Tuesday, November 21, 2023


This blog is mainly about quilting but it's also musing, ruminating and sometimes lamenting. Today is a lamenting day, so if you'd rather wait until a quilting post, off you go, no worries. We can only take in so much misery, and we need to take care of our own mental health so we can continue to fight for the good of humanity and our planet. This blog is mainly a record of my quilts and their stories, but it's also a record of my life, and how I see my place in our world.

Something I read last week has stuck with me,

Honestly, I do not think I am brave enough to have done what the women in the French Resistance did during WWII. I've read many books, both factual and historical fiction, and I've watched many films, documentary and based upon fact, about it. Incredible quiet acts of heroism and self-sacrifice. But activism doesn't have to be that level of bravery. When I see oppression, be it on humans or animals, I speak out. Those who have followed me for years know that I speak out against BSL, and support organizations who fight it, that I've signed petitions, written to MPs and MPPs. I wrote about the ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide of the Rohingya, still suffering as I write this, murdered, raped, and pushed out of Myanmar by the Buddhist military. Yes. Oppression knows no limitations to religious or non-religious peoples. 

I was outraged (anew) by comments here and there, by silence from so many quarters, on the genocide of the Palestinian people. And that outrage manifested itself on Sunday into making the Palestinian flag, something I've felt pushed to do for a while now.

As I said in my last post, where are all the quilters who made blue and yellow blocks for Ukraine? Who flew their flag, so to speak, on social media and stood up against Russia's invasion? Yes, what about Ukraine? What about the Palestinians? The Rohingya? The Uyghur Muslims? Sudan? Congo? the earthquakes in Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan?

Why are we not afraid to speak out against Russia, a powerful insidious colonizer, but afraid to speak out against Israel, also a powerful insidious colonizer, thanks to mainly US backing, but also UK and other western countries, Canada among them? Something in the film (see below) I watched yesterday has also really resonated: Israel has weaponized anti-semitism. Think about that for a moment and also the fact that we know that abused people often become abusers. (also in the film)

When I saw a link from @OnCanadaProject last week to a discussion from two years ago and screening of the film, Palestine is Still the Issue, made by acclaimed journalist and filmmaker John Pilger, on YouTube, I bookmarked it to watch. I watched it yesterday. I cannot stress enough the importance of watching this film. It is 55 minutes long, the discussion over an hour. Maybe you saw the film when it was first released,  in 1974 and 2002, but it helped me become a lot more informed about the oppression of the Palestinian people by Israel. It is so pertinent today, and eerie in the predictions from two years ago of another imminent ethnic cleansing. This current one is not the first. The events of October 7 did not start this.

Part of a quote I read out in my Sunday yoga class comes from another very good follow on Instagram, a professor at San Diego State University, Anusha Wijeyakumar @shantiwithin regarding how devastating it is to see, as she writes, "...so many yoga, meditation and mindfulness 'influencers' who profit off messages of peace and love being so silent in the face of Palestinian genocide and ethnic cleansing.

The hypocrisy is real. Privilege upholds oppression. 
Capitalism upholds oppression. Racism upholds oppression. 
We can and must do better. Our shared humanity relies upon it."

So to be clear, I am not "picking a side". I am on the side of humanity, always have been. Charlotte expressed this so well:

I mentioned in my last post that something we can do is simply follow and like posts from Palestinian artists. Here is one list I took a screenshot of, and where I found the joyful talented artist, @faressol2 

We can call and email our MPs and MPPs or MLAs whatever you call them in your province (state, country), asking no demanding they call for a ceasefire and end to the genocide.

In Canada you can send your MP mail postage free!

Mail may be sent postage-free to any Member of Parliament at the following address:

  • [Name of Member of Parliament]
  • House of Commons
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Canada
  • K1A 0A6
Here is the link to the list of MPs with their contact information. As @glennondoyle another great activist to follow, said, write out the email (she gives you a sample) and send it every day to your reps.

We can support with our dollars organizations who support human rights:
@oncanadaproject (these two ladies provided excellent coverage of the occupation of Ottawa in February 2022, and continue to uphold human rights around the globe

@doctorswithoutborders and @msfcanada (Just before inserting photos from my phone--I type on my laptop and then insert from my phone-- I unlocked my phone where Instagram was open, and the first post from 3 minutes ago, so 12.29 pm EST, announces that "MSF IS HORRIFIED BY THE KILLING OF TWO MSF DOCTORS." They worked at Al Awda Hospital, and their coordinates were given to the Israeli military. Yet they still struck.

@redcrosscanada (or your own country -- you can specify your donation to Middle East Humanitarian Crisis Appeal)

And we can take time away from the constant news cycle. Time to do something we love, like sew, time to get outside, time to read a book that takes us to another world. Thank you for reading.


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