|March 16, 2019
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I often ask myself, "How will we ever be able to heal the great divide in America today?" Huge question since I can't even keep the peace in my own family, and the estrangement of family members weighs mightily. We seem to have lost the ability to communicate, and we certainly have forgotten how to listen to one another. I don't know about you, but even though I'm not tearing my hair out like I was in the beginning of 2017, I still go through most days with a sense of dread--sometimes almost afraid to look at news headlines and at other times obsessing about all the things I can't control and staring at updates on my phone for hours on end. I fear I might be getting too complacent with the new normal that is anything but normal, and I need to keep reminding myself how important it is for us to keep resisting, but to do so in a way that moves us forward in love and kindness. We need to learn how to talk with one other without our egos getting in the way.
I read a short article this week by Oren Jay Sofer about communication, and I'll share a few of the highlights.
1. Lead with presence.
It's all about mindfulness. Be present in the moment. Put down other thoughts and projects. Feel the weight of your body or the sensations in your hands or feet. Slow the pace of your speech to bring more clarity and choice to your words.
2. Listen completely.
To communicate mindfully we must begin with careful listening. Listen whole-heartedly. Ignore your own thoughts, questions, or responses and devote your full attention to hearing the other person.
3. Come from curiosity and care.
This is a biggie. When our interactions are driven by an agenda, by getting our way, wanting to win, being right or making a point, we limit the possibilities for mutual understanding and creative outcomes.
4. Focus on what matters.
Focus on the underlying needs or objectives of the other person. Ask yourself, “What matters about this?” Listening with this kind of attention creates more room for understanding, collaboration, and creative problem-solving.
5. Pause; remember the option to stay silent.
I know I can blather on sometimes, especially when I'm trying to make a point or get my way. Practice pausing before and during speaking. Consider if your words will contribute to mutual understanding and connection. It takes restraint, but knowing the right time and place to speak our truth is essential. Try listening or nodding until you have a clearer sense of what will be most useful to share.
One of my favorite things to see after an event is the gaggle of folks standing under the marquee animatedly discussing what just transpired in the theater. We come together in community to learn from one another, to engage each other, to encourage each other, to inspire us to move beyond petty differences. I'm headed back to Oklahoma at the end of April for my father's 90th birthday, and I'm sure my patience will be sorely tested. Seems like the perfect place to practice more thoughtful communication. I'll let you know if I'm at all successful.
We Were All Odysseus in Those Days
A young man learns to shoot
& dies in the mud
an ocean away from home,
a rifle in his fingers
& the sky dripping
from his heart. Next to him
a friend watches
his final breath slip
ragged into the ditch,
a thing the friend will carry
back to America—
backstory. He’ll teach
literature to young people
for 40 years. He’ll coach
his daughters’ softball teams.
Root for Red Wings
& Lions & Tigers. Dance
well. Love generously.
He’ll be quick with a joke
& firm with handshakes.
He’ll rarely talk
about the war. If asked
he’ll tell you instead
his favorite story:
from the Cyclops
with a bad pun & good wine
& a sharp stick.
It’s about buying time
& making do, he’ll say.
It’s about doing what it takes
to get home, & you see
he has been talking
about the war all along.
We all want the same thing
from this world:
Call me nobody. Let me live.
WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS WEEK
This game show adventure is getting rave reviews from all who attend. Check out why this new game is so popular tonight, Friday, March 22 @ 7:30pm. Tickets $8 spectator and $20 player.
Combining elements of karaoke and tabletop roleplaying games, players navigate an original storyline while using the power of song to face challenges along the way. Come to play or cheer on your friends.
Saturday, March 23 @ 7:30pm, experience this collaborative piece presented by Kennedy and Draven with Photography by Haley Jensen. Tickets $12-15 at the door.
This ritual happening embraces subjects such as gender exploration, body ambiguity, matriarchal trauma, and purification, and combines elements of Butoh, Body Ritual movement, and experimental sound tapestries by “Mad Composer Lab.”
This month's Portland Film Community Night on Sunday, March 24 @ 7pm, encourages you to show off your Ted (perform your best Ted Tantrum impression on camera (which we may use in future to entertain the world or blackmail you (attendees are encouraged to dress like Ted for the event))). Then be entertained with a few old and two brand new Ted Tantrum episodes. There will be prizes! And it's free and open to the public.
This week's Resistance Series screening is MEET THE PARENTS. It all takes place on Monday, March 25 @ 7pm and the nonprofit partner is Friends of Noise, which fosters healing and growth for the creative youth in our community via the arts.
Remember meeting your sweetie's parents for the first time? The first time I met Roger's parents, it was only a few weeks after my mother died unexpectedly and I was a mess. When I wasn't crying I was rude beyond belief. It's a wonder my mother-in-law speaks to me at all. Well, poor Greg Focker had it worse, especially when he finds out that his girlfriend Pam's dad was in the CIA for 34 years. The weekend goes from bad to worse and Greg almost single-handedly destroys the family home and the wedding of Pam's sister. With Ben Stiller in the lead and Robert DeNiro playing the dad, MEET THE PARENTS is a comedy of epic proportions.
Join Ken Ward (the Reluctant Radical), filmmaker Lindsay Grayzel and members of Extinction Rebellion for a screening of The Reluctant Radical on Wednesday, March 27 @ 7pm. Tickets $3-10. A panel discussion on the movie, Extinction Rebellion's new role in the environmental movement, and the future of nonviolent, mass-scaled civil disobedience in the global struggle against fossil fuels and climate change will follow the screening.
What do you think? If a crime is committed in order to prevent a greater crime, is it forgive-able? Is it, in fact, necessary? Ken Ward decided the answer to both questions was "yes," and he puts himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry to combat climate change, breaking the law as a last resort to fulfill what he sees as his personal obligation to future generations.
