Just Jot It January: Let’s Have No More of It #Countdown #SoCS #JusJoJan

I lied. I haven’t been writing here on the daily in January and this is actually Sunday, not Saturday, but I feel like writing stream of consciousness today. But I’ve been writing less this month than last year. Come this January, 2021 and I’m wandering aimless, arriving here yet again – most days, I no longer know what to say anyway.


I want us white people to stop denying and downplaying white supremacy, not only in one country but all over.

It worries me to know we have hateful people here in Canada too. It is a part of the book I’m currently reading. It’s called On Colour and it’s about colour in art, culture, in metaphor and in optical literalness.

I am on the chapter about the colour white, after red (my favourite) and blue and yellow and orange and grey and black and brown. I honestly need to read each colour designated chapter over again because I’ve already forgotten a lot of what I originally read.

I only know that something scary happened at the capitol building in Washington D.C. It was brought on by the still current president and he needs to go and we need to stop downplaying his influence…simply because it’s not so fun to think about.

It hurts to know that all those people were white, just like me. I don’t want to be associated with them, not by skin colour or anything else. I want them to go home and find a better hobby.

The white chapter talks about the symbolism in what’s been called the “Greatest American Novel” as they say, Moby-Dick. I tried to read it, by the way once, but didn’t get very far. It’s such an old novel, language so different from what I’m used to and it’s a long one, quite the commitment.

I struggle a lot with white and black and with blind because it’s all in the Bible and how do we push back against that, without seemingly going after an entire religion that’s existed for thousands of years?

Dark and black and blind aren’t bad things. They are worth knowing, experiencing, living. They are all better things than that wanna-be-dictator and his wretched family will ever be.

Up until now, his power in that Whitehouse has felt limitless and he’s had very few limits imposed on him. That’s why he wanted that position, not to help anybody or support any one of you.

He’s gone unchecked it’s felt like, but I hope some of that tide is turning with January 20th approaching.

Or, at least, that’s what many believe and keep telling me to reassure me.

This blog may seemingly be all posts about him this January, this 2021 year, but that’s because I’ve put up with him there for the last four years and I want him gone.

The Sky’s The Limit #JusJoJan

Or else it has been, but soon won’t be, or should not be certainly.

I am afraid for the future with all of what I’ve spoken of here, as much as I have hope things will improve because I choose to not be metaphorically blind to what I symbolically see happening right in front of my own eyes.

At the same time, I feel like I drive people away with this kind of talk and I feel lonely at the thought of it.

More than that, I can’t stay quiet and, if I’m saying things many don’t like hearing, it’s because I know they see what I don’t, that mob of white men and women who smashed windows and brandished those silly flags and made a mockery of that country and of all of us who are white, even those of us who oppose them and what they’re standing there for.

How would I feel if that happened in my country’s capitol building? How would you, you who aren’t “American”? How do you feel?

I have never been assaulted, sexually or otherwise, but I’ve heard the analogy of it when something like what happened Wednesday happens. It’s like you’re watching a part of you being assaulted, invaded, intruded on but with physical attacks, you can’t leave your own body and must live with it, the scene of the crime(s).

So I’m nervous, as I state for this recording, that this isn’t over and those who carry out white supremacist acts aren’t done because they were, for the most part, emboldened by what they got away with.

He’s quiet now, as his tool for spreading misinformation has been removed (Twitter), but I enjoyed that last period of relative silence from him in the days immediately following November 3rd and we know, from calls now released, what he was doing during those rare moments of calm in these last couple months.

He’s backed into a corner now and he’s using white supremacy to his benefit, the only one person he cares anything for, himself.

He thinks his power has no limits set on it. White people have been allowed to trample over all other places and races for far too long now.

I want it stopped. As someone who has benefited from it, I want to stop it, as I know what it’s like to be one of the marginalized and feeling completely powerless while so many have more than enough is an icky feeling.

I am trying to make it to my 37th birthday without there being more damage done in the name of the whiteness I carry in my skin and in my European heritage.

Justin Trudeau famously said of having a diverse government, it’s 2015, and now it’s 2021 and the next “US” president is on his way and making his cabinet more diverse as well.

The white race, the white man is being overrun by other races and genders and they are afraid too.

We’re all driven by fear and I want to be driven by love instead, something #45 knows not a thing about. He’s been deprived of it, since the day he was born, but as bad as I sometimes feel for that little boy he once was, even Hitler was a baby once.

I am not going to shy away from the comparison, as one journalist/politician recently wrote, but her and so many have resisted doing that for years and I want limits on any one man’s power in this world because power can and does currupt, even the most decent one among us.

