Monthly Archives: July 2015

Mary Pickford

Hi!

I hope you are well.

I have been thinking of Mary Pickford lately.  I came up with a story idea, that someone steals an autographed Mary Pickford photograph from an Ottawa bar and our hero, the bartender, decides to go and retrieve it from the American black market.

Sort of an “Ode” to bringing back our Canadian actors.  It would be nice if we could get our act together, sorry for the pun, and have a decent film industry.  Apparently, our big problem is that we share the same language as our American friends, English.  (Although, they have deviated to spelling words like “colour” without a “u”, which grieves me beyond words!  Partially because it’s wrong, but also because there is a nice red squiggly line underneath the word, telling me I have misspelled it.  I may need to figure out how to change my settings to British or Canadian English…)

Of course, one could easily argue that the state of things in Hollywood is such that they could heed the same advice.  Indeed!

But, what is too be done.

Well, first of all, I think we need to get rid of the Conservative Party.  Just do away with them for good, I say.  (Just kidding!)  I believe it was Harper’s government that removed funding from the Canadian Screen Training Centre, ensuring its demise – Here’s the official word:

“Canadian Screen Training Centre ‘Fades to Black’ and Closes After 30 years
Federal Funding Cut and Lack of Provincial Support Cited”

from (http://www.canadiananimationresources.ca/2010/03/1389/)

I know, there are more important things to spend money on – like jets to take you to where ever you want to go across Canada on a dime, and homes, and lovely cocktail parties.

So, many options of money mismanagement, one doesn’t know where to start…

I am not entirely sure I like the Liberals either though, and have no idea where the NDP would stand on the issue.

The Arts are an important part of any culture.  Wasn’t this why the Nazis went crazy destroying art work?  Why would they do that if art was just something trite and trivial?

I have no idea where the money would come from, but I think it’s time we started to re-evaluate.

Perhaps the closure of the Senate?

It costs us a whopping 13.86 million dollars a year, in basic salaries according to the Barrie Examiner, in an article entitled, Our Canadian Senate is a costly endeavour.

And, the monarchy costs us approximately 50 million a year.

For a grand total of 63.86 million dollars a year for Canada.  And, 63.86 million dollars a year for our government to spend needlessly.

And, now for the negative:

The argument against abolishing the Senate is that it would cost us way too much to buy them all out.  And, the Monarchists argue that a Republic would not necessarily save us money in the end.

Maybe we should just stay the course… It’s just I would so like to bring Mary Pickford home…

Blessings,

Ellie

 

MM

Hi there,

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”  Marilyn Monroe

I have been meditating on imperfection lately.  I went on that retreat and in the room, there was a folder with various articles written.  One of the articles talked about how God loves us completely, with all our imperfections, flaws and insecurities.

I was struck by this quote by the infamous Marilyn Monroe because of the polar opposites of the ideas.  “Madness is genius.”

I often find myself thinking that there is a fine line between genius and insanity. Apparently, Ms. Monroe felt the same.

As I was looking for some more quotes from which to find inspiration, I also found some sad quotes.

Such as,  “Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn’t that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you” and “Sometimes I’ve been to a party where no one spoke to me for a whole evening. The men, frightened by their wives or sweeties, would give me a wide berth. And the ladies would gang up in a corner to discuss my dangerous character.”

I wondered if I would have behaved any better toward her.   I imagine I would have been quite intimidated by her.  I would have stood at a distance, just watching.  But, would I have noticed that no one, absolutely, no one was talking to her at a party?

I am sure she suffered loneliness and isolation.  Haven’t we all?

Her life reminds me that we must try to get beyond ourselves.  Jesus tells us to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12:31).   We must first love ourselves and I think we also need to accept God’s love of us.  To REALLY believe that God loves us SO much as we are.

The quote by Charles Dickens yesterday reminded me that God created us, He knew us before existence, and therefore loves us wholly and completely, beyond our imaginations, desires and needs.  God is all sufficient.

