In the Face of Violence

A tragedy happened in Charleston, South Carolina last night. It is easy to respond with anger and outrage, but there are other important responses we should keep in mind.

In the face of violence, we must grieve.

A state senator, a pastor, a grandmother, a wife, a cousin, a coach, a librarian, a student, and a leader were all lost last night in Charleston. They were each wonderful people, and we should mourn their loss. There was also a lost young man, who we must pray for and grieve for as well.

Grief has no time limit, no easy answers. Grief should not be sped up or moved aside. Grief is normal and necessary. We must all grieve in our own ways, which means really absorbing the reality of what happened and understanding its impact in our lives. Because it does affect each one of us, regardless of our skin color or location or age.

Light and Pine artwork; Charleston Names

“Even when we are still unsure of so much, we must honor these men and women – these victims, whose lives were taken in a brutally violent way because of the color of their skin. These are their names. They had stories and lives and families, like we all do, cut short by this heartbreaking violence, and it’s not okay. We must do better, as allies and family and coworkers and friends and fellow citizens and humans. We must.” Art and wisdom courtesy of Helen Boggess at Light and Pine

In the face of violence, we must come together.

What happened in Charleston last night was not an isolated incident. It is not the first hate crime against innocent people. It is not something that can be solved or fixed. It is not something to deal with alone.

Systemic problems can only be changed by collective will power. American history has been stained and bleached many times. The tragedies and pain are part of the story, but so are the movements and efforts that created positive, monumental change.

Brene Brown, on her blog today, wrote these wise words:
“Until we find a way to own our collective stories around racism in this country, our history and the stories of pain will own us…This is not bigger than us. This is us.”

In the face of violence, we must speak out.

It is easy to read the headlines, and say this is a terrible thing, then move on. I went through work today smiling and happy, trying to pretend like I didn’t have to say anything. I thought about what to write about and avoided facing the only real option. Because what happened in Charleston is frustrating, and difficult, and heartbreaking. But it can’t be ignored.

 Charles P. Pierce, in his article on, wrote:
“What happened in a Charleston church on Wednesday night is a lot of things, but one thing it’s not is “unspeakable.” We should speak of it often. We should speak of it loudly. We should speak of it as terrorism, which is what it was. We should speak of it as racial violence, which is what it was.”

There are too many questions we ignore. What leads a young man to decide that killing 9 people will solve his anger or hatred? How can we generate a culture of compassion rather than fear? What makes someone believe that isolated violence solves nationwide problems? Why can’t we overcome misguided stereotypes and assumptions based on skin color?

Most importantly, how can we change those ways of thinking and prevent future violence? These questions must be asked, spoken about, and kept alive. Violence in the dark only continues when we forget to keep shining the light on it.

In the face of violence, we must hope.

I cried today as I read the stories of each victim and looked at pictures of their smiling faces. My heaving chest could not bear the weight of why this happened, and my tears were thick with disillusionment. Even as the waters receded, my eyes had hardened with the weight of exhaustion.

Then I read an entry in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest that said:
     Human frailty is another thing gets between God’s words of assurance and our own words and thoughts. When we realize how feeble we are in facing difficulties, the difficulties become like giants, we become like grasshoppers, and God seems to be nonexistent. But remember God’s assurance to us “I will never forsake you.”

God has not forsaken our country. God has not forsaken people of color. God has not forsaken those who operate out of violent fear. God has not forsaken our broken world.

I do not have all the answers, and on days like today it feels like I don’t even have words. I am grateful for the words of others, those I’ve included here and more beyond that, speaking truth into hard places. We may be feeble, and the difficulties may seem like giants, but we can have hope in those who speak out, those who come together, and a God who is good even in the face of evil.


Choosing to Dream

Every post this week has been dedicated to one of my favorite things, including Gilmore Girls, good stories, a special pair of earrings, the ability to surprise myself, and learning surprising things about other people. As promised, it has all built up to this: the post detailing one of my favorite places on earth, which also happens to be the odd niche that I know a surprising amount of information about.

I can tell you why there are no 90-degree angles in the main entrance.

I can tell you how long the initial construction took.

I can tell you where two pennies are hidden in a weathervane, and the significance of each penny’s year.

I can tell you what the morse code is spelling out at the train station.