Government like that in Canada can’t feel free to flout rules that the rest of us follow to help the hospitals not get overrun in a pandemic and politicians shouldn’t feel free to help themselves to limitless exceptions. They should stay home for once. Do their jobs and not get privileges from it; that erodes the trust the rest have in those running our nations.

It all ends up in the same place, as we can see if we really choose to see it.

Our white skin means nothing over any other. Just because a Bible verse says something about darkness being bad and whiteness being pure and good doesn’t mean anything to me.

As writer, I love words that mean multiple things and colour has been no exception, but I want to write better. I want to love colours, as much as I miss them, for what they are and they are simply colour.

I want us all to live in peace and so much of what religious text says gives people excuses to act badly toward others if they’re different. It trickles down and I’m being hit with it, like when a droplet of spit from someone talking hits you on the lip and you wipe it away in disgust, as reflex.

I want to hear about religion that treats all life with respect or else we, as a species, we have nothing at all.

And this doesn’t even get me started on groups like the police who’ve been built on white supremacy and colonization, here and all places.

No wonder Indigenous people in Canada and elsewhere do not have any faith in the government or in the police or any other organization, those given the responsibility of protecting and serving others.

I don’t say, to de-fund the police, but to see where the need is and to take power and dominance out of the equation going forward because, of course, we can’t go back and change the past.

My ability to go on and on here is sometimes limitless, as jotting seems to allow, but I need an outlet and this is it, when my voice falters and I want to hide away from everything.

I’m off to explore my back yard for an online nature writing class I’m taking virtually in the next few months. I hope they will be better, that I can focus on the natural world that functions just as it should.

I want to listen to the flocks of Canada geese that congregate in the park near my house, in the skies that are limitless to them as they fly.

I want to pay attention to the single crow in my yard and listen for what it might be trying to tell us in the starkness of this winter day.

1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, Kerry's Causes, Memoir Monday, Piece of Cake, Special Occasions, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

Just Jot It January: BRAILLE IS STILL NECESSARY #WorldBrailleDay2021 #JusJoJan

I am so thankful for my fingertips. They allow me to read at night. They gravitate toward those little bumps (paper braille or electronic), flying along over the words beneath. They read the words in the books I love and write the dots, the cells that become the words I must express in my writing.

In 2020, while it was a tough year for many things, I did pretty well with writing and submitting. I was published in Oh Reader, a magazine all about reading I have an essay in and I wrote it about my love of braille.


I burnt one fingertip on a burner a few years ago and I immediately worried I would damage that finger, ruining the level of sensitivity I’ve developed over the years, since learning braille as a child.

Today I attended a Zoom event to celebrate Louis Braille on what would have been his 212th birthday. This event included a children’s braille story, a reader who was blind, reading a print/braille book called Harry’s Hiccups by Jean Little. Another reader handled the image descriptions.

Growing up, my mom didn’t wait to find the few print/braille children’s stories available somewhere. She went ahead and made her own, taking picture books and adding the lines of braille herself.

The books we had were braille, the words, but the pictures, it was up to the sighted parents or whatever to describe anything in the pictures that the story’s words didn’t already explain or point out.

That might be something most haven’t thought of. We didn’t think of it, when I was a kid or grown either, for years, but image descriptions for images (social media) is a big thing now and audio description on television and film and even live plays etc.

After today’s story time, there were panels with people from
National Network For Equitable Library Service
Braille Literacy Canada
Vision Impaired Resource Network
, and others.

They talked about what braille is, what it means in their lives, and how technology is teaming up with braille, not replacing it.

That part always gets me worked up. People ask if braille is still necessary because we have smart phones, tablets, screen readers, and audiobooks. Also, educators tell parents and children who have some vision left that they should stick to reading large print, that they don’t need to learn braille, but to me this is a lazy and a negligent thing to do. It is because disability has a stigma attached to it still, including things like braille in that.

It’s a human right to learn braille for all people who can’t see to read and write print. If they learn now, they have it if or when they might need it because even if a child is low vision now, that doesn’t mean they always will be. I had low vision and could read large print. I learned my print letters, how to write cursive, and read large print books. I also was taught braille. I owe my parents and my braille teacher and braille transcriber. They fought school boards and officials who wouldn’t have bothered with the time or the expense of hiring a teacher. I would suddenly lose more vision when I was twelve. It’s nearly all gone now and I’m so glad I know braille.

