November, 2011 Archives


by Pj in Family


Every Life is Special

by Pj in Family, Film Production, Information, Random, Teaching

A few years ago I had the opportunity of producing a life documentary of an amazing woman.

She had a remarkable life. She traveled and lived in foreign countries working, teaching and serving. Her and her husband were instrumental in building and operating a large teaching Academy in Mexico City. For three years they lived in Ecuador helping and teaching the people of that country. Many former students acknowledge her and her family for supporting them financially and emotionally. Many credit their success in achieving their goals to her unwavering faith in them. All of this is now documented for her family and friends. All she accomplished remains an invitation to her posterity to live happy productive lives.

In the process of documenting her life I interviewed her children, her siblings, her friends. One morning I traveled to her brother’s home. He had not been well, but he was willing to share their mutual upbringing with me. During the interview, I was equally amazed by this man’s life. He too traveled the world impacting the lives he touched. After the interview his wife asked me about doing a life documentary of him. I readily agreed, after all their early history was already done.

She sadly informed me that years earlier they had been robbed. All of their pictures and video’s were gone. With this information it seemed even more vital to get a visual and oral remembrance of his life. She felt it was important to document what he remembered but wanted to ask her daughters what they thought. I offered the material I had already accumulated and some suggestions.

A few weeks later I contacted this couple again. They had decided to let their daughters do it.

Last year the man died. His daughters had the best of intentions. They also had very busy lives that did not allow the time and energy required to research, interview, document and edit… As a result they have limited sources documenting his voice, his memories, his mannerisms or his essence.

The life of this man is not lost or forgotten. His children still have fond memories of their father, but their posterity could have known him through the stories he might have shared. They could of heard his voice and looked into his eyes to become better acquainted with their grand and great grandfather. They could have enjoyed his sense of humor and learned from his life experiences because he shared it with them and for them. And maybe, just maybe when times get hard, and they always do, his life would be the touchstone to get through them and become a better person because of the journey.

So, don’t wait to document your life. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. So many say, “my life wasn’t anything special.” I disagree. Every life is something special.

This is your life and it counts too.

So just do it.



by Pj in Information

Anybody know who these people are? I want to hear more.




by Pj in Information

I’m sure you’ve enjoyed this piece already, but it truly is inspiring.



Spineless Surface

by Pj in Random

Today I got to leave work early. I drove home in the afternoon sun. It was glorious.

After spending time in the empty church parking clutching my imaginary steering wheel and pushing the passenger sides non-existent floor peddles, Ciera discovered the brakes, accelerator, blinkers and mirrors. Who am I kidding? She never looked in the mirrors. After 23 minutes I regained control of the vehicle. I dropped her off curbside and headed to do “errands”.

I went to the library and the bookstore. I browsed, ignoring the covers screaming for attention and sought out the subtle still waters. Could I just plop myself down in the middle of the floor and devour them all? My fingers itched in anticipation of the story, the plot, the characters hidden in plain view for me to discover. Breathing in the printed words I began to remember all my meandering ideas and tortuous thoughts for stories. Yes, I meander and yes, some of my thoughts… oh hell, all of my thoughts are tortuous. Funny, down this path of what if, I began to remember that I enjoy spending time… with me. I remembered that my job does not define me. I remembered how to smile.

What is shamefully true for me is discovering that working for someone else has been difficult for my ego. I am shallow. I am superficial. I am loathsome. I didn’t realize I would experience such self -depreciation for the youthful remuneration and the tedious tasks I find myself doing day in and day out. I had forgotten the politics and petty problems of office life and how the daily interaction influences how I value myself. I thought middle age had overcome my bi-polar insecurities. I was wrong.

Today, I just was, come what may, and it felt good. Today I remembered that there will always be people who don’t like me and that’s ok, because there are people I don’t like too. Today I discovered that I still like me, warts, hot flashes and all. I still find myself entertaining. I still managed to find… myself.

It felt good to be reminded amongst the spines and covers that no one really knows the tale except those who search beneath the surface and spend the time getting to know and understand the character of our life.

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