Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, Memoir and Reflections, Song Lyric Sunday, Spotlight Sunday, The Insightful Wanderer, Travel

Past and Passing, #SongLyricSunday

Okay, so I decided to try the A to Z Challenge, on a whim yesterday, but the trick of it is that you are supposed to blog for every letter of the alphabet, each day except Sunday. Well, the challenge began on a Saturday this year, so I guess I can use today to prep for Monday’s post.

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And also I can do my favourite thing of the week.

Song Lyric Sunday #SongLyricSunday

In the month of March (of which we just completed a few days ago) a friend was posting for an 80s music challenge on Facebook. She shared a song from that decade, every day, and then she extended it. I discovered some great ones from her. I joined in for a week, stopped for a week or two, and then thought I would end the month (on the final days which were 30/31st) by posting two more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NvsMKYgCsM

This is the first of the final two I posted, on March 30th.

I like it because it is a beautiful song by Richard Marx and I love the saxophone solo and the fantasy feeling throughout. Apparently he wrote it about him and his wife and a trip they took to Hawaii together.

Endless Summer Nights, 1988

Sounds like paradise to me.

***

Summer came and left without a warning
All at once I looked and you were gone
And now you’re looking back at me
Searching for a way that we can be like we were before
Now I’m back to what I knew before you
Somehow the city doesn’t look the same
I’d give my life for one more night
Of having you here to hold me tight; oh, please
Take me there again Oh, oh

[Chorus:]
And I remember how you loved me
Time was all we had until the day we said goodbye
I remember every moment of those endless summer nights

I still recall the walks along the beaches
And the way your hair would glisten in the sun
Rising in the afternoon Making love to you under the moon, oh
Do you remember all the nights we spent in silence
Every single breath you took was mine
We can have it all again
Say that you’ll be with me when the sun brings your heart to mine Oh, oh

[Chorus]

There’s only so much I can say So please don’t run away from what we have together
It’s only you and me tonight So let’s stay lost in flight Oh, won’t you please surrender


[Chorus]

Endless Summer Nights (Lyrics)

******

So, I went with A to Z Lyrics because that kind of mirrors the A to Z Challenge and I like coincidences like those.

I like this Richard Marx song because it feels nostalgic and that’s what the eighties feels like to me. He’s looking back on a past memory, a passing thought, vacation in paradise with a lover. The story is told well from Marx’s POV.

I, myself, was born in 1984 and so it’s the decade where I was able to just be a kid, with my family, a simpler time in reflection.

I’ll never get that back and that makes me sad, despite everything I’ve been lucky to have and experience since those years of innocence, when everything was under control in my world and I was taken care of. It feels like so long ago now, a time long gone by.

In the moment, sometimes, it feels like it will last forever, an endless perfect moment or night with someone you loved. Sadly, realistically, it never does.

And one more, likely lesser known 80s song, from my favourite movie of the decade: 3 Men and a Baby.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aznod0Ij43g

BONUS.

Boy, do I love 80s music.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Memoir and Reflections, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: Special Snowflakes and Safe Places – Wham! Bah HumBug! Whoosh! #SnowInTheSahara #10Thankful

: You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch / You’re a nasty, wasty skunk / Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk / Mr. Gri-inch / The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote: Stink, stank, stunk!

—Dr. Seuss

Two holiday favourites I like to watch this time of year are The Grinch and A Christmas Carol. I wonder at if the real life Grinches and Scrooge’s of this world could grow a heart and see the error of their ways, but sadly, I doubt it by this point.

Neil Gaiman Reads “A Christmas Carol” – NYPL Podcast

Also, as I was sitting in the gymnasium from my youth, watching a new generation of children singing about Santa and snowflakes and all the other traditions of this time of year, I felt the ghosts of my own childhood, all the years I spent in elementary school. I also listened to songs about snowflakes and I thought about that.

I get on my own case for letting it bother me at all that the idea of a snowflake has been hijacked by those who have started referring to “liberals” as “special snowflakes” and saying all the “special snowflakes” need to go and hide out in their “safe places”.

So just what exactly is so wrong with that, anyway? Huh? Hmm?

I want a break from worries. As much as I love the advice I’m often given, to try not to focus on those things that upset me, I refuse to let something as beautiful as a snowflake be a negative thing. Or, as if a safe place is somehow a bad place to be.

Oh, no no no. I…Don’t…Think…SO!

