On This Day In History

7 Aug

It’s my birthday, y’all. I’m 32 today.

I had a personal essay go up on Jezebel today (trigger warning for talk of suicide)

I also had a serious scholarly article about Anne Boleyn go up on The Toast.

It’s been a big day.

We drove for three hours to see my grandmother in St-Bruno, then drove three hours back to Kingston, where we’re staying with my mom for the week. I only got to chill with my Nana for about two hours, but it was one hundred percent worth it because I get to see her once or twice a year tops. My Nana is a really rad lady, in case you were wondering.

She hates having her picture taken, but here’s an awesome picture of my grandfather I found while I was there:



Also this is how big the fucking hedge is in my grandmother’s backyard (Theo pictured for scale), so whenever I’m there I feel like I’m chilling in a fairytale forest, which is obviously something I’m into.


I love that stupid hedge an unreasonable amount. I used to play hide and seek in there with my cousins when I was a kid. Also we turned part of it into a fort where we did secret things. And by secret things I mean played house.

We made it back to Kingston by early evening, and I paid my yearly tribute to Hiroshima. They hold a Peace Lantern ceremony here in one of the parks downtown, and the ritual of making lanterns, folding cranes and singing Pete Seeger songs has become an important part of my birthday. It’s kind of weird to feel so tied to this horrible event that happened decades before I was born, but I’m also weirdly thankful for the moments of sad remembrance on what is otherwise a happy day. The bombing of Hiroshima feels like a part of who I am, in a way that I can’t really properly articulate.



Making lanterns with Theo


The boy beside us, Yuto, made the lantern below. As you can see, there’s Pikachu and also an illustration of the bombing of Hiroshima. He was adorable and a great artist. I think that placing these two scenes side by side really makes a statement.

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Making paper cranes:


My crane:

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The lantern procession:

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Getting ready to float them out on the water:

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This birthday was one of the good ones.

21 Responses to “On This Day In History”

  1. Anubrat Dadhwal August 7, 2014 at 3:16 am #

    Heartiest wishes on your birthday. Stay Blessed. 🙂

  2. AmazingSusan August 7, 2014 at 4:01 am #

    ❤ & 32 candles. Blow them up. Blow them out. Blow your mind.

  3. smartypants196 August 7, 2014 at 4:20 am #

    happy birthday thanks for sharing especially about Hiroshima one of american’s lowest moments. You had a fantastic day you are not in Silvia Plaths belle jar today you are awesome. Enjoying life, choosing life. From a stranger who loves you and your writing from Eugene Oregon

  4. princessbunnycakes August 7, 2014 at 4:29 am #

    Happy birthday lovely lady! The lanterns look stunning.

  5. goingtoeatworms August 7, 2014 at 5:09 am #

    Happy birthday! I really enjoyed your piece on Jezebel. Thank you… it resonated with my experiences at those ages.

  6. jesskawrites August 7, 2014 at 5:14 am #

    Happy Birthday 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it

  7. weird is the new normal August 7, 2014 at 5:16 am #

    Happy birthday, and congratulations on the essay and article going up!

  8. welliswan August 7, 2014 at 5:33 am #

    Happy birthday! I’m so grateful for your presence and your writing, and am so glad that you had a good day.

  9. Rebecca Meyer August 7, 2014 at 6:40 am #

    Happy Birthday! Those pictures are beautiful. It looks like you had a wonderful day. 🙂

  10. arthurwards1179 August 7, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    Happy Birthday Buddy! The lanterns are beautiful! Be blessed. 😀

  11. boitedereception August 7, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    Good idea the event “Hiroshima day”! for the kids.
    To realize what happen..

  12. fifitrixibell August 7, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    Happy Birthday and may you see many more just as happy x

  13. ksbeth August 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    happy birthday and many more happy days to you ) beth

  14. mfennvt August 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    Happy Birthday!

  15. ellaindc August 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    Happy Birthday! Although, while I applaud your excellent taste in Anne Boleyns, we may need to Have Words about some of the rest of that list (Anne of Cleves is an underrated lady. And despite the whole Lord Admiral thing, I’d give Catherine Parr a notch or two up. What’s your attachment to Katherine Howard?).

  16. theasceticlibertine August 7, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    I read your awesome Anne Boleyn post on The Toast–amazing and hilarious! Sharing with everyone I know. 🙂

  17. Lauren Keating August 8, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    Happy birthday!! I read your piece on Jezebel and thought you wrote your story well. I’m sure your story will resonate with some teenager going through the same things. Great pictures in this post as well!

  18. rudipikus August 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    Reblogged this on pelabuhanblog and commented:
    Apa kabar……….

  19. Patty O August 10, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    Happy Birthday, ok a little late, but nonetheless heartfelt! Theo is absolutely adorable…and what wonderful experiences he shared with you today. The magical hedge and the lantern making. I can see why you choose to participate in the Hiroshima remembrance – what a beautiful and touching event – and yes, even more poignant that it’s on your birthday. Thank you for including pictures – too many of us have forgotten the importance of such events.

  20. Samantha August 11, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    Happy late birthday, love the photos! One of my cousin’s birthday is on September 11. It’s amazing how balancing these two events, one happy and one sad can be so…inexplicably necessary. ❤

  21. toddasana August 12, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    a very belated happy birthday, and an ongoing thanks for your eloquent blog. AND for your hilarious Anne Boleyn essay. Who knew accurate history could be so rib-splitting when written with attitude? The modern idiom applied to 16th century doin’s totally cracked me up … I suspect Henry’s courtiers were equally profane in their own way (more blasphemous than us … probably equally scatalogical, though).

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