This is likely a song about one of those parents who is living through their child. That’s not why it struck a cord with me. It wasn’t anything like that. Yet, there was a time when I felt like I wasn’t trying hard enough and was letting everyone down.
“I believe that when the hurting and the pain has gone, We will be strong, Oh yes we will be strong And I believe that if I’m crying while I write these words Is it absurd? Or am I being real… I Believe – Tears For Fears
“I believe, no I can’t believe That every time you hear a newborn scream You just can’t see the shaping of a life.”
Okay, so you may be wondering, what’s with all the sad stuff.
This next one, I will write/quote no lyrics from, but see if you can tell the mood of it anyway.
It seems more upbeat anyway, than some of what I’ve included here, though it’s a young girl who is acting rather petty. In recognition of yesterday (March 8th) being International Women’s Day, I thought I’d showcase what growth and empowerment can stem from.
We all have a bit of a bad bit, inside, somewhere. This song is my way to end this list, on a bit of a cheeky note.
Of course, there are many more and I could likely do this again, even if it’s sometimes hard to think on the spot. So many to choose from, songs are my fuel and my energy to keep going, but I will stop at these four for today.
She is fourth in a row for nieces and nephews, all of whom make me smile everyday. Whether it’s Mya enjoying her first birthday cake and streamers, her big brother playing Ninja Turtles with his friends at the party, or my other niece and nephew set, making me a Happy Birthday video from the airport as they prepare to fly somewhere warm for a week – they all make my list, top of the list, each week I do this and all those weeks I’m not feeling well enough to do this. That’s when their ability to make me smile is needed all the more, though I happily take it anytime.
I’m thankful my ERG test went off without any problems, rather painlessly, though slightly uncomfortable at certain points.
Look at the bright, red light. Don’t blink. Count to fifteen. Now you can look away, close your eyes.
I hear back about what it is my retinal impulses say in a few weeks.
The woman doing the test was cheerful and friendly and helpful as she attached the electrodes to my earlobe, eyelid, and my wrist. Luckily, my right eye is my only real eye and so it was only that side I had to be tested on.
I’m thankful I haven’t caught the flu this year.
So many seem to have caught it, different bouts and strains, more than once. I don’t know. I did have my flu shot, though that topic is controversial.
It was February of 2015 when I heard a bunch of bloggers/writers hatching a plan to spread words of compassion throughout the online community, to combat all the awful events on the news, taking place all around the world.
It was a project with a lot of steam at first and it lasted several months, but slowly died down over time. People ran out of ways to write about the topic of compassion for 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion and we all moved on.
Three years later and I found something to say to mark the occasion anyway.
I’m thankful our ninth Ketchup On Pancakes podcast episode was ready for release.
We are aiming for one a month for the entire year, but we’ll see.
I’m thankful for animal/pet therapy.
My cousin owns a hair salon in her basement. She got a new little puppy for her family last weekend. She is only nine weeks and is hanging out down in the salon with us customers for now.
So, she was the sweetest thing and likes to cuddle with people. She spent my appointment in my lap. It was majorly calming.
I’m thankful for something of a head massage for my sore head at a hair appointment.
As my cousin washed and blow dried my hair, it helped my developing headache, likely from my ERG the day before.
I did not want my appointment to come to an end.
I’m thankful for easy listening and new age nature sounds/music when I’ve got an awful headache.
I found some Tony O’Connor
in Apple Music when I needed something comforting to listen to.
He has albums entirely devoted to soothing natural habitats such as ocean and rain forrest.
I’m thankful for my cousin who creates the most awesome cakes for any occasion.
She made one hell of a unicorn cake for Mya’s first birthday. It was delicious, even with all that icing.
I’m thankful for a brother and a friend, both of whom are computer savvy, and who put up with my impatience and my tendency to over think most things.
We had a lot to take care of this last weekend (spread sheets), but we finished off our days together (unofficial CFB executives meeting) by making big plans to look forward to.
I’m thankful for all the renewed joy of having a newborn around this past year, to have that with a little girl who shares my middle name.
In a way, I am deeply sad that perhaps the final baby of the family is growing passed that sweet infant stage, but she is growing into an absolutely adorable little girl with an incredible need to explore her world.
The best is when I am standing there and she crawls over to me, pulls herself up on my legs, and reaches up with her arms out.
Happy Birthday little girl. Xoxoxo Mya Lynn.
