Category Archives: Art

My Current Thoughts On Life

Below are some random thoughts I’ve been having lately that I felt like writing down just because they’d been bouncing around in my head and I felt like letting them out.

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Lately I feel like I haven’t been taking good care of myself.

I’ve been so focused on trying to be a light for others that I feel like I’ve neglected being a light for myself.

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I want to do good for others. I want to change the world for the better. I want to be the best person I can be.

One of the reasons why is because, according to my parents, I almost died as result of my premature birth. I was born 3 months premature.

I see my life as a miracle, and I don’t want to waste it.

But I’m not perfect. To be blunt: I’ve fucked up.

There are times where I’ve become the kind of person I promised myself I never would be, and that has ended relationships I thought would last forever.

I believe there is a God.

Why?

Because: There’s a feeling within me that there is more to existence than what I can perceive with my senses. I don’t care if I’m seen as “illogical,” and I don’t care if I’m seen as “close-minded,” but: There is nothing anyone can do or say to persuade me that there is not something more to existence.

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I believe that God loves me.

But, at the same time, I believe I am undeserving of God’s love. One of the reasons why I believe I am undeserving is: I struggle with pride. And, if I think to myself I don’t deserve ___, than I won’t be as tempted to think Life owes me ___! I want it! I want it! I want it! like a spoiled brat.

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Joffrey Baratheon — Game of Thrones

What currently drives me to write is the fact that I think so much of the art by my fellow Christians is awful. For example:

I hate saying that. After all: We (Christians and non-Christians) are just doing what we can to be the best we can. But I’m not going to be dishonest about my feelings.

I know my own writing isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread. I know I still have a long way to go before my writing is ready to be seen by the masses. But there has got to be better art made by Christians. And I want to do what I can to make “better art.”

I feel like a lot of my posts come across as pessimistic. And that troubles me. As a Catholic, I know I shouldn’t be like that — I shouldn’t be pessimistic. But if I were to say “I’m not pessimistic” than I would be lying. And I will not lie.

It felt good to let that out.

In conclusion:

The song that does the best job of conveying my current mood:

Boundless Challenge: Week #11

OriginalPhoenix, I’m sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the Boundless Challenge.

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My last entry in the challenge was almost a month ago.

The point of the challenge is to write about how I “lived boundless” this week — to write about one example every week of me doing more than I thought I was capable of.

And, I really do hate to say it, but: Lately, my neighbor’s cat has been more boundless than me.

Since I used to have two dogs — they died after living long, happy lives — my neighbor’s calico cat — that hangs out around my house because I give her food — has, for the longest time, resisted actually coming into the house. She must still be able to smell the dogs. But, over the weeks she’s made progress.

Yesterday she jumped on my couch and stayed there for 10 minutes before running to the door and meow-ing to be let out.

The light is bad, but here she is:

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I call her “Kiki,”  thanks to Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989).

Why?

Because: Instead of delivering bread, Kiki the calico delivers “Aww!” Whenever I see her, I can’t help but go “Aww!” She always makes me do this:

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To get back on subject:

This week, I do have something to be Boundless about:

I finished the screenplay for my short film.

There will, undeniably, be more edits as I show it to people more knowledgeable about screenwriting than I. But, I’ve hit a wall: I feel like I’ve done everything for this screenplay that I, with my current knowledge of writing, can do. Hence why I consider it “finished.”

Have you ever felt like that? You write, and write, and write, and you get to a point where you look at what you’ve written and think I’ve done everything I can.

For weeks, my life has been relatively unexciting.

Just been trying to get more used to my job stocking shelves, since it’s the first job I’ve had in over 3 years. (School, family obligations, and soul-searching kept me busy during that time.)

When I’m not working, I’ve been listening to the Life is Strange soundtrack while I try and think of more ideas for screenplays…

…and spending time with my best friend. We hang out more frequently now, which I’m glad for. In my quest for awesomeness, I don’t want to neglect relationships.

What else has happened recently?

Well, thanks to Wild Woman Sisterhood

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…and some editing, I found a picture that captures what my short film is about:

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Regarding my short film:

I’ll write more on that later…

Thank you to TheOriginalPhoenix for inspiring me to get back to doing the Boundless Challenge.

Her fiery, phoenix-y awesomeness is just what I needed today.

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My Journey As A Writer (So Far)

A month ago, I started writing a screenplay for a short film.

Earlier today, thinking more about why I was writing a short film, I had a revelation. Or, rather, I had the same revelation again and found that it was as true as ever:

I’m writing because I’m angry.

Why am I angry?

This is why:

You don’t have to look long to find examples of mediocre films made by Christians…

And, as a film-loving Christian — specifically: a film-loving Catholic — I wanted to do something about that.

I realized that it wasn’t enough to critique bad art — I had to create art too.

I couldn’t just curse the darkness — I had to light a candle.

Only now… I’ve realized that’s awful motivation for writing.

Why?

Because:

I can only be driven by negative emotions for so long before I crash.

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My problem is: I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of negativity.

I don’t spend as much time as I used to paying attention to mediocre art, but it’s still there. Sapping my vitality like a leech.

