Today is Remembrance Day.
I went to bed late, last night, enjoying myself by adding side menu widgets to my site (latest comments, translate button), then reading my site posts in various languages.
Some of the translations were heavily or humorously inaccurate. Still it was a great vocabulary lesson in both French and Dutch. Fascinating to see the Arabic and the Greek. Language learning made easy, for the self-obsessed. Read your own posts in other languages.
I did of course have passing fears that foreign agents would now all the more easily steal my content, misunderstand it due to the inaccurate translations and use it for evil. Haha. But those “haha” fears are less and less.
It really is true what the experts told me, ultimately if you have a message you feel is important, you actually just want it to be out there. Credit be damned, lack of it be blessed. Also what Glennon said. That you’re either an artist or a lawyer, not both. Put the work out there and don’t feel you have to defend it. If the work was your best attempt at being Aware and Brave and Kind, in that moment, that is. (I think she’d be okay with me adding that as a footnote.)
Yesterday I had this amazing email come in from someone at an awesome new publication called MUDDLE, who’d found and seen my work on Github and loved it and wanted me to contribute.
The crazy thing is I read the email the morning after the night I had mentioned to T. and W. that I wanted to move my Github site off Github, mainly to reduce costs, now that I’m paying for WordPress. It never occurred to me that someone might actually be reading it and care about it.
Github blogs are free, if you don’t need/want to have the edits private, but if you do, you pay, and thus at some point I’d been paying for it back when I was like, OMG-did-I-really-publish-that and why-oh-why.
Though, come to think of it, I may have made the edits public again recently. Yep, the edits are public. Yikes. All that mud. And the lotuses hadn’t even finishing growing yet. Well, paying for a “free” service was also to financially support a tech organization that I think is awesome, of course, since we happen to have the money right now. If you don’t put your money where the good stuff is, when you’ve got the money, the good stuff can’t survive.
Anyway I probably promptly scared off this wonderful person with my over-warm and exuberant email. That’s just how I roll. You know what though? I’m getting easier on myself for my social awkwardness.
This is how I wake up most days: I start ruminating about my shortcomings and falling into old patterns of self-disgust and then I quickly swipe it away with a “you know what?” You were you and you were true. If that ain’t good enough then tant pis. It wasn’t meant to be.
If I can’t be my stupid, warm, negotiator-clueless morning self and not be “hired/liked” “even for free” then so be it. I’ll just keep working for free, for me. Then I’m truly free.
Or am I?
Amazing winning postcard story from Geist. I hated it at first. So dark. But now I get it. I’m really not good at playing the game. But one thing sure, is that nothing is free. That much I get. My grandparents, and my parents, always taught me that.
Posted the postcard story on Twitter. Then got embroiled in the politics.
What is my role here?
I really hate politics. And being political scares the sh*t out of me. I don’t want to be shot. I don’t want to put my family in danger nor put them at risk of being motherless. I remember. I remember Jo Cox. R.I.P.
Trump caught on video telling a (black female) reporter her question is stupid, when others said it was the smartest one asked in that group. Saying most of “you lot” had stupid questions, most of the time. Whether by “you lot” he meant reporters, or black people, or women, is unclear.
I don’t want to post about politics. I really don’t. It’s a risky game, this game of Life. I love it (mostly), yet I only get to play it once, as far as I know for sure. So how am I going to play it? How can I survive while making positive change? I wonder if these are the questions so many confused people are asking themselves right now.
Today is Remembrance Day. I remember heading out to Chilliwack from Coquitlam, an hour-long drive through the valley plains of the Lower Mainland in the family station wagon, every November 11th when my grandpa was alive. He served as sergeant in the RCAF in WWII. He was a flight mechanic. ‘
He didn’t kill anyone. In my simplistic child’s mind that made him a real hero. He helped the “good team,” did his best version of what the army needed him to do to defeat darkness while somehow staying clear of bloodying his hands. He won all kinds of medals. I didn’t ask what for. Or maybe I did, when I was little, but I don’t remember. And now it’s too late to ask again. Isn’t that awful?
My grandpa was a hard worker, came to Canada with his family by boat as a tough-as-nails 16-year-old immigrant from Blackpool, England, and never (okay, almost never) shied away from doing anything difficult. Duty was first and foremost in his mind. Duty to family, to his chosen new country (Canada); duty to the world. He was also a great game player and negotiator.
Here’s how you play the game. (He never said this to me. This is me analyzing the facts from a distance. I may be wrong.) Step 1. Sign up for the military when you’re called to help the “new” country beat evil, in the “old” countries. Step 2. Get married, right before you leave. Step 3. Impregnate your wife. As foreign aid you’ll be excused from front lines, and get to do what you do best: fix stuff for the light side. Keep the defenders flying. Woman and baby save your life. And you’ve helped save a bunch of other people’s. If you’re lucky, that is. There is a fair bit of luck involved. And love. A lot of love. You won’t get much luck without love.
We never wanted to go, as kids. It was always cold, usually rainy and the drive was long and boring. Then there were long and boring speeches. Then long and boring talks with “old people” at the legion. Cheek-pinching and My-how-you’ve-growns.
But I learned something from that. Even though it’s very hard to explain to a child what Remembrance day is about, something sinks in, no matter how badly it’s done.
And now, every year, I drag the kids to the local service. So they can remember what they don’t yet remember. That there is no free ride. Someone had to pay for what we have today.
Last year, it was chilling to hear the mayor’s adjunct of our little French village call the names of those who’d fallen to preserve democracy in Europe. A long list of names of actual people, with the same last names as people I actually know in this village. After every real man’s name, the mayor intoned, Mort pour la France. Mort pour la France. Mort pour la France.
Died for France. Died for France. Died for France. They did some sh*tty work, and died doing it, so that we could live. So that I could sit here cozy and warm, typing away, free to say what I want to say. For now, anyway. Is that what happened?
The women and children were not listed. The ones who were raped and killed defending the home fronts, or hiding the people being hunted in the holocaust, or the nurses helping in the war hospitals that got bombed. The unnamed list is endless. Also morts pour la France.
Will you Remember? Will you teach your kids to do the same? And how in heck do we teach them, and ourselves, to navigate this difficult game?
I’m off now. It’s time to go. Game On.
2018-11-14 Later note: I have removed the “Latest Comments” widget from the sidebar since I would not prefer that they be there, if I were a site visitor. My son is clicking his wrists as I type this. It’s really annoying .