Blogging, TToT

TToT: Red Means Stop and Green Means Go – Daffodil Hill, #10Thankful

Guess what?

Back and Better Than Ever

I sit here, feeling the vibration of the music underfoot. The music comes up through the floor at my feet and the art is flowing all around me.

As for me, I have my tool back, the one which I need now, if I even hope to write, the thing closest to breathing. Music is that for those in my basement.

Times Like These

Music. Writing. Creativity. Art. It’s all necessary, to keep this world bright and hopeful. Or to keep me bright and hopeful at least.

I had been feeling the pressure to write, but lately I have been held back by old and dying technology. I managed to keep up with my favourite weekly posts – somehow.

😉

Until last week of course. But last week I finally through my hands up in the air in frustration, when I couldn’t deal with a computer that resisted my attempts. I hated to miss this place, but I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Help arrived just in time.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For all the things I spoke of at the start of this post.

I am thankful I can offer a practice space to my brother and his fellow musicians.

This house is more than capable of providing a place for the kind of sounds of their guitars, drums, and vocals.

For the chance to observe the art they create. They do it all. They write their songs and perform them. They make something, where once there was nothing. That is producing something of beauty, putting something of beauty back into the world, when so much is taken away every day.

For my generous parents.

They see when I am struggling. They gave me back my creativity, when something came along and took it away for a while there.

For my brother’s help.

He knows his stuff and helped me find what I needed.

And for helpful computer guys on the phone.

For a sweet sweet computer.

Apple is not the product for everybody, as it once wasn’t for me, but they make magic and technology becomes my friend and ally once more.

For the slickest of slick Bluetooth keyboards.

This thing is so light and it allows me to write.

🙂

For helpful second brother to help me get new technology set up and working.

I needed to get my blogging/journal program to work and that involves a lot of the know-how of which I do not possess.

My brother rescues me from extra headaches. Invaluable.

For learning my second song on the violin.

My brother showed me the first few notes, fairly similar to “Twinkle Twinkle”, which I first learned.

Then I went to my lesson and learned the rest of a second song, a surprise for someone I love coming up soon.

For helpful cab drivers.

I took one to my lesson. He was helpful and gave me his number, eager to take me back when I was done.

It sounded a bit odd at first, but I know there are kind people. I hate to not take them up on that kindness. Perhaps he just desperately needed my business, but I appreciated it.

He described the streets (for my own knowledge, he said) and told me to call for a ride, anytime.

For creativity and a new project in the works.

I had an idea to try doing a Podcast. It will be based around the sibling relationship with my brother.

I had the idea and he went to school to know how to record.

He knew how to set up microphones and record us. It reminded me of all the times he taped us as kids. Of course, pictures meant nothing to him. He never could see them. I wouldn’t see them for long. Recording our voices, our experiences, this was how we passed our time growing up and how we captured memories, now all kept on cassette tapes he still has today.

I want to create something new and maybe it will become something.

Perhaps nobody but me will want to hear the sort of discussions my brother and I have, but maybe, just maybe we can say something, share something, speak to something.

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman

This song was performed live, at an open mic night I went out to Friday evening. It was a beautiful version, but this one is the one I’ve always loved, the one that makes me tear up when I hear it, and of which I love to return to.

“So remember when we were driving, driving in your car. Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk. City lights laid out before us, and your arm felt nice wrapped round my shoulder. And I had a feeling that I belonged.. I had a feeling I could be someone…be someone…be someone.”

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Feminism, Memoir and Reflections, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: Created, Creative, Creation – Boourns, #10Thankful

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

–Sylvia Plath

I’m spending my Easter Sunday under the weather, so I will be making this list uncharacteristically short and abbreviated, but I’ve been thinking a lot this week about creativity.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For drumming.

Our creation “Don’t Look Back” is all done. My brother has a friend who is a brilliant drummer and he agreed to play on it.

He wanted to be a part of this project so much he even took the morning off work to record his drum part for the song.

It definitely has a different sound to it with drums added. It fills it out and it is so beautiful.

Once my brother presents it in class I hope to be able to share all the hard work we all put into it. After all, what else is making music for but to share it with people?

For now and then.

I spent time this week hanging out with my youngest nephew, sitting in his favourite spot on the couch, while we watched a movie.

As we sat there, I couldn’t help thinking back to the first time the two of us sat in that corner of that particular couch. I held him in my arms when he was only days old, while he slept, nearly three years ago.

For family fish and chip dinners.

A lot of fun is had when you get a family, people all the way from two to sixty, around a dinner table.

We all crowded into one van, on a rainy Wednesday, and off we went.

For humour.

With all the crap going on around the world, sometimes it’s nice to just laugh a lot. My brother, father, and myself did just that, for a few hours the other night. It felt good.

We watched the Jerry Seinfeld series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and if you have not seen it yet, you really should check it out.

It’s available online, on YouTube and on a free streaming website:

http://www.crackle.com/about

Basically, Seinfeld goes out and rents a car, fitting to the comedian he is about to have coffee with. He then spends the first few minutes explaining what kind of car it is and why he chose it. Then he picks up his coffee companion and they go for a ride in the car to the coffee shop, discussing everything from show business and comedy, to family and hobbies, and cars of course.

We watched episodes with people like Jim Carrey, Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, Will Ferrell, President Obama (one of the best episodes in my opinion, but they couldn’t acquire the proper security clearance to leave White House grounds), a few of Seinfeld’s former co-stars, and Howard Stern.

For literacy, education, and the grandpa there to pick up his granddaughter from school.

When I read about all the young girls around the world not allowed to receive a proper education and so many people who’ve never been given the chance for literacy I am particularly thrilled to know my niece is getting the opposite of all of that.

She’s learning to read and she has a good school to go to every day, with teachers who happily teach her, help her develop her own gifts and creativity.

And she has a grandpa who can pick her up after the day has finished.

For rain.

Okay, so I wasn’t really prepared to consider this one as a positive at the time.

I love to go for a nice long drive, but if rain is falling hard on the windshield I can’t quite relax in the same way.

This was our drive home the other night, in semi heavy traffic, but on reflection I realize I was lucky to make it home safe and even hard pouring drops of rain are something of beauty.

For another Friday up on Good Men Project.

For the second Friday in a row I had my writing featured on the site:.

Where Are We Since International Women’s Day Last Year?