So, here I am, starting this pre-Christmas TToT with a rant or two, but I wish I didn’t have it on my mind to rant about anything at all. I do plan to give myself the gift of a break from all that once Christmas does come.

(this is a real single snowflake showing all of the tiny details)

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I’m thankful for snowflakes.

Snowflakes are special, this is true. They are nature at its finest. They are the most delicate things and I am lucky to have grown up with them, here in Canada. I recently had a fascinating conversation with someone who didn’t grow up with the kind of snow we have here. He spoke of his thoughts about it now. I enjoyed hearing his perspective, so different from mine.

They are all different, snowflakes, and that makes them special, not one being the same as another. They may be delicate on their own, but as more and more of them fall, eventually they become a collection of flakes, which makes snow and the results of enough snowflakes, all packed together, this can become the most unstoppable of forces: an avalanche.

I’m thankful for safe places.

Wait until war ravages where you call home and then see if you look for a safe place to run to.

In a world so full of harsh weather and cruel human behaviours, and a safe place is something we all would cling desperately to.

I thank everything I have for home, which is my safe place/space, where family are and where I know I am loved by someone. I desire greatly to explore the world, but I’m sure thankful I have the safe place right here to return to. If that makes me winy or pathetic to some, so be it.

I’m thankful for solstice. Man, do I love that word.

🙂

December 21st is the first day of winter. I am ready for it.

Snow Falls In The Sahara For First Time In Over 37 Years – Bored Panda

I think there is something beautiful about winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. People are thrilled this means the days, from here on out, begin to lengthen and commence in June. That will be another big month in my life, but for now, I enjoy what transpires in this part of the world and astronauts have seen it and word it best:

***

Generations of astronauts, after looking at Earth from space, have professed a profound new understanding of it. Edgar Mitchell, who, in 1971, became the sixth man to walk on the moon, said, “From out there . . . international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’ ” Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong’s crewmate on Apollo 11, expressed similar sentiments in his memoir, “Carrying the Fire,” which was published in the midst of the Cold War. Seeing our home planet from afar, he wrote, prompted an epiphany: “The earth
Must become as it appears: blue and white, not capitalist or Communist; blue and white, not rich or poor; blue and white, not envious or envied.”
Mike Massimino, in his memoir, “Spaceman,” reports having spent almost a full day staring out a window of the Space Shuttle Columbia, watching sunrises and lightning storms (“like a form of communication, like a sequence, like the clouds are alien creatures speaking to each other in code”). On his second spacewalk, Massimino told me recently, he had a spare moment to “take in the view.” He recalls being struck not only by Earth’s incredible beauty—“We are living in a paradise”—but also by its fragility. From out there, he said, especially during night passes, “you can see the thinness of the atmosphere,” a bluish-green line. This sudden perception of Earth as a delicate, intricate system is so common among astronauts that the writer Frank White coined a term for it: the overview effect.
Astronauts are endlessly fascinating to me, in part because they have a knack for poignant quotations. Buzz Aldrin, for instance, described the lunar landscape as a vision of “magnificent desolation,” a grand phrase for a bleak truth. Unlike our paradisiacal, blue-and-white Earth, the moon has no atmosphere and no real sky—just gray dust and black space, such that color photographs from moonwalks appear mostly black and white, as though someone colorized the American flags after the fact.
NASA brought six flags to the moon, on poles outfitted with horizontal crossbars so that the stars and stripes would show, as though caught in a nonexistent breeze. The flags are still there, but radiation is presumed to have left them in tatters—monuments to our love of Earth, or maybe just litter.

***

I’m thankful for the chance to return to my childhood for an afternoon.

It was a tad emotional, I admit, but it brought back a lot of worthwhile memories that had me thinking.

I have so much wrapped up in that building, both good and bad. I found it highly moving to return there. It gave me a lot to think about.

Why Do People Tell Ghost Stories on Christmas? – The Smithsonian

Speaking of ghosts at Christmas time, they were everywhere there.

I’m thankful I got to see my nephew’s Christmas concert.

Oh, aw, ah all those little boys and girls, trying so hard and singing their hearts out. They tried their best, especially the youngest ones like my nephew, to remember the words they practiced and my nephew, for one, was nervous when he walked on stage and saw how many of us there were in the audience.

I couldn’t pick out my nephew up there, as I am unable to see anywhere that clearly upon returning to that school as an adult with considerably less sight, but I am still glad I went, even if he couldn’t see me either.

