My hope for 2021 (and many other’s hopes as well) would be to see this virus kicked to the proverbial curb, just as #45 was in their elections). Hopefully, by the end of this year, COVID-19 will be on its way out, along with (hopefully beginning of year for #45).
I know he lost, not according to him, but he did. And now I’m waiting for his exit from his position/status on top of the world.
I guess this viewpoint could cost me a few readers here, but in this case, I can’t care about that. I need to speak out on this man here, more than/over any politics I could discuss. He is no king and never will be. I need to be able to look back, years from now, at this blog and see that I spoke out about the damage he’s inflicted.
When I was growing up, often I’d visit a friend from school. We’d have sleep overs and swim in her above ground pool. She had three younger siblings and one of them would get in trouble while I was there and into the corner they’d go.
I didn’t have this parental technique in my house growing up and so I was intrigued by it, as punishments go. Every family was different in how they disciplined their children like in any other generation.
Go stand in the corner to reflect on what you did wrong. I think, as January 20th approaches, this image of that man in the corner stands out.
Not that he’ll do any such thing, real image being slightly amusing and symbolically, he would need to stand there a long time to satisfy me. There are worse punishments, things people experience every day. He has been getting away with so much crap for so long now. He is, sadly, too far gone to ever come back to decency.
It’s like how people in positions of power over the lives of others (politicians) here in Canada are in need of a bit of time in the corner themselves. The finance minister here in Ontario was caught vacationing over the holidays, somewhere tropical. He came home, in shame, which is supposed to be bad because we’re told that people never learn that way, but he isn’t a child. He should have known. He did know it was wrong to do while people back here are trying to stay afloat and following a rule in today’s society that helps stop the spread of a nasty virus. Then, it was discovered that another politician, in Alberta this time, she was found out doing the same sort of thing. But no punishment (no standing in the corner for her), right Alberta’s prime minister?
People are upset because the same rules don’t seem to apply for those with power and thus a high desire for them to be responsible as they apply for the rest. The rich/poor gap does feel extremely prominent these days.
I am writing every day on this blog in January, except for every Wednesday when I’ll take a break, but I’m doing this to be able to look back on this time period we’re all experiencing together: same boat but all looking through different portholes. Or we’re all inside a submarine and we’re all looking through the scope at slightly separate moments in time.
The years of #45 at the top of the world practically are, hopefully, coming to an end and he isn’t very happy about it. I, on the other hand, I grin about it multiple times a day now, when I’m not letting dread cloud over that glee, at the thought that it’s not quite over just yet and some seem hell bent on extending our misery, with this so-called leader’s ungraceful exit.
I don’t normally admit to that kind of pleasure, in another’s downfall as you might say, but this is my exception to the rule, rules this man has never had to follow like the rest of us and now, by some, following rules in our society is considered weak and sheepish which I just don’t get at all.
I’ll end by saying I am one of those who hasn’t seen Dirty Dancing all the way through. I don’t know if it’s a particularly blind friendly movie. Or is it that it was from a very specific decade, time period in the 80’s and I wasn’t there to experience it all live, in its glory, as I was not even six at the time.
“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” Isn’t that what Patrick said in that dreamy role of his? #Rip
Where’s a certain friend’s mother when we need her to put this man in the corner, not some vague-to-me Dirty Dancing line, but he has been compared to a baby plenty, with all his tantrums – okay, so put “baby in the corner” for a time out for a long long while.
There are many things I would like to speak about, on an ongoing basis. Listening to stories of survivors of the Holocaust, their strength and bravery in speaking on such horrid things, makes me feel like not enough is said as of yet, from all of us and that we all must say something.
There are a lot of things going on, past and present, that I’d like to address
and then something stops me from saying anything at all. Fear, but of what?
I am stuck on the Holocaust and I have been for a long long time. I take breaks from thinking about it, to preserve my sanity, but ultimately this historical event creeps back into my thoughts. I am lucky I can take those breaks. I didn’t experience it, though I know many who did have gone on to live perfectly wonderful lives. It feels haunting, even if I often wonder how I’d have moved on if it had happened to me.
