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TToT: Raining Lumos and Dobby #DisabledAndCute #IAmAPreexistingCondition #10Thankful

Lord, when you send the rain

Think about it, please, a little?

Do not get carried away

by the sound of falling water,

the marvellous light

on the falling water.

I am beneath that water.

It falls with great force

and the light

Blinds

me to the light.

—James Baldwin, “Untitled”

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The magnolia blooms for a short time only. True beauty doesn’t often last. It comes and it goes.

The rain kept coming, across parts of Ontario and Quebec, for most of the week.

Raining cats and dogs: Lumos and Dobby are mine.

Ten Things of Thankful

I’m thankful for delicate things in nature.

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We found this cracked robin’s egg on the driveway and I thought it a sweet discovery. My mom improves on the nature and this sign of spring.

I wondered then, where the inhabitant of the egg went. How did the egg land and not crack into even more pieces? I wondered things.

I’m thankful for leftover wine.

My sister had a wedding shower for a friend and there were leftovers. She was kind to share them with me.

I’m thankful for a writing group built around a hand sculpted wand.

One of our members of “The Elsewhere Region” brought in a birthday gift she’d received. It’s like the Harry Potter wand I bought, even the box, but made specifically for her, with love from a friend who knows her well.

The Celtic Tree Calendar

The stories we all came up with were interesting. Mine was about a teacher of the blind who started a braille club in her class and her wand accidentally fell out of her desk drawer. She almost had to reveal to all her students that she was magic, until her visually impaired student saved her.

The others used their very interesting imaginations and came up with wild tales of magic and I was once more blown away by their storytelling abilities.

I am thankful I could help spread hash tags about the disabilities many of us were, in some cases, born with.

The hash tag “I Am A Preexisting Condition” is making the rounds on Twitter since the shocking revelation that the GOP and the House voted in their horrid healthcare plan, which is making many people I know with chronic illnesses and conditions afraid for what will happen.

I felt helpless and wanted to do something. I couldn’t think of what that could be. It’s just so outlandish.

I am thankful for my nephew’s creativity, imagination, and the ideas that are all his own.

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He drew an X on a piece of paper and tacked it up on the door. We saw it there when we arrived the other day and I was smiling when I heard what it’s for.

He put it up to keep the spiders out.

NO SPIDERS

I am thankful I could give my niece her bottle and put her to sleep.

My nephew was staying with his grandparents overnight and he was a bit sad as bedtime approached. My mom comforted him and I fed Mya her bottle. That girl loves to eat.

Then she fell asleep over my shoulder.

I’m thankful for echoes of a memory with a lullaby.

My mom started to sing an old lullaby that her mother, my grandmother, used to sing. This seemed to bring back memories for me, something so vague, about my grandma singing to me.

“Go to bed my little darling. Close your big blue eyes. Soon you’ll hear the sandman calling, far beyond the skies.”

It’s funny that you can sense a memory from the past, so long gone, and even start to wonder if it really happened. I remember being sung to like that, but I don’t know when or how old I might have been. I seem to remember being held, but can any of us remember back that far into our pasts?

Well, I held Mya and the entire time I tapped that song out on her back, gently, over and over again, trying to sharpen my own memories. It didn’t work, but the song is a beautiful one.

I am thankful that France did not make the same mistake the US made.

France is a totally different country than the US of course and I knew they would make the right choice with Emmanuel Macron.

Just a few weeks ago, Canada gave a giant sigh of relief, when our own (he was being called Canada’s Donald Trump) and he was running for the Conservative Party of Canada, dropped out.

Kevin O’Leary is a businessman, like 45, known for his role in Shark Tank, but he didn’t feel quite as outrageous. Maybe that was just my wishful thinking there, but he decided on his own that he couldn’t stay in the race.

I don’t know what will happen with the EU and I hope no more terrorist attacks occur in France or anywhere else, but I am sure we aren’t done with all that, sadly.

I am thankful for the sun to make its reappearance.

Even I grew weary of all that dreary weather, day after day after day. The sun does shine again, but unfortunately, some are dealing with major damage to their homes and their lives. Rain has power to mess with us. The sun revives.

And this last photo isn’t the most pleasant sight. I begin with a beautiful flowering bush and I cap off this TToT with the scene we came across in my back yard.

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I have squirrels living in the top of my garage and this one came to a sad end, landing in a tree and hanging there until we noticed it. Poor thing.

