Desserts and good laughs

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #110

I am deeply grateful for these quiet days spent with my close family around delicious meals and many wonderful desserts, easy moments of catching up together after months of only talking on the phone, of laughing and being ourselves with our different characters and interests.

This week we also took the time to discover some poetic films that got us thinking, to get warm in the sauna whilst chatting about the world we live in and how we can change it, to exchange (experience) gifts, to go for a mini road-trip to a pittoresque village close by, to share our plans for 2019 and of course to take activist naps and recharge our batteries…

Solo cinema

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I like going to the cinema with other people and though that’s what I do most of the time, going by myself from time to time feels like a treat.

Firstly, it means that I can go see whatever film I want at exactly the moment that suits me, deciding at the last minute based on my mood (I’m lucky that in Amsterdam there are tens of movies on at anytime).  I love sitting quietly alone in the theater, waiting for the room to go dark and movie to start, watching the other movie-goers coming in or just lost in my thoughts.

Most of the time I choose those arthouse and coming-of-age movies that are beautifully shot and quite slow. At some point I often have tears rolling down my face and being alone I can unabashedly cry at the tough situations the characters are in, completely taken by the story, without worrying about whether anyone else is enjoying the film.

Afterwards, I can let the movie sink in and reflect on it without talking about it immediately with others and hearing their thoughts. The whole experience leaves me feeling recharged, like I’ve lived a sliver of another life for a couple of hours and opened to new horizons.

Paterson

If you are looking for a great film to watch on a lazy sunday, I would recommend Paterson, the latest Jim Jarmusch film. It’s a lovely reminder about how beauty lies in routine and the small daily pleasures and struggles of life.  I don’t want to give too much of the movie away as I hate spoilers. Just watch it and be transported.

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Sometimes all it takes is a seed…

Recently I came across two great documentaries and an episode from one of my favorite podcasts which revolve around plants. I find myself thinking back to these stories regularly, the ideas are like seeds that need to spread, so I thought I’d share some links.

Documentaries:
The Salt of the Earth – about the life of incredible photographer Sebastiao Salgado, and the foundation he and his wife set up to combat deforestation and erosion in Brazil by planting native trees and creating an education center (read more about Instituto Terra)

Seeds of permaculture – beautiful and inspiring documentary about permaculture, and what impact a holistic approach to growing our own food can have.

Podcast:
The surprising story about a writer who gets the dream job of taking care of a wonderful garden.  (Strangers is a podcast about true (and often incredibly moving) stories that link total strangers. It makes for amazing listening!)

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Any suggestions of other similar films or podcasts?