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Meeting on Match

During the weeks now I have decided to take a break from blogging myself, focussing on my writing for other avenues, but I still like to share posts like this when I find them because they are about things that matter and things that I believe must be addressed.

blindbabeintheburg

My husband and I have been married now for four-and—half years, but I will never forget the pitted fear that I would never find a husband, marrie, and have children because of my blindness.  How would a guy ever see past my disability and view me desirably and as an equally contributing partner?  I had dated both sighted and blind men, but I am well aware that a significant amount of men in high school and college probably never gave me the time of day because I was blind.

I have learned that I was far from alone in my fear.  Just yesterday I read in my Facebook feed that a friend was cruelly told point blank by a guy that he could never dream of even contemplate dating her because she was blind.  As I read this, I felt a sharp stab of rejection, and honestly can’t stop thinking…

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Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections

Happy Places

It’s the perfect night for this. Could sure use my happy place right about now.

Baby Gates Down

So this came on the radio tonight as I was driving the girls somewhere:

And I was immediately seven years old again.

And underwater.

And. So. Happy.

My parents used to take us to open swim every weekend at this pool that used to play music through the underwater speakers.

And when I wasn’t playing in the hot tub, or racing between the sauna and the pool with my father because I’d been told switching between hot and cold was “good for the pores”, I was underwater in the main pool, by the speaker, listening to the music.

Floating, weightless, the rest of the world muffled, except for the music.

It was pure bliss.

And this is the song I associate with that feeling.

Because at the time, it was big, and playing on the radio every weekend we were there.

I could feel myself smiling – and relaxing – in the car…

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, Song Lyric Sunday

Hello Darkness… #SongLyricSunday

Hello darkness, my old friend

I’ve come to talk with you again

Because a vision softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains

Within the sound of silence

Song Lyric Sunday

Such a difficult choice.

Here is the theme for the week.

So many songs, made up of powerful lyrics, to choose from.

Hmm.

Well, if you hadn’t guessed by the sampling of lyrics at the beginning of this post, here is the song and its remaining words.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zLfCnGVeL4

I’d known of this song of course, but it wasn’t until it appeared in a film about the night Robert Kennedy was assassinated, that came out about ten years ago, I never would have heard its words and felt their meaning so deeply.

***

And in the naked light I saw

Ten thousand people, maybe more

People talking without speaking

People hearing without listening

People writing songs that voices never share

No one dare

Disturb the sound of silence

***

It’s fifty years since that assassination, but things feel similar, with the racial tensions in the US lately. How much really changes?

Okay okay, I shouldn’t leave it like that. Change does happen, however painfully slowly it might do.

Lyrics for Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”

“Fools” said I, “You do not know

Silence like a cancer grows

Hear my words that I might teach you

Take my arms that I might reach you

”But my words like silent raindrops fell

And echoed in the wells of silence

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, The Blind Reviewer, The Insightful Wanderer, Travel, TToT

TToT: Sadness, Euphoria, Sul Ponticello – “BELIEVE ME!” #Disbelief #10Thankful

“Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. a
link hashtag happiness
weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one.

It would explode high in the air — explode softly — and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth — boxes of Crayolas.

And we wouldn’t go cheap, either — not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest.

And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.

~ Robert Fulghum

With all the reality TV run amuck this week, disguised as politics. With an unarmed mental health worker getting shot, right in front of his autistic client. With violence in Munich and Afghanistan and Syria.

I read the above quote and the image of that made me want to spread colour and vibrance and imagination. It made me want to create.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

That I am not American in 2016.

I don’t mean that to come off sounding disrespectful to anyone I know there.

I just do not know how things have arrived at where they are. I can’t do anything about it. I feel like I am taking a front row seat to the spectacle of this election and I am afraid, so I tell myself I am thankful that I have at least some distance.

It’s not all that comforting frankly, but I’m just starting my TToT list. I’ve got nine more to go.

To be a Canadian, living here in Canada.

Honestly, as much as I do love a lot about the US and highly respect many people there, I am thankful to be living in this country.

I say it, I think it, and I feel it in my heart, any way you slice it. Luck of the draw. Again, the comfort is short lived, but it’s something. I don’t know what else to say.

I couldn’t resist the line in the title of this week’s TToT, the one the GOP nominee kept repeating: “Believe Me!” and I don’t. I just can’t believe what I’m hearing.

For a Canadian, female writer, whose blog I love to check in on.

“To be responsible is to be forced to confront vulnerability. That is my observation about growing up, generally. The older I get, the more fragile the structures around me seem. The more tenuous. The more invented , in a way. What I mean is that the security of everything I hold precious and dear, even my beliefs, is supported by a certain level of cognitive dissonance, but also by the suspension of disbelief. To dig in, to help build, to get my hands dirty, to make or unmake, is, for me, to witness the complexity and arbitrariness of experience, of life itself, against which there can be no absolute assurances of safety and security.”

Carrie Snyder – Welcome To My Office

She has taught me a lot and continues to teach me, including the fascinating resources she often shares with her readers.

In this post.

She writes about having lost her own physical voice from illness, but I believe it speaks to a bigger way in which so many people feel like they don’t have a voice to speak up for themselves.

For comedians who make me smile when the sadness threatens to overtake me.

Brexitbot 3000

Speaking of British comedy…there’s nothing better than Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver being interviewed by Jerry Seinfeld, for his show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”.

With Oliver’s signature British humour and Jerry’s own unique brand of comedy, which he’s perfected for these fascinating interviews he conducts, with the sound of a soft trickle of coffee being poured in between clips of their coffee shop chatter and banter.

http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/john-oliver-what-kind-of-human-animal-would-do-this

For the developing of my violin muscle memory and “sul ponticello”..

I’m loving the possibilities and more of the terms I’m learning.

