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TToT: Of Sight Or Vision and of Look Or See #10Thankful

“I suppose that every one of us hopes secretly for immortality; to leave, I mean, a name behind him which will live forever in this world, whatever he may be doing, himself, in the next.”

—A. A. Milne.

A lot of emotional moments this week and in this run-up to the Christmas season. I can feel it, an energy of sorts.

In the meantime though, I’m going to allow myself to coast through the next month or so because I am already feeling the pressure of the coming year, to make it everything this one was…and more.

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My Misadventures issue on store shelf.

So, I have some projects on the go, sure, but I want to enjoy the final weeks of this momentous year before they are gone.

Ten Things of Thankful

I am thankful for the struggle of writing that keeps me thinking and learning and growing and moving.

This novel thing is harder than I realized, but I don’t stop. I research and learn so I can keep on writing.

I don’t ever really get writer’s block. There is always so much to discover and share.

I have plans and goals to conquer.

I am thankful for perhaps smaller groups but new people still showing up amongst them.

Our writer’s group lost a few this week because of illness and other things, but I walked in and was unexpectedly met by a new voice. A man from New Zealand came to check out what our little writer’s circle was all about.

It helps. I had someone in the group read something I’ve been working on, out loud to everyone, and I received interesting feedback from them and someone new helps with a fresh perspective.

I hope he returns. All the different life experiences in our group can only be a benefit.

I am thankful that I haven’t given up on the violin and my mastery of it.

The challenge continues, won’t go away because it is something one must keep working on. I won’t master playing such an instrument, not in a year and not in two. I know it feels like a long road, but I am working and developing parts of my brain I didn’t know I had.

Seriously, this lesson I felt energized and wiped out, all at once. I think that’s a sign that I am right where I am supposed to be with it.

I am thankful for two Foundation of the Blind meetings in one week.

I started with the US NFB ((National Federation of the Blind) and those few months of being a part of their organization (VisionAware) has given me some idea of what to expect with this new challenge of the Canadian CFB.

I listened in on the AFB call on Tuesday and the CFB on Thursday.

We had a guest speaker at ours. We are working to get a new national system of sharing books and other reading materials in libraries all across Canada and I was super emotional about it.

I love the library, but I feel like I feel when I am in a bookstore. I am surrounded by the things I love most in the world…and yet, I can’t access most of it like everyone else.

I hope I can be a part of changing that, for myself and many others.

I am thankful for a chance to write about my chronic pain journey.

LIVING MY BEST LIFE – A JOURNEY WITH CHRONIC PAIN

I am thankful for friends who can access US bookstores.

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Thanks, Sara, for doing that, since Canada has no Barnes & Noble stores.

She went to a Barnes & Noble and found this.

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Sara, you rock!

I am thankful for movies that aren’t the biggest box-office blockbusters.

Goodbye Christopher Robin

This is one of those not-a-super-hero movies that people might not know about or care to see, but I think we need more like it.

I am thankful for seeing things (like biographical movies) at the moment I am meant to see them.

I love biography because it tells the story of a person’s life. Every person has a story.

I am trying to write a novel about life for everyday people in Europe and such, during the two world wars that dominated the 20th century. It felt like a strange bookend. I think it helped me put some thoughts together though.

I am thankful for a simple fix for my phone from my handy techy brother.

It suddenly froze up on me and went mostly quiet. I need it to talk to me.

So, instead of feeling stuck and being about to take it to an Apple store, my brother thought of another way to reset a phone. I tried it and it worked.

I am thankful for another newly discovered cover to a song I already know and love.

Chasing Cars

“Those three words…are said too much…or not enough.”

—Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

Which words are they?

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TToT: Looking Off Somewhere I Can’t Go #10Thankful

One need not be a Chamber – to be Haunted –
one need not be a House –
The brain has Corridors – surpassing
Material Place –

Ourself behind ourself, concealed ‘
Should startle most –
Assassin hid in our apartment
Be Horror’s least. 

– Emily Dickinson

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I am holding my niece in her Halloween costume.

Ten Things of Thankful

I am thankful for my little butterfly.

(See above photo.)

She has gotten her first few teeth.

No more is her favourite thing, chewing on my fingers, no longer is this such a harmless distraction.

Fly Little Butterfly, Fly!

I am thankful I am a print published author.

ISSUE 4: WINTER 2017 – MisadventuresMag

I have previously been printed in an anthology, but this time I was paid. Last time it was for charity.

