Courtesy of Netflix (which in context means courtesy of my brother, whose gift the subscription to Netflix was), I have just seen two extraordinary films. One, “Land of Mine,” is a drama. The other “Under Fire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro, ” is a documentary.
In both cases, moving isn’t the word for it. They are true experiences, that will not leave you unchanged.
“Land of Mine” uses fiction to tell the story of some of the young German POW’s in Denmark who, in 1954, were assigned the extremely dangerous task of removing the two million mines the German army buried on Denmark’s west coast against a possible Allied invasion. (More than half those who were assigned the task were killed or injured, the film says.) But the story is not so much about the hair-raising task itself as about the legacy of hatred that five years of occupation had left in the hearts of the Danish people, and the beginnings of reawakening to the humanity of the other side.
Hemingway pointed out in For Whom the Bell Tolls that war rarely kills the ones who deserve killing — the fascists who plan the wars, who commit the atrocities, who direct the terror. Instead, it tends to kill innocent young boys caught up in the army, often against their will. That’s the subtext here, that and the struggle between hatred and decency in the victims of so much entirely unmerited horror.
Tony Vaccaro was a combat soldier who took photos throughout the nine months he spent at war, from Normandy to the Elbe. He became a professional after the war, but his shots during the war were not amateur Kodak moments. He set our to make an honest record, then couldn’t bear to look at his negatives for decades. The thing that makes this documentary extraordinary is that it blends his photography on 1944 and 1945 with modern footage, and with commentary from (and footage of) the old man he has become, as long as commentary from various Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalists.
Professional rah-rah patriots probably won’t like either of these films, but real people will.
I sketched this from life, then started to paint it, but never got around to correcting the color and the arms. Bruce was working on one of his many electronic projects, in Dave Wallis’ then-unfinished house on Creekside Lane, on the New Land near TMI. I wish I had finished the painting while I still had Bruce living nearby, but it didn’t happen. So, instead of hanging in the Tate, it will have to remain as a reminder of a friendship and of another time. Hard to really feel the fact that this was nearly 20 years ago.
Some of you may not have heard. I am informed by Pharon, Bruce Moen’s wife, that Bruce, who has been in hospice care for months, is beginning his transition. We all owe him a lot, not only for his five books but for the afterlife exploration workshops he conducted not only in the States but in Europe and Asia.
For me personally, it is bringing back memories, of course, such as the day we met, at Ed Carter’s instance. Bruce wrote about it in his third book. I, like he, like Ed, were all being shepherded, it seems.
This is a little blurry, but is the best I can do.
Keith Parsons is a filmmaker in Great Britain who has sent me a link to his second Youtube documentary, 37 minutes long, on reincarnation.
Clearly, he has done his homework. He cites many books, some of which you will have heard of and some not, and shows old film clips of Dr. Ian Stevenson of UVA’s Division of Perceptual Studies. It also discusses a book I edited years ago, Under the Inquisition, by Linda Tarazi, and cites some things I said about that remarkable book.
I think you will find this very interesting. I am told that Parsons’ first documentary, This Life, Next Life, received 130,000 views in its first year.
Friday, July 31, 2015
[A member of a Hemingway list I am on posted photos from the Hemingway collection at the JFK library, including a photo of a ticket stub to a bullfight Hemingway had attended. I copied the photo to Nancy Ford, adding “nice coincidence, if you look at the date,” because July 27 is my birthday.
[Knowing of my long connection with Hemingway, she wrote back,” I would really like to know how far back the two of you originally shared lives. I don’t think this is the first time and when I saw this ticket, I thought, `Of course, he was a strand of EH during those days.’ Regardless of the timing of birth and all that, the feeling was very strong and to have you find this with your birthday on it feels like a smile from Hemingway to you, like `hi.’”
[As I thought about it, I suddenly thought, “Of course! If people share lives, they are available to be a strand in one another’s future mixtures, and so on and so on. It can be quite an intricate braiding, perhaps.” The fact that it produces an “of course!” doesn’t make it right, but it did draw my attention. So I decided to see what I could find out.]
Continue reading Reincarnation and braiding
Expanded Reincarnation Input
(by John Dorsey Wolf)
“There are beginnings and then there are beginnings.”
One view of ourselves in the 3D is that we did not exist before we were born, and in one sense of the formation of our unique soul that is valid. However, the ingredients for our existence existed beforehand, and the capacity to exist as we are is inherent from before that. So when looking at reincarnation as a sequence of lives, where do you start? Following the flow “upstream” it could be envisioned that the consciousness stream that eventually became what we are did not even include Earth life reality. So is it accurate to say your spiritual heritage is only a product of Earth lives lived?
Continue reading More on reincarnation from John Wolf
John F. Kennedy knew that in his time we stood at a crossroads. He knew where he wanted us to go, and he knew some of the steps to take, and he knew how to lead so that the people would follow.
And then – and therefore – he was murdered, in cold blood, in broad daylight, in front of the crowds that were cheering him, and everything changed.
What didn’t happen can’t be mapped. But if we look at what he said, and did, in his short 34 months in office, we can get a sense of where he wanted us to go, and we can get a sense of how far ahead of nearly everyone else he was, and we can see what his murder cost us, and our children, and their children. And we can see what was saved from the wreckage. For one thing, he saved us all from being poisoned.
The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
Continue reading Kennedy’s Vision (2) The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty