I am a little older and wiser since the tenth of the month and yet I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m headed. Currently, I am listening to a live feed from a famous pub in Dublin, Ireland with live, Friday night entertainment.
I did turn thirty-six recently and my niece and nephew were so excited to start celebrating with me. We had a cake made and sampled by the time my sister arrived with dinner.
I am thankful for family on my birthday. Even my nearly three-year-old niece sang. She loves to sing.
I am thankful for loved ones who can bring me smoothies, milkshakes, and oranges to soothe my sore throat.
I am thankful my post birthday cold didn’t last too long.
I am thankful for the nerve blocks I’ve been getting.
I am a little wary of being injected in my head, but in the nerves specifically. I have had Botox to try to treat headaches in the past. Nerve blocks are helping one very specific headache I get.
I am thankful to have written a poetry review for a talented artist’s first poetry chapbook.
Okay, well if we’re not doing a great job so far, I at least hope everyone doesn’t give up and keeps talking.
I know things seem particularly rough right now, but at least we’re facing these issues, head-on. When we push them down and hope they won’t make too much trouble, it only prolongs any possible solutions.
I don’t pretend to know the answers, but I feel quite emotional about it all when I think of the history of this land and how it will all progress in future.
The live performance at Temple Pub and they are doing a version of this, one of my favourite songs by The Cranberries, after all this time.
It reminds me to keep on dreaming for myself. I am extremely grateful for dreams, but I remind myself of this lyric often:
“Don’t mind dreams. It’s never quite as it seems. Never quite as it seems.”
I am thankful for February. This winter hasn’t been as cold as some likely have been, but still cold enough for complaints, but I love this time of year better than summer.
I am thankful for anything I can do to distract myself from some of what’s going on in the world these days. I’m nervous that 2020 will be a long, rather scary year in some ways, but that’s why I keep doing all the things that bring me fulfillment and joy to balance it all out.
This was a chance to be a guest speaker for a room of retired professional women. I wasn’t just there to speak about my life as a sideshow of what’s known as inspiration porn, meaning a story of my disability that does nothing to truly educate, challenges preconceived notions and to show them what has been kept too well a hidden secret up until now.
I wanted to talk to the ladies about my life, my blindness sure, but of some of the things I’ve accomplished. I made the theme fear and travel and they were amazed I traveled to Mexico alone, to attend a writing workshop in 2017. Sure, many sighted people are amazed I can dress myself let alone travel by myself.
The point is that there are ways to know what I’m wearing and how I get to my gate to fly somewhere. I don’t do it without practice and, sometimes, without assistance.
I talked about my fears and the fears my parents had when they first learned I was blind. I talked about my loss of sight over the years and how I faced my fear of rejection to start this blog and share more of my writing with the wider world. I talked about how to face the fears and push passed them, while they keep on coming.
I impressed them, all kinds of them coming up to me after to shake my hand and tell me to keep it all up.
I couldn’t hope to change every mind about the capabilities of blind people, but maybe I enlightened some of them so that they will realize that I am not such a rarity, that many blind people live happy and active lives.
There is much work to do, why I’ve become involved with the Canadian Federation of the Blind
to, in many cases, fight back against society’s fears of blindness and what it’s really like to live with it.
I want to improve opportunities for my own life and for those born blind or who go blind later in life. It isn’t a black hole of hopelessness.
The government could be doing a lot more to help. If they listened more and realized it is a good investment to make into disability communities like that of the blind, that given the right kinds of opportunities and supports and training, we can give back to society like we want, like anyone else might do.
Our challenge is to make blind people, struggling to know their options and worth and opportunities, understand and believe that they can live the life they want.
I have been to a yearly convention for the CFB in Canada for the last two years and to one in the US in 2018. I wish I had more money for travel because it isn’t only a chance to do that, but it’s a chance to gather together and share with one another and boost each other in our lives all the rest of the year. I face my fears by traveling, again and again and again, and to put myself squarely in a situation where I am anxious and uncomfortable, a large crowd or group of people.
The experiences I’ve had since I realized my power to make changes through advocacy with like-minded blind people have been some of the best of my entire life and I’ve met people that inspire me for those times when I do feel like it’s all too much and I’d like to give up all together.
