leading up to a performance.

Tomorrow is the day! We’ve been practicing for months to have 18 storytellers perform all of Homer’s odyssey. And the day is almost here! Tomorrow! 18 unique voices and styles, 18 wonderful local storytellers, telling Homer as it was meant to be told. it is so exciting. and storytellers do not read. We learn the story. Not straight memorization either. Learning the story so it is in you to tell. But of course with the beautiful language. what an experience! One I will not ever forget. Come and listen. You’ll be amazed!

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When a garbage can is a wonderful musical instrument.

I told stories to grade 7 and 8 students yesterday. One of them came up to me after and said how wonderful it was that I was blind because of a bit in my story about a big metal garbage can. Without spoiling the story for anyone who hasn’t heard it, I have a bit about learning to use a white cane to travel around and finding a big metal garbage can and tapping it with my cane. The sound that came forth was wonderful. I didn’t know it was a garbage can but thought of it as a wonderful musical instrument. The student said that she would have just seen a garbage can but that I heard much more before I touched it and realized what it was. She said it means that I can have a great imagination. What an insightful comment it was. I was touched and impressed. And yes, it is true, I can imagine things and sometimes vision could hamper this. For example, I still think of clouds as big huge fluffy marshmallows or huge feather pillows. And if you climbed in one, cotton or marshmallowy goodness would be all around you. I know this isn’t how it is but it is how I think of it. I imagine the night sky as feeling like a piece of velvet. I could go on but I won’t. But thanks to those students and their teachers for giving me a very special afternoon.

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Chinese activist. The language the media uses.

I feel proud of the totally blind lawyer who escaped his house and escaped from his guards. I feel proud of him for championing human rights. I am proud to be blind as he is. But some of the stories irritate me. He is always described as blind first. The blind man who escaped. The blind chinese activist. His blindness is a factor. I wonder about it. How did he learn and get educated? How did he travel around independently? How did he adapt his work? but I wonder also about his other qualities and characteristics. Some of the tone of the articles imply that how could a blind person do these things? Well, in the night he wouldn’t need lights to move around. He would know the area around his village and could travel about with ease presumably. He could think and plan what to do. He was brave and courageous and intelligent and stuck to his beliefs and yes he is also blind. But his blindness is not an oddity or the most important thing in this story. It is a part of him as it is a part of me.

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My wonderful friend Lisa’s blog about my blog.

I first met my friend Lisa many many years ago when we both worked at a campe for kids with disabilities. We lost touch for several years and then found each other again electronically. Lisa is a writer and a fine one at that! I love reading her blog and as you will see, she enjoys my blog too. She wrote about me in it today. Very eloquently. Thank you Lisa. I am also your number one fan. here is the link. enjoy! Fifty good deeds blog by Lisa

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Got a grant thanks to the community foundation of Ottawa.

Yesterday, we got the good news that we got a grant from the community foundation of Ottawa for our program “Get together with technology” in which we will organize training in technology for people who are blind or have low vision. At the moment, we are in the midst of a pilot program in cooperation with the apple store introducing people who are blind to their products. We are very grateful to the community foundation for our grant. Stay tuned for more information.

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Thinking about ancient Greece.

The storytelling community here in Ottawa is becoming very excited about an upcoming event. A storytelling performance of Homer’s odyssey. 8 hours of storytelling. 17 storytellers taking about half an hour each. Not reading! Storytelling. I’ve been trying to learn my book and it hasn’t been easy. Somehow, the language isn’t flowing for me. We suspected yesterday at rehearsal it is because the images from that time aren’t clear in my head. What were the palaces like? The clothing? The feel the smell of the place? Somehow I have to get myself more into that world so that I can tell my part of the story with real flow and conviction. Very interesting process. Any helpful descriptions would be welcome.

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Kids are so wonderful.

I spent a delightful afternoon yesterday with some tiny kids at a school. They were from about 3 to 6 mostly. I came in the room and they said, “You are blind.” “How did you know I was blind?” “Our teacher told us.” “Any other reason?” “One eye is open and the other isn’t so I guess you are half blind.” “No I’m all the way blind. How else do you know?” “you have a dog.” Did storytelling and talking about Tulia. Then at the end, “Does anyone have any questions?” Many hands shot up but all had the same question, “When can we pat the dog?” Harness came off and Tulia and kids were all happy with their mutual admiration of each other. Guess they didn’t mind the storytelling either! Smile!

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