I want to speak on things, to write about them, to make sure people don’t forget. Mistakes are repeated. Humans are doomed to repeat what once was. We can’t seem to help ourselves.
If I speak up on such things, I am told I worry too much, as if I am supposed to forget that if I had lived during the time of World War II I would be considered a waste, as one of the disabled.
Yes, if I’d lived in Europe during that time, if I lived anywhere back then, and even if I lived here, years ago, kidney disease would have killed me.
Morbid, perhaps. Speaking up, or addressing the things that haunt my mind, this unsticks those cobwebs from the furthest corners of my brain.
I am lucky to have an address and a roof over my head, even if my heat does keep crapping out on me. I am lucky to be living in 2018 and celebrating that I was born after the inventions of dialysis and organ transplantation.
I saw Nazis marching in North America, I hear that Poland just made it illegal to mention Poland’s involvement during the Holocaust, and I wonder what to say, what I can say about these furious subjects.
I see people are saying things aren’t so bad, and they aren’t really, but they are for some people and they could be, any day, for more of us. We need to stay vigilant and on guard to halt dangers from reoccurring.
Sexual misconduct and resignations as a result are happening in Canada, in Ontario politics now too. Forget presidents and porn stars. This is not so hard to get, is it?
The men who complain this is going too far, that they can’t even talk to women now, make me want to bang my own head against the wall repeatedly.
Pop culture. Politics. Personal space. Is it really so hard for men to not act inappropriately with women and young girls? Really? Reeeeeeally?
It is maddening. I want to keep addressing all these things, to make people get along, and to practice tolerance and compassion. What is it going to take?
Governments and corporations like the money and the power, as humans tend to do, when presented with either. It is classic stories that make this clear for me, but shut the book and I am back in cold, hard reality where there is no cover to close.
How long people like myself stay mostly ignorant before blowing it all up in protest is the question on my mind sometimes.
It’s protests in the streets, but often even the biggest of those fizzles out. Or maybe not really. What will Iran do, I wonder.
It’s a rebellion I read about in history class, in Canada’s not so distant past. Those seem like heroic tales from long ago. I stay out of such things. I try to keep away.
The ridiculousness of politics baffles my mind most days. Countries are just trying to function, their citizens only wishing to live a nice life, and all this thought/talk of rebellion and revolutions is simply stirring things up.
My mind gets carried away often and I have to struggle to get it back under control, to where I need to listen to something like the rushing and roaring of the waves, the only thing that puts it all in perspective and calms my racing thoughts.
Fears I have of such discourse as what’s happening in Canada’s neighbouring country ending up no other place than open revolt of some kind
keep me unable to let it go. It’s ongoing.
As I picture what history books one hundred years from now might look like, I am starting to see that writing in that book in my mind.
I’m being silly, right? Tell me that I’m just being overdramatic. Go for it.
My mom cuts down the purple lilacs from up high and offers some to my new neighbour. She thinks to replenish a vase with fresh flowers when the previous ones begin to wilt. On my living room coffee table there sits a bunch of those purple lilacs and I bend down to touch the leaves and the petals. I detect their scent. The smell of those flowers is a sweet smell I don’t tire of.
Something smells rotten throughout Canada’s closest neighbour and ally and many want to rid the country of what’s causing it, or should I say whom. Is there something fishy going on? Others love the smell they detect in the air and want to keep that going.
There is a new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, as of this final weekend in May. Many say it is a bad choice and will likely give another win to Justin Trudeau in the next federal election. Who can possibly say which way things will go by then. I notice the air in Canada smells more of fragrant lilacs though and less of a stench is what you smell here. Our politics gets rough sometimes, but there is a certain politeness that never lifts, as Canadians. We aren’t quite as divided along party lines as our neighbours to the south. I hope it stays that way.
: 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!
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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!
: 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.
The news coming out of certain places, parts of the world, like the fighting in Aleppo keeps getting worse and worse. The only way I can seem to deal with it is by acknowledging the reasons I am thankful.
I am thankful it’s this year and not last. Yeah, let’s start there.
My animals love my tree. Dobby and Lumos.
