Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Memoir and Reflections, SoCS, Special Occasions

Train Wreckss, #SoCS #Halloween #GilmoreGirls

Ho, ho, ho!

  1. Okay, so wrong holiday there. I am looking past a lot of things happening right now. I’m fast forwarding two whole months.

Just over a week left until Halloween and lots to be
HORRIFIED
about I figure.

This afternoon, on my way to a pumpkin patch, but the day looks to be cold and windy, not quite as pleasant as last year’s adventure. Should have some fun with family anyway.

It’s not really the horror of all things Halloween that’s got me so on edge and taking it out on stream of consciousness writing as an art form, more like a form of therapy.

I tried to get into the spirit of the season, by watching
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
last night, but couldn’t get into it.

This clown thing that’s been making the news for a while is scary enough. I’ve never been a fan of clowns.

Nothing against the ones who live to dress up and make children laugh. Not my style.

I think our options for entertainment have grown in the past several years, technology a big part of that, resulting in less need for clown entertainment, but not all will agree with me. Some still prefer just such classics.

When I was in kindergarten, I had a little friend and his mother was a clown. She did kid parties and had a candy floss machine. How cool was it to have a friend with a mother who had constant access to that sweet treat?

Well, something happened after I lost touch with that boy and I grew up. I started to fear clowns.

I was in hospital a lot when I was twelve. The Shriners even have a hospital. Clowns were an easy way to cheer up seriously ill children. This meant one could often find a clown wandering around any children’s hospital I happened to be at, going from room to room on a paediatric ward, trying to help the boys and girls forget about how sick they were and the needles and surgeries, just for a little while, with magic tricks and songs and friendly, lighthearted chatter.

I confess, my trick was to pretend to be asleep in my hospital bed when I got word that a clown was on the way. This only worked when someone could tell me, as one thing I disliked was how clowns were often silent until they were right up on you.

Sounds like a predatory action and it wasn’t. Any clowns I met during my months of hospital visits were nothing but well intentioned. It was I who was growing more and more uncomfortable.

I have never liked makeup and so Halloween only held excitement for me because of the candy. I didn’t want thick makeup on my face and I didn’t like to think of it as a part of a clown’s costume either. The only clown I liked, by this time, was the Jewish clown on The Simpsons.

As I’ve lost more sight, makeup never held any real interest, as a woman. I know it isn’t the case, but now that I can’t really make out faces, whenever I imagine makeup on a woman, I think of thick, dark, clown makeup.

As I learned of terrifying clowns in the horror genre, like Stephen King for instance, I liked clowns all thee less.

This whole thing is ruling social media at the moment. I try my best not to imagine a creepy clown in the woods. Better left for fiction, but when I heard it had started in certain US states, I said, “thank God that isn’t happening here in Canada.”

Well, it has spread, as many things on social media will do. It’s here in Canada, in my town even. I say if I were harassed by one of those guys I would use my white cane to jab jab. Maybe a kick to the crotch. I don’t advocate real violence, but getting up in anyone’s personal space is not cool.

I think people can be a little odd or possibly more than that. I also think once certain folk realized this silly thing would get them some attention, just such a behaviour was far too tempting to pass up. People are on edge now. Someone could get hurt. Will this whole bit of nonsense stop once October 31st has passed us by?

I try not to bring a whole lot of attention to it. Besides, there is a horror a lot more worrisome anyway, but that one we must wait for Halloween to be over before we face it.

I spent a lot of energy talking about the horrors of the US election in my post last week. So, I will not go too far down that rabbit hole this week. Already, much too much of my week/month/year has been spent thinking/talking about the horrible predicament they are in, but of which we in the rest of the world are not immune to.

I focus on the candy of this season and I look forward to the remainder of 2016 because it’s been a life changing one for me, in several ways, more of which I will write about as the end of the year approaches.

Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.

I am tired of feeling this anxious. I want to focus on the things I’ve got to look forward to.

Though, I have wondered lately about hope.

After a few more challenging times practicing my violin lately, I’ve started to fear that I have no hope of getting better.

I hope I will persevere through the trying times, because I never believed learning to play an instrument like this would be easy at age thirty-two. I don’t sound like a horror when I play, but I do struggle to remember everything and not get discouraged beyond repair. This is still something I love and am determined to get good at, or at least better than I am right now.

All you usually hear are those reactions when people hear I even wanted to start, at my age, to learn one of the more advanced musical instruments. They don’t see things as I go along, as I keep practicing and fight my doubt in my abilities. Most people aren’t around for the tough times. I may sound more horrible than a tormented cat or a screechy something or other, but I know what it sounds like when the correct strings are played and the exact notes are found. I still have hope.

And so, all threat of clowns aside.

(Halloween or November 8th included)

😉

I just want to get past Halloween without meeting up with one of those guys. Always have my white cane on hand though, and I will make my intentions perfectly clear before acting in my own defence.

🙂

Then, November 8th will come and go. Can’t wait for that fun day.

After that comes American Thanksgiving and the event I am really looking forward to, something to help me relax after these months of stress.

The new Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix.

After that Christmas and the start of a new and exciting year.

BRING IT ON!

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Feminism, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Shows and Events, SoCS, The Insightful Wanderer

The Good Old Days: “We’re Drowning In It!” #SoCS

I have a headache. I don’t know where to start.

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?

Michelle Obama Speaks Out

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.

13TH

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?

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-13th-doc-trump-20161014-snap-htmlstory.html

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.

In The News and On My Mind: Supermegafragilisticexpialidocious

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.

