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Hidden Behind Glass #SoCS #SongLyricSunday

Last week’s combined blog hops were so much fun and received so well that I decided to try again this weekend.

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and

dyANJKS.jpg

Saturday and Sunday go together in my mind, like peanut butter and jelly or spaghetti and meatballs.

I read the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday and the question kept coming up, again and again, but since I had no answer I let the day pass by without answering.

Then, when I saw that Helen Espinosa went with my suggested prompt for her blog’s
Song Lyric Sunday
this week, I thought of music I’ve learned from, and one band in particular came to my mind.

What constitutes pretty?

Often, pretty things are kept behind glass, like the cabinets of my grandmothers or my mother when I was growing up. Of course, that didn’t always stop me from opening the glass doors to feel what was behind them, but I usually didn’t, with the fear that I would break something and that it would no longer be considered a pretty thing.

I can’t remember the first time I learned of Ireland or why I’ve loved it for so long since. I do know this band was a big part of it.

***

Another head hangs lowly
Child is slowly taken
And the violence caused such silence
Who are we mistaken
But you see it’s not me
It’s not my family
In your head, in your
Head they are fighting
With their tanks and their bombs
And their bombs and their guns
In your head,
In your head they are cryin’
In your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie
Hey, hey
What’s in your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie
Hey, hey, hey, oh
Dou, dou, dou, dou
Dou, dou, dou, dou
Dou, dou, dou, dou
Dou, dou, dou, dou
Another mother’s breakin’
Heart is taking over
When the violence causes silence
We must be mistaken
It’s the same old theme since nineteen-sixteen
In your head,
In your head they’re still fightin’
With their tanks and their bombs
And their bombs and their guns
In your head, in your head they are dyin’
In your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie
Hey, heyWhat’s in your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie
Hey, hey, hey
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ohHey, oh, ya, ya-a

Lyrics found at A to Z Lyrics.

***

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie_(song)

This is, arguably, the band’s biggest hit song to date. I didn’t know of the history of violence in Ireland when I first listened to it, but the harsh sounding song made me stand up and take notice.

One person’s history is another’s present.

From 1916 to 2016.

What really changes in one hundred years?

I would eventually visit Ireland and I learned about some of the violence that Zombie referenced, I stood where some of it will forever stand, but I didn’t come home with a head full to bursting with facts. It was an overwhelming experience to just be there, but I did not live it. It isn’t my country. Yet.

I grew up in Canada, during a time and place of peace. I knew nothing of tanks or bombs or guns. Well, other than the guns for hunting that my uncle or my grandfather kept in similar cabinets as my grandmother, locked and behind glass doors. They were harmless things that I gave very little thought to as a young child.

I’m not a little girl anymore. I can’t keep believing in, counting on the harmlessness of guns. Glass can be shattered.

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Seeing From All Sides, #HowISee #HowISeeIt #SoCS

October 1st is the start of Blindness Awareness Month.

Okay, so SoCS usually means Stream of Consciousness Saturday, but well Saturday, Sunday, either way.

Many visually impaired people, writers and bloggers specifically, are blogging every day and many are speaking about one particularly controversial hash tag and campaign making its way around Twitter and social media lately.

I re-blogged about this just a few days ago, and though I don’t mean to rehash or restate, I figured I would offer my own thoughts on the whole thing.

When I tried to think of what is AWKWARD,

I thought about these very topics. Blindness means I face many awkward situations, all the time in fact. I try to improve my social skills and interacting with a mostly sighted world, but I often struggle to fit in and feel like I am seen and yet that I don’t stick out, stand out, and get in the way.

I often feel as if I am in someone’s way, but I recognize this is often more in my own head. The thing about the world is I skip past a lot of the more awkward situations, simply because I don’t see that they are even taking place at all.

🙂

As for the idea of a sighted person putting on blindfold for a few minutes and attempting to walk or cook or whatever, I thought on it awhile, as I pondered the thoughts of others.

There is a lot of awkward nonsense going on in the world these days. Why should anyone with a visual impairment feel like they must always be cast as the awkward ones in this nonsensical world?