I’m thankful for yet another medical checkup, my second last to my twenty-year anniversary checkup, which will come in June.
I didn’t ask what the record for that clinic has been. I don’t even think they are planning some giant party when I return in June. I just thought it worth marking.
Again, I felt like so many other patients needed the doctors a lot more than I did. I didn’t even see the head nephrologist, probably because I’ve been so stable, so I saw another doctor and he told me that, once again, my levels were good and I was out the door, after waiting for hours.
The service is not really something to complain about. It’s only twice a year. I didn’t mind sitting and waiting. And waiting some more. I know how lucky I am. It may not last forever, but until those numbers start going up, I am believing that it still could.
I’m thankful for my violin teacher’s patience as I don’t use enough of my bow or I don’t trust myself nearly enough.
We are learning Silent Night and I remember the notes, but my confidence is where the problems are.
She is always ready with suggestions for how I can keep improving.
Sometimes you read a piece of writing and you are immediately blown away by the guts it must have taken the writer to put those words out there.
When I read this essay I instantly felt floored at the gutsy person who would put such personal thoughts out into the world. I’m not sure I could. I don’t even know where a line should be, because not all people believe everything should be written about, and still people do it.
I’m thankful we finally got our newest episode of the podcast released.
This was a show about politics, but just this once likely. It is not our area of expertise. I get far too emotional when talking about it. I just thought it was worth doing at the time. It was a serious subject, but I hope we ended on a positive and we tried to throw in a little bit of humour, where applicable.
I’m thankful we made the decision and went for a year’s upgraded subscription for SoundCloud.
This means we plan to keep going with this project into 2017 and who knows where it might lead.
I’m thankful for the chance to meet new people, local writers, to build relationships and connections.
By chance I came across a Facebook group about writing and it just so happened there were a few other writers there from my area. We all three decided it would be a good idea to meet up to discuss writing and local discussion about events with a literary theme.
It was so lovely to speak to a woman with older children, who has a longer career in writing for magazines and other publications, who is full-time freelancing. She was full of ideas and willing to share valued experiences with us.
The other woman has a science background, now with a young child at home, trying to get into the world of freelance writing. We all had something to contribute. I felt like people understood something about me, writer to writer to writer.
I felt like just one of the girls. I felt understood.
I’m thankful for a newly discovered place to shop locally.
I’m thankful my cousin runs it and took the time to help me find a few new/used things for my upcoming trip.
I’m thankful I can challenge my long running phobia of used things like secondhand or slightly worn clothes.
I am sensitive to smells and to the idea of old things. I am learning that many things have value, that it’s important not to continually contribute to the rampant consumerism and material waste, and that everything has a story. Finding a deal isn’t bad either.
I am thankful for snow.
It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s kind of messy. I know all this and I complain in the moment, just like everybody else, but then I step outside on a silent, snowy night. I listen to the silence and I feel the light flakes falling on my hair and on the car. One hits the tip of my nose and I stick out my tongue. A snowflake falls there too.
I walk through the snow coated, snow-covered, cold ground. I hear my feet crunch in it. I love a snowy December night in Canada.
So much snow falling this week in Toronto, during rush hour, and the ploughs can’t possibly keep up. This is really what we choose to complain about?
It’s the kind of silence where chaos can begin and where any screams of parts of the world are too easily ignored.
I have so much to be thankful for and I know it. I don’t always feel like I deserve it, but I know.
We promise to return to other, more productive subjects for 2017.
We try to hit on it all and more.
If you are needing a break from all the other noise, check out what we thought on the before/after election special edition of Ketchup On Pancakes – Facebook
But honestly, I just needed something to distract myself that night and I sensed this outcome we now have. I kept referring to what we now have as the end of the world, but this world goes ever on. And me, as dramatic as ever.
This podcast gave me something to focus on and I hope our unique brand of humour and positivity came through in the end.
So much going on in the world, so much that I can’t write my way out of. I know what I am thankful for, as always, but recently my stress has been building and I couldn’t bring myself to post anything about gratitude last week.