Loss and endings. I just hope those affected by the flooding, in Quebec mostly, can salvage something of their homes.

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Bullets and Bones, #Vimy100 #AtoZChallenge

Nope. Even though the title of today’s post might suggest I have forgotten what letter we are at with this April challenge, I assure you that I haven’t.

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I heard it on a series about Canada and I thought it makes the point.

The A to Z Challenge – H is for History

That famous quote:

“Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”

I believe that wholeheartedly. I don’t ignore. I listen and I learn.

A lot of history is bullets and bones. Wars seem to be all we talk about when we speak of historical events and the bones of those who have gone before us, who lost lives, they are everywhere.

The series I was watching spoke of the War of 1812 and the battles between the United States and the Canada that wasn’t quite Canada yet, but a colony of Great Britain. So much colonialism throughout history.

What year did Canada become its own country?

I am a big history buff. I focus on wars too, though I despise them and all they have ever been about.

I do not like to refer to the United States of America because I do not approve of how the country started, by actively attempting to take the entire continent of North America for themselves. They wanted what is now Canada, the Canada that I love. Sure, when I listen and learn about that war, one often neglected, I think of what would have happened if the U.S. had won the war. What would be, where my country now lies?

The U.S. wanted all the land. They fought British and Natives, in what is now the Detroit and Windsor area, Niagara, Toronto, and all along borders we now hold dear.

There were battles fought where the capital city of Toronto now sits. We don’t now realize. Bones are buried there.

There has been remembrance ceremonies here in Canada and over in France. April 9th, 1917 was the start of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. And 100 years on. That, it is said, is where young Canada became a country, but fierce debate about just whose war they were fighting caused great tensions between French and English-speaking Canadians at the time, a set of tensions that still exists, in some ways, today.

Many died and were wounded for that fighting. I don’t look fondly on such a thing, but I try to respect the lives that were lost. Many bodies buried in fields in northern France. I am emotional about history. I don’t know any other way.

***This is my first year of joining the A to Z Challenge and so I’ve decided to post randomly, as a way for new visitors to my blog to get to know me a little better. I look forward to discovering some interesting new blogs too.

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TToT: Exploding Pizzas, Table Clouds, and Irish Munks – Extended Holiday Edition, #10Thankful

Every tear you cry, every doubting eye All of these things will pass away
All of your big mistakes, your little old heart would break Wishing that I would take them back clickable

Write down the things you don’t want Burn them in a glass
Write down the things you dream of Make a paper plane that flies to heaven clickable

Waiting In Canada – Jann Arden

And buy a ticket for a plane And come and see me, baby
Or drive your car all night By just starlight to Canada
That’s where I’ll be waiting clickable

http://www.metrolyrics.com/waiting-in-canada-lyrics-jann-arden.html

It was an odd sort of grab bag kind of week, filled with emotions, both good and not so good.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

That my broken string could be replaced.

I had a little mishap with my D string. It took three employees of the music store to find one that would fit.

I had it driven home, once more, after the day I was having; I am one-of-a-kind and so I shouldn’t really be surprised that the first try of violin strings wouldn’t quite cut it.

The guy eventually, expertly fitted the correct D string to my violin and all was well again.

Back to the newbie life of a beginner.

For fresh pea season arriving once again.

It only comes once a year. I look forward to it, all the long winter months.

The pea podding is a zen activity.

Do you know those ball pits kids love to jump into.

Well, I love the sound of a bowl full of podded peas. The sound they make, rolling all around, it reminds me of just that.

That I could enjoy another spectacular Canada Day fireworks display.

The weather was cool, just how I prefer it. The company was on its way. The bbq decided to be out of propane.

Plan B: kitchen – sausages, hamburgers, and more fresh strawberries.

The night sky lit up bright and I was blessed to see a bit of the dazzling display, as who knows, by the time another year rolls around, what I may see.

My three-year-old nephew saw a pizza in the sky, circle bursting forth. I love his imagination. I saw huge bursts too. I saw something.

That my brother was given another chance to perform his music, somewhere in his city, thanks to

London Arts Council

They were buskers on the street. Driving by I could hear them out the car window.

Standing there, watching them perform, I enjoyed the shade of the tree they were set up under.

My brother performed a beautiful version of “Decade Adrift”, the song we’re currently collaborating together on.

