Daydreaming somewhere in Toronto, Joy Thompson is clapping, snapping doo-pop for the world weary, introspective soul. 

Oh, I Had a Birthday 

Yeah it was on May 2cd, that was like, a superhero ago (I'm now measuring time by Marvel Cinematic Universe episodes). Anyway, it was fine enough, the fact that I am stuck inside kind of got me down but I tried to make the best of it. Lately I've been playing a lot more music so that helps, and recording a lot of cute lil' tiktok vids (despite their obviously, racist, sexist, misogynist, transphobic, fatphobic algorithm and enforcement policies). I doubt I've mentioned this before but I really love editing, I could happily spend all day editing videos, I just love looking at the finished product. I guess I'm a storyteller and there's so many ways to weave a tale, through music, songwriting, poetry, drawing, painting and video and I enjoy each medium immensely. So tiktok-ing is saving me (and many others) from a hopeless drop into entropic ennui and misery. In the immortal words of Buzz Gunderson "You gotta do something" right?

 

-J

Shall We Dance? 

That's a rhetorical question because we're still in lockdown over here (FOREVERRRRRR) but I really wish we could because I miss salsa something fierce these days. There's no cool way to explain how it feels to step into a class and start warming up with other people also there to learn something new and exciting just based on their sheer desire to enjoy life a little more. I really really miss it. I'm holding tight but it's tough in here, man. After another birthday in lockdown the realization of losing a year to this pandemic has really settled. I'm doing my best to keep learning and enjoying things on my own through reading, painting, dancing and of course singing and performing but I really and truly long for the days where I can walk into a classroom and dance with a partner again, or step onto a stage and play with other musicians. Times are tough, real tough and I guess that's all there is to it. If y'all have any movie recommendations now is the time to drop 'em baby, preferably anything with dancing, music or some sort of passion for life. Hook a sista up, friend and stay safe and sane out (in) there.

 

-J

A Love Letter..... 

Dear Little Black Girl,

You are something special. Your dark skin, your shining eyes, your hopeful gaze as you run excitedly towards everything you see. You are someone beautiful, you have promise, potential and magic within you. You are someone joyful, they will try to break you, try to erase you, invalidate you and your existence but they are wrong. You come from the continent of creation, you are from the nation which birthed this earth, you are the blueprint and you are the map. You, little Black Girl are the way home. Cherish yourself for you deserve all the flowers. Guard your heart, but not too much that you don't let in the beautiful things that you so richly deserve, the wonderful experiences, the joyful moments that will keep your heart beating strong. You, little Black Girl, you are magic and you are irreplaceable, never ever forget it.

Joy

I Mean, It's Something.... 

George Floyd liked to call himself Big Floyd, I know this because I watched one of his videos where he talked about himself that way. He said that Big Floyd loves everyone, he talked about putting good into the world. George was a multi-faceted person, that's something that Black People haven't been given the opportunity to be in North America and most of the world. To be people, varied and interesting and difficult and loving and vulnerable and tough and strange and multi-faceted, with layers upon layers upon layers.

I'd like to write blogs primarily on music how I write, how I create, how I produce, making lip balms and skin care, about learning salsa and silks. I'd like to do blogs about my search for a kitten, the adorable birds that show up on my balcony, my obsession with the MCU and Fast and Furious Franchise or my new appreciation of painting but instead myself (like so many other Black and Indigenous people) are hurled into this constant conversation of racism by people who choose to see us as less than human because of their own (very obvious) shortcomings. Right now the Premier of my province has decided that "Carding" is a good way to combat COVID19. So with the already stressful COVID situation I (and other Black and Brown folks) now have to worry about being harassed or murdered by police as we step out to get fresh air and try to find some semblance of mental health in this godforsaken (Ford orchestrated) nightmare. We would just like to have a normal fucking day where we get to be people but alas we do not have that privilege.

 

Big Floyd should be here today, he deserved to be alive by virtue of the fact that he was a human being and every one of us has inalienable rights whether racist, bigoted people believe it or not. So many White Folks do their best to criminalize Black People, anytime something happens to us according to certain White Folks it's always our fault, we "shouldn't have resisted" we "shouldn't have talked back" "shouldn't have been walking down that street" shouldn't have been bird-watching" "shouldn't have been sleeping in our cars" "shouldn't have been driving around without a license plate or with a broken tail light" "shouldn't have been driving at night" "shouldn't have been carrying a gun in an open carry state" "shouldn't have been sleeping in our beds at night" according to some of you it's all our fault all the time. That's because you don't see us as people, that's a you problem that you are making an us problem. That's a YOU problem that you are making an US problem.