The Foundation Fighting Blindness Canada (FFB)

They state that their mission is “leading the fight against blindness” and they are doing that through social media campaigns like this one to raise money:

#HowISeeIt on Twitter

People who are blind share stories and videos of how they do certain, every day tasks, and then their friends or relatives who are sighted will put on a blindfold and try those same tasks.

I know people are curious. I’ve often been asked how I pick out my clothes or how I use the stove. I get that. Most of us don’t mind answering a genuine question when asked. It’s just a fine line when it crosses over to patronizing.

I know foundations who raise money and do research to fight blindness are needed and necessary. I get that also.

I am often told I over think things or am too sensitive, and perhaps I can be, but perhaps that’s an easy, bandaid response for a bigger issue. I often can’t tell the difference anymore, and not sure I ever could or ever will.

😦

On one hand I hate the statement put out there of fighting blindness, like it’s some enemy that needs to be destroyed. I should understand language and its uses better than anyone, but I feel icky when I hear that. I am fighting a constant battle with myself, never mind some war against blindness in a wider context.

However, I would take a cure, sure I would. If it were real and lasting, but blindness isn’t quite so simple. I want attention put on finding ways to stop progression of or slowing down of retinal eye disease. That’s what I have and I often wonder what my life would be like if a cure were suddenly found. Would it be the answer to all my prayers of life? Would it automatically make things easier?

Yes and no, I think the correct answer is, which isn’t really any answer at all to my satisfaction.

So I could rant on and on about this, such a giant thing that I cannot contain, to hope that someone somewhere will understand me, after all I don’t think some lousy blindfold is the answer.

Apologies if this post is long and rambling, with a few links thrown in for good measure. I feel like I am always apologizing for something, to someone. Stop it Kerry, stop it.

But going back to some of my “In The News and On My Mind” posts I’ve shared on this blog in the past, I’ve usually opened those with a line from a woman I know on Facebook who is also blind and living life well. So Here’s her take today, to start:

“The Foundation Fighting Blindness is doing a screwball campaign in which they have sighted people wear a blindfold for a few minutes and try to complete some everyday household task. Naturally, they’re lousy at it, because they don’t have any training. The FFB then has them share their horrifying experiences under the hashtag “how eye see it”, the idea being that blindness is terrible and scary and must be stopped. Well, obviously, we can’t have that rumor going around! For the next week, I’ll be stealing this hashtag to share cool stories about blind people’s actual everyday experiences. If you have a story I should share, send it to me in a message. Today, I’ll share my story. I’m 27 years old and live independently in a gorgeous little apartment in Austin. I’m happily married, work in the field of higher education, and have a wonderful close-knit family and group of friends. I love yoga, hiking, music, poetry, and have recently taken up martial arts. My life is abundantly rich, and has not been diminished by labels or other people’s preconceived notions. This is #howIseeit.”

I do feel it’s simplification for someone who does not live with blindness to put a blindfold across their eyes for a matter of minutes and try to tackle something they won’t feel they could handle without their sight. If they had it all their lives, a few bloody minutes trying without will only muddy things up even more, further blurring the lines between reality and something else entirely.

It feels pitying to me. It feels dumbed down. It feels wretched really.

You panic when suddenly all your world goes dark. Of course. Nothing is how it is compared to if you’ve had time to process and work out solutions we have worked hard to find for ourselves and our independence.

Debates began popping up on people’s social media and on FFB’s Facebook page, in the comments, from both sides. People have accused Foundation Fighting Blindness of blocking or deleting comments that oppose what they’re trying to do with #HowISeeIt and FFB replied that it must have been a misunderstanding, but they usually put the blame onto Facebook and their rules for commenting. Things are getting ugly. People don’t feel heard. It’s impossible for something like this to speak for all. I just want to share opposing views and keep the conversation going.

The point was made that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge may have had similar responses. I don’t know how many ALS patients felt about it truthfully. Not sure you heard much about that amongst all the screams of shivering cold horror and shock captured in all those videos that went viral. Money was raised. A good thing. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth I suppose.

But that challenge did not have people living in wheelchairs, unable to move. See the difference?

I see all sorts of lives lived by those who are also blind. Some are doing life more successfully and happily than others. But that’s no different than the rest of the population.

