Staying In, Rocking Out

More of this! Seniors in isolation at Sydmar Lodge recreated rock album covers, photographed by Robert Specker, the activity coordinator at their home.

See them all in Specker's Twitter post.



Via Colossal.


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We're Probably Still Not Getting It

"Why did you have to watch someone die in order to get it? ... Our deaths are not a teaching experience for white people." - Desmond Cole

(From a talk hosted by the Kitchener Public Library, about white people who are saying that we "get it" now when it comes to racism and anti-Black violence.)


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Follow Keanu's Lead: Use Willful Ignorance for Good

Artwork by Alison Chisholm

One of my bestest besties (I refer to her as my soulmate and/or my everything) has a very fun blog called The Year of Keanu where she posts weekly life lessons based on Keanu's awesomeness.

In a recent(ish) post, Making Change Through Willful Ignorance, she describes a new tactic for making the world better: tell yourself things are already as they should be and react accordingly.

"What if we actively choose to ignore and disregard all the barriers that prevent us from seeing the change we want to see? What if we chose to say things like 'Black Lives Matter' and 'Defund the Police' in casual conversation, disregarding how uncomfortable it might make some people? What if we chose to forget the oppressor's feelings and just speak up about the world we want to see? What if we choose to forget our fears about the system and just continue doing our part to repeat the names and fight for the legacy of the people who lost their lives to it? What world would we be living in then?"

Obviously, doing this isn't enough to transform our racist, sexist, ableist, and otherwise prejudiced systems, but it's a fun tactic for those of us who find ourselves in more privileged circles. The more we talk about these things with a "we're all on the same page here" friendly casualness, the more those who disagree could feel like mayyyyyybe they are in the wrong wrong. Or at least, in the minority of perspectives.

Basically, it's treating prejudice views the way I treat flat-earthiness: as if anyone who is reasonable would know it's wrong and that society, as a whole, recognizes this.

Best-case scenario? A little friendly gaslighting happens for the bigots and they question themselves. Worst-case scenario? We've still made our views clear.


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Welp, Here's a New Candidate For a Song That Will Make Me Cry Every Time

Have you seen the Alanis Morissette performance of Ablaze on Jimmy Fallon???


First of all, the lyrics. THE LYRICS! "The first thing you might notice is that this is all just temporary / The next thing that you'll notice is that we will always be family." SOBBING.

Also, her daughter!!! I'm sure there will be (or already are) many think pieces written about:

- how this is a symbol of the pandemic with parents working from home with their kids on zoom calls
- how this is helping feminism by showing a mother working with her daughter
- how this is symbolic of the need for feminism because it shows that a woman has to work and childcare at once while men lock the doors to their home offices during the pandemic
- how this is demonstrating privilege because she is powerful enough to bring her daughter on the air, interrupting her song and it's okay but others don't have that freedom because they aren't Alanis Morissette
- how it's helping normalize interruptions from children and might help those with less privilege to show you can still work with a child
- how it's a crass marketing move for a song about her love for her children to pimp out her daughter on screen.

My hot take: it's beautiful to see and I love it.

Can someone please transcribe her daughter's commentary???

ABLAZE
by Alanis Morisette

First thing that you'll notice is some separation from each other
Yes it's a lie we've been believing since time immemorial
There was an apple, there was a snake, there was division
There was a split, there was a conflict in the fabric of life

One became two and then everyone was out for themselves
Everyone was pitted against each other; conflict ruled the realm
All our devotions and temperaments are pulled from different wells
We seem to easily forget we are made of the same cells

To my boy, all that energy so vital
Love your hues and your blues in equal measure
Your comings and your goings-away
My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze

Second thing you'll notice is that often we think that there's not enough
It might feel dark, it might feel lonely and you wonder why you're here
You may be overcome with darkness and a sense of hopelessness
But it won't matter if you keep the core connected to the oneness

To my girl, all your innocence and fire
When you reach out, I am here hell or high water
This nest is never going away
My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze

And this cord is unbreakable
This pilot light is there in your pocket
And this bond, beyond unshakeable
Even if we all forget
All at the same time
If we forget at the same time

To my boy, my precious gentle warrior
To your sweetness and your strength in exploring
May this bond stay with you through all your days
My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze

To my girls, all your innocence and fire
When you reach out, I am here hell or high water
This nest is never going away
My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze

To my boy
First thing that you'll notice is that everything is temporary
To my girl
Next thing you might notice is that we will always be family
To my boy
My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze

An animated gif of Alanis Morissette singing her song Ablaze, holding her daughter in front of the mic
Giphy


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Catch a Wave

This was doing the rounds about a month ago, but even if you've already watched it, let's take a moment to revisit the beauty and heartache of this piece.


Everything about it is the epitome of the power in simplicity: the lyrics, the choreography. It is what it is, and the impact rings out.