I’m thankful for safeguards and protection for natural places.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/obama-ban-offshore-drilling-arctic-atlantic-1.3905384

President Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau working together once more, for one of the final acts together, to preserve parts of the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.

They are protected against off shore oil drilling in those places. I don’t know how foolproof it will be, if what they’ve done will stand the test of time and Trump, but we shall see.

I am glad the two men are working together, once more, at something worthwhile. Sure, it may not be protecting everything that needs protecting, but it is something.

I’m thankful for a return to my library writing group.

I had missed a few, but I am glad I returned for this final meeting of “The Elsewhere Region” of 2016.

There were cookies and chocolate with mint and chocolate and raspberry tea. I don’t normally drink tea like the rest of them like to do, always afraid I might spill mine all over my electronics, but this time the tea sounded just too good to pass up. I took precautions, but the tea was delicious. Just the perfect thing for the occasion.

I wrote a story, dialogue and a conversation between two young women. The mystery object one member brought in was a strange family Christmas decoration. It was a frog wearing a fancy outfit and hat and his tag said something about him being named Mistle Toad.

Okay, so I guess he was a toad, not a frog, but it made for some interesting ideas for a writing prompt. We discussed and most wrote about the popular idea of kissing a frog and making it turn into a handsome prince.

My story confused some, but it really illustrates how, like snowflakes, all our writing styles are so diverse and so very much our own.

My imagination is a lot different from many of the other writers in the group. This always makes for a fun time.

I’m thankful for understanding doctors and nurses.

I have a doctor who hasn’t given up on me, even though I am a bit of a difficult case, and who promises I can call and come see her if anything comes up, even if it’s before our next scheduled appointment. That’s the sort of empathy and understanding I have always hoped for.

Also, I have a nurse offering to give me an iPhone case she no longer needs.

I’m thankful for my flu shot.

I know many people think it totally unnecessary. Some have gotten sick soon after getting one in the past and feel it can cause more problems than it helps prevent. I must say that I do take my low immune system seriously enough. If I can ever prevent getting a bad flu one of these times, I will get the shot.

My arm hasn’t even really bothered me this year, since getting it, and after the initial stinging and burning of the injection itself.

For those who are in perfect health, who are young and strong, there’s likely no huge need for it. Either way. I don’t get too worked up. It’s easy enough to get and so I do.

I’m thankful for a surprise Christmas card.

Thank you
Lizzi
for the surprise. I also enjoyed the tactile parts on the front of the card and the surprises to be found inside.

I admit I don’t do up Christmas cards myself. I find it hard, all so visual and I guess I’ve lost a little of my artistic streak, which I could draw on to make cards still for people.

As for Christmas cards, having them sent to me, not many are. I suppose many people think I won’t be able to see them anyway, so what’s the point? I don’t know. I may feel somewhat left out, but there are other ways of expressing holiday cheer. It’s just nice, once and a while.

: He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!

Is Montreal’s Christmas tree ugly, or are we just looking at it wrong?

: Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.

—Dr. Seuss, 1956

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, SoCS

Just Jot It January: Tropical Islands, Colourful Fish, and the Buddy System, #JusJoJan

Sounds like paradise, doesn’t it?

When you hear the title “Open Water”, either the image is one of relaxation, tranquility, and nature or terror: it’s the fear of the openness, endlessness, and getting lost. Well, more to the point I mean being eaten by sharks or drowning.

Just Jot It January #JusJoJan

Rules are here.

I had an entire catalog of movies to choose from. I’ve been watching movies, picking from among this list for a while. It is hard to say which title came to my mind first though. I’ve been going through title after title for the last few days, whenever I have a spare moment.

Of course, these are all MP3s, I think it is. They are all audio tracks only, describing the movies because I can’t see and miss a lot of the visual details, but a database like this allows me to watch any movie I feel like, even action (which isn’t my favourite genre, but which has a time and place) and I can watch all the movies I never got to see before.

Shakespeare said “What’s in a name?” I like a good one, that’s for sure. There’s nothing quite as satisfying.

I love a perfectly selected and given title for a story, in this case for a movie. Or a blog post.

🙂

But this week’s prompt is asking for a movie title.

This movie is one I saw in the theatre, probably ten years ago now, when it came out. I heard the title and immediately I was hooked.

