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On Silence As An Act Of Love

March 22, 2022 - Reading time: 2 minutes

I had the chance to watch a fantastic movie recently titled: "Lamb of God." In "Lamb of God," which came out more than a decade ago is an Argentine film directed by Lucía Cedrón tells the story of a family in the context of their life in the 70s. It does so from the perspective of someone from my parent's generation, the gaze of a child, the gaze of those of us who grew up listening to fragments of the story and reconstructing it to make a sort of truth of how they preceived their parents' life. Which, the only trueth a child really ever receives about the life their parents lived when they were young.

It was noted that Lucía worked for more than two years on the script and that it had gone through more than 20 versions. The end result is beautiful and I am thankful that I finally had a chance to watch it (due to a suggestion from a friend). The film is very thoughtful and beautiful. It offers a compassionate look at the characters and a prejudice-free attitude about the past. It is a unbiased window which we are allowed to look through.

In this film, Lucía shows how one of the themes the film addresses is that of silence, those unspoken things within families that course throughout a lifetime. The idea that silence can be an act of love was a shock for me. Like this director, I think this is one of the dumbest and most serious mistakes we make when we deal with people closest to us. It doesn't matter if it is through, crying, kicking, screaming or with a very low voice, it's always better to say things that need to be said.

It's that simple.

"Lamb of God" proves that brilliantly.

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You're A Saint

December 10, 2021 - Reading time: 2 minutes

We're back at that time of year again and Christmas is right around the corner. So I might as well try and the least I could do is write something about it. Once again it has become the challenge of the department stores to sell, and they have hired a lot of expensive people to figure out how to disguise it more and create a feeling of need for their products, to sell more, and I have nothing against it. It has become such an integral part of the holiday season that it wouldn't be the same without it. However, the holiday marketing makes Christmas a celebration of gift giving, and this can blur out the true meaning. Have we forgotten the true meaning?

Just yesterday I went to see a film, very good by the way, and it brought me to the point where I am now. I thought that I would let my imagination slip into the movie and let myself wonder what I'd done in those moments. Would I have acted the same? Could I have stood so tall in the face of such glaring personal adversity? The logical answer is no, but the truth is I am not certain. Perhaps it is a good time to apologize for our personal blindness, for our ingratitude, for our lack of interest in knowing ourselves; Jesus knew himself, his limitations and he overcame them.

Have you ever thought about how you reflect him? Faced with the same trials could you have taken that place knowing what was at stake?

It is not enough to go to help some young people or children in need, once a month (or even a week), that is a cheap awareness, a personal tranquilizer, simply attending church on Sundays and the forget about the message throughout the rest of the week. To someone who is loved, who is born and who has given his life for each of us, the least we can do is dedicate a piece of ourselves to him, even if it is just a few minutes each day.

This time of year makes it glaringly clear that we do not see an opening in our schedules for even that.

Perhaps it is best to have a moment's pause to reflect seriously on our lives, on God's role in our daily existence, and how we can improve ourselves. I'll take care of this next week when I do my personal planning. For now, I have nothing left but to wish you a wonderful holiday ahead.

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A Page Turner

November 21, 2021 - Reading time: 2 minutes

On Saturday at nine o'clock at night, when I was already determined that I would not make any greater commitments, I opened the first page of "The Reader," a Bernhard Schlink's novel. I haven't experienced something like this book in years. I did not stop reading until I finished reading "The Reader", which was about one o'clock in the morning.

I was tired but it was fulfilling and I put the book down satisfied that I had read it cover to cover in one sitting.

One of the themes of the novel is how German society worked to overcome Nazism. How post-World War II generations judged the protagonists and how they built a collective memory about the Holocaust. The subject catches me because of the unfinished business so often left to be forgotten in time. Do these wounds close? What is justice for? Who was to blame for the crimes? The members of the Nazi party, or all of German society as a whole for letting it come to be? Do we as a society have anything to take away from the lessons history offers us? I am interested because it feels like there is a similar process of apathy and dissatisfaction going through our societies which allows rise of certain narratives, making them become more prevalent and accepted in recent years. Those threads of hate, fear, xenophobia, and misogyny which guide so many of our society's darker moments.

I learned this morning that there is also a film adaptation which seems difficult, given the gravity of Schlink's writing so I am unlikely to watch it.

Would I recommend it? I think today's note speaks for itself.

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Emotions - Controlling or Controlled

June 27, 2021 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Emotions can either be controlled or they can be controlling. How we deal with a situation and how we react to it can be as different as night and day.