Braille is literacy, no matter how far technology has come. So is braille still relevant in 2021? I want that awful question to stop being asked, by anyone. Nobody would deny children the access to learning to read and write when we’re talking sighted children and print. Well, braille is my print and I see young children and the next generations coming along and technology isn’t the answer alone.

I wish braille were more common in society. It’s appearing on signs now, buttons in elevators, and yet I want braille/print books in the library, for all children to get accustomed to, instead of thinking some separate organization for the blind will handle it. I want to be included in my local library with everyone else. As a kid, I could see enough that I did feel included, loved going to the library, but now I am an adult and I don’t feel welcome in my library at all.

Of course, it’s pandemic times and libraries are often closed in lockdowns, but the only reason I was stepping foot in my town’s library before that was to attend a writing group I was in, where I had friends who I’d found who loved writing and stories like I do, but a meeting with the library CEO in 2019 was fruitless and frustrating because he should want to do what he could for a library patron.

Instead, I was told I had something, one option, and I should be happy with that. Other people get options, but we who are blind should be happy we have anything at all I guess he was saying.

As you can probably tell, I am emotional about all this and I can get worked up when I feel braille is portrayed as this daunting, scary, even unnecessary thing. It isn’t another language. It’s a code for writing and reading and it matters to many people around the world, just like sign language matters to many of those who are deaf.

Anyway, I could go on jotting about this for days, but I’ll just say that a group of people trying to all sing Happy Birthday to Louis together over Zoom at one time sounds silly and feels silly too, but that’s how much we care, what that man’s work over two-hundred years ago has meant to us.

I feel badly because I didn’t remember we’d had
this conversation
one year ago.

Such a busy year. So much has happened since then and I am embarrassed that I didn’t think of it, as I really appreciate that Linda remembered. I’d written about braille for JusJoJan on this exact date a year ago too which is what started it all and led us here this year.

I’m so grateful for Linda’s support (for braille and in checking out and promoting the radio show/podcast I do to speak about things like braille, technology, and equal access).

And Happy Birthday Louis.

1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, SoCS, Spotlight Saturday

Just Jot It January: Time Out #PandemicEdition #SoCS #JusJoJan

My hope for 2021 (and many other’s hopes as well) would be to see this virus kicked to the proverbial curb, just as #45 was in their elections). Hopefully, by the end of this year, COVID-19 will be on its way out, along with (hopefully beginning of year for #45).

I know he lost, not according to him, but he did. And now I’m waiting for his exit from his position/status on top of the world.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

I guess this viewpoint could cost me a few readers here, but in this case, I can’t care about that. I need to speak out on this man here, more than/over any politics I could discuss. He is no king and never will be. I need to be able to look back, years from now, at this blog and see that I spoke out about the damage he’s inflicted.


I was inspired to write my second go at
Just Jot It January #JusJoJan
with an image of #45 in the corner.

When I was growing up, often I’d visit a friend from school. We’d have sleep overs and swim in her above ground pool. She had three younger siblings and one of them would get in trouble while I was there and into the corner they’d go.

I didn’t have this parental technique in my house growing up and so I was intrigued by it, as punishments go. Every family was different in how they disciplined their children like in any other generation.

Go stand in the corner to reflect on what you did wrong. I think, as January 20th approaches, this image of that man in the corner stands out.

Not that he’ll do any such thing, real image being slightly amusing and symbolically, he would need to stand there a long time to satisfy me. There are worse punishments, things people experience every day. He has been getting away with so much crap for so long now. He is, sadly, too far gone to ever come back to decency.

It’s like how people in positions of power over the lives of others (politicians) here in Canada are in need of a bit of time in the corner themselves. The finance minister here in Ontario was caught vacationing over the holidays, somewhere tropical. He came home, in shame, which is supposed to be bad because we’re told that people never learn that way, but he isn’t a child. He should have known. He did know it was wrong to do while people back here are trying to stay afloat and following a rule in today’s society that helps stop the spread of a nasty virus. Then, it was discovered that another politician, in Alberta this time, she was found out doing the same sort of thing. But no punishment (no standing in the corner for her), right Alberta’s prime minister?

People are upset because the same rules don’t seem to apply for those with power and thus a high desire for them to be responsible as they apply for the rest. The rich/poor gap does feel extremely prominent these days.

I am writing every day on this blog in January, except for every Wednesday when I’ll take a break, but I’m doing this to be able to look back on this time period we’re all experiencing together: same boat but all looking through different portholes. Or we’re all inside a submarine and we’re all looking through the scope at slightly separate moments in time.

