Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Learning to Bounce Back

Lately there have been a lot of storms. Serious storms that cause a lot of damage and cause issues that we never want to face.  And the constant is that somehow people need to get over things, even when it seems that ‘getting over’ the storm will never be possible. And for some people, stuck in a rut from which they see no possible escape, that might be the case. But fortunately, that’s not the norm.  Aaron Früh, in his book BOUNCE: Learning to Thrive through Loss, Tragedy and Heartache (BakerBooks, 2017), dispels the myth that we can’t thrive despite the storms.

And as Früh points out in this book, we were meant to get over things, to bounce back, regardless of how impossible that might seem at the time. He offers some tips, simple ones actually, that can have a major impact. (think about Naaman who didn’t want to bathe in the river to cure his leprosy because that was such a simple solution…it took a servant to say like ‘why not try? If the prophet Elisha had asked you to do something big, you would have done it.’ (See 2 Kings, 5:1-13))
Aaron lists four things that get in the way of our bouncing back, and expounds on them: self-pity, disappointment, Resentment toward God, and Indecisiveness. But there’s more to our inability to bounce back, than just that: all too often we don’t know where to start the path to healing, and so there are some helpful hints there too. (and the biggest one for me is CRY OUT FOR JUSTICE!)
I received a copy of this book from BakerBooks in exchanged for my review.


watch this clip from GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

The True Story About Winnie-the-Pooh! GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN OPENS IN THEATERS THIS WEEK AND NEXT!  The story  takes us to post-war England and the lives of the Milne family.  A.A. Milne, an author and veteran of The Great War suffering from PTSD becomes inspired by his son to create characters that we all know and love today.

watch this

I was able to pre-screen the movie, and was just blown away.  And my friends at Grace Hill Media have offered to let me do a give away...all you Pooh fans, get ready!

I reviewed it on the blog

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Goodbye Christopher Robin, in theaters Oct 13th

Who doesn’t love Winnie the Pooh? Wait, that was a rhetorical question, because I’m sure that somewhere there is a crusty curmudgeon who doesn’t. Poor soul. But what most people don’t understand is the way the beloved bear made his way into the hearts of so many people around the world. And would you believe that, in part, World War I is responsible? And class struggles, and unhealthy family dynamics? And PTSD?
Would you believe that the happiness that Christopher Robin and Pooh brought to the world created so much unhappiness for the Milne family?
 Grab your jar of honey and prepare to be entertained by Fox Searchlight Pictures new release Goodbye Christopher Robin”, but be aware, Eeyore’s sadness is very present throughout this film.

A press release states:
GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN gives a rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children's author A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son Christopher Robin (Will Tilston), whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh.  Along with his mother Daphne (Margot Robbie), and his nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald), Christopher Robin and his family are swept up in the international success of the books; the enchanting tales bringing hope and comfort to England after the First World War.   But with the eyes of the world on Christopher Robin, what will the cost be to the family?

I was allowed to pre-screen the movie (It releases OCT 13th) and was amazed by the complexity of the story line. It’s fairly simple at first glance:  Upper class ‘shallow’ meets WWI; some people change but others don’t. Men go to war, and return different. PTSD is an ugly companion that disrupts families, and gradually the close relationship between mother and child deteriorates while circumstances lead to an improved relationship between a happy child and his distant father. Thankfully there is a Nanny to be the constant in the little boy’s life.   Out of the father/son relationship comes a book, from that book comes success and fame. From that success comes a breaking of the recently restored relationship. The War to end all wars is followed by another war, with all the pain and sorrow that war brings.
            Goodbye Christopher Robin opens with shots of beautiful country landscapes, and the hedonistic lifestyle of England’s upper class. And then the War starts. Well-known playwright A.A. Milne goes off to war, and returns a changed man. PTSD at its worst. He has been successful, but war changes him. Instead of writing plays for sheer entertainment value, he now wants to write about the horrors of war. He wants answers to the question, “Why do we have wars if nothing changes as a result of the war?” He wants a sense of purpose. Needs a sense of purpose.
            Not-so-understanding wife Daphne, who seems to have been more inconvenienced by the war, than bothered by it, doesn’t see things as her husband does. She, as many of us seem to do, becomes oblivious to evil. As Daphne comments, “Writing against war is like writing against Wednesdays. Wednesdays are a part of life; if you don’t like Wednesday stay in bed, but it’s still Wednesday, and if today’s not Wednesday, Wednesday is coming.”
            Milne wants to write about war, the horrors of war, what it does to nations and to souls, and he answers the question, “Who wants to read about war?” in a very succinct way: “anyone who doesn’t want it to happen again.”
            We all have expectations and hopes, and many of them are false. We look to the wrong things to make us happy, and are surprised when we’re not any happier than we were before.
            And the film is full of teaching moments…things like how PTSD affects the whole family, or a lesson on the restorative power of looking at truth and the world through the eyes of a child. And how success can be overwhelming, and just like other things that are supposed to bring happiness, it can often bring heartbreak. And of course the fact that we all need to feel loved.
            There were some quotes I thought might fit in this review, but taken out of the context of the film, they are nowhere near as powerful as they otherwise are. So you’ll just have to watch the film to glean this snippets of wisdom.  

            This story is a wonderful reminder of how plans sometimes backfire, and success can tear things apart. It’s a story of the aftermath of war, a picture of broken and restored relationships, and a call to learn to love others as they want or need to be loved, not necessarily as we think they should want to be loved.

Thanks to my friends at Grace Hill Media for the opportunity to screen this film.

watch the trailer , and be sure to see the film in theaters when it releases soon.