Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, Song Lyric Sunday, Spotlight Sunday, The Insightful Wanderer

Striding Through Flickering Flame, #SongLyricSunday

“I yearn for comfort.”

—Sarah McLachlan

JvwI7GZ.jpg

There are a lot of songs with fire as the theme; and, indeed, with the word “fire” in the title or the chorus itself.

Song Lyric Sunday, #SongLyricSunday

Here is my pick:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar6a1pkiGf8

It’s about continuing to walk into the fire, again and again, and a little at a time. It’s about doing this until I am immune from the heat of it.

***

Mother, teach me, to walk again
Milk and honey, so intoxicating
[
CHORUS]
And into the fire
I’m reunited
Into the fire
I am the spark
Into the fire I yearn for comfort

Open the doors that lead on, in to Eden
Don’t want, no cheap disguise
I follow the signs, marked back to the beginning
No more compromise
[
CHORUS]
Free the water that carries me to the sea
You I see as my security
[
CHORUS]
I will stare into the sun
until its light doesn’t blind me
I will walk into the fire until its heat doesn’t burn me
And I will feed the fire
[
CHORUS]

LYRICS

***

This is one of her earlier works. It has power. It has punch. It is a force to be reckoned with.

The guitar solos are attention-grabbing. It showed me Sarah McLachlan and the talent she possessed.

I love how she places together fire and the sea. The idea of those two different, yet, clearly powerful elements made me stand up and pay attention to her message here.

I stare at the flames of a fire, in a fireplace or outside, and I watch the bright flames flickering.

Their dark background always made them stand out to me, me and my fading eyesight, and I couldn’t believe something so sharp, its brightness in contrast to the darkness around it. It seemed unnatural, unreal to me, like something supernatural that I’d see in my mind or in a dream of some sort.

I’d imagine reaching out for it, passing my hand through it, passed the pain that would cause, to the other side of something. The smells of smoke, the crackling sound, the heat it’s emitting were all the senses I could trust (in it and in myself), but there was something more to it.

I don’t have to walk through actual fire to grow stronger. All the fires of life test me and my strength for coming out again on the opposite side of it all.

Then I hear of wildfires burning, out of control out west, and the smoke hanging heavy in the air, and I can’t imagine. All I think then is back to that image of the unnatural looking flames, against the dark background of nothingness.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, SoCS, Special Occasions

SoCS: ROYGBIV

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS SATURDAY

I took a break last week for:

Everybody’s Got a Story, #1000Speak

But hey…I’m back!

***

It is raining here in my little part of Canada. It’s not the best weekend for children around here who just got released from school for the summer, to be able to enjoy their newly found freedom.

This weather, however, could lead to a rainbow. There is no sun currently, but the rain always ends and the sky clears.

I am unable to see a rainbow. The colours aren’t anywhere near bright enough for me to detect with my extremely limited eyesight.

I often wish this weren’t true.

I used to love to draw rainbows, as a kid, when I could still see to draw that is.

I loved making the wide, sweeping, curved lines across the page. I would start with red, then orange, yellow, and so on.

Mine were the sort of vivid bright colour I wish a real rainbow could be, but the fact that weather patterns, rain and sun can make colour possible in the sky, even if I can only imagine it and hear of its brilliance fro others…well, I love them just the same.

Of course the symbolic colours of a rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet), these are representative of LGBT and yesterday the White House became the Rainbow House.

For me, a rainbow simply signifies the differences between not just gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transexual, but also of every skin colour, nationality, religion, gender, and ability.

So much celebration going on in the US since the big announcement and also the sadly expected resistance.

None of us are as naive as to believe there would not be a few jerks still to be found. Just as last week’s racial hate crime proved racism still exists, so does this prove that there are still those stuck in (according to this ruling) a quickly vanishing past.

I have only three words about yesterday: ABOUT DAMN TIME!

Okay, so I have more than three words. That would have made this the shortest of the SoCS posts, but I decided to say a bit more than just that, thanks to the inspiration falling outside my window today.

Canada has had gay marriage as a legal right for a while now. We were sitting and waiting for our southern neighbours to catch up.

I love when gay marriage becomes legal in Springfield and Homer starts marrying gay and lesbian couples, but this episode aired years ago.

Some parts of the world this form of equal rights is even further away from coming to fruition. It’s sad how much ugliness there is directed to this issue.

I don’t know why. What are the haters so afraid of anyway?

As long as I am not being forced to do anything I don’t want to do, what do I care what anyone else wants to do in regards to whom they choose to marry?

I believe in equality for this matter and for so many others. I can relate because I understand the infringement of rights and the feeling that you are not equal.

I keep religion out of it. Who am I to judge?

I wonder what Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion would think about gay marriage?

The Wicked Witch of the West is every ugly person who is so full of hatred and prejudice, working to stall progress and the inevitable from happening.

“Some day I’ll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far behind me.”

I know, during the time of Dorothy and Oz, the idea of LGBT rights was so far over the rainbow, on the other side of reality, but we’re here now, I hope.

“Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue.”

We are here now though. Anyone fighting this progress or hell bent on resisting it is going to get left behind, in the dust.

The dull and dreary world of Kansas in the thirties, this has been replaced by the colourful world that we now live in (Oz), where all people are being given the rights and equality every one of us deserves.

I felt I had to mark the occasion. It couldn’t have come fast enough.