The years of #45 at the top of the world practically are, hopefully, coming to an end and he isn’t very happy about it. I, on the other hand, I grin about it multiple times a day now, when I’m not letting dread cloud over that glee, at the thought that it’s not quite over just yet and some seem hell bent on extending our misery, with this so-called leader’s ungraceful exit.

I don’t normally admit to that kind of pleasure, in another’s downfall as you might say, but this is my exception to the rule, rules this man has never had to follow like the rest of us and now, by some, following rules in our society is considered weak and sheepish which I just don’t get at all.

I’ll end by saying I am one of those who hasn’t seen Dirty Dancing all the way through. I don’t know if it’s a particularly blind friendly movie. Or is it that it was from a very specific decade, time period in the 80’s and I wasn’t there to experience it all live, in its glory, as I was not even six at the time.

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” Isn’t that what Patrick said in that dreamy role of his? #Rip

Where’s a certain friend’s mother when we need her to put this man in the corner, not some vague-to-me Dirty Dancing line, but he has been compared to a baby plenty, with all his tantrums – okay, so put “baby in the corner” for a time out for a long long while.


Just Jot It January: Stage Fright #JusJoJan #CovidPandemicEdition

Such an odd year, celebrating New Year’s Eve 2020 in really none of the usual ways of all other years.

Happy 2021 and here’s to the start of this
January blogging tradition
again for…I’ve lost count, but I think for these last five years of my involvement anyway. (Check out the link just above for rules on how the #JusJoJan works.):


I’ve been working on a journal to record down my observations for when I look back one day on this whole time in my history and that of the world. I will record down my observations and feelings about the things the whole world, practically, es experiencing. (It doesn’t always have to be strictly about Covid, but for the month of January, I will do that here.):

Dear Grandma … is how I start out each new day I write on.

I’m starting with New Year’s Day and how that’s the start of something, no matter its significant worth. It’s as good a place to start as any.

I’m watching The Crown on Netflix finally. I am always behind on such cultural fascinations, but watching that and the character/actor who plays the current queen’s father (showing the last months of the king’s life before he died and Elizabeth then becomes Queen), as that’s the man who was featured in The King’s Speech about his stutter, I always seem to be interested in royals and how their lives really must be so controlled and procedural.

I look to escape into a nice mixture of shows I’ve seen before (when I’m looking for familiarity and anxiety control) and then with new shows to be able to watch something I don’t see coming, plot wise anyway. The latter keeps me paying attention consistently.

I love the casting choices such as John Lithgow as Winston Churchill in the series.

I watch speeches made from William and Harry and their partners. I listen to Queen Elizabeth and her usual Christmas message. I know that even royals can feel the pressures of a pandemic, seeing how that will land. Things this Christmas weren’t as they had been in previous years, and not of the queen’s life even.

They all give speeches, like politicians give speeches, but how seriously do we take any of it?

I think about the speech I gave, in the eighth grade, as every year students had to write speeches and present them up in front of the rest of the class, a few moving on to redoing it in front of an assembly full of our peers and teachers.

I didn’t get that far, but I did mine, in my final year of school before moving on to high school, about the kidney transplant I’d had barely six months earlier and the anti-rejection medications that go along with it every day and their side effects which may very.

Well, I come back around here in my first just jot it post of 2021 because I’m rusty and have to find my groove, hopefully before the month is finished.

I do, now, write about the news of vaccines for this virus as my first JusJoJan post (though I’m certain it won’t be the last) because I first thought of a movie with today’s prompt word as one of the words in the movie’s title, first. Since I’m watching The Crown now, as distraction from the pandemic, I thought it all still applies.

I think I will be able to get vaccinated, one of these months in 2021, but I’m waiting it all out a little more first. I guess the studies done on transplant patients with low immune systems, made low using certain medications, these studies aren’t really common, yet. I know the lack of studies making pregnant women and those thinking of becoming so, not to mention people who have experienced serious/life threatening allergic reactions, rather cautious at this time. This doesn’t even scratch the surface on vaccination deniers.

Caution is good, but I have lots of experience with needles from all that dialysis and from transplantation and so that isn’t the issue.

I don’t have to go first, thankfully I guess.

I don’t come off sounding like I’m making some speech about exercising caution, especially concerning physical health.

I don’t say any of this with any pleasure, as I want to do my part and get vaccinated as soon as it’s my turn, but I know lots of people are being cautious. Me, not so much of that, as I guess I’ll let my doctors be the cautious professionals. I’ll be nervous to actually have it done when the time does come, not because I’m afraid of needles but because this all just feels so cinematic in the times we’re living through.

