Whether it’s the early 20th century, in the UK or in Canada, it couldn’t have been so easy to speak out about women’s rights. For Lucy Maud Montgomery, she had a lot up against her and yet she created a totally feminist character in Anne Shirley and in dozens of other strong female characters throughout her career as an author is a testament to who she was.
I’m also thankful, then, for female writers and scholars in today’s world, those who have written extensively on the women of history, here in Canada and beyond.
I’m thankful for a Canadian female from the country’s history books (or should be and now will be) appearing on the $10 bill.
When asked by author Angela Yuriko Smith what we’re looking for, Editor-in-Chief JT Lachausse replied:
“We want what you haven’t seen. Allow me to be dramatic: Imagine that every piece of art is represented by a stone. Many stones make up the mountains and buildings, but even more hide beneath the surface. We are so familiar and fond of the overground rocks, but in the caves and oceans-deep, there are stories that tell things wildly. Desperately, furiously, without great laborious sanitizing or editorial puncturing.”
Not an easy time to be female and in charge of a newspaper like that, having to make the hardest of decisions, so much at stake.
I am thankful I got a chance, before the movie, to speak to the manager in charge at my local theatre.
He couldn’t be of much help with the issue of audio description at Woodstock’s movie theatre, but he gave me the card of the head office out in B.C.
I am still determined to work, this year, on changing this policy of there not being enough demand, so I can see a movie and not have to make family or friends describe while they, too, are trying to enjoy the show.
I am thankful I could listen in on a conference call about Braille Literacy Canada
and the importance of braille today.
I am thankful for family and their warm, heated homes to flea to, when I wake to a freezing house and such icy cold tile floors.
So, let’s just get to it, because I need some relief from the news of the day.
I am thankful for writers and thinkers such as Margaret Atwood.
I have not read The Handmaid’s Tale, as Atwood’s genre is one that covers uncomfortable truths and possibilities, through fiction and inside fictional realities. I don’t feel comfortable reading that stuff, but I do believe I am missing out.
She has had a long and esteemed writing career in Canada and we are lucky to have her intelligence and her talents.
I am thankful for those I know who travel and are out there living life, reporting back to me somehow on their journeys.
The world scares me and that is why I must see more of it, as much as I possibly can.
But, when and where I cannot, I value my friends, better than all the travel blogs I have followed on Facebook. My friends and those I’ve met, somewhere, somehow are out there and inspiring me to not feel so scared all the time.
And, if I am unable to push away my fear completely, they prove to me that it is possible to go ahead anyway. You miss less by going and doing, fear be damned.
I am thankful for Canada and my extremely privileged citizenship here.
We have our problems and we must acknowledge those. I see protests and silencing in Russia, famine and governmental corruption in Africa, and the unrest and polarization in the U.S. and I hope Canada can face our sins and remain as united and reasonable as possible.
I plan to write more about this as Canada Day, 2017 draws closer.
I am thankful for audio progress reports.
The sound of the App notification on my phone is enough to make me smile and forget my other racing thoughts for a few moments.
My friend may be over in Ireland, but I still get to hear her daughter’s growth, through trying to fill her baby’s bottle and spilling an entire jug of milk all over the floor or not understanding why she can’t fit into her doll’s clothes.
The photos my friend captions for me and then I listen to the short video clips with great interest. I look forward to them in my week.
I am thankful for more time holding my baby niece.
Speaking of growth…she is now one month old and my sister feels she is already growing too fast.
She loves to eat. I like to hold her the other times, when she is not nursing, and then my sister can do some other things.
My niece has a real angry cry, as babies do, but I hold her when she sleeps and she is so peaceful then. Hard to believe it’s the same child. You gotta love it.
I am thankful for all those who help me understand things better, things I often miss out on, those like my extremely generous friend.
My writing mentor is teaching travel writing across some of Africa and she posted a tree. I knew she wouldn’t post it for no reason. She must have seen something special in that tree. I wanted to try and see something in that photo too, in my mind.
“When a bulb burns out, I see. Even in the dark, it feels sunny to me. Skipping in the shadows, every corner holds beauty. There is always light if you look closely.” —Angela Saini
I don’t expect the world to always modify for my needs. Photos are visual things. I get that. Sometimes I just want to imagine what one looks like.