Well I don't have any patience left for racist, bigoted nonsense. I will not turn the other cheek, I will not wish you the best. It's defund and abolish the fucking police, end systemic racism, house the unhoused, period. I am grateful to see Derek Chauvin held accountable for his reprehensible actions but I am horrified that it took the ENTIRE WORLD to get us to this point and that so many of us held our collective breath to see if a man who plainly committed murder on camera would be charged with it. Black People deserve better. I said Black People deserve better and we will never stop fighting for what we deserve, it's high time the world joins us. It's not enough to say you are not racist, it's time for you to be actively anti-racist, it's time to do the work required. Black People did not create racism, it is not our job nor the job of BIPOC to fix it.

 

Joy

 

 

This Post is For Black Women... 

Hi Friend,

I know you are doing your goddamn best to put your best foot forward every day. I know you try to bring light, levity, talent, innovation and creativity into yours and others' lives. I know that the majority of the time no one notices and even moreso it seems like not one damn person cares what you contribute, I know, I feel that too. I want you to know that I see you when you aren't seen, I hear you when you aren't heard and I value you when you aren't valued. You are worthy of love, care and happiness and thank you for everything you do. You make this terrible world a bit better and that is NOT an easy thing to do.

-Joy

 

P.S Please know it's okay to want to give up and just sit in your misery. It's okay to cry until your chest shakes, it's okay to be soft and vulnerable. You are okay just as you are. You are a full multi-faceted person who exists in multitudes whether their shady asses see it or not. Keep being you, there is soooo much value in that for yourself and for all of your Black sisters who need and want you here too.

"No One Hath Asked Me But I Did Want Everyone To Know..." 

(The great Stanzi Potenza by the way, I did not craft that opener) Anyways this one's a quickie, here's a few playlists to boost your mood. If you need a hype man if you need to old school vibe a little... if you need to rage against the dying of the light or if a little nostalgia would set you right.(that rhymed, thank you very much) Finally we have the archetypal crying in the rain, or around the rain or near the rain or crying while staring out at the rain playlist. We all need one of those but please, use these playlists responsibly, we're in a fucking pandemic after all, emotions may vary.

Your Comrade in Arms,

Joy

 

BUT WHAT DO I DOOOOOOOO........ (AKA Live Through This) 

Okay,so part of that title was just a smoke screen to reference Hole's 1994 album which really does cover a lot of ground on how shitty it is to be a woman in this world. But that's not what this post is about, this post is about REJECTION!!!!!

Yep that's right, REJECTION ( I know right?, why do I keep yelling it? because this is how you hear it in your head, that's why) this post is about choosing someone that doesn't choose you, wanting someone that doesn't want you, caring about someone that doesn't care about you. Some people find out about this in a marriage, some people find out in a romantic relationship, some people find out in an alleged friendship or from a family member and some in an unrequited love situation, whatever the deal the hand sucks.

It's hurtful knowing that you care about someone who either doesn't care much or cares very little for you. It's heart-wrenching knowing that you'd like someone in your life in whatever context when that person doesn't want to be there. Well there's no solution. I'm sorry but there isn't. It hurts, it sucks but it heals with time much like all things, it may always sting a little but it will never feel as fresh as the moments when you experienced it and it won't spend forever immobilizing you and locking you in a prison of self-doubt. It's not the end of the world unless you want it to be.

It's hard to come back swinging from something like this, so often it's best not to swing, try slowly crawling out when you're ready a little bit at a time. The most important thing is giving ourselves space to heal when we need it, jumping back into life again is just a band-aid reaction that will eventually cause an infection. The trick is to feel it, suffer it and know that eventually it won't feel that way. This is the hardest part to it (trust me, I know) but human resiliency goes with the territory, we can and will be okay, it's possible. I know it sucks, I feel it, let it suck, until it doesn't.

-Joy (here and there)

I Am Buggin' 

That's it, that's the post. I'm a Woman and I'm Black, that makes me a Black Woman and sometimes every single fucking aspect of being both in North America sucks.

 

-Person

HOW TO DEAL..... 

Oh this isn't an instructional post, I genuinely thought you'd help a sista out here. You see my usual coping mechanisms revolve around going to the gym, taking a writing class, taking a salsa class, taking a silks class, learning something new, going to the studio, blah blah beefcakes...