CATCH A WAVE BY TOBE NWIGWE

Ayy look, I pray you catch a wave
That doesn't subside
This for the nappy heads in heaven
With a nappy head Christ by they side
I pray you catch a wave
That doesn't subside
This for the nappy heads in heaven
With a nappy head Christ by they side

Yeah, may your streets be paved with gold
Yeah, hope my whole hood make it home
Yeah, may your streets be paved with gold
Yeah, hope my whole hood make it home
Yeah

'Cause the world can be toxic
Especially when your skin looked like chocolate
At one point they sold us for profit
But we made it out of the gauntlet, we chosen
Yeah, on my mama, the south side still holding
Yeah, go for broke for the ones that are broken
Yeah, please don't make me no hashtag or slogan
My whole hood is golden

That's why I pray you catch a wave
That doesn't subside
This for the nappy heads in heaven
With a nappy head Christ by they side
I pray you catch a wave
That doesn't subside
This for the nappy heads in heaven
With a nappy head Christ by they side

Yeah, may your streets be paved with gold (Paved with gold)
Yeah, hope my whole hood make it home (Make it home)
Yeah, may your streets be paved with gold (Paved with gold)
Yeah, hope my whole hood make it home
Yeah

'Cause they riding with choppas
And might turn you taper to pasta
Don't hardly see daughters at alters
Probably cause there ain't no more fathers, they stole them
Yeah, put in cages by racists patrolling
Yeah, the hood is a lane to the pens like we bowling
Yeah, please don't make us no hashtags or slogans
Black people are golden

That's why I pray you catch a wave
That doesn't subside
This for the nappy heads in heaven
With a nappy head Christ by they side
I pray you catch a wave
That doesn't subside
This for the nappy heads in heaven
With a nappy head Christ by they side

Yeah, may your streets be paved with gold (Streets be paved with gold)
Yeah, hope my whole hood make it home (Hope you make it home)
Yeah, may your streets be paved with gold (Streets be paved with gold)
Yeah, hope my whole hood make it home (Yeah)

I hope you make it home
I hope you make it home
I hope you make it home
Home, woah
I hope you make it home (Make it home)
I hope you make it home (Make it home)
I hope you make it home (Make it home)
Yeah (I hope you make it home)
I hope you make it home (Make it home)
I hope you make it home (Make it home)
Hope you make it home
I hope you make it home

Psssst: Next, watch the video for his song Journey. Similar shooting style, totally different feel, still incredible.


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Learning! Roundup: Did you know that plants have COGNITION???

Remember these??? It's been awhile! But there has been some cool research that's come out recently and I still want to share it with you:

A photo of a bunch of funnel-shaped beakers with grass or plants in them that appear to be frozen.
Photo by Chuttersnap

When people think about their mortality, it makes them more likely to make donations they perceive as leaving a legacy or somehow transcending death.

Growing up with an elderly person at home actually increases negative views towards older people, especially if the elderly person in the home has serious health needs.

+ If you think religious people hate science, you might be American, because apparently religious Americans are unique in the world for their skepticism towards science.

+ HEY-O! Plants might actually have COGNITION!!! There is evidence that plants can do things like communicate, remember things, recognize kin, and even count, which are all considered markers of cognition. (This is not really a surprise, but it's also kind of wild to see discussed by a scientist. I can't wait until we start learning about the personalities of plants!)


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Oh This? It's Just a Crown for My Face

Listen, I am not much of a jewelry person (I keep meaning to wear a necklace and consistently forget), but I am pretty darn taken by Laura Estrada's vibes. Maybe if live, public events become a thing and I ever go to an awards show again???



(She also has pieces that could be classified as "regular" that still have a pronounced regal quality.)


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On My Wishlist: Cat Backpacks and Food Dehydrators

Every once in a while I get kind of obsessed with a new thing that I definitely don't need but I really want. I am not even sure I will USE the thing, but daaaaaaaang I want it. I spend at least a week researching it online, comparing models and prices and trying to imagine my life with it and then at least another week bombarded by online ads for it as I ask myself: will I actually use it? Will I love it? Is it going to change my life? Is this just me trying to imagine I am different kind of person? But if I do use it, it WILL change my life! And then I WILL be the best me! Right???

Here are two things I have been obsessing over lately:

The cat backpack.



I swear, I don't just want one to help one of these cat dads fall in love with me. I mean, if I had ANY evidence one of them lived in Vancouver then... yes. I would stop hesitating.

Here is what I have come to learn: cat backpacks are basically available from this website for about $200 (yiiiiiikes) or from Amazon the Evil for around $50.

But if I had one, would my cat love going for walks??? Would it be WAY EASIER to take her with me when I go see my parents? Would we go sit at the park, as if we are a real family and experience real bliss for once??? Would my life be PERFECT???

The food dehydrator.


Eating dehydrated foods is not really a part of my life right now, but I can't stop thinking about getting a food dehydrator. I am not sure what I think I will do with it. I have vague notions of being a person who brings a snack to the park and people say, "This is delicious, where did you get it?" and I lean forward and say, "I dehydrated it at home," and everyone claps.