I both love and fear the ocean and this title was to-the-point, direct.

Directly chilling.

Many people may not have seen it because it didn’t draw the same crowds as, oh say “JAWS”, but it’s just as frightening, in my opinion.

It was a more independent film, and filmed more like a documentary, which makes it feel even more real. It’s based on true events, which makes me shiver a little every time I think of it. It’s my worst nightmare, to be left out in the middle of the ocean, with nothing but miles and miles of open and empty water everywhere.

I also think the image is haunting, as in it has haunted me, ever since I knew what the sea was, and certainly ever since seeing this film.

OPEN WATER

I just don’t go out there. I can’t see and so the thought of going diving is not an appealing thought, in actuality. In theory it sounds just great. All the colourful fish you could discover out there. So meditative. The part of me that has always dreamed of becoming a marine biologist thinks it sounds like home, or like heaven.

I don’t think I would like it in reality. I would be afraid of being mistakenly left behind out there. In all that open water it’s impossible to know how to get back, how far out you might be, and with no sign of land there’s really little to be done at that point.

#SoCS

I’m combining Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday with Just Jot It January, once again this week:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-jan-916/

&

http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/09/just-jot-it-january-9th-title-socs/

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Memoir and Reflections

Just Jot It January: Stuck, Scared, and Snow Drifts, #JusJoJan

Someone recently said:

“Winter is a season meant to be tolerated. Never celebrated.”

Just Jot It January #JusJoJan

Here are the rules.

I am the one complaining about the lack of winter lately, here in Canada especially. Christmas without snow was just sad to me. I didn’t like the rainy, damp, gloomy, foggy weather for December.

I don’t like being frozen either. I am not a fan of frost bite and blue fingers. I like a nice warm house and a blanket to cuddle underneath.

I also like snow. I like it for winter. I may complain of it being too cold, when I get out into a chilly car, waiting impatiently for the heat to kick in, wishing for the heat of July. Then, once I have that heat in summer, I dream of winter again.

But I still don’t like the thought that Canada wouldn’t have snow. I think we are so accustomed, in this day and age, of our warm houses and being able to turn up the heat at a moment’s notice, as having to gather firewood isn’t common anymore. We have no reason to go outside, as we’d much rather watch our televisions and be on our computers, tablets,, or smart phones indoors.

Kids don’t have to play outside for entertainment. Many adults have aching bones and would prefer to be warm.

That doesn’t mean children don’t enjoy winter activities, such as tobogganing, snowmen, and forts.

I would have done just about anything, when I was in school, to get out of going outside for recess. When I did, my friends were making forts and girls were using them to kick other girls out, not wishing to make them a part of their club. It was harsh, the weather not just.

In spite of all of this, I like that Canada and snow are synonymous. I like that Christmas and my birthday happen to include snow. I love the white world I can find, when I step out my back door in February. Sure, it gets cold and my boots and jeans end up covered in snow and wetness when I enter my house. It’s a pain, but it’s beautiful in it’s own way.

So much complaining. So much whining goes on. Who wouldn’t love to go to a tropical paradise, from time to time, but I complain about the heat just as much as I do about the cold.

🙂

I don’t have to drive in bad weather, but I do have to ride in the passenger seat, while other people drive and trust to them for my safety.

I do have many family members and other friends and those I care about who drive in snowy conditions. I worry about them a lot.

I have to face getting around in the snow, which is made more difficult when you can’t see over snow drifts and icy patches. I could break a bone in future, slipping on ice, just like anyone else. Still, I love snow.

It doesn’t last forever, but when it’s in season, it is a magical thing.

I am frozen when out in it, but I loved learning to skate again last year, after twenty years. I love the silence of a snowfall. I love the idea that no snowflake is ever the same, like people.

I love the smell of snow, even if I may end up frozen.

I am feeling a little like I am frozen, and I’m warm while I say that. I don’t need to be out in a snow bank to say it. It is January, a new year, and I am frozen by many fears. I am afraid I will accomplish nothing, that this year of 2016 will be empty and a blank void in my life. I feel frozen by indecision and by uncertainty, but I hope I can find a way to thaw from that feeling of being frozen by all of this, that I can find the courage to take risks and keep moving forward.

Canada: A nation of winter wusses

Linda speaks of moments and experiences, frozen in time and in memory:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/03/just-jot-it-january-3rd-frozen/

Check out the host for today’s Just Jot It January.

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