I just heard it is going to be available in Barnes & Noble stores and so I will be off on a hunt to find it.

It may not be my own book, but I am excited to discover it’s a magazine that a bookstore carries.

I am thankful for the parcel arriving in my mailbox.

This package contained four copies of the magazine and my cheque.

Not bad, compared to in the past.

I am thankful I could share my news and book with someone, a friend, over a latte.

I was a few minutes late for meeting her. I was late because I just found the parcel in my mail and so I hope she understood.

She was happy to receive one of my four copies of the mag.

I am thankful for more stretching and meditating.

I am thankful for extra writing group time, in a new location, for November’s National Novel Writing Month month.

It has been arranged, in addition to meeting in the library twice a month, that we writers who are attempting NaNoWriMo can use a room in Woodstock Museum, every Saturday, for two hours for the entire month.

This feels like an extended writer’s group, but I don’t read and I get to bring my laptop.

Sometimes there are even snacks.

I am thankful for my loved ones being free from war.

I feel a lot of mixed feelings when a day to remember, like November 11th comes along, and really any time. War is not as simple as bravery and heroism.

But I am heartbroken to hear there is violence that will not rest, in any part of the world. I am glad my nieces and nephews don’t have to grow up around such traumas and horrors, but being aware of it all sometimes weighs me down.

That’s precisely what the above stretches and meditation are needed for. They lift me up.

I am thankful for some good food, especially the bread buns, to support a worthy cause.

I am no athlete, but I think it’s pretty cool what she’s attempting to accomplish. Unfortunately, it always takes money.

The Paralympics (Special Olympics as some like to call it) is, I guess needed, but it is still a neat thing, so important, to show the world that people with disabilities can and do participate in sports too.

Emily Trains for Winter Paralympics

She held a fundraiser and I just couldn’t get enough of the bread buns.

My brother and his friend won door prizes.

I wish her luck in reaching such an excellent athletic goal.

I am thankful for a piece that was just published, after several months since its original acceptance.

SeeingYukon Through Blind Eyes – Passport2017

As Canada enters its next 150 years, I wanted too start off telling the story of a place I will forever love and about the vastness of our country.

I wanted to start off on the right foot and hopefully the next period of Canada can be better.

I am thankful a movie I couldn’t find in theatres is now playing nearby.

I hope to see it soon and will give a review of it when I do.

Before I go…are you aware of the Japanese concept of ma by any chance?

The Japanese concept of ma.

Well, I wasn’t either, until a few days ago. I don’t feel I have quite grasped its meaning, but it feels important to me. It feels meaningful to my life somehow.

“it’s the presence of absence, the gap where the moonlight sifts through.
TheDark Feels Different in November – The Paris Review
It’s the hollow where ghosts gather, the pause in conversation.”

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Striding Through Flickering Flame, #SongLyricSunday

“I yearn for comfort.”

—Sarah McLachlan

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There are a lot of songs with fire as the theme; and, indeed, with the word “fire” in the title or the chorus itself.

Song Lyric Sunday, #SongLyricSunday

Here is my pick:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar6a1pkiGf8

It’s about continuing to walk into the fire, again and again, and a little at a time. It’s about doing this until I am immune from the heat of it.

***

Mother, teach me, to walk again
Milk and honey, so intoxicating
[
CHORUS]
And into the fire
I’m reunited
Into the fire
I am the spark
Into the fire I yearn for comfort

Open the doors that lead on, in to Eden
Don’t want, no cheap disguise
I follow the signs, marked back to the beginning
No more compromise
[
CHORUS]
Free the water that carries me to the sea
You I see as my security
[
CHORUS]
I will stare into the sun
until its light doesn’t blind me
I will walk into the fire until its heat doesn’t burn me
And I will feed the fire
[
CHORUS]

LYRICS

***

This is one of her earlier works. It has power. It has punch. It is a force to be reckoned with.

The guitar solos are attention-grabbing. It showed me Sarah McLachlan and the talent she possessed.

I love how she places together fire and the sea. The idea of those two different, yet, clearly powerful elements made me stand up and pay attention to her message here.

I stare at the flames of a fire, in a fireplace or outside, and I watch the bright flames flickering.

