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white out

My friends, do not ever again listen to me complain about the frustrations and lack of remuneration (i.e. no $) in self-employed writing. Today after a long, stuffy, sleepless night, I got up with a fever, laid low by a bad cold or flu, and found the city paralysed by a blizzard. Howling winds, a foot of snow climbing up the door.  So many of my friends, so many of you, I’m sure, had to get dressed and out the door, no matter how sick you might have been or how difficult the going. 

I have spent the day lying under blankets on the sofa in the kitchen. I edited a student’s piece and sent it back, I responded to emails, read the New York Times on-line and the newspapers on paper – my heroes, the newspaper delivery men who make it through the snowbanks at dawn – and dozed when I felt like it. And then my son, who sprained his ankle falling down some dangerous stairs at work yesterday, hobbled through the snow to keep me company and bring me sinus-opening, fever reducing drugs. We lay together on the sofa as the white sheets washed by the windows, watching “Burn after reading” which was extremely stupid and “Lars and the real girl” which was very beautiful, a lovely film featuring some fine Toronto actors including the wonderful Nancy Beatty, an old friend. The wind howled, my eyes ached, Sam’s ankle throbbed, and we lay tranquilly, watching movies. 
The average writer, I just read somewhere, makes $35,000 a year. I make considerably less than that, and some of that income comes from renting out rooms in my house. But today, all the money in the world would not have dragged my aching self into that blizzard.  I have eaten all my own chicken soup so now, I am about to have a big bowl of my neighbour Monique’s, delivered through the snow to my front door, and get a pizza out of the freezer for Sam. How lucky can you get?
My friend Chris in Vancouver is distraught today. Vancouver is suffering very bad weather too, unusual for that city. A homeless woman whom he passed regularly, who lived on a corner near his home, was offered shelter last night but turned it down three times. She died today, right there on the street under his windows. All I could say to comfort him was that she lived as she wished, and died that way too. 
May all of you be safe and warm and blessed, on this cold night.  Please, keep safe and warm. And may you be blessed. 



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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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