Mother! Hard to track at first … and then fascinating



I see where the media that caters to and to a certain extent is supported by an audience of devout and literal-minded Christian believers have stepped to the forefront waving a flag of religious offendedness at the message of this spectacularly intriguing, fascinating and thought-provoking film.

I went to see Mother! because my beautiful lady had read about it and wanted to see it. I knew nothing about the film, had never heard of it, and expected – oh, I don’t know, perhaps some sort of Mommy Dearest or Flowers in the Attic or some such melodrama.

It took about 20 minutes for me to involve myself in what I saw as slow-moving action and unfolding. Had I realized from the get-go that I was about to see a powerful metaphor of an assortment of moral ecological and religious themes defined by human behavior, I might have picked up on all the clues early on and found myself anticipating a predictable outcome.

It didn’t happen that way. After those 20 minutes or so I found myself intensely tracking every word of dialogue, camera angles, indoor and outdoor views while attempting to mentally cache each hint or clue and thereby foresee what would happen. Such a process led me to an intuited notion that the meaning and intent of the film was not hidden but layered.

Comparisons are being made to the public reaction to Martin Scorcese’s  The Last Temptation of Christ as a film to either love or hate. The mood engendered in me by Mother! reminded me of my mood when I watched The Witch (2015).

Love it or hate it as a film with a message rather than an endorsement of a cause or attack on a religion, if the film is so well done as to force you to actually WORK at picking up the metaphorical intent and message, it is a movie well made.

The “villains” in this film are none of the principal characters. The villains are in fact the almost mindless extras whose main function seems to be that of home invaders who show no respect for the protagonists or the home.

As we will probably see a furtherance of the amazing polarization between the religious,  the not-religious and the secular in the context of this film’s message, I point to the thin-skinned reaction to whoever challenges a cause or belief from both polarized points of view.

Remember the religious hysteria around the Da Vinci Code?

Remember the back and forth between the religious and nonreligious about the graphic violence of The Passion of the Christ, Mr. Gibson’s faith-driven homage to the Roman Catholic version of the crucifixion?

Those who want to offend will offend.

Those who look to be offended will be offended.

The media-who-sensationalize-for-money will eat it all up.

It’s probably an autumn preview of the War on Christmas.







Guess where I went today?

Bolshoi Ballet in Video in U.S.

My wife Lietta wrote this on Facebook

I got to share this Special Holiday Treat with my mother, Joy today. It is one of my all time favorite holiday treats – it is magical!! Loved it. It was an extra treat to be able to share the magic with my mother.
Special thanks to my husband, Arthur for taking the driving risk – weather in Spokane has had us hunkered down in our home with frozen weather temperatures in single digits. Have enjoyed being snowed in with my husband. Curtailed several of our holiday events this season. It is all Good, all of it!

The last Lions’ Train Ride between Ione and Metalline Falls.


My wife, Lietta, wrote the best description of our Sunday afternoon:

On the train, a moment in history for NE Washington. It is the last Lions Train Ride they will be offering from Ione, WA to Metaline Falls, WA after 32 years. A WW II veteran was our host on the train car, named for him, John’s Car, and he broke down in tears as he gave departing talk about history, his time with the annual train rides, and this being the last that the train would operate.

He explained that the engine and therefore the train cars would be taken away as the usual route the engine takes on the rail road tracks to Usk, WA to haul lumber – those railroad tracks were condemned. Too costly to be repaired.


This is John, a long-time member of the Lion’s Club and, believe, has volunteered all 32 years of the Train Rides. A proud WWII Vet who gave us a tearful appreciation and farewell … very impressive gentleman, even if when in his all-business mode he threatened to smack me with his cane if I raised the window and stuck my head out while we were moving.


Trestle overlooking Box Canyon Dam

Lion’s Club train ride along the Pend Oreille River to end after fall season


Hey … Don’t be messing with one of my favorite films!


I don’t care if it was prophetic …

Back to the Future: Biff Tannen based on Donald Trump

There’s a very specific analog between Biff Tannen, the bully and bad guy in almost every timeline in Back to the Future Part II, and a certain political figure who is rather popular in the United States right now. He’s been handed the keys to fortune, he’s unrepentantly used that fortune exclusively for himself, and he’s even become a public advocate for plastic surgery for women in his family.

It is not hard to put two and two together.

So, Bob Gale—writer of Back to the Future Part II and man who helped predict the IMAX theater and the self-checkout line—in these past few months, were you thinking what we’re all thinking?

Or this:

This Video Transplants Trump Into the 1960 JFK vs. Nixon Debate, With Creepy Results



Left to our own devices


The moment to moment of living …

Which is best, encounter with each moment according to a schedule or surprise at what happens next? What is there about routine that engenders a sense of secure stability or stable security while at the same time devolves routine into staleness?

What do devices for me? In this moment or out of this moment would I be able to experience the day without devices? Or, being addicted to my devices, would living in their absence drive me crazy?

There are implications then to the idea of being “left to one’s own devices.” I begin with a question, “which devices?” Mechanical devices we use to rule our days. Creative devices we use to nourish the heart. Is there a point past which we stop thinking about what we do, both mechanically and creatively? Past that point do we become mechanically mindless or creatively mindful?

Do boredom and melancholy dwell within the mindless? Is the mindful the only context where flourishes imagination and excitement? Does the mind have a locking device as part of its design? Or, do we install a locking device at some point when reason, passion and imagination are challenged by chattering scattered thoughts at the expense of contemplated ideas and the desire to find ways to express them?

Does thou mind pout when it doesn’t get its way, taking it out on the heart? Perhaps there’s more of a contest between entertainment and creativity. It is not difficult to find entertainment once one learns the means. It is however more challenging as well as satisfying to imagine a creative that also entertains. Entertains whom? Whomever … but first and foremost the entertainment and satisfaction of one’s self.

Such is when the heart parents the mind; the way things ought to be.

What is in the mind makes things possible. What is in the heart makes things worth it. If the mind is satisfied, the path to the possible remains open. The heart will not also be satisfied in the presence of the mind’s open path because the heart isn’t primarily about satisfaction. Rather, the heart’s purpose is the continuing powerful beating for aspects of beauty that can be imagine, expressed and brought to fruit in a variety of forms.

Devices then are or can be one’s friends. They may as good friends be in a closer relationship that one realizes. In some cases, close friends – such as drinking buddies – may never know when you’ve had too much. So long as you are imbibing they are supporting and participating in your consuming activity.

In other cases there are devices that are like loyal and trusted friends. In this mechanical and electronic age of friendship, trusted devices – from cars to refrigerators, to working tools, vacuum cleaners and the like – are what we trust to help us get things done. Another is the word processer with which I write this and it’s access to the Internet where research and questions with answers are almost without limits; a writer’s absolute necessity.

Then there are instrumental devices – in my case, the piano, the keyboard, music players that enhance the creative mood.

And there are devices for pure entertainment and information via films of all kinds and television.

What then about life with devices? Let them not be dominated by mind addicted to routine and struggling with boredom. Rather, let them best be utilized by the heart seeking expression through a venue of creativity and imagination.