And I can tell you that the park is never really finished.

“Here you leave today and enter the world or yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” Here is Disneyland. 

It began early. I participated in competitive dance for the extent of my childhood, and every year we would have two competitions at the Disneyland hotel. In middle school I got my first annual pass. By high school my mom and I had been enough times to know every bit of trivia and the best daily route to hit the main attractions. There were afternoons where I would bring homework and study there simply for the ambiance.

Disney ambiance

Proof of me studying in Disneyland

The ambiance is the main reason I want to be there at all. Strolling through the streets, I don’t have to think about the outside world. Wafting scents of waffle cones and buttered popcorn satiate my nose, a spectrum of flowers and leafy trees soften every transition from one place to the next. I can mosey from here to there, or scurry if I want. I control the pace of my day and gladly bounce in step with a constant subtle soundtrack. It is a place where I always feel like my true self and I am never insecure about my decisions.

Disneyland is a place to escape and a place to dream. It encourages the simple joys of laughter, playfulness, and time together. Optimism feels easier and hope comes more naturally. The imagination flourishes, encouraged by a sense of adventure and set free without fear.

If this sounds overly romanticized, that’s because it is. Yes there are also multiple screaming children. Yes there are hoards of people. Yes there are lines, and God forbid we have to stand and do nothing for thirty minutes!

But I consider it a special gift that I have nothing I need to do than to stand in line with a companion and enjoy some good old fashioned conversation. We rarely make time for that anymore, and when we do have it we are often distracted by other things.

Believe it or not, I am not naturally optimistic. I was the epitome of a hysterical child, and then I became a depressingly dramatic teenager. The world was usually awful from my point of view. But not at Disneyland. There I learned the benefits of keeping a smile on my face, dreaming big instead of worrying small, and focusing on the bare necessities of life.

We need a place that over-romanticizes to balance out the over-depressing world around us. 

Yes Disney is a megacorporation that owns an insane portion of the entertainment industry. Yes there are fanatics out there who take it way too seriously. Yes the “classic” Disney movies contain terrible hidden messages of sexist or racist perceptions. Sadly, it was a company run by white men for far too long. And yes, the theme parks are pricey traps that can drain people’s life savings. I have counter arguments for all of these that mainly follow the theme of “Welcome to capitalist, male-dominated, consumeristic America. It could be worse.”

It is easy to be critical. But I don’t want to live my life that way. 

I believe in Disney because it represents a glass-half full kind of life. Despite its faults, Disney is still a successful company, not because their only goal is to make money, but because they are dedicated to portraying joy, hope, and a life that can still dream when things get hard. After all, most people believed that Walt Disney’s ideas of starting his own animation studio, creating full-length animated movies, or building a theme park were doomed for financial failure. My guess is that if anyone but Walt tried the same things they certainly would have failed. But this one man succeeded, not because he wanted to become rich, but because he believed in the power of dreaming and seeking happiness.

This doesn’t mean you aren’t realistic about the the not-so-happily-ever-after parts of life. Those parts exist, but your response determines the effect they have on your life. If someone is prone to deny reality and pretend life is always covered in sparkles, they could do that without Disney. The United States as a nation was guilty of unrealistic dreams long before Disney was on the scene.

The beneficial parts of Disney can be rooted in a reality that is fully aware of the world’s tragedies. Why? Because the benefits are things like inspiration to dream, motivation to try, and stories that remind us of the joyful parts of life.

As a teenager wrestling with deep insecurity and depression, I needed those messages. I saw the benefits of escaping to Disneyland for a day with my mom, the one place where work couldn’t haunt us and social pressures disappeared. It taught me that the sun would always come out eventually and you can learn to hope for happier days.

Mary Poppins Disneyland

Sometimes you need Mary Poppins to tell you every day can be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Ultimately I still believe that Disney (nor any other worldly things) can fulfill us with the joys or hope found in God. But I bet God is ok with people reminding each other of life’s goodness and the hope for a brighter tomorrow. Christianity is a fairy tale on its own, and the ultimate happily ever after will come when Jesus returns and we are fully redeemed into relationship with God.

Until then, I will be at Disneyland.

What are your thoughts on Disney?
Do you have a place that makes you feel like this?

