Monday, December 31, 2018

Fulcrum

Our word for today is "fulcrum." I have a love-hate relationship with this word.  It means a pivotal point. In fact, fulcrums are essential, if you want an "easy life." Think of the importance of hinges on doors, or that gadget that holds an oar in place on a row boat or the small grey rock I place under my spade in the garden to lift out the Hostas for re-planting.

Yes, fulcrums make life easier. They make things work. However, I don't like the sound of the word. The "ful" sounds too much like "fool" and the "crum" is "crumb." Put them together and they sound nasal, pedantic, almost silly. On the other hand, fulcrum, is too elevated a word for the small inconspicuous devices it describes.



Fulcrum is to physics, as catalyst is to chemistry. What can I say, I love the word catalyst. It sounds like crystals and reminds me of diamonds. A catalyst makes chemical change happen or at least happen faster. It is liquid energy, whereas a fulcrum is some overlooked mechanical pivot, that, OK, maybe makes the world go round, but you wouldn't necessarily know it.



Now apply these words, these concepts to life. If you were choosing a partner, for example, would you want a catalyst or a fulcrum? Would you want some sparkly bit of glamour, who could change your life in a moment? Or would you want the steady rock, the one who bears the weight of the changes, easing the burden of life's transitions, as unobtrusively as a hinge or an oarlock?

In literature, the answer is most beautifully illustrated in Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. It's worth the read.

The pictures? The best I could do for fulcrum.

Have a pivotal day!!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Medium...

Our word for today is "medium." On the surface, it's a very common, unpretentious, almost banal word. Do not be deceived! It has a depth, that borders on the mystical......

I first thought of "The Medium is the Message." I'm a great fan of Marshall McLuhan, who was probably the first person to make us aware that who or what carries the message to us is almost as important as the message itself. Consider, for example, the medium in a seance. Without this medium there would be no communication with the "otherworld."



Social Media is now the primary conveyer of our messages to the world. Can we go as far as to say that without Social Media, we could not communicate with the general public? Or the general public with us. How valid is what we hear or what we read, if it comes from Twitter, Instagram or Facebook? To what extent do people trust our messages on the same platforms? Is there a trusted medium out there?

Who reads newspapers anymore? (Well, I do.) Who watches TV apart from Netflix or its various incarnations? Who listens to the radio? In fact, journalists, our mediums of truth, are being restrained, imprisoned, killed. Be afraid be very afraid!



I'm on Facebook far more than I should be. It's a bit of a time waster and ironically, I really don't have that much time to waste. But that's an aside. Once caught up in the ever changing milieu of messages, ads that look like messages, and propaganda that looks like a friend's post, one can easily be hypnotized into believing almost anything.

I know that social media is not the only medium we can use. There is still writing, painting, music, dance, theatre. However, that on-line stream of information is constant, immediate and accessible to almost anyone, anytime, anyplace. Therein lies its power.



What every happened to the nondescript "medium." You know - Coffee - medium, no sugar. Or, sweater size - medium, no collar. Or height - medium, dark hair. I used to think that I would go through life always a medium, a universal average, nothing very special or spectacular. But I now know that as a medium - a conveyer of knowledge or opinion - I can be very powerful!! I do, though, need to get my numbers up.

Have a spectacular day!!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Intricate

It was my turn to give a word in our writing exercise today. This time, it just popped into my head - intricate. I thought of the word partly because I was thinking of the intricate detail that artists bring to their work. I know that some can simply draw a few lines on a canvas and everyone calls it Art. I wasn't thinking of them.



I was thinking of fine detail, of filigree, of the hours working with many colours, of the delicate strands, the filaments used to shape, shade and sharpen an artistic piece. Partly, I admire the patience - writing and re-writing a paragraph, for example, until the right words are in the perfect order to covey not just the message, but the feeling, the angst, the joy, the layers of meaning beyond the words and the syntax.



I was also thinking of the thought processes behind the work. The times when the artist says, "I need something more here." or "I have to correct and imbalance there." Intricate elements are then added. A gown may be trimmed with lace, a jacket, braided or a glove, appliquéd.