I can’t believe it is 2021 already. I hope I can get the vaccine sometime between this January and the next one and I’ll compare notes during that January, the JusJoJan for 2022.

1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, Poetry, Special Occasions

Lighting Up A Dark Season: Anniversary of the Tumble He Took

Here’s a little story, about a guy who took a terrible tumble only days before Christmas, 2015.

His family hurried to his bedside and found their son/brother/uncle was zombie-like, not making sense when he communicated back at all. He wasn’t the guy they knew.

But even while waiting in hospital wards and in hospital waiting rooms with television on in the background for a bit of distraction, his loved ones wondered if he’d make it home for Christmas, while he recuperated and slowly began to wake up.

Check out this holiday themed tune that my brother and I released yesterday and a Happy Holiday Season to you all:

Lighting Up a Dark Season

I took a piece of music, already created, and I wrote lyrics to it. Then, nothing happened with the song for a whole year, until we got on the project for a rather unconventional and gloomy Christmas, 2022 and it feels fitting somehow.

We’re calling our particular creative project Ski Patrol. Again and again this may come up, but no…we are not writing music about skiing. I’d like to try it once, but haven’t yet.

We are siblings who write and create and play music and our last name ends with ski.

My sibling creates for other projects and has for years. I am finally able to get my writing set to song, his songs. Again, like with podcasting, we make a good team.

vocalist: Imogen Wasse

Percussionist: Alex Rolston

Song idea, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, synth, and producer: Brian Kijewski

And lyrics by me! Kerry Kijewski

If you want to support a group of musicians, give
a listen and help support some related artists who make quality music.

December 21st was the winter solstice and I love this time of year, but January looks like it’s going to be a long, difficult and gloomy month, until we can get ahead of this pandemic. So why not put on a little music to help get through to February and beyond.


Long and Strange #SoCS

I had to write today, to log this day on my blog, as the day my heavy heart was lightened for the first time in four years.

What a long strange four years it’s been too. I am exhausted and feel like I could sleep for a month straight for my body to be able to recover.


What a
this has been with how low pieces of the US would go for their power.

I don’t have much to say that I haven’t already said, but I feel lots of things from giddy to still afraid #45 or those he’s convinced to stand by him, I still fear what they are capable of. I don’t mean to dampen anyone’s celebratory revelling. I do plan to open something bubbly today, but I’m not sure what it will take for the knot in my stomach to fully unclench. I hope this is a pivoting point, but this man has spent his whole life blaming anyone else and taking people to court to try to achieve his aims. He’s not accepting this and I do hope that will be irrelevant, sooner if not later.

I don’t know how to get over a divide this wide frankly. I wish I did.

It’s like the Covid-19 issue for many, the economy most important to some, but there’s a bigger issue going on here, a public health issue. Doctors and nurses are saying they could easily enough become overcrowded or overrun and people at home think government around the world got together to control all citizens of the world. You can’t ignore a virus like this. It won’t stop for you or me or anyone.

We couldn’t ignore what was happening these four years, but now #45 can live in his own made-up reality for a while, but the rest of us are getting on with it.

I read a book about fairy tales and disability recently and in that the author revisits the tale of the emperor and a new pair of royal clothes he was presented with. The story feels fitting, but like some huckster who has a sort of hypnotic persuasion over people. What is it about some people that makes them so close to God for some?

I could tell some how #45 wasn’t wearing some fancy royal clothes, no clothes at all in fact, and they’d still swear by him and how Godly he is.

I don’t know what’s next, 2020 I can only guess, but I will celebrate with family in any ways possible during a pandemic because I’ve been so scared and I’ve been so heartsick.

Sometimes the silent #45 is even worse than the blustering one, as long as he has yes people all around him, he will go on living in a different world than the one we’re all now gladly living in.

I didn’t realize I’d been holding my breath since 2016 and now I let that breath out, take some deep ones, as I continue to be so super grateful for the deep breaths I still can take.

Minorities like bipoc can’t take the same kind of collective sigh as we all can. I was afraid for minorities. The problems, systemic, these aren’t gone like magic and never seen again. This is the end of something, possibly, with much certainty, but I will go on speaking my truth and other people will as well.

If I never have to hear that man’s voice again, it’ll be too soon, just fine by me.


TToT: Protest Song Edition – Beetle juice or Beetlejuice? #DumpTrump #10Thankful

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it. The whole story doesn’t show.”

