Curtis Peter van Gorder is a writer and pantomime artist and facilitator, living in Germany. See Elixir Mime website.
At a workshop I attended, art and drama therapist Emily Nash shared an experience she had while working with traumatized children and adolescents at a residential treatment center in the USA. The boys who attended her class were often combative, prone to negative and self-destructive behavior, and unable to trust adults or even one another. Almost all had histories of severe abuse and emotional neglect.
I was tired and had nodded off while on the tram. When I arrived at my destination, I was startled awake and barely made it off in time. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after my dentist appointment that I realized I’d left my laptop on the tram! Yikes! Work files from the last 20 years were on that laptop, along with the backup drives in the bag with it—now all lost!
Making decisions is rarely easy to do, and one of the most important times to get it right is when you are deciding on a new job offer. Some years ago, my wife and I were at a crossroads. I had just turned 50, and there is some indefinable thing that happens to our psyche each time our age rolls over to a new decade. The realization begins to dawn that we’re not getting any younger and we don’t have as many strong years left.
Sometimes we get sick, but most of the time we can stay healthy in spite of constantly being under attack from a myriad of harmful viruses and bacteria. For that daily miracle, we can thank God, who created our immune system.
I love biographies. Historical movies, books, and even web posts are a great way to get a bird’s-eye view of a life. Through their commendable or detestable examples, we have the benefit of seeing how a life develops and how it ends—either in fame, shame, or maybe obscurity. Sometimes the plot goes places that no fiction writer would dare go.
Easter is one of the most important Christian festivals of the year, celebrating Jesus’ resurrection three days after His crucifixion. Some Easter traditions in various countries may have originated in other faiths or customs, but they are nonetheless imbued with meaning we can relate to.
On a trip to attend my son’s wedding in the Philippines, I had the joy of riding on a bangka boat, a Filipino vessel that looks like a catamaran and has a pontoon on both sides, which gives it great stability. This sleek, swift, slender design has been in use for thousands of years and continues to be used extensively today.
Without an enemy there can be no war.
I recently rewatched the movie Joyeux Noël (Christian Carion, 2005), which tells the story of a well-documented event that occurred on a battlefield in France on Christmas Eve, 1914.
A friend of mine mentioned how he often feels melancholy after experiencing something beautiful. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. It wasn’t until I started to recall my feelings at the end of a magnificent sunset, a fantastic day, or a moving performance that I realized how often I feel the same.
My daughter once asked me if I regretted devoting my life to Christian service.
I answered, “No regrets whatsoever. The idea has been to work with eternity in mind.”
The word “eternity” has been popularized by an amazing guy who passed away in 1967, named Arthur Stace, whose life story has been remembered in a book, an opera, and a film.1