London 2017

I have friends in London and thankfully they are all safe after yesterday’s terrorist attack. I felt strange but for some reason, not as strange as I was after what happened in Ottawa, Paris, Brussels and …

I am not getting used to this. I read about the resilience of the people of London, and the UK as well, which does give me some comfort. What does cause me concern is the rise of hate coming from everywhere. Yes, my dad is still on the rampage; in case you are wondering. My heart aches to see loving Muslims automatically apologise for the actions of this British-born man who chose to cause destruction and murder people – a police officer, a mum and four others (five dead 3.45pm). I am not going into the philosophical discussion as to the cause of homegrown extremism; I’ll let the experts do that.

I may seem a bit cold-hearted for not reposting the call for prayers – those badly constructed memes that popped up seconds after the reports came out. Look, most of us are praying already, you don’t need to make this an official command. Our non-theist friends, they too are hoping for peace and a some calm. I will not be one to post a flag on my profile picture, as I have done once before, I have become a supporter of humankind, not one country. Oh, please do not dislike me for this – do not, ever! You have no idea how horrible I feel for the people I know who work in the area of Westminster.

I have picked an odd time to go back to my Christian roots. God does not like what is going on, from all sides. I do not want to hear the comparisons of the Christian God and the Muslim God. My goodness, give it a rest. I also do not like people bringing up the Crusades as an example of Christian violence. No, Christians are becoming more subversive in their treatment of non-Christians, or even Progressive Christians, to be honest. We take this as “okay” and “well, it could be worse”.

It is getting worse. It is also getting better.

I can talk about loving our brothers and sisters until forever, and most do understand. We all know there are those who choose to be hateful and take steps to act out this anger. This has been going on since humans (and their prehistory ancestors) discovered feelings. The weapons and modes of inflicting pain have changed (I will not say improved) but the underlying element has not. Standing up to this anger with anger does not work. Governments will make decisions in which may cause more disparity and uncomfortableness; that is part of protecting their citizens, unfortunately.

I am a ball of emotion. Going through bodily rehabilitation has made my anxiety disorder a bit more sensitive. PTSD is a bastard. Events like the terrorist attack yesterday just hit me hard. I have always known I cannot control the after effects of these events; yet, my brain says I have to try.

Again, my heart and my thoughts (these are allowed) go out to all my London friends, their families who worried, the survivors and especially to those who were lost; their families have a piece missing from their life.

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Today is Friday

Okay, I am going to finish this on the day it was started.

I am two songs done from posting my next mix. I wish Bax could have rewritten a part, but it is too late to ask for changes. This process is long, hard and tough on the ears. I know I will not be a DJ master, but I am still keeping the name: DJ Awesome Sauce. 😐

My first novella – let’s be honest, it’s a short story- will be ready for review this weekend. I was going to volunteer at the Saskatoon Symphony on Saturday, but I am not physically able to do so. Due to this change of plan, the third review csn be done so I can pass it on to an independent adjudicator. 🙂

Next week, after the multiple appointments with the physiotherapist and Richard’s youth meeting, I will be able to start on der taxes! Since my temporary break-apart with my dad, I now have to learn to do this on my own. My beautiful cousin is helping set the whole thing up and walk me through the process.☺

I am going to finish the day with a bubble bath and the sweet, soulful voice of Petroc Trelawny ralking about trains. 📻 🚂

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International Women’s Day 2017

Today is a day we should not have to commemorate, really.

I am not being anti-feminust, not at all. Sadly, the recognition for pay equity, the end to misogyny, the need for implementation of rights to protection under the law has forced hard-lined feminism; for that I am glad.

From the things I have read over the last few months, it seems women are enemies of other women. Though I am not a fan of Kim Kardashian, if she wants to pose naked in front of her mirror and post a photo, okay by me. Emma Watson wants to pose for a semi-topless photo, fine. We, as women, have to accept these moments, just as we would have to accept photos of women in hijabs and Hutterite women buying booze at the Liquor Board.