Where does this knowledge of what to add and what not to add, come from? Where in the intricate workings of the brain does the artist know when to stop and when to keep going? Some look to nature. Few things are more complex than the veining of a leaf, the shading of a flower or the composition of an insect. The magic happens, though, when an artist creates a leaf on paper, a flower from fabric or an insect in sheet metal and we say, "Wow!"


The pictures? Bits of Art and nature.

Have a special day!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Hangover...

Our word for today is "hangover." It might be more appropriate to write this for New Year's Day, when celebrants have had too much alcohol to drink the night before. Of course, some have hangovers everyday. So today would be just like any other.

Fortunately, it's been a long time since I've suffered a hangover from drinking too much. Yes, with age comes maturity, for some. A favourite expression in the pubs in England on Sunday was "hair o' the dog?" It was a way of starting a conversation, as many nursed a hangover on Sunday, brought on by Saturday night parties.



I'd forgotten the exact meaning of the phrase, but according to wikipedia, it was considered a cure for a bite by a rabid dog. Put a few hairs of the dog on the wound to cure it - drink some booze the next day to fix your hangover. It was a popular remedy from the time of the ancient Greeks, observed in most European countries and by extension a good part of the world.

The word hangover, however, is not just limited to the negative effects of alcohol, it is also used to describe something that is now obsolete. For example:



1. When we first bought our house, we had a clothesline in the back yard -  a hangover from when people (women) hung clothing out to dry. Some still do. It saves on energy, well, maybe not human energy. :)

2. Our house still has a milk box - a hangover from when milk was delivered to your door every morning. (We obviously treat milk now, to make it last longer - what's been lost?) Today, we often find, in our milk box, mail from a postman (person) who was too lazy to climb the steps to our front door.



3. It's the rare family, in Toronto anyway, that parks a car in their garage. In fact today many people are converting their garages, especially in laneways into small flats. In fact, we still have some very large homes, in the city, with carriage houses - a hangover from a time before cars, when the wealthy owned carriages and the horses to pull them, as well as, the groomsmen, footmen, drivers etc.



Will cars soon be considered a hangover from an earlier time? What else might disappear? The landline "phone on the wall" is almost obsolete. Maps are passe´, churches are being converted to condos, retail shops to nail salons, and gas stations to restaurants. In fact, the only thing I see that has made a comeback is the bicycle. People ride now in winter, there are more and better bike lanes (we still need more and better bike lanes). There are public bike racks, and areas to rent bikes conveniently around the city.

Can I dream of other activities that I would like to see revived?

The pictures? Hangovers from an earlier time and the penny farthing, from a time when money was worth more. Now there are no pennies and I'm not sure there were ever farthings in Canada.

Have a memorable day.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Entangle

It was my turn to provide a word for our writing exercise today. Sometimes, it's not easy to just "come up with a word." Yes, verbiage clutters my mind all the time, however, when asked to isolate just one word for a writing exercise, I'm often "stuck."

I did, though, ask the cosmos for this one. I looked out the window at a mesh of branches interlaced against a sullen sky and thought of entanglements. Even stripped to the bare bones, nature is complex. Life is intricate and people, perplexing.



We complicate our lives or others complicate our life for us. We may set upon a path that seems direct, even easy in its simplicity, only to find detours. We may be forced to navigate unmarked roads, un-blazed trails. We may wander for a long time in a tangle of underbrush, looking for a clearing.



I know we have inner compasses - Faith in ourselves - Belief in the goodness of others - Hope in times of utter hopelessness, but we still must find our own way out of the entanglements that snare us. Sometimes we have to break a branch or two to find that clearing. We might have to, for example, disentangle ourselves from relationships, or from forces that distort our compass. Or wait patiently for the mists to clear.



The image of untangling the entangled is perhaps easier for knitters to grasp. We often untangle yarn. We may sit for hours, finding the free end and then tracing it through its many switchbacks, loops, knots and general mayhem until we have a smooth ball of wound yarn with which to work our magic.