Celebrate women filmmakers at the 2019 POWFest. Tickets for each show are $7 student, $9 general admission, or save money and buy a festival all access pass for $40.
First up, this documentary feature screens Thursday, March 27 @ 7pm. Utilizing footage that was shot between 2009 and 2017, Haendel Variations shows the life and work of British-Polish violinist Ida Haendel. It is not an ordinary music documentary, but rather a restrained, more intimate approach that focuses on the inner life of an extraordinary woman and on the two things that still give her life meaning: her love for music and for her fellow human beings.
Thursday, March 28 @ 9pm enjoy six unique comedy shorts from the US, Turkey and China, which all seem to focus on relationships--between a bride and groom, an assistant and her boss, two best friends and a party crasher, among others.
The Narrative Feature on Friday, March 29 @ 7pm shares the story of Nuria, 12, Fabio, 9, and their mother Amparo as they arrive in a small island in the middle of Amazonia, at the border of Brazil, Colombia and Peru. They ran away from the Colombian armed conflict in which their father disappeared. One day, he reappears in their new house. The family is haunted by this strange secret and discovers the island is peopled with ghosts.
A second collection of shorts includes documentaries, experimentalism, fantasy, and animation. The unifying theme is the ways in which we fight the archaic structures of white hegemony. Travel from the US to Sweden, Australia and the unceded coast of Salish Territory to re-examine power structures, class, intersectionality, post colonialism and feminism and to confront them in poetic, subtle and seductive ways.
This documentary feature screening on Sunday, March 31 @ 1pm, is a story that will resonate with anyone who has had to leave the homeland they love in search of a safer future for their children. The film follows the lives of two brave Afghan women striving to maintain the hard-won women's rights gained since the start of the Afghan war, while living under the intense scrutiny of life in a male-dominated culture.
Final POWFest screening at the Clinton is Sunday, March 31 @ 3pm. Seven documentary shorts in which we follow riders in the Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition, an 86-year old retired teacher searching for her students from the 90s, a women-run taxi service in Delhi that allows women to move freely around the city, and more.
Clinton Street Resistance Series: FLASH GORDON, April 1; ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, April 8; THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, April 15; JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, April 22; FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, April 29.
Bring me... the bore worms! No! Not the bore worms!
Yamasong: March of the Hollows is at 5 & 8pm on Saturday, March 30. This film continues in the epic puppet storytelling tradition of “Dark Crystal” with a strong dose of Studio Ghibli’s “Princess Mononoke.” Movie Sleuth declares, "Few films so deftly and thoroughly build a world...[a] richly imagined planet full of hopes and sorrows."
One Night Only!!! Indie Fantasy/Musical: Tommy Battles the Silver Sea Dragon comes to us on Sunday, March 31 @ 7pm. This surreal musical drama reflects a man's struggle to overcome the guilt of his mother's death. Dream and reality blur as the characters from the courtroom infiltrate his memories, dragging him back to the courtroom in a closed loop of self-hatred and blame.
AGAVE in Portland is Tuesday, April 2 @ 6pm. This expressive documentary explores the phenomenon of the fastest trending alcohol spirit in the world, Tequila and Mezcal. Brought to you by our Division Street neighbor, Xico. Start the evening off with a screening of Agave The Spirit of a Nation, then following the screening everyone is invited over to Xico for Mezcales and Tequila tastings!!
Support local independent filmmaking on Thursday, April 4 @ 7pm. The new Kyle Dorfman film SOME PEOPLE ARE GOOD AT PRETENDING tell the story of a boy who lost sight of who he wanted to be when he grew up, and what happens when the man he grew into confronts the boy. FREE admission!
Killer Queen is back on Friday, April 5 @ 7:30pm. This new monthly drag show hosted and produced by our own Sunday night volunteer, Violet Hex, showcases an alternating cast of Portland's most talented, eccentric, creative, and one of a kind fabulous queer entertainers! Tickets $8 in advance and $10 at the door.
April 5 and 6th it's our 41st ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Anniversary Special. Can you believe we've been doing this for more than 40 years? This is our biggest show of the year, and we'll have Cake! Rock and Roll! Raffle! Comedy! Drama! And of course the best cult classic movie ever! Doors at 11pm, preshow at 11:30, movie at midnight. Tickets $12 in advance and $15 at the door.
The Portland Art Museum offers free admission on the first Thursday of every month from 5–8pm. Enjoy more than 112,000 square feet of galleries reflecting the history of art from ancient times to the present.
Head to the Spring Edition of the Portland Night Market with over 175 vendors with great food, drinks, music, art, makers, merchants and community! All ages & FREE! April 12 + 13, from 4-11pm!
Aurora Chorus sings of the critical state of humanity’s relationship with Earth on Sunday, May 19 @ 4pm. Join them as they honor our Mother and hold on to a hope of a better world for future generations. Featuring the West Coast premiere of director Joan Szymko’s setting of Wendell Berry’s poem “Look Out.”
Lilac days in the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens starts April 20th and goes through to Mother's Day May 12th. It's only a hop, skip and a jump up the I-5 north.
Rose Festival Opening Night Fireworks is Friday, May 24th when the sky gets dark. You can hang out at the City Fair when it opens at 5pm.
Celebrate the Goonies in Astoria June 7th - 10th.
The 91st Annual Portland Scandinavian Midsummer Festival on Saturday, June 8, 2019 from 11 AM – 6 PM has everyting you want--Music, Dancing, Games, Nordic Food, Vendors, Beer Garden, Kids Area & More!
The best way to solve problems and to fight against war is through dialogue.
Don't be a stranger. Come see us soon.