It’s often stressful because there’s more work to do than those of us willing to pitch in with our own unique talents and skills, but it’s a brand new year here and I know I’ll keep busy, whatever happens. Life is rarely ever boring for long.
for this prompt that I had a lot to speak on. My life has been a rich tapestry of meaningful and impactful experiences for sure.
People are protesting, challenging their governments, and more.
And here I am.
I can come here and I can publish
my feelings and my fears for our world.
I am approaching my six year anniversary with this blog next month and I can speak my mind in Canada and share it with anyone who comes here. I am not protesting for the world to see on screen, like Gloria Steinem or Jane Fonda are doing, both these high profile women and both in their eighties now. Instead, I keep writing it all down and I don’t quit as times grow tough.
I have the freedom to write about climate change or disability rights as civil rights or about misogyny and the men who’ve run this world long enough and brought us to where we are today. I can say the things I’m drawn to say and publish without waiting for some mighty publisher to look my way.
I can’t control what the government does or what other governments around the world do, but I can write and speak my mind and for this I’m grateful.
Thank you, Ritu,
for this prompt word, a favourite of mine.
I am thankful for other bloggers. They offer endless reading and character in their owners. I can reflect back on all the bloggers I’ve gotten to know here, and even over on BlogSpot.
I am thankful for soda water. I have always loved water, back when I used to get a glass of the refreshing liquid, out of the jug in my oma’s fridge or from the tap, in the glass from my grandma that I now drink out of to remember her and the love of water we both shared. I like to drink less pop/soda and so bubbly water is refreshing and a nice compromise, no sugar.
I am thankful for violins in their beauty as my favourite instruments. I can reflect in how far I’ve come since I started to learn, from starting soon after turning thirty-two to soon turning thirty-five.
I am thankful for this blog, which will soon celebrate five years in existence here on WP.
I am thankful for WP. It is a platform I can at least minimally use, as a place to share my writing. I remember back ten years ago or so, when I tried to set up a blog here, but then I had different voice software and it was nearly impossible. Oh how far I’ve come, along with the technology I use every day.
I am thankful for the haircuts I get at my cousin’s salon, as I reflect back to the earliest days of me dying my hair, in my early twenties. She started out at someone else’s salon, and now she runs her own.
Caption: me with my re-darkened hair for winter, in my new outfit.
I am thankful for gently used clothing. I can reflect on the person I used to be, afraid to wear anything secondhand, even though I’ve always loved and believed things used by others come with a story. I found a few things at the little shop she has, including a pair of boots to take when I travel in a few months, assuming #45 doesn’t hold his government hostage on an ongoing basis, making airports chaotic by the time I am scheduled to fly.
I am thankful for dinner with my father, lunch with a friend, and a spot on my municipal accessibility committee where I was well received my first time there.
I am thankful for the Christmas tree that is now a light tree, just outside my living room window. Thanks to my mom. Thanks, also, to my brother who is going to help me get a better deal on a plan for my phone.
These are simple yet powerful thankfuls, alongside all my reflecting.
I am thankful for this song. I used to love it, for a long time, without realizing who it was. Then I heard the news of the death of one of the members of the group. They had a memorial of music, in his memory, not far from me.
I can reflect on the year since Dolores of The Cranberries died suddenly and I understand that life is short.
I may sometimes label myself a passive person, but there are moments when aggressive stances are needed.
Animals in the animal kingdom instinctively sense it, know where it lies in another creature and how or if they can derive any sort of benefit from it.
Human beings are creatures too, of habit, while the wild ones wander.
Personalities are coloured and varied shades of what makes us human, alongside the animals in nature.
I could Google the passive writing voice and read for days and days, but when I go ahead and write, may not always recognize what it looks like.
The term “passive agressive”
means one thing, when both words are put together, and another on their own. I guess this is the point, the neat thing about this phrase, if you want to call it that, about language in general as well.
Wow. I haven’t taken this Saturday blogging prompt quite so literally in a while.
I think of my fear (rational or not) of an angry swarm of bees. I think a swan, who appears docile, until you get too close.
The fight face of a country or government, put forth by a world war, by a civil one.
War and peace. Is Canada so well known for one instead of the other. Or warring tribes in Canada’s long lived past.
On another lazy Saturday, I ask myself: What is Russia really up to, with the latest election results?
I do wonder, not as much about their people, but about that government itself.
I need to take my suspicious eye off of the country next to my own and think about other places. People or entire nations, I stream of consciousness ramble my way along, all the while, hoping to avoid the inevitable, those who ooze what it means to be aggressive.
