‘”Bully for baby syrups!”
‘”Pray, don’t let us disturb the concert with our sleeping.”
‘”Jerk us out a little more chin-music!”
‘”There’s no place like home with a baby in it.”
—Bram Stoker’s “Chin Music”
I wander through a bookstore and I feel the unfairness of blindness.
I sit in a mall and detect the repeating motion of shoppers passing by in front of me, but I wish I could see more than a blur like I used to.
What a week. Full of the good and the not-so-good things and I am once again driven to list my thankfuls because sometimes blindness really sucks.
Ten Things of Thankful
I’m thankful I got an acceptance to a pitch within twelve hours.
It’s a nice feeling. It doesn’t always happen so fast. It was a nice start to the week.
I’m thankful I am being given the chance to write about the affect the Yukon had on me.
This is for a Canadian website/App and the editor said she is pleased to have a piece to publish, different from the usual story of seeing the Northern Lights.
They are a marvel, of course, but I am glad I can offer an alternative viewpoint of a place that is more than just one spectacular visual sight.
I’m thankful for essays I read that make me think and put a new spin on the essay form.
The Medicated Writer by David Ebenbach
I’m thankful for another lovely coffee/raspberry lemonade chat with a friend to distract me from my thoughts.
The news out of the US all week was non stop and ridiculous. I was feeling highly anxious, waiting to hear back about my piece for Hippocampus, and I needed a break from all that.
The place was busy because Ontario’s premier was visiting our town, but things emptied after we were there for an hour or so.
We talked about travel, family, and writing.
I explained to her what it’s like to walk into a crowded coffee shop and try and navigate my way through it. She is like many people who are driven to offer help when they see a blind person. I understand and take them up on that help often. It was just nice to explain how it works because she, like most people, don’t give it all much thought until they hear how it is firsthand.
I’m thankful for the calming yoga session and conversation with the teacher.
I’d heard of
before, but she ended our now weekly session by saying it and explaining why she does.
It is one more thing I feel kind of silly saying back, but we all like to end with something.
I do love the peaceful end to yoga where I stretch out, blocking out all thoughts, other than that I can put up a barrier to the worst of them, while I focus by staring up at my light and listening to the hiss of my laptop which tells me my teacher is still there.
I’m thankful my brother had a successful first radio show.
CHRW Radio Western
He has unique taste in music, with a musical mind, and he finally gets the chance to share some of that with others.
When people ask me the type of music he does listen to/play, I do struggle to describe it in a single word. It is a lot of things, though not what you’re likely to ever come across on the radio.
He has opened my eyes up to a whole world of music that exists, even though very few people ever find it. Like writers and writing, there is so much beautiful music out there that never gets the chance to be heard by most of us. His passion for giving the unknown musicians a turn seems important to me.
He has named his show
and I think it suits.
I’m thankful for a violin lesson where practice and repetition were points brought home once more.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Rinse. Dry. Repeat. It’s the only way.
I’m thankful for the chance to get somewhere on my own and feel proud of it.
I appreciate the help I receive, for many reasons, as new travel by myself can be stressful and intimidating, but it is also good for me sometimes. The only way I will ever begin to feel any less intimidated is if I practice, kind of like with the violin.
When you can’t see, obviously public transportation is the best way to get somewhere. Then, I like to have an idea in my head of the directions I will be going. I need to see it in my mind and it requires massive amounts of concentration.
No matter the anxiety or the physical pain, the sense of accomplishment at the end is awesome.
I’m thankful I made the final decision to not stay home and instead take someone up on an invitation to meet new people and work on my terrible social skills.
I am terribly shy in new situations. I felt unwell and considered turning down the invitation, but I am glad I went.
I was the only girl there, but it turned out to be an enjoyable hangout on a spacious porch, listening to music, and having a few drinks on a beautiful July night.
It’s just too bad I need a few beers to lighten up. I stop worrying about where I am and I relax. This is fine for one night, now and again, but just attending instead of hiding out by myself helps too.
If I’d gone home, I would have kept thinking about what’s in the news, what a week it had been, and I needed to get away from all that.
I met new people, including someone who came here from Mexico to go to school in Canada. Opening up one’s social circle is a good thing.
I’m thankful for a lovely family day in Toronto.
We met in a mall, couldn’t take the subway because the line was closed down, so had to all pile in the van and drive downtown Toronto. It took a while, but what a perfect day, too hot even.
So we got to spend a few hours somewhere cool, with lots to see, and around so much life.
I am conflicted on aquariums, worrying always if the creatures are happy swimming in those tanks. I wish I could ask those sharks, rays, and other fish.
If my nephew learns to love and respect sea creatures and the ocean, I will be happy.
Like standing at Niagara Falls, anywhere with all that water and marine life is where I can stand and tune out all the hoards of tourists and people. I could have stood beside that shark tank forever.
Then we came back out into the warm day and passed jubilant baseball fans. The Blue Jays were losing and then came back with a grand slam at the end of the game, the second in a week. The Toronto streets are full of energetic shouts whenever their team wins.
Then we had dinner at my favourite Toronto restaurant: The Pickle Barrel. Delicious beet and chicken salad, mango bellini, and brownie cheesecake for dessert.
As I’m heading home, at the end of the day, I can’t see the sky or the incredible sunset and so I feel the unfairness of blindness.
When I Grow Up – Jennifer O’Connor