This is MY "WHAT I'M DOING NOW" PAGE, INSPIRED BY DEREK SIVERS. i'LL UPDATE IT SEMI-REGULARLY WITH QUOTES, THOUGHTS,
HOT TAKES, OR JUST GENERAL GOING'S ON WITH MY LIFE. IT's MORE FOR ME THAN YOU, BUT IT'S A GOOD INSIGHT INTO WHAT PROJECTS OR ENDEAVORS I'M WORKING ON RIGHT NOW.
JUNE 8TH, 2020
"...and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one." 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Clearly a crazy year so far. God's doing something big. No more complacency. No more cruise control. He's separating the boy's from the men, the critics and those in the arena. Worrying only hurts, just keep your nose to the grindstone and do the best you can for the people put in front of you.
I start my day with Habit coffee in my Moccamaster, and read my daily devos: Morning and Evening by Spurgeon, Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, and Soul Fuel by Bear Grylls. I usually forget what I read 5 min. after finishing, I need to work on my recall, but once in a while I actively commit nuggets to memory, and that's the juice. The rest of the day I'm either on a shoot or pumping out some edits on and off throughout the day. Some nights of editing too, depending on how productive the day's work was.
Currently I'm living in Golden Valley, MN with four other guys in a cushy little cul-de-sac. I lift weights, watch my YouTube subscriptions, hang out in neature, mow the lawn, shoot, and edit. There was a huge lull in work from big covid, but now things are on a serious upswing- companies need to use up their expo budgets on video work and couples are feeling comfy booking again.
I'm better-honing my shooting and editing style. It's getting more simplistic and raw, focusing on eliciting emotion from the subject, lighting, storytelling, and timing rather than just throwing down a building music score with some cinematic shots-- nothing wrong with that, but it can only go so far. I want chills.
"The Greek word for 'without ceasing' in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is adialeiptos, which doesn't mean nonstop - but actually means constantly recurring. In other words, we can punctuate our moments with intervals of recurring prayer."
-Barry C. Black
"We pray without ceasing. Every secret wish is a prayer. Every house is a church, the corner of every street is a closet of devotion." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I suppose the solution lies in pointing out that the efficacy of prayer is, at any rate no more of a problem then the efficacy of all human acts. i.e. if you say “It is useless to pray because Providence already knows what is best and will certainly do it”, then why is it not equally useless (and for the same reason) to try to alter the course of events in any way whatever — to ask for the salt or book your seat on a train?” -Clive Staples Lewis
"And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." Romans 8:26-27
I had Christian Watson at 1924 US incorporate "Without Ceasing" into my logo when we were brainstorming the design. I also asked for some depiction of a loon, the MN state bird, something pretty common, but also haunting and soul-nudging when encountered.
He sent back some iterations, and included was the beautiful script you see in the header of this website and at the end of my vids. The interesting thing was- the loon illustrations he had created were all standing up, rather than floating on the surface of the water as you'd most commonly see them depicted.
It was striking when I saw it. I'd never seen a loon on land. They're water birds. Divers. They're clumsy on land, easy prey, but if they can get to the water- good luck catching them. The only reason a loon stays on land for longer than necessary is to guard it's nest. Despite the danger to itself. Resolute. Immovable. Without ceasing.
That's the goal, right? Every morning, new mercies, fresh breath, full plate. Always, In all circumstances.
Watching for the Enemy. Looking to Him who searches hearts for guidance to illuminate our path. It can be applied everywhere: Our work, our relationships, our goals, and especially our faith. That's why I apply it to this work.
"But it's just a video." Yeah, it is. We're not saving lives here. But the people and the stories in the video are what make it worth something. The relationships made through the creation of a video are valuable. The joy, love, curiosity, sadness, fear, & pride that it makes the viewer feel is valuable. And no one can move me in that belief.
"Ooh where'd your cool name come from?"
The verbiage comes from the men on my dad's side. Growing up, when a vehicle, part, tool, or job was presented or executed in an elite way, it was "high shine." Polished. Lacking no luster. The highest echelon. The work of a consummate professional.
My work is nowhere near the highest echelon, nor am I a consummate professional. I'm a guy with a camera that makes good videos. But the goal- the goal is higher. The goal is that the caliber of my work is mastered with time. Shooting, editing, and storytelling techniques constantly being honed, sharpened, and polished. The goal is High Shine.
“The highest does not stand without the lowest. A plant must have roots below as well as sunlight above and roots must be grubby. Much of the grubbiness is clean dirt if only you will leave it in the garden and not keep on sprinkling it over the library table.” -C.S. Lewis
Clean dirt. I grew up in a small town, small enough that you’d call the whole area “The Country” when compared to the Twin Cities where I’m living now. I know what clean dirt is. It’s of the land- and when left with the land, is pure as snow. It sustains life. When we dig it up, and “sprinkle it on the library table” or anywhere that it shouldn’t be, it becomes something ‘dirty.’ It’s out of its element, and it’s gone from something pure and nourishing to a big problem.
This quote is from the beginning of The Four Loves, where Lewis is concluding his distinctions on Need Love and Gift Love. In this portion he’s stressing that we should be neither idolaters, nor debunkers of sentimental love. He’s illustrating the dangers of finding our identity in this sentimentality. Mainly worldly romantic love and above all, marriage. When we live in an eternal timeline, our marriage on earth is small potatoes and shouldn’t be our sole goal or some milestone to reach in order to be who you’re “meant to be.” But of course marriage is a beautiful thing that most of us are meant for, as long as we enter into it with the right mindset. The debunkers are full-fledged against this romanticizing of a fairy tale relationship. The idolaters are of course head over heels waiting for their perfect someone and love at first sight. There’s a dichotomy, and that’s why he prefaces the book with this illustration.
Our love relationships are the plants, and for those plants to grow, they need their roots and their sunlight. Roots being the foundation of the debunkers, the hard, technical, messy parts of any love relationship that we have to sort out to make it work. Sunlight being the intoxicating juice that fuels the idolaters, the mythical smile from that girl across the room that makes you think “This is it. There she is.”
Why are the roots grubby? Because they’re in the dirt. What the debunkers miss is that the dirt isn’t necessarily dirty. The stronger, deeper, and grubbier the roots are, the better. The debunkers rip the plant out altogether- killing it- to reveal the grubbiness, the childish fantasy of this romantic love that doesn’t exist. The idolaters ignore caring for those pesky stressful roots, and their plant withers and dies under their blasting sun.
Lavish love on your relationship, wait for those fairy tale moments of clarity. But don’t wander so far that you can’t see why you entered into it in the first place. Take care of the little things, leave nothing unsaid, be transparent, and sort yourselves out when the foundation has cracks. But don’t get caught up in the technicalities, give and accept Grace when worldly stresses start to cover up the sunshine.
Leave your dirt in the garden, but don’t forget to water your grubby lil’ roots.
THE MAN IN THE ARENA
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt
"...and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."
- 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
"Live dangerously, take things as they come, dread naught, all will be well." -Winston Churchill
(This was in response to being hit by a car and being asked if he blamed the man who'd accidentally been at fault. He didn't.)