Three things: Felted stones, ‘insulte du jour’, and music video

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We felted stones this week. Once at home and once in “the Rockies” with some friends. A very therapeutic activity and the final product is very tactile. L calls them “pillows for tiny tired birds”. I included a wee piece of lichen in mine which turned the white wool a gentle tea colour, which was a nice surprise.

Once a week for the last few weeks we have been eating a packed lunch in a playground that we share with a group of lunching students from a nearby academy. Nothing like the banter of the school playground to transport one back to a less secure time in life. There is one kid–a bully–who repeats an insult that is new to me: “immigrant”. “You are such an immigrant,” he will say to one of his colleagues. “What an immigrant.” Like the insults of my youth (“girl” or “gay”, for example), it is actually as painful, if not more so, to hear if you are actually an immigrant (or gay or a girl). As an bully’s insult it works perfectly to convey exclusion; it says, “you are different and are not wanted here.” I am certain that I am not what he has in mind when he thinks of an immigrant, but there is possibly no immigrant who fits his description. Needless to say, this has been turning over in my mind for weeks now, and it has made me feel kind of homesick (even for my own country where the same insult is probably heard from school bullies there) and sad to be raising children away from my family. So I listened to this song. And that made me even more homesick. But understood.

Other music I have been listening to this week has included the old self-titled album by the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Perhaps one of my favourite videos of all time is Man on Fire. There is something very satisfying about the synthesis of the music and dance.

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