I first heard about a Twitter campaign going around known as How I See, which I wrote my own post for here several weeks back:

Black Or White #HowISee

Life is neither, sometimes one, sometimes the other. No different for me.

When I heard #HowISee vs #HowISeeIt, I admit I was originally confused and wrote on FFB’s Facebook page, asking for clarification. I did not jump to participate or to get anyone sighted in my own life participating either once theirs was explained to me.

Some more well known visually impaired advocates are taking part in #HowISeeIt, by helping spread that message of FFB, such as a UK poet with RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa):

Stand By Me RP awareness page on Facebook

Of course, different people are going to have different opinions on which hash tag campaigns, websites, and organizations are doing good work and which are furthering myths, stereotypes, and negative views about what blindness is and what it’s like to live with.

Here one visually impaired young Canadian has her story told through FFB.

I have watched many of her awareness videos on her YouTube channel and she has been working with The Foundation Fighting Blindness Canada since she was young.

This may not seem like stream of consciousness writing exactly, with all these links inserted, but I knew it would be close enough, as I feared before I began that if I started to write about my own thoughts on this topic, I may never stop.

Here are a few places where I think we’re on the right track:

Blind New World, #BlindNewWorld

&

Bold Blind Beauty

Of course I mention all sides because I don’t necessarily think there is a total right or wrong here. People with all sorts of experiences deserve to feel how they feel about these things.

I just make it work with where I’m at today and keep as much positivity and hope alive inside as I know how.

Thanks for listening.

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A Little Late to the Party: Scrambling and Fumbling, #SoCS #SongLyricSunday

I hear a rumble in the distance. Is it thunder? A storm rolling in?

I stumble and I scramble and I fumble through this life.

I fumble for a foothold. I scramble for cover. I stumble with every other step I take.

I search for a semblance, any semblance of normality. I am embarrassed by all this. I am emblazoned with the residue of these mistakes I repeatedly make.

I tremble in the night. I feel dumb and numb.

I want to feel it and I don’t. I feel like I’ve lost a limb, but I count and they’re still all here.

What is it I’m missing, then?

This has been a mashup of

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SoCS

which I actually did start on Saturday, but it’s been one of those crazy weekends.

Lets see if the pingback worked for this. I am told it likely would not.

And with

Song Lyric Sunday

which I think my theme fits and the two prompts this weekend will tie together nicely:

90’s Music (Again with the broken pingbacks.)

Sarah McLachlan IS Canadian music during that decade. This song isn’t from my favourite album, but a few years before, in the early nineties, this beautifully written song was released.

Since “mb” was the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week, I felt like returning to this classic from my early years. I was just a girl when this song came out, and I could hardly know much about what ecstasy was, but I guess it can mean a lot of things, describe a lot of experiences in life.

I do know there are a lot of words with “mb” in them and that made the song I chose an easy choice.

Then I went with a feeling, one that seems to resinate, and that’s fumbling, stumbling, scrambling. I know these things well. If you’re lucky, you can stumble right into any number of forms of ecstasy, after all the stumbling and fumbling and scrambling are gone.

Song lyrics for Sarah McLachlan’s “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy”

Hope I’ve managed to make some sense, somewhere in there. I did experience feeling ecstatic this weekend, when creativity produced something of such quality, stemming from several hours of hard work. I was so proud and so unbelievably ecstatic.

Fumbling Towards Ecstacy – Sarah McLachlan

Sarah says to not fear love.

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Just Jot It January: Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Leader, #JusJoJan

Linda is the leader of Just Jot It January, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, and a whole lot more:

Just Jot It January 15th – Leadership

#JusJoJan

I am not a leader. Yes, I say that and I am not trying to put myself down. Just not a natural instinct to me, but likely we could all become one if given the chance, the right set of circumstances, but a lot of us don’t have the opportunity. It’s just not a role I feel at home in, but I just recently read one blogger’s definition, having to do with writing, and I guess there are cases where I could see myself leading people to certain conclusions, through my writing.

I remember all those leadership classes and conferences some students went on when I was in school. It was hard not to feel inadequate when hearing some other lucky student was chosen for that, but then did the rest of us really want that extra work and responsibility?