Because once we have that clear path, we can create a most amazing life!!

Have an un-entangled day!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Contact.....

Today, our writing word is contact. For me, contact, is all about connections... clicking... finding your other half.

The other day we were talking about time wasters or maybe they were time soothers, pastimes that eased the troubled mind. Some played solitaire, others did crossword puzzles and still others preferred the more graphic jig saw puzzle. If you do jig saw puzzles on-line, there is a very satisfying "click" when you insert the right piece into the puzzle. You have made a perfect connection!!



Now, take the concept of the jig saw puzzle into the world, to the masses of people "out there," and try to assemble the pieces - a daunting task. Maybe you could just limit your search to the piece or pieces that would be right beside you in the puzzle. You know, the one with a bit of fuzzy purple on it or maybe it's the one with the red line through it.



How do we go about making contact with the people that will put our picture together? They must be people with similar life patterns and their knobs and notches must click with our knobs and notches to make it all work.

Extroverts, those people who make contact all the time, processing hundreds of people in a week, let's say, might have very little trouble putting the pieces together. But, what of introverts? Those shy corner pieces that need only to connect with two other pieces to make their life complete, or at least that small corner of the whole picture.



One year my daughter gave me a jig saw puzzle of the Eiffel Tower in shades of sepia. It took me a week to complete because of the lack of any distinctive colour. It might very well have been a comment on my life - constructing something memorable from an otherwise tedious palette. OK, it did take a while!

The pictures? Puzzling, almost colourless pieces. I love black and white photography and I miss the old contact sheets! Smile if you've been there :)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

And still I (We) Rise....

It's been a long time since I've written a post. What can I say? Life gets in the way of writing. I know, I've said before, if you're really serious, life should be writing. Well, unfortunately for writing, I happen to be serious about a lot of things. I need to focus!

Today, or at least, this morning, I can focus on writing and our word, for a long time, has been "endurance." Thank you for enduring the wait :)

For me endurance is all about being in it for the long haul. Maybe it's a relationship and you just don't give up. You work at keeping it together. It's easy to enjoy the good times, but you have to endure - and make better - the not so good times.



Endurance is also about yourself. How you "hang in there" for the long haul. How you buoy yourself up in the dark days of winter. How you find peace, when everyone around you seems to be raving mad. Where you find the resources, that deep well of strength, to get you through a negative diagnosis, a separation, a death....a something.

We talk, we write, we paint about the indomitable human spirit - How we take on challenges to test and strengthen our endurance; how we build our tolerance on a daily basis; how we resist in small measurable acts until Justice or Peace or Love has been restored.



I once said to a friend that I have a fairly high tolerance for pain. I thought that it might have come from two basic situations in my childhood. 1. If you live in a family that struggles daily to survive, you don't add to their struggles by suggesting that you are in pain, or some distress. You keep it to yourself and work it out, somehow. This concept was supported by the nuns in the Catholic schools I went to. 2. If you were in pain at school or some type of distress, you were told to, "offer it up for the souls in purgatory." Through your suffering you might free up one poor soul, paying the price for a venial sin, and send them to heaven.

A pious thought, maybe, but a giant endurance builder. Then again maybe I believed all those, "stiff upper lip" movies we watched - Once more into the breach and damn the torpedos - full speed ahead!!

The pictures? Building the endurance muscle!

Have a tolerable day!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Rights..

Our writing challenge this time is the word, "rights." Maybe there is also a bit of synchronicity here too, because someone was reading a post of mine from 2012 about Thunder Bay. I included this quotation in it -

"The foolish are like ripples on water, for whatsoever they do is quickly effaced; But the righteous are like carvings upon stone, For their smallest act is durable." 

Horace.


When I think of the acts of protest by people who were protecting our rights, I remember the marches in the '60s against racism. I remember the people who went to fight in two world wars against fascism. I remember history classes about the French Revolution. I remember teaching the concept of heroism in Greek mythology and citing Bobby Sands and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. In fact, we still live in the aftermath of the US' civil war...the list goes on.


