In late 2008, I was dating someone whom I really admired. She gave me a book called The Shack to read and despite my desire to please her, I just could not get into that novel. It really all seemed a bit weird to me and many efforts resulted in the same thing – “this book is dumb”.
Still, I had good intentions towards this book. I took the pile of pages with me from Victoria, Vancouver Island all the way to Calgary, Alberta where I figured one day I would do it justice. Yeah right!
When we as a family decided to check out the “Far East” in the Canadian Maritimes, I again faithfully packed the book for the journey. First to PEI and then onto Nova Scotia. Google tells me that I transported this tome 6160 kilometres – and I never did read one more page of it.
When my ex fiance decided to separate, shut down our life there and relocate back to Victoria again, it was time to do the big purge. While this is a very sore topic, it was also an opportunity to get rid of extraneous junk. Things like university books that were good for starting fires and a box of 50 tennis balls that had sat idle for 4 years. Things like that book called The Shack. Good riddance!
I gave that box of tennis balls and that book (and many other things) to my favourite neighbour of all time and about six months later he called to say that he had read about half the book. Hallelujah! Finally, someone could go cover to cover. He said that reading the book would help answer some of the questions I had about God and Christianity as a whole and that it was worth the time. Amazing to think this is the same man who professed being illiterate to me when I first met him. Turns out desire is always stronger than circumstance. (profound no?)
Forward a couple months into the future and one day on the nets, I was checking out a site where I could procure a copy of a certain movie called The Shack. If it was good enough for my neighbour, it was good enough for me. Movies are easier to consume than books mostly, and so the movie sat there waiting for me to watch it. Forward another couple of months odd, an address change (my fifth in 12 months – absolutely dreadful), one lonely night, a swig of cider and boyo was it ever time.
I cried a lot, and I cried often. As a Father myself, I am easily moved into compassion and tears when parents with younger children get hurt, or killed in the movie. This movie pushed all the buttons for me. I didn’t understand all of the movie, but I did see some things that have made a huge impact (aside from the obvious). (all copyright etc etc belong to The Shack/ distributors etc etc)
Holy Manna from heaven. This sight took my breath away. Now, I am not 43 years old anymore so I am not duped by the very real fact that this whole place was massaged into a technicolour dreamscape by a massive set building film crew.
But check out that garden as he approaches. Fairybook stuff.
The view from inside looking out to the yonder. When I saw this, I knew it had to be somewhere like the many places I’ve seen and experienced like this in BC. Like….. the Slocan/ New Denver etc. Turns out it was (apparently) Cultus Lake, Vancouver area. Not too far from me now.
And now for some more gratuitous screenshots (Dropbox visual included!)
My girls love the music from the band Passenger. I try to skip the parts where there are swearwords and thankfully no swear words have been said. I know it will happen eventually but for now I like to think of my girls as having fairly innocent speech patterns.
Here are a few lines from the song, “Things that stop you dreaming”
“Well if you can’t get what you love
You learn to love the things you’ve got
If you can’t be what you want
You learn to be the things you’re not
If you can’t get what you need”
Thats poignant stuff and I wonder if its not true for my ex too. I teach my girls when they hear those lyrics that no one can stop them dreaming ever – and over time with repetition and increasing maturity I am quite certain that they will understand what I mean by that.
That belief in the power of dreams includes my own, which I will try to focus on now. Although I am losing interest in writing this next part below due to a sudden aversion of “letting it all hang out”, I’ll push on and type out a basic outline of what I intended to say from the start. And I’ll edit it later on when I get the inspiration.
Part of this posts title says, “Dreams and Peace”.
I don’t like where I live at all. I dream of big vistas in front of me and having lived that way for about two years (GTF farm/ Brule Point/ Cobble Hill), I am now facing from my desk something beautiful (a private forest) albeit with no sweeping vista. One of the Neuro Linguistic Programming visualisations that I frequently use has its beginning centered on finding a safe, happy place intensely personal in nature that allows oneself to communicate unfettered with whats really inside.
This place above from The Shack does it. Having tried farming, living and maintaining a large acreage, etc etc, this scene from above is the kind that keeps being a draw emotionally for a variety of reasons. It feels like a place that I could call home.
And isn’t that something worth working towards?