I wasn’t even going to be back now, but I am one of those who believes both these are true:
“The only thing worse than knowing the truth is not knowing the truth, and yet, “the only thing worse than not knowing is knowing.”
By next Sunday we will know, not all “the truth” really, but the reality.
I don’t like where the world and more specifically the US is heading, but I am, in this case particularly, unable to do anything directly about it either way. Emphasizing what I am thankful for is the least and the most I can do now and we will face next week when we get there, like a rickety bridge, but I don’t speak of burning anything.
Those familiar with the stylings of Frank Zappa, you may recognize the stringing together of those four words in my title. I didn’t know of his recording studio and the rather odd name it possessed, until I heard an interview with Lady Gaga, who has purchased the house and now makes music there and shares it with other musicians. I liked the random word choice and thought it fitting for things at the moment.
For a little Halloween fun, with October behind us and November, the US election, and the holidays still to come this year, I begin with this here tale of terror.
Here is one song I came across this week that had the sort of feeling I am experiencing right now. I have the one picked out for next week, if a first female president is elected that is. If the worst does happen, the following song feels fitting, for my mood.
I heard it in the final Harry Potter movie (well, Part One of it anyway). It felt sombre. Lots of people feel this added scene (not found in the books) was awkward and unnecessary, but I felt the opposite, that sometimes the movie takes a gamble on a little something extra and it touches a viewer like me.
So, Ron had just run out on Harry and Hermione and the mission they were on to defeat evil. Hermione was devastated and Harry suddenly gets her to dance with him, to this song, and something feels optimistically hopeful, for their friendship and humanity, like not all hope was lost.
Somehow, I felt a connection here, to the current climate. I don’t think I’m wrong.
I am thankful, first off, for small favours which are really just what ends up happening, but sometimes they can prevent something much worse from occurring.
My brother had a seizure this week, but he is fine now.
He has had several since he fell, last December, and hit his head. He had a few last summer and then not until the other night.
The worst part about them, like what I say above, is you don’t know when they will come, but yet would knowing really be easier?
I guess because you could plan for the most optimal situation. If he is in the wrong place, doing the wrong action, it could be worse for sure. If he’s out in the street. If he’s in a place where a secondary injury could cause more damage. It’s scary because he is so smart and so much of what makes him Brian is his amazing mind. He was, only a few hours before, playing the most beautiful music with his band in my basement. Each time they play I change my mind and a different one of their songs becomes my favourite.
He is himself still, thank God, but my fear is that something will change. Seizures are hard on the body and on the brain, obviously. He was alone, but he was sitting down, we believe. He will be okay. My heart stops each time I hear he’s had another.
I am thankful for those little Facebook reminders of what happened exactly one year ago. Well, okay, not always, but this time for sure.
One of my better/best decisions ever. I am thankful that I have a place where I read my writing out loud. It is excellent practice.
I am thankful for a fun-filled writing group this week.
November first was the start of a month of non stop writing, for some, as it’s National Novel Writing Month once more.
Only two of our group are doing it this year and I’m not one of them, but we had a party of sorts, while we chatted, wrote, and read our stories out loud. I know how much I can handle and how much I can’t. I hadn’t had that positive breakthrough with my violin yet and I knew I couldn’t add anything more to my plate right now.
I know things out of my control should never stop me, if doing something like writing a novel were what I really wanted to do, but this just isn’t the time and I know it. I sometimes trust my instincts to show me the way forward.
I do have a story I’m dying to tell, but not yet. This doesn’t mean I must wait a whole other year, for NaNo to come around again, but we shall see.
I just need to see what happens in the US on Tuesday and the aftermath of that. I need to get a year of violin practice under my belt. I need to focus on my goals for at least the next three months. That’s what is most important to me right now.
But back to writing group. The stories, minus my own, were unbelievably satirical and hilarious. We had to roll a pair of giant dice and we received a matching setting and character description for both the numbers we rolled.
Mine was: “beach with a prudish dress code” and “woman who is upset because her imaginary friend dumped her for another woman”.
Maybe I will share that story one day.
I am thankful that NaNoWriMo exists.
It got me writing back in 2013 and I wrote the quota of fifty thousand words in thirty days that year.
