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TToT: Shiny Keys and Bucket Technology – Namaste, #Yoga #Radio #10Thankful

‘”Bully for baby syrups!”

‘”Pray, don’t let us disturb the concert with our sleeping.”

‘”Jerk us out a little more chin-music!”

‘”There’s no place like home with a baby in it.”

—Bram Stoker’s “Chin Music”

I wander through a bookstore and I feel the unfairness of blindness.

I sit in a mall and detect the repeating motion of shoppers passing by in front of me, but I wish I could see more than a blur like I used to.


What a week. Full of the good and the not-so-good things and I am once again driven to list my thankfuls because sometimes blindness really sucks.

Ten Things of Thankful

I’m thankful I got an acceptance to a pitch within twelve hours.

It’s a nice feeling. It doesn’t always happen so fast. It was a nice start to the week.

I’m thankful I am being given the chance to write about the affect the Yukon had on me.

This is for a Canadian website/App and the editor said she is pleased to have a piece to publish, different from the usual story of seeing the Northern Lights.

They are a marvel, of course, but I am glad I can offer an alternative viewpoint of a place that is more than just one spectacular visual sight.

I’m thankful for essays I read that make me think and put a new spin on the essay form.

The Medicated Writer by David Ebenbach

I’m thankful for another lovely coffee/raspberry lemonade chat with a friend to distract me from my thoughts.

The news out of the US all week was non stop and ridiculous. I was feeling highly anxious, waiting to hear back about my piece for Hippocampus, and I needed a break from all that.

The place was busy because Ontario’s premier was visiting our town, but things emptied after we were there for an hour or so.

We talked about travel, family, and writing.

I explained to her what it’s like to walk into a crowded coffee shop and try and navigate my way through it. She is like many people who are driven to offer help when they see a blind person. I understand and take them up on that help often. It was just nice to explain how it works because she, like most people, don’t give it all much thought until they hear how it is firsthand.

I’m thankful for the calming yoga session and conversation with the teacher.

I’d heard of
before, but she ended our now weekly session by saying it and explaining why she does.

It is one more thing I feel kind of silly saying back, but we all like to end with something.

I do love the peaceful end to yoga where I stretch out, blocking out all thoughts, other than that I can put up a barrier to the worst of them, while I focus by staring up at my light and listening to the hiss of my laptop which tells me my teacher is still there.

I’m thankful my brother had a successful first radio show.

CHRW Radio Western

He has unique taste in music, with a musical mind, and he finally gets the chance to share some of that with others.

When people ask me the type of music he does listen to/play, I do struggle to describe it in a single word. It is a lot of things, though not what you’re likely to ever come across on the radio.

He has opened my eyes up to a whole world of music that exists, even though very few people ever find it. Like writers and writing, there is so much beautiful music out there that never gets the chance to be heard by most of us. His passion for giving the unknown musicians a turn seems important to me.

He has named his show
Chin Music
and I think it suits.

I’m thankful for a violin lesson where practice and repetition were points brought home once more.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Rinse. Dry. Repeat. It’s the only way.

I’m thankful for the chance to get somewhere on my own and feel proud of it.

I appreciate the help I receive, for many reasons, as new travel by myself can be stressful and intimidating, but it is also good for me sometimes. The only way I will ever begin to feel any less intimidated is if I practice, kind of like with the violin.

When you can’t see, obviously public transportation is the best way to get somewhere. Then, I like to have an idea in my head of the directions I will be going. I need to see it in my mind and it requires massive amounts of concentration.

No matter the anxiety or the physical pain, the sense of accomplishment at the end is awesome.

I’m thankful I made the final decision to not stay home and instead take someone up on an invitation to meet new people and work on my terrible social skills.

I am terribly shy in new situations. I felt unwell and considered turning down the invitation, but I am glad I went.

I was the only girl there, but it turned out to be an enjoyable hangout on a spacious porch, listening to music, and having a few drinks on a beautiful July night.

It’s just too bad I need a few beers to lighten up. I stop worrying about where I am and I relax. This is fine for one night, now and again, but just attending instead of hiding out by myself helps too.

