Backpacks – Trevor Boyd


Trevor Boyd


My life is like this backpack I carry with me,

The content inside it brings complexity.

My classmates all have them, but none are the same.

Each has its own items, each attached to a name.

These backpacks get heavy, they never are light,

These backpacks impacted by everyday life.

Today for example, while sitting in class,

a question came to me, that I was afraid to ask.


I wondered if this teacher, standing in front of me

has pre-conceived notions of who I should be.

And what about the kid, who lives down the street,

comes to school every day with nothing to eat.

Her backpack is empty of physical things,

but packed with the feeling embarrassment brings.

Barry in my class, he sits next to me,

his backpack says Mary haunted by ‘HIS’ story.


He sits in his class with his shoulders up straight

but walks by the restrooms wondering what door to take.

My best friend and I sit together on the bus.

She has two mothers which can cause a fuss.

Bullies poke fun at her from one stop to the next,

By the end of the bus ride, her backpack’s a wreck.

They call Johnny names, cause he can’t read or write.

Though they’re only words, they keep him up all night.


And what’s even worse, they push him around.

His backpack went flying, and fell to the ground.

What I saw come from Johnny’s backpack that day,

was anger, self-hatred, self-harm and dismay.

As I helped Johnny up I whispered in his ear,

I’ll lighten your load, pass the backpack here.

My school is full of backpacks, no one is alike.

So how can YOU help make these backpacks light?

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Acceptance – Alex Jadad

“I’be been reflecting a lot”

Alax Jadad physician, on how he learned from both his grandfather and father – both physicians…

What if…?

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Crisis: Every two hours someone in Canada dies of Opioid Overdose

Why do people hear voices?

Three in four of all humans will at some point in their lives- often around distressing and overwhelming  life events.
It might be more informative to ask why do some people NOT hear voices?

Hearing voices is not the issue-that some people really struggle IS.

Why do some people struggle with difficult-to-hear voices?

For many who do struggle the voices we expect them to hold inside speak to the pain they also must hold inside because they can find no one willing or able to share in the burden of that pain.

Why do people take opioids?

To relieve the unbearable pain of living in a world that has cast them aside, condemns them and wants them to go away.

Why do so many people die of opioid overdose?

Because the supply of opioids is unreliable contaminated and poisoning and killing people whose only relief is the opioids they can buy on the streets. Sometimes, often,  people are buying other drugs but which have been loaded with cheap to make synthetic opioids.

What is harm reduction ?

Harm reduction is a broad approach that asks – how can we do less harm? It can be applied to anything, especially in healthcare and social services.

Harm reduction is bout reducing the harm caused by judging people for needing to use drugs to relieve the pain, offering safe supplies that help reduce infection, and deaths, to give people a chance to stay alive long enough to maybe one day find other answers.

Harm Reduction saves lives.

Recent report outlining harm reduction efforts in BC showing that harm reduction halves the number of deaths in some of the most vulnerable populations in our society.

Maybe its time to give a shit.


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The shape of stories- Kurt Vonnegut

I shared this with a friend the other day  we laughed a lot together.
Much wisdom and food for though t in here too.


When you share your story,
make sure its you who is holding the pen.

Kurt Vonnegut on the shape of stories.
Many, I suspect, will be fimiliar to you.

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Hearing Voices Cafe – Toronto 2020

Hearing Voices Cafe

Coffee and That Jazz
72 Howard Park Ave

6pm to 8pm.
First Monday of each month
– except when its the second monday because of holidays.

For those willing to open themselves to listen, willing to be changed by what we might hear, and to learn from and with each other.

Please note:
If you re looking to be told what to
or for solutions or fixes…

We don’t “advocate” anything:
except maybe, that is:
listening to many different perspectives
and making your own choices about your own life
– and having the grace to allow others space to do likewise.

If you come to preach or judge or prosteltise or victimise, dehumanise, then…
please, save your breath.

We especially welcome those struggling to support loved ones who from time to time finds themselves overwhelmed by life,
you’ll be able to connect with others in a similar place.

Please help us share our Poster below
Printable pdf version: Hearing Voices Cafe Toronto – Jan 2020

Posted in Abuse, Event, group, Ideas

Memorial 1000 – Toronto – 12noon Tue Jan 14th 2020

At least 10, 000 people will spend tonight and every night without a home in Toronto.

Fundamentally there are simply too few homes – for all of us- in Toronto.
Toronto has not invested in any substantial way in social or affordable housing for 25 years now, during the same period the City’s population has doubled.
This affects everyone living in the city..

Many who do have housing are only a step or two away from losing their home too.

Units are being built – not for folks to live in but as investments and use as financial surety on world money markets. one third of all homes listed for resale in Toronto have never been lived it.

People who live home less or on the streets die younger, often alone, often not recognized, nor even identified. people without homes are rendered “invisible” by the label “the homeless”. Sadly most have already been labelled invisible by being part of some other group similarly rendered not part of society, not part of the future envisaged by politicians we elect- hence by us. Time we changed and time we insist our politicians change and make housing a priority.