I’m thankful for a contract opportunity to write about something so important to me.
Braille is not a well understood thing, for many, even as technology takes on bigger parts of all our lives.
My early literacy is thanks to my parents and to the school I was in and braille is a large part of all that.
So, to share about the value of braille is so important to me. I just hope I can do it justice and give to it as much as it has given me.
I’m thankful Canada’s government didn’t shut down.
Disfunction at the highest level.
I know very little about trade agreements, but Canada is doing the work and staying involved with other countries, while moving away from what the US seems to be heading for.
They are being run by someone who only pitches America, America First, or whatever, all things made in America. Whatever, to bring more jobs. I guess that is left to themselves, in their own country. Isolation.
If his government can’t even work together, to stay open a year after his inauguration, how well will they do, on their own, if that is what they prefer?
I’m thankful I could be in on a meeting to discuss traveling out west, for a convention in British Columbia.
The Canadian Federation of the Blind have a convention, every May, where issues important to blind Canadians are discussed.
This year, Ontario is coming to western Canada and we are going to make our mark.
I was only in B.C. in the airport, changing flights to the Yukon. I intend to go back, to speak about the project to make audio description in movie theatres a common thing, and I will see the Pacific Ocean while I’m at it.
I’m thankful that the marching continued, one year later, with all the more reason to do so.
I wondered, did worry, that it was a one year hit action/movement and those who like to criticize would be able to point at the one time visual as a sign that making our voices heard isn’t needed or productive.
I did not see all the signs, but had a few read to me. Some smart sign writers in those marches.
This is a current US president thing, true, but it is bigger than that guy. It is a stand against what has been.
It leaves a bunch of us out, those who find marching in the streets difficult, but it is heartening to me anyway.
I want things to only get better, going forward, in the years to come. I have a vested interest in that, in compassion and in empathy, for not only one gender or class or whatever.
I understand the fatigue that can set in, but we all must keep doing something, however small. I am still working out what that something is for me.
I’m thankful for a chance to listen to a local orchestra, playing my kind of a symphony and to see a movie live, that I missed the first time around.
I saw Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the film, on a big screen at a sport stadium.
Then, I saw the soundtrack being played by live orchestra. It was a strange experience of my senses.
I heard parts of the soundtrack, differently than I’d ever heard them, when blended into the background of the movie on DVD at home.
Int was strange, seeing with a crowd of other major Harry Potter fans, with all the cheers and the comments made by nearby fans.
The bells and the percussion section and the other main instruments that make up that famously known and heard Harry Potter musical sound.
I’m thankful for things that happen (or don’t happen) for a reason.
Maybe I don’t get what I want, in one moment, but that leads me to something else. Maybe I am getting what I can handle, what I need to teach me what I need to know.
I resisted the “door/window” line of optimism.
I am ending, this week, with another comforting song from The Cranberries, the Irish band that was and is no more.
My brother generously added it to his playlist on the radio show he hosts, every Friday morning, on a college radio station in London, Ontario.
“Sitting at my desk at two minutes past five on a Friday afternoon, deep in the season of darkness.” (Landscape orientation) The perspective of a person sitting at a desk, closely enough that the nearest edge of the muted-toffee top does not show.”
I borrowed this quote from fellow blogger and writer Clark because it perfectly illustrates one unique perspective, a snapshot of one person’s place and time, their own, individual experience.
But the world is full of about 7 billion more, give or take. Thankfulness works best when you are aware of how lucky you are, though then I risk feeling like I am bragging, to someone, about just how good I indeed have things.
Listening to the news is a double-edged sword for me, but I strive to always be aware of the world around me still, never to become a prisoner of my personal life’s circumstance.
This thankful exercise, here at the TToT, it teaches me to be thankful all year, but I do have a lot of issue with this one holiday, telling me to be thankful, while not being begun or continued in the right way.
I am thankful for real stories of pain and assault getting their chance to be heard.
I am not on one side or the other of this matter. I wouldn’t be able to even choose a side for the purposes of a protest. I often wonder if that means I am someone who is unable to take a stand. In the meantime, I just stand there, on the sidelines.
I am a blind woman who sometimes has sensitivities toward ablism and then, in the next breath, wonder if I am being over sensitive. I am also someone who knows the luxury of being born in a country like Canada. I do think free speech can go too far, when it is coming from a place of fear or hate.
