Walking away is not an option... dialogue must prevail.

"A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with."
- Kenneth A. Wells

"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
- Helen Keller

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Free bird

Late last night, I learned of the passing of Billy Powell, keyboardist for Lynyrd Skynyrd, of an apparent heart attack. I had the privilege of seeing him in concert with mah Honey last year and when he played his solo on "Free Bird" it gave me chills.

Rest in Peace my friend

"If I leave here tomorrow,
Would you still remember me?"

Free Bird
Whiskey Rock-a-Roller

Thursday, January 22, 2009


It feels funny... hitting the "New Post" link on the blog. There's a lot rolling around in my head but I've been having a hard time actually focusing long enough to write.

The first song is one of Chicklet's fav songs... somehow it fits. The second song, well... it felt right.

I received a comment yesterday from someone I simply adore. I want to be just like her when I grow up. *giggles*

It was about President Barack Obama's inauguration... I think she expected there to be a post about it after my last rant. She and I were apparently both thinking about each other a lot that day.

I responded via e-mail that I wasn't sure I had been able to wrap my brain about my emotions and what it all meant... until I visited her post about that great day.

And this is what came out (well, the gist of it):

This was so much bigger than one country. This was a moment for every person who has been told "NO", whether because of race, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, religion (or lack thereof), manner of dress, ...

Mr Obama will be faced with many challenges. He inherits a great mess... but he understands that "NO" just isn't an answer, not an acceptable one.

I have hope, again.

Patriotism isn't measured by grand displays, but rather by pride in where we come from, remembrance of what we've been through and the resolve to keep walking forward on that journey. I hope all nations, all people have the freedom to take that journey.

WE are citizens of the world before anything else. We are all sisters and brothers. When we forget that? We forsake our humanity.

I hope we can all keep that in mind.

To borrow Mr Obama's words: "(...) all are equal , all are free , and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the entire proceedings live (and bawling with Starrlight,... thankfully we both had tissues aplenty). That evening, after picking up my daughter (the very smart and observant future head of the United Nations) from school, she and I watched the coverage of the parade and discussed her day. We had a celebratory diner and broke out a bottle of virgin sparkling apple cider to toast with.

A new day... another step on that journey.

Maybe this is what Cat meant when she gave me this...

Thanks doll, you rock.

It's exhausting at times, being raw and honest and putting it out there - but it's good to have the right to speak up. Of course, I am also thankful for the fact that I can be selective about what I chose to talk about. FREEDOM!!! WOOOOO!

I think I get to pass it on (I don't think there were rules...), so:

Dianne, this award's for you! Your honesty inspires me. Your passion and fire humble me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Are we there yet?

Some things bother me. Things that make it impossible for me to be silent. I should bite my tongue... but then, I would dishonour the memory of my grandfather, my Papou.

You see, both of my paternal grandparents were immigrants.

My grandmother Mary came to Canada (via New York) from Northern Ireland for the chance at a new and better life... and from her I get determination and fire.

My Papou also followed the same route starting off in Greece. When he arrived in Canada, he joined the Greek community in Montreal. Shortly after arriving, he was told (by many people in that community) it would make things easier for him if he changed his name to an "anglo" name, Greeks (and many other ethnic groups) weren't seen in a positive light. He was determined to be a success in his new country. In an effort to lessen the discrimination and "fit in", he changed his name. I was kneehigh to a grasshoper when he passed away and never got a chance to ask him how he felt about that. Yet with all this, he was still proud of his adoptive country and I am certain that, while my grandmother was beside herself with worry as her baby boys signed up with the military (Dad with the Army and Uncle John in the Airforce) during WWII, my grandfather's chest swelled with pride.

I was asked recently if I believed that there was no discrimination in Canada... Ha! Instead of unleashing the "fire", I stayed on topic and continued to express my views on the discrimination faced by seemingly the current target of choice, Muslims.

This question came during a discussion about a case that was settled in the States recently. The case of Raed Sarrar, a man who was harassed and treated like a terrorist by the folks at Jetblue and two officials of the TSA. He had been found not to be a threat after two levels of security inspection. He was discriminated against because he wore a t-shirt with Arabic script. People had complained (as their right to free speech allows), they felt uncomfortable.

I was disturbed that what seemed to preoccupy people the most was that a victim of discrimination was given a settlement for 240 000$, but the fact that the airline and the TSA never admitted they had acted improperly wasn't of concern. I was outraged that blame for this mistreatment was put upon the shoulders of the victim because he wore a t-shirt with Arabic script in an airport. I saw many people comment that he should have known better, that he was "looking for trouble" and failed to use common sense. Which made me wonder... where is the line supposed to be? What is this common sense? Because I would like to think that I am not totally lacking in this area and yet I don't see how he seemed to have had a "common sense brain fart". What is acceptable? Who decides this? Could someone post the rules? Wanting to restrict items based on the level of threat they can pose is one thing, but a t-shirt? Because it makes people (racists) uncomfortable?

Step on my freedoms for that?

I think not.


Mr. King, we still have many miles to go before we can rest... but we've made progress. (Folks, I really hope you watch this video.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I love you more than mah luggage...

I know I should say something about today. About Mom. About this anniversary, losing her to cancer two years ago.

I've written and re-written this post many times.

All I can think of is a scene from Steel Magnolias... It's not the same situation, this is not a mother losing a daughter, but something Sally Field says stays in my mind.

There is poetry and grace in that as my mother was there when I made my way into the world, I was there when she left it. It was one of my life's greatest gifts.

Life goes on...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"life is just a chance to grow a soul" - A. Powell Davies

I've been doing a lot of thinking over the past few days, apparently it's a Libra trait (right Ron?) and it gets me into trouble, constantly. I've been wondering about "what I want vs what I need" (this? is why I told you to get out of my head IG... LOL)

I also realized that things will come, in their own time, no matter how I may stand arms crossed, lips in a pout while tapping my awesomely heeled shoe. I know, you're thinking how can life, fate, serendipity (pick one) resist such a lovely lass when she's being all cute and precious... it's a tragedy, but the laws of the Universe apparently also apply to yours truly.

So now, I look at my life and ask myself questions. Actually, THE question. What do I need from life, and how do I get it. Then that leads to: what do I need from my next job (have an offer for me?)? Do I need a career? Or something to pay the bills? I had a very deep exchange about it this weekend with a kindred spirit.

But, I think I'll be wise and chase one rabbit at a time. I want, no, I need to go home. That's the goal. I've found my soulmate, my home. It has taken us a long time to find each other. We knew from the first touch we were home to each other. Even though we can't be together as often as we would like, I won't complain. Not about the geographical distance, about sharing our time with anyone... I'm not that selfish or ungrateful. So now, I have to remember what the goal is and remember to nurture it so my soul can grow. Then I can focus on the next rabbit...

So tell me, have you given some thought to what you need? Do you think it changes over time?

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm not actually here

... I'm baking a cake.

Happy 65th Birthday Jimmy Page!

Rock on, man.

I always need a cold shower after that song... dang!