IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Shows and Events, TToT

TToT: Great Grey Elephants On A Cool Grey Morning – Look Up, Not Down #10Thankful

I must admit, the title of this week’s post really has nothing whatsoever to do with any of my ten thankfuls. I just liked the peace I felt when I heard the caption on a post by National Geographic I came across the other day.

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I am sneaking this in at the last possible moment because sometimes I feel sorry for myself and the idea of writing about why I am thankful feels like a giant task.

Elegy For The Arctic

So then I kick myself a little, into gear, and I realize those are the times I need to write a
Ten Things of Thankful
more than ever.

Speaking of peace,
there’s this from one of the TToT crew,
which is a post all about where she finds hers.

I’m thankful for her sharing her peace, which is oh so close to mine. I may not see the photos she features, but her descriptions of the beach she encounters are more than enough.

I am thankful for a writing circle (The Elsewhere Region) where a few more new members showed up.

It lead to a spur in conversation and dynamic in the group. Each new attendee brought with them their own story and reasons for why they decided to come, just like I did when I first showed up in that room.

Things were a little more lively than usual and some new writing styles and reading out loud styles. Some will be back and some won’t. That’s to-be-determined.

I am thankful my brother and his band had a successful first show…Riker, who have been practicing in my basement for months now.

I think it is bold to get up, in front of people, and put on such a kickass show as they did. I have had the pleasure of hearing those songs from inception, through all the repetitions needed to get good. Now I look forward to their EP with eager anticipation.

I am thankful for an eventful weekend of music.

This included some karaoke, not by me, but by two members of Riker. At least they chose songs from two worthy bands.

I am thankful a friend could join us for said musical weekend.

It’s been a while. It’s nice to know a friend, so long had, is one who will always have your back in any situation. I haven’t always been worthy of such friendship. I admire this friend’s attitude of not letting the world dictate so much, like I seem to.

I am thankful for my white cane.

I still fight my love/hate relationship with the white cane. I fought it this past weekend in fact. Even with how far it got me, among other things, all the way to my dream of a writing workshop in Mexico recently, I still battled feelings of embarrassment this last weekend.

I used it. It got me safely out to lunch and back. I crossed roads with it. I need it. When I was young I had enough sight to get by with not using it much, but that was then and this is my reality in 2017.

Then something came along to grab my attention and make me see what I have in that “stick,” as so many call it.

I am thankful for perspective.

What’s on Kenyavision?

I am thankful I have even a little bit to give to someone with less.

I was looking for something, painfully moving through my week, and then this happened. I knew Lizzi had been on a work trip to Kenya and that it has had a profound affect on her ever since. I found out what she has been thinking about and I knew I needed to help.

I can’t help much, but with so much going on in the world, out of my control and making my heart hurt I needed to do this.

I am thankful for a brand new song by Lana Del Ray.

The girl doesn’t often brighten things up, not her style, but the music sure does have feeling.

It fit my mood at the time anyway.

And I am thankful for the show This Is Us because it helped me have a good cry, tonight, which I really needed.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, Travel

What’s on Kenyavision?

This was a tad painful for me to read, hearing what blindness is for those living in a different country than my own, but what a thing she’s doing here. I was travelling in Mexico the same week she was in Africa. I know our stories are so much different, but travelling truly opens your eyes. It’s what you allow yourself to see next that is up to you.u

Considerings

I stepped off the plane into the Nairobi night, expecting to be hit by a wall of heat, like I’d read in books. I was waiting for something akin to opening the door of a blast furnace and stepping inside, the cool, air-conditioned plane switched for a boiling inferno in spite of the late hour.

It was warm. Pleasantly so, but only warm.

I confess, I was the tiniest smidgen disappointed, but thought to myself that I would nonetheless make the best of things. I snuggled my jacket closer around me and descended the stairs, lugging my bag at the end of my tired arm. Walking across the tarmac, I breathed deeply – great lungfuls of warm air that smelled of heat and dust and fuel and…something almost spicy; an underlying, faint but very distinct difference to the air in England.

I grinned widely in spite of my tiredness. I…

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Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, Song Lyric Sunday, The Insightful Wanderer

It’s Simple Really, #SongLyricSunday

Yes, I’ve chosen another Cranberries selection for
Song Lyric Sunday
and anyone who knows me is not surprised I’m sure.

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This one is a love song, with February in full swing and now heading for its conclusion, and it even has a violin part in it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWSjksHySAk

It’s fairly simple, not too many lyrics this week, as in previous weeks I’ve chosen several wordy songs, which I suppose is the whole point of Song Lyric Sunday. This week, though, I just wanted something simply lovely in all its genuine simplicity.

***

All the things you said to me today, Change my perspective in every way. These things count to mean so much to me, Into my faith, you and your baby.
It’s out there. It’s out there. It’s out there. If you want me I’ll be here. [X2]
I’ll be dreaming my dreams with you. I’ll be dreaming my dreams with you. And there’s no other place, That I’d lay down my face. I’ll be dreaming my dreams with you.
It’s out there. It’s out there. It’s out there. If you want me I’ll be here… [X2]
I’ll be dreaming my dreams with you. I’ll be dreaming my dreams with you. And there’s no other place, That I’d lay down my face. I’ll be dreaming my dreams with you.
Dreaming my dreams with you. I’ll be dreaming my dreams with you. And there’s no other place, That I’d lay down my face. I’ll be dreaming my dreams with you.

