My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Mr. Choy survives to reign another day. He and I listened to Canada Reads on the radio again today, waiting to hear which book had been eliminated – Douglas Coupland’s Generation X, sorry buddy, but there you go. So far, not one of the panellists has said a bad word about Jade Peony. My 25-year old son is reading it and asked me to give a message to Wayson – that he was moved to tears by a recent chapter.

Wayson loves this event. Yes, it’s a bit forced and melodramatic, all that competitiveness, aggression and tension about 5 novels – but why not? It’s great to have such excitement building about works of Canadian literature, and the level of discussion and critique during the show is impressively high. Onward! As my friend likes to say, and often says.
Yesterday, I walked home from St. Lawrence Market where I’d visited the honey man – for those of you in Toronto, I cannot recommend him too highly, he’s on the bottom floor, has the best honeys around and is lavish with his free samples. On my way home, I passed another of my favourite stores, the Salvation Army on Parliament Street, which has recently had a bit of a renovation and is tidy and organized. At the back, where they stack the donated posters and prints, I was drawn to two glorious faces on posters from a 1994 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, “Early Renaissance Florence, 1300 – 1450.” I was sure they were by Fra Angelico, whom I saw in another special exhibit at the Met a few years ago. Finally, I couldn’t resist – what a surprise! I bought them and hauled them home.
These two delicate beauties triggered a day-long clean-up of my office. I’ve sorted, tidied, filed and rearranged. Now my angels are hanging nearby, keeping me company, and my office is pristine for the first time in months. I checked online – they are indeed by Fra Angelico, one the angel announcing to Mary and the other Mary being announced to. Stunning in golds, reds, yellows, blues, they illuminate my office walls. The portraits that used to be there, two of my heroes Colette and Matisse, are now on top of the bookshelf beside portraits of two other heroes, my great-grandmother Anna Gordin and Paul McCartney. Beside me is a long, sleek, nearly empty expanse of desk.
This will not last, I know. Papers will pile and files will pile. But the heavenly art behind me, created 550 years ago, is glowing over my shoulder. “It’s karma,” said Wayson, who helped me hang them. And I think it is. They are shining. I have no choice but to shine too.



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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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