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.


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.


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?”



The Names of Flame

Colour blindness indeed. I miss seeing colour, every…single…day. Writing my own essays about colour – what it meant to me and what it still means now, and always, whether I can see it or not. This post is beautiful and I had to share on this #FlashbackFriday about the colours I still love so much.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

by Jan Priddy

Five years ago, I created a folder on my computer titled COLORbook. My intention was to complete a series of essays about my personal and cultural understanding of color. The idea had been stirring in my head for a long time. I had written about orange ten years before. It is the color of a dying ancient cedar tree my friend Ann mourns. And old word tracing its lineage from fourteenth century English, back to Old French or perhaps Spanish through the Arabic naranj, the Persian narang, and eventually to the Sanskrit naranga, meaning orange tree, a word that might derive from an even earlier term meaning fragrant. Our word for the color orange and the fruit have an ancient co-existence, but the citrus fruit came first.

I had completed several chapters—blue sky and hot pink, color blindness and little black dresses—and had…

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A Review of Nadina LaSpina’s Such a Pretty Girl

Congratulations on this special disability themed issue. Something positive for 2020.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

By Jessie Male

As I write this, we are living in a world dominated by a virus. Conversations are centered on who is most susceptible and what are the long-term effects. Media outlets tout commentary on the war we are fighting and who will come to the frontlines. We avoid close quarters and eye others with suspicion, wondering what is permeating inside. In the worst-case scenarios, the virus attacks a whole family. Grief can come in so many layers it is difficult to locate the core.

This is 2020. Yet it is also 1950. It is three years before my mother and aunt contract polio at the ages of five and eight. Throughout the United States, headlines inform families to be wary of swimming pools and to watch children closely. It is common to hear about isolation and quarantine. And in Sicily, Nadina LaSpina is only sixteen months old, a…

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Disability as Nuance, Disability as Craft

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

In the introductory conversation around Brevity‘s special issue on the Experiences of Disability, Sonya Huber asks her fellow guest editors Keah Brown and Sarah Fawn Montgomery to discuss how disability shapes their writing process, including ways in which their disabilities can change and deepen what and how they write:

Sarah Fawn Montgomery: Of course disability impacts my writing by sometimes limiting when, if, or how much writing I can accomplish, but disability also deeply informs my craft. It is subject and structure, influencing everything from framing and pacing, to detail and syntax. Disability has also shifted my writing practice. I know that I might not always be well enough to write, so I take advantage of any opportunities and am grateful rather than critical of the work I produce during this time. I recognize that long stretches of writing time are not always possible and have learned to write…

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So Long January and I’m Gonna Get Me Some Answers #JusJoJan

I lagged behind at the end of it all this year.


I am feeling that word
in big and in small ways.

I’m looking ahead, into February and then into the following months. I know I just have to trust that what’s meant to happen will happen, that it will all work itself out.

January started with my hands on a brand new braille calendar and it’s ended with my anxiety high until I hear if my creatinine level has gone back down.

I think this final day of January was not a good day and won’t be remembered as one, for many, with the events in Washington DC and as Brexit finally takes effect.

What will we, the world, feel about these things, days and weeks and months and years from now? What will the history books say?

I feel I’m missing something, but I can’t quite name what it is I feel I’m missing.

It feels like a swirling inside my brain, as I return to less than daily postings or even less than weekly, as I’ve been going up until now.

I hope to get some answers this week and to move forward from there, but there are some instances where no answer will suffice.


Only In My Dreams #JusJoJan

Would I even be any good at it?


I am not one of those blind people who joke often about being able to
but I do dream that I am behind the wheel on occasion.

I am aware of my blindness in these dreams and still proud and feeling comfortable. I am not afraid I’ll crash, but I do recall a caution, which I am with a lot of things in my own life.

I do think some people are more natural at driving. My dreams would have me believe that I, if I could drive, would be one of those naturals.

During these occasional dreams, I seem sure of my destination, something I don’t usually feel so certain of in my waking hours.

I only had one dream where I was left alone in a car and then the car started to back out of the driveway and into the road as I panicked but couldn’t seem to be able to get out.

Self driving cars aren’t all that far off, are here already, but I don’t know if or when I will find myself behind that wheel, wide awake not dreaming.

for this prompt that has me dreaming of the possibilities of the future.


Heft #JusJoJan

I feel it during my Wednesday Pilates classes.

I am not so scientific as I wish I could be, but I like to imagine what it’s like, the great force that pulls us and all things down…down, down down.


Then I think of the
of some of the things we’re facing in today’s world – not so captivating.

I feel the hefty weight of the thing resting on my chest as I listen to the news, not listen to it. No matter what I do, I feel it.

And so, back to Pilates I go.

for the prompt word.