My friend Deb is one of those people who uses what they’re really good at for really good causes.
The filmmaker, activist and social experimentalist in her made a little video as part of a filmmaker competition sponsored by World Vision and Sojourners. It’s called “Four degrees to Clean Water Experiment” and has been selected as a finalist entry. It touches on these thoughts:
1. Lack of clean water traps people within the poverty cycle.
2. Each person can play a valuable role in saving lives, if we work together.
3. You won’t miss the $10 you donate and yet it could change someone’s life forever.
I was driving home from Sydney this morning and decided to try something. I decided that my very next action in life would be me rolling down my window, taking a deep breath of warm Australian air and shouting at the top of my lungs. For as long as I needed to, in and out of intonation. (When I came up to robots, or stoplights for Americans, I think I transitioned into song just so I wouldn’t scare people). And then I started laughing and then I probably cried. I even threw some words (like FREEDOM!) into the mix. I was going to end with my friend Kmy’s bird call, but decided to save it for next time.
Freedom is this magical state that I long to live in 100% of the time. Not the sort of freedom that means I do whatever I want when I want to (as screaming out loud would not be acceptable in a business meeting or at 3am when my roommates are sleeping).
I’m after the sort of freedom that means I don’t walk around with invisible shackles. The freedom that says I am no longer condemned, that I am a new creation and that a really massive galaxy-eating God would invite me to his dinner table even if my shoes were muddy.
I should have thought about this a little more last weekend when I drove to the beach for some alone time. I sat there watching the scattered surfers, while everything in me was aching to get out of the car and just run around like a little kid. Kick up the waves with my feet, run into the water with my clothes on and drink one or two bottles of sugary (not diet) Coke. I wanted to swim out to the surfers and say, “Hi! Would you like to be my friend?” Instead I just got out of my car and walked pensively towards the water, trying to look like the deep thinking beach-wanderers I see in movies.
Freedom doesn’t mean without boundaries. It just means that next time I’m at that same beach, I’ll make some new friends. Oh, and it also means that I’m not remotely embarrassed about my loud drive home from the city this morning.
In honor of all of it, the working titles for my latest paintings will be a little less confining.
I think it was a bad idea to put this desk next to the big window that faces the street. All I have to do is lift my gaze an inch and I can watch the cars pass by, or watch the sky change, or watch all the people walking home. I’d much rather look outside than do what I sat down to do (a long list of things that help maintain the fragile appearance that I have it all under control… like paying my rent and emailing so-and-so about that thing I said I’d do).
Just now, I saw the guy from Brazil walk by. I gave him a ride a few weeks ago and he reminds me a little of James Dean. Especially today with that black leather jacket.
And just just now, I decided to buy the new Augustana album, “Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt”. Every time I listen to Augustana, I pretend I’m in California. I pretend I’m driving along the coast in San Francisco. And I pretend that I’m still a kid without responsibilities, that all loves are first loves and that I’m about to dip my toes in the Pacific for the first time.