Their dark background always made them stand out to me, me and my fading eyesight, and I couldn’t believe something so sharp, its brightness in contrast to the darkness around it. It seemed unnatural, unreal to me, like something supernatural that I’d see in my mind or in a dream of some sort.

I’d imagine reaching out for it, passing my hand through it, passed the pain that would cause, to the other side of something. The smells of smoke, the crackling sound, the heat it’s emitting were all the senses I could trust (in it and in myself), but there was something more to it.

I don’t have to walk through actual fire to grow stronger. All the fires of life test me and my strength for coming out again on the opposite side of it all.

Then I hear of wildfires burning, out of control out west, and the smoke hanging heavy in the air, and I can’t imagine. All I think then is back to that image of the unnatural looking flames, against the dark background of nothingness.

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Blue and Green, #SongLyricSunday

Music, as a rule and in general, brings me loads of peace.

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Choosing just one song about peace for
Song Lyric Sunday
wasn’t so easy, but here’s the one I finally decided on:

I like to think of the planet from a distance because all you’d see was green and blue and nothing else.

In my own mind, I imagine a row of every human on the planet that is walking (hand in hand) all around the globe, in peaceful silence.

***

From a distance the world looks blue and green,
and the snow-capped mountains white.
From a distance the ocean meets the stream,
and the eagle takes to flight.
From a distance, there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
It’s the voice of hope, it’s the voice of peace,
it’s the voice of every man.

From a distance we all have enough,
and no one is in need.
And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease,
no hungry mouths to feed.
From a distance we are instruments
marching in a common band.
Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace.
They’re the songs of every man.

God is watching us. God is watching us.
God is watching us from a distance.

From a distance you look like my friend,
even though we are at war.
From a distance I just cannot comprehend
what all this fighting is for.
From a distance there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
And it’s the hope of hopes, it’s the love of loves,
it’s the heart of every man.
It’s the hope of hopes, it’s the love of loves.This is the song of every man.

And God is watching us, God is watching us,
God is watching us from a distance.
Oh, God is watching us, God is watching.

God is watching us from a distance.

LYRICS

***

All the things Bette Midler sings about are the things you can’t see from far off, these are things like disease, violence, and weapons.

I simply cannot fathom all the hatred and violence that we humans engage in. Music brings me peace. I wish peace were just that simple, as simple as the music this Song Lyric Sunday is made of.

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Hourglass #SoCS

Seasons change, one sliding into another, stretching out, one into the next and so forth. I am in the middle of my favourite one now, this October day cheering my lonely heart, turning from cool and aloof to the warmth of momentary peace and tranquility. Still, I think of the leaves that fall, that crunch underfoot, memories of childhood leaf piles with you.

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I soldier on. I revel in these days, as November and December will, soon enough, bring on cold, whipping winds and the first appearance of those delicate winter flakes drifting down, through the chilled air.

I don’t dislike this season, simply because I know the dark winter days are to follow directly in secession.

I love Canada, my home, and the variety of weather we experience. Many stereotypes exist of our country, but my recent trip to The Great White North, in June, was perfection.

Something is seasonal, like in the world of fashion. I do not wear shorts in the middle of winter, though I am not a big fan of wearing them in summer either. I also do not follow what the fashion world claims is “in season” because I know comfort and style are unique to each and every one of us.

Broadening out from the whole pattern of the four seasons, I think of the seasons of life. Mine have gone by painfully slowly and also, blindingly fast. They have been full of sadness, hardships, beauty and bittersweet memory.

So, as I think of you, of all of it, I hope this next one will be everything you are hoping it will be. Bloodlines aside, if he is your family, then be happy with him. After all, life is often so difficult, to find a little peace, that I strongly believe we must all find our own family where and how we can.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SoCS

I wish us all the best during the seasons of all our lives, as the hourglass sand drifts silently down, down, down.

And now my ode to seasons (yearly and throughout life) has come to an end.

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Anytime Is A Good Time To Get Up And Go, #Travel #SongLyricSunday

My favourite subject, in the whole world, and it involves the world in a big way.

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And it’s finally the topic for this week’s
Song Lyric Sunday
and now I must choose.

Ooh, here’s one that applies and inspires.

I’ve had a good life, full of plenty of travel and adventures. I love songs, like this one by One Republic, that drive me to have more, to do more travel.