Sure, being that the subject again involved the issues surrounding feminism, I received a few more somewhat angry comments from those who took my writing to mean I don’t think men around the world suffer at the hands of oppression and discrimination, or that I don’t believe men and boys deserve the same attention as women and girls and the issues we face.

I should expect a little backlash when writing about something that seems to divide many of us. I am still thankful I got my message out there and I know in my heart that I believe in fair treatment of both genders. You can’t possibly make everybody happy, all of the time anyway.

For date night.

I am thankful one couple in particular could have one night away, in a beautiful spot, as they truly deserve that.

I am happy that others can enjoy Niagara Falls like I do and they deserved some time to themselves now and then.

For inside jokes, group texts with brothers.

It’s nice to have a Friday evening group text with myself and my brothers, about a cherished eighties band (Duran Duran) and that we can share an inside joke that most people would be utterly confused about if they heard it.

For mendacity.

Feeling unwell of late has given me a lot of time to watch some films I’ve never gotten around to watching before.

This included one, based on a play, I’ve always wanted to see. I was aware of the main character, but I was unclear on just exactly what the storyline was for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”.

Well, I like returning to those films that are mostly all dialogue. Of course, I was watching one with descriptive narration, but it would have been unnecessary really.

Well, I enjoy old movies, with dialogue so different from the films of today, and so many issues of the day, late 50s were interesting to me.

I also learned a new word. I’d heard of “menacing” but “mendacity” was a new one, repeated multiple times throughout. It means deception. I love learning new words.

It’s funny I started off the week watching “Ray”, one Jamie Foxx film and I ended it watching “Django Unchained”, which I’d heard was harsh and raw but to be expected when having to do with slavery, but Fox was so good, not to mention all the other actors.

It did really show how cruel we humans have been to one another. I’m sure this could lead directly into the themes of redemption surrounding Easter, but unfortunately I am far too tired now to explore those any further this year.

Check this out. Creativity and just lovely.

And Happy Easter everyone.

I’m starting to feel warm again so I think it’s off to bed with me. Have a good week.

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Uncategorized

Beyond the Reach, #MindfulMonday #LoIsInDaBl

“You’re twenty…something years old. It’s time to get over birthdays.”

–Don Draper, Mad Men

Oh really Don? I will be thirty-two.

🙂

On what was practically my Birthday Eve I could not sleep. I was finding it hard to turn off my brain long enough to drift off. I went from watching Friends, to Stephen Fry Live: More Fool Me, to Mad Men. I had so many thoughts swirling around in my head, so much inspiration in the words and lessons and themes, and I wanted to say everything, right then and there, but my body and also my mind craved rest and a few hours of reprieve from the onslaught.

I wondered if all the modern conveniences of things like NetFlix actually make it worse for insomniacs like myself. As much as I enjoyed all three of these distractions, I kept thinking about what it means to grow ever older with each passing year, with all the modern connections and conveniences at our collective fingertips.

Don’t know if you are familiar with Mad Men, but Don and Peggy are in the office, after hours, mostly alone. In my opinion, upon re-watching this particular episode, it seems to me to be the most pivotal turning point of their relationship, both professional and personal. It’s brilliant really, in all of its stripped-down rawness.

It’s easy to watch a show about what life was like in the 60s, to look at my own life fifty years later.

The whole episode is based, like many of them are, around an actual true historical event that took place, in this case being some all important boxing match, not unlike Super Bowl 50 of 2016 that just took place.

And then, as I first listened to the NetFlix special, the one-man show put on by the brilliant Stephen Fry, for the 2014 release of his memoir, I thought still more about time, reflection,

and MINDFULNESS.

Fry is a brilliant brilliant man. He is full of stories of his eventful life. Some made me laugh and some made me think. I did not grow up in Britain and thus I had no clue about his fame with another well-known and talented Brit, in the 80s and 90s, as I was a Canadian child who did not see British television programming all that often.

My first intro to one half of this dynamic duo was Hugh Laurie in his role in the early 2000s, as the perpetually grouchy and complicated Dr. Gregory House.

Then I learned of my favourite Harry Potter audio books being narrated, over in the UK, by someone named Stephen Fry.

Fry has stories to tell, about his long-time friendship and career with Hugh, one memorable New Year’s Day tea with Prince Charles (Charlie) and Princess Diana, and his childhood and discovery of the work of Oscar Wilde.

His time working on The Hobbit movies in New Zealand with Peter Jackson and his connection to Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling make him someone of great interest to me already, but also because his knowledge of literature and his gift for linguistics and storytelling make him a man I am to be in awe of.

He begins his one-man show by going through a list of countries that showed him on screens in their cinemas, offering up some little anecdote or story of each country as he goes along. He speaks with sagacity of how the world is connected today, in ways both he and Wilde never could have imagined, and how we’re all so different yet the same all at once. I can’t help but to love him for his creativity and his genius. I want to listen to his words of wisdom and know I, too, will be alright.

I want to not let each passing birthday make me bitter or hard. I want to take Don Draper’s words and put them in the proper perspective, although the episode I reference here includes moments of pure disgustingness, with a business/personal rival attempting to defecate on his desk and even after Don proceeds to vomit horribly, from all the liquor he consumes throughout the show. These moments juxtapose nicely with those of deep, honest truth and sadness between the characters.

Don tells Peggy: “No use crying over fish in the sea.”

At one point Peggy (on turning twenty-six) is told by a colleague’s wife that “twenty-six is still “very” young), as the wife is referring to Peggy’s still good chances that she can find a man, settle down, and have a baby, but is that what Peggy wants?

It made me think about the phrase, most common for women of multiple generations now: having it all.

I don’t have it all. You might even say I don’t have any of it (husband/children/career) at this time. Not by a long shot. What are we supposed to want, at what age, and how do we learn to live with what we may never get?

Men don’t have to deal with this in the same way as women have and continue to have to. I don’t have to face some of the things Fry has had to face, but I feel I understand what it’s like to feel different in some way. I hope to use language and literature to help me in some of the same ways Fry has used it during his lifetime, to help make sense of the biggest parts of life, things I can hardly fathom otherwise.

To believe in something bigger than ourselves is to be mindful.

And thus I present the App I have found, that I love, that helps me stay grateful and mindful, that I have been using to keep track of songs and lyrics for Love Is In Da Blog and for my own love of music.

