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8 Nov

A Word Cloud Is Worth 49 Words

wordle proper

My One Word, wordled. Or rather, my 49 One Words, as decided by you (duplicates were eliminated) and then transcribed into Wordle for the purposes of making a word cloud, which is so last-month-media, but still. Note that I opted to include the word ‘moist,’ despite my deep aversion to it, for the simple reason that a) it was suggested, and b) human beings are 98% water, so it’s probably accurate.

There were some words that were suggested a few times over – open, honest, impassioned/passionate, smart, strong – and I love those words. I also love Catherine J‘s suggestion of ‘Catherine Wheel‘ – which strictly speaking isn’t one word, but two, unless you hyphenate it, which I think that you can do with any words, really – and Annie‘s coinage of ‘philoso-activista,’ which I – being a transliteration-of-ancient-Greek geek, tweaked as ‘philosopho-activista’ – and Alli‘s sensible insistence upon ‘complex’… I love all of these words, really, with the obvious exception of the word ‘moist,’ and can see using all of them. But after reflecting upon all these words, and the ones that I had jotted down, secretly, in my Little Black Notebook Of Words That Don’t Go On The Internet, I settled upon this:

27 Aug

Buffy Only Fought Vampires

I like to think that I’m the sort of person who doesn’t take things for granted. I know how fortunate I am to have the life that I have; I know, too, that the terms and conditions of that life include no guarantees against frustration and sadness and pain and loss. I know, even the most difficult moments, that I have much to be grateful for, that I lead a life that is, for the most part, what the old philosophers might have called choiceworthy. I know that it is choice, largely, that defines my fortune and privilege: I am fortunate enough and privileged enough to be able to choose, to some not insignificant degree, my path and all of its little detours, to choose my pace and my direction, to choose to linger over or to pass by the myriad distractions of life, to gaze into the gloom or to seek out the sunlight. I am lucky, I know this.

It is also a characteristic of this good fortune, this privilege, that I am vulnerable to frustration and sadness (and, possibly, to depression; I’ll reflect upon this further someday) when I am forced to confront my limitations, when I look down this path or the other and see no way around a certain obstacle – some figurative bog or rock or troll-ridden bridge – and have to stop, give up, go a different way. That’s the very definition of privilege, I think – the luxury of getting pissy about being thwarted. Not that those who are less privilege don’t get frustrated at the obstacles that they are forced to confront – it’s just that, I think, the fortunate are more likely to put their hands on their hips and stamp their feet and say that shouldn’t be there, how dare that be there? and collapse to the ground in a resentful huff.

Or something like that.

12 Aug

We Are The World

When all was finally said and done, it wasn’t appearing on CNN in a tutu – nor appearing on CBC in a tutu, or posing in Central Park in a tutu, or watching as a limo slowed down on Fifth Avenue and the passenger leaned out the window and hollered – at me – hey, I saw you on TV in that tutu! – that stood out as the most memorable moment of my week last week. Which, when you think about it, is memorable in itself: I had a week in which I appeared on CNN in a tutu and that particular experience will not be recounted here because, during that particular week, stranger things happened.

Stranger things, like the prayer circle.

4 Aug

What Is UP With All The Tutus?

tutus-for-tannerIf you have to ask that question, you should probably read this first – it’s the story of my nephew, Tanner, who is dying of Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy. It’s kind of a long story. But you should go read it, and maybe also my most recent posts about him, because the story matters. Take your time; I’ll wait.


So, yeah, I’m trying to raise money to make his biggest wish – to live out what time he has left at home – come true, and I’m trying to raise awareness of DMD, and of the challenges facing terminally ill children and their families, and I’m trying to do something, anything, that will make everyone – myself included – slow down a little and really, really cherish the time that they have with their children. And, yeah, that’s all a big job, but Tanner’s worth it – every child who struggles through this kind of thing is worth it – so. But I’m not doing this on my own – far from it – a whole bunch of people have pulled on their tutus (you got to that part in your reading, right?) and designated themselves Fairy Godpersons and are doing stuff to support Tanner and dreams and wishes and the whole project of being real. Stuff like:

3 Aug

Black Flies And Dryer Lint And Dragons, Oh My

It took me a while to figure why I was crying, why I kept bursting into tears at silly, random things, like an excess of dryer lint, or a dearth of toilet paper. I had just figured it to be hormones, or a passing mood, you know, the kind that you fall into when you’ve gone too many nights with too little sleep and then you open the cupboard and there’s not enough coffee for a full pot and you slump against the counter and you cry.

It wasn’t that. I wasn’t crying about coffee.