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FTSF, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, TGIF

Sailing Away and the Bee Tree, #TGIF #FTSF

I hear it, that far off humming from the other side of the driveway.

What’s that noise?

My family start hinting at the origin, somewhere nearby, but not too near.

We’re standing around, in the driveway, with the fresh cut scent of grass in the air.

“Ooh, don’t tell Kerry,” they say, dancing around something they see and I don’t. I know them pretty well and can probably guess.

***

This was no Winnie the Pooh cartoon. I remember his song about being a little black storm cloud, as he attempted to disguise himself in mud, so he could sneak honey from a tree, attempting to avoid detection by the swarm of bees.

This time, in this driveway, it was a favourite tree of my mom’s. The late afternoon warmth of the day made conditions just right for pollination.

This was a nightmare of mine.

Not pollination. I think that’s cool and all, for the bees, but it took some coaxing from my sister, to get me to walk close to the Eastern redbud tree, as the closer I came, the louder the sound of the bees. They were clearly occupied, more concerned with the flowers they were working on, and weren’t about to stop their very important duties, to all land on me, like they would if I were dreaming.

***

I back away hastily, nevertheless, just in case. The sound of a swarm of bees makes me shrink back. That sound gets me moving, faster than most anything else I might hear. Not the fault of the bees at all.

***

Yu know that fear you have that something in your own life will inevitably reoccur at night, in your dreams?

Of course, we don’t normally control that. The things, at least for me, which I fear could show up in my dreams at night never show up, just because I think they will. Always, it’s a surprise, for good or ill.

***

This week’s Finish the Sentence Friday post is about

dreams

and

dreaming.

***

I need to start a dream journal. If I were to do this, I would need to write them down the moment I wake up, because within minutes the memories fade, unless extremely vivid. I have had some of those over the years, of which some really crazy stories could have been written. Ah well.

**I’ve dreamed about clowns. *Shudders

**I’ve dreamed the standard one where I’m being chased.

**I’ve dreamed I was stuck at the bottom of the ocean.

**I’ve dreamed that I moved out to the west coast of Canada, to fulfill my long held dream of studying marine biology.

**Some good and some not so good dreams, for sure.**

**I’ve dreamt I was in an old house, one that smelled rancid, and when I awoke I could still smell it on the insides of my nostrils.

The putrid smell in the dream carried on into my day and I still get that happening on occasion. A strange mix-up of senses, experience, and consciousness.

***

To round off this week’s answer to the sentence I thought I would address one of the most commonly asked questions about blindness:

Do I see when I dream?

I don’t suddenly drift off each night and enter a totally sighted realm. I believe, most times, the brain can’t simply create images where none have been known. I could be wrong, not wanting to speak for all who can’t see, but it also depends on if you’ve been totally blind all your life or not. I have had more sight previously. Perhaps my brain can use a recall method, but mostly I don’t think about it. I can’t even really give a totally clear and concise answer.

You’d think it should be easy to say, but it’s not so black and white. More different variations of grey.

When I sleep, I dream in, from what I can recall, faded light. I think, as my sight seems to be less and less, that element of my dreaming hours becomes less and less important. I like the break I usually get though. In my dreams, I don’t worry about being treated differently. I don’t worry how I’m going to get somewhere, or if I have someone’s arm to guide me, or if I’ve suddenly ended up without my white cane. I just don’t care and, I must say, that break from reality is the best part of dreaming, no matter what I see or don’t see while I’m in the midst of it.

***

This song came on in a restaurant where I found myself eating lunch the other day.

Sailing – Christopher Cross

While I was sleeping, I dreamt his song. I like it. It takes me away somewhere when I hear it, sort of like a beautiful and a peaceful dream should.

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TToT: Share the Land, Love, and Music – Today’s the Only Day, #10Thankful #LoIsInDaBl #WorldWhaleDay

“One minute you’re waiting for the sky to fall. And next you’re dazzled by the beauty of it all.”

LOVERS IN A DANGEROUS TIME – BRUCE COCKBURN

That’s life. That’s love.

kerport-009-2016-02-14-09-13.jpg

Last week I combined

#BlogLove with Ten Things of Thankful and Finish the Sentence Friday.

Now, this week, my TToT is all about music, songs I love, because they are connected to people, places, and things I love and am thankful for.

https://summat2thinkon.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/10thankful-banner.jpg?w=700?w=700&#8243

The theme of love is shared also through:

SONG LYRICS SUNDAY (VALENTINE’S DAY EDITION)

Sunday means music and lyrics. I found this song,

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

and I like its message, as today is all about love.

My previous posts on this day (Feb. 14) have been:

Valentine’s Day 2014

&

Ruby Red 2015

I am thankful for colours like red, white, and pink. They symbolize love, flowers, and the white cane I use to get around.

I am thankful for chocolate. Oh boy am I thankful for chocolate.

😉

I am thankful every time my musician brother directs my attention to a song I’ve not heard of before, even though he swears I must have heard the Valentine themed song from above at one time. He finds songs for every occasion on the calendar.

ONLY LOVE CAN BREAK YOUR HEART – NEIL YOUNG

This is true Neil.

But then The Police said it best: “Love can mend your life but love can break your heart.”

I am thankful for an excellent performance I attended the night before turning thirty-two. I pretended it was all in my honour, but the proceeds actually went to a very important cause, as this is February:

HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION OF CANADA

It was put on by my brother and his music program (Music Industry Arts MIA).