It is Still a New Year: Make Room For Goals

Weeks after Jan. 1, most of us have forgotten any resolutions we considered and slumped back to our old ways of how we always do things. The fervor and excitement of new beginnings has left us. If you live anywhere with weather, the month of January itself is dreary enough to induce apathy and failure in the cheeriest of souls.

The fickle beast of time tricks us into thinking we are far away from the aspirations of a new year, even though it has only been 22 days. A baby who was born 22 days ago still has so much life to live – but we don’t take the new year as seriously as babies.

So I am going to stubbornly insist on the hope and forward-thinking that comes with a new year. I could reminisce about all the wonderful, fun events that happened in my life in 2014 (graduating college, moving to a new city, finding a job) or I could talk about all the terrifying, not fun parts (graduating college, moving to a new city, finding a job). Those are the same things? Oh you are right, they were all exciting and terrifying at once. So let’s sum it up with that and move on.

Sometimes a new year can feel like staring into the fog - this is why you bring a fabulous umbrella with you.

Sometimes a new year can feel like staring into the fog – this is why you bring a fabulous umbrella with you. (Photo courtesy of Katie Gullickson.)

I am a fan of New Years as a holiday simply because it is a reminder that we can always start over. The hope of advent carries us over into a season of beginnings. The idealist side of myself relishes all the possibilities, and then the realist side negates lofty aspirations with blunt facts. This is not an unusual tug-of-war in my mind, but at New Years each year I try to let the idealist side win.

The last two years I set resolutions for myself. In 2013 I read the whole Bible and in 2014 I wanted to read at least 24 books (I got to 30 – which I am planning to recap here for you soon). Any good trainer or therapist will tell you that the best way to achieve goals is by making them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). I accomplished my resolutions for the last two years partially because they were things I wanted to do anyways, but also because I was realistic about what I could manage and I approached it with a plan.

This year my goal is to write more days than less. This can include writing in my journal, on the blog, or even a letter to a friend. The point is to create a better habit of writing since it is something I love but that I am also terrified of committing to. The number of days is less specific than I would like, but there is still a clear cut off that it has to be more than 50% of the days during the year, approximately 183 or more.

My idealist self wanted to aim for writing every day, but I firmly believe that a goal should not cause me stress otherwise I won’t be motivated to do it. It is important to remind myself that this is ok: being realistic does not mean I am compromising or failing, and I can’t let fear stop me from trying at all. If failure is what I’m afraid of, I need to leave room for it to happen without letting the task fall apart completely. This way I can “fail” or make mistakes and it isn’t the end.

It reminds me of something I once heard about construction with wood: because timber expands and contracts depending on the present moisture levels, the builder must leave room for either expansion or shrinkage. The movement of wood is a fact of nature reminding us that change is part of how the world operates. Although we humans like to stubbornly resist change, it is inevitable. Instead of fearing the consequences, prepare for the possibility and leave room for change to happen.

The last book I read in 2014 was Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. It is a deliciously crunchy book, full of comfort and sass and funny moments alongside the awkward and real. I will probably quote it to you again, but for now this segment will do.
“Change is the only constant. Your ability to navigate and tolerate change and its painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general well-being.” (p. 279)

Our lives and the goals we make are as unique as different types of wood, some will expand or shrink more than others, but regardless we need to leave room for those shifts. I don’t know what 2015 will bring, but I will be writing about it. Stay tuned.

The Silent Danger of the To-Do List

Some of you may have noticed that I dropped off the map the last few weeks, and since I had only updated you on the first two weeks of a four week trip perhaps you wondered if something treacherous had happened (so kind of you, really). Good news though – I’m alive and well back in the United States.

My third week of research in Sweden uncovered a depth of complexity that is hidden behind the facade of a perfectly peaceful social system. I gleaned this information not through a scholarly article or a lecture, but more often among lunch conversations and extended hallway interactions. At one lunch, in the upstairs room of a restaurant occupying the old student prison at Uppsala University, a researcher summarized her perspective on the situation for me.

“The Swedish mentality is one of silence. Don’t say anything and avoid conflict. Everyone believes the vision of Sweden as this historically peaceful country, but that is because of silence on the darker facts.”

Silence is often associated with peacefulness. But there are two types of silence: one is receptive to truth and the other rejects truth.