—Andrew Wyeth

Ten Things of Thankful #10Thankful

I am thankful for friends and quotes and friends who send me quotes.


I am thankful for protest music. Some of these songs, I can get my feelings out, like I’m saying it all to the one I’m directing it toward, not that such folk would listen to me anyway.

I like the first song I’ve included because it’s a soulful and funky bass of a song that feels like some sort of warning, from the past and the future, from the mind of Barack Obama. It’s lyrics are simply stunning. Check it out, from This American Life, if you haven’t heard it or also, if you have.

I am thankful for this time of year, even if it does include Daylight Savings, turning the clocks back. As my chosen quote says above, I don’t quite dread the coming season like many do. And I am also, along with all that, thankful for a full moon at this time of year, or any time really because I won’t get tired of looking up at it, when I can spot it that is. I stood out on Halloween, the air was frigid but calm, and I had to search to locate it. With my dwindling remaining sight, I sometimes take a while to see where I should be looking a certain direction. My left eye is a prosthesis and my right eye sees so little now. I have extreme tunnel vision and so where someone points a finger or turns my head isn’t where my eye sees. It’s kind of silly and I find the humour in that, but I am thankful again and every time I see the moon because I never know when the last time will be the last time I see that. It could be a streetlight for all I know sometimes, but it is a bright spot in a night sky, as black as my nephew’s Halloween beetle juice (Beetlejuice) concoction.

I am thankful for new episodes of my favourite shows, This Is Us and Private Eyes. One is more of a distraction than the other, but both so good and satisfying. And I’m thankful for Jason Priestley’s teenage daughter in Private Eyes, one of the best portrayals of a character who is blind. And they don’t make a big flipping deal about it either. She’s one of the cast of characters, doing her thing and being a teenager, but she is one of the coolest in the cast with her white cane and her braille and her lovely personality. It can only help with blindness and disability representation.

I did another virtual yoga class. I haven’t done one of those in a while. As I did it, struggling once again with how to focus on my breathing, but as I did the stretches, I again thought about how thankful I am to be able to take deep, clean breaths of air. As I hear from those who’ve had Covid-19, I know many live with breathing problems, but that’s one thing I’ve managed to avoid and I’d rather not have to start now. I am thankful for every precious breath.

Speaking of sky…

I am thankful for a piano performance of You Don’t Know Me, a classic but I won’t include any link to a version of the song. I can’t find one I like more than I did the performance I was treated to. I listened to the tinkling of the keyboard’s notes, closed my eyes, and felt peace for a few minutes.

Thank you Sky.

I am thankful, to be heading to New Zealand this month. Okay, well not really, but virtually with a virtual travel class. Necessary in these times.

I am thankful to have a new violin teacher prospect. I’m meeting with her on Zoom this afternoon and I am full of anxious, nervous anticipation. It’s the day in general, of course, but I thought what better day than this to face my fear, having been out of violin lessons in the last year-and-a-half since my last teacher left. I’m going to be anxious today anyway.

I am thankful for Halloween because I could enjoy a simple holiday before the real nightmare becomes possible, again.


I am tired of feeling helpless, of being made to feel useless in wanting to help make the better world that I seek.

I am thankful for all those, all around the world, who don’t give up when they’d be completely understood if they did, like the ongoing protests in Belarus or the women standing up for their rights in Poland. Or for all going on in the US, even the protestations that have been or are or will be going on in times going forward. I’m thankful for the power I do have, to fix the feeling useless problem, and I’m super thankful for everyone else discovering empowerment, whatever that looks like where you are.

I am afraid, but I am thankful to be aware that fear is a common human state, but in my last protest song of this post, I go from feeling afraid, alone, to asking my neighbouring country: Seriously and I never know whether to put a question mark or an exclamation point.

In this final protest song, on this day that will live on in history because what happens in the US makes a difference in the rest of the world, like ripples in a pond – Demi Lovato sings: “How does it feel, to still, be able to breathe?”


I’m thankful it is no longer 2016: “No man’s ignorance will ever be his virtue. Is this the best we can be? Seriously?”


1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Piece of Cake, RIP, SoCS, Special Occasions, Spotlight Saturday, TravelWriting

Scary Scary Halloween #FightTheFear #HocusPocus #RIPSirBond #SoCS

I want to not be afraid. I want the knot in my stomach and the clenched fist in my heart and the nagging in my head to be held at bay. But how?

Thoughts. Fears. Prayers. It’s all a lot of no good.

I wonder, on this final weekend where October and November meet, what exactly is the
to how I may accomplish that.


