A critic said that the new Sigu Ros album Takk sounds like God before eating cheese on toast.
I disagree. Sigur Ros music has always been ice and fire, loads of ice, with embers and explosions, smouldering and searing, ignition and incandescence.
God is eating fried ice cream, frozen champagne-grapes with cold slices of charcoal-cooked yak (insert appropriate Icelandic beast here) - or, as my friend Steve manages, strawberries cooked with green peppercorns.
Had a day with rod and peter at McClarenvale wineries. Wonderful, wonderful reds at Pirramimma and d'Arenberg. A fabulous lunch at a cafe in town called "blessed cheese". Just my kind of eating place - a platter with pickled octopus, smoked meats, several cheeses, several dips, and a great shiraz named after someone's dog.
after jonny posted about unkle's reign clip (38 mb - don't go there unless you can). I decided to check out the site. Before I go on, I've never listened to an Unkle album, but the Jonathan Glazer clip of Rabbit In Your Headlights has been a big favourite of mine since about 1998. (And I just found out tonight that Thom Yorke - Radiohead - sang on it. As soon as I read it I went, yeah, of course.) Amazing clip.
Anyway, Daniel Askill, a rather remarkable Australian film director has produced a multi-award winning short film We Have Decided Not to Die. It is a metaphysical triptych of people (three, that's why its a triptych) defying death.
The film is currently on the short film circuit and still winnig awards.
The three actors are Askill, his partner and his brother. The story in itself is worth reading. His teenage brother agreed to jump through a glass plate soon after recovering from a stroke. Askill's woman friend agreed to be the underwater person. And Askill himself is the person who defies being hit by two cars.
Askill and others started Collider films in Australia after his career took off overseas. Great that he has come home!
we're supposed to be in spring and it's bloody cold and drizzling. I reckon we'll be lighting the fire tonight. yesterday I visited the annual Earth young adults "Leadership for Life" weekend to do a session on... "leadership". I decided to use the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and focus on personality strengths. The funny thing was that I've been an MBTI administrator for about 17 years, and this was the first time I've used a data projector to present it! The presentation was a commercial package, and I have to say that I WANTED MY OVERHEAD TRANSPARENCIES BACK!!! There you go. Now its out of my system. I can be a Luddite too! It was a Flash movie thing with no way to jump frames. Dumb. Anyway, it was a good group but we ran out of time.
Wonderful to see Shirley Osborn from St. Martin's and Care & Communication Concern who was the key speaker. She was the youth leader at Athelstone when I was a student youth worker for a year. She definitely knew more than I did about youth work (and still does). What an amazing woman!
We have the Dungans and the Spikes visiting this week. A great Melbourne-Horsham catchup with great food and wine promised every night!
I'm working on writing some of the youth material for Companions in Christ from the Upper Room, which is due for release in the middle of next year. CiC is an excellent spiritual formation resource for adults. The youth version will contribute to the growing attention given to spiritual formation as being central to youth ministry, as articulated so well by Kenda Creasy Dean and Ron Foster in The Godbearing Life (one of my top 5 youth ministry books, and also in the The Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project headed by Mark Yaconelli.
The rest of the family have been at a preparation meeting for a trip to visit the Aboriginal community in Ernabella in a couple of weeks time. It is in northern South Australia, 17 hours drive from here. Do a search on "Ernabella" aand see what comes back.
Highway Video have been producing Christian video material for quite a while, and their scope and range keeps expanding.
They currently have a free video download called "Jesus Vs. Christians" where they ask people on the street what they think about Jesus and then what they think about Christians. Not surprisingly, there is a discrepancy!
You have to sign up to download and its 105 mb, 640 x 480 mpeg 1 file. 4 minutes duration
Well, summer is not quite here, but we celebrated a warm spring Sunday by invoking our first long lunch. When we all manage to be home, Sunday lunch means emptying the cold foods from the fridge for a kind of extended salad. In warm weather, we set it all up outside under the willow tree. My aim is to fit as many foodstuffs and condiments on the table as possible. It will sound totally gluttonous to tell you that we had ham, smoked salmon, olives, strawberries, home-made filo pastries, avocado, tomato, lettuce, fresh pineapple, capers, etc, etc.
And the meal just kind of goes on, and then the afternoon is spent cooking something exotic, which is what Sunday evenings are all about (when we're home!) Kylie Kwong's Heart and Soul is a brilliant Asian cookbook with all kinds of interesting twists, including this braised chicken with vibrant flavours. It's kind of Thai-Moroccan!.
We used two small chickens but into pieces (with my new kitchen snips).
Put a pinch of saffron threads in a couple of teaspoons of hot water to stand for a little while.
Coat the chicken in flour with salt and pepper and shallow fry in olive oil until browned. Place in a casserole dish.
In the same pan, fry 6 cm sliced ginger, 2 teaspoons turmeric, 10 cloves garlic crushed and 1 tablespoon sea salt for 1 minute.
Add 3 chopped carrots, 6 small red shallots, 5-6 whole roma tomatoes, and 6 bay leaves and stir well.
Add 5 tablespoons palm sugar and stir for another minute.
Add 1/4 cup fish sauce, 1 tablespoon finely slice preserved lemon rind, 10-12 fresh dates (pitted), 4 large red chillies, 1 teasppon ground cumin, 1 lime cut into quarters and saffron water. Stir to combine.
Then add 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 cup sherry vinegar.
Simmer for 2-3 minutes on high heat and then pour over the chicken.
Bake in the over or simmer in the pan (covered) for 40 minutes.
This is a wild mix of flavours. Really imaginative and it works.
The rest of the book has remarlable recipes such as
- bacon braised with red wine and fresh cherries
- moroccan-style meatballs with sour cherry and date sauce
- braised quail with fresh figs and green grapes
- roast stuffed shoulder of lamb with apricot and chestnut sauce
Here is station 5 of the Exodus 16 thing (I borrowed cheryl's black on black idea and jeff's animation - his flash debut!). The text was Exodus 16:2-3. You can't see from the dodgy photo that there is a big tapestry of a desert mountain range above. The black cloth had current newspaper clippings on it with the laptop looping the animation. People could write their complaint in black texta on black cloth.
In this wilderness,
nothing makes sense
as it once did
we are strangers in a strange land
deprivation and disease
injustice and insecurity
desolation and death
so much easier to turn back
In this wilderness,
if God is punishing us
refusing to rescue us
planning to destroy us
In this wilderness,
we feel powerless
to make a change
to improve the situation
there are no quick solutions
no easy answers
In this wilderness,
why me? why us? why them?
why here? why now?
Make your complaint to God
- about the state of your soul
- about the state of the church
- about the state of the world
Take a felt pen and write your complaint to God on the black cloth.
there are no quick or easy answers
hold the hunger of your soul
hold the struggle of longing
hold the hope that a change might come
Light a candle.
Spend a moment offering a prayer to God for the people and situations
that are a burden to you at this time.
Back to the college chapel service - for Exodus 16:4-5 I built on an photo that I had seen posted from the Ikon community - a broken glass with wine it it. I made a broken meal table with smashed plates and broken glasses. I tried to make mouldy bread but should have started earlier! A few people told me later that they didn't notice that the goblets were broken until they sat down and that it was quite a shock.
Just enough for today
only what is needed
and yet we want more
a extra helping
more than enough
the icing on the cake
at first it seems fine
but then turns sour
the main course is served
but it doesn’t satisfy
a bitter cup
a broken communion
In what ways do you seek for more than is needed?
In what area does your desire lean toward excess?
Offer your silent confession.
Eat a grape.
Know that God
mends the broken.
Know that God
will provide enough
for the journey.