1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, RIP, TToT

TToT: “Threw the Tears Unseen” – Diamond Dust, #10Thankful

“We should continue all the time to look out for those who have less, to stand for those who can’t, to reach out across differences, to use our land intelligently, to open our borders and welcome those who seek harbour, and never, ever cease to be curious, ask questions and to explore and search.”

—Julie Payette, Canada’s 29th Governor-General

I may try to keep this short and sweet again, with all the nonsense and horrors happening lately. Sometimes, when I am feeling tense I write a lot and sometimes I don’t. This week, I don’t.

Tom Petty’s song is about perseverance. He says it all already. I am determined to be thankful, but I’d rather let Petty and Payette say what I am thinking. They do it so well.

I am feeling the weight of the world, but I won’t give in to that feeling for long. Promise.

Ten Things of Thankful

I am thankful the heat wave from last week finally broke and fall has taken its place.

Today is back up a bit, but tolerable. I am loving the fresher air I’ve been smelling, even if I was already complaining about being cold.

Yeah, I know I know, but that’s just how it goes. I am still grateful my favourite season has arrived.

I am thankful for a good idea for something special.

I am bad at birthday gifts and things most of the time. I owe my cousin for the idea for something meaningful for my mom’s upcoming 60th.

More to come on this next week.

I am thankful for my new darker hair colour.

Also, pic coming next week.

I am thankful for one opportunity that leads to the next and the next and so on.

This is true with my writing and in every area of life really.

It’s what makes life exciting and such an adventure, that you never really know what could be coming, on the horizon.

I am thankful I got through writing the rough draft.

I really really stressed myself out for this piece. I worried I’d taken on something I wasn’t actually ready for and I began to panic that I couldn’t do it.

I even started to think that the writing was the hardest part, but I don’t honestly think that:
This is
the hardest part.

I did it and now I wait to hear from those who will edit it. I can relax, for the moment, but this is the kind of challenge I know will make me stronger, and hopefully, a better writer.

I’m thankful Canada has a new Governor General.

“Reconciliation must succeed,” Julie Payette says as new Governor-General

She speaks six languages, plays the piano, and has been to space.

She is the kind of intelligent and capable person we need and I am grateful to live in Canada and to learn about her and have her as a voice for the country.

I am thankful nobody was killed thanks to a madman who attempted a terrorist attack, it is believed, out west in Edmonton, Alberta.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/terrorism-charges-edmonton-attacks-1.4316450

He has been arrested and has been charged. There are no official terrorism charges at this time, so I don’t really know. If he was trying to terrorize people with his car and with a knife, it worked, but not for long.

I do hope Edmonton, Alberta, and Canada won’t let this guy win and won’t turn on each other. We remain much stronger if we fight that human instinct and choose the human instinct to come together.

I am thankful guns aren’t everywhere here.

I won’t share a link just now, though I am sure it isn’t hard to know what story I was thinking of here, because I have seen enough of those already.

Oh, wait…I found one. Take a look.

Again, I am glad to live here and only want the best for my US friends and the country that we share our border with.

I am thankful for desolate places.

The second instalment of the BBC’s Planet Earth series is out on Netflix.

With all the chaos we humans create, it is nice to hear about and imagine such places, out there somewhere, still untouched.

I hope this continues, somehow.

I’m thankful for a song introduction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jweT1wzqYGU

Free fall. Speaking of falling…free falling.

RIP Tom

“And for a long time yet, led by some wondrous power, I am fated to journey hand in hand with my strange heroes and to survey the surging immensity of life, to survey it through the laughter that all can see and through the tears unseen and unknown by anyone.”

—Nicolai Gogol, “Dead Souls” (1842)

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Fiction Friday, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Memoir and Reflections, RIP, This Day In Literature

Into The West: RIP Sir Christopher Lee

He was the badass of his day…

Until I became enthralled by the world of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, I was not aware of Sir Christopher Lee.

I had seen him in Sleepy Hollow, but I would not know him from that, if I had been quizzed on the man and the parts he’d played.

The first time I heard Lee’s signature gruff, deep tone, I was a fan. His diction was brilliant. He seemed like a man who meant business.

He seemed to be born to play that role. I was thinking and just saying to a friend that it is bazar how to past generations he will always be more well-known as Dracula, but to me he is and always will be Sauroman.

From “Dracula” to “LOTR”: Remembering the Genius of Sir Christopher Lee

I did not get to meet him or get to know him, like cast members of LOTR, but I can tell that he is one of those rare humans who are larger than life. His brilliance is obvious. His cultured and knowledgeable mind and his sharp wit were most clear in interviews.

Christopher Lee was only Lord of the Rings star to meet J.r.r. Tolkien.

I was born more than a decade after Professor Tolkien’s death. Since falling in love with Middle-earth, Sir Christopher Lee is Professor Tolkien to me. He embodied everything I could imagine Tolkien was. He is a figure of legend, taking on the roles he did over his lifetime.

His monster roles will live on in all their gruesome glory.

He seemed to have a knack for portraying villains.

He played an evil Bond character.

Other than Yoda, his character was the only good thing about the Star Wars films really.

He seemed proud to have worked with Tim Burton in films like Alice In Wonderland and The Hobbit with Peter Jackson.

He had the pronunciation down. He could speak many languages. He liked to sing (opera, musicals, heavy metal) and his singing voice was as powerful and great as his knowledge of Tolkien’s stories.

On discovering LOTR, I purchased the extended edition DVD’s and not only did I lap up the movies, over and over, I also became engrossed in all the extra bonus features included.