HOTLINE BLING – GLASS FACE (DRAKE COVER)

I am thankful for Canadian influences in all areas of art: music and literature. There were several of the Canadian artists covered that I am a fan of and I had my favourites that the students orchestrated. Some sounded completely different, like Drake. His is a popular hit right now, but is a little too commercial for my liking. Glass Face’s adaptation is more chilled and mellow.

Some people might believe the point of performing a cover song is to make it sound exactly like the original, but in this case, these students showed off their many musical talents by putting their own unique spin on hit songs that most everybody already knows.

I am waiting for the entire show to become available, but I’m so glad I was there live. I became nervous, like I always do when someone I care about is about to perform. I am so impressed that anyone would have the guts and the nerve to put themselves out there like that, risking ridicule, but without taking that chance…none of us can show the world what we’re capable of.

My brother’s time up on that stage was no exception. I became emotional as he played his solo. I thought about where he was, only mere weeks ago, and how none of us dared hope he would be back to himself, artist that he was born to be, so soon. Still, there he was and I closed my eyes tight to the tears of glee and pride.

Oh, and another one of my favourite songs from that night is one that will always remind me of the videos of the eighties and of certain people. It’s a cool song really, just like some of those people.

SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT – COREY HART

It’s a song one might also associate with someone who is blind, sunglasses, shades, at night and all, but will always be a groovy one.

🙂

I am thankful for my birthday because I draw strength and motivation from every one of them I get that come around.

TODAY’S THE DAY – PINK

This song made me want to focus on the here and now. Two years ago, on my thirtieth birthday I started my blog,

BUCKET LIST,

and I have a new goal for this year. I can’t wait to see what kind of music I am playing when I turn thirty-three.

I am thankful for my growing love of the violin, not just listening, but starting to learn how to play myself.

I am thankful for all the violin recommendations coming in, to me, from friends and family. My uncle, who has been showing me the basics, he gave me a few CDs to check out and I’ve found Lindsey Stirling and she is becoming a new favourite of mine.

SHADOWS

My father wants me to look more towards Itzhak Perlman, from Fiddler on the Roof and Schindler’s List. That is likely where I first began to hear and fall in deep love with the sad melodies of the violin as an instrument.

ITZHAK PERLMAN, SCHINDLER’S LIST

However, as beautifully sad as this music is, if I were to focus on it too much, not to mention trying to shoot for perfection in trying to emulate one of the world’s best violinists, I would focus on the theme of sadness too much. It has its place, definitely, but I need a balance of Jewish tragedy and a more happy and upbeat sound, from more modern sounding violin, even Canadian Celtic sound would do.

I am thankful for music sent to me by someone, even when I rejected it on first hearing it, but later reconsider my stance on its merits.

Missing – Luca Schreiner feat. Kimberly Anne (Official Video)

That’s right. I’ve reconsidered. Caught me on a bit of a strange night, in a weird moment. With music, it’s often all about where you are at any particular moment, when you first hear a song. Sometimes, like people, some songs take a little while to grow on you.

🙂

I am thankful for the music of the most beautiful and amazing animal on earth.

BEAUTIFUL WHALE SONG

They make the best music around. Yesterday was

#WorldWhaleDay

I am thankful that, although my brother may not be the best choice to teach me musical theory for violin specifically, that he and I can hopefully jam together in future.

Actually, I couldn’t believe it when, suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere today, we were jamming. I started playing a few notes, a few of the only notes I can produce on violin so far, and he did what he does best – he started to play with me, improvising like he does when jamming with someone. It lasted a short time and I ruined the moment by laughing eventually, because I simply couldn’t believe it.

We have always had a special sister-brother bond/connection and we have these amazing discussions and conversations all the time, but this is a different form of communication, a way to connect without speaking. I would re-create it if I could, but some moments cannot be reproduced on command.

I am thankful for this.

kerport-184-2016-02-14-09-13.jpg

I have my tools, metaphorical or literal: my white cane, my pencil/pen (words), and now my bow. I think all three are more powerful than all the guns and bombs put together. The power in words and music and independence is unmatched.

BLACKBIRD

Happy White Cane Week 2016.

And congratulations,

Helen Espinosa,

who hosts “Song Lyrics Sunday”, for her engagement. Love the song.

“Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. Gotta kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.”

LOVERS IN A DANGEROUS TIME – BARE NAKED LADIES

I started and ended TToT 2016 (Valentine Edition) with a version of a favourite Canadian hit.

Which one do you like best?

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

Tap Tap Tap

Took a bit of a break there, from:

THE REDEFINING DISABILITY AWARENESS CHALLENGE

http://rosebfischer.com/2014/07/15/the-redefining-disability-awareness-challenge/

I found it a challenge to talk about disability on a weekly basis and needed to leave it for a while. This blog is not, strictly, a blog about disability and/or blindness.

I realize, as much as I want to forget about such challenges for a while, I can’t get away from disability. It is tangled up in me and with me wherever I go.

I write about it, in small ways or big ones, anyway.

So I will address a few stories in the news lately and use a specific example from the other day, in my life, to illustrate a point. Hmmm. Guess I should hurry up and think what that’s going to be right now.

😉

I guess this might answer number 40 in the list of RDAC questions, as I feel quite sure I want to find ways to become in volved in awareness and social issues: feminism or equal rights. Either way. This involves disability in a big way.

Q: Are you involved in any political or social activities related to having a disability? This could be anything from an advocacy group to an informal social gathering to participation in adaptive sports.

I try to deny it sometimes because the feeling is often uncomfortable, but I keep being dragged back to it.