Notice, I do not place a question mark at the end of it because I know I, as a Canadian, that I can’t do much to help relieve myself of all I’ve been feeling. I know that some questions aren’t meant to be questions because I’m not going to get answers that suffice.

Not this weekend at least.

I try to focus on the light hearted fun of Halloween today, but I want to scream from world and North American events specifically, not some silly haunted house.

I Am horrified and I wish it were only horrified that my darling nephew loves his awful Jason, zombies, and vampires

Instead of the real and lasting decisions from world leaders and politicians and so many that stay silent, even with mouth hanging open wide in horror.

What is the answer to my dread at this point?

Halloween will come and go, tomorrow we’ll wake up having lost an hour, and I will wait to see what November brings.

All I can do is be here and watch what happens, all while I’m left viewing things out of my own ability to influence. It feels like slowly sliding down into a dangerously bottomless casm and I’m powerless to hold on.

If November brings worse news than I’m daring to really believe such a thing could happen, I don’t know what I’ll feel or do.

I’m listening to protest songs this weekend because I know art has power for good and for change.

Who are the gatekeepers who let the dangerous humans through?

Honestly? Seriously?

Honestly. Seriously. I say to myself, and I sigh.

I hate to speak dramatically because I know it sounds alarmist and radical. Ooh, what a scary word is radical, but I feel fear pushing me into a future I don’t want to live to see and I can’t bare to keep it in.

So those who think I’m being dramatic, both those who know me and love me, along with anyone else who might come across these words, I throw my hands up and I sigh because I want to wake up and feel something else, anything else but what I’ve been feeling since #45 went from some ridiculous reality TV star to commander in chief.

I wrote about my fears last time, in those weeks before November the last time.

I wrote about the misogyny coming at #45’s running mate, last time.

I wrote about what giving him power, real power would say to him, would give him a green light for, last time.

I wrote about my, it turns out, justified fear, last time.

I wrote about all this, the last time, while Lenard Cohen passed away, while his words gave me comfort, even when I’d always felt unable to connect with his voice, no matter how iconic and how poetic.

I practiced my violin and went out to dinner, the night #45 was to be elected, still being free to openly eat dinner out. I saw the writing on the wall, last time.

I drank and I waited.

I had a successful time of it, these last four years, for me anyway and that all was a big deal to me. I did well and I am safe in Canada, but Canada is, four years later, far too close geographically for my liking.

I wish we could put a bit more distance between our two countries now, but our border is used by many, even still.

Any thoughts that a pandemic would show up, now, I did not think it would be now. I did think that, if given four years with such outrageous power, that would swell his head so intensely that we’d have to work even harder to dislodge him from a place he has no business (businessman though he is) in being.

I’ve never been a reality TV fan. In fact, I think the rise in reality TV culture got the worst person, unfit to be a president, where he is today. I could have gone on, rarely being made to think of him and I can’t tell you how disgusted I am at a country who would put him in such a position of power, and put me in this position of having him shoved in my face, in control of so much right across that border.

I have other things going on. In this country, I can go on and not let the elections of another country distract me all that much if I so choose.

But now you tell me how.

I want no trick-or-treat, but only to know the trick to not being afraid.

And now Sir Sean Connery, Bond, has died.

It’s odd to think of those who’ve recently died, RBG and now Bond for example. It’s strange to think of anyone who was here of late and now will not be here to see what’s to come, whatever it may be.

Today the organization I am a part of (the Canadian Federation of the Blind) is having an Eat The Fear Halloween event.

Of course it’s virtual, as covid is 2020, but it works because blindness and fear often go hand in hand.

This day is all about fear, fearing scary movies and gory costume choices.

This will go on until October ends, until those clocks jump back an hour, giving me one extra hour of fear while I wait everything out, but all the fears I have I would like not to have. I am not in a movie or in some dream.

I recently got into a travel writer by the name of Dervla Murphy, an Irish writer and chance taker and she and I are nothing alike.

She went places I won’t go. She did things I wouldn’t do. She biked from Ireland to India, took her young daughter overseas with her.

It’s fear that she speaks about that has had me reeling since I read her words. She does not fear any bridge until she comes to it. Oh, how to not fear the bridges I’ve not yet come to?

I have family members much better at this, better like Murphy, but not me.

Happy Halloween!

1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Bucket List, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Podcast, RIP, TGIF, TravelWriting, TToT, Writing

TToT: Back After A Long While #OctoberSurprise #BlindnessAwarenessMonth #10Thankful

I could have posted my favourite quote about the month I most love, but that “October” quote from Lucy Maud Montgomery has been added here in previous years. I will stick to my own words today.

