I’m Thom Saywell, a young guy from New Zealand in formation to be a Catholic priest. This blog is a collection of my thoughts on my four great passions: the Christian faith, photography, films as entertainment and art, and written fiction.
My faith in Jesus Christ defines my entire life, so it’ll probably crop up in most of my posts. I believe all that the Catholic Church holds and teaches as revealed by God through Sacred Scripture and Apostolic Tradition, and it breaks my heart when people misunderstand what the Church is. The Church is filled with sinners but She herself is not sinful; just as a hospital can be filled with sick people without itself being damaged. I love discussing philosophy and the faith with anyone: Christians, atheists, pantheists, polytheists, nihilists, secularists, every-ist!
Since my teenage years I have loved photography. It was intoxicating: I was able to capture a moment of time, hopefully still bursting with all the life and emotion of that moment. I quickly purchased an entry-level DSLR and became the ‘photographer’ at all my friends’ parties for the next couple of years. Photography is now a way in which I search for the beauty that fills our world, a beauty which we so often walk past with unseeing eyes.
Over the last five or six years I have grown in my passion for films. They’re not only wonderful entertainment, but a powerful tool to communicate an idea through images, words and music. A truly ‘good’ film is hard to find; it needs engaging characters, a stirring story, effective cinematography, emotive music, and (most importantly) needs to draw you into its fictional creation by presenting a ‘true’ world. The struggle to find one which achieves this – often seeing enjoyable but imperfect attempts – makes viewing films into an exciting treasure hunt!
A great novel, poem, short story, or other type of written fiction, has a similar goal as a great film: to entertain while communicating an idea. Yet written fiction communicates this through (usually) just one medium: the word. By being limited in this way, I find that fiction becomes more powerful. Even the most descriptive author can’t convey the entirety of their world; thus the reader becomes a ‘co-creator’ or ‘sub-creator’, using their own mind to fill in the blanks. That is the excitement of the written word.