January 20, 2009

Hope in a foreign land.



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:

[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

I am Canadian to the core of my being.

This being said, the inauguration of President Barack Obama in the United States of America, which is taking place today, inspires in me awe and hope.

As I watch the television coverage of the inauguration I am experiencing a flood of thoughts and feelings. There are tears in my eyes, as there are tears in the eyes of the Americans I see on the screen. The size of the crowd is breathtaking, the media estimates two million people gathered in Washington to share this event. The mood is joyous. It is quite an experience to see this as it is happening, as many people all over the world are seeing it happen. There will be more accurate and interesting descriptions of the inauguration than I could offer here, therefore I will focus on how this very big event in world history affects one very small life in a country foreign.

First of all I feel small, very small. My existence on this planet, at this time, is of no relevance to the events I am witnessing. And yet, these events are of tremendous significance to the events that occur in my little life. The decisions made by the new president, how these decisions impact Canadian politics and the Canadian economy, will determine the quality of what remains of my life.

When Obama was elected, the television camera panned the faces of an American crowd, I don't know where. On every face, every possible kind of face, there shone hope. This is the very first time in my life that I have seen this.

What I saw reflected my own existence; the hope I have maintained since early childhood, the hope that I have attached to no one man or woman, politic or religion or philosophy, but to the human species, and have stubbornly and entirely refused to abandon.

All my life I have been told by those who would have promoted my status in the world, that I am too stubborn, that I must betray that integrity I hold so dear, in order to succeed. I did bend, oh yes, but not so much that I could not yet again stand and reach for the light in my own right and with dignity. It appeared that I would not follow sage advice, but it was only that I could not. My achievements, as a result, are celebrated solely by myself, my deity and those who know me.

My experience with politicians has been disappointing. As a teenager, I was smitten by the inspiring words of Tommy Douglas, a prominent figure in Canadian politics. His accomplishments were many and admirable. I did not so much idolize him, as feel passionately inspired by what he professed. A school trip to Ottawa and our parliament showed me another side to what it means to be a politician, a side I had not expected.

I was standing in the parliament building, in a hallway open to the public, when I saw Mr. Douglas approaching, walking, talking with other suited men. There were no media representatives present, no audience, just a few high school students standing in the hallway. As soon as I realized who he was, I was awestruck, I stood mesmerized. I watched his approach, and briefly thought, hoped, in my youthful naivety, that he might speak to me. I was in his way, he pushed past me. He did not look at me. I stepped back, out of his way.

Since then I have felt very small when in the presence of the politic, while in the presence of the machines of power. Since then I have wondered at the insignificance of the ordinary individual in the machinations of power. To date, for me, this is an unresolved issue. I live in hope.

Today, I watch the joy of the musicians Pearlman, Ma, Montero and McGill. I hear President Obama's words. I cry. The event is very big, in many ways. I hear a rustle on the chair next to mine, and glance to my side to see Mist, my companion in this small life, shifting her paw as she sleeps. We are all breathing, Mist, Obama, the Americans in Washington, the people of North America, people all over the world and I. We are all breathing; at last.

Despite momentous events elsewhere on the planet, our little life carries on as usual. Today I paid a few bills and calculated that we might catch up by the end of March, if we are very careful. The snow plow went by this morning and Attila had to park the car on the road when he came home for lunch, as the snow bank across the end of the driveway was too deep for the car. It is going to be cold tonight, -20 C or so, so we are burning three fires. "It's all good", as Helena likes to say.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

The slanting rays of a winter sunrise.

On The Screen
President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony.

By The Easy Chair
Dragonfly in Amber
by Diana Gabaldon

"Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration."
Thomas Alva Edison

-12 C
Wind: N 7km/h
Sunrise: 7:48
Sunset: 17:08
Relative Humidity: 56%
Pressure: 101.25 kPa
Visibility: 6.4 km *
Ceiling: unlimited

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_blogging

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