Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chanting, Bears, and a War Movie

Sorry it's been almost a week, faithful readers. I'm sure both of you have missed the signature All I'm Saying Wit and/or Wisdom™ since last Friday. Sadly, on account of the sickness I am fighting off, I can promise neither wit nor wisdom at this time.


I will give you an update on some cool things happening around town that you -- yes YOU, Mrs. White! -- can be a part of.

THE CHANTING - I'm sort of getting over it.
So! Remember when I didn't win $50,000 because of some stupid monks?* I'm (pretty much) over that now. So over it, in fact, that I'll be doing some chanting of my own (sort of) this weekend.

St. Luke's (I'm back!) hosts a monthly Taizé-style worship service, and I'm going to be part of a group of music leaders for that service this weekend -- and, assuming I don't have chanting-monk flashbacks, I'll be part of it in the future, too.

Taizé is this place in France where these monastic brothers came up with a contemplative style of worship that involves repeated musical phrases, silence, and prayer. It's pretty cool, and you don't necessarily have to be all up into church to get something out of it. Here's a sample of a Taizé worship song. (Ours will be in English, I'm pretty sure.)

How You Can Be A Part Of The Chanting: Come to St. Luke's United Methodist Church (100 W. 86th Street) at 5:00pm on Sunday, February 15. Join us in the Sanctuary, which will probably look dark, since we gather in the apse (a new word I just learned, which means "a semicircular recess in a church or whatever") and the rest of the Sanctuary is dark. You don't have to sing/chant if you don't want to; just sitting there quietly can be a really nice centering end to the weekend and get you ready for the week.

* If you don't remember, either because you've blocked it out from hearing it so many times or you haven't heard it before, send me a note, and I'll tell you all about the time I was on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"

THE BEARS - They're brown and they're spectacular.
Did you know there's new bears at the Indianapolis Zoo? My insider source, LuckyGirl and Zoo member KT, tells me that they're brown bear cubs, and my vast internet research has led me to this video of Kiak and Ketnu, the Alaskan brown bear cubs, in person. Well, "in bear." The video is especially cool if you pay no attention to the fact that the soundtrack sounds like the end title credits to Hangin' with Mr. Cooper (although the music does add a bit to their Synchronized Bearing antics at the two-and-a-half-minute mark). Dig:

How You Can Be A Part Of The Bears: Get thee to the Indianapolis Zoo and see 'em while they're young 'uns. Because bears are always cool, but bear cubs are adooooooorable! I think KT, her 8-year-old nephew Trevor, and I may be visiting the bears on Saturday morning. (This has not been confirmed, however.)

THE WAR MOVIE - Telling a soldier's story
My friend Tom Sparx, whose real name is not Tom Sparx but whose stage name is Tom Sparx, is making a movie, and it's not your run-of-the-mill film. And you can be a part of it. Here's what Tom writes (which I edited just a little bit):

I am currently in pre-production on an independent short called Soldier’s Song. I will be playing the lead in this project, as well as co-directing -- yes my directorial debut!

Soldier's Song is the true story of Vietnam veteran Lt. Greg Robbins. His story began when he was ordered to Vietnam to clean up after the war as part of a special army unit. He was captured and put into a POW camp for several years, and on his release he was ordered to continue his previously assigned duties. In the course of those duties he stepped on a landmine. His injuries led to paralysis from the waist down and constant, intense pain from the waist up. The movie takes place while Lt. Robbins is recuperating at a military hospital.

This movie is not about war but about the human story of one soldier and how war affected his life and the lives of those around him.

My personal ties to this project are many. My business partner had the honor to meet and interview Lt. Robbins while he was in the hospital in the early '80s. My father is a Vietnam veteran and a retired Lt. Col. in the Air Force. My brother spent 21 years in the Navy, including time in Desert Storm. So, I know how war can affect a family, and I know and appreciate what my father, brother and other friends and family in the armed forces did to allow us all the life we have.

We hope to use the movie as a teaching tool to help people understand that war affects us all. No matter your attitude towards war, pro or con, war has an effect on all of us. This movie will help people understand what is required to allow peace and freedom to be attained and kept!

We start shooting next month. Our projected budget for this project is $25,000, and I am asking for your donations large or small to allow this project, this story, this dream to come to life! I am looking to complete this project with the help of many! Thank you for taking the time to read this and for the support in this endeavor!

Your donations can be sent to Migdahlohr Productions, c/o Michelle Gussow, 6740 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46260 or to the Indy Artist’s Peace Project, same address. This is a non-profit project. If you have any questions or would like to support in other ways, you can call me at [Tom probably doesn't want his phone number on teh internetz, so if you want to get in touch with him, e-mail me, and I'll pass along the details].

Tom E. Sparx

Here's the cool thing: Tom also told me (and all his Facebook friends) that anyone who contributes will be mentioned in the credits of the movie. You can be immortalized in film, y'all!

OH! And if you want to read the script, I also have that and can e-mail it to you.

How You Can Be A Part Of The War Movie: If you can make a donation to this film at any level ($25,000 would be good), follow Tom's instructions in his letter above. If you know someone who is interested in this type of film -- either as a potential donor or as a potential audience for the film -- we can put them in touch with Tom and his production company.

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