Sunday, January 22, 2012

Review, Reflect, Renew

Wendy lee Lynds is my guest blogger today. Enjoy!

I know, I know. The above three words cause you to pucker up all your parts, huh? Haven’t you heard this theme ad nauseam for the last couple of months as we hurtled towards 2012? Please know that you are not alone. I’m kinda sick of hearing it, too -  And here I am bringing it up again! 

I have had a lovely tradition to the Oregon coast for my annual musings in December. This year the right-on-the-beach home near Cannon Beach that I had free access to is no longer available. So what to do? You may suggest I just carve out some time in my domicile to look over my notes and gather my thoughts for the coming year. Or you may point out that I could head to the library with pens, paper and laptop and do some reflection there. And you would be right - all those are solutions could work. But then my ktichen would call to me to dust off my spice rack. The laundry basket would call to me and then the thirteen emails I have in my inbox MUST be answered this very instant and the pups are sweetly yammering to be let out. You get my drift? Home, wonderfully tranquil oasis that it is, isn’t the best venue to do my hunkering down. And let’s not forget that the library frowns on my pink penguin pajamas! The fact that it is now January 22nd and I have not reviewed, reflected on or renewed anything and it is troubling.

So, what’s a gal to do? What’s so bad about not doing the aforementioned tasks in a timely-before-the-end-of-the year fashion? For me? I get to feeling uprooted, unfocused, outta step, feeling the dingy shifting under my feet and I still have my land legs. The answer? To breathe and realize that nothing is wrong with that. Not a thing in the world

The fight and the trouble and the shifting ground is totally my mind squawking in response to “This is how it is done. This is how “other” people handle their lives. This is the standard by which I should live” and I am now choosing to respond with a wholehearted cry of PHOOEY. I haven’t walked to the beat of the local drummer since birth, why should I now?

So, here’s what I figure; the time has not run out for taking an heartfelt look at where I wanted to go last year and the steps I took to achieve my goals. Time has not run out on adding up the proactive-actions and being proud. Time has not run out for me to list what I did well and what I could do better towards my desires. Time has not run out to open up and dare to dream a bit - to see what I can envision for my future. 

Fact is, I can RRR anytime dang time i want to. There is no magic formula of guaranteed success by whipping out my list, having my entire life mapped out by December 31st. 

So, dear readers, this is my plan: enjoying some time with my “bestie” from Southern California, finish a couple of collages for the Northwest Collage Society, putting the finishing touches for an art workshop on designing personal “Vision Boards”. That’s all I have to do for the next two weeks. And when the running is done, I will take a couple of deep breaths, ignore the laundry and the yelling spice rack, pat the heads of my lovable pups and hole up in my office - happily tackling the 3 R’s in my pink penguin pajamas!And I ain’t talking “Readin, ’Riting and ‘Rithmetic”! How’s about you?

Wendy Lee Lynds lives on a beautiful island in Washington state. She is studying to be a life coach (challenging), throws around paint, paper and glue (messy) and generally still wonders what she will do with her life (growth-producing). She has a blog which she hasn’t touched in months, no website and no deadline on either. She happily knows there is a right time for everything and the year has only just begun! If you want to chat - she’d love to hear of your plans for 2012! Wendy Lee can be reached at:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gone Missing-the final journey of Old John

I have a special treat for you today. Till was a German foreign exchange student who lived with us in 1999. Now he is a film maker in Mexico City. Here is the Director's Statement for his current project.

When I first arrived in Mexico City, six years ago, I had pretty much “gone missing”. I had left behind the security of my hometown and country, my studies, friends and family. I came to a totally unknown place, without speaking the language, without friends and without a plan. After a couple of days of wandering about the city, I found the Casa de los Amigos where I got the feeling of having arrived at the right place – the right place for staying a while, for losing yourself and feeling at home at the same time.
I started working there as a volunteer in exchange for a place to sleep, and I ended up staying almost a year. I met other people who had found “the Casa” as well, among them Old John. He was a contradictory character. He had been a boxer and a poet, people loved or hated him, he was simultaniously crazy and wise - and a prophet.
Old John became a living example of someone who had taken life in his own hands, regardless of all conventions – even to the point of defining the circumstances of his own death. He was not going to end his life himself, but as he felt his time running out, he had chosen his final journey and resting-place: the jungle of Guatemala.
Three years after I met Old John, I went back to Germany and started studying film. Today, another three years later, I have come back to Mexico as an exchange student. In this context of apparent purpose and security, the question I ask myself is still the same: How and to what extent is it possible to brush aside conventions and live a self-determined life? To be free?
I have proposed to my two best friends from those years together at the Casa de los Amigos to resume the plan we made six years ago, to search for the traces of the final journey of Old John, to tell Old John’s story.
We have some financial support by my film schools in Munich and Mexico. But in order to make this thing happen, we need some extra funding. We have done the math and we can do it with your support. We only need $5,000 to take you and others deep into the jungle with us.

We are grateful for every contribution. Please help spread the word and tell your friends about this project!

Thank you very much,

Till Cöster,  January 2012

We have different rewards waiting for our supporters, for example a free copy of the finished movie. Check out our project on for the trailer and details. We have to reach our goal of raising $5,000 until SUNDAY, JAN 15, 11:55 PM (CST) – otherwise we get nothing and backers get their money back.