These were huge efforts to protect our right to freedom, to the many freedoms, most some of us have today. I might have written "most" about fifty years ago. There was a time, when we were moving in the "right" direction, as far as human rights were concerned, now, we are in retrograde. Neither are we seeing any positive progression against racism, fascism, or the fostering of woman's rights, we are actually seeing the rights we have won, being overturned, negated.



I would like to believe that the truly righteous will prevail and justice, though, "lame of foot," will stop these tyrants, these manipulators, from ruining civilization, as we know it. Unfortunately, too often, those who struggle for justice's sake bear the marks of their fight, both internally and externally. They are the stones on which the enemy carves. Let us hope their acts, their scars endure and continue to speak through our actions.

The pictures? We must be strong!!


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Fusion...

Another word for the writing challenge is "fusion" - the joining of two or more things to create a third. I couldn't help playing with this word, by fusing it with other words, OK, prefixes. Hence, from fusion, we can make - confusion, diffusion, suffusion, effusion, affusion. It's an interesting way of increasing one's vocabulary and/or creating new words. For example, I desperately wanted to make reffusion, but it doesn't appear to be a word, as yet. Well, that hasn't stopped a lot of writers - why not just make one up!!



"The refusion of his existence, did not make him go away" or something like that.

Today, though, fusion is the word and mixing things up is the game. In Art, collages are a fusion of images to create a statement. In food, fusion is the combining of dishes from different cultures to create a new taste - bruschetta with couscous, perhaps.  And in fashion, designers fuse tutus with Doc Martens for a dramatic look.



In fact, so many new ideas are just a fusion of several old ideas, especially when we break the rules, blur the images and diffuse the rigidity.




Fusion happens in people too - the most basic being procreation. Two identities are joined to make a third. Sometimes cultures are joined to make a totally different ethnic group. Most often, though, one culture is assimilated into another and disappears. Only the very strong resist the fusion forming sub-groups, and creating, at times, confusion.


Obviously, my Latin is showing and my delight in playing with words.

The pictures? Mixers and mixed messages from a suffused view of the world.

Have an effusive day!!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Adjustments

Another word to write about (about which to write)....I may be catching up, but I may also be losing it!!

Adjustments....let me count the ways. How many times in a day, an hour, even a minute, do we make adjustments? Smooth the hair, settle the jacket, sniff, blink..... It's those unconscious movements or moments that strengthen us to face the world.....



......Where we adjust to a constantly changing environment - new medications, new hips, new knees, new places to live, new friends, new losses....

All this, while the world adjusts on a grander scale...icebergs melt, weep, perhaps, species die, climates roil! The list goes on.



It becomes too much at times - "Stop the world. I want to get off." It's the title of an old musical, I saw once and I've never forgotten.

We need escapes. Can we escape with or into Art? For the moment, we can still escape into nature, on a good day, if a tree, or something green isn't too far away. We can escape into a book - a form of Art, to be sure. A lot of the people, I know, escape into knitting, it's a handicraft and in it's highest form it is design and fibre Art.


Some people escape into hobbies. My husband has taken up cooking - this is a dangerous hobby :) My daughter curls twice a week. My sister does Ancestry.com and my youngest "games." They stop the world for moments to adjust the salt in a recipe, sweep the rock, read the obit, shoot the evil overlord.

The pictures? My son's art in a new gallery in Calgary. He stops the world with paint and canvas. Can you guess my favourite?

Have an adjusted day!!

Friday, November 09, 2018

Inventive...

Inventive is our word for this week or maybe the past two weeks. Life has been getting in the way of writing. I know life should be writing, if you are very serious, but I happen to be serious about a few things, so everything gets done in its own time!!

What can I say - It's important to be inventive - to come up with new ideas, new ways of doing "things" or new ways of being!! Let me tell you about my inventive day, yesterday. My friend suggested that we go to a thrift store and buy some clothing, we would normally NOT wear for $25.00 or less. The seed for the idea came from the concept of "Advanced Style." It's the idea that woman of a certain age can, wait!! actually, should wear interesting and exciting clothes, not just functional, serviceable black!!



