Posts Tagged ‘johnny cash’

Fire Destroys Johnny Cash’s Lake House in Hendersonville, TN

I was saddened to learn this morning that the famous and much beloved home of Johnny & June Carter Cash burned yesterday. I don’t know if everyone could appreciate it, but it would be the equivalent of Graceland burning down a couple years after Elvis died. The house held a lot of wonderful memories for Johnny & June and played a prominent role in the movie Walk the Line and music video for Hurt. In that same music video there were gripping shots of the House of Cash museum in disrepair contrasted with Johnny’s aging body. I wondered how Johnny would have reacted to the news today. I suppose although devastated he would recognize it as part of the cycle of life and death. Whether bodies or our homes they are only temporary residences that will soon be empty.

I’ve seen quite a few movies the last few days between the Blockbuster movie program and HBO. I thought I should share a few thoughts on them:

Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music documentary by Robert Elfstrom
I love all things Johnny Cash. I’ve read several biographies, including one by Rolling Stone magazine which was an amazing photo journey. This documentary was not an all encompassing birth to death, rags to riches epic. It was filmed by British filmmaker Robert Elfstrom in the late 1960’s as he traveled with Johnny and June. Johnny was so impressed with Elfstrom’s work that he later asked him to produce his film about Jesus Christ, The Gospel Road. This movie is archival footage from live concerts, recording sessions, Johnny’s return visit to his hometown, and rare personal moments and reflections. Fantastic!

Conversations With God with Henry Czerny
I had this movie in my queue but moved it up after my friend commented on it on his blog. I thought the movie provided a very human portrayal of a man who fell upon hard times and into homelessness and struggled to climb his way back out. I did not buy into the spirituality. It seemed to lack substance and drive book sales or something. Overall, I was glad I watched it.

Take the Lead with Antonio Banderas
Ok, how many movies have there been about courageous teachers who transform the lives of inner city kids? I didn’t rent this one, but when I started watching the beginning I had to stay up to watch the whole movie. I’m not a big Antonio Banderas fan, but he did an excellent job of acting in the movie. I guess the whole ballroom dancing thing was a large enough curiosity hook to separate it from the other movies about troubled inner city kids. Definately worth watching!

Proof with Gweneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, & Jake Gyllenhaal
I missed the first few minutes of this one, but it was really good. It’s a little similar to A Beautiful Mind but definately stands apart. Gweneth Paltrow was amazing in this movie. Jake Gyllenhaal was ok. Anthony Hopkins’ appearances are limited but he’s old, heavy, and going crazy in the film, so he provides some depth. He’s Paltrow’s aging mathematical genius father who is losing his mind. Paltrow’s scenes jump back and forth to her time of caring for him and moving forward after he dies. In the process she’s wrestling with her own sanity and genius. A very good drama. I recommend it.

Skeleton Key with Kate Hudson and Gena Rowlands
I saw this one over a year ago and just watched it again today. I enjoy movies filmed in or set in Louisiana, especially if they’re good. This is a darker movie about old New Orleans and voodoo, and it has some amazing plot twists. It’s not a horror film but a great suspense thriller. It’s grade A entertainment that will keep you hooked.

I’ve been reading The Man Called Cash, the authorized biography of Johnny Cash by Steve Turner, and have been enjoying it immensely. I read that he was criticized for spending so much time with prisoners. He responded that he thought there were three different kinds of Christians: “there’s preaching Christians, church-playing Christians, and there’s practicing Christians. I’m trying very hard to be a practicing Christian.” May we all keep trying.

If you’ve read much of my blog, you will know that I’ve been like a kid in the candy store the last year and a half learning to live life all over again. I’ve been through self-admitted detox to break my addiction to vocational Christianity and have begun the journey to truly know Christ and to know myself. My family is well and happy. I wish I could freeze time and keep my two boys at 4 and 1.5 years old forever, if not for the joy of watching them grow up. I’m in love with my wife who is still my best friend after 13 years. My business is finally turning a corner, and 2006 is looking to be my best year yet. I’m in love with life and am pursuing my passions.

Before you think I’m in a state of disillusioned euphoria, let me tell you that I have never been more in touch with reality. My mood vacillates almost as much as the balance in my checkbook. All things considered life is good, very good, and for that reason death is beginning to sting. Watching my kids grow up and the seasons change makes time seem to race on by. Who knows how many more years God will allow me. Forty, if I’m lucky. 1976 didn’t used to seem that long ago. My grandparents are getting older, and their health is failing. My grandfather was invincible when we were growing up, and now he seems very human. My grandmother has alzheimers and doesn’t even know her own husband or her own children anymore.

I read the Bible differently these days. I try to read it for what it really says, not for what I want it to say, or for what others have told me it says. [This is the point in the movie where you may want to change channels for a bit or risk getting really messed up theologically.] I’m not so sure anymore what I believe about heaven and hell. If both are real, something tells me people won’t be divided up so nice and neatly as we’ve been led to believe. If Jesus told us anything about it, He said that there will be a lot of surprises for many people. Some days I default to the nice Sunday School version of life that allows you to sleep in peace knowing that you’re an insider and have nothing to worry about. Some days I think that the blood of Christ covers every sin and no one is turned away. Some days I wonder if we just don’t die like every other creature and cease to be, simply return to the earth from which we came. No matter, death still stings.

I fell in love with the music of Johnny Cash some time last year, especially his later recordings. Johnny Cash was a man in touch with death and pain. He was able to vocalize what we think and feel about death like no other. You cannot listen to his music and not come face to face with your own mortality, which, I believe, is the key to truly enjoying life. The stark reality of death makes life more precious.

I don’t think we should live in fear of death but nor should we surrender to it. I’ve seen many terminally ill people over the years who cling to every last breath they can muster long after their body has given out. There is something in the human spirit that fights against death and clings to life. I’m not afraid to die, but not because I know exactly what happens after death. I’m not afraid to die, because I know God and trust Him to do with me what He will. Until my time comes, and it will, I will celebrate life and enjoy every day I’m given. One day, I will fight the good fight then lay this body down and rest in Him.