Back from Laity Lodge

Laity Lodge is just as remote and beautiful as I was told. Anne and I enjoyed an inspiring weekend of food, conversation, reading, and movies with dear old friends and inspiring new friends. I spoke about that turbulent territory where faith and filmmaking intersect, and then I shared two films that inspired good conversations: The Station Agent, and Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control. Anne gave a poetry reading, just one of several delightful readings by the guests.

(Hey Martin, I got to know Matthew Dickerson, author of Following Gandalf, From Homer to Harry Potter, and Ents, Elves and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien. And your former bandmate!)

The Lodge was also out of wireless range — to find this place, you have to go off the highway, down to a shallow, winding river, and then drive up the river!! — so I was cut off from the Internet, telephones, news, and traffic for a few days. I recommend everybody try that once in a while. It’s wonderful. We had a difficult time leaving.

Now, I have two weeks of heavy editing work ahead, fine-tuning Cyndere’s Midnight. In a few hours, after I crawl out from under this jackhammer headache, I’ll go back to see what’s waiting on my desk at SPU. Tonight, I’m also recording the next Kindlings Muse movie discussion with Dick Staub, Jennie Spohr, and Greg Wright. And tomorrow, there’s a screening of Run, Fat Boy, Run, starring Simon Pegg.

Anyway, I’m back in business posting your comments. I found some interesting remarks on the last few posts when I got back, and I’ve already posted them.

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  • facesunveiled

    I watched Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control this afternoon. (Netflix just put it on Watch Instantly.) The mole-rat guy especially made his subject more fascinating than I thought it could have been. I was actually expecting it to be a
    “Look at the funny crackpots!” movie, so I was surprised when the men turned out to be articulate and insightful.

    I also watched The King of Kong last week, and I couldn’t help but compare the two, since they’re both about people who have devoted their lives to things most people would think are weird or useless or crazy. I know the guys in Fast… earn a living for what they do, so the comparison isn’t exact, but it’s still helping me to think about what a “meaningful” contribution to the world can look like: Is it doing something most everyone would accept as worthwhile, or taking something you love and finding a way to earn a living from it, or is it simply doing something as well or as perfectly as you can (Even if that’s playing an antique video game)?

  • mrmando

    So you met Matt; I hope you extended my warmest regards to him. Being in a band with a bassist from Vermont presented a few logistical challenges, but we did manage to play some gigs together.

    And probably you said hello to Steve Purcell. I’m glad Steve is now coordinating these types of encounters on this side of the Atlantic. This makes it more likely that I’ll be able to participate in one of them at some point.

    My pastor went to Laity Lodge not long ago for a conference led by N.T. Wright. Everybody’s doing it.