March…and lion or lamb…which comes first where you are?
“Time…to eat all your words…swallow your pride…open your eyes.”
I won’t include a link to TFF’s most well-known song: Everybody Wants to Rule the World, because I am sick of power and reckless lack of humanity.
As we show the next generation the way, we need to show them love, but too many of us won’t admit where we went wrong ourselves.
Though, (both love and hate, as movements/floods), can, instead, be seen as seeds sewn in each and every one of us given the right environment for such strong emotions.
Adults, those who are handed the positions of power and leadership, do your job and LEAD!!!
I am tired. I am not thinking all that straight. I just can’t…
I was pulled in two different directions on this night, just after February 20th, and of equal wonder, though firmly rooted in sadness for everything I wish could be different but isn’t.
First, a group of youth from the Jane and Finch area of Toronto were treated to a screening of Black Panther and given the chance to see a black man as superhero for a change.
Then, I heard recording of the students in Florida, one in particular, speaking out on the BS they see from the adults and those running their country.
I wanted to cheer all these kids on, to believe they would be in history books in years to come and for only the best of reasons, that they would see nothing else but positive role models that might show them some hope somewhere along the way.
I have two sets of nieces and nephews: one set currently attends a school in an urban setting, in a highly diverse neighbourhood, in one of the busiest cities in Canada.
My second set (nephew for the moment, but soon both nephew and niece, or soon enough) who go and will go to school, in a rural area. It’s out in the middle of the countryside, where their parent/aunt/uncles went to school once upon a time, long long ago, where we grew up in a highly sheltered setting.
If I thought, ever for one moment truly, that any of them were at risk of having some angry/out-of-control person walk into their classrooms with a dangerous weapon, able to kill like we all saw in Florida last week…
My chest both constricts painfully and threatens to burst at such a notion as this. I can hear the anger and the pain and frustration in the voice of that young woman on the video, speaking up for her friends and classmates and herself.
I know there is anger and it is justified. I just wish she wasn’t left with such anger in the first place. It seems to be pushing a great many young people, those speaking with such poise for the media and the world to hear, and these are young people who were born around the turn of this new century, barely even born when 9/11 occurred.
Now I am forced to contemplate my own loved one’s voice shake with anger like that, if anything were to ever happen so dreadful as all this, and I don’t want to.
February 20th was the 3rd anniversary of 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, the blogging event that a bunch of writers created all the way back in 2015 and of which I was moved to join in on at the time.
More regular violence in places like Syria (those poor babies), (in schools/places of worship) but also there have been changes for the better since 2015 – #MeToo and #TimesUp to name a few.
On this anniversary, with so many horrible things/monumental things having taken place in the last three years, I thought I’d write again on the subject of compassion toward ourselves, each other, and the wider world. Today I was inspired to speak about this, using one of my favourite bands and their lyrics to make my point.
And so, another senseless event, and I have nothing to say, but I find words anyway, but perhaps I am just too naive to know any better. I still believe:
The songs I’ve chosen for this post, from Tears For Fears, they make me cry and they make me keep on hoping, shouting my message of compassion, even in my most furious and pained moments.
As for 1000Speak, this blogging movement for compassion did not continue more than a few years, as I sensed many of its original participants found they eventually couldn’t restate the same things anymore, that they had no more to give to it, no more to add. The fatigue sets in and we ask “what’s the point”?
I get it. I mean, after all, who’s really even listening to my thoughts on all this anyway?
Things change and life goes on, I understand, as sad as that made me, and still does. I feel that same way, but I still write. I don’t give up on compassion. I keep saying my piece. I am glad new voices are always being added though.
Children do need to be where we find hope, where we first look to demonstrate our own humanity, as those who should know better, even if some of us never were shown the way ourselves.
Compassion is a seed that must be sewn and sewn again and again and again.
Thank you to all the hard-working gardeners who keep at it, season after season, year upon year, and throughout all kinds of weather.
As TFF lyrics once put it, as far as compassion and the spreading of it goes: “it’s under my skin and out of my hands.”
I am feeling a little like I am frozen, and I’m warm while I say that. I don’t need to be out in a snow bank to say it. It is January, a new year, and I am frozen by many fears. I am afraid I will accomplish nothing, that this year of 2016 will be empty and a blank void in my life. I feel frozen by indecision and by uncertainty, but I hope I can find a way to thaw from that feeling of being frozen by all of this, that I can find the courage to take risks and keep moving forward.