Generally, this obsession is taking the form of some kind of multi-functional food cooker. An air fryer or pressure cooker, but it is very important that it also dehydrates.

I truly have three things I ever cook for dinner, so this would either expand my range exponentially or sit unused next to the slow cooker that has gathered dust for YEARS.


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Why We Suffer

I saved this image from Scott the Painter on Instagram quite some time ago. Every once in awhile, I look at it and feel a bit more at rest.

Artwork by Scott Erickson (Scott the Painter), depicting on candle in the centre that is burned out and many lit candles surrounding it, as if they are prepared to relight the snuffed candle.

The text he posted with it:

"I don't know why we suffer... and I'm not sure there is even an answer to that question. Or if it's even the right question to ask about suffering.

But I do know this: there is a strange byproduct of suffering... which is the gathering of human souls around those who are hurting.

May we never lose sight of the Light that shines brightest when we gathering to care and love each other. The Divine says it's present in that moment. Maybe it's some of the most poignant places of incarnation..."

Here's a key, though: in other for other human souls to show up and ease your hurting, you have to let them know you are hurting in the first place.


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All Ways

I saw this on Instagram and just loooooove it. I much prefer the idea of someone telling me they love me "all (the) ways" than "always."

Actually... I want both. Is that greedy?



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I Finally Understand Circular vs. Linear Time

A photo with the sky in the background and in front, a circle with little sticks coming out of it, sort of like a drawing of the sun.
Photo by Miguel Henriques.


I have been hearing people talk about circular vs. linear time for ages, and to be honest, I've never fully understood it.

All I knew was that, apparently, seeing time as circular was more feminine and/or Indigenous and seeing it as linear was more masculine and/or colonial. But no one ever talked about what it means for time to be circular, so despite being a woman and thus, theoretically, more circular in my thinking, I had no idea how it was supposed to work.

Untillll NOW!

Now I have actually received an EXPLANATION of what it means to live in more circular time (thanks to Jocelyn K. Glei in her Hi Fi course) and it makes SO MUCH SENSE.

Here's the basic idea: if you base your thinking on things that are cyclical, like the seasons, then you see life as a sort of spiral, or repeating process of life, death, and rebirth. It takes away the sense of finality to each moment, day, or experience, because everything comes back up again.

(As opposed to linear thinking wherein you are constantly moving forward into something new, which means that you kind of have to progress/get it right because you'll never be back.)

Jocelyn was inspired to this philosophy in part thanks to this quote from Olga Tokarczuk's novel Flights.

Once we’re on the bus, she sets out her theory of time. She says that sedentary peoples, farmers, prefer the pleasures of circular time, in which every object and event must return to its own beginning, curl back up into an embryo and repeat the process of maturation and death. But nomads and merchants, as they set off on journeys, had to think up a different type of time for themselves, one that would better respond to the needs of their travels. That time is linear time, more practical because it was able to measure progress toward a goal or destination, rises in percentages. Every moment is unique, no moment can ever be repeated. This idea favors risk-taking, living life to the fullest, seizing the day. And yet the innovation is a profoundly bitter one: when change over time is irreversible, loss and mourning become daily things.

(Pssst: I still have no idea why this is inherently a feminine way of seeing things, except maybe that many women's bodies are ruled by a monthly cycle? I'm sure someone would say something to do with circular time being more generous and gentle or something like that, to which I say, can we stop with labelling some character traits as masculine or feminine???)


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I Want You Out of My Head and Into My Calendar

A photo of a white wall with a calendar hanging on it. The calendar is mostly white with orange and blue.
Photo by Charles Deluvio.


We all know the trick of putting something we want to remember in a place we won't be able to help but run into. (Right? We do all know that? Like putting the folder you need to bring to work on top of your shoes?)

This Lifehacker post reminded me that this is not just for objects. It's also for activities or ideas:

"We prioritize the things that make their way into our calendars. The things we quite literally see on our to-do list for the day. We give short shrift to those things that we just keep in our minds."
-Emily Balcetis

I already do this, sometimes. I'll put "do yoga" or "read" on my to-do list for the day so that I actually feel compelled to do it during a more relaxed day of puttering and errands.

The idea I love from this, however, is that I am honouring these smaller desires or tasks by giving them a physical (or digital) place in my life. That actually writing them into my calendar or to-do list respects their importance.


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Brené Brown's Trust

Ooooohhh boy, Brené Brown's talk on the anatomy of trust is very good. Highly recommend.


A few takeaways:

"Trust is choosing to make something important to you vulnerable to the actions of someone else." - Charles Feltman

We build trust with people through smaller moments that seem less significant, like remembering the names of people who are important to those we love.

We trust people who show up to funerals.

We trust people who ask for help when they need it.

"You cannot judge yourself for needing help and not judge others for needing help."

Boundaries are important to trust, not just that the other person respects ours but has and respects their own.


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