“Shazam!”

It allows you to take a couple seconds of a recording of any song you come across in your daily wanderings and it will tell you exactly who is singing/performing. Next it keeps a record of any of these songs, which has allowed me to return to so much music I love, anytime I want. It’s a right handy little thing.

Try Everything – Shakira

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Blogging, History, Memoir and Reflections, SoCS, Writing

The Incredibly Irritatingly Icky Second Last Day of January, #JusJoJan #SoCS

This is the final

Just Jot It January #JusJoJan

and adjoining

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SoCS

all together for 2016.

The prompt is “an”.

Do you think Linda would mind if I wrote about “An” as part of a word?

As “an” is written about so well here already.

Well, I can do that too. She has taken the opportunity to ask an interesting set of questions.

😉

Today is an awful day, an incredibly icky, irritatingly bad day.

I was supposed to attend the third of a set of three Saturday morning creativity/creative writing workshops. Unfortunately, I seem to have caught some sort of bug.

I haven’t felt nearly as at peace lately as I’ve felt in that room with those other writers. I was crushed when I realized that attempting to be there with them would not be pretty. And so I stay home and write, by myself, again.

I suppose I’ve been attending a creative workshop of sorts, all month, with all these other writers and bloggers who have been doing Just Jot It January, writing from daily prompts, which has been an amazing way to start off 2016 for my blog.

But there was just something to the accompaniment of that with this in person writing retreat, for two hours on Saturday mornings that I needed. Why couldn’t this stupid bug wait just one more day?

But then, perhaps, I might have passed something on to the other writers or the lovely author/writer/instructor running the workshop. Not a nice parting gift to thank her for the excellent job she did.

😦

If I had been feeling better I would have liked to write more on the “Annes’” that matter to me, but since I was forced to miss out on so much quality writing this morning I will keep it brief.

There’s Anne Shirley (my favourite literary character), Anne Frank (a writer of great inspiration to me and my own grandmother (Oma).

That first Anne is, of course, fictional, but a source of great Canadian literary pride for me. The second has influenced me greatly, in the horrible circumstances she had forced upon her and an important lesson offered in history, to do better as humanity as a whole. Third, well, she is gone,

over five years ago now,

but she and her name continue still with my sister and her middle name.

These women are a mixture of fictional, non fictional and historical, and familial. I look to them for different sources of strength and lessons, helping making me into the person that I am.

P.S. Don’t forget the rule about using “an” before words that begin with vowels, instead of “a”, a accident many people make.

Oops.

🙂

Just thought maybe a reminder couldn’t hurt. Anyway…

Speaking of rules.

One more day of this, as January is coming to an end tomorrow and a new month will begin as I say goodbye to being thirty-one.

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Blogging, Happy Hump Day, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections

Just Jot It January: Don’t Stand By, Let’s Talk, and the Obscure #JusJoJan #BellLetsTalk

Just Jot It January, #JusJoJan

If I had remembered that yesterday was Tuesday, that Linda would be looking for a prompt word from someone and I had earned the honour, I can guarantee

mendaciloquent

would not have been my choice. This should be interesting.

🙂

        This word didn’t appear on any of the usual dictionary sites in the Google search I did. Most times, when I look up a word for its meaning, there’s Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster. Not this time.

There was also someone with a Twitter name that included the word in it. Really?

This prompt word is so obscure that my dictionary app on my phone didn’t even have a definition.

It reminds me of Maleficent.

I appreciate being introduced to just such a word, but instead I will just jot down a few thoughts I’ve been having today. Maybe, somehow, a line can be drawn to connect these thoughts to “mendaciloquent”. See if you can find it.

I bailed out of a group for writers on Facebook today. I couldn’t keep up. I need to find writers and blogs more organically than a list I am given and told to like and share. I have met writers through Facebook groups, but I feel like I can’t compete with some of them and the speed in which they are writing, sharing, and being published. This is art, creativity, the world of writing.

Okay, well it’s just January and I was published on The Mighty already. I can’t be doing so bad, but then why does the doubt still nag at me?

Then a conversation was had about writers and how they are generally so desperate for validation, to be read by others, that they are willing to give their work away, for less then they deserve. Some feel this isn’t right. I can’t say I disagree.

When do you decide your work and time are worth more? I’m kind of already used to not feeling good enough.

Also, today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, talking about mental health and it’s Holocaust Remembrance Day as well.

Both things are distressing to me. However, someone just pointed out that today is also Chocolate Cake Day and that stressed is desserts spelled backward.

🙂

I don’t have true mental illness. My depression, if you can call it that, is episodic and depends on how I am dealing with my blindness or my chronic pain or whatever.

I still know the pain and the suffering and the isolation and the hopelessness. I know that when something goes on and on and on it takes over and is harder to fight. I just don’t know about these big corporations who are being so generous as to donate such-and-such for every text, tweet, or share of the #BellLetsTalk hash tag. I guess I am often suspicious of big corporations and companies.

I am currently watching an interview. The man being interviewed is a bit of a boring intellectual sort, but the discussion is over Hitler’s book. (I won’t say its name.)

It’s selling again, upon a new release. I know these texts must be studied, as I said when a well-known Canadian killer wrote a book recently, but it won’t be by me. I wish it had never been written by a maniac in a jail cell in the 1920s, but it was. What happened happened.

Oh wait…would you say Hitler was mendaciloquent? From the way the word is being used in a few other blogs, I think I am correct to say that. Okay, well there you go. I used the word. Pheeeewwww.

I wrote posts devoted to Bell Let’s Talk Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day on my blog last year. It was my attempt to sort through my experiences being in a relationship with someone with depression and then 2015 was seventy-five years since the freeing of Auschwitz concentration camp near the end of World War II.

Both of these are difficult topics for me to think about let alone write about and share, but I couldn’t not.

However, I was weighed heavily by both.

It was hard for me to see someone I cared about struggle, but so many people do.

As for the post I did on the Holocaust, I was under a dark cloud all day last Holocaust Remembrance Day. I was glad it wasn’t the same day as Bell Let’s Talk last year, but this year it is and I am full of thoughts on both subjects.

I don’t know what to say about obscure words, but I don’t quite know what to say about anything when my mind is this bogged down.

