Thursday, April 14, 2022

Favorite Pic of the Day for April 15th

Peter by Jan Deuzeman
-See More Below-

~Check out today's BIRTHDAYS HERE:~

Good Friday:

'Where flowers bloom, so does hope.'

Jan Deuzeman: Resurgence


'Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you..'
Isaiah 60


Like so many, I consider myself more spiritual than religious.  I understand that describing oneself as 'spiritual' has become a bit of a cliché, but it also perfectly fits.  Self-described spirituals do believe, in something, and  are often led by incredibly strong faith. We bristle however, at being associated with the history, the violence, discrimination and atrocities executed in the name of religion. 


That being said, my religious foundation was firmly planted when I was a kid.  I've written before about my religious past and it's impact on how I live my life today.   I have however, become a bit a bit of an Christmas and Easter church goer, even less since the start of the pandemic.  That being said, Good Friday, more than Christmas, or any other day of the year, has me connecting to my religious roots.

Good Friday is one of the quietest days of the year.  It's not about bunnies or chocolate, it's the  remembrance of the darkness that always occurs before the light.  Over the past few years I have been fortunate to commemorate Good Friday with the work photographer Jan Deuzeman.  It began after discovering Jan's work with Bas in 2020. (HERE:)  This was followed by Jan's work with Rene (HERE:) last year. 

One of the things I find most compelling about Jan's Easter themed imagery is it's completeness.  Jan's images cover a breadth of emotions.  Jan understands that the celebration of resurrection is not complete without acknowledging the pain and anguish which precede it.

This year, Jan again graciously shared his Easter themed imagery.   This year more than others, the messages of Easter seems both urgent and needed. The pandemic is still killing thousands of people a day, and leaders are asking us to make wise decisions in order to protect the lives of others.  Many are taking this heart, many others however, continue to struggle to think beyond themselves.  

Coming together to support one other is a theme many embrace on a daily basis.  Others, latch on during difficult times, including this year with Covid, and the daily horrors occurring in Ukraine.  This led to Jan to take take a more personal approach this year.  In addition to sharing his work with Peter and Scott, Jan also stepped in front of the camera to help convey the message he wished to share. 

This year i wanted to do a self-portrait, to express my feeling about all the troubles in the world, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. The images strive to show that not all sins can be borne by one person, but that the whole world has to deal with this. The portrait with the white peony, a piece of hope for a better future.'

12 Days: Lothaire Bluteau in Jésus de Montréal

'A group of actors put on an unorthodox, but acclaimed Passion Play which incites the opposition of the Catholic Church while the actors' lives themselves begin to mirror the Passion itself. '

It's always challenging trying to find a movie for an Easter piece in my 12 Days series.  There just aren't many Easter themed movies.  I've (un) covered the classics, (HERE:) went the Hallmark route, (HERE:) looked into the genre of Easter Bunny horror flicks, (HERE:) and even just picked movies with Rabbit in the title. (HERE:)  This year, I went back to the basics. 

You can't closer to the core of Easter than The Passion Play. The Passion Play is a massive stage production that brings to life Jesus' Passion, covering the time frame from his visit to Jerusalem to his crucifixion, and tells the story of his suffering, death, and resurrection  1989's Jésus de Montréal is the story one city's  production.

In Montreal, an unknown actor named Daniel (Lothaire Bluteau) is hired by a Roman Catholic site of pilgrimage present a Passion play in its gardens. The priest wants Daniel to modernize the classic and dated play that the church has been using,  An inspired Daniel goes to great lengths to research and put his own take on the tale.

When Daniel's version of the play is performed, it receives excellent reviews from critics but is regarded as unconventional and controversial by Father Leclerc, the priest who hired Daniel, tries to distance himself from Daniel. When the higher authorities of the Roman Catholic Church object to Daniel's Biblical interpretation, they tried to forcibly stop the production leading to an accident. Although the source material is deadly serious, the film is actually both a drama and a comedy.

Montreal born actor Bluteau has an extensive resume working both in English and in French in theatre as well as on film and in television.  Most of his credits and acclaim come from his roles in Canadian productions but many many know him from his roles in the third season of 24 as well as turns on The Tudors and Vikings on the History Channel.

Gardening Tools:

April ... hath put a spirit of youth in everything. 
William Shakespeare

With both Easter and spring being all about re-birth, there is no better time to head out to the garden.  Easter weekend marks the beginning of planting season for many, especially those who live where the risk of frost is now in the rear view mirror.  Apologies to all of those who were blasted by the blizzard in the Northern mid-west in the US and Southern Manitoba in Canada.

I used to hate gardening, mainly because it was part of my allowance chores when I was a kid.  My parents didn't really 'garden' really, but they did have a small vegetable garden, filled mostly with rhubarb.  My chores not only included planting and picking the rhubarb, weeding the dandelions out of the lawn as well as mowing and watering the lawn.

When I finally got my own home however, gardening became... well, a necessity.   It's never really become a passion, but the home I bought had tons of gardens and I try my best to keep up on their care as much as possible.  Now, I have to admit, some of the harder plants to maintain have been replaced by plants, like Hosta plants, that are almost impossible to kill.

When you own a house, especially one with retired neighbours who spend all day in their gardens, there's pressure to keep up.  The garden centers where I live are just about to open, so it's only a matter of weeks before I fork over hundreds of bucks for soil, weed killers, hanging baskets and fertilizer.  Gardening is still somewhat of a chore for me, but if I had a naked work crew like these guys, it would be joy to get out there and tip toe through the tulips.