I have an interview coming up on this blog with a guy who just graduated with a degree in Women’s Studies. I am very interested in hearing his story and viewpoint.

I have spoken with my friend Steph from

Bold Blind Beauty,

who has been working on a new image, one she feels represents her site and her mission:

The Unveiling of a Stylish Icon

I get involved when and where I can. Who knows what that might look like in the future.

There are others who are doing a lot more:

Stand By Me RP awareness page

This poet has recently been highlighting a story that made the news, over in Britain:

Paul Franks speaks to the mom of a blind schoolgirl who has been asked not to use her white cane in school due to health and safety

Maybe you’ve heard about it. This is the kind of thing that makes one want to speak up and stand up for what is right.

It’s hard to imagine, in 2015, that this would happen.

It’s the kind of thing my mother would have fought hard against, if it had been me being told I couldn’t have my cane at school, instead having to rely on others. This girl was told to be with supervision at all times. So much for the independence that is the whole point of school.

If this were true, white canes everywhere would be tripping people, left and right. There would be anarchy, injuries galore.

As long as she is taught how to use her white cane properly, this should be a non issue.

Okay, so there may have been one incident, when I slipped on a wet floor and sprained my ankle in the hallway at school, my own white cane going flying as I went down. This may have nearly empaled a staff member. I say “may have”.

But this could very easily happen with anything, with any child. There is no way a child should be told she can’t have her way of getting around school.

http://www.freerangekids.com/blind-girl-cant-use-her-cane-at-school-its-a-tripping-hazard/

This is the sort of thing that we must not accept from people. This is why awareness and consciousness of others is so important.

How dangerous is a white cane?

How dangerous is a wheelchair? That’s like saying a wheelchair is dangerous because it might run over someone’s toe. Ridiculous. Care is always needed, of course. No waving it around madly, but man…this story is everywhere.

What is a school mobility officer anyway? Differences from North America to Britain I guess, but she should be having mobility lessons of her own, with an instructor, to learn how to use her cane safely and correctly.

They said it was just temporary, while they discussed the matter with the family. What does that really mean anyway?

This story has made the news, in the papers from the UK where it happened, over to Canada and the US, all the way to New Zealand.

It makes an excellent headline, but it really is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard.

Well, I’m so worked up, that perhaps I’ll save the other stories for next week. There will be one of those, and much sooner this time.

The schedule calls for next week to be a free post day anyway and there are only ten or so more of these RDAC questions left.

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TToT: Do Or Die – Mercy! #10Thankful

“Writing and reading to me is synonymous with existing.”
–Gertrude Stein

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What a difference a week can make.

Last week was the perfect autumn weather and this week all I keep hearing about is snow.

Last weekend the Toronto Blue Jays were not expected to be in the game for much longer and this week they still have a chance.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

I seem to remember something about a book of rules for the TToT and there’s one of those for baseball, not that I understand it, but more about that later.

It was a difficult week, in some respects, but only because I am finally putting myself out there, my writing and myself, and receiving feedback. This translates into criticism and that can be difficult to take sometimes. Doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.

Ten Things of Thankful:

For my immune system.

Mine works for me. Okay, so I may be singing a different tune come the middle of winter, but at the moment I think all’s well.

I have been around several sick friends and family in the past month and I just assumed I would catch their colds, etc.

I haven’t. I have a lower immune system, as a transplant recipient, and it can seem to permit multiple colds each winter, every year, but it is unpredictable. I can’t predict when or if I’m going to get a cold.

I am visiting a friend in Toronto tomorrow and her niece is there recovering from a bone marrow transplant. As long as I don’t jinx myself and come down with something in the next twenty-four hours, I will be happy and thankful. Not to mention, my immune system hasn’t decided to completely attack my father’s kidney, in nearly twenty years, so that’s something to be grateful for.

For a delicious cup of coffee, some relaxing Lorde inspired tunes, and a couple of hours at the salon.

Portishead

The coffee and the half hour I sat there, listening to music playing and the hustle and bustle of my cousin’s salon, while my hair had foils in it and waiting for the dye to do its thing made for a most relaxing break.

For the chance to feel like I was dressed up and with somewhere to go for the evening.

For the deliciousness that is movie popcorn.

Who’s with me?

For a totally eye-opening documentary experience.

“Our voices are our most powerful weapons.”

I went to see He Named Me Malala and I found it to be every bit as inspiring and moving and sweet and real as I thought it would be.

This film needed to be made and it needs to be seen around the world. It makes me cry, but it forces me to be thankful.

For the game that kept Toronto in the running, for the first time in over twenty years.

It was a real rush to know that we had little chance, at that point, but that I never lost faith. It ended up being one for the record books, and I don’t pretend to understand all the little ins and outs of the game and its rules, but I know the tension and the energy felt, sitting there watching.

We were losing two games in a five game series. Nobody thought we would go on to win the next three, but I believed.

What is it about rooting for one’s sports team that can cause such strong feelings and stress?

For my white cane.

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October 15th was White Cane Day or White Cane Safety Day. I feel like a lot of these days are more US based, a lot of the times, but it doesn’t really matter where or what day.

I will admit that I have had my battles with the white cane. I have truthfully felt embarrassed about it, like a little brother or sister, always tagging along, but being forced by a parent to let them join in the fun.

Yeah, I’m working on getting over my issues because without it, I would be in more danger and would have been left without the means to get somewhere, anywhere, unable to see my surroundings well enough. I can’t deny the importance it has played and must play to me in future.

