I’m Kelli Brew and in this space I share my love of this place – Gainesville, Florida – and my aspiration to live as locally as possible, enjoying the beauty, bounty, and peculiarities of this region while also contributing to its well-being. "What we need is here," Wendell Berry tells us. I believe it.
WONDER: A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
The main thing I have wondered at this week is how we are going to finish folding 1000 paper cranes by next weekend. However, attempting it has given me the opportunity to watch some interesting videos on Netflix. To keep myself going, I chose ones that addressed serious issues with compassion and hope. Here are four winners, followed by a piece of inspired, creative, and in-your-face breast-feeding gear.
You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train - It was wonderful to learn about historian Howard Zinn’s life - which spanned a good chunk of the twentieth century and then some. Intelligent, articulate, passionate, and brave, he started asking hard questions when he was a child and kept on asking. He stayed awake.
Bonhoeffer – A young German preacher and pacifist, Dietrich Bonhoefer connected HItler's treatment of the Jews with the racial discrimination he had witnessed in the U.S. while attending University here. Later, in an "alright-then-I’ll-go-to-hell moment” (a la Huckleberry Finn) - he will plot to murder Hitler. Well-done and thought-provoking regarding perspective, conscience, and the very gray nature of reality.
God Grew Tired of Us – The story of three young Sudanese men who survived horrendous violence and deprivation as children – then suddenly found themselves in the United States. It was hard to watch the depth of their confusion and alienation when they arrived here - but amazing to witness their resilience.
Fierce Light:When Spirit Meets Action – An earnest movie about small pockets of people “being the change they wish to see in the world." Warning: a friend of mind found it sappy. It was a little over-the-top, but sweet for folding cranes by.
And now this non-movie wonder for you, which as a former nursing mother (who was regularly baffled by the attitude that it obscene to use breasts for something other than entertaining men), I found delightful.
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To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacriﬁce, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magniﬁcently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an inﬁnite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in deﬁance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory. – Howard Zinn