Sul ponticello is a style of playing, where you move the bow up closer to the bridge of the violin. It makes a higher sound with harmonics, or so I’m told and have read.

It’s like what’s often said about writing. It’s important to know the rules so they can be broken properly. I’m getting there.

That I can apply for a passport to see the world.

Who knows what will be going on in the world at any later date.

When I do use my newly acquired passport for the first time, who knows who will be running the country I will be flying over to get to Mexico.

So many people are afraid to travel, to leave the familiar of their everyday surroundings, thanks to perpetrators of violence and intolerance and the spreading of fear. I am lucky I can apply for a little booklet which allows me to explore place away from my immediate home.

Of course, I must pay attention to the very real concerns I face as a visually impaired traveler, while at the same time not allowing so much uncontrollable nonsense stop me, getting in my way. I wish that for all of us.

That I have writing group friends who show their concern.

I wasn’t feeling up to attending my writing group this week, which I hate to have to admit. It has slowly grown to be one of my favourite things.

So, imagine my surprise when I received an email later that night from one of the members, checking up on me, making sure I was okay.

For an excellent interpretation of a classic.

Victor Frankenstein

I remember listening to my friend, who was in medical school at the time, telling me a few stories of her classes. It was often more graphic than I was looking to hear, but that’s the reality of medicine, which I have benefited greatly from.

Now, of course, any story of Frankenstein is going to an extreme, but it explores the issues of life and death, challenging mortality.

This film was brilliantly done and the actors played their [parts very convincingly. Also, the descriptive narration I found was some of the best I’ve heard.

For the heartbeat of hope.

It beats in time, with rhythmic steadiness, and I hold onto that. It translates into a very real hope for the future, for so many.

It’s how I am able to go from sadness to euphoria, all in one week.

For beautiful lyrics to explain these times we’re living in.

Timeless really.

Summer, Highland Falls (Live at Shea Stadium) – Billy Joel

They say that these are not the best of times, But they’re the only times I’ve ever known, And I believe there is a time for meditation in cathedrals of our own.

Now I have seen that sad surrender in my lover’s eyes, And I can only stand apart and sympathize.

For we are always what our situations hand us… It’s either sadness or euphoria. And so we argue and we compromise, and realize that nothing’s ever changed, For all our mutual experience, our seperate conclusions are the same.

Now we are forced to recognize our inhumanity, Our reason co-exists with our insanity. And though we choose between reality and madness… It’s either sadness or euphoria.

How thoughtlessly we dissipate our energies. Perhaps we don’t fulfill each other’s fantasies. And so we’ll stand upon the ledges of our lives, With our respective similarities…

It’s either sadness or euphoria.

(Lyrics)

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, FTSF, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections

Will It Sink Or Will It Float? #Compassion #FTSF

It was an old David Letterman segment.

It’s a game my little nephews and niece like to play, at the beach, the river, or in a bucket full of water out on my back deck. They are five and younger and the question is huge in their minds. It’s a scientific experiment, though they do not recognize it.

Will an object float or sink when dropped in water?

If a stone is dropped into a body of water, what will happen? Can we predict the outcome?

Well, it’s heavy and will sink, right?

When a stone is dropped, it causes a ripple effect as it goes, spreading outward. Drop is better than throw.

We are always lecturing little children that they are not to throw things, right?

Someone could get hurt. Where would our responsibility for that fit into a wider narrative of the world and the events currently going on in it?

I ask many questions here, some I know actual answers for, but most I do not. I am left with more questions than answers lately it seems.

So, toss or drop. Minimize any potential harm to anyone else in the act of throwing, right?

So many people are harmed in that process of throwing a stone and waiting for the ripples to spread wide. I am impatient in the waiting for the ripples, but I fear them too.

What effect will they have? Sometimes, there is a risk of negative ripple effects. I cower from this possibility. I wait for the good ripples to spread.

Ripples of hate and fear.

Ripples of compassion and kindness and love.

Which ripples will win out?

Will humanity float or will we sink under the weight and the pressure of so many stones?

This has been a question filled/answerless edition of Finish the Sentence Friday:

Finding Ninee

with her take (and mine) on “the ripple effect”.

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

My Passenger Assistance Experience

This is a real concern, a fear which stops many visually impaired people from venturing out into the world. That needs to change.

Life Of A Blind Girl

Hello,

I hope you are all well.

This is probably a rather long rant but I wanted to tell you about a recent experience that I had as I think it needs to be discussed. I’m hoping that it portrays the fact that not everything goes to plan, even when provisions are put in place and that there are flaws in the services for disabled people.

Earlier this week, I attended Sight Village. For those of you that don’t know what Sight Village is, it is an exhibition for blind and visually impaired people to attend where they can see the latest assistive technology and services among other things. I’ve done a lot of traveling with friends and family on buses, trains, planes and in the car and been on a plane by myself but something that I had never done was go on a train on my own using…

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Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, Writing

Writing Memory

Wow. Just wow. Love when so much is said in so few words.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

z 2BfeeJbk Dina L. Relles

A guest post from Dina L. Relles

On my 36th birthday, I’m meeting a friend for lunch. The car radio is playing and I turn up the volume thinking, that’s all I ask: a good song. Maybe a good cup of coffee.

I’d like something slow, even sad, a ballad that takes me back. I want to suck the marrow from this moment and only let go when I’m good and ready. Which is never.

Somewhere between the Northern State Parkway and Middle Neck Road, I realize I write not—as Joan Didion, as Flannery O’Connor did—to figure out what I think, but to remember what I thought. To take time and memory, fold it eight ways, pressing firmly along the creases, and tuck it away in a pilling hoodie pocket. To preserve a shirt worn, a street walked, a friend seen, spoken to. A snippet of…

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