I really don’t see how his hands can move so fast, on those guitar strings, to produce something of such power.

For an excellent dinner.

It was the discovery of a new delicious vegetable. I had never tasted water cress before. It reminded me of bean sprouts a little. It was refreshing and delicious.

My beer (Great Lakes Blonde) was the perfect choice, and at this place there were a lot to choose from.

The meal was the perfect choice, chicken florentine, along with turtle chocolate cheesecake and gelato.

The restaurant is in an old house, with creaky floors upon entering, but a roomy bench seat and cool air vent after being outside for the afternoon.

For a 100th birthday celebration.

She was the only main character in Gone with the Wind, to die in the film. So, it only makes sense that she is last to live in real life.

100 Years Of Olivia De Havilland

Still going strong and living in France.

Her part in Gone with the Wind is one of angelic purity, but if you stick it out until the end, you see that she is so much more.

Olivia, in that part, reminds me of my own grandmother, from the first time I watched and became obsessed by the film. Each time I watch her play the role of Melanie Hamilton, I think of the grandmother who always believed the best in people.

For old movies.

They are a great contrast to movies of today. They have a sound, distinct, that I love to lose myself in.

Not that they took place in a better time, but it feels like that, so I explore how people thought, acted, and spoke in those days.

For a prime minister who makes the effort.

This year was the first time a current Canadian Prime Minister walked in Pride.

The parade is celebrated, all over the world, as in people travel from all around to attend the biggest LGBTQ celebrations.

With it being Canada Day, I watched videos of recent refugees in tears, so grateful to be in Canada.

It’s a struggle, to be a minority or marginalized, but I am glad my PM is making a statement by showing up.

For the hard/valuable lessons learned from one who was there.

Elie Wiesel died this week. I read his memoir “Night” when I was about twenty.

The way he wrote, describing the sights, sounds, and smells of his horrible time in concentration camps was like nothing I’d ever read before.

For the chance to be a witness.

He said even if those who were there are now disappearing, those who listened to their message while they were here, we are witnesses, not literally, thank God.

But that we took the time to really listen and are devoted to never forgetting, to sharing, and spreading the history.

link When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.

—Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

And a special edition bonus thankful:

Canada, the country, to have been born here. This is the thankful that is in the background and foreground of this entire post and always, in everything I write.

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“People Of Canada…” #CanadaDay #FTSF

A lot can change in a year.

Today is a celebration in my country. Today is Canada’s 149th birthday.

How perfect – this all lined up with Finish the Sentence Friday and its particular sentence for the week, which ties in with all I have been thinking about on countries, borders, and our one, global world.

Every year, on July 1st and since I started this blog, I have found it important to say something about Canada or what it’s like to be Canadian.

In 2014,

I listed ten things I loved about my country (Oh Canada).

And then, last year,

I decided to take a different approach,

Reconciling The Truth About Canada.

Last year we had another political party in charge and another politician leading Canada.

This year we have Justin Trudeau. Not all are thrilled, just like I wasn’t thrilled with the people in charge this time last July.

Stories in the news for 2016 are more often than not horrifying to me. I listen to the epic race for the White House and the Brexit referendum. I look around me here in Canada, and I hold on tightly, but the other night I listened to a speech put on in Ottawa’s parliament, by visiting US President (for the time being) Barack Obama.

He began it with the words: “People of Canada…” and I was unprepared for all I was about to hear.

What I wish the world knew is a simple enough word: peace. They often say they know (those leading the way), that they understand, but continually prove the opposite to be true. This leaves those of us, so desperate for peace, to feel like we’re the odd ones out, like what we’re asking for is so out-of-reach impossible.

Obama started to speak and I’ve never been so speechless and yet bursting with thoughts and things to say, all at the same time. I wanted to cry, more than once, as he spoke and the crowd cheered at various statements he made.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/latest-obama-arrives-canada-us-mexico-summit-40217479

Just days after the Brexit vote, I listened to a speech by a certain UKIP politician, to the EU. It carried a definite, a continual tone of mocking and gloating. Totally uncalled for and unnecessary, in my mind, as mature adults, or thought to be mature adults should be conducting themselves and holding themselves to a much higher standard than was evident in that room.