How difficult is it for women just to care a bit about other women? We cannot even gather ourselves together to fight for the choice to make choices. Majority of women who support the pro-choice movement support a woman who is anti-abortion, hence, the term pro-CHOICE. For those who do not, get up and give these women a bit of your time. For those women fighting for the unborn, recognise there are those who choose to control their reproductive rights. I am a woman who believes in choice. I would never have an abortion, EVER. I cannot, in my heart of hearts, deny the right for a woman to choose differently. I am not in control of their functions, and neither should you.

Never before have I seen the fight to end misogyny so strong. Judges in Canada are asking why a woman who files sexual assault charges against a man could not keep her knees together – The Robin Camp transcript: ‘ … keep your knees together’ and other key passages. Just recently, a man was acquitted of sexual assault as drunkenness can take away a person’s ability to “properly say no” to sex – Halifax judge made many errors in taxi driver’s sex-assault case, Crown says in appeal. Men were the judges in both of these cases. Ah, but hold your torches, women judges can hold the same opinion – Spain rape victim asked by judge if she tried ‘closing her legs’. You see, it is not necessarily about gender, but age. It is not necessarily about age, but background.

Progressive Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups are beginning to make gender issues a priority. Some are going as far as to realise the significance of gender constructs and are formulating their worship around the recognition of people as “people”, as opposed to “boy”, “girl”, “man” and “woman”. The roles of women and men are also being redefined, as so they should be.

The Canadian Mennonite Brethren Congress still does not allow for women as head or even associate pastors. Crying babies aresolelyy to be handled by their mums. My husband has a tough time with this, and he is a member of the MB Church in Waldheim. The Evangelical weirdo church in Waldheim does not have any women in ministerial groups and from the various number of sessions both Richard and I have attended, women do not seem to be allowed to serve as collection takers, let alone handle ministry duties. The church in town that is part of the General Mennonite Congress does allow for female pastors, but our town will not. Progress is not here, yet.

Feminism gets a bad wrap, especially from women. The movement is meant to empower all women, not just the ones looking for a fair shake. This is seen very vididly when it come to children.

Not getting into the abortion issue again, my focus is on the mum versus not-a-mum; who is better, who is worse. Being a mum can be tiring, mentally and physically draining but birthing of human beings has been going on for thousands of years. As a woman who chooses not to have children, I do not appreciate the notion of importance of station. Reversely, I cannot critise a mother of seven ready to have her eighth. Let’s not do this to each other. Women are valuable regardless of uterine occupation. Let us be kind to the woman who is carrying a child conceived in rape. Let us comfort the mum who lost a stillborn child. We are all in this together.

We cannot forget the women who cannot speak for themselves, those refugees lost in the battle for a safe place, women sold into sex slavery, women suffering in silence from dimestic abuse. We tend to focus on the wrongs handed out by men; however, women excuse themselves from the same behaviour.

This is a day to celebrate our role on yhe planet. Let’s do it right.

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Filed under Progressive Christianity, Women Doing It For Themselves

(Unfuddled)

Just going through another conflict. This time I think I may have won.

To make a long story short (and to prove a point brought up by a curmudgeon) I finally had to claim my space back. I have cut myself off from my parents due to their support for an ethical Canada (and Denmark). My brother is part of this as well because he couldn’t care less about my state of mind to begin with. I made the statement that my mental health is more important than their fear of ISIS. I still think Indian Head is safe.

When I see postings declaring a “war” on Islam, a call to protest (writtenly and physically) against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, I had to call those out asking where they were when the Saskatchewan government threatened to cut wages and slash jobs to save pennies they forgot to save when the economy was good. Granted, the motion to pass Islamaphobia (specifically) as a hate crime does need to be expanded, but it in no way opens the door for the Islamification of Canada.

