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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.

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What a
journey
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.

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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.

2016

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMr2NXeRXsI

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?”

2020

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?”

Peace.

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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.

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I am feeling that word
“Chaos”
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.

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Only In My Dreams #JusJoJan

Would I even be any good at it?

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I am not one of those blind people who joke often about being able to
drive,
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.

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

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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.

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Then I think of the
gravity
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.

Thanks,
Zhenzhen,
for the prompt word.

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101 Barks and Flashbacks #JusJoJan

I seem to be one day off, at the least of things, in my 2020 plans and in these daily writing prompts.

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Yesterday I wrote about my dog getting into some chocolates a friend had given me.

Today, I think about all the
dogs
on my street, one of the ones on the street behind my house having barked loudly as soon as I let Dobby out the back the other morning.

It’s a morning chorus of dogs on one street, wondering who all they might meet.

It reminds me of that scene from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians when a network of barking and howling dogs spread the message that a gang of poor little puppies had been stolen.

I miss those days of watching Disney movies at my cousins/ place: 101 Dalmatians and Lady and the Tramp.

Thanks,
Di,
for this prompt that read my blog correctly.

And since your blog happens to have 101 in the name: What of coincidences?

It’s Friday and I’m flashing back to another time. Now, should I sign up for Disney+?

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I Wanted Those Dobby #JusJoJan

Tuesday’s
Just Jot It January #JusJoJan
prompt word was given by
John
and that was the day I received a treat from a friend.

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My dog clearly noticed the lovely bag of chocolates a friend generously gave to me. I came home and found that he’d thought them super
scrumptious
because there were the empty wrappers on the floor and on the chair when I returned home from my meeting.

It’s my fault, of course, for leaving the bag out on the low table with full access.

I know it’s said how dogs shouldn’t have chocolate, can’t have chocolate, and could get sick or worse, but it’s been more than twenty-four hours and he seems like himself still.

I wanted all those chocolates, Dobby.

Thanks,
Maggie,
for the delicious prompt word.

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