I am equal parts afraid and optimistic. I am a lot hesitant and somewhat hopeful. The fear that I could go a whole year and not get anywhere at all clings on tight. On the other hand, I see a wide open year ahead as full of unknown possibility and promise of something great.
You never know the experiences you might have, the events in life that you just can’t plan for, and the people you may meet, who may come into your life for all kinds of reasons, for the short term only or for longer.
Here I am, a year on from the fear and those remarks I made on my blog at the start of 2016, and a good year for me personally and creatively, trying new things, all by deciding to focus on myself is how 2016 actually turned out.
And now, I end 2016 and begin 2017 by looking back, at the year I’ve just had and ahead to the year to come.
Then, to kick things up a notch, I thought the best way to focus on my writing was to take a writing workshop with a Canadian writer I’ve admired since I began blogging and seriously writing. Carrie Snyder – Obscure CanLit Mama
Her style to creative work was just what I needed and it made me open up and here I am, one year later exactly, off to broaden my writing workshop horizons.
In reality, my brother had just come off a close medical call and was becoming himself again. I had lots to be thankful for.
I just needed a bit of a push, some creative inspiration,
and a path for a new direction in my life.
The year 2016 would, by many, be labeled “The Year All the Greats Died…the cursed year” even if you look at that with perspective from other years, past or future.
It began with David Bowie, but for me, it all started with Snape,
as Bowie hadn’t quite meant to me what he’d meant to many others who felt his loss.
A new year maybe, but a new month meant another #1000Speak,
focusing on the subject of forgiveness.
With the start of 2016 I decided to start a new Friday tradition.
This third month of 2016 would bring more music, as I would discover my theme song for the year and forevermore: Scars – Emmanuel Jal Feat. Nelly Furtado
and I would officially begin to learn how to play the violin, with lessons that would challenge and reward me, in both big and small ways.
Then, in honour of International Day of Happiness, I wrote a piece for March’s #1000Speak
about how music makes me happy.
By this point in the year, I decided to cut back on blogging and write more of the memoir I’ve always planned for.
The writing mentor was a big deal, for that, as great and knowledgeable as she is and as much guidance as she’s been so far, but it was a sign that I could make writing my future – only I could do that.
Weeks before, at the end of May, the lead singer of Canada’s own Tragically Hip announced his fight with brain cancer and all his fans of Canada were listening, especially all across the country, one night in August.
“Regarding the influence from his poet-balladeer father, Cohen has said, “He’s tremendously helpful. Forget that I am his son. I was tutored in lyric-writing by Leonard Cohen and I had his sensibilities to draw upon. And I’m not just talking genetically. I could literally talk to the cat and he could lean over my notebook and point to a couple of phrases and say, ‘These are strong, these are weak.’ How can I consider myself anything but incredibly fortunate.”
Canada loses a great artist and the world all feels it, a distraction, in the form of RIP Leonard Cohen,
just following the chaos in the United States.
I focused on my own personal growth for a greater part of 2016, but managed to fit in a little, last minute dating during the final days. Also, I made new and face-to-face connections with a few local women writers. So, a balance of personal and social, for good measure.
A few of the final famous deaths of 2016 would include daughter/mother pair Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, but for me, it was the loss of this guy that brought me back twenty or so years:
I watched Days of Our Lives multiple days a week, while I was sick at home from school or stuck on dialysis. It was my favourite soap opera of the late 90s, as ridiculous as the storylines always were.
And now, here I am, and another January is upon me.
It is a bit of a contemplative month, with the new year so new and fresh, but I value it for its melancholyish quality. It is a quiet time of reflection and so much possibility ahead.
As a new year begins I search for the motivation I see all around me, the kind that is going to get me to the places I strive to get to. I feel the blueness of January and hope I can find some momentum in the months to come.
My 2016 Resolutions were:
I want to make more connections with writers, creative and smart women, and I want to keep writing. I want to not be afraid to keep putting my words out there, even though the fear of more rejection is a lingering one.
Some make resolutions, others pick one word for their year, but I resist doing both. If I have to choose one word though, I suppose I will go with “Adventure”. I do want more of this, as I believe life is one giant adventure, all the years we get to live it.