For my first Internet radio show interview.

Traveling With the Speed of Sight

I think I’ll stick with writing my blog, but it never hurts to try something new.

For you never knows’.

I did not expect a lot of people to listen to that interview, honestly, but all it takes is one.

One of the writer/editor friends I’ve made online and on Facebook just happened to be listening and immediately messaged me after the interview ended.

I admire her and her work so much and her online publication is at the top of my list of places I am determined to see my writing on.

Full Grown People

For the good and the bad that comes from putting myself out there.

Sure, this week I received some hard to hear criticism, but I also received some personal invites to submit my writing and to do more guest posts.

This, to me, would be considered a week of triumphs.

The Canadian federal election tomorrow could be the change we need, but there is a bit of a clash of events happening.

Elections Canada vs Jays Fans On October 19

Oh, don’t we Canadians have problems in our country?

😉

At least we’re aware of the issues that are important to us and as long as we know our priorities, right?

Mercy Mercy Me

I’ve been inspired, again this week, to not be silent, in whatever way that might be.

I love the female voices I’m hearing lately: both young and old.

Do I look scared to you?

You tell em Hazel!

“There’s a moment when you have to choose whether to be silent or to stand up.”
–Malala Yousafzai

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Blogging, Bucket List, Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, RIP, Special Occasions, This Day In Literature, TravelWriting, TToT, Writing

TToT: A Rainy Day In Paradise, #10Thankful

Love does not appear with any warning signs. You fall into it as if pushed from a high diving board. No time to think about what’s happening. It’s inevitable. An event you can’t control. A crazy, heart-stopping, roller-coaster ride that just has to take its course.
–Jackie Collins

Jackie Collins and Phil Collins: One is known for writing salacious novels and the other for his drumming, song writing, and singing, both as a member of Genesis and as a solo artist.

The only connection, for me, between these two has been their last name, up until this past week. One writes memorably and the other has had a huge influence in my life. Guess which is which.

10 THINGS OF THANKFUL

This week has had its ups and downs, pierced by the news story here in Canada, about the little girl who went missing and whose father was found murdered.

Hope turns to heartbreak.

Well, in this case, there was no happy ending to be had. I listened to the mother of the girl, during a press conference, and I was reminded all too sharply of the events that took place in my town over five years ago.

The Dark Mark

What kind of sick monster would do this? How does the world make sense to anyone at any time?

In comes creator of TToT

Lizzi,

Who has been touring around parts of the US for over a week now and I know she was worried about something, before she left. I made a promise, I would help make sure her friends back in the UK weren’t totally forgotten about, which I am sure she hasn’t stopped thinking about them, even as she’s having the trip of her lifetime.

Still, it’s important to be thankful and grateful, and that is the theme of my post this week, although it is every week, but this week I make it a double dose. There is so much I can’t do to help people, but I thought I could do this.

GO FUND ME: Home For Jenny

Ten Things of Thankful:

For My grandparents, although they are all gone now, and for the grandparents my own parents have become to my niece and two nephews.

This week was Grandparent’s Day and I want to highlight the things that make grandparents so great, both the big and small things, especially my parents, as they are now grandparents, and have been for nearly five whole years.

I miss mine every single day, but when I watch my mom and dad interacting with my niece or either of my nephews, I feel better because I see all the memories being made, so many things that remind me of everything I loved my grandparents for, all those years. It is one of the most special bonds in life.

For another guest post, this time with a musical theme, that I had out at the start of the week.

Perfection – Jingle Jangle Jungle

Some albums leave a lasting impression and “Jagged Little Pill, 1995” was one of them.

You Learn – Alanis Morissette

For strong female examples and the possibilities borne from these women: Jackie Collins, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, or Malala Yousafzai.

He Named Me Malala

“Our voices are our most powerful weapons.”

Malala is right. This film trailer and this quote give me goosebumps and bring tears to my eyes.

Happy Birthday, Chimamanda and Malala, who celebrated this past week.

These are three examples, of reasons to celebrate life, the lives of females who do not apologize for who they are and for what they stand for.

It gives me hope – a representation of past, present, and future for women.

For the honour of two writing assignments I’ve been asked to do, one of them from one of those strong females I’ve alluded to, and for the surprise invite I received to be interviewed, next month, on an internet radio show.

I am now nervous because I now have to deliver. I am thrilled to be asked for these things, but now comes the fear of disappointing these people or of not being able to give them what they were hoping for.

I am working on developing my confidence and pride, to know in my heart I can write something worthwhile or speak up for myself, but I am going to need to focus to be able to give them my best.

I hope this will lead to more good things and I think I need to get down to business, to get writing, to show what I can do.

For repeat thankfuls.

That’s right. I am thankful, once more, for my first published story.

I used this one last week, in previous weeks before that, in different ways, but I am using it again because I am still grateful, so incredibly thankful.

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I forgot, last week, to include the link to where the book is now available in print. I’d been waiting for that for months and months.

After the Scars: A Second Chances Anthology

Also, I believe this thing warrants a spot in the thankfuls, two weeks in a row, because I believe we should pay special attention to those things we are truly thankful and excited for and about, especially when so many other parts of life are so shitty sometimes.

Plus, I have barely let the print copy of the book with my story in it out of my presence since it arrived last week. I sleep with the thing pretty much. I can neither confirm or deny this to be 100% the case.

😉

I am not too ashamed to admit I hug it against my chest sometimes, hardly able to believe how lucky I feel. How proud I am. The best feeling in the world.