What did they do at those anyway?

I do not speak loud enough. I don’t know how to take charge of an audience. I would need a lot more practice than I’ve had.

Then there is leadership of a country. Who would want this extra work or added responsibility either? Someone obviously does. There’s a whole fight over the running of the US going on as we speak. This will go on for many more months. All for what? I guess a country needs someone to lead.

I think the title of leadership is a tricky one. I don’t like to follow a leader. I think such power could go to one’s head, as is demonstrated in one of my favourite Simpsons episodes of all-time:

The leader is good. The Leader is great. Surrender our will, as of this date.

Hilarity!

It’s a commentary, of sorts, on those we choose to follow blindly or with eyes wide open. I guess without leadership, in school and in government, the world would be chaos.

This mid-month prompt is brought to you by:

Finally A Writer

Clearly Tessa has taken the lead in calling her blog this, as in that by stating she is finally a writer, it is so. Love it.

🙂

BTW

Here are the rules for JusJoJan.

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TToT: The Tempestuous Sea That Is Jan-uary – Circles and Rectangles, #SundayFunday #10Thankful

“A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”

–J.R.R. Tolkien

I have more photos from Christmas.

youandbrianwithyourphonestoyourearssidebyside-2016-01-10-00-14.jpg

I will be featuring some of them here, over the following TToT posts, to help pass the first month of 2016 a little faster.

#SundayFunday – MAGIC!

One last shot of the holidays, I hope, before they are a distant memory.

christmastree-2016-01-10-00-14.jpg

It always makes me a bit sad when all my mom’s hard work and creativity is removed for another year.

birthdaycupcakes-2016-01-10-00-14.jpg

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For a genius and the world of Middle Earth he created.

There are so many wise quotes to choose from him. I could hardly decide which one to start of this week’s TToT with.

Happy Birthday to Professor Tolkien, who gave me something amazing with his writing. It opened me up to the possibilities, showing me that I shouldn’t close myself off to something like the fantasy genre, like so many other things in life.

For the birth of another genius, so long ago.

http://www.sylvianenuccio.com/louis-braille-the-french-inventor-that-changed-blind-peoples-life-2/

The inventor of braille makes my thankful list on a continuous loop, as he is all of why I have words to love so much to begin with, but I am recognizing him now, as he would have celebrated his birthday on the beginning of the week, beginning of the year, with a second early January birthday.

I can’t fully express in words what it has meant to my life to have the groupings of six raised dots, forming words, that one man dreamt up once upon a time.

Braille literacy is one of the skills I am most proud of. I owe this man a great great debt of gratitude, forever and always.

For the news that my friend, her baby girl, and mother/grandma arrived safely in Ireland.

There was, apparently, a little bit of a snag with their rental car, on a deserted Irish road, but a couple helpful policemen showed up on the scene and saved the day, helping to repack all the baggage in a replacement vehicle.

Or so the Facebook status update said.

I read the word “police” and my heart nearly stopped, before I went on to finish reading.

For a brand new year beginning and my inclusion in and amongst so many who are looking back with gratitude and looking forward to a year just as great or better.

Proudest Single Stride of 2015 From People All Over the World

I was quoted, with my pride in the story I had published last year, in one of my favourite blogger’s 2015 posts.

For a return I made this week to my writer’s circle.

I was even missed. How about that.

🙂

For the bonding time afterward.

We all went out, as a group, and I got the hangout with them that I missed out on just before Christmas, thanks to unforeseen events. One was even kind enough to pay for me because I hadn’t come prepared, asking for nothing in return.

For my schooling on Dungeons & Dragons and other nerdy things.

The best thing about this group, other than all the writing and talking about writing we all do, is when we aren’t just discussing writing. We are all geeks for whatever it may be: literature, video games, television or movies and trivia. There were a few Simpsons quotes thrown in by myself and a few other members throughout the evening too.

😉

For my brother’s remarkable recovery in just one month and his triumphant return to his college program.

He is so close to graduating later this spring and I know it’s hard to know for sure when is the right time, not wanting to push himself. We didn’t want him to take on too much, too soon.

