My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Midday yesterday, Chris and I were sitting in the kitchen when there was a flash of wings, and an enormous young hawk landed on the fence on my deck, just a few metres away from us. He sat staring at the ivy – where the suddenly-silent sparrows live – and swivelled his head 360 degrees, like Linda Blair, to check out everything in the garden. We sat marvelling at his long claws, raptor beak, piercing eyes – and then, with a whoosh of wide wings, he took to the air and vanished.
It worries me – why is a hawk flying into a downtown garden? Is he hungry? The sparrows and squirrels sure weren’t happy. But my friend and I felt blessed.
Doing errands a bit later, I ran into a friend, the father of two young sons. He mentioned that he was taking his daughter to have her ears pierced. “I didn’t know you had a daughter,” I said.
“I didn’t either,” he said, and told me that his elder son had decided to become a girl. So now he was learning about his brand-new teenaged daughter, her new name and new habits. I thought he was coping wonderfully. Who knows what surprises are in store? Assume nothing.

In the evening, Chris and I went to see A Single Man. On the way into the cinema, I ran into a former student who was on her way out. She had just seen the same film. “I’ll be interested in your opinion,” she said. “I’ll check your blog.”

Okay, here it is, Georgie – yes and no. I liked it much less than I thought I was going to, especially after the infuriating last five minutes. With his surprise, unwelcome ending, I thought the director was showing us his pretensions and insecurities – an art movie cannot have a happy ending, too bourgeois, too common. Cut that cheer off at the pass. Must have inexplicable sadness.
I agree with the world that Colin Firth performs wonderfully and so does Julianne Moore. Every single person and every set in the film is gorgeous. “You look terrible,” people keep saying to Colin Firth, who looks fabulous. There are some beautiful moments – my favourite, the scene where Firth sees a dog like the ones he has lost and pets it through the car window, finally burying his nose in the dog’s fur. But I have to conclude that there is something bloodless and airless in this film. It’s not generous at heart. We do not walk out much richer, as with some films. A bit richer, yes.
Colin Firth may win an Oscar because he can cry on cue, has powerful eyes and admirable restraint and is straight but can play a convincing gay man. There are worse reasons to win an Oscar, but there are better ones, too. And this, from one of the greatest fans of his Mr. Darcy.
It was great to see this film with my gay best friend, since the film is also about the love between a straight woman and a gay or tentatively bisexual man. At the end, Chris said to me, “On the way home, I’ll buy the gin and you buy some eyeliner and let’s go home and make out.” He loves to talk that way, but it does amaze me that Chris and I have been best, intimate friends for 34 years and, unlike Julianne and Colin, never felt the slightest flicker of sexual desire for each other. Just love.



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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.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


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A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

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