I have split myself from these people before. The difference is my approach to the situation. How can I find any compassion with people like my dad who constantly forget the governments they voted for make people like me lose hope in treatment? My dad’s answer to me finding help was: “let’s hope you get help soon, as we don’t want to hear about you jumping off a bridge.” Mental illness affects other families, not his.

The MP in the riding my parents live in is running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada – Andrew Scheer. Though not as creepy, it is so difficult to read some of his concepts; there really isn’t anything of value, especially when representing a riding with 14 First Nations reservations. He represents a group of marginalised people; people who have for years have been abused, ostracised and forgotten.

There is no open support for our First Nations brothers and sisters. My parents have yet to respond to my coming out as bisexual. As hinted at earlier, my mental illness seems like an inconvience. I am worth more than that. My husband Richard is saddened by the turn of events, but this had turned to anger. He wants my dad to apologise.

There is no deal making. I will not ask for forgiveness in return for an apology. 

Not this time.

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Progressive Radio Show

Hello!

If you want to have a listen to the programme again, here it is:

It will be presented via MixCloud at https://www.mixcloud.com/wendalynn-donnan/uploads/

As promised, here is the track listing for Technique (I used the 2015 remastered edition for this program):

  1. Fine Time
  2. All the Way
  3. Love Less
  4. Round & Round
  5. Guilty Partner
  6. Run
  7. Mr Disco
  8. Vanishing Point
  9. Dream Attack

I also have a reading list that some may find interesting:

  1. Manchester, England – Dave Haslam
  2. Chapter and Verse: New Order, Joy Division and Me – Bernard Sumner
  3. Substance: Inside New Order – Peter Hook
  4. New Order – Kevin Cummins

 

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Radio Show

I am in the midst of a weird dream. I recently lost my job due to shortage of work; however, I took this better than I thought I would. I still want to work, do not get me wrong. I am looking for that one place who will take a crazy lady who likes to keep track of pens.

Simple. Complicated.

Reading of the job shortage has me worried, of course, yet I feel more empowered to show my offerings. I also would like a place that is okay with my ramblings and misfirings of thought. Hey, I’m just like everybody else, really. Writing and reading has helped me get through some of the uncertainty.

Prior to losing my job, I was presented with the opportunity to do a radio show; outloud. As some of you know I have done a few vlog posts on this page and my friend told me the world needs to hear more. I have been posting Classical music mixes (well, two) on MixCloud: https://www.mixcloud.com/wendalynn-donnan/

The world needs more of me? I took the step. I recorded a half-hour programme called (drum roll!!!) Progressive Rubber Boots. I all for stepping out, but I still need to watch were my feet go; I need the familiar. This is also my space. I only picked my DJ name – DJ Awesome Sauce – out of enjoyment. I have no plans to be a famous DJ. A radio show host? That might be more attainable. ‘Famous’ is a bit of a stretch, to be honest.

The show will focus on a number of subjects. You know of my interest in music and history. My good friend who suggested I jump out of the box told me to take a stab at the visual arts. This will be programme of the “arts” and I will try to incorporate all aspects of the spectrum. 

I do not want to lose my sense of humour. Oh, there will tons of room for laughing; laughing with me and laughing at me. I am listening to Bonnie Tyler’s Faster than the Speed of Night, which I should not be doing at the coffee shop in case I get all empowered and wave my arms around. See, I don’t want to lose that.

I will post the show here (and other social media sites), for all my friends and family. Programme notes and additional observations will be placed here as well. I still believe the written word is important, but its connection to music is even more necessary.

Be on the lookout for the inaugural Progressive Rubbet Boots radio show 21 February 2017. The link to the channel will be posted on my blog page for all to listen to and to share.

Classmates, have yourself a great day. See you in a week!

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Filed under Arts and Mines, Downtime, Hobby Go Wild, Mental Illness, Musical Fruits, Work, Writing and Reading

Don’t Make Me Do Research

Oh, my goodness.