I want to heal those who are suffering, from whatever it may be, but I know I can’t. It keeps pulling down on my spirit, so I need to do things that make me happy, and keep moving forward.

I am looking forward to February, but until then…

Just What is Just Jot It January?

And here is the writer who supplied this most difficult word for a prompt:

The only writer with the word “mendaciloquent” right in her blog name.”

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, RIP, TToT, Writing

TToT: 1000 Voices, 1000 Goodbyes – Stardust and Lilies, #10Thankful

“As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses. … I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death,” said Professor Severus Snape.

–Harry Potter

Unfortunately, this is fiction and Alan Rickman wasn’t so lucky this past week. Neither was David Bowie or Celine Dion’s long-time manager and husband, Rene Angelil.

Cancer is a bitch!

Since I can’t think of a less thankful item, when this whole week cancer has been in the news, I will just focus on some things I am thankful for.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For the gifts, talents, and art left behind, even when the creators of these things are lost to us all.

I have never been a huge David Bowie fan. I missed the boat, all throughout the 70s and when he was first making his mark.

I think, for better or for worse, not being able to see Bowie is part of why I am unable to totally grasp what a unique statement he made. This isn’t to say I don’t believe he was talented, as I can tell from the outpouring of tributes since his death how much of an impression he made on the world of music and more. I did have my favourite Bowie songs though, for sure.

Modern Love – David Bowie

For art, even when it is frightening, sad, or painful to watch.

Some forms of art and creative expression are understood, fully, only by the original producers of that piece of art, but that’s perfectly okay.

I’m just thankful there are those who are free, who feel comfortable enough to express it.

For a very special one-year anniversary, not a relationship or marriage, but still a happy one, unlike the deaths I started this TToT out with.

We Are One

The first time so many bloggers and writers all got together on the same day (the 20th of the month) to write about compassion was not until next month, but this was the day the idea first started to take shape.

I am so thankful it did. I am so thankful the original creators thought up the idea in the first place. I keep thanking them, but it’s because I am so much more better off since they decided to make a difference in this way

For the chance to stay with my brother again.

brianportrait-2016-01-17-11-43.jpg

It will take a while before I will run out of these because every time I do something with him, even and especially those things we’ve done many times before, I can be grateful that he recovered and we are still able to have all the fun we’ve always had together.

I go to hang out with him, for visits, and it’s always a lot of fun.

This one is not only my thankful. His friend is thankful that they can play music together again.

Trusty Fox – Whiskey and Beer

I am including a link to some music of theirs, which was just put up on YouTube.

For a good piece of pizza.

May be hard to believe, but it’s not as easy to find as it sounds.

First-world thankful right there, but pizza can be a comfort, at a rough moment, especially when eaten with loved ones.

For those loved ones.

yousophiaandkimatthechocolatefountain-2016-01-17-11-43.jpg

I know I am lucky to have them and I am reminded of this at the worst of life’s moments.

I just hope they know they have me, my support, anytime they need it and to not hesitate to reach out, whenever they need anything, anything at all.

For the life of a brilliant performer and the life he brought, on screen, to a certain literary character.

Alan Rickman passed away this week, from cancer, and I am grateful he played the role of Severus Snape, in the Harry Potter films, eight times, not to mention all the other wonderful roles he played during his lifetime.

Read my tribute to Rickman here.

It isn’t always easy to have a character from literature come alive in just the right way when the film of the book comes out, but Rickman WAS Snape. I owe him for that because he made a beautiful dream come true/to life just a little bit more for me, and that’s worth my gratitude here.

For a win for NHL team Chicago Blackhawks.

My brother and his wife were looking forward to this night out together, just the two of them, and I couldn’t think of two people who deserve it more.

I am not a big hockey fan, but my brother loves this team. He deserved to see his team win this time.

For another excellent exercise in creativity and creative writing.

I wanted to attend this particular one because it is being held by a fairly local writer, a Canadian author, whose blog I read regularly and whom I met, for the first time, last year at one of her

author readings/book signing.

Check out one description of what art is, from the writer who held the workshop from my final TTOT of this week, as she uses David Bowie’s final music video as her reference.

On Lazarus, David Bowie’s last-released video

And that is why I love her writing so much.

Speaking of love.

For love. Yes, simply, for love.

It is precisely why I plan to devote the whole of next month to the subject here.

I see it all around me, between couples, families, friends, and even from fans. It is powerful and it is ever-lasting, in one way or another. It’s at the heart of so much of what we do and who we are. It offers hope and makes life worth living.

I may choose to wait to talk exclusively about it on this blog until February, the month known for romance, but I write about it now, when times are toughest because it’s right now when I feel we could all use it most.

My Heart Will Go On

Rest in peace, all those we’ve lost this week, may they be spouses, fathers, or grandfathers.

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, SoCS, Writing

Just Jot It January: Circles, Spirals, and Song Lyrics #JusJoJan #SoCS

What a morning I had.

This is one of those mornings I am afraid to venture out into the world. It would be so easy to stay in bed and to not go out there, to hide away from other people and meaningful experiences possibly had.

What if I embarrass myself? What if I get lost? What if…what if…what if…

I have been reading this Canadian writer’s blog and her writing for a while now:

http://carriesnyder.com/

Last year I wanted to finally attend one of her author readings:

How I Celebrated World Book Day 2015

I wanted to meet her in person and to put a voice to the words I’d become so accustomed to reading.

This time I had the chance to learn from her by taking one of her workshops. I jumped at this chance frankly. Carrie Snyder is a writer who uses powerful images and all the best words to express so much of what life is all about. I wanted to get to know a fellow Canadian, someone who has had some success as a writer, but who was still fairly local. She doesn’t live all that far from me really.

She doesn’t call what this morning was a writing workshop. She says she prefers to look at it as a creativity workshop, using writing as the medium.

The room is fairly full, when we all make it into a conference room of an office building, the second floor of a building in the downtown area, above a fancy restaurant that doesn’t open until noon. Now that I know where to go, through the door in the entrance way and up a double flight of stairs, in through another door – I think I can relatively confidently find it on my own next time.

The number attending is more than a dozen. It was icy on the roads early this morning, but we all made it. I bring my laptop because I can’t find my cord to my braille display. This means I won’t be able to read back what I write today to the room, but it’s better than nothing.

Some days I don’t have it all figured out. There are those days where being visually impaired (blind), well it just sucks!

