My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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singing about love, singing about loss

I’ve missed you, my blogosphere readers. The last weeks have been busy with work and travel, but at the back of my mind is the nagging voice: “Must … write … blog…”  

Perhaps, like me, you read in the paper a few weeks ago that Paul McCartney was going to give a free concert on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City on July 20th.  “How nice,” I thought, and read the rest of the paper while eating my porridge.  It wasn’t until my friend Margaret, who knows my Paul-loving past and my current Beatle project, emailed from Vancouver, “Are you going?” that the thought occurred to me.  Paul played right here in Toronto not long ago and I didn’t go.  “The tickets are so expensive and I’m a grown up,” I thought then, no longer madly in love with the cute Beatle, the genius of rhythm and melody whom I saw with his band twice in one day in Paris in 1965, when I was 14.  
But now, as I am about to turn 58, Margaret’s words cracked in me like a starter’s gun.  Why not?  It’s summer, work is almost over, I’m not travelling much the rest of the year.  So I booked a flight to Quebec.  Just like that.  And then tried to find a cheap bed and breakfast, but when I found out how full everything is, I grabbed a room at an inn.  A lovely old inn near the Plains, at full price.  Have I ever done this in my frugal life before?  No.  Have I ever been able to do this in my starving-writer-single-mother life before?  No. But now I can, and now I will.
So when you see footage of the free Paul McCartney concert on the Plains of Abraham, that wild-eyed middle-aged woman grooving in the front row will be me.  Well, me and many thousands of my new best friends.  This trip is my 58th birthday present to myself and the beginning of a new way of life.  No time to waste.  No time to waste.  Let’s GO.
(In any case, says my grown-up side, since I am writing now about Paul and the Beatles, the trip is tax deductible. Worth a try, anyway.)
I’m teaching this week at U of T, an intensive one-week course dealing with non-fiction manuscripts, with the usual wondrous range of material and students.  The other day, we did an in-class writing assignment.  One student, a reserved gentleman in his seventies who had said little, sat writing with the others.  Afterwards all were free to read or not; he volunteered to do so.   He read in a few simple paragraphs a most heartfelt, moving essay about loss.  When he finished, we all sat in silence for a bit, tears in our eyes and in his too.
His version of “Yesterday,” and just as haunting.  



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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