I achieved what would have seemed and sounded impossible to me at the time.
I fear I lost that beginning to a story, but even if I did, I now know I can do it again and I will. I now have two novel ideas to choose from when I do.
I am thankful I got to hear my violin teacher performing live with her fellow musicians. Brass, wood winds, strings, and percussion. It was a remarkable thing to witness, so many performing in unison and the pieces played were introduced by professors of the music school at University of Western Ontario, in London. The quote about comfort and courage was from one of those introductions and I made a note of it and liked the sound of it when I heard it.
I am thankful for a better week with the violin.
For the last few weeks I’ve felt like I was not making enough progress with the song I’m working on. I worried I was wasting everyone’s time and money and belief in me, especially my own hope, with all I’ve put of myself into this dream.
This week something began to make more sense I suppose. I felt better, walking out of that practice room, than I have in a while. It is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but definitely one of the more rewarding things I’ve attempted in my life.
I am thankful for family to hang out with when I need to smile and distract my rushing thoughts.
I watched the final game of this season’s World Series with my parents, brother, and uncle. I’m glad I got to think about baseball instead of world happenings, even if Toronto had lost out days before, for another year. These two teams deserved a shot.
I had to spend this past weekend around one who knows nothing about politics, elections, or world events yet. He is only four, so plenty of time to face these things, to learn about them, but I wish he never had to.
I feel the need to phone and speak to other children in my family, as I did after my aunt died, even with my feelings of not wanting to bother people, with their busy schedules and hectic lives. I know I should not ever allow that to hold me back. It’s silly really.
I am thankful for a ride home from my uncle after we couldn’t quite hold out past the rain delay to go home and call it a night.
My uncle is someone I can talk to about the struggles and the thrills of learning to play an instrument later in life because he plays and he gives it his all when he does.
He introduced me to another violinist from Canada on the brief drive home.
I am thankful for the baby kicks I’m not certain I felt.
My sister has felt them for a while in her second pregnancy, but getting over my weirdness with such contact, I tried for really the first time this time round. I felt nothing really, but it’s still early enough, and as long as the mother feels them I am okay to wait.
It really is miraculous and to think of that baby growing and moving is one of the best things in a mixed up, topsy-turvy world.
I am thankful for comedians to make me laugh about the things that, if I don’t laugh about, the only other option would be to cry.
I am thankful for the vast array of autumn weather we’ve been having.
It was so nice to step out my door the other day to bright sunshine and warm temperatures, for November anyway. I stop, on the stairs, multiple times a day, in my favourite place in my house. I stand and take in the view, with my remaining senses of smell and hearing. I loved the cooler weather of Halloween. I loved the dank and the rainy and the better days as we fell back one hour, ushering in darkness earlier and earlier going toward December, and we’re on our way toward winter. Glorious that I live in Canada and get to experience all four seasons.
Okay, so perhaps a couple additional TToT items this week, to make up for missing a few recently. I needed to write and find all the ways I possibly could to keep my mood from crashing. On into another week however.
And, with that I conclude by saying, America, please be careful.
It hurts, threatening to burst under the weight of it all.
It’s just another speech on the US 2016 election campaign. Still, underneath that, there were parts that were all, essentially about human decency.
Michelle Obama spoke and I listened and I felt the familiar stinging of tears starting to form in my eyes.
I put off listening, as Facebook’s newsfeed blew up with people sharing the speech and lamenting its sincerity and harsh reality. Finally, after a bad day of becoming choked up on New York Times Modern Love essays about children and adoption, I thought, “why not?”
Every day I can’t believe it. The days are constant: International Day of the Girl (which Michelle mentions), World Sight Day, Blindness Awareness, White Cane Awareness and people can never seem to settle on the correct word order for some of these. But I guess it doesn’t matter what you call it. We’re all just trying to get by and to be heard and valued.
I see less and less and yet it’s what I hear that I can’t believe.
I hear things on my television screen
that I can’t believe I’m hearing.
I doubt my own hearing, one of my strongest remaining senses.