I'm certainly guilty of the black. Also, I rarely wear scarves and never wear bling. That may all change. Both of us spent over two hours going through racks saying things like, "OK, this is definitely not me" or "it's not me but, I still wouldn't wear it in a hundred years." We spent the last half hour trying on our "finds" and discussing their merits, as articles of Advanced Style.



I was charmed by two gorgeous beaded caftans with pants that I almost bought. I just wasn't sure I could make the leap. Change for me happens in baby steps. I did, though, buy an amazing jacket for $8.99. It isn't me. Well it might have been me of twenty or thirty years ago. Time to turn back the clock!!

Did I mention that a darling (not daring) Ralph Lauren blouse slipped into the mix for $9.99. It was really a "me." So I couldn't pass it up.



I plan to get more inventive soon. I like the idea of combining several items, perhaps sewing a skirt or a loose top from a few panels of something else. This would be the fusion of Advanced Style and Slow Clothing. I wonder if I can become that fashion designer, I've always wanted to be or some sort of super model? (Auto correct changed super to supper, well that too, because my newly retired husband has taken up cooking as a hobby!!)

Have a fashionable day!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Hostile..

Our word for the last few day has been "hostile." With the election and all, I haven't found the time to write, until now. For better or for worse - here it is.

Yes, we live in hostile times. One year under the Trump administration and Canadians have been turned away at the border, insulted often and, generally, treated like some nasty disease. Sigh!

Even if we ignore the border and focus on what is Canadian, we see so many problems, as well, at home. There is gun violence, unheard of in the past. There is no affordable housing. It's hard to find meaningful work that pays a decent wage. Our infrastructure is rotting. Huge high rises dominate the landscape. Construction is everywhere. Common activities, such as, biking and walking are dangerous. The world seems to be against us.



Words, like peace and harmony, rarely come to mind and if they do, it's a memory. Even our quiet neighbourhood has been decimated. Eight house to the east of us have been sold to build townhouses, which will increase the density from eight households to forty or fifty. Families that we have known for thirty years have moved. It's sad.

A good deal of the unrest in the world is because of climate change. There are now deserts where arable land once was and the farmers have moved. There's no work for them or their children. It's easy for right wing ideologies to bind jobless people into a fighting force to destroy what they can't have.



Hordes of people are trying to escape this destruction, forcing themselves on other countries, which have their own problems. There is a huge imbalance now, too much unrest.

At some point, though, the pendulum must swing to the left and we will again have a sense of freedom, peace and harmony. Unless, of course, the pendulum is a wrecking ball.

The pictures?  -  peace and harmony

Have a thoughtful day.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Patches...

My word for this post is "patches." Finally, I found sometime to write. I know I've been holding up my writing partner, but I got a rush of orders for Infiknit and well the orders come first!! Anyway, the delay has given me time to think about the word. It is actually my word, in the sense that it was my time to set the writing topic.

Well, what can I say, I live my life in patches. For some their life is a linear progression, you know - birth to death, Monday to Friday, Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring. Certainly the progression of time is linear, in my life, but how I fill that time is erratic, much like a Crazy Quilt design is erratic. A small piece here to play the piano - A larger piece there for domestic "stuff" like cooking and cleaning - A very unusual polygon for the creative escapes, that happen, when there is time. Repetitive blue patches for my morning writing. Weird and wonderful prints in Chagall-ian placements for my dreams at night - the pieces go on...



In crazy quilting all of these patches would be joined with the fairy-like feather stitch. I can see myself in this stitch too, jumping from one activity to another in shades of pink and orange. Other patches would hold appliqués, or more embroidery - those rich moments that add depth to a few colourless hours - meeting a friend for coffee or reading a good book. Ribbons, beads, buttons and other oddments will find a home somewhere on the quilt, like gems of thoughts that brighten our days.



