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    What Do You Think?

    an OP ED for July 9/19 USA headlines

    A friend’s daughter told me today her mother has been deeply affected by the politics in the States over these many, many months. There must be so many others, I thought. And then I had to think about myself, given that this friend is a strong, compassionate woman. Have I been affected?

    Of course, the answer is yes. And yet I would say the impact is less and less since the election. It’s a ‘what can be done now?’ kind of attitude. Ah, the slippery slope of apathy. But not now! No, indeed – not with hearing more on the “powerful” cowards south of the border… Epstein and friends, and all who have colluded with him. How will the souls of these young women ever heal? How can the collective female soul recover from Mr. Trump’s vulgar words and misogyny toward Megyn Kelly. Is there a way to forget the video of the Access Hollywood bus driving into 2016. That was when Mr. Trump was seen for what he truly is. And the beat goes on through revelations via the Me Too Movement.

    And so I, like a multitude of females, have been led into the overgrown pathways of buried ‘sexual happenings’ against me and my friends and family… the big older brother of a friend exposing himself to me, a step-grandfather trying to molest me when I was 11, the full-on kiss from someone I barely knew when I was in my forties, the hand on bottom when the choir was climbing a narrow a narrow staircase to the choir loft.

    I was meditating on something a friend had said about forgiveness in a note a few days ago. Is there anyone I have not forgiven? For some reason, forgiveness comes easily to me. But there was something niggling at me. And then it hit me. There was someone I have not been able to forgive. That step-grandfather I mentioned.

    I escaped from him by leaving my house and going to a friend’s house. I didn’t tell anyone. And I quickly forgot what had happened. Until I returned home.

    She was standing on our porch steps. When she saw me, she ran to me, very upset. She had been molesteded by that step-grandfather, that United Church minister. There we were, an 11 year old and an 8 year old, and it was my job to tell our father, our fathermother, who would – and did – take care of the situation. He never did know about me – I knew it would have been too much for him. How could I add to his grief and anger?

    Our mother’s response was a call to silence – “think of the money.” The next summer, when we were getting ready to head to Ontario for our biennial vacation with family, Margaret shared her plan to throw herself down the stairs so that she could stay in hospital while the rest of us were in Ontario. I said I would be ever vigilant and would never leave her alone. Interestingly enough, our grandmother Violet converted the chicken coop for our hangout and bedroom. Our mother’s sister gave us a rescued three-legged chinchilla as a pet. I was relieved that she gave us this acknowledgement that she knew. And we were safe. The next winter we learned that the predator had been killed in a car accident.

    Margaret’s sexual assault affected her for the rest of her life. We would talk about it quietly. We delivered it, along with Robinson’s perennial clerical collar, to a cosmic sinkhole when she was approaching the end of her singular journey.

    She went elsewhere… to the great beyond of Love, which is God. I was with her. I still am.

    Perhaps you’ll understand why I can’t forgive that long-departed man. It has to do with what he did to my sister and all the consequences it had for her. And it has to do with what he did to me. For all these years, I have felt like I abandoned my little sister that day.

    I can’t shake that sense of having deserting her.

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    SPACE JUNK by Lemon~Art

    This is the fourth in a short series of abstract images based on a Science and Engineering theme. The title: Space Junk, in particular orbital debris, is any man-made object in orbit about the Earth which no longer serves a useful function. Such debris includes nonfunctional spacecraft, abandoned launch vehicle stages, mission-related debris and fragmentation debris. There are more than 20,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft. There are 500,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble or larger. There are many millions of pieces of debris that are so small they can’t be tracked. (Information from the NASA website.)

    Lemon~Art’s BIO

    I have enjoyed creating art since childhood but it has only been in more recent years that I have used textures and multiple images to express different or enhanced emotions and feelings in my photographs. As a mathematician/scientist I enjoy using technical elements in my art but also have a fascination with nature. All my artwork originates as a photograph and I then use textures and other digital manipulation techniques and software to enhance the mood and feeling of the image.

    I hope you enjoy the artwork here and if you would like to see more of my images please look at my Flickr pages at www.flickr.com/photos/lemonart/ or my website at lemonart-photography.pixels.com/

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    And yet, through all the pain, sadness and desperate hope, the clarion message of this collection is a mother’s steadfast love for her son. Indeed, her journey, and her son’s, becomes a sort of religious pilgrimage, from which evolves an epiphany: the recognition and ultimate acceptance that the human spirit is larger and more luminous than the grief which shapes it. By the end of the book, we readers feel that we have come to know, through our shared knowledge as survivors of this ubiquitous and systemic disease, this special man, Glenn, and his mother, Ellyn.

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    After the Interlude

    Birth and Death and in-between:

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    Mudlarks & Meadowlarks

    Harry Westley, youngest of eight children, writer, musician, father, was born in Mile End New Town, London, England in 1882. Harry’s London, the Cockney slums of Jack-the-Ripper, squalor, disease and workhouses, was the London Blake foreknew. Harry’s gift to his progeny was to establish life in Canada and to take the family Bible with him across the Atlantic.

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    update on Antonia

    March 15/18:  Antoni ranks #2 in all books in Amazon.com; #4 in all books in Amazon.co.uk, and #1 in Amazon.ca.

    “Drama, pathos, love, intrigue, murder – all the ingredients of excellent fiction are there, along with impeccable use of the English language… highly recommended.” – Linda Clay