I am thankful Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau understands the value of apologizing.
I admit it…I have imagined myself in her place, a time or two, though I realize the challenges that must exist.
I do think there is a hype that probably goes too far, but I think any romance in the world is a plus. I need stories like these. Sometimes I wonder if all is how it seems, but I really do get swept up in all the excitement, in spite of myself.
I am thankful for the kick-in-the-butt NaNoWriMo November has given me.
Okay, so I barely reached more than a few thousand words, nowhere near fifty thousand, but it got me to at least start something I’d been talking and thinking about for a long while.
I may have met the goal of National Novel Writing Month when I first attempted it, back in 2013, but once that month was over I never went back to it, to finishing anything. This time, all that matters is that I started it and will keep at it.
And so now there is no turning back on this novel I was born, in a way, to write.
I am thankful to avoid any and all Black Friday or Cyber Monday mania.
I’m thankful I got to celebrate June 5th in a miraculous place.
I wanted to shout it from the rooftops – 20 years baby!
I spent the actual morning of the 5th, standing on a suspension bridge, overlooking a place called Miles Canyon. The day was a perfect temperature for me, wind and sun, blowing my hair all around and warming my face.
I thought about where I would have been, exactly twenty years earlier. I was so glad to have that hospital and those doctors then. I was so blessed to have all those years of a dialysis free life, thanks to my father. I was lucky to spend that moment, twenty years on, up on that bridge.
I’m thankful for a truly eye opening week.
I thought the Yukon seemed so far out of the way of most of the rest of Canada and thought of it a little bit like the Canada of Canada.
By that, I mean that in North America, to me at least at times, Canada goes somewhat unnoticed or under appreciated by the United States and such. We are here but can feel invisible. We are a small world player, in many ways, not making a whole lot of noise or commotion, but that’s how we prefer it to be. We are here and we are strong.
Then there is a part of Canada that is tucked away, far from what a lot of the gathered population ever sees. I wanted to go out and find this place.
By the end of my time there, I’d learned so much and was blown away by all of it. I heard stories of the people who have lived in that climate (months of mostly all light and then months of continuous darkness) for years upon years. I learned about myself and what travel can mean to me, through seeing places of intense and immense beauty, while not actually getting to experience the spectacular visuals of the north.
I missed out on a to, but I gained so so much.
I’m thankful I had the chance to see a part of my country of Canada, far far from my place in it.
I have never traveled out west through Canada before, spending most of my time in the central part, the middle area, always curious about what lay in all that northern part. As we flew, I heard about the Rockies as we passed over them.
Though I could not see the snow capped peaks, I felt such a deep sense of wonder as we headed for the west coast. My country is so vast and amazing.
I’m thankful for pilots.
I am somewhat anxious when flying, but it is a true miracle that a plane can even get up in the air, let alone stay up there and take people so far across the skies.
I hear their announcements on the speaker and they sound like they know what they are doing. I hope, every time I fly, that that is the case.
I really did enjoy my experience flying WestJet.
I’m thankful for local tour guides.
Big bus tours can be fun, like the one I was on in Ireland, but this time we had a smaller and more personal experience with a local tour company I’d highly recommend.
They have had it in the family for 100 years and the woman in charge and her employees (one being her daughter) are highly knowledgeable about the region and so very proud of their homeland. They know about the environment, the terrain, and the people. They are Yukoners, through and through..
I’m thankful for the chance to learn about culture and nature.
I could smell the wet wood as they worked, using a tool called an adze. They had to keep the wood moist so it wouldn’t cracked as they worked on it. They only had it dug out a tiny amount, with a lot of hours of work still left to go.
It is one of several cultural events and demonstrations happening, there at the riverside, sponsored by the Canadian government and Canada 150 in 2017.
I missed the bright colours of the water. I missed the white caps of snow atop the mountains in the distance. I missed the severe cliffs and vistas.
I smelled the fresh Yukon air. I felt the wind. I instinctually detected the wide open spaces. I listened to the ripples at the lake’s edge. I compared the silences to the sounds of rapids far down below.
I felt it all in my bones.
I’m thankful for the kindness of strangers while traveling.
I started the trip being given someone else’s seat on the shuttle bus to the terminal and I ended it with a generous gesture by a flight attendant.