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And I’m sorry I’ve been away for a little while. Lately content on my blog has been scarce, and my involvement on other peoples’ blogs — Liking, commenting, or reblogging — has been non-existent.

I just haven’t been feeling myself lately.

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As always, just trying to figure out what to do with my life…

I want to be the kind of person who, standing in front of the pearly gates at the moment of their death, God says “Well done” to.**

But, I have a long, long way to go to be that kind of person.

**”Well done, good and faithful servant.”
~Matthew 25:21

“Let There Be Light” – A New Low For Christian Movies

A trailer for a new Christian movie was released.

And it is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.

Let There Be Light (2017):

30 seconds in, and I thought This must be a parody of the trailer. Not the actual trailer.

But I was wrong. This is real.

I don’t know where to start…

The narration is the worst I’ve ever heard.

The dialogue is as subtle as a trainwreck.

The message — atheist converts after a deadly experience — has been done to death. (Pun intended.)

For example: Another Christian movie staring Kevin Sorbo as an atheist who converts: God’s Not Dead (2014):

And before you say “You’re just an atheist liberal,” as the name of my blog implies, I’m a Catholic, and my political views lean towards conservatism. My point is: I am the intended audience for this movie, and I hate it.

I hate it because it’s mediocre.

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If excellence declares the glory of the Lord, as Psalm 19:1 attests, than Let There Be Light is not an angelic host singing, it is nails on a chalkboard.

Movies like Let There Be Light are why I believe that the world doesn’t need more “Christian movies.”

What the world needs, I believe, is just more stories that portray goodness, truth, or beauty no matter where that goodness, truth, or beauty comes from.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
~ Philippians 4:8

Because of Philippians 4:8, I have found much to think about in, for example, stories about lesbian lovers…

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Life is Strange (2015)

…friendly forest spirits…

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My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

…and killer aliens.

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Prometheus (2012)

Watching the Let There Be Light trailer after experiencing the peace and beauty of Totoro’s realm…

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…I felt like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation (1989):

Here was a movie (Let There Be Light) that promised to show me (a Catholic conservative) what I, on paper, should love.

But, as Let There Be Light reminded me:

Appearances can be deceiving.

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Pagan Prayer: Dancing Naked In The Forest

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All of creation is inherently good:

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
~ Genesis 1:31

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Because of Adam’s and Eve’s sin, we aren’t as able to see and appreciate the inherent goodness of God’s creation…

Then the eyes of both of them were open and saw that they were naked.
~ Genesis 3:7

…but that goodness does not go away.

An example of how “that goodness does not go away”:

Nude art. Like The Birth of Venus.

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Because of this imperfect world — because my eyes are “opened” and I see that Venus is naked — I can’t see Venus in a completely pure way. There’s always that inner tug-of-war with lust.

But: That doesn’t mean that Venus herself is less inherently good. That just means that I am not perfectly able to see her goodness.

On another note:

To quote George R.R. Martin:

The gods give each of us our little gifts and talents, and it is meant for us to use them, my aunt always says. Any act can be a prayer, if done as well as we are able. Isn’t that a lovely thought?
~ Lady Smallwood, A Storm of Swords, “A Song of Ice and Fire”

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And to quote Chariots of Fire (1981):

You can glorify God by peeling a potato, if you peel it to perfection.
~ J.D. Liddell

My point is:

Any act — even dancing naked in a forest — can be a prayer if it is done as well as we are able to do it.

Because all things — like a forest, a person’s naked body, and a desire to dance — ultimately come from God. And it is up to us to use them for the well-being of others and ourselves…

Typing those words, I am reminded of Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989):

We fly with our spirit.

That’s what I’m talking about! Trusting your spirit. The spirit that drives your friend to bake, me to paint, and you to fly, is the same spirit. Maybe the spirit comes from God.

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So:

To anyone who is out in nature, naked and moving, while I’m indoors, clothed and kneeling:

Thank you.

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The Fire Inside Us

Obvi, We're The Ladies

I feel like I cry a lot lately.

I think I have to. I research and write plays about sexual assault, so I have to read, digest, analyze, and create material about a very difficult subject. I know more about exploitation, rape, and abuse than the average person and I started doing this work in the first place because people kept sharing their assault experiences with me. I host a lot of sad stories in my heart, so I can tell them with the care and commitment they deserve.

I’m glad I’m not numb. I’m glad I can feel the shock, horror, and sadness that come with empathizing with another human being who is both a victim of a crime and a survivor of violence and terror. An event that doesn’t even scratch the surface of their identity.

But if you’re reading this, you’re probably the choir I’m preaching to…

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Why “Her Body. Her Choice,” Is An Awful Argument For Abortion

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Here’s why the “Her body. Her choice,” argument is not a good one:

Abortion does not just effect “Her body.”

Don’t believe me?

Well:

Let’s say that you, the person reading this post, are 20 years old.

If, 20 years ago, your mother exercised her right to choose what happens to her body and had an abortion than, 20 years later, you would not be currently reading this post.

Why?

Because: You would no longer exist.

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Yes: Abortion does effect a woman’s body. And in that sense, it is her choice: A pregnant woman should have the final say on what she wants to happen to her pregnancy.

But: Abortion effects more than just the woman who is pregnant. To deny that is to deny biology.

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