Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wood-Walk, Biking Particulars, Family Dance, Child Lessons

Smile, Serious, Smile.
Today Phaedra and I went for a walk in the Duke forest with mom and dad. For two hours we wound our way up and down leaf-carpeted paths, while a monochrome grey sky above us kept quiet except for an occasional drizzle. It was so lovely. I'm thankful that Phaedra and I share a love for these kinds of outings. They do my soul good. I'm thankful also for my parents and for the rest of my family back home in Austin.

I've included three videos here. One I posted recently on Facebook. As I titled it there: "Art + Athletics = a beautiful homage to the particular." One of the things this short video does especially well is to take its time. While the scenes are gripping, at times on-the-edge-of-your-seat astonishing, the filming is never in a rush to get done. I think this is one of the qualities that separates good art from mediocre art. Mediocre art always seems to feel the need to rush to the point. It leaves nothing in question and, if you will, seems embarrassed about any leisurely, meandering spaces, the kind that appear to bear no direct import on the "point" of the art but of course in the end make the point all the more richly--and rich.

Kazuo Ishiguro's novel The Remains of the Day takes its time. Orlando Gibbons' choral music takes its royal time as does Terrence Malick's THE THIN RED LINE. Danny MacAskill's bike-trick homage to Scotland takes its time by not feeling the need to fill every second of screen time with the bicycle. The camera work lingers here and there on the landscape or urban features or small things like Danny racking his bike and as such evokes a sense of awe that Danny's cycling prowess alone could not generate. Unfortunately so much of art made by Christians is burdened by the need to "make the most of time" rather than letting time, artistically speaking, find its inner telos. But if the Bible teaches us anything, it is that God positively delights to take his time.

The two other videos made me smile, then laugh out loud. The first is a response by a mother and her four kids to Blaine Hogan's Happy Friday Dance Party #1. (I've included it below for comparison.) When Phaedra and I have kids, we're going to dance like this, innocently and with abandon. Phaedra is a fantastic dancer, so I'll have no worries about our familial vocation.

The second video is produced by one of the daughters, Zoe. I just happened to stumble on it as I watched their family rendition of Flo Rida's "The Club Can't Handle Me." I thought her biblical lesson was spot on: leave the path, you die.

Hanging on the picnic bench.

Walking and Talking.

Magical Mushroom.
Behold the heavens.
I'm lookin' atchoo.

Hey, what's down there?

A little chat with Christine back home.
I love Phaedra.
Read with caution. Duck when deer ducks.

Mother and Son in the distance.





The Club Can't Even Handle the Stewards Right Now from Mandy Steward on Vimeo.


Happy Friday Dance Party #1 from blaine hogan on Vimeo.


Zoe - Trust in the Lord Part 2 from Mandy Steward on Vimeo.

2 comments:

Ben said...

Dude, the guy on the bike is insane!!!

w. david o. taylor said...

Totally.