If we believed that, then wouldn’t we then feel so secure and confident in ourselves, that we could go out into the world and love people in a radical way?

I imagine we would have the ability to do so.

Step 1

Be loved!  Remember that God rejoices over you with singing, that you are his treasured possession, and that he knew you before the world was created (Zephaniah 3:17; Deuteronomy 7:6; Ephesians 1:4).

Step 2

Matthew 5:13-16 says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.  You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” 

That’s all for now!

Blessings,

Ellie

Quotes taken from:  (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/marilyn_monroe.html#RS11pHf4fOLEz9Eo.99)

To Charles

Hi there,

“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.”

Apparently, this quote was spoken by one of my favourite authors, Charles Dickens.

I was digging around the internet for some inspiration and found this little ditty.

I like three things about Charles Dickens:

One, he was an amazing writer.  So gifted.  He could paint a picture with words the way Picasso could paint a picture with a brush and some paint.  Take this example:

“Janet had gone away to get the bath ready, when my aunt, to my great alarm, became in one moment rigid with indignation, and had hardly voice to cry out, ‘Janet! Donkeys!’

Upon which, Janet came running up the stairs as if the house were in flames, darted out on a little piece of green in front, and warned off two saddle-donkeys, lady-ridden, that had presumed to set hoof upon it; while my aunt, rushing out of the house, seized the bridle of a third animal laden with a bestriding child, turned him, led him forth from those sacred precincts, and boxed the ears of the unlucky urchin in attendance who had dared to profane that hallowed ground.

To this hour I don’t know whether my aunt had any lawful right of way over that patch of green; but she had settled it in her own mind that she had, and it was all the same to her. The one great outrage of her life, demanding to be constantly avenged, was the passage of a donkey over that immaculate spot. In whatever occupation she was engaged, however interesting to her the conversation in which she was taking part, a donkey turned the current of her ideas in a moment, and she was upon him straight…”

(David Copperfield, http://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/d/david-copperfield/summary-and-analysis/chapters-1314/chapters-1314-7)

The second thing I love about Charles Dickens is his senses of humour.  (Duly noted above, but the opening to A Christmas Carol shows he wasn’t a “one-trick-pony”. )

“Marley was dead: to begin with.  There is no doubt whatever about that.  The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner.  Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to.  Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Mind!  I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail.  I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade.  But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for.  You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.”

Love it!

The third thing I love about Charles Dickens is that he was also a Social Critic.  He attacked the politics of the day, partly through his brilliant writing style.

He understood what it was like to be poor, to have childhood innocence stripped away.  When his father was sent to prison (for not paying his debts), Charles (age 12) was sent to work at a run-down factory.  His schooling was essentially cut short (twice).

Thank goodness his second job was as an “office boy”,  soon to launch his writing career (www.biography.com).

It gives me hope, an aspiring writer.  I am not sure what little Charles wanted to do when he grew up, but with some divine providence and hard work, he was successful.

I am sure he must have had “faith like a mustard seed” too, and understood the love His Creator had for him (Matthew 17:20).

“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.”

Blessings,

Ellie

 

Stepping Up

Hi there,

A friend posted a story about how the Muslim community in the US is standing with the churches that were burnt down.

They’re putting their money where their mouths are and giving during Ramadan – the Islamic Holy month.

Christians were feeling a bit out of sorts by this – partly because it makes us look bad. Where were the US Christian churches?  Where were the Canadian Christian churches for that matter?

I had heard about the shooting.  At first, I didn’t realize it was a hate crime against the Black community.  I heard that 8-9 people were killed coming out of church after a Bible study.

I go to Bible study.  It was something familiar to me – and heartbreaking.  I wondered how that could happen in the US, particularly since it is a Christian nation.

Then the even more heartbreaking news – it was racial.  As if the Black community needed another reason to grieve!

I also confess I did not hear about churches being burned down.

I have no idea why this seems to be heating up now – how more predominantly Black churches have been burned – I think as I write this – only 3 are from arson.  But still.  3 churches burned and 9 people killed in Charleston S.C. is enough. It’s a problem.

