A Toronto Transformation

Inspiring Women: Grace Lee Boggs & Naomi Klein

Well happy new year, pals! I hope you all had wonderful holidays with plenty of R&R. As you may recall, it always takes me a few days of getting a feel for the new year to decide what my new year’s resolutions will be, and 2015 has been no different.

Last year’s resolution to not become betrothed was such a smashing success that this year, I thought I’d try my hand at being resolute again!

As I’ve said before, I think it’s so important for people to be engaged in what’s going on in the world outside our own front doors, and if I want to be able to discuss current events and important issues, I should do a little civic homework beyond skimming the paper or tuning in to the CBC over breakfast.

To that end, I’m diving into Naomi Klein’s latest book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate. I’ve just read the first few pages, and I can tell already that this book is going to scare me, and maybe break my heart a little, but as far as I’m concerned, more of us should be frightened and heartbroken over the state of the planet and how little we’re willing to give up to save it and ourselves. But I’m hoping I’ll also find some inspiration for potential solutions. All is not lost, but we can’t be voices for change if our heads are buried in the (tar)sand(s).

Sand is very muffling.

And speaking of voices for change, last week the Moth podcast introduced me to the incredible Grace Lee Boggs. I dare you to listen to this hilarious, sharp 97-year-old (at the time of the recording) talk about her life as an unstoppable activist and her relationship with her “physically and politically attractive” husband without falling totally in love with her.  She talks about him being a “solutionary,” a visionary organizer who “proposed things people didn’t know they could do until someone told them they could do it” and about how that’s the sort of thing we need in the world today.

Immediately after l finished listening to it, I went online to order a copy of American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, because I just had to know more about this fantastic philosopher and her contributions to every major social movement in the United States for the past 70 years, and in my Googling, I was sad to learn that the 99-year-old has been in hospice since September. There is a campaign to support her in her final transition as she lives out her last days. If you have a couple extra bucks to throw her way, funds are being collected here. And, if you’re in Toronto and would be interested in watching the documentary about her, let me know as I’m toying with the idea of setting up a screening of it and sending the funds her way if there’s some interest!

So I guess that’s my real New Year’s resolution: to be more like Naomi Klein and Grace Lee Boggs, to do my homework and be more of a “solutionary.”

(Also to go to bed earlier, bulk up my savings and keep my apartment tidier, you know, if there’s time)

What are your resolutions for 2015?

7 Responses to Inspiring Women: Grace Lee Boggs & Naomi Klein

  • This is really great. If I was in Toronto, I’d totally be joining you for that screening. One of my unofficial resolutions is to become more proactive. I find myself getting so depressed and despondent because I make it a point to be aware of everything, but that awareness is crushing when I have no clue how to bring about any solutions.

    Also, both of the books you mentioned sound excellent and have inspired me to read them for my new project!

    • metamorphocity says:

      Excellent! Let me know if you do read This Changes Everything. I know I’m going to want to talk about it when I’m done.

  • Leslie says:

    I was lucky enough to receive Harry’s Last Stand for Christmas and look forward to reading about another nonagenarian who became an activist very late in life following the death of his wife. He was born in Britain and lived his life in Belleville. After his wife died he started to reflect on his own life experiences and wrote a memoir about growing up in poverty such as the kind chronicled by Dickens. He worries about where we are headed. He postponed his retirement and travels speaking about his books and his history and the future. What a wonderful, generous person to spend his final chapter in this way!
    His book has sold 20,000 copies and is now in its third printing.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/01/06/91yearold_belleville_author_galvanizes_toronto_youth_with_his_getpolitical_message.html

    • metamorphocity says:

      Man, these are some inspiring elders! I definitely want to read Harry’s Last Stand too!

  • Erin says:

    Fantastic resolutions!

    I’d definitely pay to see that documentary. Let me know if you decide to go through with it. 🙂

    • metamorphocity says:

      Excellent! I’m going to make some calls and see if there’s a venue who might donate some screening time!

  • megabrooke says:

    Hi lady! Long time no chat! I’m finally back on the circuit! Happy 2015!
    You’ve inspired me. I’m definitely going to check out that podcast— I know I personally would like to feel a little more in the know about what is going in the world every day. I mean, I know the basics, but there’s a lot I’m just not too on the cusp of, and I’d like to be. That’s one of my resolutions, OR, in the spirit of my non-resolutions, I resolve NOT to be so in the dark about current events, both near and far.

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