Mini Golfing

Mini golf is the great equaliser: no one is good at it and everyone is bad. It breaks the tension, diverts the focus, creates a third entity. A few years ago when facing a difficult conversation, I received advice to approach it as a story outside us both.

"So, hypothetically, the knight is really trying to help the fair maiden, but he now sees why the maiden could have misunderstood his motives. If the fair maiden discovered his true intentions, how do you think she would respond?"

Tension between two poles is broken when the third entity is introduced, not by distracting from the pressure, but by creating a common ground to focus on issues that actually matter. One person's hobby or a coffee shoppe the other frequents would never suffice as well. Mini golfing can be such a common ground, outside the norm of both characters, a tie-breaker, if you will. And I will.

The short clubs and multi-coloured dimpled spheres are tools of restoration, even in the uncertainty that there ever was an ideal state to restore to. Hole after hole, goofy strokes and green carpet sloping wickedly toward water. A hole-in-six feels just as good as a hole-in-one with new-found old friends. Uncertain expectations give way to a little thing we call Hope.


God Created Men

The content of this post was originally taught as a lesson to 6th Graders, the first half of a two-part co-teaching.


In 1862, Victor Hugo published a massive, epic book titled Les Misérables. The story takes places over the course of decades and follows the lives of many characters. One of my favourite threads woven into the masterpiece is the story of a man named "Jean Valjean", a good French name.


Comic Book Movies

I have consumed so much creative content lately, I need to produce some. For example, yesterday, I finished an audiobook while watching a movie (don't worry, the film was dialogue-less). Last evening I read three comic books while watching a movie based on comic books. While it may be argued that to truly appreciate each unit of art, I should spend more time devoted to each, my philosophy of speed-reading applies across the forms of media. Take what you need and move on.

A few months back, I met Jordan and decided I wanted to get to know him. All I knew about his was he is into comic books, so I said, "Jordan, introduce me to comics." Unlike any other medium I've seen, graphic novels manage to combine the strengths of many art forms. The written word meets visuals meets film-like frame-to-frame movement. I am fascinated by techniques used to tell the story and direct your eye.

"The medium is the message": different art forms allow you to tell different stories. Logically, Marvel comics were my gateway drugs, since I am familiar with the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). I continued on to other adaptations of familiar book/film/television stories and vice versa. Although I have found some graphic novel-only stories I enjoy, I still like to watch the same story become different stories across multiple media.

Some movies are said to have the "comic book feel". I'm still trying to put my finger on what exactly causes that. It's probably a combination of the visuals, the pacing, camera angles/styles, and character development. Notable examples include: Marvel and DC superhero films, Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldHellboy (I and II), and Kingsman: The Secret Service. Each is unique in its tone, yet very much a "comic book movie".

I'm excited to continue to explore different art forms, especially where they intersect with each other.


The Artist

Art is a lifestyle. Therefore, an Artist is more than simply a person who does the act of creating art. An Artist is a special type of person. I often think of "artsy" simply as a sort of person who draws or crafts, but the Artist is both scientific and artistic. The Artist knows their craft and medium (scientist) and uses it well (artist).

Personally, I know many Artists. One in particular is my friend Nathan. I highly respect Nathan's life and art. Despite financial and logistical boundaries, he continues to create great art. As he is continuing to hone his craft, he is picking more and more knowledge. He knows more about cameras and lenses then I'll ever know. I am always stunned by his attention to detail when I think it looks or sounds "good enough".

I have been blessed to be a part of his recent production, Flipped Justice: Until Vengeance, the second in a trilogy of short films. Let me tell you, behind the scenes Nathan has put in many hundreds of hours into creating details I didn't notice until he pointed them out. This has been a film over a year in the making.

More than his filmmaking, Nathan is a brilliant guy. The very way he interacts with people and cares shows how he is an Artist. Come to think of it, that is a great definition: the Artist is someone who cares. Nathan cares about people, cares about creating beautiful things, and cares about serving his God. That is why I am proud to call Nathan my friend.

Go ahead and enjoy his art. May it inspire you to become an Artist yourself.