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snowless in Toronto

Just had an email from Penny in Sheffield, England – the city is paralyzed by snow, schools cancelled, streets impassable, neighbours chatting as they shovel. Lots of snow last week in balmy Vancouver. Whereas here in snowy Toronto, a flake or two. I’m looking out at the yard – the grass still green, the parsley, rosemary and thyme on the deck still alive, despite the frost. Soon, yes, it’ll be our turn. No rush, weather gods. No rush.

Teaching is winding down – U of T and Ryerson and one home class end-of-term feast over, another last class feast next week. One U of T student just sent me an email: I will contact you about coaching. Because you are so generous and smart and talented! And I trust you completely.
I thank you for those very kind words. If only! I am working privately with eight memoir clients, who astound me with their courage and dedication. And FYI, yesterday, my blog book went on sale at the gift shop at Riverdale Farm. It’s a beautiful shop, perfect for that beautiful place – full of local crafts and tasteful, quirky things relating to animals, the country, farms, this neighbourhood … highly recommended.
Some good television on Bravo these last few days (looking at a fat blue jay on the deck – what a huge bird, swaths of grey and bright blue and black) – “The Genius Within”, about Glenn Gould, and last night, a dance piece about Nureyev. The Gould documentary was extremely moving, showing him as both a man and a genius – how his increasing eccentricity destroyed his life, his loneliness, the tragedy of the far-too-early death at fifty that he had predicted. What a legacy. I’ve made it a project, for my next vacation, to listen to both his “Goldberg Variations,” the early one and the late, to follow the journey of his soul. And to immerse myself, too, in the heavenly soul of Johann Sebastian Bach.
I was angry at myself last Friday – missed out on getting tickets for the debate about religion between Christopher Hitchens and Tony Blair, which sold out instantly. A friend reported:

It was blatantly obvious from the beginning that Tony Blair certainly is not an intellectual. I had to remind myself of that continually. In all fairness, he is a politician, and a successful one at that. But Hitchens wan’t sufficiently challenged. Blair’s arguments wore very thin after they were repeated over and over, whereas Hitchens still dazzles with his remarkable depth of knowledge and ability to bring it to the fore, so quick “on his feet”, despite the fact that he is so terribly ill. As you know, his Cancer is terminal and he probably won’t live too much longer.

I was sorry to have missed it – the triumph of the atheist. So when a few days ago, I phoned to get tickets to the event tonight celebrating Eleanor Wachtel and the 20 years of her “Writers and Company,” I was furious with myself again to find out that too was sold out. I wrote to Eleanor to inform her of my despair, and she called last night to tell me there’ll be a ticket waiting for me. Lucky me!

She’ll be interviewed tonight by Michael Ondaatje, in front of 460 of her most ardent fans. Including moi.



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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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