I came across a very good article, it was short but direct and I wanted to explore the topic on my blog. Up until that point I wasn't aware of a theory; emotional intelligence which plays a role in how we engage once they take hold. Some people let themselves get swept along, others can direct the flow and either minimize the impact or guide it into a positive direction.

Emotions can and should be modulated intelligently, in other words you can own yourself when you understand how you feel about a topic. One of the characteristics of immaturity is emotional instability. This is expressed by changes in moods in short spaces of time going from euphoria to melancholy for no apparent reasons. We assign this swing with teens, but truth be told it is not necessarily something that is grown out of. In this this regard some people slip further into bad patterns as they grow older and externalize their emotional state.

Immature people often act like they are moved by emotions leaving aside their will and principles. It is a characteristic of adolescence, acting according to mood: I feel like it, I do not feel like it, something that, on the other hand, is so common today to many adults.

People who have a life project, principles on which they base their action are often more stable, mature, and therefore happy. It's not about coldly controlling emotions, feelings or moods (that wouldn't be human), it's about keeping them in place and not allowing them to become leaders of the decisions that we make.

A mature personality knows how to overcome the moody extremes and keeps them within moderate variables.

They are not frustrated by failure and they do not think a task is insurmountable in the face of success.

Live your life without losing sight of that personal project that gives meaning to everything we do.

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Falconry on Display

April 7, 2021 - Reading time: ~1 minute

One of the things I like most about medieval fairs is the falconry displays, which is the art of training falcons and other birds of prey for hunting. These birds are so grand and beautiful it is a pleasure to be so close to them.

At fairs, as long at they are not too small, there is usually a falconer's stall where trainers display birds, and sometimes wander around the fair grounds with one of them, making it fly over visitors, which usually causes a sensation.

I don't know why, but seeing these birds, I love it. It may be because they are always so solemn, because I find them beautiful... I do not know for certain. But sometimes I get charmed just by looking at them.

As there are several references to this art in China and Japan, from pre-Christian eras, it is believed to have its origins in Asia. Although the first graphic document in Europe is from the 5th century BC, in the old world however falconry had its time of splendor in the Middle Ages, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

I didn't know much about the origins of this activity, but it was a surprise to learn that it was practiced a lot in Japan, being among its supporting characters such as Oda Nobunaga, Ieyasu Tokugawa and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

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Happiness as a Choice

February 9, 2021 - Reading time: 2 minutes

My father always told us that happiness was a choice. Angry is also a choice and it is often the easier of the two emotions to listen to. But could a complex emotional state be so easy to understand? While I do given him credit, it has helped me a lot in my lifetime, especially with dispute resolution, yet it couldn't be that simple? Could it?

Happiness is an emotion that occurs in a living being when they believe they have reached a desired goal.

Some psychologists have tried to characterize the degree of happiness through various tests, and have come to define happiness as a subjective (self-perceived) measure of well-being that influences the attitudes and behavior of individuals. People who have a high degree of happiness generally show a positive environment approach, while being motivated to achieve new goals. Unlike people who don't feel any degree of happiness that show a negative approach, feeling frustrated with the development of their lives.

That's why they say that one of the secrets to being happy is to give yourself and serve others without expecting to be thanked. In this regard, I am sure that we can learn much more from disabled people, poor, those who work to overcome problems, like the ones we have seen over the last year. Because problems teach us more than the perfect explanations of eminent scientists or educators invested in their analyses. People who have successfully overcome adversion have bee about to teach us through their growth, acceptance or just seeing them with a smile on their face; wounded people have taught us that we must accept our weaknesses and not always pretend to be strong and capable because that is where we create barriers to being happy. We always have to fight for our happiness.

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Snow Falling - Falling - Fell

November 21, 2020 - Reading time: ~1 minute

This weekend we were finally able to see the snow which we have been waiting sort of patiently on. And you have to know that it's not an easy thing for me to wait for winter (I'm a cold weather person). Fall is a nice start, especially when the leaves start to change. Then we have that whole period where they have fallen and it a little bit gray and dingy, thus the reason I get antsy for winter.

A couple of weeks ago, when a cold front was pushing through I thought for certain we we get some (even a little is better than none), I saw it snow flakes flying everywhere (in my thoughts at least), but we didn't see a flake.

In any case when I heard that we would be getting a second wave of polar air we were sure to get to see some decent snowfall right here in the valley, I am so happy. We decided to go on a Sunday walk in the park to see all white. Hopefully it won't be packed to ice, because after all of this snowfall it is supposed to be a clear night and we're sure to get a good frost. It will still be nice, but we'll just have to be very careful not to slip.