***

Last week I couldn’t think of enough things to write about for the prompt and this week I thought of way too many.

🙂

Linda’s weekly SoCS prompt is so unexpected and wonderful like that:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/06/26/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-2715/

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, History, Memoir and Reflections, RIP, Special Occasions

Ruby Red

Lady In Red, Chris DeBurgh, YouTube

I absolutely love the colour red. Scarlet. Ruby. I love it all. Passion, fiery, love.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

On this particular one I’m looking back:

one year,

five years, fifty.

***

I was nervous and excited, both all at once, as we drove to the college. I was taking the course online, Creative Writing, but I still had to show up and report to the Accessibility office to write the exams.

A grammar test, on my 26th birthday? I love writing but have never loved learning all the rules of grammar. This was no birthday present.

Along with the feelings of excitement at my birthday dinner, waiting for me on return from the dreaded grammar exam, there was something else: apprehension, but not at anything grammar related.

My grandfather had been ill for a while. As we drove we received a call on my phone that he wasn’t doing well at all. It all went downhill from there.

He had been on his own for nearly five whole years without her. I often wondered how he did it. I don’t mean how did he manage to survive and feed himself without her, but how does anyone truly go on without the one person they spent almost every moment with for over half a century?

Ruby red, like the jewel, rare and one-of-a-kind like she was to him.

She was his Ruby.

They had been married for fifty-five years and had been together for nearly sixty. On this Valentine’s Day and every Valentine’s Day since he died, I think about the meaning of this day.

He did fairly well on his own, at first, in that little house they shared for almost twenty of their married years together. It was the only house I remember them in. It was strange to suddenly go to visit him there, to see how he was making do with looking after himself because she once did so much, but they had been a team.

He cooked his meals and kept himself busy with friends and family. We spent time with him as often as we possibly could, but she was gone and he and the rest of us, we missed her.

After five years of being a widow, he had suffered multiple strokes, his eyesight worsening with each one.

After sharing a driver’s education manual with his sixteen-year-old granddaughter, he passed his renewal driver’s test on his eightieth birthday, but he wouldn’t drive for long after that.

By this particular February, his last, he had been living in a retirement home for a while. He’d given up his little house he’d shared with her and seemed to settle in rather nicely in his new place of residence.

He had a spacious private room and the small table and chairs from their house had been placed by his one window. HE still liked to sit there and watch the birds and the squirrels, one of his favourite pastimes.

Occasionally he would still, even after a few strokes, take his cane and walk around the neighbourhood he now lived in.

I enjoyed having him there on Christmas morning once or twice and the drives out to pick him up for the day, for dinner, they were always enjoyable. He made the time pass with his stories of visitors he’d had that week or jokes he liked to tell.

But now here we were, on my birthday, and only days away from Valentine’s Day and things weren’t looking promising. He was having fluid issues with his heart and I had a feeling that this could be it for him and for our time with him.

It was strange, seeing him lying there. I can’t even really recall the last time I spoke to him and what our conversation was. That makes me feel deeply sad because I usually pride myself on my dependable memory, especially for things like this.

All I do remember is leaving the hospital: on a cold, winter night. All the memories I do have of him and hospitals where he actually was somewhat his usual self, they are blended and muddled.

On one of the last days we visited, but he wasn’t at all like he used to be, no going back.

I remember the sound his breathing made, gasping for breath, as we sat tensely, tapping our feet in that small hospital room. I could feel a cold coming on, a sore throat, as I sat and waited…for what?

For the end?

My parents kept more of a vigil by his bedside, along with my uncles.

I went on with my life, in a strange way, as we all unwillingly waited for the inevitable. I celebrated Valentine’s Day the night before, by going to a movie with my boyfriend; all normal Valentine’s Day stuff, but my heart just wasn’t in it.

I awoke, on Sunday morning, February 14th, and got ready to go out for breakfast when my parents arrived to bring the bad news we all knew was coming.

HE was gone. He had passed away four years and six months after my grandmother, on Valentine’s Day and on my cousin’s birthday, missing mine by four days.

Of course it really didn’t make a difference, but whatever you believe, I choose to believe he left to be with his love, not wishing to spend even one more Valentine’s Day without her.

On this day I choose, not to focus on my own heart and loss or lack of love, but to focus on the love they shared.

In the end, with all the red roses and the red hearts of Valentine’s Day out there, it was his Ruby that he wanted to spend Valentine’s Day with.

***

I am a storyteller, a lover of stories and yes, even romance. I like to look past all the commercialization of this day and remember their love for one another and how they grew up together: in a sense, how they became the love story they’ve come to symbolize for me.

It will always be a romance story in my head, when I think of the two of them.

Picture a little girl, age four, with pigtails. At least, that’s how my grandfather used to tell the story.

Then picture two boys, age eight, one of them being this little girl’s older brother. The two friends are playing together, leaving the little girl to herself.

Jump ahead twelve or so years and that little girl in pigtails is now sixteen and her brother’s friend is twenty.

They date for four years and then are married.

Five children, twenty-one grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren and counting later.

I think of those two little children, and how they met and how their love grew, when I need to believe in the power and the magic of love. It’s on days like today that I need this image the most and it makes me smile.

So today I wish to recognize the man we lost that day and to honour the love of a lifetime: better, to me, than any fictional love story I’ve yet read. I hope I can find a love even half as devoted and true as theirs.

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