I want to be spontaneous and a discoverer of my inner thoughts, my deep well of creativity I want to tap. I want to be able to walk into that room with a beautiful notebook and a pen. I want to write by hand, as messy and unreadable as that might make me, but I can’t.

All that talk about accepting life and how it is is all well and good, but today I wish I could be without this limitation on my senses.

Of course, writing is all about the senses. I have my others.

I need a spot in the room near a electrical outlet. I come early so I can set up. The room begins to fill, as steadily other people who have signed up start arriving.

Carrie hasn’t forgotten my name since we met last year and with all the times I have commented on her blog since then.

😉

There is one large conference table in the room and another table set against the wall. I sit by the wall, in the corner. It is going to be a bit crowded around the table, we discover, but that means it is me and one guy of the two guys who are in attendance, who sit at the table separate from the main one.

Why is it two guys to a dozen women at this creativity workshop? Don’t guys like to write?

I feel a bit out of place, being separate from most of the others. I am just glad the chairs are those office chairs on wheels, which allows me to turn to face everyone.

Carrie speaks very softly, but she is full of creativity and ideas. She has experience, not only as a writer, but teaching creative writing courses. That is how most writers make a living to supplement their own writing.

There are short introductions (surprising how many around this table don’t consider themselves a writer) and she reads us poems, one to start the morning off, the other left until the very end. These poems are meant to get us thinking and to open our minds up. This is not a critique group. We are just supposed to write, to not think too much, and to turn off our inner critics. I could definitely use some practice with this particular skill.

She tells us to write a list of ten cars or other vehicles we have known, have been in during our lives, something with a memory attached. I don’t know enough of how cars are spelled, different kinds, and I worry someone will read and see this. I need to stop being afraid of criticism. That’s not what today is about.

We have seven minutes for each chapter, she is calling them. She will be timing us. We must build on the car list. We must write, using our five senses, and dig deep into a memory or develop the writing from there.

There is no right or wrong here. I can’t do this incorrectly. I don’t know still, if fiction is my speed, so I will write. Mostly it’s memoir that comes from the typing I am doing in rapid succession.

I end up writing about my family’s old blue van, the one we drove to Florida in when I was in the second grade. I write about the bed on the floor, where the middle seat normally was. My mom made it, so we could sleep while we drove, but this is unheard of, considering modern safety requirements.

By Chapter Six I have traveled to Florida, told of how my mom’s map was sucked out the front window, how we visited Disney, and finally arriving at my favourite Sea World. I explain, from a child’s point of view, what I thought of the whales, but with a bit of my adult perspective on marine animals in captivity.

My dream was to have a killer whale as a pet, in a tank in my big back yard, at my house. Eight-year-old me starts to realize this will never happen.

They are to start a new page with the sound of the timer, at the end of every seven minutes. I hear the flipping of notebook pages, but all I can do is hit enter and go down a line or two.

She tells them to draw a spiral in between each. I don’t quite know what this would look like anymore, but I try to picture it as I hear their pens scribbling away. Carrie loves creativity, and is incorporating a tiny bit of art into the exercise. I miss art.

We all go around and read one of the chapters we’ve written. We aren’t to offer any comments or suggestions, but instead just thank the writer/reader for what they’ve just shared with us. I listen to all the different stories and bits of people’s lives, as it could be truth or fiction they are speaking. No rules, but Carrie did read a few rules about there being no rules. Go figure.

🙂

The two hours flies by. I am last. Carrie asks another woman, sitting nearby me, if she might read my chapter. She reads it well. I worry she won’t be able to read, that I’ve made many mistakes, but of course my computer would have already caught those. I am happy with how my writing sounds read aloud back to me and to the rest of this room. I haven’t always been able to say that about my writing. She reads the part where I included the first song lyrics that came to my mind, as we were all instructed to do. Somehow this fits in with the rest of the story we’ve written.

(See my About Me page for the lyrics of the song I thought of.)

I loved it. Even though I felt separate, like I often do in the world, and even being unable to write by hand – the morning was a success because I made the effort and had the experience. I wanted to learn from Carrie and I did.

Words. Glorious words.

#SoCS

For Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

Linda debates what she should write about, from a quiet hotel room, all by herself:

Just Jot It January 16th – What #SoCS

This is also another

#JusJoJan post,

the rules of which can be found

HERE.

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, Memoir and Reflections, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: The Tempestuous Sea That Is Jan-uary – Circles and Rectangles, #SundayFunday #10Thankful

“A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”

–J.R.R. Tolkien

I have more photos from Christmas.

youandbrianwithyourphonestoyourearssidebyside-2016-01-10-00-14.jpg

I will be featuring some of them here, over the following TToT posts, to help pass the first month of 2016 a little faster.

#SundayFunday – MAGIC!

One last shot of the holidays, I hope, before they are a distant memory.

christmastree-2016-01-10-00-14.jpg

It always makes me a bit sad when all my mom’s hard work and creativity is removed for another year.

birthdaycupcakes-2016-01-10-00-14.jpg

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For a genius and the world of Middle Earth he created.

There are so many wise quotes to choose from him. I could hardly decide which one to start of this week’s TToT with.

Happy Birthday to Professor Tolkien, who gave me something amazing with his writing. It opened me up to the possibilities, showing me that I shouldn’t close myself off to something like the fantasy genre, like so many other things in life.

For the birth of another genius, so long ago.

http://www.sylvianenuccio.com/louis-braille-the-french-inventor-that-changed-blind-peoples-life-2/

The inventor of braille makes my thankful list on a continuous loop, as he is all of why I have words to love so much to begin with, but I am recognizing him now, as he would have celebrated his birthday on the beginning of the week, beginning of the year, with a second early January birthday.

I can’t fully express in words what it has meant to my life to have the groupings of six raised dots, forming words, that one man dreamt up once upon a time.

Braille literacy is one of the skills I am most proud of. I owe this man a great great debt of gratitude, forever and always.

For the news that my friend, her baby girl, and mother/grandma arrived safely in Ireland.

There was, apparently, a little bit of a snag with their rental car, on a deserted Irish road, but a couple helpful policemen showed up on the scene and saved the day, helping to repack all the baggage in a replacement vehicle.

Or so the Facebook status update said.

I read the word “police” and my heart nearly stopped, before I went on to finish reading.

