Blogging, FTSF, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, SoCS, Spotlight Saturday, The Insightful Wanderer

Winter Waves, #FTSF #JusJoJan #SoCS

On winter waves that make their rushing sound through my tiny phone speaker, sounding still so mighty and just what I need.

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Another January is heading toward February, my birthday and my newest niece’s birthday, her first. I try to hold back fact.

What a week, but the winter soothes my mind. I stand, feet on the register, bringing such pleasant heat up to comfort my lower half.

My upper body faces the closed blinds of my window. This house is old and doesn’t have the best insulation, making the frozen winter night permeate through the glass pane. I like this half and half varied sensory experience.

After a long week, full of sadness and disappointment, I listen to a life feed of waves on the opposite side of North America, the west coast of California, at Monterey Bay. Some social media guy is holding a phone off the deck and into the ocean and its waves below, waiting “to soak the phone” he promises.

I think of winter and the ocean and those winter waves, where they originate from. Miles and miles of open ocean give such large waves the room to blossom and grow, unstoppable often, until they reach the breaking of the land.

I like winter in Canada, though many would choose California’s winter over mine. I like the fresh air here. It heartens me and keeps me alert to the life I am living.

But what would I do, where would I be, without the ocean, somewhere out there?

I meditate on it, on those waves, washing away some of the rawness of this week and I release some of the grief to the power of nature and the unstoppable changing of the seasons in Canada and to all that activity, out in the bay.

Finish the Sentence Friday’s first stream of consciousness.

Along with Linda’s
Just Jot It January/Stream of Consciousness Saturday
to end a long week.

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The Licking of the Flames, #SongLyricSunday

Storms and slides. Mud, water, fire, wind, snow. Oh, the entire world, burning uncontrollably.

The natural world is a powerful force and it cares little for what we mere mortals think or want.

Song Lyric Sunday, #SongLyricSunday

In Ontario (the province where I live) and out east in Nova Scotia there have been two awful house fires in the news the last few weeks, killing multiple adults and children.

Sometimes it is human error and sometimes there is no-one to blame, though blame is rather off point.

We humans like to spread it all around, but where does it get us?

I hear all of these disasters, going on all around, and I remain untouched where I reside, but my mind races and can’t keep pace with world events.

Then there are those fires that some start, metaphorically, to distract and divide and destroy.

***

Hearts are worn in these dark ages
You’re not alone in this story’s pages
The light has fallen amongst the living and the dying
And I’ll try to hold it in, yeah I’ll try to hold it in
[
Chorus] The world’s on fire
and It’s more than I can handle
I’ll tap into the water (Try and bring my share)
I try to bring more More than I can handle (Bring it to the table) Bring what I am able

I watch the heavens but I find no calling
Something I can do to change what’s coming
Stay close to me while the sky is falling
Don’t wanna be left alone, don’t wanna be alone
[
Chorus]

Hearts break, hearts mend Love still hurts
Visions clash, planes crash Still there’s talk of
Saving souls, still the cold Is closing in on us
We part the veil on our killer sun
Stray from the straight line on this short run
The more we take, the less we become
The fortune of one that means less for some
[
Chorus X2]

LYRICS

***

It feels as though the whole world is on fire, more and more these days, alarm bells going off on all sides, in all directions.

I stand, somehow avoiding the licking of the flames directly – for now anyway.

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TToT: The Fog Can Be Pink Sometimes – Plucks and Strums, #Blues #10Thankful

Bomb cyclones, bombshell tell-all’s, and a night out at the symphony. Oh My!

And Dolores O’Riordan is dead.

It’s been a few weeks since I wrote one of these, not since the start of the new year and my niece’s birthday post.

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My family at Christmas.

It’s only halfway into the first month of this year and I am already exhausted.

Ten Things of Thankful

I am thankful for Dolores’s voice and lyrics and music.

I am deeply saddened, but I am thankful. I can’t believe she is gone. I’ve loved The Cranberries since I was eleven or twelve years old.

I’ve been on the verge of tears, giving in to it a few of those times, ever since I heard.

I don’t know all of what to say exactly, but I’m sure it will come to me.

I am thankful for the cello and a feature celloist.

Such a deep and rich sound, such a melancholy sound to the cello.

He was making his debut. He was amazing. He even strummed and plucked the strings of his cello along with the fast-paced classical stuff. What a solo with a terrific orchestra to accompany you.

I am thankful for an invite to my very first symphony.

I felt like the least sophisticated in that place and I was definitely the youngest.

Ah well…no accounting for my generation’s lack of taste. It was a first time for me, as classical isn’t necessarily my thing, but I am glad I went.

I am thankful I got to see the newest Star Wars with my brother and my sister.

We, the three of us, went between Christmas and New Year’s.