Then, compare that to one given by Nicola Sturgeon, in Scotland, where she spoke of what may end up need to be done. She struck me as a powerful female voice, in the world of politics, where so often women’s voices are mostly silent. As she finished speaking, however, sirens could be heard in the distance, coming closer and closer. This felt ominous to me in some way.

Then, this week, it was the North American Leader’s Summit. The leaders of Mexico, the United States, and Canada came together to talk a wide array of topics, from the environment to Brexit.

Of course, on Canada Day and every other, I am glad Canada is is its own, individual nation, while existing as part of the North American continent. I feel bad to admit it, that I’ve been feeling a sense of relief, that perhaps Canada’s darker period is over, while the US’s may still be ahead of them. I don’t wish civil unrest on anyone, not the least on my neighbours to the south. I don’t think the United States fully realized how good they had it with Obama. However, I don’t think isolation is the answer and we need each other, more than we’d like to admit.

To be honest, I am dying for this summer to fly by, this year in particular, because I am feeling uncomfortable while the US elections are revving up, but perhaps (if the UK is any indication) I shouldn’t be in any big rush for the summer of 2016 to come to an end. I am dreading the results this November, yet I remain skeptically optimistic, after how Canada’s elections turned out last fall.

Obama spoke in Ottawa and it was his last visit to Canada as President. He was the first US president to come here since Clinton, twenty years ago. Particularly, Trudeau and Obama have been developing a friendly relationship, which is for the good of us all, but this pleasant environment could be short lived.

Obama spoke about refugees and immigrants. He didn’t speak about building walls and closing ranks against the rest of the world. He addressed the dangers of the “us against them” mentality, which I’d like to tell the rest of the world, can’t possibly work.

Obama spoke of the US/Canada history. War of 1812, (some bad memories there).

🙂

Then there came the Underground Railroad. While things for minorities were never great here or there, there was a reason why we were the north that slaves of the time were willing to die to get to. We could be a refuge for so many then.

We could be, we can set an example once more. I want to think Canada can set that example, as politics in the US is soon to change, Obama’s time nearly up, but that Trudeau has only just begun his time in office. Some say he has been bad for Canada, and if they are talking budgets and economy, I am the last to say I know a lot about those things and how it will all turn out, but Justin Trudeau has made strides on many things humanitarian. I want Canada to show the world that opening up our hearts and home to people fleeing war will make the world a better place, but Obama spoke about doing all we can do to ensure a more peaceful planet earth, so wars and unrest can’t uproot so many from there homes in the first place.

I want to make all my bursting thoughts come out in a coherent statement for how I feel. I don’t go by the situation with currency or by the stock market. I go by my heart. What doesn’t feel true and compassionate to me, I know isn’t possibly to benefit the world. So much fear and shameful reaction to fear. I want my country to lead the way in doing better.

And so, as many celebrated their very first Canada Day in this country this year, I hope they feel welcomed, even if this place is still a strange one to them. As I hope for all this, I think always on the first Canada Day my grandparents spent, all those years ago. They left Europe after that continent had been nearly destroyed, devastated by war, and we can’t let that continue to happen. Surely, the world must realize this. Or am I just talking to myself here, banging my own head up against a brick wall? Am I simply too naive for my own good, when it comes down to what humans are capable of?

FTSF is thanks to Kristi from:

Finding Ninee

And I wish nothing but peace on this Canada Day, 4th of July, or whatever else may mark any other country’s place in the world.

To end with – my thoughts are with Turkey, after the latest run-in with the opposite of peace. Their country deserves the same level of support, just like Belgium, France, the US or anywhere else, as fellow human beings, living together and sharing this planet of ours, we need each other. We cannot fight hate with even more hate. Peace, going forward, always. Please. Don’t make me beg!

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Wine’s Fine But Whisky’s Quicker, #SoCS

“Closing time – one last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer. Closing time – you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here.”

I like this song from the nineties. I thought it fit well, it came to mind, as soon as I finished reading, or should I say listening to an audiobook today and here is my review.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Ever hear of the saying from my title of this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post?

Okay, so how many nights are bars and clubs full of people, looking for something, but just what are they looking for in those places?

It’s right up my alley. The topic of love, romance, and relationships and it is all from the hilarious comedic mind and heart of the Parks and Recreation star.

I will admit he wasn’t my favourite character on that show. I was more of a Ron Swanson fan, but since the end of the series I have watched some of his comedy specials. He is about my age and he is just trying to figure out the relationship questions facing many people of our age group.