So, where were the churches?  Why were the Christians silent?  Not sure I have an answer for this – my skeptical side makes me think we don’t care.  They’re Black churches after all.  A comment made by the Sierra Leone (I believe) when the ebola hit them and other African countries, was that “White” countries really only took notice of it when the deadly disease hit our borders.  (I am paraphrasing here!)

Muslims know what it’s like to be hated and despised, to be portrayed so negatively in the media.  It actually seems natural to me that it would be the Muslim community who would step up.   As Christians, we have it pretty good over here.  We’re only moderately despised, with the odd “eye roll” and a, “You seriously believe Jesus is the Son of God?  He rose from the dead?”  Not much hatred there – only disdain and mockery.

Anyway, something else struck me.  With everything going on in the world right now, it is amazing for me to see the Muslim community stepping up, and saying, “This is who we are.  We are not what you see on TV.”

As Jews, Christians, Muslims – we want the right to worship our God, without fear.

In fact, the plagues came on Egypt when Pharaoh refused to let God’s people worship Him.

In Matthew 22:36-40 we read this exchange:  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” 

I think these two commandments were taken from Deuteronomy 6:5, “and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might,” and Leviticus 19:18, ” You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

I would not wish this tragedy for anything in the world – But it happened.  And, I am so thankful for my Muslim brothers and sisters for stepping up and showing the good stuff they’re made of!

The reason I tie the Matthew scripture to the Old Testament is because Jews, Muslims and Christians share the Torah, the first 5 books in the Bible.  We share the same foundation.  I just wish we would start to act like it.

Blessings,

Ellie

Death by Mac Truck…Almost

Hi there,

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written.  My apologies!

I went on a little retreat, just to get away.  I was really looking forward to it.  It’s this place on a river.  It’s so peaceful, managed by nuns and it is a quiet retreat.  No talking.  I think we’re even asked to not talk on our cell phones in our rooms.  The walls are thin.

As I was driving along, I couldn’t exactly remember where it was.  I had been there before, so I knew I had driven right past it.  Since I didn’t want that to happen again, I was driving a bit slower than the speed limit.  (I know that’s annoying!  But, I don’t think I was going THAT slow…)

There were quite a few cars behind me. And, I was feeling bad for them.  Just not bad enough to speed up and miss my left hand turn.

I came over a little hill and recognized the parking lot.  I knew that was it.  So, I began to slow down to make my turn.  I signaled and turned into the lane way.  I heard a honking sound.  Not a loud honking sound, but enough to make me turn my head and look.

When I did, I saw a green and white truck, with the letters “MAC” on its front grill.  Guy decided to pass something like 5-6 cars.  He wasn’t super close to me, but close enough that it made me feel quite anxious about almost being ran over by a Mac Truck.

I thought, ‘Okay God, I am still alive.  This must mean you have something for me to do. Life is not over yet.’

Needless to say, it threw off my retreat a little bit.  I didn’t have a near-death experience exactly, but it certainly lent itself toward that end of the spectrum.

Job 14:5 says, “A man’s days are numbered. You know the number of his months. He cannot live longer than the time You have set.”

I realized that day that these words are so true.  No one knows when his or her time will be up.  We must make the most of our time here on earth.  For each of us, that’s going to look different.

My mom told me that whenever my step-dad leaves the house, he tells her he loves her. He works on a farm, so is in and out of the house several times a day, refilling on coffee or getting a snack.  It doesn’t matter how many times he comes into the house. When he leaves, he tells her he loves her.

I will say this – I think we need to start with love.

If something should happen to my step-dad while at work or while having gone out for something,  (God forbid!), I realized the last words my mom would hear from her husband are, “I love you.”

I like that.  I like that a lot!

Let’s make sure we tell our loved ones that we love and appreciate them often.

Blessings,

Ellie

PS- When I was leaving the retreat, I made it a point to see if “guy” was legally passing.  He was most certainly not – double lines, on a hill, multiple cars…Ridiculous!