I was pressed to my seat the whole time, with every new twist and turn of the plot. I realize the giant debate for true fans of this franchise. For me, I like the story, as it stands. I like Adam Driver in his role as villain.

One really frigid December night, my older siblings and I ventured out to check it out, and I’m glad we did. I owe my brother, for his description skill, until I can make it so every theatre, even in my little city, has audio description to offer.

I am thankful I have a temporary replacement braille display.

I can read my own words and the words of other people. I can feel it, under my fingers. I am back, up and running, at full steam ahead.

I am thankful I have parents who are perfectly willing to take me to pick up a shipment at the border.

There was an issue with a temporary replacement for my braille reader and my options weren’t looking good for resolving it.

I had to drive a bit of a distance to sort it out and I am lucky I have family willing to make that drive, over an hour, so I could have the package in hand.

Now I can get back to editing and reading, for however long it takes for my own machine to be fixed.

I am thankful for my sister’s knowledge of hooking up a new router.

Things with the Internet have been lacking around here lately. I went, on a hunch over Christmas, and found and purchased a new router, thanks to my brother’s recommendation.

It came in the mail and I wouldn’t have known how to hook it up myself. Thankfully, my sister took time from her busy life and came and got it done for me.

I hope to get back to yoga over Skype again soon, without the connection failing continuously.

I am thankful for not a no.

Sometimes, the postponing of a for sure acceptance to a writing pitch is nice. Some people may not enjoy the extra time, not knowing, either way. I think I needed it, this week anyway.

I am thankful for an organization of interested people to stand up for ourselves throughout Canada and the US’s Foundations/Federations of the Blind.

Canadian Federation of the Blind

I have no need to put down all that the CNIB has done for me in my life, but for the first time, it feels nice to know I am given a say in making things better.

I end this week’s shorter than usual and (at times often depressing TToT) with an uplifting song from The Cranberries, one of their later albums. In it, she speaks of not analyzing every little thing and I often need that reminder.

I am thankful for this lingering piece of optimism, even in sadness.

Thank you, Dolores, from the bottom of my heart. RIP to the powerful voice and the woman who possessed it.

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Favourite Things

Things, at the start of 2018, are changing up bit with the
FTSF crew.

My word for 2018 is “stoker,” which also means to stir things up, so I am all for this. I admit, I often have a difficult time with change of most kinds, but I am really trying. Still, though the list may have changed and has grown over my lifetime, here is my list of ten favourite things:

Favourite Thing Ten – Water

I love the roar and rush and rumble of waterfalls. It’s the trickling of a stream, brook, or creek. Or, the increasing and then the decreasing of a wave that’s coming and then going, washing in and back out again, leaving ripples in its wake. It’s the blue, green, rocky, sandy bottom of a lake or ocean. It’s my favourite metaphor for life, both the good and the bad of it, the scary and the sublime. Its power and its purity. It’s clear and clean, or heavy with mineral count. It is the refreshment in a glass or the lapping at my feet, pouring down my throat (to filter through my kidney) or threatening to wash me away.

Favourite Thing Nine – Marine Life

These are the creatures that swim, float, glide, or drift. They range from the smallest crustaceans to the largest squid/octopus, jellyfish, ray, or whale. It lives down on the sandy floor, at the deepest depths, or skimming and skidding along its sunlit surface. It is hunt or be hunted, all while storms rage, boats speed on by, nets drift and dangle, and waves carry it all along, currents deciding the course. It’s gills and blowholes and claws and fins and tentacles. It’s all the colours of rainbows in skies above. It’s camouflaging in all shades and underwater backgrounds.

Favourite Thing Eight – Space

It’s my earliest adventure, escape dream. It’s the dark, still, and the silence. It’s the circles and the rings and the orbit. It’s the blue of ice and the yellow/orange of fire from stars and swirling gases that envelop giant planets. It’s massive red spots as storms and dozens of Arctics stacked on one another, all the way out to the outer ranges of the galaxy. It’s yellow, blue and green and white, and red, and black that’s more than night is or will ever be. It’s infinite. It’s out there, somewhere.

Favourite Thing Seven – The Four Seasons

It’s the northern hemisphere and North America, central, southwestern. It is broken up into quarters of a year, here in (north more than south) of Canada. It is the smell of snow, the cold breath of it on my skin, and the feeling of invigoration. It’s the silence of the snow, the rustle of the warm breeze in the trees. It’s the intense heat and the brightness and burning from the sun, the kind to make any exposed skin surface feel like it’s on fire. It’s the birds of every temp, born to brave it or fly away from it, flocking back again. It’s the Canada geese, flying south and coming back home after long wait of months passed. It’s the early darkness, short days, green of new growth and rebirth. It’s the sprinklers and the mowers and the bikes. It’s the rustle and the crunch and the shuffle of dried out leaves. It’s the rain and the mist and the sleet and the snow, wet, soggy, heavy, and slush under boots and shoes. It’s the puddles after the rain and the icy spots before the thaw.

