My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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no Bach today

Later: I got to the Philharmonic building just after 5.30, when I’d been told the standing room tickets for the St. Matthew Passion went on sale, stood in the very long line, and found out that there was not a single ticket left, not even standing room. I talked with the group of Americans in front of me – they were music students from Syracuse University there with their teacher, all very disappointed. He had started trying to get tickets in January, he told me, but the minute they went on sale, they were gone; standing room had been their only hope.

I have a special love for Syracuse, I told them, because it published my book. And we discussed this city and its heritage. I said I felt that this culture had produced both the worst and the best – Bach – that human beings are capable of. “We think so too. Because they’re human,” said their teacher. We spoke of how impressed we all are with the way the Germans have confronted their past. “We’ll look for your book,” they said. And then I left, wading through more than a dozen people standing outside with signs in German: Tickets wanted. I honour a culture that not only produced Bach but is desperate to hear him. How jealous I was of the people parking their cars nearby, strolling into what will assuredly be a sublime concert.
On the hour and twenty minute walk back, near Potsdamer Platz with its wall memorabilia, I saw a Canadian flag and went to check it out. The Canadian Embassy – announcements of a seminar about Marshall McLuhan and pictures of red maple leaves in the Rockies. Home! There was a restaurant pub next door called CanCun, which advertised Carlsberg beer. I looked at the menu. Burritos and tacos: the food was all Mexican.



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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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