Many of the topics he first covered on stage and in his jokes and humorous observations are what he put into his new NetFlix series, “Master of None”, a semi autobiographical snapshot (which I am in the middle of watching).

Here they now are in book form. Normally, I like to read books on my own. Occasionally though, the argument can be made to listen, especially when the book is narrated by the author himself. It brings a level of personality and humour that I wouldn’t get if I read it.

It begins with some catchy, smooth, chilling music as he introduces the book. It fits the romantic feeling he wants to bring across, until he can’t help his comedic style and starts yelling and calling us, the listeners lazy for not bothering to read on our own.

JK aside

🙂

I love this book because he discusses a lot of really interesting parts of modern romance in modern times, but he does it with little bursts of his signature sense of humour.

He tackles such topics as social media, online dating, sexting, what he terms the act of being “monogomish”, cheating, and our generation’s give-up attitude, not sticking things out and the fear that, with all the options of a wide open world, that we’re never happy and always wondering if there’s something better out there.

He uses some of his own life experiences in the dating world, focus groups and ReddIt forums, and studies and expert opinions from psychologists, anthropologists, and journalists who study love and relationships.

He even went into a retirement community and asked people from previous generations about love and marriage from their standpoint. One old guy was only there for the free doughnuts, but the rest did offer valuable insights into how they met their partners, when and why they got married, and how they feel their lives turned out.

The only way we can learn is by studying the past and by asking questions of those who have gone before us, but times do change. Okay, so sometimes the more things do change the more they remain the same.

This is both different and similar, as the years pass, but as the clock of our lives ticks on, what will we look back on at the end and regret that we didn’t do or feel?

Aziz and his team of interviewers and experts speak with people in North America, Europe, and Asia.

There are some interesting insights into how monogamy is handled in France when compared to the US. Either one going to extremes.

Women’s options were fewer and roles were measured in different ways years ago. Respect should be timeless and for everyone.

Can love really last?

Of course it can’t, not in the mad and passionate way spoken of in the book and desired by most of us.

His expert scientists share scans and, he points out there are graphs and charts in the book, but that they can’t be translated in the same way when listening to the audio version.

He talks about what I would think is obvious, but is one of the lesser obvious things from what I’ve seen: that new love is exciting and it lights up the brain just like a drug, but that this feeling can’t possibly last, nor should it. If someone chooses to continuously chase that high all their life, rather than accept life’s inevitable ups and downs, well there’s really nothing to be done to convince them that the benefits of finding one person to have as a partner and a companion could ever be more than enough.

I can’t fault social media and technology. My iPhone and the Internet are invaluable to me. Online dating websites have helped me open up and find people I never would have met otherwise. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Can these things make jealousy and deceit easier? Of course they can. Doesn’t mean these things did not exist before them. Shakespeare is proof of that.

In the book he quotes rapper Pitbull and a line in Spanish, translated to say:

“What the eyes don’t see the heart doesn’t feel.”

This is exactly the level of immaturity that exists out there, when people only care about themselves and have no consideration for anyone else.

I recently wrote about having faith, now that we’ve arrived at the Christmas season, that just because something can’t be seen with two eyes, doesn’t mean it isn’t there, happening, or could potentially hurt or harm other people.

Myself and every other blind person could tell you that many times the heart feels things, without having to see with the eyes. This just shows the many and varied beliefs, opinions, and experiences of love and romance.

This book was not a literary classic, but it was an excellent story and well told. You just can’t get the same affect without Ansari’s voice and his acting.

Has he himself found the kind of love that will flow from mad and passionate into a long term respectful companionship? Hard to say for sure, but if you enjoy audiobooks or books on love and relationships, I would recommend Modern Romance.

So, in closing…with one final piece of advice from the book:

He calls it, “acquired likability through repetition”, instead of nothing more than an “option that lives in your device”.

Okay, well it’s all often in the wording. Of course, he is simply referring to the picky way some people look for love, giving up on someone after one date, if they weren’t ready to see fireworks. Smart phones make it much too easy, he points out, to think of someone on the other end, side of a phone screen as one dimensional words in a little speech bubble, instead of a human being with feelings, hopes, and a heart.

What are your thoughts on these topics? Have you heard of monogomish? Do you think love can last? Is there any situation where cheating is acceptable? Are you an Aziz Ansari fan? Have you heard of the song I quote above?

