Twenty Thousand

I don't know what's considered a milestone in the blogging world, but today I noticed I've had over 20,000 views of my blog, which seems pretty incredible to me. I've received nothing but support over these last two years of chronicling my journey on this path called life and I have you readers to thank for that. As an homage to posts past I'm going to revert back to the old format. Music. Fact. Quote. All related to numbers. 

Music: Rent
My favourite musical is Rent. I remember seeing it when I was 14 in London and again when I was 22 in New York and of course the film came out between those times. I've never been big on musicals, but Rent revolutionised them for me. I realised that my love for music and theatre could actually be combined into something that wasn't trite or cheesy and could carry a profound message. I went to Liberty Theatre in Bermuda and watched the movie Philadelphia with my dad when I was nine years old. I remember it so clearly because it's the first film I ever cried in. My parents had (and lost) plenty of friends with HIV/AIDS and we were always taught to hug and kiss them just like anyone else; that they weren't to be feared, but to be loved. My parents taught me about compassion and about the facts of life and those facts included that everyone was equal, no matter their race, religion or, indeed, sexuality. A memory from the age of three is asking them what "Gay" meant. They explained, I understood and that was the end of that conversation. I learned of family friends who were gay or lesbian and that never changed my opinion of them (whether I liked them or not). Rent confronted the stereotype that HIV/AIDS was reserved for homosexuals. I have myself tested frequently and hope you do also. Ignorance is how this disease spread so quickly and robbed so many of years of their lives. So much can happen in a year. I know that where I was a year ago is, both literally and figuratively, miles from where I am now. I left Bermuda on November 10th last year. Exactly a year and a day ago and I haven't yet been back. I haven't seen my mother, brother, stepdad, older sister or cat in all that time. Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred do you measure a year in the life? 

Fact: Women speak 20,000 words a day?? 
Whilst looking up facts I specifically looked up the number 20,466 because that's the actual number of page views. The only thing I could find was a gene labelled that number and there was a lot of science speak so I couldn't actually figure out the purpose of that particular gene (any scientists out there willing to assist?). Devastatingly, there are 20,000 dolphins slaughtered every year in Japan (for more information visit The Cove's website). However, I realised that was more sad than celebratory, but still worth a mention to increase awareness. Also not necessarily celebratory (but interesting from the perspective of someone who talks a lot - or at least very quickly) is the "fact" that women speak 20,000 words a day, as opposed to men's 7,000 (as claimed in the book The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California in San Francisco.) The Guardian, however, is not so sure it agrees. And neither am I. My father was the most talkative person you would ever have met. He spent his life on the telephone, each of us receiving our daily wake-up calls. Multiple people have told me of how they miss their daily chats with him. How he found the time in the day for that many conversations I will never know!

Quote: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea
I've really never believed in God, at least not the one I was taught about in Sunday school. But a power greater than myself...well, that I could always believe in without realising, because I grew up on an island and that power is, and always has been, the ocean. I know its strength because I know it can choose to destroy and drown me or carry me to the safety of shore. In fact Jules Verne said it better than I ever could:

My leap of faith into the deep blue sea
"The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides. The sea is only the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence. It is nothing but love and emotion; it is the 'Living Infinite,' as one of your poets has said. In fact, Professor, Nature manifests herself in it by her three kingdoms--mineral, vegetable, and animal. The sea is the vast reservoir of Nature. The globe began with sea, so to speak; and who knows if it will not end with it? In it is supreme tranquillity. The sea does not belong to despots. Upon its surface men can still exercise unjust laws, fight, tear one another to pieces, and be carried away with terrestrial horrors. But at thirty feet below its level, their reign ceases, their influence is quenched, and their power disappears. Ah! sir, live--live in the bosom of the waters! There only is independence! There I recognise no masters! There I am free!"


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