I don’t look forward to these months, I have to say. This month’s topic for #1000Speak is “Self Compassion” and I find that one most difficult to write about. I could go all day long about any other topic under the “Compassion Umbrella” but when I must turn all my reflections inward, on me as a person, I struggle and even debate skipping May’s linkup altogether.
But here I am. I do like a challenge. Showing myself self compassion is just that.
So many of us wrestle with turning our writing in on ourselves. I know I am not alone. I have my reasons, for why I resist showing myself the kind of compassion I fancy myself so good at showing anyone else, just like everyone else who can’t show themselves that very same courtesy either.
Lately I’ve seen a lot of awful things. I’ve heard from so many with terrible stories of difficult childhoods, all setting them up for failure with self compassion, and I have none of that. I know I am lucky there.
I had supportive and loving parents and a close family growing up. All still true. Every one of them contributed to the best of who I am, not the worst thoughts and ideas I think about myself, during those darker moments.
It is not in spite of them, but because of them that I have the sort of love for myself as a person that I do. I do see my own worth. How could I not, with family like mine? They made me who I am.
We all have our own unique struggles. We are taught a lot about arrogance and narcissism in our world. It’s all around us. How to avoid taking on the worst of those qualities? If we love ourselves a little too much we are called out on it. If we constantly put ourselves down we make it too painful to be around. How to find a balance?
Well, without a stable childhood it is made one hundred times harder. I have the advantage there. I try to show myself compassion and then the negative thoughts creep in. It didn’t start from a need to be loved, not by family, to be perfect, but I got it anyway, in my own way.
Growing up with a disability makes you stronger. I can readily admit that. It teaches resilience and determination. That’s all well and good, but it also creates vast amounts of insecurities and guilt.
Am I worth being around?
Am I good enough?
Am I good at anything?
Am I or have I ever been a burden for someone?
Am I enough, in friendships and in romantic relationships? Do I deserve happiness? Will I ever find it or am I meant to end up alone?
Is that a bad thing in the end? Could I survive it and be okay anyway?
So, how to get okay with any of these?
Of course, I am familiar with the truth that “we must love ourselves before we can expect anyone else to love us” and I agree. My whole life, up until now and going forward, is focused on developing the skills and the belief in myself, to become stronger, for better or for worse.
I don’t know how anyone knows they love who they are enough that love from someone else will work out. Do I push people away? Is there something in me, a doubt and a faithlessness, that anyone I attempt to get close to can feel, of which inevitably ends up driving them away?
These are all questions that run through my head. I don’t know how to make it stop, how to finally answer for my own personal satisfaction.
So, then the challenge becomes finding meaning in what I love and what I know I am all about, a new internal fight begins. It’s more uncertainty that nags at me by this point.
So, I can repeat continuous statements of positivity in my head, out loud, or in my writing. I can then hope those thoughts take hold in my mind, as I desperately hope to believe I can be happy.
I try things like write down what I’m grateful for. I try to remind myself of the things I can do, instead of everything I cannot. That scale often feels unbalanced, but I steady myself whenever possible.
If I feel like I’ve got no friends, no hope for finding love, like I’m not meant to ever have children and a family of my own, like I will never find a job and support myself, like I can never look the way I want or be at the right weight then I would drown in a sea of hopelessness. I have somehow found a way not to lose hope, to keep the faith, even during the rougher moments.
Underneath it all I was raised to value myself. That is a foundation that will never let me down, one which I can always count on and look to for strength. It’s the building up from that initial base, since then that sometimes threatens to crumble. I must do whatever I can to stop that destruction.
I have no finality on this matter, no answers, nor conclusions. I am still figuring it all out.
would be coming soon after. Rather than talking about what I’ve learned about having a blog for two years, I figured that instead I would round up each monthly contribution I made to 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion over the last twelve months, all in one place. This, I’ve decided, is the best way I can think to truly illustrate the importance it has had in my life this past year and I hope to continue with it in the future.
and today is Thanksgiving in the US, but I am in Canada.
We celebrated our Thanksgiving a month ago. My family and I spent that beautiful weekend at a pumpkin patch and corn maze. I will always be thankful for days like that with my family.
I have had all week to write about gratitude. I did not write a post for this on the 20th, but I thought, since I am not celebrating feeling thankful and grateful by eating turkey and pie, I’d write about feeling thankful and grateful instead.