For a brand new year beginning and my inclusion in and amongst so many who are looking back with gratitude and looking forward to a year just as great or better.

Proudest Single Stride of 2015 From People All Over the World

I was quoted, with my pride in the story I had published last year, in one of my favourite blogger’s 2015 posts.

For a return I made this week to my writer’s circle.

I was even missed. How about that.

🙂

For the bonding time afterward.

We all went out, as a group, and I got the hangout with them that I missed out on just before Christmas, thanks to unforeseen events. One was even kind enough to pay for me because I hadn’t come prepared, asking for nothing in return.

For my schooling on Dungeons & Dragons and other nerdy things.

The best thing about this group, other than all the writing and talking about writing we all do, is when we aren’t just discussing writing. We are all geeks for whatever it may be: literature, video games, television or movies and trivia. There were a few Simpsons quotes thrown in by myself and a few other members throughout the evening too.

😉

For my brother’s remarkable recovery in just one month and his triumphant return to his college program.

He is so close to graduating later this spring and I know it’s hard to know for sure when is the right time, not wanting to push himself. We didn’t want him to take on too much, too soon.

He still has time to make a final decision, but he did well.

For January.

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.

For a newly discovered blogging challenge that came around at precisely the right time for me.

Just Jot It January, #JusJoJan

I was struggling a bit, wondering what the next twelve months might hold for my blog and my writing and my life. This extension of the weekly Stream of Consciousness Saturday I participate in was welcomed strongly by me.

It’s giving me an entire first month of 2016 to just imagine what my writing could look like this year.

Lights – Ellie Goulding

“Access to communication in the widest sense is access to knowledge and that is vitally important for us if we (the blind) are not to go on being despised or patronized by condescending sighted people. We do not need pity, nor do we need to be reminded we are vulnerable. We must be treated as equals and communication is the way this can be brought about.”

–Louis Braille (1809-1852)

Braille’s above quote may sound critical, to some, but he was a product of his time. I wonder what he would think if he were alive today.

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Fiction Friday, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Shows and Events, TGIF, The Insightful Wanderer, Writing

Why Men Lie – Not What It Seems, #VIP, #BlogShareLearn, #BluSkyFriday, #LinkYourLife

“I’m sorry,” said the server, with a tap on the shoulder, “But this is a VIP lounge. Not that the two of you aren’t important or anything, but…”

Two girls had been looking for the bar, while waiting for the official author event to begin. They’d wandered through a revolving door and into a world of words.

Okay, so now what? They’d stumbled into the wrong place. What a way to begin the evening. It’s hard enough to feel like she fit in there, even though she loved it so. It’s strange to feel so at home in a place, and still feel completely out-of-place all at once.

Where had they stepped into, being excluded from, politely excused? Who were those very important persons? They did not ask. The two girls simply continued to wander. Up the stairs, where the server had directed them, to the cash bar they were looking for, just to check the prices of the drinks.

By now they were afraid of entering somewhere else they did not belong, so when they approached two closed doors, they hesitated and right back down they would go, until they noticed others going the way they’d just come. So, back up they went, feeling more than a little ridiculous.

***

She was a doctor, not a writer like her friend. She was leaving her baby girl at home, for a couple hours, at the request of her oldest friend, who had wanted someone to accompany her to a literary event.

The main event was a question and answer session with a local arts reporter and a well-known Canadian journalist. He’d been an investigative reporter for Canada’s CBC Television for many years. The girl, relatively new to the world of writing, she had no aspirations to become like him, not as a journalist. She simply liked to listen to his maritime accent and the way he told stories about a diverse array of people, places, and things.

On this night he spoke about his books, works of fiction she hadn’t known he’d written. She only thought he was a reporter and a TV personality. Her respect and admiration grew, for this man, when she learned of his fiction. She was on a continual mission to collect books and have them signed by their writers. Her collection was growing. First Carrie Snyder, then Douglas Gibson, and now Linden MacIntyre.

The talk on this night was about the question:

Does a good journalist need “fire-in-the-belly” to be good at their job?

The journalist’s answer:

No. Fire-in-the-belly could get one into trouble. It could lead to emotional reactions and lack of professionalism or the required objectivity.

Wouldn’t fire-in-the-brain be more appropriate?

He made a good point. Many in the crowd nodded in agreement. While the writer girl cringed at her least favourite word, since childhood, “belly”, the doctor thought of physical conditions that might be the cause of “fire” in the belly or the brain: appendicitis or meningitis.

The girl with the literary aspirations sat and glanced around at the other tables, full of local college and university students mostly, and wondered what she was doing there with them. Did she fit in? Did she belong there? She tried to squash her insecurities, as she listened to the murmuring and the muttering, because, maybe, she wasn’t the only one who felt that way. After all, wasn’t insecurity and self doubt not uncommon for writers?

She knew only the doctor sitting beside her, her closest childhood friend, who felt more at home in the world of science than literature, but who put her heart into the evening and gave it her best, because that’s just the sort of girl she always had been. This wasn’t the first event the writer friend had dragged the doctor along for in recent months, and it always worked out, turning into some of the memorable times they’d always been capable of having together. The doctor and her little girl had been around, as fate or life’s cruel irony would have it, but this wouldn’t last.

A professor of humanities had organized the festival, with all the authors and events, spread over the weekend, including a poetry night, lectures on creativity, and much much more. He went on to introduce the panel of other writers: political writers, comedy writers, and poets.

After the panel answered questions and promoted their work, the two girls stood up, along with everyone else. They weren’t sure where to go next, but the literary one was determined to get her next signed book.

Immediately, upon the wrapping up of the presentation, the featured authors were swarmed by people from the audience. There was no other option. And so, back down the stairs the doctor and the writer would go.

Back down in the lobby and the doctor’s resourcefulness shone through. No lack of VIP status would stop her from helping her friend.

“There’s one of the authors. HE’s right behind you. I could walk us right into him, if you want. That’s how close.”

The doctor was one-of-a-kind and made even awkward literary events fun, disarming the beginner writer, making her feel less uncomfortable, in hopes of more less uncomfortable literary events for her in the future. They got themselves a copy of one of Linden’s novels, “Why Men Lie”, and off they went, on a search for possible answers to the question.

Very soon the doctor spotted him. He had made it down and away from the throng at the stage upstairs, down into the group mingling in the museum’s lobby. The doctor waited for the opportune moment, when he was not speaking to another, and introduced her shy writer friend.