My friend, a writer and a scientist, she heard about this and offered to describe the tree. I learned a lot.
“Splashing through the puddles. Knowing that’s how green grass grows.” —Angela Saini
I am thankful for the first real spring weather.
The other day was so mild. The sunshine was warm on my face. No more shivering.
“I don’t own a poncho. Whenever it rains I only see a rainbow.” —Angela Saini
Spring means rain. I like a good rainstorm. Bring it on.
A rainbow is one of those things, like any photo, that I long to see and never likely will. I appreciate any person’s interpretation of what a rainbow looks like.
Anyone want to give it a go? Leave your description in the comments to this post.
I am thankful for a lesson I thought was certain to be bad.
We had to miss a week. My teacher is in university and this time of year is particularly chaotic.
Any time we have this happen, like when I was in Mexico, I assume the next lesson will not go well at all because of the extra time in between.
I’ve learned this isn’t always the case. I had an extremely productive and energetic practice just before and we had a great talk about the strain and endurance of playing the violin.
Oh, I also did work on the actual practicing techniques too, trying to make it more of a constant flow of sound, rather than always so start and stopish.
Like this. Maybe…one day. Maybe.
I am thankful the U.S. dodged an extremely wrong and risky bullet.
At first I was negative about it, as it strikes a nerve because I have needed lots of medical care, so I immediately thought this was winning a battle but not the war.
Why does this need to be a fight anyway?
Then I was reminded, if I were living in the U.S and relied on the healthcare system there in a big way, I’d want just a short period of time to relax and feel relieved for this moment in time.
I am still worried, anxious for all who would be affected, but I feel helpless to do anything.
Many of us feel like people see us as such a drain on the system, but we’ve faced death or serious illness. It’s no game to us.
“My train home is three hours late. Must be time for another piece of cake – I like chocolate.” —Angela Saini
I am thankful for the positive reception and Canadian support of the newly told.
The Canadian people watched the new Anne of Green Gables series and they have spoken that they approve.
The CBC was going to air the second episode two weeks after last week’s premier, but the reception was so positive that they went ahead and aired it last night.
I am keeping an open mind, as the story makes Canada proud from what I see, so I am going to keep an episode diary on my Facebook page every time it airs.
I will call it Ahead By A Century, like the theme song for the show, by The Tragically Hip.
Today is Canada’s 147th Birthday and so I wanted to celebrate by bragging about why I love my country. I don’t usually brag about anything, but Canada is worth it to me.
Okay, so I don’t like maple syrup or poutine, (yes, I realize this could get me kicked out). There are, however, plenty of things I do love in their stead. Here are just ten.
1. My Oma and Opa chose Canada and they came here and worked hard to make a new life. They raised a good family and that is how I came to be here at all. I love that they were welcomed here and that they were given the chances to make all this possible. They were proud to be Canadians and to raise their family here and I am proud because of them.
2. I love our flag. The red and white always made such a bright contrast for a visually impaired person like myself. Maybe my favourite colour is red because of this and my earliest memories of the main symbol of our nation.
3. I love the music Canada has produced. I love artists such as: Sarah McLachlan, Jann Arden, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, Chantal Kreviazuk, Diana Krall, Joni Mitchell, Blue Rodeo, and Alanis Morisette. These musicians represent Canada with their beautiful voices, their moving lyrics, and their distinct sounds. I love them for making me smile, making me cry, and for helping me deal with the hard things in life.
4. I love the literature of my country. I love brilliant writers such as: Lucy Maud Montgomery, Margaret Atwood, and Alice Munro. When Alice won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature I was so very proud and I felt honoured to be a woman, a Canadian, and an aspiring writer.
5. I love the land itself. I love how vast and sweeping it is. I love all the open space and our Canadian north. I love how we value nature and all its natural resources. I love the Great Lakes and the St. Laurence River and the oceans surrounding us. I love the Prairies, the Rockies – from the lush forests to the expansive Arctic .
6. I love the places I’ve traveled and the ones I have yet to explore. I love Niagara and its power which awes me every single time I stand at the railing overlooking the Falls. I love Toronto (Ontario’s capital) for its acceptance of all humans (coming off of 2014’s World Pride celebrations) and for the mixture of cultures and countries it houses all in one city. I love the Maritimes out on our east coast and Vancouver Island out on our west. I love having a little piece of another language and culture right in the middle of all the English-speaking provinces. Quebec is where I received my beloved guide dog all those years ago. I hope to see as much of Canada in the years to come as I possibly can.