He still has time to make a final decision, but he did well.

For January.

It is a bit of a contemplative month, with the new year so new and fresh, but I value it for its melancholyish quality. It is a quiet time of reflection and so much possibility ahead.

For a newly discovered blogging challenge that came around at precisely the right time for me.

Just Jot It January, #JusJoJan

I was struggling a bit, wondering what the next twelve months might hold for my blog and my writing and my life. This extension of the weekly Stream of Consciousness Saturday I participate in was welcomed strongly by me.

It’s giving me an entire first month of 2016 to just imagine what my writing could look like this year.

Lights – Ellie Goulding

“Access to communication in the widest sense is access to knowledge and that is vitally important for us if we (the blind) are not to go on being despised or patronized by condescending sighted people. We do not need pity, nor do we need to be reminded we are vulnerable. We must be treated as equals and communication is the way this can be brought about.”

–Louis Braille (1809-1852)

Braille’s above quote may sound critical, to some, but he was a product of his time. I wonder what he would think if he were alive today.

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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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Sack Sick Suck, #SoCS

Linda is the chooser of the SoCS prompts every week and I am glad for that. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for this, but she does a fantastic job.

I have to admit, though, this week’s prompt was tricky for me, but I wanted not to miss it because this is the last one for 2015 and so I am taking a crack at it.

SoCS

I do love her contribution, as a thankful and a stream of consciousness thankful at that:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/12/26/socs-socks-socs/

I can totally relate to what she says, as I love my WordPress blog and those I choose to interact with here, but I did not know if anyone would want or care to read anything I had to say about socks.

I went with a strange title, all the four-letter words that are like “sock”, but that aren’t. I don’t like putting the actual prompt word or part of a word directly in the title of my post. Also, it just sounded nice, all those “S” words in a row, hissing like a snake, like the snake my brother has as a pet, which I would rather not touch, but I am getting off track here.

I hate wearing socks, but I also don’t like being barefoot. That is why I am glad I got a new pair of dog slippers, while out shopping with a friend a few weeks back. Slippers are like socks, but more comfortable. This pair is so soft inside and neat feeling out.

My feet/legs aren’t really meant for socks. I even go out without them, my feet right in my shoes or boots. I know, I know. This will get me sick, right?

My great grandmother believed in the old wives tale of if you don’t wear socks you will get kidney failure. Well, I got kidney failure, so I guess I should have listened to her.

I always lose socks when I do my laundry. I am sure I am not alone in that, a common one, so I should use those things that keep two socks together.

What are they called again? Can’t think now and no time for Google.

This would also eliminate the problem I have of being able to match socks. If they feel the same I normally have no problem, but it’s more my favourite fuzzy socks )not quite sock and not quite slipper) that I don’t know how to match, for all the coloured pairs I own.

I always hated stockings, a form of socks made especially as a torture for women and girls, in my humble opinion. They feel all cool when on, when in a dress, but me as a little girl hated how itchy I would eventually feel in them. I could wear knee socks or none at all. I wore more dresses as a little girl, but less so now. All so unfortunate, isn’t it?

🙂

I did think of the phrase, “knock your socks off” and I do enjoy that one quite a lot. Something has to be pretty amazing for me to break out that one.

I guess several things could have that effect: music, movies, books, chocolate, views, trips, people.

It’s one of those four-letter words, “sock”, that I run over and over in my mind, playing little word games with myself when I can’t sleep at night. Yeah, how exciting it must be to be inside my head, huh?

😉

When I first started seeing SoCS posts in my email, after I must have signed up to follow Linda’s blog, I did not yet understand what this whole Stream of Consciousness Saturday thing was. My laptop and phone’s voice that reads to me would sometimes say it in just such a way that SoCS sounded like socks, if you spell it out the way it sounds. See what I mean?

I know better now and glad I decided to investigate further. I kept hearing about this “socks/SoCS” thing and eventually I figured out what the initials meant for real. I am so glad I did.

Linking back and hope for a lot more Stream of Consciousness Saturday fun in 2016:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/12/25/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-2615/

What a weird one to go out on for the year. I like that this particular prompt encourages the weirder the better.

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