SoCS

There you go with some music to start, a little book review, and my stream of consciousness ramblings for Linda’s weekly prompt:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/12/11/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-1215/

Only one more left to go before Christmas is here.

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In The News and On My Mind: Seeing Red, #BlueSkyFriday

Remember, back a few weeks ago, when all we had to debate were a bunch of red coffee cups?

didyoureadmylatestblogpostyetimage-2015-11-18-01-18.png

***

“Watching the news in the evening is a bit like being on an emotional Tilt-aWhirl. “Isis now sets people on fire.” “Harper Lee has a new book out!” “Some oddballs are bringing measles back because they’re scared of autism, which is a bit like saying I’m worried about birthday candles, so let’s start a forest fire.” “It’s going to be gorgeous this weekend!” “Look, a politician being deliberately rude.” “And also, look at these adorable puppies!” My limbic system does not work that fast.
–JEG

***

Okay, so there was always a lot more going on in the world than that, but still…

It’s nearly a month till Christmas, and now the world is, once more, seeing red on the events of Friday the 13th and the latest November terrorist attacks by ISIS.

It began with Starbucks and their solid red cups, but it did not end there. It never does.

I had a conversation with my parents recently. In this conversation, my mom stated emphatically that, in the end, there is no way the US would actually elect Donald Trump as their president. My father and I aren’t so sure. At this point, a lot wouldn’t surprise me. That wouldn’t surprise me. This world is a crazy crazy place.

Listening to another one of Trump’s rants, about the popular coffee chain choosing just plain red, as their Christmas cup design, I was baffled by the attention America has given this man.

I was also baffled by the things that people obsess over, but there’s always something else, coming along, to shift the discussion to another outrage or outcry. People like to be angry about something: sometimes warranted and sometimes not.

Speaking of red…

that expression (seeing red) is one I’ve been thinking a lot about. It fits with my series: “In The News and On My Mind” and yet, going from some silly coloured coffee cups to the level of outrage at those poor people injured and killed in France has me thinking about my favourite colour, as the holiday season approaches.

I went slightly numb when I heard the news in progress last Friday night. Here we go again, I said to myself. It was approaching suppertime, and then…

Gun shots. Crack. Bomb blasts. Bang. Not again.

But just a few days earlier I’d heard about the cracks and the bangs, but in countries and cities I didn’t know.

Everyone knows Paris, but this had been already going on elsewhere in previous days. These attacks happen in other places, but that’s just what happens in places like Iraq, Turkey, Beirut, but not in France. Oh no.

I listened, through the night, until I could not listen anymore. I wanted to wait for more information because I wanted to know what we were dealing with, before my outrage flew out of control, like the rest of the world.

So, my Facebook newsfeed burst with people’s status rants, condolences in solidarity with France, and news stories from every angle. I tried to read it all, to educate myself and remain as informed as possible, but after a bit of a family emergency, a distraction from the wider world’s events, I had something closer to home to focus my attention and all my worry on.

The events of the wider world were silenced, as if someone turned the volume way down, in the background, and I may not have wanted that, but I almost welcomed the change and this other place to put all my energy.

What a lot to happen to my country’s brand new prime minister, a test of his capability, only a few weeks in. On his way to summits, dealing with economic matters and soon to be in PAris for talks on the environment.

Justin Trudeau’s big promised plan to bring 25,000 refugees into Canada by New Year’s was going to be challenged. Some of the Canadian premiers are urging Trudeau to pull back, to think carefully.

Governors are calling for similar caution from President Obama. If even one extremist is allowed entry and the chance to do what was done in PAris, even amongst the larger group, this would be too much, right?

I’ve listened to all this and I am not the one in charge, thank God, but I do not wish to fight fear with fear and violence with violence. That is where the world is heading, where most countries start to head in times like these.

Again, where would I want the world to go with that? If I were innocently fleeing from my home, surrounded by violence and fear, what would I want from the rest of the world?

All the stories I heard with November 11th being just last week. All of what was known and what wasn’t done during the Holocaust. If the rest of the world knows people are suffering, and we all sit back and ignore it, what does that make us? If, one day, it is any of us in the other position and in need of help, what should we expect?

I’m born from a line of those who only want to see the best in people. I am also the granddaughter of two immigrants. We are all, for the most part, immigrants from one time or another.

Us and them. Those and we.

