With Heartfelt Gratitude

This is one of my earliest posts about Remembrance Day.
I am reposting as my thoughts expressed here stand and sadly, nothing has changed except perhaps that “Lest We Forget” has now become “The World’s Biggest Shopping Day is now 11/11” and “11/11 isn’t just for Singles anymore!”
Service men and women fought for our right to freedom, not for our right to shop. Show some respect. Wear a poppy, stand for the two minutes, pull over, stop your damn car and be grateful that someone had the courage to make the sacrifice for you and your future.

The Eclectic Poet

“He is not missing, He is here”

~ Field Marshal Lord Plumer at the unveiling of the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing 24th July 1927

~~~~~

I am the first generation in my family that hasn’t served, fought or died for this country…

It’s not a big deal, something that gets talked about alot. Just something I noticed about a decade ago while working on a November 11th project with the kids.

When it comes to mind lately, the thought is even more poignant…

Some of the children who went to school at the same time, who made the construction paper poppies and sang John Lennon’s  “Give Peace A Chance” at the Remembrance Day assembly –  “my kids” – are part of the Canadian Forces currently in Afghanistan.

Boggles the mind. The “War To End All Wars” has come and gone and still, the world fights on.

I doubt that…

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Of Culture, Kilts and Korma

This might be controversial, certainly it’s a hot-button topic. I am one of those people who feels a wrongness, a divisiveness in the rampant calls of “Cultural Misappropriation”.

I am not asking to be schooled for my feelings. I have seen the outrage against public figures and I’ve read the articles about people who “just don’t get it”. Intellectually, I can see some areas of concern but in my heart and in my widely varied gene pool, I’m having a hard time with the vociferous protests. More to the point of my post title, I feel like all the gains made by the ideals of love, inclusiveness and caring for my fellow humans – a set of values that had its renaissance and greatest resonance in the 1960’s and into the 1970’s – is being lost.

Again, I’m not asking to be educated. I have a degree or two, I don’t live in a cave. This is what all the outcry makes me feel.

The diversity of my family background, my friends, associates and colleagues; has given me a wealth of cultural experiences. There have been discussions, get-togethers, shopping, suppers and all of these things have deepened my understanding of customs and things that are not my own.

A few quick points; starting with the most recent backlash against a public figure (can’t recall the name – sorry) who was seen wearing “dreadlocks”. I know that as a fashion, this hairstyle is most commonly associated with a particular group. I also know that if I don’t put my hair into braids at night, it will twist itself into very long dreads by the next day. The notion that early man, forebear to all of us, shared a similar hair style, isn’t much of a stretch is it?

There are certain cultural icons that have been marketed to the world outside by the identifiable group itself. To turn around now and be angry just doesn’t make sense to me. So many people have begun a journey of learning and understanding with one small token, one small idea.

In the most simplistic of explanations, the outcry of “cultural misappropriation” feels like a kid who gets mad and grabbing their bucket, stomps away from sandbox.

I’ll continue to read and listen. I see nothing wrong in continuing to talk about ways to respect other people, culture and customs but I stand by my belief that making ourselves insular is taking a huge step backward for all of us hanging out here on planet earth.

~ kei
14 June 2017

Happy New Year 2017!

By now, most of you know how I feel about New Year’s hoopla, resolutions and schmaltz.
~ 2014 and 2015 editions ~

Overall 2016 wasn’t bad, other than the loss of so many wonderful, talented people and many of them still so young. In my own little corner, I spent far less time on the Interwebs, focussing on my expanded family and home, reconnecting with special people (yes, this is for you Rew!), my extended family and working out as much of the residual ‘stuff’ of previous years as possible. Let it never be said that I have baggage – I may have a carry on but I prefer to think of it as a tool kit of experience.

As to resolutions, again this year I won’t. You don’t have to either. Do your best throughout the year, it’s all we can ask of ourselves and each other. Life has enough challenges for us without our feeling obligated to (potentially) overextend.

From my family to yours, much love, and sending you all a wish for health, happiness and prosperity in the coming year.

~ kei
1 January 2017

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