asking all sorts of sticky questions and carefully listening for the answers. I don't know where this is going to take me and I certainly don't know how I'm going to feel about the outcome, but I'm on it none the less. I'm going to need a lot of prayer.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thoughts on Where the Wild Things Are

Let me get this out of the way right now: Where the Wild Things Are is indisputably a well crafted and visually stunning piece of cinema. It has a killer soundtrack, great acting and virtually unparalleled use of special effects so realistic that it's mind boggling. I've already read a ton of reviews and thoughts about this film (check out this and this if you haven't read them already) that have great ideas to share but in what I've read so far, no one has mentioned something that really struck me in the film. 


This is, in my opinion, the most underrated character in the entire film. While Max is our main character and Carol our other big player here, Alexander is almost never the focus of anyone's attention. The question I'd like to ask is: why not? For those of you who are older siblings, you may have a clue as to where I am going with this. Alexander is clearly a needy critter- always doing something to be noticed by someone, anyone, and could easily be seen as a nuisance. As a matter of fact, in introducing the Wild Things to Max says "That's Alexander, he wants attention. Don't give him the satisfaction."  

It's actually amazing to realize how much screen time he really has in the film- let me tell you, it's a lot more than I originally thought it was during my first viewing- but a majority of his screen time demonstrates his inability to garner any amount of respect or importance among the Wild Things. Alexander is the bottom of the totem pole without question. Then to make things worse for himself, whenever he seems to be particularly upset, Alexander lashes out at Max with a sarcastic comment. Take for example his line "Gee, you're the best king ever. You've changed everything" when KW decides that she is going to leave the Wild Things for good after the dirt war that Max insists on. Overall Alexander is whiny, attention seeking and insecure. Not the easiest of characters to love. 

But is Alexander any worse than a younger sibling who's feeling left out? Don't we all just want that reassurance from our families and friends every now and then that we are a valued and loved member? That people pay attention and hear our voice among the madness that is daily life?

When I first saw this movie, I could not get over how heartbroken I felt for Alexander. Of course I related to Max, Carol & KW easily, but Alexander was something else. It felt like I was watching myself on screen when I've been the most insecure and desperately seeking comfort.  I felt like screaming at all the Wild Things and begging them to look at the price of their neglect. Haven't we all known someone, or worse, been someone who was avoided or ignored on the playground? Who are they, (or I), to judge someone else to be inferior and not give them the time of day?

Where the Wild Things Are is undoubtedly used as a vehicle for many different life lessons for us all which I have barely touched on here. I urge you all though to:

1. Go see this movie. Take your friends, spouse, parents, kids, etc.
2. Gush about the high caliber nature of the film. 
3. Think about what you saw, really chew it over for a couple of days, & see what you come away with from the minuscule to the momentous and everything in between.

4. Talk it over with people & apply it to real life scenarios. 

Personally, I know that I was reminded of the power that we as individuals hold over the lives of others and how our interactions shape these lives. Unchecked, we all have the ability to tear someone down and make them feel like the most insignificant of characters or we can do what we all ultimately know we should and choose to treat others like we long to be treated. Like they are valued, important, special, welcome, talented & loved

Thankfully we know that no matter how insignificant or lost or alone we are, God hears you. 

In my distress I called to the LORD; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears. _ 2 Samuel 22:7

Ask yourself- "who is my Alexander & how have I been treating him?" We are all still Wild Things at heart; the trick is to learn how to become a reformed Wild Thing and place others before yourself.

A smattering of life experiences, insight, random internet finds and anything else that comes to mind as I'm posting. Sometimes funny, sometimes true, sometimes just ridiculous, it's a little bit of everything- from my perspective.