Thursday, September 22, 2011

visual poems

When Sarah and I were at Regent this summer we had the opportunity to eat lunch with some students taking full-time studies.  Among the students we met was a man named Theran, currently working on his MCS.  As I was perusing Regent’s YouTube channel ‘underthegreenroof’, I found this video, a student video project for a class on John.  As it turns out, it was one of Theran’s class projects—a visual poem, a marriage of literary and visual media evoking metaphor.  I touched base with him and said that I wanted to share his poem on my blog.  He agreed.  So here it is, and I hope you enjoy it:

Hands from Theran Knighton-Fitt on Vimeo.

Here was his description of the project:

This was the creative project for a class on the book of John in the New Testament "John: the Life of God to the World" In the Summer Term of 2011 at Regent College in Vancouver Canada. The class was taught by Rikk E. Watts. Of the various project options I chose the one that included an academic paper and a creative project.

For my paper I looked at the idea of how water is used in John as a polyvalent symbol and how it interacts with other symbols - specifically wine and blood.

Here is the first paragraph of the paper

“In this paper I will show that John’s unique use of polyvalent symbolism effectively communicates Christ’s mysterious, all-encompassing invitation to partake of his life. I will argue that Johannine symbolism invites us into a higher story, a mystery that normal words cannot express. I will show specifically that the nature of John’s symbolic use of water shifts throughout his gospel in such a way that it becomes more inclusive and invitational as it progresses. I will also outline how the all-encompassing invitation in his water symbolism plays itself out: as its meaning shifts, as it interacts with other symbols, as it speaks to Jewish tradition, and, ultimately what the invitation means for us as we are included into the life of Christ. In Christ all things hold together and in John’s water motif we see God bringing together many things in Christ.”

As you can imagine not everything was able to be included into this visual poem that tries to express these themes. Also, being art, it takes on its own identity too and as such it is not just the video demonstration of the academic paper. However the themes all intersect and my choice to do a creative project instead of a longer paper was specifically related to the idea that I believe John's use of symbolism and imagery more effectively communicates truth than mere academic argument. So to do justice to John, one needs to think and communicate creatively…

This is one of the reasons why I find Regent’s programs so intriguing—they allow for creative projects such as these to work alongside paper-writing to create moments of reflection on faith and life. 

Be well, my friends.


Click the banner below to head over to watch Theran’s other visual poem:
“And the Whole Realm of Nature’s Mine”.

Theran Knighton-Fitt: Visual Poems

Monday, September 19, 2011

mylo xyloto

Coldplay recently posted full-length versions of new songs from their upcoming album, Mylo Xyloto.  If you’re a fan, here’s a playlist of “Paradise”, “Moving to Mars”, “Major Minus”, and “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” to whet the appetite:

The next song will start playing automatically – enjoy!

What do you think of the new sound so far?  Leave a comment below!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


It’s another reason why I love reading Eugene Peterson…

Having finished my Lewis papers and Regent reading, I’ve returned to a book by Eugene Peterson which I received as a Christmas gift last year from Mom and Dad.  It’s called Practicing Resurrection, the fifth and final book in Peterson’s series on Spiritual Theology.  If you’ve ever been to our Tuesday night hangouts with our Young Adults group, you’ll have probably heard me mention Eugene before.  He’s an incredibly down to earth man, and as a writer he’s entertaining, humorous and deep.

Here’s a snippet from Practicing Resurrection on the mystery:

Verb six: God made known.  “With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will” (Eph. 1:8-9).

We are not in the dark.  We are in on what God des.  We are not intended to be kept in a state of ignorance, asking no questions.  We are not children “to be seen and not heard.”