LYRICS

***

I am finding this whole exercise a lot more emotional than I thought it would be today. I am not quite sure why that is. I’ve loved this band for a long time, so long as to see myself grow from a child, into the woman I am now.

I guess I hear this song, one I’ve loved for so long, and I don’t really know what to say about why I went with it, above most other songs I could have chosen, why it stood out and why I can’t really explain it in any concise way.

Dreams made real is an extremely difficult thing to do. When two people can find a way to make dreams come true, while still being together, this is the mystery that still gets to me every time. All you want is to reach for dreams, to come true, together, but to truly want to see dreams come true for someone you love, more than anything else is the part that chokes me up here.

It isn’t so easy to find. It’s a precious thing. I’m still trying to figure out how to make my own dreams possible. I don’t know how any of us find a person we want that for, so much, so much that simply being supportive of conquering dreams is all any of us could ever ask for, would be able to find such a thing, in ourselves and in another.

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Pieces of Peace, #PiecesOfPeace #FTSF

I’m sitting in a loud, dark, crowded bar on a Saturday night and I don’t belong here. I feel invisible and yet like I stand out, anyone who sees me sensing my feelings of not belonging, maybe not anywhere, but certainly not here. I am hear to listen to music sung with heart, guitar played with boundless talent, but I don’t fit in in this place. And so I begin to examine each individual bead on my little piece of Mexican memory and I feel like I am meant for something, somewhere, somehow.

***

I took it off the other day, likely to wash dishes or take a shower, and I couldn’t remember where I’d placed it when I went to put it back on. I panicked. It was a strange sort of panic I wasn’t expecting to feel.

It was like I was Gollum from Lord of the Rings when I couldn’t find my bracelet. I needed it. It is PRECIOUS to me.

***

It is how I find peace in these troubled times, times which test my patience with humanity and with my own patience with myself. Vicious circle.

A wise man with a long white beard made it. He chose it for me, out of a selection of other bracelets, and he placed it on my left wrist. He told me, in so many words, that writing is my destiny. All the new experiences I was having, making it all the way to Mexico on my own, I needed a little reassurance, in that moment, even though I’d started to feel it deep down, and he and his mosaic of art and wisdom came along at the perfect moment in time. His words and my bracelet came along, reflecting back at myself all that I can be and all that I already am.

***

Now, when my heart wants to jump out of my chest on a daily basis, when I hear news I want desperately to block out completely, the fingers of my right hand grasp and turn the beads on my left wrist. I turn the bracelet, every uniquely shaped and textured piece of colour and exquisite form over and over, around and around, breathing deeply and grabbing hold of the memories of those moments of peace I felt while I was away from home.

Thinking about the care and time that must have gone into making my newly acquired wearable piece of art, how someone even took the time at all, this brings me peace. I find peace from art, from a piece of jewelry or a piece of music created and played with passion.

This has been my story of finding pieces of peace wherever I can.

These pieces of art bring me a special brand of peace, one I’m currently finding it hard to obtain anywhere else, in any other way. Maybe, if I say the words piece/peace, again and again and again, just maybe I will feel just a little more of it.

And so, thank you to Mr. McLauchlin and the musicians and artists and peace bringers/makers of the world, for all that you’ve given me.

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Dangling On The Edge

Thanks Steph. Since this, I’ve learned, there are scarier things than hanging off the side of a tall tower. Still, this was a thrill I will never forget. I’d go back up there tomorrow if I could.

Bold Blind Beauty

“I get a little stuck on titles like meet the blind. I can’t help but feel that I am more than “the blind.” ~Kerry Kijewski, The Insightful Wanderer

Description is in the body of the post.Here’s a photo of my friend Kerry doing the EdgeWalk on the CN Tower in Toronto. The EdgeWalk is “the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk on a 5 ft (1.5 m) wide ledge encircling the top of the Tower’s main pod, 356 m/1168 ft (116 stories) above the ground.”

I get that most people who don’t have disabilities don’t want to do anything to offend those of us who do. However, when we refer to a group or an individual by their disability it’s demeaning because it takes away our personhood. “People First Language describes what the person HAS, not what the person IS.”

Image Description: Kerry, strapped into a harness and smiling, is literally hanging backward over the edge with her feet…

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INSIDE THE BLUR

She has hit the nail on the head here. It looks to me like the world is melting, melting away. I try to find beauty in all that is blurry. Beautiful words.

HASTYWORDS

There is beauty inside the blur:

dragonfly-699012_960_720Some days
The world is blurry
Looking as if it’s melting
Its turquoise skies into grass
While shades of molten glass
Swirl like mist around trees
And lonesome shadows
Joust with the light of day
The movement of life
Forming abstract shapes
And dancing like liquid clay
But that’s just some days
Because most days
I remember my contacts
And I can see clearly then

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Feeling With The Heart

In the spirit of the day.

Bold Blind Beauty

“Why do we close our eyes when we pray, cry, kiss, dream? Because the most beautiful things in life are not seen but felt only by the heart.”

The above quote has been attributed to Denzel Washington, however, I think it captures the spirit of the original quote by Helen Keller; “The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.”

Whether you do or whether you don’t observe Valentine’s Day just being alive today is reason enough to be grateful and celebrate.

Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day! Muah!💋

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Image Description: A decorative border on this Valentine’s Day card surrounds a bright red panel with a sparkly heart and a wish for a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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