When she learned I hadn’t known I had to download a certain update on my phone, one that would be able to work with the inflight entertainment system, she offered tablets (free of their rental charge) so we could watch a movie on the four hour flight.
I watched Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 live action version that I’d been wanting to see since it came out back in March.
Also, there was the politeness of many I met while there, the polite drivers letting me cross streets, and the woman at the glass blowing factory who showed me around and was so helpful.
I’m thankful my mom and I weren’t eaten by bears.
We stayed down at the roadside, overlooking the lake, while the rest of the group walked a bit up the mountain. They were going up some to get a better look, but it was the two of us that got the show.
My mom was taking a panoramic shot with her camera when she suddenly told me of the mother bear and her cub only forty or so feet down from where we stood. She got a few pictures and then couldn’t see where they went. It was at that moment that she grew nervous and we were glad to have the unlocked van to retreat into, until she spotted the pair once more, making their way along the edge of the water, far off into the distance.
This was a good thing in my mind, as I couldn’t remember what action to take when approached by a grizzly bear vs a black bear.
Was I to play dead or fight back? I’d probably just fall to the ground and curl up into a ball either way.
I’m thankful for the comforts of home after being away from it.
I could choose to feel all down and depressed that I had to leave a place I may never return to or a city I felt at home in, or I could be glad to have my own things back.
I both love going out into the world and exploring what else exists, but I will always love having a home to come back to.
Just hearing a little baby crying on the plane coming home made me miss my baby niece.
I’m thankful for family and neighbours who agree to watch my dog and check on my cat while I explore the world.
I love to travel, but having pets makes that difficult. My dog is very attached to me and my cat is not one of those cats that likes his solitude.
I don’t like to put it on my family to take care of my animals, those I chose to have, just so I can run off galavanting. It’s just that I do feel the pull to wander sometimes, though I try to space it out somewhat. It is a responsibility on them when I dump my dog at their house, but I know our family looks out for each other. We help one another out when and where we can. I would do the same for them.
I’m thankful I got to see my nephew’s baseball game.
He is still learning (Lucky Number 13) and yet he may grow to love it. Only time will tell. They are all so cute though. The coaches and volunteer parents have quite the time, wrangling all those kids, shouting instructions to run or catch or pay attention. They are distracted easily and I can’t blame them. A lot going on.
It was just strange to return to the neighbourhood park where the game was being played. I hadn’t been there in years, but sitting on that bench, by that baseball diamond, it brought back a lot of memories of summer days long gone.
My sister and brother both played in leagues and we’d go to their games often. My favourite part was the snack bar, but being back there now made me remember old times, old friends, and things that felt forever ago, compared to the life I am living in 2017 and my transplant anniversary is a part of that.
We’d better think about the things we say
We’d better think about the games we play
The world went round, around and round
We’d better think about the consequences
We’d better think about the global senses
The time went out, the time went out
What about Chernobyl? What about radiation?
We don’t know, we don’t know
What about deprivation? Gluttony, the human nation?
We don’t know, we don’t know
For me love is all, for me love is all
For me love is all, for me love is all
Time is ticking out
Looks like we screwed up the ozone layer I wonder if the politicians care
And time went out, and time went out
What about our children then? Is there nothing left for them?
We don’t know, we don’t know
For me love is all, for me love is all
For me love is all, for me love is all
Ahh they need oxygen, ahh they need oxygen
For me love is all, for me love is all
For me love is all, for me love is all
Time is ticking out yeah
The time is ticking out
More global warming talk…or is it climate change we’re calling it now?
I don’t care what you call it. How much of it did we cause and how much of it can we control or help? How long will science be ignored by religion or plain old ignorance of the mess we’ve made?
I worry about what other governments do. I worry about the oceans not being protected. I worry about what another government and country does or doesn’t do, especially when EPA regulations are being rolled back and we share an amazing natural resource: The Great Lakes.
I wrote about this increasing temperature change thing that’s becoming hard to dispute (though some continue trying anyway).
It was the day in February that my new niece was born, and the weather was so warm that people all over Toronto, on the news, they were ecstatic to be waring t-shirts in the middle of winter. Me…not so much. I wondered just what kind of a situation we were cheering, that my niece and the other children will be inheriting from us older generations.
Are we so selfish and only interested in our comfort levels in the moment that we don’t see, can’t see, won’t see?
