We had company for Easter Sunday Brunch; a nice meal and conversation. I hope that whatever you did on this morning, it felt inspiring and uplifting to your spirits. Our menu was divine: mushroom/onion quiche, strawberries, pear, chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, sparkling cider, chocolate and at least one PEEP. Oh YUM!
Our whole city seemed to come alive this weekend to uplift spirits and inspire. Out popped a 65’F/ 17’C sunny day, for our Arts Walk, Earth Day, Procession of the Species Parade, Good Friday and Easter weekend. It is raining on all the egg hunts today – but oh how lovely it was yesterday and the peas made a green appearance in the garden beds. I was amazed to discover so many wonderful and new artists in our community and to see and celebrate their experience. One of my favorite parts of the parade is the precision push lawnmower drill team – and the beautiful giant puppets and colorful costumes are magnificent. Music, music, music wafted upon the air, with the drums rhythm late into the evening keeping step.
To get my spirits prepared for this weekend, I carefully chose two documentary films to watch.
My friend Brad texted me about the film THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE by Cliff Azize and friends about his younger brother Jeff’s year long experience to understand family and love. Jeff is quite a bit younger and suffered migraine headaches and has a form of autism. His father was harsh and abusive with Jeff particularly when he was still at home and drinking; Jeff had not seen his father for over 10 years; he had recently moved into a half way house and it is from there the adventure begins. The two brothers live on the streets with homeless people in New York City, they travel to find a group of surfers who help needy children all the way up and down the continents on the Pacific Ocean. They travel to Africa to meet Lepers, and victims of AIDs recording what they experience and what they discover along the way. It is a very moving film and in their simple presentation one is drawn into understanding the significant connection between love and family.
I was reminded of Mother Theresa’s words: “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than bread”
This film was a healing experience for the brothers and for me brought out the feelings of gratitude for the love within my family unit and how that radiates into service for others.
The second film I watched was a discovery I made doing some surfing myself. I was working on the question – “How do I inspire people to understand the importance of reading and why am I not doing a better job of this on my blog?” I was led to THE HOBART SHAKESPEAREANS
This is a documentary film about an amazing teacher and his 20 years of teaching 5th Grade in one of the poorest segments of Los Angeles. In this classroom, the children arrive from homes where English is not their first language. They are surrounded by violence, as witnessed in one scene where the school is locked down because of a fatal shooting outside. These 50 children are reading Classic American Literature such as OF MICE AND MEN, THE ADVENTURES OF HUCK FINN, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, and at least a dozen more, which focus on the American Experience. They have a trip to Washington DC and they learn about their country through visiting all the sites; making history comes alive. On their own time, they study Shakespeare’s plays and they understand every word of what they are learning; at the last week of school they perform their focus play, play the music, and clearly understand the work. Impressive.
Rafe Esquith the teacher, has several books out and is a guest speaker for a number of teaching organizations. He teaches 6 days a week and on Saturday lots of former students come back to study for the SATs and work on other school work in his classroom. I would have loved to be in such a wonderful classroom along the way, but as impressive as the classroom was, this teacher’s ability to help the children learn how to learn, how to keep their minds open and to formulate their own ideas was impressive and inspiring. He opened the door to their own curiosity and gave them the skills to know and understand themselves. Powerful.
This is how I prepared for a big weekend and gave myself inspiration to keep job hunting, and paying my bills; inspiring people to heal and make positive change in their lives. How do you prepare yourself and motivate yourself to make change? What techniques do you use?
Looking forward to your sharing ideas.
There is a book giveaway happening on the blog April 28th for the PROCRASTION EQUATION.
A random drawing will be held for a comment written on the post on April 27th….there is still time to get your name entered! Unless you are procrastinating?
Tess Marshall of the BOLD LIFE won the copy of the Book The LONG GOODBYE by Meghan O’Rourke