I wonder if this is the cosmos speaking to me. I have been reading a lot lately about the slow clothing movement, about up cycling, or mending, or repurposing the garments we might other wise throw out. There was a time when no one threw away anything. Fabric was expensive. Every scrap was re-used again and again until it ended up in a patchwork quilt. Slow clothing is a movement to bring back this way of thinking. There is also a part of this movement that asks you to leave something of yourself behind. Something you have created to make the world a better place.



My mother, towards the end, crocheted everyone an afghan. She used yarn from resale stores and created some lovely throws. I do, however, miss her smocking, which might have been captured in a quilt. When I did work with fabric, I selected scraps from the garments I remember members of my family wearing. It was a way to hold onto them a little longer.



Quilts are photo albums in fabric. Certainly we can touch a photo, but when we touch a piece of fabric, that was actually worn by someone, we come very close to touching them.

I quilt, but I knit more than I work with fabric, so my patches for the moment are knit. However, when I hauled out my old Crazy Quilt wall hanging, I though hmmmm, maybe I need to start doing some fabric stitching too.

Have a crazy day!!

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Poise..

Our next word is "poise" - grace, especially grace under pressure. It's a word for our times. For women coming forward to address the issue of sexual harassment, the worst being rape. Certainly Christine Blasey Ford showed poise - grace under extreme pressure, in her testimony against Brett Kavanaugh, which was televised.

It takes a very strong woman to come forward to accuse an even stronger man, with even stronger connections of rape - we should all be as strong and poised. Poise also means balance, equilibrium. We have to know what is right and act accordingly. We have to expose what is not right!!

Truth and equilibrium hang in the balance. Will the US seek truth and elect a balanced government in November? Will a nation that holds the balance of power for the world be realigned? Or will a few who seek power and privilege sway the "balance" in their favour and destroy the equality, the equilibrium for everyone?

Stand tall, stand true. Carry your weight - vote for what is right for everyone. Restore equality. We are poised - balanced on the brink of keeping what shreds of justice we still have or losing everything. We need strong poised people to vote and help others to vote and speak the truth, however difficult that may be!!

No pictures today. Some things can't be captured in a photo or at least in the quick pics that I take. It's difficult to take a picture of hope!!

Have a balanced day!!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Mozart.....

Our word for today is "music." Well, it's been our word for a few days now and I just haven't set aside the time to write a post. Nor have I set aside time to do a number of tasks related to The Artists' Way, the 12-week course I'm working on. So I decided to do as much as I could to-day!!



My Artist's "date" was to listen to some music outdoors, so I put on my odometer, found some Mozart on YouTube and set out to walk through the cemetery listening to "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - a little night music at 8:30AM- The story of my life!!

I walked for 6.70kms live streaming these incredible symphonies until my phone died. Although, I had set out with 72% charged, all those violins must have taken a lot of energy and the French Horns - well, what can I say, they were a blast!!



I did have some creative thoughts though. Just before I left, Brainpickings reminded me that it is Leonard Cohen's birthday today, so I could think of his thoughts on creativity, my favourite being - "There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." I actually belong to a group on Ravelry, dedicated to those knitters, who also love Leonard Cohen - we're a small select group.



I do like walking through Mt. Pleasant cemetery. It's also an arboretum, with gorgeous old trees. William Lyon MacKenzie King is buried there, as are a number of other dignitaries. I, invariably pass headstones I've seen before, they're like old friends. It's hard to find a quiet place in the city. Even the places that were once quiet are getting noisier, busier. I think I have to do my walk on a weekday, rather than a Saturday and I think I'll try another composer. Mozart is actually quite raucous!!

The pictures? Light, music and cemeteries.

Have a thoughtful day!!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Perfectionism...

Perfectionism is our word for today. I am not a perfectionist, although I am getting better. I marvel at people who spend time on "things" to get everything just right. I'm more of the "just do it." Not so much to dash it off - a league or so away from perfection, but just to get the project done. I have a habit of not finishing "things."