By being present with each person I met, and asking the right questions, I was reminded of how necessary it is to be receptive instead of rejecting. In a new environment, I often retreat to a position of silence where I can safely observe for awhile. I must then choose whether to be receptive or rejecting of the things I observe in that position of silence. The obvious example is being aware of the judgments I make and whether they are biased or fair. However I must also be aware of myself and the actions I’m taking; it is easy to take notes and reject any sort of personal involvement, but it is much harder to be receptive to an invitation to participate.

The Uppsala Cathedral through early morning fog - a good reminder that God is still there even when something in our lives distracts us from seeing Him fully.

The Uppsala Cathedral through early morning fog – a good reminder that God is still there even when something in our lives distracts us from seeing Him fully.

This is true not only for doing research, but in daily life as well. I stopped blogging for a month because I got swept up in a complex travel itinerary, catching up with friends and family once I returned home, and then moving to a brand new city. Although it was beneficial for me to be present in each of those moments, there is a difference between living in the moment, receptive to invitations, and living in the to-do list, rejecting risky endeavors.

My silent danger is that to-do list. I grow consumed by checking things off and reject the potential moments that get in the way. I deny the possibility for peace of mind because “I just don’t have time right now.” Then, as usual, the truth of what I could be doing gets put on the back burner. This mentality also avoids conflict, because I am preventing the tension between what I need to do and my true calling of what I could do. The peace I pretend to achieve is just a cover for the peace I lack – because I can get things done without actually getting to where and who I want to be. So either I’m a really good Swede, or this is a widespread condition in humans.

Oswald Chambers wrote

“A Christian worker has to learn how to be God’s man or woman of great worth and excellence in the midst of a multitude of meager and worthless things.”

The to-do lists we busy ourselves with contain a multitude of meager things. The challenge then is to move towards a place of receptiveness, peace, or presence that is worth more than whatever we keep distracting ourselves with.

Since I just moved to a new city, I quickly found myself in that silent, observational position where I am rejecting potential moments of worth because I have too many other things to do. Although this can create a seemingly peaceful standard of feeling accomplished, I am aware of how this enables my avoidance of conflict because I don’t want to face the truth of what I could be doing instead.

For some of us, the to-do list keeps us from monumental life changes like the career we wish we had or the life of faith we are too afraid to embrace. For others, the to-do list prevents us from small moments of meaning, invitations to care for another person, or even gratitude for simple things. Whatever it is, to achieve a life of excellence and great worth requires being receptive to the less obvious parts of life. Once we begin to focus on what we really want to be doing, instead of only what needs to be done, we can find the meaning we are all striving for in life.

This is a daily challenge. Remember to give yourself grace for the days when your to-do list is all you can manage. Unfortunately sometimes that is simply where we are in life. But don’t settle because you think you aren’t capable of anything more. Instead of outright rejecting the invitations for new experiences, avoiding the conflicts of fear and insecurity, open yourself up to the possibility of meaning even in the smallest of moments. They say you can’t find something you aren’t looking for—it is true not only for the things we are too afraid to face, but also for the joy we don’t believe we can achieve. The beauty of hope is believing God has something more meaningful in store for you than your to-do list, as long as you are willing to be receptive enough to look for it.


How has your to-do list prevented you from being receptive?

What things would you do if you didn’t have anything else in your way?

The Truth About Rejection

At first, it sucks. After an hour, it still sucks. Some time later, it gets better. Supposedly.

The sky swells as the sun abandons this side of the world, clouds block out the hope of stars. The cracked desert wonders why the rain never actually materializes. Even the moon seems hazy on the whys and why nots. You ponder the planets, the depth of the universe, and you feel a deeper sympathy for poor rejected Pluto. Rejection happens in space too, you say. Maybe you hide under the covers, letting the air grow heavy with your exhales. Sleep seems like the best solution, but your heavy eyelids aren’t enough to keep the gremlins of negativity from threading through your mind.

The initial thoughts spiral something like this: oh well, so that’s that, they didn’t like me, what do I care, I guess I do care, I could’ve done better, why did I say those things, maybe they are threatened by success, who am I kidding I’m not a success, what is success anyways, why does it matter, why can’t I stop thinking about this, why why why. Ice cream.