I like to associate this holiday with pumpkins and harvest, rather than Natives and Pilgrims. I don’t associate feeling thankful with any sort of history and I don’t even really like pie.
I also don’t like that tomorrow is Black Friday. It feels bad to me. I like things, material objects, as much as anybody. I just wouldn’t be willing to get trampled to death for the pleasure of obtaining more of them.
I know what the holidays, starting with tomorrow are about, a lot of the time, but I am not even sure how I’m going to feel about the holidays this year.
I don’t know about miracles, but I have seen a lot of things that come close. why, just last week my brother became very ill very fast. I am thankful he’s doing better. It could have been something so much more serious.
I can list many things for which I am grateful, because I like to say my glass isn’t ever half empty or half full. I just spill a little sometimes.
I guess I feel weary with all the materialism of these celebrations, when I hear about all the bad stuff going on, but I don’t have to look far to find things to be thankful for in my own life.
I do it on a weekly basis now, thanks to the blog hop I discovered six months ago:
I am thankful for this weekly exercise in silver linings, thanks to Lizzi at Silver Linings.
I know Americans like to say what they are thankful for on this day. In addition to Ten Things of Thankful, here are some more things I am thankful for. Instead of speaking about them around a dinner table I will talk about them here.
I am determined to focus on feeling thankful, even as I feel the bad stuff in the wider world growing. If it’s true that terrorists want to divide and conquer, I won’t stop thinking positive. I won’t let them have everything, not if I can help it.
I have enough trouble thinking of the pain and misery humans keep causing for other humans, but I keep many thoughts buried deep in my own head. Sometimes it feels like I might explode with all that bothers me, but as long as I have writing and my blog to help make things a little easier, I will use both for taking the edge off of that hurt.
I am thankful for the direction Canada appears to be heading. I was numb and hiding from national and political stuff for several years. I felt like I had no control and I did not like the things that were going on, like someone was trying to pull wool over my eyes and the eyes of Canada, so I checked out as my way of dealing with that feeling.
Justin Trudeau could turn out to be just as bad, but I have a good feeling about him and I hope I’m right. The change, either way, has made me grateful for several weeks now. I hope Trudeau’s government and the decisions they make on terrorism and environmental issues, for example, are going to make us all proud to be Canadian.
I am thankful for Christmas. Even as hard as last year was, I still am a Christmas girl at heart, which gives me hope that this year I will be able to find all the happiness and joy in the season that I’ve always found.
I am thankful for my father, who turns sixty in a few days. I am trying to figure out just what to say about that. I want to say more than a few words of gratitude, as the best present I can think to give him are my words, but it’s hard to put that kind of thing into words of any kind.
It’s strange to write so much about gratitude and thankfulness, focusing on it at least once a week. So many times I want to let other things win: envy, fear, hopelessness. I remind myself, several times a day sometimes, that being grateful is worth the extra energy it often takes. The reminder is necessary. It keeps me going.
My envy for other people and the things they have sometimes threatens to swallow me whole. If it weren’t for how lucky I logically know I am, it would be impossible to go on.
I am grateful for the kindness of people, those who take the time to get to know me, to speak to me like a human being. I don’t want pity and never have. I am grateful for so much, but that wouldn’t be so true and meaningful if it weren’t for all the things that remain hard and painful and lost to me.
When I am having a bad day, wishing I could see colours still, remembering the loss of a family member, relationship, or time in my life I loved I want to throw my hands up and scream. Then the clouds that were so grey one minute part and the sun shines in. I don’t have to work too hard to make this happen.
I am thankful I have no serious mental illness. A girl shouldn’t have to shoulder both physical and mental illness at once. I know there are people who do, but I got the one, not the other. I am thankful for a clear mind, albeit foggy at times. I look at the world in crisis, so much of the time, and I focus on the stability I am so lucky to have in my own life.
So I am not sure how long I should wait for the other shoe to drop. That’s how I often think. All the thankful posts in the world can’t truly drown that thought out, but I’ll keep trying anyway.
So there you have it. This post did not include lots of statistics or scientific articles about gratitude. Others wrote about that. I could only tackle the subject from my personal perspective. I am thankful for personal perspective, in all its forms.
The 3 types of terror: The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it’s when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against your arm. The Horror: the unnatural, spiders the size of bears, the dead waking up and walking around, it’s when the lights go out and something with claws grabs you by the arm. And the last and worse one: Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It’s when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there’s nothing there…
Who’s afraid of spiders?
