Recently I spent some time perusing the best videos from the NYT website and found some to share for the holiday season.  Actually this one’s from last holiday season… but who’s counting?  It’s a frothy little animated piece that made me giggle.

Next, a little canine caper with William Wegman, as he cavorts with his beloved Weimaraners, trying to capture that whimsical moment.

Now, moving squarely toward the real world, this one’s a true story.  And if it doesn’t reaffirm your faith in your fellow humans, I don’t know what will.

Finally, this one’s much more complicated… as it moves from the mysterious, to the frightening, to the inspiring.  A video profile of a young woman, Suleika Jaouad and her odyssey with sickness and health.


Suleika Jaouad by Emma Dodge Hanson for the NYT

Suleika had just graduated from Princeton and was poised to launch… “my first job offer, a one-way ticket to Paris, and a new pair of heels.” A few months later she returned exhausted and suffering a mysterious illness, later diagnosed as cancer.  Her only hope for survival would be a bone marrow transplant.  If she could get one in time.

In this video, NYT award-winning producer Shayla Harris follows Suleika as she takes the first steps on a life journey that is so alien and yet so familiar.  As you watch, think about the stillness… of the camera and the people captured by it.  There are rare moments within this piece… inviting empathy and insight…  and suggesting the calm that comes from acceptance.

There are several more videos in the series.  There’s a link to the second part of her story here, describing how her cancer affects her family.  Her dad says, that despite the feelings of helplessness, “we feed on her sense of optimism and hopefulness.”

And the last video in the series has lovely quiet moments that offer a sense of guarded optimism as Suleika begins to regain some control over her life.  She blogs about her experience too, as Life, Interrupted.   I’d like to share her more recent entry, largely because it has such a sense of celebration.  And you can see from the photo below that she’s finally well on the road to recovery.  You can read that post about her mother’s cooking  here.


Suleika and her mom

Lots to think about… and to celebrate.  So here’s wishing everyone a joyous holiday season.