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TToT: Snow In April – That’s Disgusting! #10Thankful

Besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life,

an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhist influence

and which is embodied in the concept of:

Mono no aware

The transience of the blossoms, the exquisite beauty and volatility, has often associated with mortality

and graceful and readily acceptance of destiny and karma; for this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic

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I’ve been obsessed lately with cherry blossoms, which I hear are popping up in many spots around the world, from the west coast of Canada, to D.C. USA, to Japan of course.

Sakura

I found several songs (Japanese folk songs) about cherry blossoms. I found, through further investigation and coincidence, that they have a meaning closely related to one not-so-thankful thing that did happen this week, along with the colder weather around here.

Here in Ontario, Canada it has been bitterly cold this weekend. Here’s my list of thankfuls, in spite of the weather, which I hope will improve very soon.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For a chance Facebook Messenger chat last Sunday evening, after months of a developing online writing relationship, and suddenly I had myself a writing mentor.

I wasn’t altogether happy with where I was with my writing and she saw that in me, rightly so. She volunteered and I eagerly reached out for her offered help.

For a return to my violin lessons.

Finally, there was no more interrupted holidays or illnesses. I couldn’t get by with only one lesson, if I were ever going to become even halfway decent.

For one hour, I go into a small practice room, on a university campus, and I funnel all my energy, all my mental power, into what my fingers are doing, holding the bow, how my arm is held to have a proper reach on the notes, and all the while making sure I don’t raise my right shoulder. It all takes incredible focus for me. I think nothing but violin, often forgetting many other basic facts and details about my life.

Sound dramatic? Well, it’s all true.

🙂

For the 100 year celebration of a life.

A master at work. Powerful performance.

Gregory Peck would have turned one hundred and I thought it worth mentioning the performance of a lifetime he gave. It makes me tear up when I watch, every time.

I like his reaction when he asks Scout if she knows what a compromise means. When she answers with “bending the law” as her guess, his reaction is priceless, not to mention the part about how “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view”.

For the sense of bonding with those who understand.

It’s just nice, even when I’m not feeling always up to going, to get out and spend a few hours, one evening every few weeks, at my favourite place: the library.

We may all be of different ages and have a wide array of writing interests, but we all are there because we love writing/storytelling in some capacity.

For a wide open release of our song.

And now…I present to you…

DON’T LOOK BACK

If you listen to one song today, make it THIS ONE! Lyrics written by – THIS GIRL!

🙂

For a dinner with my parents, after an afternoon where it was brought home to me how lucky I am to have them both.

We went to pay our respects, to an old family friend, someone who means so much to so many. He was a wonderful family man: husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend.

He fought hard, battling the cancer, that would eventually take his life.

I thought harder still about the cherry blossom, once I learned its meaning, the only actual flowers I saw (with the weather being as it is) this week was what I could detect the scent of, as people send flowers as a condolence to the grieving family.

For a history of 90s music remembered with a legend.

You Know You’re Right – Nirvana

Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain died, twenty-two years ago, but he will always be what the nineties were for my brothers, who introduced the grunge world and this band in particular, to me. It was a kind of music none of us had ever heard at the time.

For the first voice-to-face meeting with my new writing mentor.

What would we do without the invention of a little thing called Skype?

It was nice, though I was nervous originally, to finally hear her voice, after months of online interaction.

We had a beneficial first meeting, discussing writing and nothing but, for more than an hour. She told me some things I needed to hear, things about my abilities as a writer. She let me learn from her and the road she has traveled into the world of mostly literary travel writing.

I left the call, by the end, feeling highly energized and hopeful.

For another extremely enjoyable family gathering.

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For my siblings.

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It’s Siblings Day today and I celebrated yesterday: had some excellent discussions with my sisters, have enjoyed collaborating on a song with my younger brother, and had my older brother do what he does best and that’s take photographs. This, however, means he is rarely, if ever, actually featured in any of our photos himself.

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I would not be the person I am today without these guys.

And so, all and all, it was an overall success of a week. Big things are happening. I can feel it.

While, at the same time, life isn’t always easy and things happen we’re never going to be ready for.

Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks

Traveling to pay our respects, driving through the old neighbourhood of the deceased and his family, my mom talked about the people and the history of the area.

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The past felt so long back, to me, but it all felt very present just then, and I was left wondering about the future.

***

Goodbye Michelle, my little one

You gave me love and helped me find the sun

And every time I was down

You would always come around

And get my feet back on the ground

Goodbye Michelle it’s hard to die

When all the birds are singing in the sky

Now that the spring is in the air

With the flowers everywhere

I wish that we could both be there

We had joy we had fun

We had seasons in the sun

But the wine and the song like the seasons

Have all gone

All our lives we had fun

We had seasons in the sun

But the hills that we climbed were just seasons

Out of time

***

http://www.metrolyrics.com/seasons-in-the-sun-lyrics-terry-jacks.html

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Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Memoir Monday, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

I can See! I can see!

