Analysis, Reflection

I watched “Frozen” 4 Times: Being Olaf

Olaf is 'fully character' and 'fully symbol' from the moment that Anna, Christoph, and Sven hear his voice. Elsa's dormant playfulness is awake -- and much more. The preceding animation features panoramic, crystalline winter beauty -- frozen waterfalls, glitter encrusted willows -- causing Anna to declare "I never knew that winter could be so beautiful." Olaf enters with vivid color suggestions; his antics are rife with comic relief, gags only a snowman could complete, and his song about summer seems to be part of the fun. "I don't know why," says Olaf, "but I've always loved the idea of SUMMER and SUN and all things HOT--" Theatrical improvisers relish 'games' like this one: his character- deal is to obtain something fatal to only him! We're treated to some quality comedy as Olaf's solo absorbs us into a jump-cut-montage of warm environs where snowmen would perish; hilarious! Though it would be an excellent throwaway sequence, Olaf's role in the rest of the movie leads me to believe that his summer-time aspirations are thematically key.

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Analysis, Reflection

I watched “Frozen” 4 Times: Elsa Un-gloved

The person who snatches the glove rarely understands what is beneath. Anna releases the literal winter within Elsa in a heated moment. Elsa takes that unwanted first step into the unknown, toward finding-out what she's capable of doing-- forced to embrace the risk of loss. I never wanted that moment, either. I know what it feels like to be a storm pretending to be a statue; to try to hold 'the stage'; to believe that life depends upon a glove. She loses control. They call her a monster. She flees. Her fears come true and even worse. Feel that with me.

Lotus blossom and seed-pod
Analysis, Memories, Observations, People, Reflection

Bog Flowers, Nut Armor, and the Paradox of Precocity

Seeds germinated. Burial makes life possible two-thousand years later: bogged-resurrection, the wait that moves life forward. Ending and beginning are impossible as opposites before they have fused together in one moment. Something is dissolving in me: let me set the scene... My dearest is a botany teacher; I will call her Apricot from now on.… Continue reading Bog Flowers, Nut Armor, and the Paradox of Precocity

Anchor pendant & grandpa's locker
Analysis, Memories, Narrative, People, Reflection

Wrestling the Anchor: Nautical Impressions

I wear an anchor pendant. Unhoused neighbors, in uncanny encounters, recognize it as a sign of faith, at times, and indicate it when they ask for donations. There is a subtle lift to being recognized for what I am despite not being sure what composes me, or how to express it — the nebulous, shifting… Continue reading Wrestling the Anchor: Nautical Impressions

(Moltres outline)
Analysis, Humor, Memories, Narrative, Observations, People, Quirky, Reflection, Uncategorized

The Phoenix in the Olive Tree

The phoenix of popular imagination does not belong flat on his back, atop a broken couch and cuddled with his trumpet, in the cave beneath the Zoughbi house. I was sore from the previous night’s stress-release workout. Still, by the time Rajaee found me in my hiding place, my brain was busy piecing apart the… Continue reading The Phoenix in the Olive Tree

Narrative, People, Reflection

A Wedding Reception (part 2)

All names are still changed, as in the last entry. Photographs by Ruben Vl. There was a staggered set of concrete blocks to prevent anyone from rushing the check-point but, otherwise, the occupiers did not care about traffic going into Beit Sahour. We passed unheeded and Roger exhaled. Having just come from the wedding via… Continue reading A Wedding Reception (part 2)

Narrative, People

A Wedding Ceremony (part 1)

“I love smuggling – you should write about smuggling like you wrote about the cactus...” ‘Roger' also said I should change each person’s name. He and 'A.T.' became our forbidden goods, spirited into Al-Quds for 'Jack & Jim’s' double-wedding. “Canada” was driving, carrying us through Al-Khader1 village in a purple van (that wasn’t purple). We… Continue reading A Wedding Ceremony (part 1)