As you can very well see, none of these options are available to me now and I'm quite put out about it. Oh how I long for the days of haphazardly watching Netflix on my phone as I suffer away on the elliptical, it was hardly suffering to be honest, I quite enjoyed it frankly (except those first few years after the accident) but I thought it best to be dramatic. Yes I yearn for the days awaiting the start of a new salsa class (actually I rather hate the waiting beforehand, it gives me slight anxiety) but whatever and whatnot the point is I miss stuff!

A doer of stuff, a maker of things, a stuff maker. I just absolutely adore doing stuff, learning stuff, creating stuff, discovering stuff and COVID19 has really destroyed that opportunity for me in nearly every conceivable way. I don't have a super positive Tracy Flick-esque ending to this blog splat, this is literally just to say that I am buggin' and I am spent and boy do I wish people would vote NDP and understand Socialism as a concept that is meant to help us and not hurt us.

People really seem to look at Socialism like it's Capitalism when Capitalism is Capitalism and Capitalism has the worst baby in the world Lil' White Supremacy who is very much like that freaky over-sized baby of days of quarantine yore. I just want people to give a fuck about other people, not to the extent that everyone is partying with everyone and chilling with people they absolutely cannot stand but to the extent that horrible human rights issues that other people go through bother them.

I want it to bother people if someone doesn't have a home, I want it to bother people if someone experiences racial violence, I need it to bother people if someone experiences sexual violence, or to agitate people that someone sunk all their money and heart into a small business to watch the Ontario Government work in concert with COVID19 to destroy it. I want it to irritate people that a vulnerable person has been stuck in their house for a year and still isn't on the list for a vaccine, etc.. etc... and I can't help but notice that the longer we move away from that mindset the longer COVID19 digs in its heels and the more eggs (read variants) it hatches to thwart our attempts at separateness. We really just have to do better, and we really do need to give a shit about other people. I am absolutely convinced that we don't have a shot in hell at getting out of this mess unless we do.

Your Comrade in Arms,

Joy

 

Why, Why Why MEEEEEEEEEEEE (And Other Self-Pitying Soliloquies) 

I'm a Taurus. You should know this by now because I use nearly every damn opportunity to tell you but what you may not know is that my Moon is in Pisces and My Rising is Cancer. Baby that is A LOT of water and with water (as I'm sure you know) comes tears, many many tears. In fact the Water Signs are absolutely profound at the poor me attitude, it goes a little something like this....

Cancer: Why are you doing this to meeeee?

Pisces: Why am I doing this to meeee?

Scorpio: Why is everyone so mean to meeee? (is mean to everyone)

Yep, the Water Signs have this self-pitying shit on lock, Air Signs are pretty good at it too only they disguise it under self-flagellation and toxic, self-sabotaging behaviour.

But you can see where the self-pity comes from. It took me a long, very sad time not to automatically default into    self-pity in nearly every miserable situation. In fact it still acts as a default often but I don't spend too much time there, to be quite honest I get bored. There's not much constructive benefit to feeling sorry for yourself when you think about it, it doesn't really get you any place and with a Mercury in Aries and a Signature Leo I like to get places, man.

So what I've learned is to allot time for self-pity but in a very Virgo way. Honey set that timer, cry, bitch, kvetch, journal then get to doing something about it. Because between you and me I find when I sit too long in that feeling it really lowers my vibration, a moment becomes a feeling which becomes an experience which becomes a (very toxic) environment and it's not even the truth of that situation, it's just a moment so it truly helps when you treat it as such. 

The other day in a particular state of self-pity I watched this movie and it hit me like a brick. For context Demi Moore plays a lieutenant trying to get past training in the Marines and she is the first woman to do so, she gets A LOT of flack, zero help, zero cheerleading, zero ambiguous moral support and she doesn't spend one second feeling sorry for herself. Not one damn second. It's real Angelina Jolie energy and it's inspiring (one of these days I'm going to do a blog on inspiring movies) So if you're feeling like crap and you haven't identified yet that the crap isn't you and you're wallowing in your state like some kind of Gwyneth Paltrow, let me WAKE YOU UP (and myself, frankly).  Feeling bad is easy, it's what a capitalist society wants you to feel so you'll buy more shit. But you don't need more shit, you just need to ground yourself and focus on the things that make you happy, you do what you can about the things that make you unhappy and do your best to give yourself the grace that no one gave you.

Your Comrade in Arms,

Joy