I feel vulnerable every time I walk out there, a visually impaired woman with her white cane. Am I standing out? Or am I invisible?
The line she spoke that most caught my attention and left a lump in my throat, my eyes burning, and a ringing in my ears was: “We’re drowning in it.” I believe she was referring specifically to sexism and misogyny. It’s no big deal to most people, most times, but it’s always there, somewhere. How much does it matter?
Women should feel it. Men should feel it. Over and over again, people talk of daughters, sisters, wives, mothers. What are women, even myself, what are we supposed to think? What lessons have young men learned? What do those calling themselves politicians think they’re doing anyway?
I even doubt my ears here in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been in charge for one whole year now, since the last time Canada’s baseball team made it to the play off’s. I had hope then, as someone finally starting to feel somewhat better about the state of my own country, hope for a future where women’s rights, all rights of people might continue to improve, that we here could be a living embodiment of what is possible. Nothing but a naive girl’s silly hope?
His reputation as a feminist has only grown here and around the world. But then I think about possible leaked tapes, recordings, information in the future.
We believe forward-thinking men in politics like Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama are decent, would never treat women so disrespectfully. Then I imagine a time in the future where I will hear, with my own ears, something that could shake my confidence in these two men as concerned fathers and sons and husbands. Maybe they aren’t who they claim to be either. Power. Is it all one giant power trip?
A black man ran the country that supported slavery, segregation, and the targeting of black men as criminals. A woman may soon run a country where women who were black couldn’t even vote fifty years ago. This must represent change and growth, but not all want it, require it, hope and pray for it. Some attack and demonize it.
As for progress and decency, men in positions of power and capable of making sweeping and lasting change, I don’t want to be let down in that way, not ever.
But how sure can I be? When may the other shoe drop, the floor drop out on me?
I appreciate varied viewpoints and healthy discussions, but I too shy away from disrespect, inhumanity, bickering, anger, discrimination, the refusal to see beyond the nose on one’s own face.
I don’t call myself a believer in feminism lightly.
I try to find a balance. This isn’t easy.
I have not suffered at the hands of abuse by men in my own life, but I feel a wider societal pressure. I know only the most decent men in my own life. My father. My brothers. Those I have learned from about love. Those I have loved. We all make mistakes, say foolish things in a moment of weakness or ignorance, both male and female. Goodness can still thrive.
I’m just afraid to believe what I hear. Perceptions are realities.
I wasn’t around during slavery, but what slavery still occurs, and what can I do about it, if I happen to see it or if I hide from that which still exists?
How free am I personally? What am I a slave to in my own life? How dare I even ask, even think?
The 13Th Amendment. The 19Th Amendment. What can 100 years, 150, what can that passing time do? How slow is change really? How far have we really come with rights for all? What is truly being amended? What am I seeing, hearing, witnessing, neglecting to admit about this time I’m living in?
I recommend 13TH. It covers a long timeline of events and not just the small snapshot of time we’re currently living through. It’s not easy to see back into all the preceding time, into anything other than noticing the glasses on our own faces, even mine where no more literal glasses sit.
Trump. Hillary. Bill.
Reagan, like Trump, an actor/performer. Nixon, known, as Hilary Clinton, to be a liar. What really changes? What can we count on as the years pass us by?
I hear suffering. I feel it more and more as I age. the echoes of ghosts long gone. I recognized all their voices at different times.
I hear what I hear. I doubt what I hear. I know what I hear and wonder who may have isolated each clip, what it meant, as an overall statement of any intention. I believe it has all contributed and brought us all to where we currently are.
I did not need anyone to Tweet those selected Trump clips, used to illustrate a wider point, to know how awful I’ve felt at having heard them myself over the last months. I already felt ill upon hearing them.
I know much of the history. I know how humans have treated other humans. I felt my headache worsen as 13TH went on, but I watched the documentary all the way through.
So then why exactly did I put myself through that pain?
What else should I do? How else should I handle what I can’t un-know?
Politics. Pride in one’s home. Culture. Religion. Propaganda, all of it?
It is more than six months since I really last wrote about these things here.