I had great plans on writing a post about church budgets, Communion and tarot cards, but a co-worker blow-up caused me to want to write about music at work, but alas, I don’t want to do that now. There is no use complaining about the denial of access to brain-saving devices if no one is there to reverse the decision.

I am still coping with the effects of the accident. I get so tired, yet as I am the only one able to drive right now, I need to be more attentive. This is affecting my ability to do my normal tasks, like making coffee and climbing the stairs to sort papers. Climbing stairs … please, just the thought causes grief. My mental state was being tested and I think it was going well. I almost fell apart, but thanks to my music and collection of audiobooks, I had come out less battered.

Until the Friday meltdown about the music. This time it was not me.

Step back a bit, for just a moment. One of the saddest results of this accident is my ability to read and type for long periods of time. I need to use email at work and our accounting program is on the computer, but I need to take eye breaks more often. My last post took a few tries to finish. I have needed to use a dimmed screen to and even enlarged the display size on my laptop at home and computer at work. Reading from books will come back, I hope. In most cases, the fonts are too small for me to read for long periods of time. My doctor does not think this sidestep is permanent. If I had a concussion, it was a very mild one and is healing quite well. He knows I have to drive and told me to make sure to do it in stages.

I give Richard a lot of credit, he is ready to go back to work tomorrow (10 Jan). I do not think I am ready yet, but there is nothing physically wrong with me. Mentally, I am a shambles, but not bad enough to take leave. Now that the one solace I have at work has been taken away, I am afraid of going mad; again.

I have to speak the words: “it is going to be okay” out loud so I can believe them.

Oh, there will be a post about church budgets, Communion and tarot cards (a continuation of a previous report I put up), but it will be less angry and may include videos of cats.

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Filed under Health Check, Mental Illness, Musical Fruits, Work

New Year Bust Up

Hi friends and family!

It has been an eventful couple of weeks. Today marks the one-week anniversary of our car accident. Not to get into too much detail, we are both battered, bruised, but alive to tell the tale. Or tail, as if I had one it most likely would be broken.

Richard has a broken collarbone, which means he is not able to work for a while. Funny enough, he is okay with that. Waiting for the adjuster to look at the car, the benefit forms and the healing does not seem to have bothered him. His biggest complaint was the bordem that has set in. Captain Kirk and the Trekksteers seemed to have overstayed their welcome. 

It is too cold and icy for him to take a stroll outside by himself. Now I have an idea what the residents at the group home may feel like when they can’t go out. As I am the only one who can drive, it hurts me to see him stuck at home with nowhere to go.

We are lucky enough to have good neighbours helping with shovelling the walk and bringing food. I have stated that we do not need meals, as I have been preparing a number of freezables. We cannot thank everyone enough for their kindness. As Richard said, “there are kind people out there.”

I know I mentioned I may not do this blog thing very often, but I have been given a reason to continue: the budget reminder from Richard’s church.

That will be for the next time. This time it is all about being alive and loving it!

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Christmas Wrap Up

Hello!

It is that time of year again for me to complain about not wanting anything to do with Christmas. In some ways I won a little, as Richard has been feeling rather unChristmassy: we did not put up the big tree. My little fiber optic one is filling in the void.

My animals were to get the treatment, but I could not be arsed.

It is not all bad; we are going to the UK next year! I am not sure when it will be, as cost is the biggest obstacle. We do have enough funds to get there, only now we have to save for the visit. That is very much doable.

What to do until then? “First, you need to get the cars fixed,” you say. “Yeah, but after that?” I ask. I need to sit and do research on our destination. Richard has three things on his list:

1. A photo of Buckingham Palace
2. A photo of Big Ben
3. A visit to Stonehenge

I have three times a thousand-million things I want to do. I am so thankful for my lovelies in the UK who will be our hosts. OMGOSH!

On a health standpoint, things are the same. I am still crazy. Crazy in a good way, I hope. The down moments still happen, but you know what? I take them with a pack of pencil crayons or a dash of music mixing. I still have diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Though, I have discovered probiotic drops are doing some good work. My rear in review will happen next week; be prepared.