“What’s the name of the one this is for?” Linden asked this to the two lovely young women standing before him, unsure which one it might be.

“It’s Kerry, spelled K…e…r…r…y.” People couldn’t be blamed for getting it wrong, but to avoid another Ricky Martin incident, clarification was necessary. “I remember, about ten years ago, when you did a story on the whale from the Free Willy movie. Not sure if you remember.”

“Yes,” he said immediately. “I went to Iceland for that one.”

He seemed pleased that someone would remember him for that one in particular.

“Well, I love writing about marine biology specifically,” the girl spluttered. These encounters were always a little uncomfortable for her. She took her newly signed book and the two girls departed.

But, before leaving, back out the revolving door and into the still November night, the doctor home to her baby and the writer home to her books…

“There’s the professor who interviewed all the authors,” the doctor spoke, conspiratorially. “Wow. He’s shorter than I thought he would be.”

“Shorter than me?” the 5 foot 2 writer asked.

“Maybe. Let’s go see,” suggested the nearly equally short doctor. This was just the sort of crazy idea she often had, of which made spending time with this particular doctor anything but boring.

And so the doctor and the writer followed the professor, darting through the people, until the two girls and he were standing only feet from each other.

“Well…is he?” the writer asked, attempting to speak quietly enough so she wouldn’t be overheard, but she already knew the answer.

The two girls had to leave then, as their attempts to remain inconspicuous would not last long if they remained in that serious literary environment. They then took their non VIP selves out of their and did not look back. They never did find out why men lie, but then again, some questions have no tangible answers.

***

Note: The writer girl in this story is, it turns out, a VIP (visually impaired person).

And, in that VIP’s opinion, so is the doctor. After all, aren’t doctors very important, in their own right, in the work that they do, everyday?

Not to mention the importance this particular doctor has played in her writer friend’s estimation, since the two girls were ten years old. She will play an extremely important role for so many patients who count on her expertise and her compassionate care.

VIP is all relative.

Journalism fuels Linden MacIntyre’s fiction writing

For the answer to the question of why men lie, guess you’ll just have to read the book to find out.

And if you are someone who is offended by the assumption of men as lyres, Linden wrote the book.

🙂

Not me.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, TGIF

Planting the Seeds of Compassion

1000 Speak

When it comes to compassion, what do a couple of wrestlers, a gnome, and an abandoned button factory all have in common?

I thought a lot about what I wanted to save for my featured 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion post. I came to writing about this through a mixture of things, all leading me here today.

Isn’t that how the best ideas come to be?

On one of the warmest days of July, 2013, family and friends gathered around to watch two people we cared about walk out onto a flimsy dock, in the middle of a pond on a large property.

The floating dock was made from recycled materials. This was a true reflection of the lovely young couple and their care for the environment. They cared about the mark they were leaving on the world around them and we all were there because we cared so much about the two of them.

Later on we sat at rows of tables, under the walnut trees, with a soft warm breeze. The rest of the evening, in fact the whole weekend, would be full of good friends, lots of family, and an extensive line-up of the music that clearly represented this most unique duo.

To them music isn’t just music. This is evident by the radio show they have done, Sunday nights, for years now: Non Toxic Air Waves is a place where they play songs, all that have a certain significance, as they have always used the platform to discuss, on the air, issues of sustainability and social justice.

They are truly an inspiring couple, for so many reasons, and I am proud to call them family.

To see them together is a lesson in true companionship, trust, and compatibility.

You may be wondering why it is I have chosen today to feature them. I hope, by the time I am through, this will be indisputably obvious. When I thought about how I could put my own unique spin on the topic of compassion, on this important day for underlining its importance for our world, I came to the undeniable conclusion that these two are the best example of what compassion means.

From summer to a cold winter day in January.

I wanted to speak to them about their life together and the effect they have on everyone and everything they meet. All their modesty aside, I believe they deserve the attention and the praise, although they did not ask for it.

Their property contains their house, a nursery full of native plants (during the summer anyway), swamp land and a woods. A pathway leads from house and nursery down to the pond where they walked out that sunny July day, to celebrate their commitment to each other with us all gathered to celebrate with them.

On this day it was snow covered and she helps me navigate my way. The three of us then proceed to skate on the frozen pond, (a clearly Canadian winter pastime), all the while we talk about everything under the sun…or in this case, the snowflakes.

As we make our way back up to the house to warm up, they show off something they are proud to show me.

They took an old pink armchair, started cutting holes in it, stuffing soil and plants in, and placing moss on.

In her words:

“It will be a living chair and will hopefully clean air: Yeah!”

Her enthusiasm about this old chair sums up what they believe so strongly and what they live through example. It made me smile when I first read those words because I could hear her love for the project in my mind.

As a young girl she sold tadpoles instead of lemonade and he learned about gardening and plants from his mother and learned to love the natural world by exploring around his home, while starting, at an early age as a boy, by working in his neighbour’s garden..

She graduated with an Honours Bachelors Degree in Environmental Studies, Environment and Resource Studies with a specialization in Environmental Assessment at the University of Waterloo (Wow! What a mouthful).

He worked in nurseries, greenhouses, and as a landscaper and is an expert on all things seeds and sod. He obtained a Recording Engineer Diploma from the Ontario Institute of Audio and Recording Technology (OIART).

Together they began Wild Life Gardening, started something they like to call Trash Theatre, and organized something known as Procession of the Species in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

She has taken her knowledge and, together with his creative abilities, they have developed lesson plans to go into the schools with Trash Theatre. Through interactive skits and creativity they teach children all about the natural world and all the species that that world is made up of. They use music and self-expression to help kids feel inclusive and to help them explore their individual talents and strengths.

I spoke to them as we ate vegetarian pizza, down in their cozy basement by a roaring fire, for over four hours that day. We listened to music the whole time, from jazz to reggae to rap.

Something like this, a calling that they seem to have for this stuff, it appears to be a love so strong and pure, almost beyond my ability to pin down with words here, but I had to at least try.

They taught me about the term “native plant species” and how vital they are to a healthy planet.

Of course the term is pretty self-explanatory really, but I honestly never gave it much thought before they brought my attention to it.