I thought that the 2016 summer with unending stories in the news about the US election would never ever end. But it did and here we are. Less than a month to go, thank God! But I am so tired and I know I’m not alone. Speaking up is seen as “incendiary” and immediately turned into a political opinion, when really, all I’d like to make is a human one. I don’t write about it on Facebook, trying to be sensitive to my American friends. Here on my blog I feel somewhat safer, but I can’t agree with the sort of patriotism Americans often speak of, like Michelle in her speech most recently: that the US is the greatest country in the world.
I regret to say this Mrs. Obama, but go ahead and say whatever you need to say, to feel better about things.
I shake my head at such love of one place, run by capitalism, socialism, whatever you want to call it, from whichever country you reside in. Globalization. I am not a politician and never will be, but I care about not only myself and my family, but my country, and all others. I care about people, no matter where they live.
I love Canada fiercely, but I can’t just keep hearing people speak of their own country being the best, as pride gets us nowhere. I am lucky to live here and yet I fight to find my way. Canada has treated people just as poorly as any other country.
I stand on the border of my Canadian, English-speaking province and into the French-speaking province next door and I feel the wind on my face and in my hair. I smell the river. I hear the cars. I trust my senses in that moment, but rarely do I trust all else I’ve seen.
All politicians are caught saying things, things that have furthered their political purposes at one time or another, eventually revealing true intentions or previously held beliefs, hopefully altered. I don’t know how they really feel. Suddenly, thanks to an actual reality TV star coming this close to winning, it all feels like a huge reality show, like more and more politics and entertainment are melding, like we can’t tell them apart and there is no going back from that.
Human lives are at stake and 13TH makes that point extremely well. This isn’t a game. Or shouldn’t be anyway.
I can hardly believe what I’m seeing/hearing, but I suppose sensible people have always thought that way, and yet what was really done about it? What will the answer be now?
The thought that any one country is “the best country in the world” or that there ever existed “the good old days” is false to me, no matter the intended meaning behind either stated belief.
The “good old days” spoken of weren’t quite so good for us all. I just hope we can stay afloat going forward.
Here’s a little flashback to finish off the week and begin a whole new one.
me on bike
For the record, I don’t generally like motorcycles. They are loud and they make me nervous, but this one wasn’t moving.
I’m not enjoying this perpetually dreary start to October. I haven’t been enjoying this cold I’ve picked up and had for over a week now. And I’m certainly not and never have been enjoying the nonsense of the US election, as they count down, one more month to go.
Music will help. Music and good deeds and fresh fruit.
I am thankful for all the beautiful violin music that author Anne Rice shares on her Facebook page.
I much prefer this version to the original Coldplay song.
It’s a shame Anne Rice has quit posting political articles and she doesn’t even attempt to have discussions about politics right now. I miss her views, though I didn’t have to deal with all the nasty comments. Her page, her rules.
I’m glad she still shares music though, mostly violin stuff.
I am thankful for rough bikers.
me with bikers
I used to hang out with quite the group, wouldn’t you say?
I am thankful that, despite my cold symptoms being rather irritating, the second episode of the podcast Ketchup On Pancakes
is complete and we’ve beat our previous episode (Episode 1: Intro To Us)
by extra time, going more like 70 minutes, instead of the previous one hour.
We went over time, but it is a good episode, which includes us adding in more sound and effect, compared to our first try.
We plan to create a shortened, all make-it-up-as-we-go-along episode next time though.
Actual new episode still to come in the next week or two.
I am thankful for an interview I finally got posted.
I am thrilled about this actually and have been for some time now.
I should have had this posted a while ago, but I was so over-the-moon that Jennifer had agreed to be a featured guest on my blog, that I wanted it to be perfect.
It’s up now and she even shared it with her Facebook friends/followers too. She has been so open to speaking with me. I try not to come off like too much of a stalker, but I really admire the work she does.
I am thankful for help in making it look more visually appealing.
My sister helped me to make the interview stand out from my usual blog posts.
I am thankful, though this cold has been bothersome, that it’s starting to ease up.
Thank goodness for tissues.
I am thankful for the black moon.
It was the perfect way to say goodbye to September and usher in October.