For the fresh apples I’ve been waiting so long for.

Honey Crisp apples are expensive, in the grocery store most times, but it’s at this time of year that they are in the markets and are most worth it. They remind me of fall and they are so juicy. They are what good apple juice is made of. They are the perfect mixture of sweet and sour, and so wonderfully crunchy. Huge too. I have been looking forward to the start of the fall season and these apples, even more so, ever since visiting a giant apple back in July.

this photo is of brian, dad and you on the stairs in front of the apple.
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For my brother’s help, as I am once more in need of pictures of myself, and seeing as he takes pictures for a living and has done it for years I am glad he is happy to help and not to expect a fee.

🙂

It ended up being a joke between us, when I texted him to ask if he could take a few pictures, and he ended up taking nearly two hundred. I wouldn’t blame him if he did ask for payment, but that’s what is so amazing, the generosity to be found in my family.

They need to be high resolution, (of which I have no clue) and are travel themed. I will have them to share in a future post, but let’s just say I ended up dangling in the apple tree in his back yard with my white cane. All for the writing.

For the chance to give my nephew his birthday present, as he turned two last month, but it’s taken a few weeks for the summer excitement to die down and for us to see each other again.

I’m thankful he liked his present so much. I got him my favourite thing, a book.

No. I did not give him a copy of the book with my story in it. Not exactly his level of reading material, at age two. I did bring his father, my brother a copy of the book though. I was excited to do that also.

As for my nephew, I gave him the new Dr. Seuss book and a singing and talking toy iPhone.

After all, shouldn’t all two-year-old children have their first cell phones?

For the chance to get to know my youngest nephew, as he is the third.

My niece is almost five and has known me the longest. She is in school and has been talking for a couple years now.

Then there’s my middle nephew and he lives close by and sees me on a weekly basis. We are incredibly close, as a result.

It’s my youngest nephew, youngest of the three, and he is just recently growing his vocabulary and changes so much, every time I see him, which only happens every other month or so. I sometimes worry he won’t remember me from the last time, but this is changing, slowly and surely, as he grows and with every passing visit.

Each time I can spend time with him and he can become a little more comfortable with me, and me with him, hopefully our bond as nephew and aunt grows a little stronger.

I am thankful we were able to spend a little time together, just the two of us, playing trucks in his bedroom, after his initial shyness wore off upon seeing me with his sister and daddy, when he wasn’t expecting it.

For the life he and my niece have, for everything they have, that their mom and dad work so hard to give them, when so many children have nothing nearly as good. They are tucked, in their beds and safe at night, and I can hug them goodbye, after a day of fun and games, and sleep securely in the knowledge that the most important children in my life are safe and not in danger.

Not all children are so lucky. I am lucky.

And now, the answer to the question I posed at the beginning of this week’s TToT:

I loved Danielle Steel’s romance novels, as a teenager, but I have never even read a Jackie Collins book. I just thought, after the years of writing and the career she’s had, she deserves to be mentioned here, on her passing.

I didn’t get into her novels, but I did follow her on Facebook. Up there with authors like Anne Rice and Danielle Steel, Jackie Collins was one of those authors I enjoyed getting to know a little on her author page.

RIP Jackie Collins (1937-2015)

As for Phil Collins, I have been focusing so much on the things I am thankful for, for months now with Ten Things of Thankful and a particular Phil Collins song has always made me realize how lucky I am and how thankful I am, for the life I do have.

As the week came to a close – as I let certain recent events upset me, as I felt like crying because I could hardly make out my nephew’s shape, and because I can no longer colour with him and my niece – I thought about why I need to keep making these weekly lists.

It’s just another day, for you and me, in paradise.

Another Day In Paradise

Just think about it.

–Phil Collins

I’ve thought about it, Phil, many times over the years – many, many, many times. I will never stop thinking about that, being grateful, and staying thankful.

And, as I was in desperate need of something to totally counteract that part I mentioned about a poor child being taken from the world, here is a video that made me smile from ear to ear, which I desperately needed mid week when the worst was confirmed about her disappearance.

Pup Quiz

RIP sweet Hailey.

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Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir Monday, The Insightful Wanderer

Two Are Better Than One

On this particularly blustery November day I feel closed in. I feel uncomfortable to even step a little distance out of my house, having the wind pummel and push me. Any strong forceful weather like this can be very disorienting.

And so, on this particular Memoir Monday, for the

Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge,

I m indoors and listening to the roar.

When last week I wrote about how

Love Is Blind,

this week I get to write about whatever’s on my mind; so here goes.

***

Okay, so I have been called overly sensitive, on occasion, but here it goes anyway.

Having a disability can cause many of life’s normal, natural events, that we all experience, to take on double meanings. Maybe just to me and so here I will share them with you.

Sometimes I yearn to have these certain experiences, just like other people do, without there having to be something else going on. Here are four of the top ones I can think of, to help me illustrate the point I’m trying, maybe not too successfully, to make.

1.
Holding hands with someone I love.

I think this is one of the best parts of being in a relationship with someone. I love the intimacy and the connection that I feel.

There are three options for walking somewhere with another person: on my own and with a white cane, holding on to someone’s arm (sighted guide), or (if dating) holding hands.

It is important to obtain a certain amount of independence when you are visually impaired, but what if I just want to hold hands with someone I care about?

Normally, a couple holding hands is a sweet gesture, a pretty picture. When I do it there can be reproaches, questioning, for why I am not being independent enough and walking on my own.