Tick…tick…tick…tick…tick…tick…tick…tick…tick…tick…like a clock, counting down the minutes.
And, before you know it, we’re living to see the next ice age. Okay, who knows, but that’s my problem. None of us know what we might be in store for, least of all is me, as I know very little about possible food shortages, famines (already in progress in parts of the world), and more extreme weather patterns and super storms, which we’re seeing all over the place.
If we all want to continue living in a fantasy world of never ending natural resources, this song won’t stop that. I just thought it was poignant, almost twenty years ago when it came out, and we’re reaping the benefits of human greed. What does time change, really?
I’m not going to use the term “blind” to describe what we, as the human species, refuse to see about our time on earth. I can’t see and I am still worried, worried about what a slippery slope it is we may be walking.
I picture that hourglass from The Wizard of Oz. I see the sand or the coloured jewels (red, yellow, green, and blue) like in Harry Potter. I hear the silent sound of grains of sand, falling from top to bottom in that hourglass, singling time we can never ever get back.
This song is the feeling I felt when the bright Mexican sunshine was full on my face while I sat writing up on my balcony, overlooking my small bit of the city of San Miguel de Allende. It was hard work, the writing part, but I couldn’t have asked to be doing it anywhere better.
I felt alive. This is my first thankful. I could write many more.
I am thankful that I got to discover a spot I never would have known of before. San Miguel de Allende is an interesting place and it is just one of many in such a spectacular country of Mexico, so unknown and unfamiliar to me, such a short time ago, So much more to learn about and explore, I can tell. I just barely scratched the surface.
It isn’t a resort. It isn’t on the ocean, but I admit, logically or not, my heart skipped a beat at the thought that I was closer to blue/grey whales at that moment in time, than I’d been in a long time.
My ears popped going through mountainous terrain to get to the city, but boy was I pleased when I stepped out of that shuttle and onto that uneven sidewalk and a whole new door was opened to me, both literally and figuratively. I will never, as long as I live, forget that moment.
I am thankful for the villa we had our writing workshop in and where I got to call my lodgings for the week.
I soon learned my way around, from my room to the kitchen and meeting area and to the lovely outdoor spot. I didn’t realize the way some houses are constructed in Mexico, was totally not expecting it, but was pleasantly surprised by the indoor/outdoor set-up.
I loved my room and its cool interior and the open balcony just a step out my doors.
I am thankful for my sunny writing spot, a day bed set up outside, by the railing. I would go there to write and to listen to the sounds of San Miguel, just outside of the wall of the villa.
I am thankful for the levels of emotion I went to with my writing during the week.
I didn’t expect it to get quite so emotional. It seemed like that for everyone in the class. We all dug deep and we shared a lot in one, much too short week.
I am thankful for the garden area of the villa and the peace and tranquility I found there.
There were so many plants and nature was there, right at my fingertips, in the middle of the city of SMA.
I am thankful for soundscapes.
We had to record somewhere in San Miguel and try and write from it. This was, perhaps, not so difficult for me as for some in the group, but I found a way to make it my own. A lot came from it.
I am thankful for special and unexpected experiences while traveling.
I was serenaded by some mariachis. It was uncomfortable for me, all that attention focused in my direction, but I recognize the special experience for what it was.
I am thankful for the chance to meet my writing mentor in person.
She made it possible that I even knew of San Miguel and she gave me some added strength and determination to try traveling by myself for the first time. She offered just the right incentive and I was determined to make it happen.
She took so much time out of her life and planned for me to be as safe as possible and to have the most enriching time imaginable.
She took me out in San Miguel one night and we had a lovely dinner, talking about Mexico, travel, writing, and so much more. She gave me her time and her knowledge, having been where I have not yet found myself.
She directed me safely, letting me figure things out for myself, with my own heart, mind and white cane. She was thoughtful in her descriptions, all from her creative writer’s mind. She spent time with me, more than she needed to, and showed me so many things I may have otherwise missed out on, with all the visual elements of travel and exploring new places.
I am thankful for so many things and I could keep listing them, but I am determined to write separate, individualized pieces about all the magical moments of my trip, including the amazing people I met and what they did for me, how they affected my life, in so many ways.
I am thankful for glimpses of the culture, architecture and religious beliefs of Mexico.
I am thankful, too, for the unforeseen spiritual awakening I had, in an unexpected place of vitality and passion. It was like nothing I’ve ever felt before.