The Islamic State. Islamic religion. Islamic terrorists. It’s all so mixed up in people’s minds, but these are not the times where people should be excused for saying awful things and remaining uneducated. It hurts my head to stay educated on the world, forever changing and moving, but I have no choice now. It’s the world my niece and nephews will inherit, which means I have to care. I have no more choice to stay sheltered and hidden, as I was and did as a child.

I am slightly removed still, an entire ocean between myself and France, but I can imagine what it must be like, having something so threatening right in my back yard. I want the appropriate action taken against anyone who has an express purpose of destroying human life, no matter the reason. I know what he had to do, as president of the country attacked. I know all of Europe is under a whole lot of stress and strain, as more and more Syrian refugees keep coming. Canada just wants to help, but are we next?

We can’t keep all the danger removed from us over here, as much as we might want to. I want to live in a bubble sometimes, to avoid getting hurt, but what kind of a life would that be? People are afraid. I get that.

Out for a night, in Paris, and nobody thought there would be so much blood. Out at a soccer game, to listen to a concert, or simply out for dinner and now there’s more anger and fear than ever.

Oh, of course there’s plenty of kindness, compassion, and love. Facebook shows both the good and the bad in people, just like in other ways. I have read plenty of both. I’ve read some of the ugliest statements from people and some of the most compassionate.

I may be the naive one, the one seeing the best in people, even as it fades in and out. I just can’t bring myself to think ignorant thoughts and make judgments about people I don’t know.

In the week since Paris was targeted:

A Peterborough mosque was torched

and

a Muslim woman was attacked in Toronto while picking her children up from school.

Indifference leads to fear, which often leads to outright hatred.

We expect certain rights and freedoms over in North America and in Europe. We expect the Middle East to be violent and evil.

Fighting between Israeli and Palestinian sides.

More us and them.

Christians and Muslims.

Us and them.

ISIS is getting more creative apparently,

communicating through PlayStation gaming systems.

What?

So many stories and new information coming in and how can anyone possibly keep up or know what’s true and what’s reality?

Facebook can be a curse at times like these. The debate over the changing of profile pictures was everywhere the other day. This is exactly why my mother’s advice to stay out of commenting and debating on Facebook is so smart. So what if someone wants to show their support or their emotion this way. And if they choose not to, that’s fine too.

On and after Friday night I wrote and posted how I felt, on my blog pages and my personal page, but I did not change any profile pic of mine.

All the gun safety talk of late was pushed back with this newest terrorist attack. That’s how it goes in the media.

Before this, I was working on my thoughts for these “In The News and On My Mind” posts. Here’s what else I was planning to talk about:

On the morning before the attacks on Paris I woke up to alarming news. I don’t wish to use his name here, but he is one of Canada’s most notorious murderers and he supposedly wrote a novel.

Read more about it here.

As a writer I was disgusted, but I suppose even Hitler wrote a book once.

Freedom of speech and all that, but I could not read such a book. I believe someone should, to find out what we’re dealing with, but I’m just glad it is not me.

Who, on earth, would help him do this in the first place?

These next two items have to do with the ethics of aquariums, zoos, and marine parks and the role my country plays in the global risk for the environment.

Embattled Sea World to overhaul killer whale show

As this article states, I am not sure Sea World has seen the light. They want to redeem themselves, after Blackfish, but upon seeing it myself and on further reflection, I want better for those majestic marine mammals I love so much.

And then there was Obama’s rejection of Canada’s Keystone Pipeline project.

I don’t want to sound like an environmental nut, because God knows I am not. I know oil has its uses and how much we all depend on it. I also know that the whole topic of oil makes me feel yucky. I don’t like the thought of it being pumped underground. I don’t like the alternative, which resulted in

something like this,

but how often does just such a tragedy happen? I don’t know the political elements that were involved in Obama’s decision or the plans Canada has going forward, but I think of poor marine animals, when the inevitable oil spill happens again, and I want a better option. I know all the fighting and the greed that goes on over oil and Canada has lots of it. I can’t say I was totally unhappy with President Obama’s choice, as uneducated on all the rest as that might make me.

And so it’s my own Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who made a promise during his campaign: 25,000 refugees would be brought to Canada by the end of the year. Is this a good idea? More naive liberalism?

Liberals and conservatives.

Us and them.