You caught that? 😉

I sent out my annual ‘There is No War on Christmas’ greeting cards. Oh, its usually the same people guity of blaming the Atheists for Christians being oppressed, not realising they are doing to themselves. What would ikkle (borrowed this word from my friend Tony 😊) baby Jesus do?

Not much. The Christians believe God came to the Earth as Jesus to save sinners. In this example, he would be thinking: “I have to add more to the list. Gosh.”

No matter what side you are on during this season, remember just love each other; don’t give in to the hate. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas with Richard’s parents and sister, we remember those who have left us and those who are too far away. Take everyone in your heart, hold them tight and tell them how much you care, no matter how silly it sounds.

Richard and I wish you all a great holiday.

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Filed under Contentment, Downtime, Progressive Christianity, Vacation

Oratorio Oh No

I volunteer with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and this past Saturday was their annual Messiah Sing-Along, and I had the privilege to work this performance. It was also the same day as Richard’s work Christmas party. The review of the Christmas party gets its own block for another day.

As we live out of town, it would have been too far out for me to go to the show and run back to Waldheim to pick up Richard in time for his par tea. I decided to buy him a ticket for the show. I should have guessed from the look of his face I made a mistake.

We all know Handel’s Messiah. Well, not really; we know the Hallelujah part of the deal. Most of the world does not realise there is a beginning, more of a middle and an end. The Hallelujah isn’t even the end of the work. Ricky O’Bannon of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra gives a great historical review:

5 Thing You Might Not Know About Handel’s Messiah

Richard suffered greatly through the performance, stating during the intermission that he should have gone to a movie. He does not like opera, though I told him this was not an opera, he obviously could not care less. I value his opinion on this subject. He has been blessed with my constant grumblings on Star Trek and The Walking Dead. 

Richard told me the combinations of sounds bothered him. I have never played my CD version of Messiah for Richard. He does find some choral performances uncomfortable to his ears. At first, I could not understand, but after taking a step into his space, I realised his point. Unlike hymns sang in church, with harmonies, the voices are singing the same words at the same time. Choir performances are not always so simple. The art comes in the waves of words, interminglings of sentences and the musical instruments filling in some of the voids. The airs and recitatives sung by the soloists mirror opera, of course, but in Messiah, these introductions to the various parts of the story are so important.

Though I no longer adhere to any religious beliefs, this piece somehow makes me miss church. The point of Messiah is to invoke feelings of love, compassion, and the need to believe. I think the history of the work, the process and the purpose for its creation is enough for me to feel the feels. I have listened to this throughout the year, like a puppy, it is for life, not just for Christmas.

I tried my best to make this performance special for both of us. As mentioned, I volunteered this day and this meant I had to leave him alone at times. The concert took place at Knox United Church in Saskatoon, a 104-year-old building, a place of history. The setting of Messiah was perfect, though not written for Christmas and not originally performed in a church (almost an unheard of thing to be done in the 18th-century), this building needed this piece played here. The beauty of Handel’s music and the words of Charles Jennens made for a wonderful moment. I was part of a truncated performance of Messiah in university when I was part of the Concert Choir. our performance of the work was done at First Presbyterian Church in Regina. The vibe was not the same; there was no weakening of the knees . Not like Saturday.

Though Richard did not like the time spent amongst the chamber players, the chorus – spectators were encouraged to sing along (hence the name of the show), and the soloists, the day was brightened by him just being there. I understand not to play this for him on our trip to Tisdale for Christmas. Granted, I do give him credit for not liking Schubert’s Ave Maria, everyone’s favourite Christmas dirge. He skips this one every time. *praise hands* 

Unfortunately, I will still be blessed with Michael W Smith’s Greatest Christmas Hits.

 

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Filed under Arts and Mines, Historical Cool Stuff, Musical Fruits, Progressive Christianity