I have visited their beloved nursery in the spring and he took the time to show me just some of the plants they had, letting me feel and hold some and he made sure to show me the ones I could smell.

There’s always something new going on, at their place, depending on what season it is.

They use terrariums as a way of letting anyone have their very little nursery of their own. They sell these at markets on the weekends and they are working on creating a children’s book, another fun yet educational tool to introduce children to a love and respect for our environment.

I wanted to know more about Trash Theatre, Wild Life Gardening, and about what matters to them.

She showed me something then, a puppet made out of some sort of bright orange or pink fuzzy material. It had a mouth, ears, eyeballs made from styrofoam Christmas balls, and the eyelashes were made from reused yogurt containers.

These are the kinds of masks and costumes they make, for Procession and with school children during workshops with Trash Theatre.

He jokes with me about the time a woman came up to him and informed him that naming it Trash Theatre didn’t make it sound very appealing. Of course, to her, the word trash didn’t exactly conjure up positive ideas, it works for them and word of mouth is spreading. Through grants and the Ontario Arts Counsel they get sent to schools all around the province and the impact they have is making a name for them that only they could pull off.

It’s kind of like a continuous Halloween. They search secondhand shops for items that someone else no longer wanted, but of which can be useful to them.

The unique look he has, with long hair and beard, this makes him uniquely suitable to dress up as a gnome.

Yes…a gnome.

They do singing telegrams and where, these days, can you get a singing gnome?

For their engagement party they dressed up as two wrestlers: Hulk Hogan and Macho Man’ Randy Savage (guess which one was which).

🙂
This, I think I can safely say, none of us had ever seen the likes of before, since, or ever will again. This is what makes them two of a kind.

They then bring this freedom of expression to children all over. They tell me that dressing up gives kids the opportunity to be whomever or whatever they want, choosing to hide their faces, which then helps them to feel freer to express themselves and to participate in performing with the others.

They encourage every child to participate in some way, whether big or small, as a leader or behind the scenes.

He gets the kids to rap right along with him and they incorporate instruments and music into it.

She prefers to be in charge backstage, helping get the kids into their costumes.

They then use fun and interactive play to teach the classes about native plants and animals and how the children themselves can make a difference to these things and the environment in their own lives, in their own small ways at home.

They love all birds, such as woodpeckers and owls. They love and care about the health of native species such as monarch butterflies and bees, pollinators of the plants, which benefits everyone.

Procession of the Species marks Earth Day

I asked them why the word “procession”?

“Procession is more of a celebratory liberating expression, where parade is more of a military term, kind of like showing off or to concur. Eli Sterling, the creator of Procession of the Species in Olympia Washington, is particular about this,” I was told.

Also, at an old and abandoned button factory the two of them run workshops, combining science and the natural world with artistic expression

I wanted to know who they look up to, admire, or revere. When I asked this, he hesitated, saying he had to think because he’d not really thought about it. I was surprised at that.

She right away spoke of trail-blazing women such as Jane Goodall, strong females who have gone out and made a difference to the natural world.

He thought about it. He named writer Kurt Vonnegut, but really his biggest influencers would have to be his brother, sister, and his parents.

Both him and her have it in common that they grew up in good families with strong role models and close sibling relationships. A lot of both their love for the natural world and for teaching others how to cherish it have come from the amazing families they have.

So they’ve lived and worked together for so many years now. I must admit I have wondered what that is like, but apparently I am not the first to be curious.

The two biggest questions this couple receive are:

When are you going to have children?

And

How do you do it? How do you possibly work and live together without getting on each other’s nerves all the time?

They must be sick of these by now, I figure, but they seem to take it with good humour and wise and thoughtful responses.

They are very much of the “whatever happens happens” belief, not saying either way. This, I believe, is a very healthy attitude to have about anything in life. Their unique experiences interacting with children through Trash Theatre gives them a chance to have an affect on the lives of children, which would make them amazing parents one day, but they don’t seem to fret about it either way.

As for the second question…well, they are like anyone else, in that they have their moments.

She tells me he is much more laid back and that she’s often the one who gets worked up. At times like this, they go to separate ends of their house or yard or one goes off on an errand or to pick something up for the business. It isn’t rocket science really. She tells me she knows how lucky she is to have found him and the feeling is clearly mutual.

It is something you just feel when you spend any amount of time with the pair. They are one of those rare fits for one another. Their creativity and their care for the world around them is evident.

He has a photographic memory, whether its for music or for a type of plant.

Her passion for saving and sparing the planet is hard to miss and her desire to teach anyone who will listen makes her charming and warm.

He uses rap and free style, not only as a creative gift, but as a way of training his memory and as a type of self-expression and a form of therapy.

I wondered if they had the urge to travel and, if so, where?

They seemed quite content to stay here in Canada, specifically Ontario. It is their home and it is where they work so hard to make our natural surroundings thriving and healthy.

They love the work they do landscaping people’s yards, including mine. They did so much, planting native plants and a red maple in my back yard.

Having a big group jam session in their basement, with friends, is one of their favourite ways to spend a Sunday.

While the thought of growing a nursery/greenhouse is always there, they try hard to balance work load with enjoying themselves
Their true goal is to teach others how to best help our native species thrive so that we can enjoy them for years to come.

I really enjoyed my day spent with these two. We talked philosophy, music, and life in general. I felt like someone understood, as it gets harder and harder, in your thirties when everyone around you is having children, some years ago already in many cases.

Their words of solace and wisdom about love was just the perspective I needed to hear, as I saw just how wonderful it is when two people truly click and compliment one another as they so naturally do.

This couple has weathered a lot over the years and has built something and continues to build it, leaving a legacy and an example to the rest of us. The world would be a much healthier and more prosperous place if the rest of us followed in their footsteps.

I wanted to write about the difference they’re making and the people they are, on this day, because at the heart of who they are and what they do there is compassion for all living things.

Compassion for the natural world, for youth, and for humanity as a whole.

That’s what today is all about.

***

In the above article I reference material from wildlifegardening.ca and from conversations the three of us have had. All the rest are my own personal observations, thoughts, and feelings.

For more information on any of what I’ve written about here, please visit any or all of the following:

http://www.wildlifegardening.ca

http://www.trashtheatre.ca

This past month and 1000 Speak has been one of the most inspiring for me and I hope we can continue the momentum of compassion that we’ve started here.

Colors of Wind

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