Favourite Thing Six – String Instruments

I love playing with a bow instead of a pick or a reed. I love the melancholy and the heartbreak of such a sound. I love the feeling, the shape of my own personal violin. The wooden body and the strings, stretched by pegs. It’s the deep melody of the cello and my newness, inability to tell difference between violin and viola still. It’s the power of the bow in my right hand, my chin and chest holding up my instrument, while my left arm, hand, fingers hold the neck and both sides of my brain try to figure out how to work separate and yet together, all at once, to produce more than the sound of a tortured animal and more of the notes and the scales I struggle to get straight in my own ear.

Favourite Thing Five – Art

I loved the visual and the sculpting, with lines, shape, colour, word, image, and sound. I love how creativity flows from each of us like unique perfume, like the individuality of every snowflake that falls from the cold sky.

Favourite Thing Four – The Purring of a Cat

I gently place my two fingers on my cat’s throat as he purrs. I feel it reverberate through his whole body as he settles down against my legs. He makes my chronic pain bearable, on the most unbearable of all days.

Favourite Thing Three – Literature

I love how it can be an act of courage, of hope, of truth. I love how, in essence, it sweeps me up and away. I love how it is about all of us and none of us and each of us, individually, on a personal level, still stretching out to infinity and some far off, far flung lands.

Favourite Thing Two – Travel

I can do it on foot, by car, train, bus, boat, or plane. Or, I can do it, go there in my mind, anytime., even as my sight fades and my memory and yearning grow stronger. I love the people and the places and the things. I love how stepping foot somewhere new or old, on returning or first approaching, that I am someone new, on my own, personal journey of discovery and upon discovering.

Favourite Thing Number One – Niece/Nephew Voices and Laughter

It sounds so grown up or only days from becoming words. I love the sweetness of the high pitched and the similar giggling of siblings. I love that it can turn, from sad to joyful in a single second of exuberant speed. I love the ring of it, the jangle of it, and the shimmering, swinging, swooping crystal clarity it brings, on all sides, expanding the walls of my heart as an aunt.

So there it is, my top ten list, not affiliated with David Letterman’s old show. Sure, some things are more to-the-point than others. I can go from the highly specific to the wide expanse of a thing, perhaps giving me the chance to write fifty favourite things, condensed down into ten, abstract or less so, as I hate to choose.

Check out some of
Finding Ninee’s
favourites too.

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On Holding On and On Letting Go, #SongLyricSunday

I listen to music to help fight off the madness.

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I never mean it to sound like I diminish the experiences of mental illness and other conditions and concerns, but the madness threatens us all, in one way or another.

Song Lyric Sunday

I didn’t realize, until these last few years, just how it might feel. I can at least glimpse the feeling, the state of being, or however I’m likely misspeaking on its reality.

Still, I try to decide, to help fight these feelings inside of me and from world events and at the state of things, if I can trust the holding onto of others or if that’s only a temporary life raft.

It feels a little like Jack and Rose, in Titanic (which was released nearly ten years before I ever heard this song I believe. The young lovers only have each other to hold onto and the ship’s going down, no matter what they do.

***

Michael Jackson (Feat. Carlos Santana)

He gives another smile, tries to understand her side
To show that he cares
She can’t stay in the room
She’s consumed with everything that’s been goin’ on
She says
Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand

Everything will be alright, he assures her
But she doesn’t hear a word that he say
Preoccupied, she’s afraid
Afraid what they’ve been doing’s not right
He doesn’t know what to say, so he prays
Whatever, whatever, whatever

Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
Whatever happens, don’t you let go of my hand
Don’t let go of my hand
Don’t let go of my hand

He’s working day and night, thinks he’ll make her happy
Forgetting all the dreams that he had
He doesn’t realize it’s not the end of the world
It doesn’t have to be that bad
She tried to explain, “It’s you that makes me happy,”
Whatever, whatever, whatever

Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
See, whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
See, whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
See, whatever happens, don’t you let go of my hand
See, don’t you do it baby
I said yeah
Don’t you let go baby
See, you
Don’t you do it
Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
Whatever happens, don’t you let go of my hand
Don’t you let go baby
Don’t you, don’t you let go
I said yeah
Can I get how it feels baby
Don’t you let go baby
Yeah
Oh

Whatever happens, just don’t let go of, my hand.

LYRICS

***

This song played, on repeat, on my new tiny, red iPod ten years or so ago it was now. I found it and could not let go, never getting enough of its sound, and it feels like it illustrates a world gone mad.

I can feel the urgency, desperation, and intensity in every note. Utter madness.

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I Wanna See Me, Reflected #FlashbackFriday #JusJoJan

Don’t look back.

