Friday, January 27, 2023

Once upon a time...and now

It was not so many years ago that the word 'gay' was a synonym for 'happy' or 'carefree' or even 'frivolous' -- as in the 1934 film, The Gay Divorcee. Yet even that title involved some controversy, as it was originally called Gay Divorce, but divorce was then considered too serious a topic (or was deemed so by the notorious Hays Office) to have such a flighty name. Ahem. 

It was only by the 1960s that attitudes were opening up enough that the world we now know as LGBTQ+ would be called 'gay'

It seems bizarre to me that there are still places in the world where it is a criminal offense to be gay, that there are still countries where one can be sentenced to death over one's preference of sexual partner. 

So it was with great relief and joy that I saw the announcement from the pope (who's often referred to as 'the rock' upon which the Church is built) relaxing the Catholic Church's longstanding attitude toward gays. Yes, Francis still claims such activity is a sin, but then I suppose his job requires that much as this small step towards sanity. 

And I can't help but think he had to wait for the death of his predecessor, Benedict, to even be able to say what he has, because really, 'saving the world from homosexuality' as equivalent to 'saving the rainforests'? Not on my watch. 

Maybe the good news about the New Lunar Year, with all of its positive predictions really is true. I'm certainly hoping so. 

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Another New Year to Celebrate

According to the Vietnamese version of the Lunar calendar, today is the first day of the Year of the Cat. For those of us who have learned to bow to the beliefs entrenched in Chinese culture, today marks the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit.  

And in keeping with the further tradition of combining elements with each animal in the zodiac, this is the year of the water rabbit, which sounds like it might be a good year for growing things. 

The rabbit in the photo is one that used to frequent our front yard, very likely because we're the 'bad' house where the lawn is only rarely cut, in keeping with the natural look of the rest of our yard. 

At least we aren't at the mercy of a Home Owner's Association who might send their patrols out to cut the lawn themselves and then likely hand us a hefty fine. 

I suspect that, come spring and summer, once the grass starts to grow again, the bunnies will be back. After all, this year has their name on it.  

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Unofficial kindness

And a small kindness at that. It's an idea that was suggested to me by my friend who makes Christmas cards with me, and who also (like me) loves doing jigsaw puzzles

We often lend each other puzzles back and forth and she came up with a suggestion that might sound like 'cheating' to some, but made good sense to both of us. When you take apart a puzzle, bag up the edge pieces separately from the rest. In other words, you're giving the other person the kindness of a head start on completing the puzzle!

It might not yet be the official date to perform our random acts of kindness, but there's nothing wrong with doing such acts any old time.  

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Imagine the other side of the world

This is how I'm imagining Orthodox Christmas might look in Ukraine. And yes, today is the day that much of the world, especially people in Eastern Europe, celebrate Christmas. 

The burning candle in the lantern is beautiful, but if I were in Ukraine, it might well be my only light, as so much of the country is without power. 

This is another day to be grateful -- for so many everyday luxuries we mostly take for granted: electricity and speedy Internet, water that's clean enough to drink from the tap -- and while we're at it, water that's hot on demand. 

Monday, January 02, 2023

Looking back, looking ahead

Already the second day of the new year and pokey me -- I'm still looking back. 

It was a year that didn't feel all that productive, especially on a personal level. No new book, though a number of entries in several anthologies. Not much in the way of travel or special events. Yes, there are a few exceptions, but they feel diminished through the lens of looking back. 

But as you can see if you play the video above, the best part about looking back is that it means you're going forward. 

That's the plan -- on many levels -- for the coming year. Goals? You can be sure of that. Whether they'll be accomplished remains to be seen, when at year's end, I find myself looking back again. 

P.S. The golden sculpture on the left (at the Marine Drive station on the Canada Line) is a piece of public art by Douglas Coupland, a representation of the famous 'Hollow Tree' at Stanley Park.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Spiders rule


Now that the big freeze has retreated, the spiders are back, though I'm not sure what they'll catch. I haven't seen a lot of small insects around. 

Maybe that big web will catch the last of this too-long-lingering flu bug we've had. At least it hasn't been covid.

Looking forward to the new year, with blessings and happy times for all!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Gettin' ready...

I'm one of those people who take a long time getting ready to do things -- almost anything. And Christmas is one of those long-to-prep celebrations. 

First place to start is summertime, picking berries. That's when the jams that will be gifts start getting made. 

Probably all year long, I enjoy trolling second-hand stores. It seems I always find something or other that goes into my stash of potential gifts for Christmas time (though birthday gifts often arrive this way too). 

One of the most fun parts of my big preparations is the making of the cards. This is a tradition, probably ten years on now, where my friend and I sit across from each other at the table (piled with our crafty supplies) and create our one-of-a-kind greeting cards. 

Yes, they've all been mailed by now. I can only hope they've all arrived at their destinations. 

From here, it's just a matter of continuing with the baking and other cooking (Swedish meatballs tonight, Cornish hens tomorrow). 

Whatever you do to celebrate, however you prepare for the day, I send my best wishes for a way to spend time with people you care about -- and yes, before too many more days go by -- some time to sit back and do nothing.