Hi, I’m Sylvia. I live in Wsanec First Nation territory on beautiful Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
Classical Bookworm is where I share my love of learning and of books. I am particularly interested in learning more about the things I missed out on as a science student, namely the arts and humanities. My plan is to study history and the classics of literature, art, and music chronologically and concurrently, starting at the beginning of human civilization. Learning is a joy for me, and I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do with my time.
Sister Earth is where I blog (infrequently) about nature, Christianity, Daoism, and peace. It’s all about harmony for me—harmony with nature, harmony with others, harmony with the universe. I’ve been seeking harmony since I was a child, first through the books of Tom Brown, Jr., which taught me that harmony with nature is possible. In young adulthood I encountered Daoism and its physical expression, taijiquan (t’ai chi ch’uan), which taught me new ways to achieve harmony with self, others, and nature. Then my quest for harmony led me quite unexpectedly to Christianity, vessel of the most radical form of harmony: love your enemies. Any one of these—nature, Daoism, Christianity—would be enough for a lifetime of growth and sustenance. I am deeply grateful to have been led to all three.
When I’m not reading, blogging, or reading blogs, I enjoy a quiet life in the forest with, among other mammals, two adorable Rottweilers and an extremely fluffy cat. I watch quite a lot of football (soccer) and truly love the beautiful game. I support Canada, Mexico, Spain, the Vancouver Whitecaps and (especially) FC Barcelona. During games you can find me on Twitter @ClassicFutbol. I also enjoy watching “costume dramas,” foreign films, and historical documentaries, with a particular weakness for engineering programs (ancient or modern). I am studying Spanish at Duolingo, and learning to play the alto recorder. I also have chess, latin, classical guitar, piano, drawing and calligraphy on the back burner. As an INTJ, I enjoy making impossible plans and then making new plans when I realize the old plans are impossible. Live without a plan? Impossible!
I am one of approximately 400,000 Canadians with myalgic encephalomyelitis (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). M.E. is a chronic, incurable, disabling disease that affects just about every system in the body. It is classified as a neurological disorder and causes dysfunction in the neurological and endocrine systems (especially in the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenals), and overactivity in the immune system. The symptoms of M.E. include overwhelming exhaustion, muscle weakness, post-exertional malaise, sleep dysfunction, muscle and/or joint pain, and cognitive dysfunction (especially confusion, difficulty concentrating, and short-term memory loss). Where was I? Oh yes. There are no effective treatments available yet, and spontaneous recovery rates are very low.
The symptoms of M.E. vary in severity between people and over time. Some people are confined to bed while others are able to work as long as someone else is doing all the housework. I am somewhere in the middle, unable to work but able to take care of myself as long as I am careful. By ruthlessly streamlining my lifestyle I am able to minimize my symptoms and have some energy left over for low-energy hobbies—like reading and blogging!