Perhaps Canada needs to rethink things a bit? Not go back on Trudeau’s promise, but maybe, in the shadow of Friday the 13th attacks, slow the whole process down some.

We’re seeing, learning more and more about the process and how it will all come about. Skeptics ask if everyone so welcoming of refugees is willing to take some into our own homes:

First of all, I want to understand and to hear the individual stories.

From one refugee to another: What you need to know about Canada

It warms my heart that there are, in and amongst the uninformed and fearful comments, stories like these:

Canadian Couple Cancels Big Wedding to Sponsor a Family of Syrian Refugees Instead

We all know about boats full of migrants: women, children, and men too. Women and children are one thing, but the young men are all clearly terrorists, right?

I shake my head at this. I don’t let fear rule my notions of every single man coming off of those boats or fleeing Syria and into a refugee camp. What about the violence and the persecution these men are running from in their countries? Men can be in danger too. It’s the isolation and the desolation that leads to anger and vulnerability. This is what ISIS prays on. We can’t give in. We can’t let them win by making us afraid, using that fear against us, so we end up frozen by our suspicions.

I do not have any answers in this case. I still don’t know how to write about most of this, as it all feels much too big and broad. There are good and bad people everywhere and I refuse to give in to the fear, but more and more it seems that’s what leaders, politicians, and the media suggests.

Satisfied – Jewel

So if you are one of the many, “seeing red” at the crazy world we live in, I can understand and, believe me, I have my moments. However, I beg you to try to keep to your compassionate side, to look towards those who have let anger go, in favour of productive strategies and kindness.

As much as I love red, I leave that for the celebrations that are coming around the holidays, for most of us. The colour red is better suited for holly berries and ribbon. I would remind us all to remember that we are all human, all of us.

For more views on this, here are some posts written by fellow bloggers:

http://sisterwivesspeak.com/2015/11/19/is-your-love-big-enough-the-syrian-refugee-crisis/

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

–Martin Luther King Jr.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, SoCS

The Dark Tower, #SoCS

The tower in, what is known as the City of Light, was said to have gone dark.

The City of Love, known for romance was plunged into darkness.

I have not been to Paris, to France, but I’ve wanted to go, for a long time. There’s so much I want to see there.

I do not speak French, but I listened to the recorded sound of the gun shots and the bomb blasts, on the news. I wondered how I was going to describe it later. I’m still not sure things like this can be described, in words, but words are all I’ve got to work with.

All the talk of blood and bodies and I know what “indescribable” truly means. These horrors are in a different city, a new country, on any given nightly news broadcast. I don’t want to be afraid, to wonder how I’m going to describe my fears to others.

I can’t see the images on television, but I hear the distinctive whine of European emergency vehicles, the sound that I woke to, to hear out my window, the first night I spent in Dublin, Ireland. I hear that sound again, but I know why I hear it, what it’s duty is to those in crisis now.

When we say something is indescribable…well, I know it can be described, but I don’t know. Not really. I grasp at the words I love, to make the indescribable describable, but my brain hurts inside my skull.

How does someone, my brother, how does he describe the world to my niece?

She is young still and can be somewhat sheltered from the realities of the world, but for how long?

What would I say? How would I make something so indescribable become clear, when it isn’t even clear to me?

Not just the facts and the details of a senseless night in Paris, but of the state of things. It’s simply indescribable to me, that a human being, as I am a human being, would do harm to another. I don’t know why and I don’t know, even what the issue really is. Religion, one’s beliefs, and the lengths people go to for all these are indescribable.

It’s an indescribable feeling to hear my niece or my nephew’s voices say my name, my siblings/their parent’s names.

It’s indescribable what I smell in the air, on the perfect fall day or in the middle of a still winter night.

It’s indescribable what love really feels like. What heartbreak does to the human soul. What death and the loss of a loved one damages deep down.

I describe a lot of things, but my fading, remaining sight makes it harder and harder, nearly impossible, an indescribable, retreating skill lost, to describe what I once saw so well.

I want light and dark. Love and loss. These are realities. The stuff that really does matter is the stuff that’s always going to be indescribable, but I need to try anyways.

SoCS

Stream of Consciousness Saturday:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/11/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-1415/

Granted, not the best Friday the 13th on record.

Superstition, to me, is indescribable. It makes people think strange things, but, oh, how I long for the usual in Friday the 13th superstitious beliefs now.

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