I’ve been out of this gratitude post activity for months now. I still practice gratitude in my head and in my heart, but I have my moments of self pity and fear also and so I wanted to break that block I had which kept getting in my way of sharing here.

Ten Things of Thankful #10Thankful

I am thankful for this, my favourite month. The air is fresher and crisper and cleaner than the earthiness of spring or the humid, heavy heated air of summer in southwestern Ontario. Winter is good also, with the smell of snow in the air all around, like a snow globe. I look forward to that, though I worry about people I love who find the long, dark months of winter a challenge to their mental health and energy levels.

I am thankful for my yearly seasonal fresh apples. They are giant, some I call pumpkin apples. They are special and tart/sweet and so crisp and sour at times. I am thankful for those who pick them from the apple trees this time of year.

I am thankful for how Canada is mostly pulling together and facing this pandemic with grace and a common goal of staying healthy, as many of us as possible. I lay low and protect myself, as I’m on my way to 25 years with my father’s kidney come 2022. Those I love are staying safe too.

I’m thankful for staying close to family during such strange times. I am lucky to have parents who taught their four children respect and love for the gift of a sibling, brother or sister, for the different things they bring to the table of sibling closeness. Our parents know they won’t always be here and how important it is to keep growing a bond with a sibling, no matter where life takes any one of us four. We’re here for each other and I don’t see that changing, but I hope I can do my part to keep the bonds strong.

I’m thankful each sibling and I have talks and they each keep me sane, in different ways, at different moments when I might be struggling to voice my concerns and fears over the state of things. I tend to let my imagination run wild with these things, am frightened for what’s to come in the US especially in the coming months. It’s hard here too, as helpless as I feel because I can’t contribute a vote against the man currently occupying the people’s house there in DC. I can only watch from up here, in horror and disgust and embarrassment for it all and the still real possibility that it could go worse still.

I am thankful for a more successful year for me, compared to 2019, dangerously contagious unknown virus that has come upon us in 2020 notwithstanding. I’ve started doing what’s called sensitivity reads for a children’s publisher in Toronto and now an accessibility review for a science journalist who was presenting at some sort of UK science journalism conference. She wanted to do all she could to make her slide presentation, with its images and alt text on those images accessible for everyone and needed someone with a screen reader to look everything over. I feel like I am doing my part in this world to improve accessibility for myself, others with the same needs as I have and that’s something at least..

I am thankful the show I do with my brother is
now available
in more places than one. We’ve had some incredible guests on the show in recent weeks and we’re not done yet.

I’m thankful for the nature documentaries on Netflix I’ve had to escape into for distractions lately.

Most of what’s available on Netflix now is audio described, allowing me to imagine the scenes of wildlife and the natural world in my mind as I’m listening.

Watching these, I felt peaceful for a brief but necessary break in my day, but also I’ve been reminded why I love nature (my religion) and the need for action to protect it.

I’m thankful I have an essay
about Braille
I wrote, published in my third print book, not counting the
I now have my name on as assistant-editor over the last year or so.


I probably should have confirmed, but I’m unfortunately unsure I can post the correct photo description, as I am unsure which one I went with here. I just chose one from my photos, one from that day, something with the print magazine my essay is in, me holding it or it being open and showing the page with my name or my story on it.

I’m thankful for the Women Who Travel online study course I’ve been taking, for the virtual walk around New Zealand next month, and the nature writing class I’m taking in January, 2021, all of which give me something meaningful to focus on, to work on, and to use as inspiration until I can travel again one day.

I’m thankful for the recent online fiction writing class I started, every Friday night until right before Christmas. It will keep me accountable..

Though we don’t know what will be by the time Christmas and the end of this wild year arrives, but until then I am doing my best to get by.

So, if you ask me that usual, general question from now until at least 2021 and the hope of a possible COVID-19 vaccine is perfected, even if I sigh, suck it up and answer “fine,” I won’t exactly be fine, but I’m doing what I can to stay hopeful and sometimes I fall back into that trap of answering in a way as to not make others feel uncomfortable to continue any further talk with me.

Thank you, Kristi and everyone, for still being here to show me the way on staying as accountable to being thankful as humanly possible and a recent Happy Birthday to our hostess here at the TToT.

And finally, this is a shot of my pal before I had to say goodbye and have him put down last month.


RIP and I’m glad there’s no more suffering for you. Staying positive here, as best I can. There’s always something to be thankful for.