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sweet Monday

Another sublime summer eve. Just took a walk over the Don Valley, to sit high on the hill on the other side and take in the sunset view. Dusk falling, three teams playing baseball on the Riverdale Farm side – oh the whap of a hard ball smacking into a mitt, is that not the sound of summer in North America? – and on the flat expanse on the other side, many teams, soccer, frisbee, joggers, dog walkers, and one man with an exquisite battery-run airplane, diving and weaving and flipping round and round, silently soaring over us all. Impossible not to feel joy at the scene, with the giant towers of money glinting in the distance downtown, and the frantic movers on the highway, zooming in and out.

An exciting day, starting an intensive week of teaching, eight students stuck in a small room with me and lots of words. Wonderful, though I did think wistfully that it would be nice to have a window, the day was so heavenly. But we were busy, no time for gazing out of windows. After a morning of work and a communal lunch sponsored by the department to bring us all together, all the instructors were asked to read for five minutes each, to show the range of genres covered. Mon dieu – it was startling. The Historical Fiction teacher read about a gypsy being tortured to death in 16th century Hungary, the Dark Fantasy teacher about a man being ripped to pieces by black dogs, the Detective teacher about his detective saving himself from a murderous chambermaid (shades of Dominique Strauss-Kahn!) by drowning her in the bathtub.
I felt pretty dull, I can tell you, getting up to read about Paul McCartney! There were other less gothic readings, wonderful fiction from Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer and Alissa York and humour from Erika Ritter; Karen Connolly read a great poem about Canada, Norm Snider from his new bio-pic about Lady Gaga, Ken McGoogan from his new book about the Scots in Canada … etc. Dizzying. Helps you see the wonder of the imagination – Norm, an older man, writing in the voice of young Stephanie who will become Lady Gaga, these normal nice-looking people reading this incredibly lurid, bloody stuff …
A woman came up to me afterwards and told me that she and a friend were recently in New York and her friend grabbed her arm and said, “That’s Paul McCartney!” She went over and said, “Is that really you?” and Paul, out with his Nancy, said, “Yes, it’s me.” The lady said, “He was so sweet – I even took a picture of him with my friend – his arm around her.”
Jealous, oh yes, jealous. But then, thanks to my imagination, I was married to him for a year or two.



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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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