it is as if the bones…

Etches of Ink and Light

it is as if the bones in my body
are changing
i am restless
i want to act on this world
so that we can live
or, finally
at times i want to step back
and not say a word
in the midst of discussions
as if so that i can store my words
for cutting
tearing apart
sewing together
i devour every book, manual, paper
that comes my way
i am insatiably hungry for
an-other way of thinking
embodied in living
i want to escape thinking without acting
i want to escape acting without thinking
i want to thinkact
i am restless to wrap my fingers
around this inhospitable unjust world
and crush it

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On Ferguson – The System Isn’t Broken, It Was Built This Way

“White people have been taught for their entire lives to believe in the system. The system is civilization; the system is democracy, the courts of law, the way the state cares for and supports us. We’ve been told over and over that the system is what allows us to live safely, free from fear. But every time something like Ferguson happens, we white folks see glimpses of how completely fucked the system is. And those glimpses terrify the shit out of us, because they shake the foundation of every bit of patriotic jingoism that’s been crammed down our throats since day one.”
—– written by a White person of the ongoing tragedy at Ferguson USA

The Belle Jar

I have an uncle who was a cop.

His kids, my cousins, were around my age and when we visited our family in Québec every summer I practically lived at their house. As soon as we got to my grandmother’s house, all rumpled and grumpy from our eight hour drive, I would start dialling my cousins’ number on her beige rotary phone. I spent the whole damn school year waiting for summer, and my time with my cousins, to come; we wrote each other letters all through the dreary winter, hatching plans for new summer exploits. Life with my cousins – swimming in their pool, family barbecues, playing hide-and-seek in my grandmother’s mammoth hedge at twilight – was lightyears better than my boring life in Ontario.

Pretty much every summer my uncle would, at some point, take us to visit the police station. He would pretend that we were criminals and…

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Turn off, plug out, drop in

“Across the room, a couple slouched into chairs opposite each other with eyes glued to their smartphones. They reminded me of an elderly married couple who used to be regulars at a bar I once worked in. Every night they would come into the bar together, order two pints, and then sit in silence facing each other across the scratched veneer of the table while drinking their beer. As if the long years of living together had sucked their conversation dry. There must have been nine travellers in that room but you could have heard a pin drop. The clacketty-clack of keyboard typing was only finally broken by the lone voice of a head-phoned British boy on Skype talking to his mother.”

Less Tech. More Specs 😉

Road Essays

A hotel owner friend of mine is frustrated.

“If I see one more person sitting on the terrace with their eyes glued to their bloody iPhone instead of our amazing view, I’ll throw their iPhone off the terrace.”

She’s written this on Facebook – kind of ironic when complaining about technology – but she has a point.

Like many over-35s, I remember an era of travelling when laptops were still too expensive, and heavy, to lug around in a backpack and if you wanted to contact home you used a public phone box. On my first extended backpacking trip I didn’t even know what the internet was. Even by the time email had been integrated into my travel experience, using it required the patience of a saint to search out the one internet cafe in town with a decent dial-up connection and then the ability to type fast enough to…

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In Defense of John Green’s Critics: Why Ignoring Minorities is Actually Pretty Lazy – Isis Magazine

I actually saw John Green as a blogger before he made the sweet romantic flick of a book. The reason I am talking here is that John Green at times as a person is pretty misinformed and has a hegemonic way of talking though maybe he doesn’t mean it. For example, I am Bangladeshi, I am actually from Bangladesh, and in 2009 there was a very horrible incident in Dhaka the capital city where the Border Police a subset under the army took a mutiny in cantonment and guess what I lived nearby the area. Green juxtaposed this with a Kansas gas leak that blew up 3 buildings that affected no one in particular. I am sorry if there were property or valuables’ damage but what he said with ignorance (I did re-watch the video) was that it was a “incompetent” mutiny and that it contributes nothing new to “fragile government”. Having such mainstream, Occidental/Oriental imperialism view on Bangladesh is pretty stupid.

What happened in Dhaka was scary and it was kinda unprecedented. People were told to evacuate from a 2 mile like radius because the army bought out anti-aircraft cannons to fire if necessary if the then BDR did not give up hostages and stop their killing. And this to Green was, at that time of immediate panic not even old news, “incompetent”.

From living in a privileged space and talking from a privileged position I don’t think he has a right to say something without proper research. Also, I think in USA, Japan, France and UK you can be a mainstream writer with little effort. I am not saying he is a bad writer because I haven’t read much his work but I do know that him saying a crisis that made people die mutilated deaths and had army personnel raped “incompetent” mutiny is pretty cold and very rude especially when it was still 2009 and it was still during the time of crisis.

In Defense of John Green’s Critics: Why Ignoring Minorities is Actually Pretty Lazy – Isis Magazine.

The Canadian Rockies, Day 3: Moraine Lake, Saddleback Pass & Takakkaw Falls

Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog

In the aftermath of a disappointing day at Lake O’Hara, I had hopes for better luck on Day 3.  My plan was to shoot sunrise at Moraine Lake, about a 20-25 minute drive from where I was staying at Lake Louise Village.  The forecast was for mostly cloudy conditions, but I was hoping that I’d get lucky.  As I made the drive, in the dark, down the winding Moraine Lake Road, I could see no stars when I glanced out the window.  As a result, I expected no sunrise this morning.

There was some ambient light when I reached Moraine Lake itself, and because of the time I took to scout the location on Day 1 , I immediately headed to a spot along the lake shore, rather than climbing up to the rock pile, as many photographers automatically do.  The sky was indeed mostly cloudy, but there was…

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What Happens When You Go Viral: On Wanting to Give Up

A simple truth at times 😦

Lily Ellyn

I recently found out that the hit count on my Relevant article back in June was over 1.6 million. The editor told me it was the second-biggest traffic day in the history of their website. That’s mind-boggling to me.

If you had asked me a year ago what I thought it would mean to have a piece get that much exposure, I would have assumed it would be my big break. That it would boost my blog, lead to freelance opportunities, help connect me to the right people. That it would be my open door into the world of professional writing and publishing. That it would bring me validation and satisfaction. It would reassure me that what I’m doing here isn’t pointless and that my story matters.

Do you want to know the truth?

It hasn’t done any of those things. For a few weeks I received a lot of…

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Weekend Edition – Your Writing Matters plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

Live to Write - Write to Live

Yes, your writing matters.

I find comfort in unexpected patterns of discovery. When I am wrestling with a question, serendipity never fails to serve up a chain of touchstones that offer, if not an answer, perspective and guidance, or – at the very least – the knowledge that I am not alone in asking my question. This week I experienced just such Universal benevolence around the question, “Why bother writing?”

It’s a harsh question. I know.

But, I think it’s one many writers struggle with. In my case, I looked around at all the injustice and pain and suffering in the world and my desire to write seemed petty and insignificant in comparison. It felt frivolous and self-indulgent. Other people are out there doing Important Work – saving lives, inventing things, righting wrongs. And here I sit – hacking away at the keyboard, making stuff up, and sharing my inner…

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