One of the interviews with Peter Jackson he spoke to Lee about the sound one might make when shot. Jackson was just doing his job, giving direction as to how he saw the scene. It was then that Lee spoke up and informed his director of the proper sound a man makes when hit. Apparently, it’s an intake of breath. Chilling stuff:

“I’ve seen many men die right in front of me – so many in fact that I’ve become almost hardened by it. Having seen the worst human beings can do to each other, the results of torture, mutilation and seeing someone blown to pieces by a bomb, you develop a kind of shell. But you had to. You had to. Otherwise we never would have won.”

I wonder, as I do about my own grandparents, just what it was like for Lee during his duty in World War II and I heard he wasn’t talking about it.

I grew to love the songs at the end of all three LOTR films. The final one, by Annie Lennox:

Into The West – Lyrics

I must have played this one over and over on repeat, to the point of driving my sister/roommate to the brink, forcing her to yell at me to turn the damn thing off.

🙂

I remember the way Gandalf spoke about the west.

A metaphor for death, Sauroman did not speak the lines, but now I think of them as I contemplate where Lee is now.

Is he somewhere with Professor Tolkien, discussing the world during and since their deaths? What are they discussing, if they could be friends somewhere beyond my understanding?

I have been thinking a lot lately about those who are no longer here, my grandparents mostly, but since I heard Lee had passed I began to wonder all the more.

I have always had a healthy fear of the sea and the idea of what it might be like when one dies is always lingering in the back of my mind, but the way in which the concept of death is explained by J. R. R. Tolkien, in Lord of the Rings, seems to connect death to a calm sea and a distant shore beyond. This most peaceful image of a grey mist, rolling back to reveal a clear glass that is sky and green shores, this has brought great peace to my heart.

Lee died at age ninety-three. He is survived by his wife of many years and their daughter.

Life is meant to be lived and Sir Christopher Lee lived it better than anyone I can think of.

Well played sir (Badass) Lee.

http://www.badassoftheweek.com/christopherlee.html

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Blogging, History, Memoir and Reflections, Special Occasions

Milestones and Siblings

I’ve reached 1000 followers on this blog.

Yeah yeah. I know. Most bloggers, including me, say that they don’t care about that.

They care a little. I care a little.

For years nobody was reading anything I wrote. Now some are, at least some of that 1000 are.

Then April 10th was International Siblings Day and I did not write a tribute or message about my siblings on the day, but I have been thinking about siblings, thinking a lot.

I spent the day yesterday with my siblings, my father with some of his, and my niece and nephew…well, I watched them play for hours.

The fact that siblings grow up, move away, and grow apart is hard for me to accept sometimes.

I watched my siblings, my father and uncles, and my niece and nephews. I thought about how deserving of that relationship my other nephew is.

I thought about how siblings can be far far apart physically, but still remain close, or living nearby and as far apart emotionally as possible.

Or distance can keep them apart and things are just never the same.

My father’s half-brother is visiting from Germany.

The “half” part matters little. The connection is not half anything.

I watch them and I think again about siblings.

Circumstances keep siblings apart and it takes effort to come back together again.

I had forgotten what he was like, since I saw him five years ago.

Things started to come back to me, about how generous he was in hosting us, when visiting Germany in the late 90s.

He is outgoing and friendly and fun.

The language barrier gets in the way some, but he speaks enough English to get by.

It is too bad he is the one who speaks English. Languages have never been my thing, but it makes you want to conquer that obstacle.

The brothers are off to visit their sister.

Life is unpredictable.

It’s hard for me to grasp the fact that they all had a whole lifetime before I ever existed. I can’t fathom that and it makes me wistful.

From Germany to southwestern Ontario, to near to Canada’s capital, Ottawa.

Time and space can separate those connected by blood, but those gaps must be bridged. Time doesn’t slow down for anyone.

On visiting my aunt last month I felt this most acutely. She is my connection to her mother, my oma, and meeting her, ten years into my own life and fifty or so into hers was a blessing in my life.

As time flies by, opportunities slip past, past me and past them. We all know that.

I didn’t want to leave her that March day and now the siblings pose, arms around each other, holding on tight to whatever time they have left.

But they never know when that time together might run out, for any of them.

I wish I could slow this process down, for them and for myself too. I wish I could freeze it in still.

No language barrier can get in the way of love and family.

I watch the newest generation and it seems like they have all the time in the world, all the time to learn and grow and be siblings.

I think of my 1000 blog followers and what importance that holds, the milestones that mean the most. I think of the importance siblings have in my life.

It helps me to keep life in perspective and to remember what’s truly important to me.

I would be nowhere and nothing without my siblings. I love to see all the siblings around me. I want us all to make time for each other, to appreciate one another, and to never forget that we started out together, we know each other like no one else does or ever will.

Yet sibling relationships are all different. Some take time to grow.

It’s a unique and special connection that a sister or a brother has or is to the others.

All the realities of growing up and drifting apart don’t matter, they won’t matter in the end, when the end comes.

He brings my niece and nephews gifts from Germany, my uncle does. He toasts me, our beer bottles clinking and I’m glad he’s here.

I am lucky to have him and the others in my life, in my family, forever and no matter where we all live, where we all go, might end up at.

Hope everyone can have a day like I had, parents and siblings, aunt and uncles, niece and nephews. Gather family around and don’t let them go.

Not everyone can say they’ve had a day like I’ve just had, but make the effort. You won’t regret that you did.

Special thank you to every one of my blog followers. You read my words and I thank you for that.

Thank you to my siblings, for all the support you’ve shown for this blog and for me.

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