Who likes to be scared?
I watched a scary movie, but waited until after Halloween was over, as if somehow this made me safer. I believe it was the third and worst one, according to King, the king of the horror genre.
I know. I know. I am aware that Halloween is done and over with, that it is the start to a brand new month, and Christmas merchandise is beginning its reveal in stores, but just stay with me a minute or two, or as long as it takes you to check out this edition of the TToT.
Since this is about the week that just was, there is a clear Halloweenish theme to it, but this includes lots of chocolate and candy talk and a reminder added to the title, to remind everyone to turn clocks back one hour, if they haven’t already.
If so, what are you waiting for? Did you forget? That would explain why things seemed off all day.
The #1000Speak blog asked me to write the guest blog for this week on their website and I thank them for the opportunity.
For Halloween candy.
Sure, it’s just candy, but something about the size of the chocolate bars, makes me think I am in the clear because I am eating less, but I realize, after Halloween is over, the trick that was just played on me.
Well, anyway, it makes it fun and it brings back many memories.
My siblings and I used to all gather on the wreck room carpet at the end of the night, dump out all our candy, and share and trade with one another. My father would stand by to snatch his favourite chocolate when we weren’t looking.
Just kidding. He asked first, most times. )Parental Tax)
For the humorous side of this horror filled holiday.
For little trick-or-treaters, or not so little, as the case may be.
Yes, from the smallest to the very big. The small ones are sweet, but some kids find it hard to give up free candy.
When should kids stop? We were debating this question.
Some of them say the funniest things. The little ones are often so polite. The rain fell for a while, but they were troopers.
For not having my house get toilet papered or egged in some sort of a retaliation
We gave too much away at the start, which left us rationing by the end. We eventually had no choice and had to close the door, but a handful of kids kept coming. They very well could have been pissed and returned aiming for blood, or aiming with eggs as the case may be.
As a matter-of-fact, I am thankful I have never been toilet papered or egged in this house. I do live near a school and park. Could be the perfect target for punks, if they wanted to.
For my favourite little trick-or-treater of all
My friend returned, this time with her little pumpkin.
This particular jack-o’-lantern is only six months old. This means she has no teeth yet and can’t eat candy or chocolate.
She sure tried her hardest. I don’t know if you can tell from the photo of the evidence left behind, but she chewed on that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for quite a while. It didn’t end quite like she’d hoped, but she had fun trying.
That was one heavily drooled upon package of mushed up chocolate.
I, myself, did not walk with any such thing. I would say zombies are some of the worst creatures there are, even though people have gone crazy for a show about them. I get totally creeped out. Even Brad Pitt wasn’t enough to make them tolerable to me.
Thanks to my brother (music expert extraordinaire that he is) for the strange and unfamiliar Halloween themed song selections.
And, to the departed Mr. Lugosi, you will always hold the place of Dracula and no disrespect meant Sir.
Well, another Halloween over and I still didn’t manage to finish reading Dracula. So, here’s a quote from Dracula’s literary horror rival instead.
“So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein–far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.”
I know the story of Anne Frank and her diary. I just recently had a chance to focus on the stories of the other people trapped with her, because they too had separate stories of their own.
Anne was a typical teenager, despite the chaos going on all around her. She did not get along with her mother, was jealous of her sister’s supposed perfection, and referred to the man she had to share a room with in the Annex as an idiot and a dolt.
This was only her side of the story.
Anne’s mother loved her two children, worried sick about them, and only wanted them to be safe.
Margot may have been more reserved and quiet than her rambunctious younger sister, but she had dreams of becoming a nurse and helping children after the war.
The man Anne was referring to had a life outside the Annex. He had a woman who loved him and whom he loved, a child, and had no family to lean on during all that time in hiding.
Anne loved her father above all others. She even had a special nickname for him and everything. She sometimes felt he sided with her mother against her, but she rarely, if ever said one bad thing about him. He was her hero.
Otto Frank was left to face the future, post war, without any one of his family left alive. He had to face the fact that his two daughters and his wife were never coming back to him and he had to figure out a way to go on without them.
He, with the help of friend Miep Gies, decided that his little girl’s story needed to be told.
I am here to make sure her story goes on being heard, but that the others affected and ultimately lost have their stories known too.
Then there’s some history of my own country and hopefully a better future. I must admit that I don’t know much about Aboriginal stories. These are people living in my own country and I know very little about their history, their heritage, and their stories.