I am thankful for our day out, visiting makers. My writing mentor set out to show her class of writers that we too make something of value, even if it can’t be seen in as big a way or touched, like a statue or a piece of art.
I am thankful for the guide I had on our day out.
She spoke no English and I no Spanish, or very little if any. This presented a problem. But she was there, with a gentle, guiding hand and just in case, and we both got so much out of it through the silence, I can’t even express. I will never forget her and I will write about the way she affected my life too.
I am thankful for the wisdom and the inspiration and reassurances for the kind of life I can have in the years to come and for the truly fascinating stories I heard. I am thankful for a pizza night full of lively conversation and the best sharer of the villa I could have asked for. I am thankful for the radiant love freely given and the stories and the camaraderie of all. I am thankful for fruitful partnerships which fostered positive discussions I will never forget. I am thankful for those willing to listen. I am thankful for the laughs and the insightful talks and the likeminded writing companionship. I am thankful for steady arms on unfamiliar surfaces and much patient assistance with pesos and with my sparse Spanish. I am thankful for roof-top views, shared margaritas, and the invites to travel again, with new friends, in future.
I had to write about my thankfuls, but I am still processing so much of this. I am told I will have many more meaningful experiences like my week in Mexico and that more is to come, that this is the beginning of something and not the beginning and end of just one week. I hope this is true, but I will never forget this one as, in so many ways, my first, so many firsts.
I am thankful for all the help I had to travel alone and for the angel that watched over me while I went, as I was told by a kind and talented man.
I am thankful for all the food our mentor and leader of the class put out (including fruit, chocolate, tea/coffee/water) because she said she believed it helped inspire loads of creativity and the ladies who cooked for us and the flowers everywhere. The perfect environment for writing and creativity and all that needed inspiration.
I am thankful for what I came away with, the writing I did. I am working on it some more yet, but hope to publish my story at some point.
I am thankful for the last night, with the thematic musical entertainment, the fact that I vowed to try new things and ended my week of that by eating crickets, and for all the brilliant writing shared by everyone in the class. I am thankful for the support I received for my piece upon reading it aloud.
I am thankful for my family’s support, even though I know how hard it was, at times, for some of them more than others. I would be nowhere near where I am now if it weren’t for them.
I am thankful for the confidence I felt and, even more so, for the fear that persisted and fuelled me. It’s still feeling me.
I am thankful for the reaction from my cat and my dog upon arriving home. My cat made a long mewing sound like I’ve never heard. He sounded excited, to me anyway.
I’m not sure what good it will do in the concrete ways that matter, but I am thankful for all the protests I’ve seen happening against the cruelty, ignorance, and arrogance in the US government, especially these last few weeks since I was away.
Those judges and lawyers working to fight against such unfair actions taken without any care to those hurting. Those fighting are likely putting their butts on the line, some maybe even risking more than we realize at this given moment.
Canada is nowhere near perfect, not hardly, but I am thankful for the total difference in feeling I notice here. I love a lot of Americans, some I’ve met oh so recently, but the country as a whole makes me very uncomfortable now, feeling vulnerable, but it’s clearly the government I have a problem with. I hope this changes one day. May seen as though I’m generalizing here, but believe me, I wish I hadn’t felt that when traveling back through the US.
Just put yourself in the place of someone coming to a new country because you feel in danger in your own.
How can you not help but try to understand what that must feel like? How can any of us avoid that, just because it’s an uncomfortable thought?
I can’t imagine having to leave my home, the only place I’ve known, so I am thankful to be back in my home of Canada. May it always be a place of peace, even when threatened by hate like the rest of the world finds itself, more and more.
There is so much happening, in my world and in the world at large. I am just trying to survive the helplessness of it all, and the best thing I can think of is to write through it all, through all the pain and the confusion and the uncertainties. This must include self care, right along with care for and of other people and our planet.
This taking new chances to hopefully produce new and eye-opening perspectives is about all I can think to do to appreciate life. Things can be hard, are rough, for a lot of people. I say, take a leap and step off that ledge, metaphorically of course, or use your best judgment. Just do something.
I want to share more photos, but those can be a bit tricky for me. I asked for them, for the record of preservation, to show my family. I can’t quite keep them straight, never knowing if what I include and think is really what it is. I will do another post, once I get that straight. Most of them were posted on Facebook, but I never want to share without credit or explanation.