If I’d gone home, I would have kept thinking about what’s in the news, what a week it had been, and I needed to get away from all that.

I met new people, including someone who came here from Mexico to go to school in Canada. Opening up one’s social circle is a good thing.

I’m thankful for a lovely family day in Toronto.


We met in a mall, couldn’t take the subway because the line was closed down, so had to all pile in the van and drive downtown Toronto. It took a while, but what a perfect day, too hot even.

So we got to spend a few hours somewhere cool, with lots to see, and around so much life.

I am conflicted on aquariums, worrying always if the creatures are happy swimming in those tanks. I wish I could ask those sharks, rays, and other fish.

If my nephew learns to love and respect sea creatures and the ocean, I will be happy.

Like standing at Niagara Falls, anywhere with all that water and marine life is where I can stand and tune out all the hoards of tourists and people. I could have stood beside that shark tank forever.

Then we came back out into the warm day and passed jubilant baseball fans. The Blue Jays were losing and then came back with a grand slam at the end of the game, the second in a week. The Toronto streets are full of energetic shouts whenever their team wins.

Then we had dinner at my favourite Toronto restaurant: The Pickle Barrel. Delicious beet and chicken salad, mango bellini, and brownie cheesecake for dessert.


As I’m heading home, at the end of the day, I can’t see the sky or the incredible sunset and so I feel the unfairness of blindness.

When I Grow Up – Jennifer O’Connor



2 thoughts on “TToT: Shiny Keys and Bucket Technology – Namaste, #Yoga #Radio #10Thankful

  1. I have always loved Namaste since I learned it’s meaning. It speaks to our true connection to each other and that is so much more real than a superficial hello or goodbye.

    Blindness IS unfair, I often think about how much more challenging it makes your life and I am sad for the things you cannot see. Though at times maybe you “see” them more important things more clearly than some who are sighted do. Life is unfair, and although I am over sixty I still have difficulty accepting that harsh reality. It seems to me that good things should happen to good people and bad things should happen to bad people, and no one really deserves to suffer or struggle through no fault of their own. It’s one of the things about life that has many explanations but we won’t know the real answer until we leave this world. It’s on the top of my list of questions to ask God about someday… or maybe then it won’t matter to me anymore because I will understand. For now it just sometimes makes me sad, and I don’t blame you for feeling that unfairness at times. I am proud of you because you don’t let it become your reason for wallowing in self pity. We have no choice but to make the best of whatever situations life gives us, and you are surely doing that. Your determination to go out, travel alone, and experience new things and places inspires me. It would be easer to stay closed in at home where you feel safe, but you would miss so much of life that way and I’m glad you keep reaching out and expanding your world!

    Congrats on getting a rapid acceptance to a pitch you submitted, that’s definitely a day brightener for you, and affirmation that your writing is of value! Writing about the Yukon will be fun because you loved the experience so much, and you are right about providing a different perception of being there.

    I am smiling that you have enjoyed more outings with friends and new aquaintances, that definitely gives reasons to smile despite all the negativity in the air these days. While we need to be aware of current events we don’t need to be inundated by them, and I have learned to turn the TV off. I read to remain informed, and then and don’t allow my brain to dwell on it. Oversaturation with darkness is poison. We go forward, day by day, doing whatever is within our power to move things in the right direction. Change starts at home, one to one, and how we treat/respect each other.

    Congrats to your brother on his radio show, it sounds very cool, I love unusual music that calls you to really listen. How fun to do something you love. Congrats to you for sticking with the violin practice too. All of life is about practice, practice, repeat the lesson… eventually it sticks! 🙂

    Your day in Toronto with family sounded wonderful, just the fun and distraction you needed. I loved the pretty photo of you, it made me smile! I am like you in that hoards of people stress me out, I prefer the roaring of water or the peacefulness of silence.

    You had a really busy week, and all in all many good things happened, as long as we don’t allow darkness to steal our joy, love triumphs over evil! I hope this week finds more good things happening in your world, you have added brightness to mine, and certainly to many other lives as well! Thank you for sharing with us at TToT. I always look forward to your posts, I love your honesty. XOXO

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