I learned some in school, yes, but not nearly enough. I feel separate and cut off, I will say.
I am doing some research, for an upcoming Canada Day post, and I don’t like what I hear.
The facts about the residential schools must be told. It’s not just one story though, but a multitude of stories. I think it’s about time Canada heard these stories.
And then there’s the terrible shooting in Charleston, South Carolina that took place.
A twenty-one-year-old walked into an historic African-American church, sat down to join a prayer group in session, and eventually opened fire, killing nine innocent people.
I know a lot of people will be writing about this for 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion.
I know very little about it, even though it has been all over the news for days now:
I honestly feel numb. My brother and I both agreed on that lack of emotion.
This doesn’t mean I feel any less horrible. I just don’t know what is left to say.
I could rant about my feelings on gun control and a pervasive gun culture. I could speak about a country that is filled with stories, including those of the poor victims and their families and yes, even the shooter.
Well, I still don’t know where to start, so I will focus on the big picture.
“That ain’t the picture. It’s just a part. Everybody’s got a story that could break your heart.”
Yes, thank you Amanda.
It’s funny how life works sometimes.
I was planning this #1000Speak post about everybody’s stories, when a friend brought my attention to a TED video.
Now, I love these and I’d actually listened to this particular speaker before, but I thank my friend still. I admire her and her spirit and for thinking of me.
they are both strong and intelligent women, full of passion and compassion. Both their stories make them who they are.
“Patronizing, well-meaning pity.”
The above TED speaker sums it up nicely, exactly what happens when we jump to conclusions about people, without first looking at who they truly are, in all their glory and depth. Is the story we’ve been told about something really the right story?
I too have a story:
**It’s made up of the wonderful family I have and the happy childhood I experienced.
**It’s made up of the challenging and character-building experiences living with blindness all my life instills in me.
**It’s made up of the additional medical issues I’ve had and the barriers that were put in my path as a result.
A balance of stories.”
I know we all have our perceptions and our realities. We all make our minds up, when we hear someone’s story.
People meet me, see that I am blind, and right away they may think they can paint a picture of what my story must look like.
Chimamanda says it best: stereotypes are not untrue, but incomplete….
Stereotypes about blindness are deeply ingrained in people’s consciousness. I have felt pity and longed for more, for compassion, understanding, and connection in pity’s place.
I don’t know enough about all those who lived and died in war, those I share Canada with, the victims and perpetrators of gun violence, or what life’s really like on the African continent.
I say I have become numb to tragedy and senseless violence, but I realize that is not at all what I want for myself, or for any of us.
“Stories matter. Many stories matter.”
I want to be passionate and compassionate. I listen to passionate speakers like this and I want to be passionate about things like literature, writing, and social issues.
I want to tell my story and to tell the stories of many other people. That is why I love this blog and I love writing. I can tell stories, not one single story, but every story I can possibly tell.
Adichie says about stories: they can empower and humanize. Break or repair that broken dignity.
I recently heard about this one and I thought about taking part, only for a second, before common sense returned: perhaps next year.
I already have enough on my plate, so much that I am letting this blogging thing take over my entire life practically.
Okay, that’s a tad over-dramatic perhaps, because I really do enjoy it.
I have a place where I can go to write about all the things that are important to me. I feel, even for a few moments, that I am doing something worthwhile, even if I can’t do all I would like.
I just need to keep things in perspective, if I can, and try to maintain a balance in my life.
This blogging universe, I am learning, is really quite a small one. It’s a bit, I’ve noticed, like school.
It’s like the playground, I suppose you could say. It would make a good metaphor, especially for the topic of bullying I’ve just mentioned.
It’s not a bad thing. There seems to be a lot of support, from what I’ve seen and experienced so far. I haven’t witnessed a lot of bullying or judgment, but then again I didn’t see that constantly when in school either, but it did exist.
I just see a lot of the same bloggers, on any particular blog I might click on. I end up feeling a bit like I always did in school, a part of it, yet not really. It was like I was on the outskirts, looking in. I just keep doing it for my own reasons, doing what feels right for me, and that’s all I can ask for.
I continue to write about what matters to me, what my heart tells me to write.
I should be back again for my usual Monday post next week, with hopefully a few more in between, if I don’t let all this technology trouble get me down in the meantime.