I went yesterday to see Whale Rider which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had been wanting to see it but not had the opportunity. I'm home by muself this weekend and a friend asked me to go. There were only two cinemas left in Sydney showing it, at opposite extremes of the city to us, particularly as we needed to go by public transpot.

We finally went to the Odeon at Hornsby. This is a really oldfashioned cinema,with pictures of long- gone stars on the walls of the foyer. It was only $8 entry and there were only a few of us in the theatre.

My friend is part Maori and knew some of the actors in the film. I enjoyed the film, the story, the photography, the scenery. It meant even more to my friend, who had experienced many of the customs in the film, although her father had removed his young fmily from these customs. She was familiar with the area in which it was shot.

Over lunch we talked about it. Manyy of the American reviews see it as little more than a rite of passage drama. It is this, but it is much more also. There is the question of growing up in a culture which is different to the family culture. Can old customs be maintained? There was the struggle between Pai and her grandfather who could not forget that her twin, a boy, had died at birth. Although he loved her, his thoughts were with the boy and what would have been his succession as chief. He blamed her for surviving. There was the conflict between him and his wife who counselled Pai to let him think he was boss. (Overtones from My Big, Fat , Greek Wedding?)Overall was the question: could the chief of the tribe be female?

I could understand the slightly tacky ending and why it was there, but I felt it detracted from the film. All the actors were very good. Many of them were unknown, even in NZ. Pai was simply outstanding.



Happy birthday dear blo-og, happy birthday to you!
On August 7, 2001, I started over at diary-x. This was basically in journal format. I'd never heard of blogs then. I still used it to comment on current topics as well as to write to sort out my mind. It was there that I found Martin's original list and was about to apply to this when blogs4God started. I have been registered there almost from the beginning.

Being cash-strapped and impoverished, I started using Blogger, and am still there, although I have looked at other alternatives. I prefer a blog to a journal for general use. I still keep my original journal and occasionally write there when I want to get something out of my suytem. These entries have been rotected, although the archives can be seen.

I've seen some controversy and was threatened this time last year with legal action. It was then that I discovered the camaraderie and community of the blogworld. I've made good friends whom I've never met in person. I've been challenged, informed and encouraged. I've seen grace in action in my fellow bloggers. Thank you to all.


I seem to have some infection or something which I can't quite shake. It goes away then returns with a vengeance. I haven't felt like doing much over the last few days.



So it seems to me that if we try to have an ethics that is genuinely shaped by Scripture and its emphases, we would be much more passionate about those sorts of concerns. I also suggested in that debate that perhaps it is a bit of psychological displacement on the part of Christians, because we don't really want to be confronted by the Word on things that would pinch. So we find other things to emphasize that don't effect most of us so much.

That last line bites me and won't let go. I am not a homosexual, I don't know many homosexuals and I don't know any who are married, but as for materialism


Read more of this interview over at Ponder this, a countryman of BeneDiction.



Tension and paradox
I sat outside on the back deck today in the pleasantly milder conditions. I happened to glance up against the sunshine and saw a spider's web. It was beautiful and reminded me in size and shape of the finely crocheted jug covers which I can remember my grandmother using, before plastic containers made their appearance. I could see no spider but the web was still almost perfectly formed. There were a few small holes where twigs of my jasmine vine, budding already, had pushed against it. It blew gently in the breeze and the sun, shining from behind it made every thread glow with an iridescent sheen.

It was wonderfully made, yet seemed so fragile. I could easily have destroyed it with a stick or hand and turned it into a tangled mess of sticky thead. Then I remembered that those threads have an amazing tensile strength. Thoughts of tension and paradox came to my mind. Love which can be such a strong force, which is yet fragile and easily hurt by so called twigs, let alone larger beams. God's mercy and righteousness. The power and the condescension of Jesus. These thoughts and others swept through my mind. I prayed and thanked God for the thoughts, painful as some were, and gave him praise for the beauty I had seen.