Birkhead Editorial

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Andrew Birkhead
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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

The Sun

Posted on February 22, 2010 in: Blogging as Therapy, Cool Stuff, life by Andrew Birkhead Tags:

I’ve read The Sun off and on for too many years to count. One of my favorite parts of the magazine is Sy Safransky’s Notebook, short notes about whatever crosses Sy’s mind. After reading it for all these years, I feel like I already know Sy, it’s almost like we’re friends, or could be if our paths crossed. This selection is a good example of the writing that resonates in me:

YES, WE’RE IN A RECESSION. But sooner or later each of us will lose something more important than our savings or our job. Will we have the resilience to deal with sudden illness or injury? With the death of a loved one? With any of the innumerable misfortunes life may have in store? I remind myself that every experience can be a teaching if I’m willing to see it that way; that suffering, too, can be a teaching. In fact, suffering usually gets the teacher-of-the-year award because I always sit up and pay attention when I’m in physical pain or when my heart has been broken or when I witness the anguish of someone I love. To honor the teaching doesn’t mean welcoming suffering with open arms, or looking for the silver lining of a tragedy with the kind of relentless optimism that denies painful feelings. I remind myself that blessings in disguise remain disguised until they’re good and ready to reveal themselves — and even then, the blessing might simply be that a particular setback has taught me to live more fully in the present, or deepened my compassion for others going through a similar difficulty, or underscored the paradox that we’re ultimately alone and inextricably bound to one another.

Connection and Collaboration

Posted on October 29, 2009 in: Editing, life, Parenting by Andrew Birkhead

When my daughter, Sarah, was really young, I took her to the pediatrician for a check-up. I’ve always enjoyed my interactions with Dr. Leland. He’s direct, to the point, and insightful. On this visit he said something that I’ll never forget. As he started to leave, he turned and looked at Sarah, who was around two years old and said “You’re doing a good job raising your dad, keep up the great work.” Ever since then, I’ve been on the lookout for what Sarah might be trying to teach me. Often it’s a tip on how to be a better parent. Sometimes it’s an idea about leadership, being present, forgiveness, or keeping an open heart. Until last weekend the lessons were never related to editing.

Last Sunday we decided to carve pumpkins. I have recently purchased a flip camera and we agreed to shoot the project and collaborate on a video. The process was a blast! I shot the video and we edited the piece together at the studio afterward. For me, the real enjoyment of editing comes from connection and collaboration. Collaborating with my daughter on a creative project is something I’ll never forget, and I intend to do it again, as often as I can.

My best work as an editor comes when I’m connected with my collaborators. I have Sarah to thank for the reminder. Here’s the video we created together.

Brother Cesare Bonizzi

Posted on March 24, 2009 in: life by Andrew Birkhead Tags:

I’ve been thinking about Brother Cesare Bonizzi, the heavy metal monk, since yesterday’s blog post. Yesterday’s post was titled ‘Mentoring’ for a reason. There’s a laundry list of things I’d like to learn from him. He’s fearless. Oh, I’m sure he has some fear. But how much fear can a 62 year old monk who performs heavy metal music ON STAGE have? He’s ageless. In our culture, most 62 year olds have bought the recliner that they intend to die in. Not only is Cesare listening to a genre of music that is almost exclusively enjoyed by youth… he’s SINGING it! He’s in integrity. Cesare’s work as a brother and his passion for metal seem to be in integrity. Here’s a type of music that is often judged to be evil, and he’s incorporating it into his life and work, making it holy.

“I do it to convert people to life, to understand life, to grab hold of life, to savour it and enjoy it. Full stop”

I want to be just like Brother Cesare when I grow up!