Thursday, June 29, 2006

All Things Considered

Mom's Cancer continues to get excellent media coverage and the latest is an interview on NPR (America's National Public Radio network) show "All Things Considered" (which, as I understand it, is a network flagship show analogous to CBC's "As it Happens").

NPR's page about the interview, including a link where you can hear it, is here.

He appeared with Miriam Engleberg, who coincidentally has also recently released a graphic novel about her own breast cancer, Cancer made me a shallower person. (What a great title!) This means that she and Brian have appeared, in print or in person, together in a couple of venues, as reviewers double up on the books for articles. Their art styles probably couldn't be much more different; yet from what he says, she sounds like an amazing person and they get along like gangbusters.

Brian comments on his blog that he's a little sorry NPR chose to run the panels it did from Mom's Cancer for the web story, noting they're not really representative of the book. It's true, they're not; the book overall is less angry than these particular panels. But it's a powerful excerpt with some stunning samples of Brian's art, and the interview has apparently generated a lot of web action, which is, of course, a Good Thing.

I went to a citizenship ceremony today. Due to the nature of my work I get to go as part of my job (bonus!) and I usually know one or two of the families getting their citizenship at any one. Today was a special day - two co-workers and their families were getting their Canadian citizenship, including one who I consider a close friend - the Indian woman I introduced to Canadian gardening. She, her husband, and her two beautiful daughters became citizens today and I just about burst with happiness that they have chosen - in a family with roots in India and branches in the US, Germany, and New Zealand - to make Canada their permanent home.

It's funny - citizenship ceremonies are so fundamental to the principles our countries are built on, both in the US and Canada, and so few people ever attend one. I suppose most people don't even know that - in Canada at least - they're public events and anyone can attend. Those who do probably never "had any reason" to attend one. That's 'cause the reason you should, or you'll be glad you did, isn't obvious.

Even if you don't know one single person reciting that oath, you'll find it an incredibly moving experience. It makes you think - focus on - things we rarely do in our busy lives. What does my country mean? Who are these people who want to come here and join us? And why did they choose us?

Between those thoughts, and watching the new citizens cross the stage and get their certificates and cards and little flag pins - especially the families - especially the people proudly wearing their ethnic dress, bringing their beautiful cultures to your country - especially the children, the innumerable shades of pink and brown and braids and cornrows and silky ponytails - you'll think, "this is my country's future. This is our future, right here, in front of me, now."

And that's a Good Thing, too.



Blogger Brian Fies said...

Thanks for the cite, Ronnie. I do like Miriam Engelberg and am happy we seem to be stuck with each other. On your other topic, I find citizenship ceremonies very moving and am glad you wrote about it. Thanks for that, too.

4:24 p.m.  

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