Spring has sprung!

Well, almost nearly.

Even so, I am loving the talk of blooming cherry blossoms, tulips, and just the other night it was another blood moon and short eclipse.

April is daffodil month.

April showers. Bring on the rain.

Another Memoir Monday and edition of,

The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

In my post, from one week ago, which I fittingly called:

Social Media,

I introduced the new Facebook page.

Please feel free to join me there, where more will be introduced in the months to come by myself, Rose, and others.

There’s just a lot going on right now, as spring arrives, and always in the world of blogging.

🙂

***

Q: If you could “cure” the disabilities that affect your life, would you?

Why or why not?

A: Do any of you remember the Barqs Rootbeer commercial with the blind man?

Perhaps not. I searched all over YouTube and found every old Barqs commercial but the one I wanted.

😦

Well, the blind man is offered a Barqs and, upon drinking, he proclaims:

“I can see! I can see!”

With this the other guy says:

“Really?”

“No. But it’s got some bite to it though.”

Funny stuff when I saw it, at the time. I quote it now and again, but it raises some interesting questions.

I like to imagine I were the one taking a drink of pop one day and suddenly I am able to see, just like the commercial promised.

😉

I used to answer the above question from this post with a defiant “NO” because I thought that meant I was accepting and proud of my situation and my life.

Does the fact that I have changed my tune on that mean I haven’t accepted anything after all?

I don’t know. All I know is that if I had the chance, suddenly to see, I would be a fool not to take it.

I am not talking about literally, as science stands now.

All the time I read about some new developments in the world of medicine, allowing the blind to see. I usually don’t jump at the chance because it isn’t as the headlines would make it seem.

Most times it’s speaking about some contraption or device, worn on the head, wired up and with a battery pack. It’s some pair of space-aged glasses that send some sort of signals and produce outlines or shapes, giving the wearer some kind of ability to sense objects in front of them.

This is how I see now. Anything more than that gets more complicated.

There is no pill to take and no surgery in the world can bring back the sight I used to have, let alone the sight I have never had before.

If, in some futuristic or magical moment, true and full vision were possible I would be first in line.

I won’t stand here anymore and say I am happy with my life and don’t need to be fixed or cured. I wouldn’t get in my own way like that.

If I could see things would…well, they would still be complicated as life often is, but they would be easier. It would make things a whole lot easier on myself and on others.

I could see colours again. I could see the expressions on my family’s faces.

I could drive. I could write. I could walk unassisted and unaided.

It would be easier to find employment and the job prospects would grow exponentially.

I am not too proud to say I could use the help.

Wanting that and wanting more for my life than I currently have does not mean I am not happy right now.

Being blind has taught me to appreciate things and to not take life for granted. I might not have that same perspective if it weren’t for blindness, not that I would be a bad person had I never experienced all that.

I am glad I did not have parents who couldn’t accept my disability and who went on a determined search for some magic cure. Some parents did or do just that.

I was taught to work with what I’ve got and to make the best of it. I’ve had a mostly happy life. I am lucky.

IF I could see though, I would. I would take that huge gift, if science or some other entity offered it. I would experience things I have only dreamed of.

I would take it and rush to stand in a bookstore or library, surrounded by my beloved books, of which I could finally pick up and read.

The world would look strange to me and I can’t quite imagine it, as I write this. What kind of world would that be? What would it look like to me?

I recommend a movie now, all about a man’s journey to almost having his sight back.

At First Sight: starring Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino.

I saw it in the theatre in 1999, it struck a cord, and I have wondered seriously on the question ever since.

It’s about finding love and what two people do to stay together and to make it work.

She wants only the best for him and that, she thinks, includes helping him get his sight back.

Was it his blindness that got in the way of their happiness or the fact that she couldn’t accept him for him?

This is a question, in a way, for another time. It only demonstrates how complex it really is, to suddenly get one’s sight back.

I answer this question with a yes, while others may answer differently, but in the meantime I like commercials that can make a joke out of something so hard to fathom for anyone who has been blind all her life like I have.

***

Would you choose to get rid of something about yourself, anything, if you had that choice?

Why or why not?

Spread the word.

The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge: Redefining Disability, on Facebook.

Like, like like.

Share, share, share.

And until next week:

What things are most important to you when it comes to media representation for people with disabilities or your disability in particular?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIY0AcBZm28

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