2.
Shopping.

There are just certain things that are better done with other people. It is done for necessity’s sake, someone grabbing a few groceries on their own, but in most cases shopping is done with two or more people.

Whether it’s my parents, sister, or a boyfriend and whether it’s food or clothes I want the company. Something like shopping is simply much more enjoyable with more than one person.

Whether because it isn’t possible to just jump in the car and run a few errands, because it helps to have someone else to help decide on what food items to purchase, or because shopping for clothes is more fun with someone to offer their opinion.

Of course I can’t see the clothes I’m buying and I know those customer service people just don’t know what my favourite brand of crackers might be.

3.
Travel.

This is on my mind a lot at the moment, with my plans in the works and my hope of starting a travel website and developing a career as a travel writer in the future.

I went ahead and took the plunge by starting the website, but I have not worked out all the kinks. To be able to write about travel I want to be able to actually travel and herein lies the conundrum.

Sure, the idea of a blind woman traveling alone would make for an inspiring story. People would be amazed that I could do such a thing.

I either need to make this happen or I need to travel with someone. I can’t just want to choose to be one of most people who prefer to travel with a friend or a loved one. For me, the option of traveling alone would make me an inspiration and otherwise I need a babysitter, someone to be my guide and my protector out there in the big bad world.

4.
Fear of growing old alone.

We all fear the prospect of this at one time or another in life. Most people, if they thought about it, would have to admit that they wouldn’t choose to grow old all alone. Of course we’re all going to face the possibility of this from widowhood one day, but this is unavoidable.

I’m talking about the fact that when I fear that my disability could prevent me from ever finding lasting love, I imagine myself being old and alone and then one other thing creeps in.

Of course I want someone, need someone to take care of me because I couldn’t possibly be okay on my own.

Or perhaps I just want the love and companionship that we all look for.

So whether it’s holding hands with the person I love, shopping, travel, or growing old I may be the only one to think like this, but this week’s prompt was to write about whatever was on my mind. Well there you have it.

***

So do you think this is all in my head or do you see what I am saying in this post? You can tell me. My family think I am being hypersensitive so I can take it. Love to hear your perspective on disability and the double meanings of life’s common experiences.

I am pleased and touched to be included in this project, put together by the organizer of the challenge. Check it out here:

The Anthology Edition,

and stay tuned for next week and a return to the posed questions and discussion topics.

Describe a good day in relation to the ways your life is affected by disability.

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Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, Special Occasions

“He For She” and EQUALITY

An article on TheAtlantic.com (The Unsafety Net: How Social Media Turned Against Women) says:

“A 2013 report from the World Health Organization called violence against women “a global health problem of epidemic proportion,” from domestic abuse, stocking, and street harassment to sex trafficking, rape, and murder.

Last Saturday, October 11th, was The International Day of the Girl. The United Nations declared it thus back in 2011 and this year this day just so happened to follow the announcement that was years in the making.

After all she went through at such a young age, all for the basic right to get an education, Malala Yousafzai was awarded as the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. with her advocacy and bravery when speaking up for girls and their right, everywhere around the world, to receive the same educational opportunities as boys, this equality is key for a bright future for both sexes and I have found it a hopeful sign.

I recently found myself growing more and more interested in speaking on gender equality. I often feel like I have a double burden placed upon my back, being both a woman and with a disability.

I guess I used to feel like I couldn’t say anything about my thoughts and feelings on the subject, for fear of sounding like a whining, complaining victim. Oh poor me! Poor her…the poor blind woman!

I feel I am not that far off from being born in a time or a part of the world where I would be less lucky than I currently am and this thought gives me chills. Where would that leave me then? What would my life be like if I had not been alive and brought up at this time in history, in Canada? A blind girl wouldn’t historically or culturally be given all that many opportunities or rights.

I guess it’s only been a coming together of very recent events, first the speech Emma Watson gave at the UN with her “He For She” campaign. And then with Malala’s award. These two aren’t keeping quiet and neither am I for that matter.

Check out the Atlantic article,

Here.

***

I found myself in a fast-food restaurant today with my two-year-old nephew and sister. As my sister got up to dispose of our tray, I remained by the table with my nephew. I held my white cane and he examined it with great interest. He needed to be reminded not to pick it up and let it fly in the air, risking bodily harm to other customers, but then he grabbed my hand and led me carefully out of the restaurant.

Any aggressive little boy behaviours such as playing with a long white stick indoors were instantly switched up for a more intuitive, thoughtful, and sensitive act like helping me out of the restaurant. Just these very gender specific behaviours are valid ones and we can teach both young boys and young girls to be whatever they want to be. That is what we should truly be fighting for, both men and women of the world.

It was the second time he has done this and as I cautiously walked with him to the door, through the entrance, and out and safely crossing the street to the car I felt again a growing awareness in him. Perhaps I am imagining this because I know how smart he is, but he seems to be developing an understanding beyond his years, a thoughtfulness he shows in wanting to help his auntie. This is what I hope, that he receives something many other children don’t, that I can give him an outlook on life through my relationship with him. I will always just have been his aunt first, but his blind aunt with the white cane too.

It’s not about him having to drag me along with him, relieving me of any responsibility for myself as the adult, but that he knows what a white cane is and what it means to hold out a hand and help someone. I see, in him, a growing empathy and kindness that more of the world could stand to learn for themselves, boys and girls from a young age and into adulthood.