Join with others in Toronto homeless memorial, second Tue each month to remember the lives of those lost. At the homeless Memorial, Holy Trinity Church, trinity Square, next to Eaton Centre.


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Four kinds of Invisibilities – Lewis Gordon

Lewis Gordon

“This issue of invisibility is a very strange one.

A lot of the people who are being called “invisible”
have to be first identified,
and then be informed or told they are invisible, or a zero
so we have a kind of “bad faith” at work:

First you have to say they are not really there
then you have to find them
and then say that they are not really there

This kind of phenomenon is connected to something  that has emerged in what Lewis Gordon calls the “euromodern world”
[one of many kinds of modern.]

What the euromodern world has done, in its concept of modern,
what modern is about,
is to say that there is a future
and in that future
some people belong to it
and some don’t

Now, if you think about it
if some people belong to the future

And some people don’t
then in the present, if you have no future
then what is the status of your present?

And if that’s the case then what is the status of your past?
in a way you become retro-actively de-legitimized
if you don’t have that future
and that is the framework that sets the context for the kind of invisibility that I’m going to talk bout

There are many others but I’m just gonna focus on four kinds:-

1st  The Invisibility of quantity, linked to racial invisibility
Is, in effect, to say “those-people-should-not-be-seen.
So if we see any then that is “too many.”

2nd The invisibility of Time linked to land- Indigenous invisibility
There are vestiges of indigenous peoples all over the continent, yet this is this is a settler society, and as such it treats the future as settled. And if the future is settled then it means that the absence of indigenous peoples here and being linked to the land means that the envisioning of the future land is  land without them: in effect an idea that you can only be a native American if you belong to the past.

3rd Invisibility linked to voice – specifically connects to Women
A lot of women’s literature talks about having a voice “in her own voice”.
In many examples what brings legitimacy is the voice of a male. You cannot be political in society without speech and without speech you don’t have a voice. But the tricky thing is even if you have voice but you’re not heard – your voice s is useless if you’re not heard.
So if you’re seen in a way that makes you not seen, imagine in a way that makes you “not reality” then they simply hear noise from you, bu they don’t listen., then you’re invisible as a voice.

4th How these all come together around knowledge
All of these come together in n epistemological invisibility.
The knowledges of each of these invisibilities -“zero sums” – that knowledge doesn’t matter.






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What’s it like being homeless in Toronto?

What’s it Like Being Homeless in Toronto?
CBC’s The National


Toronto – like many cities and many towns too – is in a housing crises.

In Canada’s wealthiest city well over ten thousand people each night rely on a messy, convoluted  network of shelters and other facilities to find a place they can sleep for the night. Many also are unable to find a place to sleep – because there are not enough places for them. For many the offer is a seat in a 24 hr drop in. Many others sleep outside on grates and under bridges.

This system is bursting at the seams. New spaces opened up are filled to over capacity even within hours or days of opening.

This short report from CBC’s The National we find from four people a little of what its like for them living without a home in Toronto.

People become home-less for many reasons, usually a sequence of events that lad them to lose their income, supports, home, then find themselves at the mercy

Many – a majority – have also lived lives of hardship since their lives began.

Toronto is building homes – but not for ordinary people to live in.

Internationally, as is especially evident in Toronto, housing has increasingly become established as key surety in international financial markets. The primary function of housing is now as  commodity on the world’s financial markets

UN Special Rapporteur on right to housing has called for a SHIFT – away from current focus on housing as profitable investment for giant financial funds – the “financialization of housing” to re-establish  the primary role of housing as homes for people to live in.

“the financialization of housing and its detrimental impact on human rights, in particular, the right to housing. From mass forced evictions to make way for luxury developments, to nameless corporations purchasing real estate from remote boardrooms, to empty homes and people pushed out of their communities because they simply could not afford to live there, the repercussions have been felt across the globe.”

These are not forces beyond our control. They are entirely of ow own making and only we can change this.

“Toronto the good” is rapidly becoming “Toronto The Hostile”.

We can’t wait for politicians to lead us our of this.
It is on us to do so.
It is on us to tell our politicians to make this a priority.
Tis time – indeed it is way past time – that Toronto and Torontonians , citizens – choose to play a bigger role in saying “enough”.
We can and must do better. Much better.

View the CBC’s The National Video here…

Posted: Dec 13, 2019 10:16 PM ET | Last Updated: December 13

Posted in Adversity, bollocks

Decolonize The Mind – neurodecolonization – Dr Michael Yellow Bird


<p><a href=”″>DECOLONIZING THE MIND</a> from <a href=””>cheryle easter</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

More like this at…


Posted in Colonialism, DECOLONIZEYOURMIND | Tagged , ,

Drug Decriminalization in Portugal

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