I’ve never experienced a tornado in real life, but I think my brain can relate to it after being rejected. It swirls through vortexes, around space and time until the wind dies down and everything I had previously settled has been disrupted.

Rejection is the disruption of what you thought you knew was good.
The good part is it means you can redefine what good is. 

As a recent college graduate, rejection is something very common for myself and many of my peers. We spend hours upon hours looking and applying for jobs we aren’t even sure we want. But when we are told we can’t have that job, we believe we wanted it more. My most recent application took me through a month long process of a 15 page proofreading test, an initial interview, and a second two hour phone interview.

Needless to say, rejection hurts more when it has a longer build up.

Rejection is also a close relative to shame, that feeling of worthlessness keeping you from admitting the incident to others.

Personally, it helps me to analyze those feelings more, letting the logic mix with emotion into a dose of truth. Why is it hard to admit when someone rejects me? Probably because I don’t want to reveal that someone didn’t want me, as if giving life to my fears of worthlessness. This circles back to a problem I discussed in my last post though: letting others define my worth.

Would rejection be scary if I truly believed I was wanted and loved no matter what? Would it be hard to admit my rejection to others if I wasn’t afraid of others believing I was unworthy, which is a lie?

Somewhere in time we decided that rejection was always and only a bad thing. We also forgot that Christ came to redefine how we view rejection. His death and resurrection returned us to a perpetual state of un-rejection where we are accepted and loved by God.

With these things in mind, I can redefine rejection. If I believe the truth that I am loved and accepted by God, then what is being rejected is not my worth, but my false conceptions. I built an idea up in my mind as good, and the rejection of that idea simply means I need to redefine what I thought was good. Perhaps there is something even better out there for me, this good was not good enough.

Oh the possibilities! Rejection stops hurting when we look at it as a new opportunity, a chance to seek a greater good than what we previously hoped for. Redefine rejection by rejecting what you thought was good.

I don’t usually use The Message translation, but I love the way it clarifies the meaning of this verse:
“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:12-13)

It’s ok to hide under the covers for a little while, it humbles us into remembering we are human and gives us compassion for people and Pluto. But God’s mercies are new every morning – the sun didn’t really abandon you, it was just giving you time before it came back with it’s warm reminder of a new day.

When have you felt rejected?

How did it work out for good?

Surprised by Joy… at the DMV

Yesterday morning I had an appointment at the DMV. Similar to most, I was not excited about the prospect of grumpy office workers and long trains of people herded from here to there.

I arrived a half hour before my scheduled appointment time in anticipation of lines more tedious than Disneyland. After parking and walking the long trek to the building, I was faced with the first of such lines before even entering the doors. I was in a pleasant enough mood that this wasn’t too upsetting, I stood patiently watching one person after another disappear through the wooshh of an automatic sliding glass door. I imagined it similar to watching people stand at the gates of heaven or hell – no one really knew what awaited us next.

Shortly enough my time approached. The door almost closed shut on me as I tried to enter, halting my thoughts and starting more fearful questions.

“Did I bring my paperwork?”
“What am I even doing here?”
“Oh right my license renewal.”
“But what if she gets mad at me for being earlier than my appointment?”
“or for asking a stupid question?”
“What if she just gets mad at me?”
“Darn it I already did something stupid – that line over there has a sign for registration appointments”
“Oh well just stay where you are, getting out now would be more stupid.”
“I’m a friendly person, she can’t be too mean. just smile.”

After my brain had finished it’s spiral-loop-double twist I’d made it to the front of the line. Breathe. It’s just the DMV, they are just people, no reason to be intimidated.

She grumbled, “What do you need?”
“Well I have an appointment, but I’m kinda early, but I just need my license renewed,” I flubbered.
All in one breathe she responded “Here’s your number. Give me that appointment sheet. Take a seat.”

Exhaaalllleeeeee. Phew. Ok. Where do I sit? Well right there looks about right, sure ok. I found a place on the end of the row, figuring that at least gave me one side that wouldn’t be smashed against someone else. I had made it through the first line and hadn’t suffered any terrible blows yet. Now I indulged in the only bonus of having to wait – reading my book.