I am a big fan of symmetry, more it seems, as I get older. I found this mid-week, Wednesday, Mid-month, October 15th to be highly satisfying. Speaking of equality, for disability, October 15th is International White Cane Safety Day. I want to be taken seriously as a woman with something to offer and as a person, who just so happens to carry a white cane. I hope that campaigns such as Ammas’ and awards such as the one given to Malala and the occasions such as todays’ will make our world a more tolerant place, full of opportunities for us all equally.

***

And finally…

For Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities. Today I remember my memories staying as a patient with my family and, years later, giving back as a volunteer. I celebrate the house that welcomes sick children and their families with open arms, during some of the more difficult moments in life.

I continue to hope for a “Day of Change” all around.

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Book Reviews, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, The Blind Reviewer

Mobility Matters

I will lead the blind by a road they do not know. By paths they do not know I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light. The rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do. I will not forsake them.
– Christ

I found the above quote a few months back. Whether you are religious or not, it seemed to me an uplifting statement of a thought. I found

Amy Bovaird

through Facebook and online. Her mention of travel caught my attention and I hope to speak with her more on that in the future. Today, though, I am pleased to be featuring her memoir “Mobility Matters – Stepping Out in Faith” here on my blog.

Check out more on the memoir

Here,

and you can visit her Facebook page,

Here.

***

Book Review: Mobility Matters – Stepping Out in Faith

By Amy Bovaird

In “Mobility Matters – Stepping Out in Faith” teacher, author, and ghost writer Amy Bovaird lets the reader in on a particularly difficult year in her life. She is in the midst of a transition from the sighted world into that of living blind.

Pity. Denial. These are the themes found throughout this memoir, but why should others not be pitying us if we pity ourselves? I didn’t know what sort of memoir to expect when I started to read, but I was soon drawn in by Bovaird’s storytelling style of some of the biggest hurdles of her life.

In her Spanish class she disguises her vision loss and develops tricks for getting around her hearing loss.

The Spanish word, “ceiga”, in Spanish literature, meaning destitute, old, and either ill-mannered or helpless woman. She has been teaching others for most of her life. She is about to need a teacher, someone to teach her about white cane travel and that is where blind orientation and mobility instructor Bob comes in.

She has been slowly losing vision for years, but up until now able to brush off the signs and pretend it wasn’t really effecting her life. Her Retinitis Pigmentosa, vision and hearing loss are getting harder and harder to ignore.

She has been to thirty-three countries and has lived in six and she is used to being highly independent. Now it is hard not to feel nothing but pitied. The first time she tries out a white cane and a whole new phase of her life is opened up, even if it takes her a while to see it. The white cane is meant to help the user stand out, but that is the last thing she wants to do. I was abel to relate with that, when all you want to do at times is to blend in and to fit in.

From reading I learned Terms like catastrophizing, a great way of summing up a trap people easily fall into. I could immediately relate to many of Amy’s battles in trying to adapt to a life with less sight than before.

Words like sight, vision, and seeing are explored throughout this book and the interpretations of each of these words vary with the person. Amy is learning to live with one foot in each world, but learns from those in her life that the two aren’t all that different in the end. These people remind her to, “filter her circumstances through a lens of laughter. This lesson in itself sums up the contents of this book. Even during her worst moments throughout this story humour finds its way in through the cracks of her fear of the unknown.

She finds herself caught in a trap of denial and fear of being honest to those around her and to herself. People like Bob show up and make her see that she can keep her independence, even as she navigates a new world with less and less sight.

This is a memoir of faith, but you do not need to believe in God to be touched by the lessons Bovaird learns along the way. This is a terrific book for anyone losing their sight and fearing an unknown and sometimes dark future or for anyone who wants to understand what it feels like to live in a world without the sight most take for granted.

In her own dark moments, the voices in her head (or Satan, whichever you believe) she hears things such as:

You should have stopped teaching years ago. How did you ever think you’d be a successful language teacher? You’re deaf, you know, and the way you manage your class is pitiful.

Would I ever feel like one of them? Or would my differences always set me apart?

I am sure we all feel that at one time or another, but as I read statements such as these from Amy, I was happy, at least, to learn I am not alone in feeling like the odd one out sometimes.

She speaks of feelings such as, “the hard bitter pit” in her stomach. Just such lines in this book spoke to me when I read them and are incredibly relatable. She can hardly imagine a day when she might feel comfortable with these new changes she is being forced into.

When the principal of her school asks her to speak to the students about her blindness she resists, unable to imagine finding the courage to make her situation public, but she soon discovers that she can teach others in more ways than she ever thought she could.

She slowly reveals her blindness to one student, showing the girl the tools she uses to help her read. The student shows her interest by looking into the magnifier, commenting how looking through the monocle makes her eye tired and a little dizzy, like blindness. It can be hard to trust others with what you are going through, the disorientation of it all. Amy’s story shows that it is important to let others know what it’s like because they truly do not know.

She will find acceptance from her students, the other teachers, and people she runs into everyday.

One of her fellow teachers makes her aware that she is not alone:

  • We’re in this together Amy. God wants to use us all to the best of our abilities. Even when things don’t go as planned, God has his reasons. So don’t let it get you down. Just go forward.
    • By the end of this book Bovaird has come so far in a short amount of time. She leans on her faith in God and realizes the people in her life have been put there for a reason. She has been taught the tools to succeed and has discovered a motivation and the coping skills for success.
  • Amy comes to a crossroads in her life and knows she has what it will take to live the best life possible.

Stand at the crossroadsAnd look; ask for the ancient paths and where the good way is, and walk it and you will find rest.
Jeremiah 6:16, NIV.

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