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IMG_1287Have you visited the mighty Pacific Ocean?  It is unforgettable.  There is something remarkable about this massive body of water and how it impacts the land that is home for all of us human beings.

Countless people flock to the shores of the saltwater expanse.  They play on the beaches, marvel at the power of the shifting currents, take advantage of the teaming life below the surface and find an incomparable respite every evening when the sun sets with a unique masterful display of color.

There is something else about the ocean that leaves a mark on our human memories.  Along the shores, up in the hills are the vestiges of another power common on the ocean.  It is the wind.

Temperatures shift and start the air moving in powerful layers from one direction to the next.  God set this in motion with the creation of the world, currents not just in the waters but also in the air that keep alternating directions.  It is the wind.

Tall fir trees with trunks gnarled, bent and twisted by the constant blowing of the winds stand in groves along the coast.  They give me pause. Each one has stood against the threats to level them. Storms and daily pressure have left their mark but the trees still stand.

The scars and wounds add to the beauty of the fauna that decorate the hills along the edge of the Pacific.  It is amazing that they have survived.  While many gaze at the vast oceanic vistas, I for one turn away and soak in the scenic sculpture created by the winds and the strength of life in the trees.

This forest of trees almost appears as an army of sentinels slowly making its way to the sea.  The onslaught of the sea winds have taken their toll on the tree features and come to a truce.  Each force standing at the edge of the battle lines respecting the right of the other to be present.

The ocean coughs up its winds and the trees bend their boughs.  Yet, the roots grip tightly to the soil and will not release further ground.  It is a scene of power and persistence.

God created this dynamic picture of life.  Nothing is static when it is truly living.  There is always growth, always movement and always change.

Keep on living and keep on with growing.  Change as necessary.  But, hold on to what is important.

photo credit: brucefong photography

 

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2116161This is not just another major disaster film.  At first I was nervous that it would be and the loud music, sound effects would overshadow any human interest story.  Or I did not want to see a movie that portrayed a half a dozen lives of strangers suddenly thrown together and becoming friends after surviving a terrible ordeal.

My dubious skepticism was allayed from the start.  During the first fast-paced sequence, The Rock did not disappoint me.  That is when I concluded that this was NOT a disaster flick rather it was an action film.

Ok, I admit also that I am a Dwayne Johnson fan.  When a man can look fit, strong and act also, that is a winning combination.  He is an action film hero.

The opening scene is nitro.  Maneuvering a helicopter into a narrow ravine in order to rescue a girl trapped in a car that is about ready to plunge into the valley below is harrowing.  Yet, the “cool” in our hero’s demeanor sets the stage for the movie.

Special effects add to this sensational rescue.  It is a nail-biter and very satisfying.  Then, the real story starts.

Yes, the big screen gives you your money’s worth on the unforgettable scenes.  Those who know the city of San Francisco wrench with the destruction of favorite sites.  It adds to the personal nature of the film.

The common fear of the Central California region plays right into the hands of the movie director’s takes.  Intense moments are eased with family dynamics that are wonderfully portrayed by the talented cast.  Some times it is very clever dialogue.  At other times it is the interchange between and among the actors.

Rescue and close calls are all a part of this story.  Iconic views of the city give empathy.  Overcoming past demons gives strength for current obstacles.

Can an action star portray the deep devotion that pours out of a father’s soul?  Can a man stout with muscle and reputation let his love for a child be his drive?  Johnson did all of this in this film.

Carla Gugino was excellent.  Alexandra Daddario was perfect for her role.  Paul Giamatti was a winner.  Art Parkinson was a memorable feature.  Will Yun Lee showed great promise and was dispatched far too early.

It was a very entertaining film.  I liked it so much, it might be on the list to see again on the big screen theater.  What did you think?

photo credit: google image

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