7. I love the pride Canadians have in this country and as a result, in themselves. Despite the things the rest of the world think about us and the stereotypes that exist; it is true we are kind and welcoming, for the most part, and are known for it all around the world. We do come off quiet and reserved in contrast with some other countries, but as a quiet and reserved person I feel I am living in the right place. In fact, in my opinion these qualities are highly under-rated. We may not treated our native peoples properly over the years, but it is because of them that Canada is what it is today. I hope we are on the way to making it right and to righting the wrongs of our past. We disagree about the environment, politics, and when it comes to Canada’s role in foreign matters and militarily. Sure we have our problems and don’t always agree. We are by no means perfect but these disagreements just make for a successful democracy.
8. I love how this pride extends to our sports teams. Again, I could get kicked out for admitting I am not quite as enamoured with the game of hockey as the rest of the country, but I do love the image of a backyard or pond rink in winter. I have good memories of Saturdays at the arena with my family or late night roaming an empty one with my siblings while my father played. My brother loved playing hockey in his youth and my father loved being a part of a team as goalie. My family are not Leaf fans or any other Canadian team in particular, but what hockey means to our fellow Canadians it means to us too.
9. I prefer baseball over hockey. I love The Toronto Bluejays and no…I am not just saying this because they happened to win today of all days. I remember sitting tight between my father and brother in our basement, on the couch when Joe Carter scored the home runs to win the 1992 and 1993 World Series and I could hear the pride in their voices as they cheered. The Bluejays are our only team here and we have high hopes for them making the playoffs this year. Going to a game at the Sky dome is an experience in fun and an atmosphere of high energy and enthusiasm.
10. And last but certainly not least, I love the health care we are lucky enough to have here. Again, many could voice their complaints and sure nothing is perfect, but I know of what I speak. I am proud of innovators such as: Dr. Frederick Banting and Tommy Douglas for insulin and universal health care. I know nothing in life is completely free, but after all the surgeries, hospital stays, and medicines my brother and I have needed over the years I am thankful for the universal health care we have. I would feel forever guilt-ridden if I had caused my family to end up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for the care I required. Not all countries around the world would have payed for all the care me and my brother received over the years and my family would be so far in debt if we weren’t living in Canada.
So there are just ten reasons why I love being Canadian. I will now enjoy a wonderful firework display from the comfort of my front porch with my nephew and be thankful I live where I do and enjoy the freedom and the beauty I enjoy.
Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians today and I want to wish my neighbours to the south an early Happy Fourth of July. We all need to be grateful for the blessings we have and celebrate our countries and how lucky we truly are to live where we live.
May is National Short Story Month and the queen of the short story, in my opinion, is Canada’s own Alice Munro. I sent an email request to Alice just now, requesting an interview for my blog. Yes, I know what you are thinking. It is the longest of long shots, but since turning thirty and since recent events I have decided to take the chances I never would have taken before. What have I got to lose?
Alice grew up in Wingham, not so far from me. She attended the University of Western Ontario, studying English. She then became a wife and mother for many years, but after publishing her first story in UWO’s literary magazine, she was hooked and would write short story after short story, making a name for herself in Canada and around the world.
Her family started a bookstore in B.C. called Munro’s Books. She would later become writer-in-residence at Western and then at the universities of British Columbia and Queensland. She published her first book of short stories in 1968 and would go on to publish 15 more.
A while back I listened to an author-to-author interview, Margaret Atwood as interviewer and Alice Munro as interviewee. She is now a sweet old woman with decades of literary experience that I find highly inspiring. I love to listen to her wise words.
I can’t describe the feeling I had last year when it was announced that Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. I was proud and pleased and inspired. I let the honour motivate me and drive me forward in my own dreams.
Since then I received an email from a writer friend who told me about the yearly Alice Munro festival held where she grew up and the short story competition put on in her name and honour. I have the summer to come up with the perfect short story, one which is going to set me apart. I would find it the highest honour there is to win an award with her name on it..
Okay, so I haven’t exactly come up with the winning story idea yet, but I am working it over, slowly in my mind. I have a lot going on right now, but this is important to me. Priorities.