But—and this catches our attention—what God makes known to us is “the mystery of his will.” … ‘Mystery’ here does not refer to things kept in secret, classified information that is not accessible to people without proper clearance.  ‘Mystery’ here refers to something more like the inside story of the way God does things that bring us into the story.  This is a kind of knowledge that cannot be gained by gathering up information or picking up clues. …The way in which God makes known the mystery is ‘with all wisdom and insight.’  That is, the knowledge that God gives us comes in the form of wisdom and insight.  God does not dump information on us.  He does not ‘home school’ us in mathematics and biology.  ‘Wisdom and insight’ are knowledge lived out.

We have far too little experience of this in American [and, I would add, Canadian] schools.  Education majors in dates and figures, explanation and definitions, how things work… None of this is without usefulness.  But it has little to do with becoming a mature person, with growing up. We know a thing, a truth, a person only in relationship.  There is a great deal of impersonal knowledge available.  There is no impersonal wisdom.

We truly know something only by entering it, knowing from the inside, lovingly embracing it.  That is what wisdom is: truth assimilated and digested (Peterson, Practice Resurrection, 64-65).

Sometimes I think we make matters of faith and God so abstract—so unrelated to everyday life.  Yet Eugene helps us to keep it grounded in everyday language: in fact, the most ordinary language there is—that of relationships, family, real people, real life, real God.

Practice ResurrectionReferences:

Eugene Peterson.  Practice Resurrection: a conversation in growing up in Christ.  Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2010.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

“Quick! What’s another word for motif?”

It’s my day off, and I’m feeling pretty good about that.  Lots done this morning.  First, I was able to finish my work for my Regent class (hurray!) and get it sent off in the mail.  I know I’ve done the best I can, and I’m pretty happy with how the paper turned out.  I finally settled on writing about pilgramge motifs in two of C.S. Lewis’ books, Perelandra and The Horse and His Boy—specifically the themes of calling, struggle, and epiphany.  It made for a neat compare and contrast, and it was nice to be able to pick the topic as well. 

Perelandra and The Horse and His Boy

I was able to schedule doctor appointments for both of us—not always an easy feat in this town.  Then there was plethora of errands to run: cheques to the bank, papers to mail, and car to get gas (finally got things working at the third gas station I tried—go Safeway!), and then to GM to drop the car off for its semi-annual inspection—which sounds like some sort of army test where cars have to run a ropes course or something.  During the ride back home The Cars came on the radio—seemed somewhat fitting.

So the start of this new week is a bit of a turning point: off with my Lewis paper and onto the next class I might take, and off with summer and onto fall.  Or maybe even winter—it was only 3 degrees above today!  Last night we were at Mom and Dad’s and I remember it felt so much like Christmas, or some holiday, though I’m not sure why—just the feeling in the air.  I like winter, but sometimes it feels like a bully crowding out the other seasons on the playground. 

Ah, Sarah’s home!  Gotta go!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

september: songs and storms!


Trees are yellowing—it’s sad to say it, but it’s true.  This morning there was such a wind that I think half of them blew off the trees across our yard!  I was on the way to work, just coming down the drive to the nursery, and a big spruce broke off about half-way up the trunk and came crashing down a few yards away.  There was some storm a-brewin’!

Started doing drum lessons again after a month or so hiatus.  Good to spend the time with Kyle and looking forward to more afternoons like this one.

Sarah’s not feeling the best—sinus-related cold symptoms.  We’re doing what we can to combat it, but I just wish it’d go away.  I don’t like waking up the next morning and hearing how she had a rough night just trying to breathe.  I think we’re both looking forward to the weekend: looking to go to Winnipeg to spend it with the familia. 

Wanted to share this song.  Beth showed it to Sarah after we sent her the infamous music video of the 1990’s Billy Dean country “hit”, “Only Here for a Little While”… which is actually a very nice songif you aren’t too distracted by the sweater and mullet!

Anyway, here’s a new one that I think would be very fun to learn/play the next time we have a gig (which, funnily enough, is next month for the Second Chance Pet Network….thing.) 

You’ll have to click “Watch in YouTube” to listen to it…


Be well this weekend.

PS:  Sarah just asked me to play this one as we’re heading to bed.  Very nice.