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That was the title of the song I wrote lyrics for a few years ago, a song my brother wrote and performed for a college project.

It’s a good notion, as I try to focus on my future and living my version of now, but reflection isn’t all bad.

Just Jot It January #JusJoJan

It’s exhausting really, sifting through all the memories, as I write them down for posterity. Still, I write first-person essays and other non fiction, memoir pieces. All this is most undoubtedly good practice for the book-length memoir I am determined to someday complete.

I am sometimes overly self aware, leaning heavily on reflections, in order to better see myself and others. I look back a lot, in total disregard of the lyrics I once wrote, as I reflect on the past thirty-four years. Yes, I will soon be turning thirty-four and I have a lot to look back on.

The waves of memory just keep on coming. I try to jot them down whenever and wherever I can, always holding back the force of each and every wave, so the threat of being washed away doesn’t ever come too near.

This Flashback Friday, flashing back to all the Friday’s of my past, the prompt word is “memories,” brought to us by
Cage Dunn
and feel free to share any of your own memories with me in the comments.

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TToT: Jury Duty Jury Duty, Pink Slip Pink Slip, Jury Duty #10Thankful #Farewell2017

“I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words, how wonderful life is now you’re in the world.”

—Your Song

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Sohia.

I am feeling rather emotional today, as the world begins to ring in 2018 in many parts, and I can’t seem to decide what to write on gratitude, reflection, and resolutions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9AFMVMl9E

So, I will dedicate this whole thing, the final
Ten Things of Thankful of 2017
to my favourite seven-year-old.

I’m thankful for her hugs, even if it’s goodbye for another time.

I am thankful for the next time when she bounds in and excitedly shows me her new Christmas present from Santa, an interactive tiger who’s so soft and even purrs.

I am thankful for a story about potatoes and erasers and recess. She’s reading so well that I was glued to her story as she read to me. Everything she will get from reading is so much more than I can state in thankfulness here.

I am thankful for what a beautiful, creative girl she is. It’s all the colour of art, all that’s alive inside her, that I am thankful to see, to see so much through her.

I am thankful for her curiosity, in asking and wanting to know, to understand what I see and what about the kidneys Brian and I have received, and so much more. Everything.

I am thankful for quiet moments watching The Grinch on my phone, even after we were tossed out of the front room so the little one could nap. Haha.

I am thankful for how my oldest niece loves my youngest. They are both so amazing to watch, in the seven year gap between them.

I am thankful she liked her pen, clipboard, hamburger and fry lip bombs (even if one did break already…cheap but cool), and all the other Christmas/birthday presents I gave her. It’s hard to shop for both, but may be even harder, in a way, to be born this close to a giant holiday like Christmas.

I am thankful for the relationship she has with my parents. It reminds me so much of how it felt, that special grandma/grandpa bond. It moves me deeply, every time I see them together.

I am thankful for that date, seven years ago today, where she came into our lives and showed me what this new love could feel like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DBJRSMP8Uw

What did we do before you Soph?

Happy Birthday, XOXOXO

Hello All.

Here are a few images from the weekend.
DOBO AKE!!!

Incase Kerry wants to use the images:

DADbday2017-14 = Sophia Hugging Mya.
DADbday2017-23 = Close up of Mya, Surprised look on her face.
DADbday2017-50 = Sophia decorating cupcake
DADbday2017-51 = Kim and Kerry watching the decorating. Talking/smiling.
DADbday2017-54 = Sophia laughing with a hand full of icing.
DADbday2017-61 = Grandma holding Reed close, Reed laughing.
DADbday2017-66 = Kim lighting candles beside Sophia.  Both laughing.
DADbday2017-70 = Reed trying to hide from the camera with his head on the bench.
DADbday2017-73 = Reed hiding his face with his hands on the bench, one eye peaking.
DADbday2017-80 = Mom, Reed and Sophia singing Happy Birthday with cake in foreground.

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Hello All.

Here are a few images from the weekend.
DOBO CAKE!!!

Incase Kerry wants to use the imagesy

DADbday2017-14 = Sophia Hugging Mya.
DADbday2017-23 = Close up of Mya, Surprised look on her face.
DADbday2017-50 = Sophia decorating cupcake
DADbday2017-51 = Kim and Kerry watching the dorating. Talking/smiling.
DADbday2017-54 = Sophia laughing with a hand full of icing.
DADbday2017-61 = Grandma holding Reed close, Reed laughing.
DADbday2017-66 = Kim lighting candles beside Sophia.  Both laughing.
DADbday2017-70 = Reed trying to hide from the camera with his head on the bench.
DADbday2017-73 = Reed hiding his face with his hads on the bench, one eye peaking.
DADbday2017-80 = Mom, Reed and Sophia singing Happy Birthday with cake in foreground.

P9THebt.jpg

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