Now there is a person in my knitting group who is a perfectionist. She is always perfectly "turned out" - make-up applied, finger nails done, clothing immaculate and co-ordinated. Her knitting is also precise - beautiful shawls, intricate details, perfect colour combinations. I am always in awe. Last week she taught us how to knit a beaded bracelet. There are 8 of us in the group. Well, she prestrung beads for us in amazing combinations. We were working with over 100 beads per bracelet and everyone of those beads was hand selected and placed in the queue in such a way that every bead complimented each other. I need to acquire some of that perfectionism.



I see perfection in nature. Not all the time - the garden is looking a little ratty this September, but there are a few flowers, especially the roses, that are opening to the perfect multi-foliate rose. I remember the word, multi-foliate, from a poem by T. S. Eliot, The Hollow Men. I know it means something else in the poem, but to me, it means rose windows in ancient cathedrals, precious flowers in perfect gardens and complex people (friends) with many layered personalities.


The pictures? beads and roses.

Have a picture perfect day!!

Friday, September 07, 2018

Go-Fund Me

My friend has started a "Go-Fund Me" campaign to help bring the minimum wage project, which was started by the Liberal government and cancelled by the new government, to completion. It has one more year after this one, to run its course and be accurately evaluated. People on the program - 4,000 in all, have enrolled in courses, put deposits on apartments, started new projects, because of the government support. We can't destroy their dreams. Here is what my friend is doing.

   I started a GoFundMe campaign to support photographer Jessie Golem’s - Humans of Basic Income project.
   Jessie was a Basic Income participant who was, prior to the program, working 4 jobs to earn enough to care for herself. Basic Income allowed her to grow her photography business and get a better paying job so she could leave Basic Income behind. She worked her way, with a leg up, to self-sufficiency.
   Basic Income is a 3 year pilot program started by the Wynne Government to test “whether a basic income can better support vulnerable workers, improve health and education outcomes for people on low incomes, and help ensure that everyone shares in Ontario’s economic growth.” The Ford Government passed down a decision to cancel the program next March, after 2 years, despite a campaign promise to not do so. The effectiveness of the pilot can only be known when the 3 year pilot is complete and evaluated.
    4000 participants made commitments to housing, college and university, based on the government’s promise. They are now struck in worse positions.
    Please take a look at the the GoFundMe campaign for all the details and donate if you are able. In any case, please forward the campaign to friends you think might be interested.

https://www.gofundme.com/humans-of-basic-income

   Jessie and I will be grateful.



I clicked on the linked and made a donation. I have had good fortune most of my life. I felt that Gayle's Go-Fund Me campaign was a great way of spreading this good fortune to others, in fact 4,000 other people with just a click. How often do these opportunities present themselves in the daily to-ing and fro-ing of our lives. WOW a $4.00, $40.00, $400.00 donation from anyone (or all) of us will directly impact the lives of 4,000 people. Don't miss it!!

The picture? A family whose dreams will be shattered.

Have an awesome day


Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Crowds...

Our word for today is "crowds." It's from an article I was reading about the crowds of tourists practically destroying the treasures they have come to see. I have said before, there are too many people in this world. That being said, I still find it eerie to be alone in a deserted area.



We had an encounter in Barcelona a few years ago. It was just off Las Ramblas, which was crowded with tourists, however the side streets were empty. We were approached by two man, who fortunately didn't take our money, although they did ask for our passports, which we had decided to leave at home. It was unnerving.



In Malaga, if you go up to the castle along the south walk, there are streams of people. If you go up on the North side, there are very few people, and some of them are a little strange. We tend to stay on the more travelled paths. However, even on a busy walk once, we suddenly found ourselves alone, facing a weird woman who was trying to take my wallet, while selling me Rosemary.



Both of these incidents happened in winter. I have seen the crowds in early June and I'd never go anywhere "famous" in July or August. Even September is iffy. There was a time, in the late '60s, when I travelled in Europe and no one was there. One or two people were at the Trevi Fountain and 15 or 20 were in the Sistine Chapel. Fewer, at Notre Dame. There were no line ups. It was a different world. A normal world - not the frenzied hysteria, I see now. Venice might very well become another Atlantis, buried in the sea, if something doesn't happen soon.

The pictures? The busy-ness of people. Sigh