***

Woke up in London yesterday
Found myself in the city near Piccadilly
Don’t really know how I got here
I got some pictures on my phone
New names and numbers that I don’t know
Address to places like Abbey Road
Day turns to night, night turns to whatever we want
We’re young enough to say
Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life
Say oh, got this feeling that you can’t fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life
To my friends in New York, I say hello
My friends in L.A. they don’t know
Where I’ve been for the past few years or so
Paris to China to Colorado
Sometimes there’s airplanes I can’t jump out
Sometimes there’s bullshit that don’t work now
We all got our stories but please tell me-e-e-e
What there is to complain about
When you’re happy like a fool
Let it take you over
When everything is out
You gotta take it in
Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life
Say oh, got this feeling that you can’t fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life
Hopelessly
I feel like there might be something that I’ll miss
Hopelessly
I feel like the window closes oh so quick
Hopelessly
I’m taking a mental picture of you now
‘Cause hopelessly
The hope is we have so much to feel good about
Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life
Say oh, got this feeling that you can’t fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life
Oh yeah
Good, good lifeGood life
Ooh
Listen
To my friends in New York, I say hello
My friends in L.A. they don’t know
Where I’ve been for the past few years or so
Paris to China to Colorado
Sometimes there’s airplanes I can’t jump out
Sometimes there’s bullshit that don’t work now
We all got our stories but please tell me-e-e-e
What there is to complain about

LYRICS

***

I sometimes worry I won’t possibly get the chance to see and experience all the places I want to explore. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to travel more frequently. I think, well there is not enough time, but I have had a good life and I am not done seeing, experiencing what traveling has to offer.

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TToT: Quaint Drinking Village with a Fishing Problem – Green Light Night, #10Thankful

Can’t stay long. Deadlines looming. I’m frankly terrified that I’ve taken on something too big for me to handle, but I was reminded of something important and so I write down what I am grateful for this week and then I get back to work.

Ten Things of Thankful

I’m thankful for cheques in the mail.

It’s a bit of a wait this way, but getting paid is a nice thought.

I’m thankful for a hug from my little niece in a particularly stressful moment.

I was taking on big things and my mind was racing. Just hugging her was peaceful.

I did, however, tell her my advice was to stay little, not to grow up.

I’m thankful for the support of a neighbour with an ear to listen to all I’ve got going on.

She cheers me on and was helping me think about my timing, scheduling, as if she were my life coach.

I could likely use one.

I’m thankful my headache has eased.

I tried to cry about a television show, instead of from my pain. Some distractions work better than others.

There’s a definite gratitude when that particular intense pain dissipates and I feel the lack of it.

One of the greatest feelings that I wish would last, but I’ll take it while it’s given to me.

I’m thankful for family who help me out when I am dealing with such bad pain episodes.

Just knowing all of them are there, from the smallest to the biggest among them, it shows me I can get through anything.

I am thankful for this show, put together by Liz, all about travel for the blind.

No Limits Travel For The Blind – Native Traveler (SiriusXM)

My brother did an awesome job at the audio production, bringing it to life.

The other guests that follow my feature piece are great too. I am definitely going to look into taking a trip with
Travel Eyes
for future world exploration.

I’m thankful for helpful advice about how if something weren’t scary, it wouldn’t likely be nearly as worth doing.

Thanks, Jordan Rosenfeld, for this excellent advice.

I don’t know how exactly it happened. I think it started with the pitches I sent out and received acceptances for.

So, I wrote and was published, which lead me to believe I should pitch even more places, even ones I’d feared I wasn’t quite ready for.

Well, somehow, here I am anyway.

And now what?

I’m thankful for the Great Lakes.

Other than not being in salt water, I’d hardly know the difference between being in a lake or the ocean.

I am just glad these bodies of water are so close by.

You go into that water and you’d never know how hot it’s been the last week or more, even though autumn has now arrived.

I’m thankful for the sand and other things that cause me discomfort.

Like travel, there is joy in being at a natural wonder of the planet. And, yet, no sooner do I step onto that sand than I am thinking about getting home and into a warm shower so I can wash it all away.

These times and the yucky feelings sand brings up in me, at the feel of the gritty stuff between my toes, this is helping teach me that life carries lots of big and little discomforts, from sandy beaches to awful headaches.

I can handle that. Handy lesson, I must say.

I’m thankful for a good meal in Port Stanley.

Fish from Lake Erie and homemade fries.

I had both pepperoni and chicken on my pizza, along with green peppers.

Port Stanley Attractions

Nice spot to end the day at.

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