November 27, 2003

Learning to Write

It's Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. and I'm glad to be in Canada...where I can still watch the Macy's Day Parade via satellite and not have to worry about cooking an enormous turkey or wonder why the Governor of Florida allows the Miami police to hunt down innocent protestors (and people walking down the street minding their own business) with rubber pellet guns.
Common Dreams Headlines

Well, I suppose I'd still wonder about good old Jeb no matter where I lived. If you are wondering too, why don't you write him a letter and let him know what you're thinking.

I've been thinking a lot about the power of letter writing as of late. I joined PEN Canada's Rapid Action Network. Each week I have the opportunity to add my name to an appeal to help writers who are unjustly imprisoned for expressing their beliefs. You can add your voice to the network and you don't even have to be a member of PEN.
Pen Canada

And speaking of prisons....
One more thought for the day.
Hats off to Daniel Richler, host of Richler Ink, who put together a nice little montage of young students reading excerpts of John Taylor Gatto's article, "against school" (as featured in Harpers Sept 2003 issue).

My son is a happy, healthy, creative, thinking-for-himself unschooler. Thank God we pulled him out, or he'd still be telling me , "No Mom, I can't write the word 'cat' in cursive letters... Teacher says we'll learn "T " in a couple of weeks. We're not to try it until then."
Watch out for those "t"s, evidently they have the power to warp young minds if taken on too soon.
John Taylor Gatto

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November 01, 2003


I can see why the Celts chose this as the time of year for new beginnings. The night comes on so quickly now...cold enough to turn thoughts inward, leaving them unexpected and sometimes dark. Things I have been dreaming of, wanting, are coming to the surface, leaving me a bit frightened as well as excited. It's good to have those feelings. I am learning to run towards them rather than turning away.

The Northern Lights have shocked the sky over my house the past couple of nights. The first night, we lost power just as they started. A balmy south wind ushered them in and I sat in a lawn chair, my two-year-old nestled in my arms, our faces turned with awe to the heavens above. The second night was more spectacular than the first, long, stretching fingers of red and pink undulating between the stars, reaching above our heads, telling me to never abandon this place I call home.

I recently finished reading "Making a Literary Life" by Carolyn See. A wonderful book that reaffirmed my passion for writing 'charming notes' and sending them out into the world. They really do work. Just the week before, I had sent a letter to Pamela Wallin, Consul General to New York City, thanking her for her courage in sharing her battle with colorectal cancer with the rest of the world. Thursday morning the phone rang and Ms. Wallin was on the other end of the line, calling to say that my words, my charming little note, had 'made her day, her week, her year.' And if you were wondering...yes, she is kind and gracious and wonderful sounding over the phone!

We ended the conversation by agreeing that people need to do this sort of thing more often. Take a chance and let someone know you appreciate who they are.
What we do, what we say, our WORDS do indeed make a difference.