Consumed by the tale of Adam Trask and his haunting wife Cathy, I didn’t hear when they first called it out – “number F004?” The second time only barely rang louder in the back room of my brain – “NUMBER F004?” I fumbled for my ticket stub and paperwork, clutching my book and bag at the same time, I looked around for who could have possibly made the call. Lucky for me, the first window in front of me seemed to be empty, so I tried there first, ready to meet the real beast. It felt like reaching a final level of Zelda, I approached the boss, ready for the worst, but unsure of how to conquer it.

“Good morning! Are you F004?” He smiled with not just his face but his eyes too, filled with a brightness that was mysterious in my imagined dungeon. The Disney lanyard around his neck was dotted with pins for various causes: a light pink breast cancer ribbon, a purple one for Alzheimer’s, and a small waving American flag.

Startled as I was by the sunshine he had just splintered into my cloud fortress, I gathered myself and told him what I needed. “Well I need to renew my license, but I noticed awhile back that my  middle name is spelled wrong, though I don’t know if that matters.”

He kindly explained that it wasn’t a big deal as long as it still looked similar, really they don’t ever look at more than the first initial of the middle name because it is the first and last that matter. Plus, unless I had official documentation showing the correct spelling we couldn’t change it so I told him I was fine to just proceed with renewing the license.

As we went through the required transactions, he kept up a friendly conversation with me of genuine interest. He asked if I’d seen Prometheus, wasn’t too surprised when I explained that no I don’t really enjoy alien movies, but then proceeded to tell me how it is actually an amzing movie because it is all about keeping faith in God.

This was again surprising, because somehow I was discussing God in the DMV. Yup you read that right – religion and civil service had just crossed lines.

Soon enough I learned that he was Catholic, and not a lax one but one who has his family say the Rosary every night before bed. He went to get me change for the $34 my renewal cost, came back singing American Pie.

He tells me “That song is about God too, you know?”
Then resumes singing as he counted out my bills from the Treasury –

“And the three men I admire most-
the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost-
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
And they were singing

Bye Bye Miss American pie…
bum buh duh dum duh da da da dum”

Somehow I was still a little shocked at what was happening – is this guy still smiling? I’m in the DMV right? Did he just ask me about God again?

Stuck in my head again, he woke me up by handing me the six dollars of change and my receipt of temporary license.

Before sending me on my way, he simply mused  “It’s cool how God shows up in things like that huh? Movies or music or just ordinary stuff.”

Then he jumped clouds to tell me about his upcoming family vacation to go jet skiing on the lake, and with a smile and a “Have a great day!” he wished me off.

 After getting my picture taken the next line over, I couldn’t help smiling as I left the DMV that day. It certainly wasn’t what I had prepared myself for, and somehow the surprise of joy I found in that one Catholic DMV worker was enough to keep me smiling all day. Because it is truly amazing how God can show up in things like that, the places where you don’t expect him, like Alien movies or the DMV. It wasn’t an epiphany or a huge revelation, but it was pure, unhindered joy that spreads a sunshine of hope in our lives that there is light out there in the darkness, even in the darkness of government services.

 Where have you had a moment of joy in the last week?
Have a great weekend everyone :)

Movie Monday: Whimsy and Wonder inside Moonrise Kingdom

Earlier today I was in a sour, Monday-type of mood. The only cure: a new movie filled with whimsy and hope. So off to the theater I went to trek into a whole new world from the mind of director Wes Anderson, a world called “Moonrise Kingdom.”

with a cast like this it had to be good…

The New York Times introduced the movie this way:

Wes Anderson makes films about small worlds in which big things happen: love, heartbreak, calamities, death. In his latest, the wondrous storybook tale “Moonrise Kingdom,” a girl and a boy, both 12, run off to a remote inlet on an island where most of the adults seem disappointed and more than a little sad. The girl and the boy are very serious — about love, their plans, books, life itself — and often act older than their age. She wears bright blue eyeliner; he puffs on a corncob pipe. You wonder what their hurry is, given that here adulthood, with its quarrels, regrets and anguished pillow talk, can feel as dangerous as the storm that’s hurtling toward the island, ready to blow it all down.”


The storm certainly does hit, but the island wasn’t the only thing blown away as my imagination tried to hold on to my seat. By the end I could let it sail away in the off-shore winds of whimsy and wonder this movie inspired.

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