A life in threes

Month: January, 2014


First, this conversation, from Sunday:

Me: Well, all of that [redacted] was pretty intense.

L: So, what have you learned?

Me:  Um…there’s not any particular thing that I can recall exactly.

L: Great!


This past weekend contained a sneaky ton of bricks.

It has occurred to me that I have been holding in some of my feelings (again!) in effort to maintain my composure, in an attempt to ‘prove’ to myself that I do not need to pay attention to some particular feelings that I’ve been feeling, as of late.

Cryptic post is cryptic.


But now, there’s these new hazy thoughts, which make me grin, and lose my train of thought.

A secret life, daydreaming vs. experience, and a way of seeing.

To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, to draw closer, to see and be amazed and to feel: that is the purpose of life.” – Life Magazine’s motto, in the 2013 remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

***Possible spoilers ahead, so please do not read if you intend to see this film!***


On Monday afternoon, my kid and I went to see Ben Stiller’s remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

I have always loved James Thurber’s short story of the same name.

Honestly, I did not expect Stiller’s remake to stick to Thurber’s short story very much, as I’d felt that the 1947 version with Danny Kaye had not been very close, either.

(I’ve always thought that sticking too close to Thurber’s story would have been difficult to do, anyway…so I’m not surprised to read so many of these sorts of reviews now that I’ve seen it.)

But nonetheless, I found this film slightly amusing, poignant, and very inspiring.

Personally, I wasn’t disappointed.

There were a few wonderful moments of connection for me in this film, that – just as it is with the act of daydreaming – have more to do with my inner landscape than anything outward to do with the film itself

….And that is exactly what I enjoyed about this film.

For example, the most wondrous, unexpected moments for me were connected to seeing the footage of Greenland, and Iceland, for several personal reasons.


You know, I very nearly cried with delight, seeing Walter as he skateboards down an almost impossible winding road into the town of  Seyðisfjörður just before the volcano erupts.

He glides down this road as it snakes past these lovely rocky cliffs that rise up on either side.

Those mountains, those cliffs….aw, man.   Just beautiful.

Walter has tied chunks of black ashen rock to his hands with pieces of his dress tie, so he can lean and weave, touching the road, guiding himself around the exhilarating curves:


It was exhilarating just watching that, for personal reasons, as well.

Suddenly, I was overcome with a hopeful rushing thought crowding in my head:


(…kommen Sie hierkommen Sie hier …)


Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.

The other moment that struck me so much, concerned vision, experience, and the photographer’s eye.

When Walter finally catches up to the photographer that he’s been pursuing, the photographer is ‘waiting for the shot’ of a snow leopard in the Himalayas.

He and Walter sit quietly waiting, talking softly, until the snow leopard comes into view.

They are hushed and still, and we, as viewers, see their view through the camera lens for a good minute or two, before the leopard moves out of range.

And when asked why he didn’t take the shot, the photographer answers:

Sometimes I don’t.   I just look.  I just see it.

I have known several photographers who have also voiced that same sentiment: You cannot truly see if you are distracted by the attempts to capture the image, create the result.  The photographer sees, prepares and frames the shot, but at the moment of actually clicking the shutter, ze has moved from ‘seeing’ to ‘capturing’ that moment.   Ze has, in a sense, lost the moment of seeing, of experiencing the beauty of the moment, in attempting to capture the ‘beautiful moment.’

That moment is a red cardinal sitting on my backyard fence.

Stop trying to capture the moment, fearing the loss of the memory of the moment.

Stop worrying.

Stop preparing.

Just let the moment unfold.

You don’t have to hold it in place.

Just see it.

Just experience it.

And I loved that.

And I loved that Walter Mitty, in this film, became what he was – not by daydreaming – but by doing, by allowing himself to see, to experience life itself.

Life with a capital L.

In my opinion, that’s good advice.


I had a post all prepared for today concerning how I’ve begun doing a particular daily devotional activity, but instead, I got derailed by this article that accompanies this photo:


Well, this photo got me to thinking.

The father featured in this photo hopes for a day when a father just doing his daughter’s hair doesn’t come off as a big deal.

This father hopes for a day when any father doing this would not be considered unusual or even worthy of commentary.

Evidently some think that this photo should garner surprise or alarm or go as viral as this photo did on the Internet.

It’s a nice photo.  It evokes a lot of thoughts for me, but maybe they are not what you might think.

What does it make me think of?

The fact that I never learned how to do my own hair very well, and that had always made me feel like I was somehow less of a girl.

Sure, I had a mother and a sister, and a few close female friends, but no, no one ever really showed me how to do my own hair.

Some of them – the female friends in high school – would offer to do my hair for me, or, sometimes, rarely, let me watch them do theirs.

But, truthfully, the whole concept of hands-on skills of how to do braids or make evenly distributed pigtails or putting my hair up in a loose French twist with just a pencil (a trick that still delights and fascinates me, to this day) always eluded me.  Nobody really taught me the process of doing anything like that.

I’ve had three states of hairdo up to young adulthood: ‘long hair down’, ‘long hair in one loose ponytail with rubber band’, and ‘hair cut so short that I can’t do a ponytail.’

And then, when I was about 25 or so, I had a friend named Steve.

Steve took the time to show me how to braid my hair three different ways.  He also showed me the basics of pigtails, and how to take a ponytail and turn it into a bun and/or a twist.

He even knew how to make that loose French twist with a pencil trick that I love so much (but, I still never get much practice doing.)

And no, Steve was not a hairdresser.

He was just the father of one little girl, whom I imagine, always got to school with her hair done really nicely.

So, I look at this picture, and think about how grateful I am to a father of a particular little girl (who probably isn’t so little anymore), and it just makes me happy.

That picture makes me happy…and grateful that somebody’s dad taught me how to do my hair.

Thank you, Steve ❤

Brothers, of darkness, of light.

Czernobog czern[y]-“black” – bog – “god”

Bielobog biel[o] – “white” – bog – “god”


Hail to You Czernobog!  Hail to You, Bielobog!

Hail to You, brothers not in the grave!

Mountain and river, lightning and shadow.

Dual-natured Gods, shepherd of wolves,

Dispenser of fortunes, of darkness, of light.

Yours is the clash between order and chaos,

The eternal struggle for balance

That forces each world into being.

You are not dead, not forgotten,

And far from  the grave.

Hail Czernobog, the deep river of memory

Hail Bielobog, the fire in the sky

I wipe the dust from Your names.


* (Proto-Slavic:  dad jb – bogd )

         dati – “to give,” – bogd – “god